Tag Archives: cheese

Fancy Schmancy Grilled Cheese ~ Provolone, Goat, Prosciutto & Jam

Today is a perfect June Gloom-y Monday. No pressure to get out to the pool or the park, just temps in the low 70s and a work-around-the-house kind of day. I’m enjoying it because before too long, it’s going to really heat up around here.

Elliott spent the morning at Cooking Camp while Holden and I {ok, just me} whizzed through the house filling trash bags, getting piles ready to donate, vacuuming and throwing a couple loads of laundry in.

Feels so good to just get rid of STUFF. Ugh! So. Over. It.

On this wonderfully overcast and cool day, it only seemed fitting to light a candle ~ this has been my favorite to burn lately and sends off and ever so slight tropical scent making you think wish you were on an island far, far away sucking down a daiquiri with sand between your toes…


{Yankee Candle, Paradise Spice ~ banana, vanilla, cinnamon & cloves}

Also, I think a nice warm grilled cheese fits the bill for lunch on a day like today.

I have a whole board on Pinterest just for grilled cheeses. I’ve yet to try any of them, but when I saw this one on IG, well….I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Thanks, Cameron, for sharing! It was amazing…..duh.


What you need:

Loaf of sourdough bread

Slices of provolone cheese

Log of goat cheese {or already crumbled. I used plain, but an herbed one would be even more delish}


Jam of choice {I used homemade peach, but strawberry, fig, apricot or blackberry would be fantastic}

Softened butter

What you do:

Lightly butter two slices of bread. Flip them over and spread some jam on both slices. Add crumbled goat cheese to one slice and a couple thin slices of provolone to the other. Lay some prosciutto {I used 2 slices} on top of the cheeses and make into a sandwich. Place buttered side down onto a pre-heated grill pan or panini press. Flip after a couple minutes or cook as your panini press directs.

Slice diagonally and ENJOY!


It’s crispy, gooey, sweet & salty!

This sandwich will be your sunshine on a cloudy day.

Trust me.

Fancy Schmancy Snickerdoodles

My friends Julie & Betty want to help you out this holiday season with some semi homemade cookies that will surely get you, and anyone else you may share them with, into the spirit.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles 

Sounds fancy, right? Fancy, yes. Lots of work, no.

First, you need to procure some Betty Crocker Snickerdoodle mix. I found mine at Target, but I’m sure a lot of places have it as a seasonal item. If you see it, pick it up because I understand it can be hard to come by.


1 pouch Betty Crocker snickerdoodle cookie mix
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Open cookie mix.
Set aside cinnamon sugar packet.

Add water, egg and cookie mix to cream cheese mixture.
Stir until soft dough forms.
Add in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Cover & refrigerate 30 minutes.

After that horrible 30 minutes is over, drop rounded spoonfuls of dough into cinnamon sugar.
(You need to ask Santa for this cookie scoop. Perfect, uniform cookies every time.)
Roll in cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.

Place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake a 375º for 8-9 minutes until edges are set.
Cool one minute then transfer to cooling rack.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen.

They are to-die-for. Guaranteed to make back injuries feel a little bit better. True story.

These can be baked up in a jiffy and are perfect holiday treats for the special people in your life. Package up a half dozen or a dozen, attach a little festive handwritten note and deliver cinnamon sugary happiness.

 You could change it up and do dark chocolate chips and chopped dried cherries or keep the white chocolate chips and sub dried blueberries. Adding some orange zest would also be a nice touch to the cranberry variety. Or what about some fresh lemon zest to the blueberry ones?

OK, go. Log off now and get the goods to make these.

Enjoy and Happy Tuesday!


Happy Thursday!

{UNO} more day ’til the weekend…thank goodness.

If you are at a loss of what to make for dinner tonight, tomorrow night or over the weekend, may I suggest this?

: Farfalle with asparagus, caramelized onions, mushrooms and goat cheese :

{Recipe from Food & Wine}

From Pinterest, but I added asparagus, used smaller mushrooms and used farfalle as my pasta cut of choice.

Was super yum and our dinner last Saturday night before the infamous mud run!

Jay requested pasta and I was happy to click through my Pinterest boards and find something to help us get our carb on.

If you love all things goat cheese, you must make this.


{Insta}recipes ~ Cheeseburger Calzone

Last week one of my Instagram friends, Melissa, posted a cheeseburger calzone picture and was gracious enough to type out the recipe on her iPhone WITH a cast on one hand! Thanks, girl!

So, this was what was for dinner last night. I could hardly wait to make it since I had never made a calzone before.

Elliott suggested, “How about Sundays are ladies cook nights!”. I couldn’t say no to that so we donned our aprons and got to work.

Here is the ingredient line-up:

1 tube Pillsbury French Bread loaf

1 pound ground beef or turkey

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup Ketchup

1/4 cup Mustard

6 slices cheese {I used pre-shredded cheddar}


Brown your ground beef with the onion and garlic. Add the ketchup and mustard and mix together. Roll out your bread {this is where it gets sketchy…I don’t know if you’re supposed to unroll the dough by hand as it comes out of the tube and THEN roll it with a rolling pin or just roll it out directly as it comes out of the tube which is what I did. I had trouble getting it into a big flat piece which is what I envisioned} At any rate, I ended up cutting it in half and having two long pieces of dough. Lay the bottom piece of dough on a greased {with Pam} pan, put cheese, pickles and then the meat down the middle, leaving a little room on the top and sides. Add the top layer of dough and press the edges together {I also got a fork and pressed down to seal and give it those little lines}. Put a few slits in the top to vent and bake according to package directions {26-30 minutes at 350*}. Let cool for about 5 minutes, slice and serve!

{not the prettiest calzone I’ve ever seen, but still delish}

I served ours with blue cheese coleslaw.

Three quarters of the family thoroughly enjoyed it…Holden opted for a ham sandwich. Surprise.


Happy Monday!

Kids Eat Free

Tonight Holden ate FREE at Casa Aspiras.

Our Target recently underwent the {fresh food upgrade} and we’ve gotten a couple free coupons to come and check it out. I’m in there at LEAST once a week so why not grab some free eggs and a free box of Kraft mac n cheese, right? Those two are staples in our house.

Holden chose the Perry The Platypus mac n cheese and that was his dinner ~ almost the whole box. Done.

Elliott had leftover Thai food and leftover jasmine rice. Done.

Jay and I sampled some Pasta Fagioli {recipe coming soon} that I made and polished off the baby backs from last night!

For our anniversary dinner I made Mel’s slow cooker baby back ribs.

The best baby backs I ever had were in OKC while there on business about 8 or 9 years ago. I’ll never forget them. Because of those ribs I have to ask at every restaurant, “Do your baby backs fall off the bone? I mean really, literally FALL off the bone? If not, I will send them back!” If I sense any hesitation from the waiter, I will order something else. That is how serious I am about my ribs. I have never made them in a slow cooker, but figured if I did them on low for 8 hours they couldn’t help but separate from the bone….and that is exactly what they did! The sauce is a cherry dijon BBQ sauce and it couldn’t be easier to prepare. We will be making these LOTS more ~ thanks, Mel!

We paired these up with some blue cheese mashed potatoes {3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed and boiled until fork tender. Melt some butter [4 tsp] and a small carton of whipping cream [1 cup? the teeny tiny one] in a sauce pan and add that to the potatoes after draining. Pour in about half to 3/4 container blue cheese with some salt & pepper and mix with a hand mixer or low on your Kitchenaid until blended and creamy} and some boring steamed broccoli.

For dessert, I made one of Jay’s and my all-time favorites, tiramisu. This was a first for me to actually make and I was petrified because there are all kinds of raw eggs going on in this dish, but we lived to tell about it.

I followed this recipe.

It was magnificent. Don’t let the raw eggs scare you…I would not feed it to the kiddos or anyone that has an compromised immune system just to be on the safe side.

We may have had some tonight, too, and it is better the longer it sits….so I’ve heard. 😉


This is a fancy dinner {the ribs not the Perry the Platypus mac n cheese} that you can literally enjoy on a weeknight. Stick the ribs in the crock pot in the morning and they’ll be ready by din din. The mashed potatoes can be made a day ahead or over the weekend and keep well in the ‘fridge for a couple days. They reheat really well. And the broccoli, that’s just there so you don’t feel too guilty about the tiramisu, but you could substitute any veggie or a green salad for that if you’re not a fan.

Happy Monday, friends. I hope your weekend was fabulous.

Tomorrow I will be announcing a little giveaway which is a bundle of some of my favorite things…stay tuned!

Nighty night.

Do You Know The Way To {Santa Fe}?

Once upon a time, there was a restaurant/bar in Seattle’s university district called Rain Dancer. I would eat there with my dad and sister when visiting the Pacific Northwest.

They had the most amazing sandwiches on their lunch menu, but my sis and I would always get the same thing ~ the Southwestern grilled cheese.

However, when I would place my order I would always call it the {Santa Fe} grilled cheese. The waiter always knew what I meant….

One time we went over for lunch, parked in the rear parking lot, walked up to the back door and…..gasp! The door was locked. We went to the front. Rain Dancer was no mas.

Sad, sad day.

I have been wanting to recreate this sammie for AWHILE now and this afternoon I finally did…

Brought back LOTS of memories.

This is a pic of Jay’s…he requested cheddar rather than the traditional pepper jack….gasp! I would have taken a picture of mine with the {proper} queso, however when I went to flip it in the pan, it got all jacked up and was no longer as photo worthy as this one. BUT it was still delish!

All you need is some sourdough bread, butter, black bean and corn salsa {just some black beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, cumin, salt & pepper, lime juice and a tad bit of olive oil}, tomato slices, avocado slices, and cheddar pepper jack cheese. Butter one side of each piece of bread, put on a slice {or two} of cheese, spoon on some of the salsa, add your tomato & avocado slices, put more cheese on top of that to act as glue to hold the whole thing together. Preheat your grill pan or skillet on medium and grill away! I put a lid over it to help with the melting process. Maybe 3-5 minutes on each side and you’re good to go.

You could most certainly add some turkey or use guacamole instead of sliced avocado. I thought about smashing the beans a little {kinda like refried beans} because they tend to spill out of the sandwich when grilling and flipping…

These would be great to make as minis for an appetizer of sorts, too.

SO yum!


This is my 700th post!



Two year bloggy anniversary is coming up on November 1st…I have a little giveaway in the works. Please check back soon for the deets!

Thanks for reading! I cherish each and every one of you!

{BIG hug!}


Linking up over at Gingerbread ~ Sweet Saturday

Come on over and browse!


{Clean Out Your Fridge} Frittata Friday

We did another backyard clambake last weekend.

Apparently we thought we were feeding an army because we had TONS leftover.

{note to self: next time only buy ONE package of andouille sausage}

I was in a pinch for dinner one night this week so I threw together a quick frittata using stuff that needed to be eaten up….

4 eggs that didn’t make the cut to be boiled and dyed for Easter

Several pieces of TJ’s chicken andouille leftover from the clambake

1/3 container of crumbled goat cheese

Enter andouille sausage and goat cheese baked frittata…

Jay even raved about it.

I love quiches, but can certainly do without the crust. This would make a great quiche, too though.

The addition of caramelized onions would be nice, as well.

The great thing about frittatas is that you can literally add just about any combination of meat, veggie and cheese. They are easy to make for two people or twenty people. You can make them vegetarian or super manly with lots of meat. {Note: the meat needs to be fully cooked and the veggies sauteed, grilled or at least blanched before adding them to the egg mixture}

I just whisked together the 4 eggs with 2/3 cup milk {I literally used a combination of half & half, whole and skim ~ again, we’re cleaning out the fridge} and some salt & pepper. To make it lower in fat and cholesterol, simply use 8 egg whites {not sure how it would turn out with all skim or lowfat milk, but I’m sure it would be fine}.

Pour the egg mixture into your lightly greased, oven safe pan and bake at 350* for about 25-30 minutes or until eggs have set.

Cut into wedges and serve with a green salad or fruit.

{Or with leftover red potatoes from your clam bake!}


Happy Friday!

The weekend is here.

Cooking With Whine

We had 16 eggs that needed to be used. I decided to take 10 of them and do a baked frittata for dinner this evening.

{I was afraid Jay was going to say,”Babe, it’s not Friday…why is there no meat in this meal?”}

No, he wouldn’t {dare} say that, but folks, that’s what was being served up this evening and if you didn’t like it, you know where the nearest Chipotle or Chick-fil-A is.

I also cut up a cantaloupe to go with…..

While I was prepping the frittata, all I heard was whining, whining, whining!


“Holden, don’t do that!”

“Moooom, El-yit threw my monster truck in the trash!”

“Holden hit me!”

“Can we go outside?”

“I wanna go outside…it’s not night time yet!”

“Where’s my lip gloss?”


Why do they always lose it {extra big time} RIGHT when it’s time to get {the vegetarian} dinner started?

Back to the frittata…

Asparagus, Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Frittata

You’ll need:

10 eggs

1/2 cup whole milk {that’s all we had, but I’m sure you could use lowfat, skim or even heavy cream!}

1/4 to 1/2 onion, sliced thin

bunch asparagus, cut into 1.5 inch pieces

1/2 cup blue cheese

Salt & Pepper

Start by caramelizing your onions. In a small pan, warm a little butter and olive oil on med-high heat. Add the onions along with just a sprinkle of brown sugar. Stir, stir and stir some more for about 5-7 minutes until they are dark brown, but not burnt. Keep stirring! Let them cool off to the side while you get the rest ready.

Even though the asparagus was pencil thin {which I normally don’t buy} I blanched it anyway to make sure it would be tender enough. Just bring some water to a boil and drop the cut asparagus into the water for about a minute. Then put it in a ice bath {just some ice and water in a bowl} to cool and stop the cooking so that it stays bright and doesn’t overcook.

Whisk the eggs and the milk with some salt & pepper. Add in the caramelized onions, the blue cheese and the asparagus. Pour into a buttered dish {I used an 8X11} and bake at 350* for about 35 minutes.

{I took ours out after about 30, added the whole stalks of asparagus on top and put it back in the oven for about 5 minutes}


Despite the whining, this meal was delish…even Jay loved it!

And so Spring!

And I FINALLY picked the perfect cantaloupe. Generally I am not very good at picking melons.

Linking up to {What I Whipped Up Wednesday} over at Sugar and Dots. Come over and see what else is being whipped up!


Have a beautiful Thursday! Looks like it’s going to be gorgeous!

Rabbit Food & Rabbit Ears

We’re on like night four of salad, protein and no carb for dinner.

I’m certain Jay is dreaming of pasta, rice, tortillas and bread.

Last night I made my favorite burgers {turkey with horseradish & cheddar cheese} and we ate them sans buns.

With salad.

{mixed greens, carrots, red pepper, sugar snap peas, cucumber, red onion, raisins, blue cheese, garbanzo beans and light ranch}.

Tonight we’re having the SAME thing.

Although, I’m adding some curried carrot soup…again, one of my faves and super easy.

Looks like I’m going to have to do some serious meal planning action.

Fortunately there is a Cooking Light subscription with my name on it making it’s way to the mailbox soon.

I need some new ideas.

Stay tuned…..more new recipes to come!

And speaking of staying tuned….we’re NOT going to be….we’ve {Jay} has decided that for the first quarter of 2011 we’re turning off Direct TV.

No Bravo.

I’m dying inside.

And then he informs me that the new TVs these days do not have antennas so you can’t even get a fuzzy showing of local channels!

A pair of old skool rabbit ears is looking pretty attractive right now.


I think it will be good. I can’t imagine how much more I’ll/we’ll get done without our dear friend, Mr. Samsung. Last night as I was in the workout room watching RHofBH, I thought at least I may get more elliptical and treadmill time in if I HAVE to go to the gym at night to watch TV!

It’ll be interesting to see how it goes ~ it could go either way.

Who wants to invite us over to watch the Superbowl?


On another note, here is a hint {a big one} of the theme of Holden’s birthday next month:


The planning is {ablaze}…..


Happy Friday Floppers!

Milestones & Munchies

This weekend Elliott was invited to her first official sleepover.

She was so excited.

Disney Princess suitcase on wheels packed with her Christmas pajamas, toothbrush and “Monkey”, her lime green, long-armed, long-legged stuffed primate.

Disney Princess sleeping bag rolled nicely inside the matching DP backpack over both shoulders.

Mermaid pillow under her arm.

We walked two doors down to Emilie’s…..Holden in tow and me with some nibbles for the Mommies to enjoy as we chatted and sipped on margaritas and eventually wine!

The four girlies feasted on mini pb&j’s, chicken nuggets, steamed broccoli, fruit salad and the ever popular nacho cheese Doritos.

Once the girls changed into their jammies, Holden immediately called out, “Jammies on! Jammies on!” So, he and I walked home, suited up in his “doggie jammies”, grabbed his “rocketship pi-woe”, zipped up the Buzz & Woody light up boots and headed back down to the girl fest:

Barbie And The Diamond Castle was playing, but not quite capturing all their attention because a pillow fight broke out:

Even though this picture is blurry, I loved it as I thought it captured her pure happiness throughout the night. Sheer excitement as the much anticipated “sleep over” was being played out in real life. A new milestone that I think she will want to relive again real soon.

I talked her through it and reminded her that I was not going to stay. She insisted that she would be OK.

And she was.


I brought a new appetizer that I’d been dying to try…Warm Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip. (Thanks to this cute blog!)

Super easy and super delish.

Here is the line up (minus half&half/milk):

And here is the final goodness:

Highly recommend this is you love the blue!

I also made BBQ Chicken Pizza:

Normally I am a traditionalist when it comes to pizza. Extra sauce, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes…just a simple vegetarian pizza, but I like to make this creation from time to time…reminds me of my BFF, Denise, down in San Diego.

Here’s what you need:

TJ’s Pizza dough (I use the whole wheat)

Your favorite BBQ sauce

Rotisserie chicken or grilled tenders or breast (I grill with a bit of olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning)

Red onion slices

Cheese of choice

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Follow instructions on dough package and roll out to desired shape and size. Poke dough with fork to prevent bubbling. Spread a bit of sauce onto pizza. Arrange red onion slices around the pizza and then cut up chicken in small chunks and toss around in a small amount of bbq sauce and sprinkle across pizza. Add shredded cheese and bake at 450 for about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro confetti, let cool and then cut into small appetizer size squares.