Three-Cheese French Bread Pizza

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 loaf soft French or Italian bread, halved lengthwise
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler (we had the oven rack on the middle shelf). Take a large skillet and pour one tablespoon of the olive oil in, setting the heat to medium-high.  Once the oil’s hot, add in the mushrooms, seasoning them with salt and pepper afterwards. Stir the mushrooms around now and then for 5 minutes or until they’re lightly browned (we cooked them for 5 minutes). Take the skillet off the heat and leave it off to the side for now.
  2. Take a small bowl out and mix the ¼ cup oil and garlic together in it. Take a baking sheet out (we lined ours with aluminum foil) and place the bread on it cut-side up. Drizzle the garlic oil over both halves, sprinkling o salt to taste. Broil the bread for 2 to 3 minutes or until it’s lightly toasted (2 minutes did the job for us). Spoon the ricotta onto the bread, spreading it out evenly, topping it with the mushrooms and mozzarella afterwards (might not matter but between the two, we put the mushrooms on first). Stick the bread back in to broil for another 2 to 5 minutes or until the pizza is browned and bubbly (we went with 3 minutes*). Take the bread off the baking sheet and transfer it to a cutting board.
  3. Slice the bread into pieces, topping with the parsley, parmesan, and however much red pepper flakes you desire. Take the tomato slices and drizzle them with the vinegar and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, seasoning them to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the tomato slices with the pizza and enjoy !

Serves 4 (or two really hungry people).

*At 3 minutes the cheese was nicely browned and bubbly but the ends and the edges of the bread were browned a little more than we would’ve liked so next time we’ll try just going for 2 ½ minutes.

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When you cook a pizza using a pre-made pizza crust, the crust can be limp or make you think “so this is what cardboard tastes like”, you won’t have to worry about that with this french bread pizza ! The outside of the bread had a nice crispy crunch to it and the cheese became ooey gooey. We love eating mushrooms so we’ll be at least doubling the amount of mushrooms next time. We couldn’t really taste the parsley but it did add a nice pop of color ! We added enough pepper flakes to make the pizza spicy which is a nice counterbalance to the salty (in a good way), cheesy awesomeness of this pizza !

We got this recipe from Food Network.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Food Network.

Take care everybody !

Spinach Alfredo Linguine

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ¼ cup water (we used Colavita extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 to 5 garlic cloves, chopped (we used 5 cloves)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 30 minutes in hot water, then drained
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth (we used Swanson organic vegetable broth)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ cup plain unsweetened nondairy milk (we used Silk plain soy milk)
  • 12 ounces linguine (we used Ronzonie Whole Grain Linguine)
  • 9 ounces spinach, thick stems removed, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Pour the oil into a large skillet and set the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the onion, stirring constantly for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic in, continuing to stir for another 30 seconds. Pour the broth in, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Let the broth simmer for 5 minutes before taking the skillet off the heat.
  2. Take the mixture from the skillet and place it in a high-speed blender. Add the following ingredients to the blender, putting the lid on afterwards and processing until smooth: cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, paprika, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add as much of the ½ cup of nondairy milk to the sauce as needed to reach your preferred sauce consistency (we poured ¼ cup in and blended it just to combine). Take a taste and see if you need to add any more salt and pepper (we did)
  3. Add the pasta to a large pot of salted water, stirring now and then until it reaches al dente. One minute prior to the pasta getting to the al dente phase, add in the spinach, stirring to combine. Drain the pasta and spinach, returning it to the pot afterwards. Pour the sauce in afterwards, tossing it gently to coat the pasta and spinach. Serve immediately, adding on a few grinds of pepper afterwards (we didn’t add the extra pepper).
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This is supposed to serve 4 but it tastes so good you may want to double this so you can get the portion size that you’ll really want ! It’s so important to season this, the salt really brings out the cheesy, slightly smoky flavor in the creamy sauce. Don’t know if the spinach adds a lot of flavor but the pop of color it brings to the dish is really nice. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did !

This recipe came from Robin Robertson.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Colavita, Swanson, Silk, Ronzoni, or Robin Robertson.

Take care everybody !

Skillet Mac and Cheese with Crispy Breadcrumbs

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. uncooked large elbow macaroni (we used regular elbow macaroni)
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ¾ cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 onion)
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic (2 to 3 garlic cloves) (we went with the tablespoon measurement rather than the amount of cloves)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 8 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 6 oz. processed cheese (such as Velveeta), cubed (about 1 ½ cups) (we used mexi-velveeta)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (such as Duke’s) (we used Duke’s)
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided (we used 8 tablespoons, divided)
  • ¾ cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, melted

Directions

  1. Cook the macaroni based off the directions on the package they came in, leaving them off to the side for now. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take a 12-inch cast-iron skillet out and add the ¼ cup butter to it, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the butter’s melted, toss the onion in, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onion just starts to brown. Add the flour and garlic in, continuing to stir for another mixture or two or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Pour the milk in and wait for the mixture to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and gradually whisk in the Cheddar cheese and processed cheese until all of it has melted. Take the skillet off the heat and mix in the pasta, mayonnaise, salt and ½ cup of parsley (we used 6 tablespoons).
  3. Take a small bowl out and mix the ricotta and egg together in it. Take the ricotta mixture and gently stir it into the macaroni and cheese, leaving large swirls. Place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. While the skillet is in the oven, take a medium-sized bowl out and mix the panko, melted butter, and remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley together in it until combined. Once the skillet’s been in the oven for 10 minutes, pull it out and top it with the panko mixture, sticking the skillet back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the panko mixture is lightly browned.

Serves 6 (1 ½ cups per serving) (Could serve even more people if you choose to serve this as a side dish.)

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This is a delicious mac and cheese that you’ll enjoy either as a main dish or just as a side dish ! The parsley adds a nice pop of color as well as adding a nice freshness to the dish when you get enough of it in a bite. You can taste the garlic a little as well but it’s the wonderful cheesy flavor that comes through the most. The panko mixture provides a nice crunchy contrast to the macaroni and cheese. We hope you enjoy this hearty macaroni and cheese as much as we did !

This recipe came from Southern Living.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Velveeta, Duke’s or Southern Living.

Take care everybody !

Cheese Grits

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking grits (we used the 5-minute quick cooking grits)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (we used pepper Jack cheese)
  • ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fresh black pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan out and pour the water in, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the water’s boiling, slowly whisk the grits in, turning the heat down to medium-low afterwards. Let the grits simmer for 5 minutes or until they’re tender. Stir in the cheese and remaining ingredients and serve right away !
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The flavors seemed really subtle at first but once we added some additional salt, the flavors popped a lot more ! You can taste the Jack cheese first and foremost but you can taste the Cheddar cheese near the end of the bite. If you’ve never had grits before, this is a delicious way to be introduced to them !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Chicken Enchilada Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (we used hot red enchilada sauce)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 serranos, seeded and minced (we left the seeds in)
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Tortilla chips for serving

Directions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Take a baking dish (we used an 8- x 8-inch baking dish) and spray the inside of it with nonstick cooking spray. Leave the dish off to the side for now.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl out and mix the cream cheese, sour cream and enchilada sauce together until combined. Now mix in the chicken, serranos and cheese, reserving some of the cheese* to use as a topping later.
  3. Take the bowl mixture and spread it out evenly in the baking dish, topping it with that cheese you set aside earlier. Put the dish in the oven and let the dip bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese looks golden brown.
  4. Serve the dip immediately, topping it with cilantro and the chips on the side.

*We set aside ½ cup but it might be even better to set aside ¾ cup.

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This is such a delicious cheesy dip ! We thought this was going to be really spicy between the serranos, enchilada sauce and pepper jack cheese but the dairy really tempers it down to a pleasant level of heat. While the cilantro is optional, we thought it brought a nice fresh component to the dish and the flavor from the cilantro pairs wonderfully with the dip.

We got this recipe from Chile pepper magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Chile pepper magazine.

Take care everybody !

Baked Smokin’ Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. uncooked cellentani (corkscrew) pasta
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk (we used whole milk)
  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • ½ cup (2 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (we went with the ½ cup measurement rather than just shredding 2 oz.)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ tsp. table salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground red pepper, divided
  • 1 (8-oz.) package chopped smoked ham (we used Smithfield Hickory Smoked Boneless Ham Steak)
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 ¼ cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta based off the directions on the package they came in.
  2. While the pasta’s cooking, take a Dutch oven out and add 2 tablespoons of butter into it, setting the heat to medium. Once the butter’s melted, gradually whisk in the flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute after all the flour’s in. Now gradually whisk in the milk and evaporated milk until all of it’s in there and the mixture looks smooth. Continue to stir constantly for 8 to 10 minutes or until it looks like it’s thickened slightly. Whisk in the Gouda cheese, Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, salt and 1/8 tsp. of red pepper until smooth. Take the Dutch oven off the heat and stir in the ham and cooked pasta.
  3. Take a 13- x 9-inch baking dish out and coat the inside with cooking spray. Pour the pasta mixture into the baking dish, spreading it out evenly afterwards. In a mixing bow, stir the crushed cereal, one tablespoon of melted butter, and what’s left of the red pepper together. Sprinkle the cereal mixture over the pasta and place the baking dish in the oven for 30 minutes or until the mac & cheese looks golden and bubbly. Let it stand for 5 minutes before eating.
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This dish definitely lives up to its name ! You can taste smokiness from the Gouda and the ham and it’s definitely cheesy ! The ham also adds a different texture to the dish which is nice. You could easily serve this as a main dish or as a side dish.

We got this recipe from Southern Living.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Smithfield or Southern Living.

Take care everybody !

Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (we used salted butter)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth (we used chicken broth)
  • 12 oz. chopped fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (we used baby spinach)
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt, divided
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 ½ cups (12 oz.) sour cream
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 in.), warmed (we only ended up using 8*)
  • 1 ½ cups (6 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (we used pepper jack cheese)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take a large skillet out and add the butter to it. Once the butter’s melted, add in the mushrooms and onion, stirring them around occasionally until tender. Toss in the garlic, cooking for an additional minute. Take half of the mushroom mixture out and leave off to the side for the sauce.
  2. Pour the broth into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in the spinach and ¼ tsp. seasoned salt, continuing to stir just long enough for the spinach to wilt and the liquid to evaporate (we add in some kosher salt to bring out the flavors more).
  3. Take a large saucepan out and add to it the water, lime juice, chicken bouillon, garlic powder and the remaining seasoned salt, stirring to dissolve the bouillon. Turn the heat up high enough for boiling to occur. Once boiling, stir in the sour cream, cilantro and the mushroom mixture you had put off to the side (we actually turned our heat down because we were afraid of the sour cream breaking). Stir until the sauce is heated through.
  4. Get a 13- x 9-inch baking dish out and grease the inside (we used nonstick cooking spray). Take 3 tablespoons of the spinach mixture and place it down the middle of the tortilla. Roll it up and place it seam side down in the greased baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the filling is all used up. Pour the sauce over the filled tortillas, sprinkling the cheese on afterwards. Stick it in the oven for 14-18 minutes or until it’s heated through. Add pepper flakes on if you’d like.

*We don’t know if we packed our 3 tablespoons of filling more than they did but for some reason we only had enough filling for 8 tortillas.

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As you can see from the first picture, this is a very cheesy dish. It was hard to get a good picture because this was oozing with all the cheese and the creamy sauce. While it may not be the prettiest looking, this is so delicious ! The sauce has a tanginess to it and two enchiladas were enough to have us feeling full. The enchiladas are great on their own but adding the crushed red pepper flakes brings a heat to the dish and makes it that much more scrumptious !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !