Grilled Cheese Skillet “Panini”

Did you celebrate “National Grilled Cheese Day” on Tuesday?

If not, do not fret!  Because it’s “National Grilled Cheese MONTH!”

That’s right, you have 15 plus days to get the chance to celebrate.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity on Tuesday and thankfully this recipe is so easy and there are only 5 ingredients.  FIVE.

For one sandwich you will need:  1/4 tablespoon mayo (I used Duke’s Light Mayo), 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I used a Truffled Honey mustard from Sonoma – p.s. we have quite the assortment of mustard in our fridge), 1 ounce cheddar cheese (I used Sharp cheddar that was finely shredded), two slices of bread (I used two lonely ends of my gluten-free multigrain bread) and some cooking spray.

Simply mix together the mayo, mustard and cheese (don’t worry, it’s supposed to be thick) and spread on one piece of bread.  Top with the other piece of bread and toss it on the skillet, cooking until browned.

Yep, it’s that easy.

grilledchz

Served with the first strawberries of the year.

Gah – I could eat grilled cheese all.day.long.

This not-so-fancy, super simply, only need 5 ingredients is a MUST try grilled cheese.

Now go celebrate!

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Frico Eggs

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day.  But I don’t typically do anything fancy.  Most mornings I whip up a smoothie or make a yogurt bowl or I’ll have a warm breakfast of oatmeal.

But a few mornings ago I pulled out the skillet and made breakfast for Big Guy and myself. It’s not too difficult and you really only need a few ingredients to make frico eggs (aka crispy fried cheesy eggs).  

eggsavo

First you grate some parmesan cheese and heat up your skillet to medium heat.  Crack an egg in a small bowl to avoid shells in your breakfast.  Once the skillet is hot, spray with non-stick spray and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese in the middle of the pan and spread into a thin layer.  Once the cheese starts to melt, gently pour the egg on top and cover the skillet with a glass lid.  Allow to cook until your desired degree of doneness.  Remove the skillet from the heat and all the cheese to crisp up before removing and plating.  Sprinkle with a little salt and some herbs (I had some parsley on hand but chives would be fantastic).  I served ours with sliced avocado on the side.

This would also be perfect for a light lunch.  Or dinner, for that matter.

Crispy and cheesy and so, so yummy.

Beefy Bolognese

Good morning!  It’s a slow morning over here thanks to some winter weather.  And to be honest, I’m not all that mad at the icy mix that’s made the morning slow.  I crammed my whole weekend into Sunday so easing into the week isn’t all that bad.

But Sunday was a LOVEly day.

flowersandcards

Beautiful tulips were delivered to the door on Friday and I got not one, not two but THREE Valentine’s Day cards.  The Hallmark ladies were probably very curious when Big Guy bought three cards.

We had a low-key Friday night with a bottle of red wine and a delicious Italian-inspired dinner of beefy bolognese.

pasta

The bolognese with rich and meaty and it tasted as though it had been cooking all day long.  The Dutch oven is the best way to cook this sauce though there is an option on Cooking Light to cook it in the slow cooker.  I used all beef (instead of a beef and pork mix) and I think the bacon added a whole lot of flavor to the entire dish.

I highly recommend this recipe – we were both impressed with the flavors.

Another thing I was impressed with this past weekend – our lunch yesterday.

oysters

I wish every lunch included bubbles, oysters and cheese.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Fontina, Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Arancini

Instead of focusing on the fact that it’s Monday, I’m going to rewind back to the memory of fried, cheesy, carb-a-vicious bites that we enjoyed on Saturday evening.  I’ve been obsessed with making arancini for quite some time and after making some this past weekend I’m even more obsessed.

Arancini is basically fried balls of risotto.  And they are amazing.

I made basic risotto a couple of days before we planned to make the arancini.  The basic risotto wasn’t anything fancy but I went ahead and stirred in the parmesan cheese while it was warm to ensure that every bite included sharp parmesan.

To the cooled risotto we added an egg (as a binder), goat cheese for tang, roasted garlic and bread crumbs.  Once rolled into a ball, a piece of fontina was stuffed into the ball and then rolled in more panko.  Once all the balls were formed, they were placed in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Once chilled, it was time to fry ’em.  The oil was brought to about 350 degrees before frying in batches of three.

The end result was nothing short of amazing.

arancini

I served the arancini was store bough marinara sauce that I warmed on the stove-top.

cheesy

I can’t even.

Crispy and crunchy on the outside, tender and extra cheesy on the inside.

And the only thing that made them even better, a glass of bubbles.

Because bubbles goes with everything.

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

#meatlessmonday vs. #mexicanmonday

I typically choose Meatless Monday but last night Mexican won by a landslide.

I was craving something hearty and warm.  And after seeing Jessica’s blog post this morning, I couldn’t get enchiladas off my mind.

These enchiladas are full of shredded chicken, black beans, a homemade enchilada sauce (so easy!) and cheese.  Lots and lots of cheese.  The corn tortillas are rolled with the chicken and bean mixture inside before being topped with more enchilada sauce and CHEESE.

to note: You could totally use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to make your life easier when it comes to the chicken.  I went the “difficult” route and poached a couple of pieces of chicken and then shredded them.

After the enchiladas bake until bubbly perfection they are topped with cilantro, Greek yogurt and salsa.

It was everything I wanted and more.

CHEESE!

It warmed me up and filled me up and made me totally NOT regret breaking the #meatlessmonday rule.

 

Creamy Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Brrrr.

Winter has finally arrived.  It’s crazy to think that last week it was in the 80s and yesterday there were snow flurries.  Snow.  I can’t even.

But.  Yes, there is something positive about the snow.

But after a cold day, nothing warms the body or the soul quite like a bowl of soup.  And making soup from scratch warms my soul even more.

This soup is everything you want in a broccoli and cheese soup.  It’s ultra creamy, super cheesy and absolutely luscious.

Oh, and since it’s January and you might be trying to detox after an over-indulgent holiday season – it’s light!  There’s no cream (I used almond milk instead of milk and it worked like a charm) and it’s full of nutrients (thanks, broc!).  But it’s satisfying and totally filling because you use full-fat cheese.  (Please, please, please don’t use reduced fat cheese…they take out fat and add sugar and other not-so-nice ingredients.)

And to round out my plate, a tossed together halved tomatoes and avocado slices with a little salt and pepper as a side salad.

So while winter isn’t my favorite and sn** is a curse word in my world, I am totally okay with warming up with a bowl of comforting soup.

“Appy” Hour Recipe Round-Up

I typically do “Friday Favorites” each week to showcase a few of my favorites finds from the week.  Since Friday is Christmas and I’ll be spending time with family (and I hope you are, too) I thought I would do something a little different this week.  Today I present to you 9 appetizer recipes that I’m drooling over at this moment.  Between Christmas and New Years Eve and all.the.football.games, I know that I’ll be making a few appetizers.  Perhaps you’re in need of an idea or two, too.

So here are my “Friday Favorites” on Wednesday – and their all “appy” hour appropriate!

Favorite Spin:  Roasted Poblano Pimiento Cheese with Buttermilk.   The perfect appetizer to have on hand since it only get better with time.  Simply serve with crackers for scooping. And I love the addition of poblanos and pepper jack cheese for a little kick on the classic recipe.

 

Favorite Sweet and Savory:  Goat Cheese with Cherry Onion Compote.  I could live on cheese and crackers.  I bet these little bites would disappear in no time.

 

Favorite Combination: Caramelized Pineapple, Ham and Cheese Turnovers.   I’m obsessed.  And I think Big Guy would adore these little guys.  Cheesy, sweet, savory, flakey, buttery, EVERYTHING!

 

Favorite Melted:  Croque Monsieur Crostini. Another excuse to use Lusty Monk Mustard!  But honesty, cheese + carbs = life.

 

Favorite Slurp:  Roasted Cauliflower and Fennel Sausage Soup. So technically this isn’t an appetizer.  BUT you can totally turn it into one by making it mini.  Simply serve the soup in shot glasses and it’s instantly an appetizer.  Boom.

 

Favorite Dunk:  Thai Butternut Squash Dip.   I cannot get over these flavors!  And I love anything served with pita wedges or chips.  Chile paste. Coconut milk.  Sesame oil.  And those are just three of the flavor bombs.

 

Favorite Must-Have:  Fontina, Roasted Garlic and Goat Cheese Arancini. I’ve had homemade arancini on the brain for a few months now.  And I’m now craving these little bites of goodness.

 

Favorite Layered Chips: Brown Ale Duck Nachos. Who wouldn’t want pimped out nachos to snack on?

 

Favorite Easy: Nutty Blue Cheese Spread. Do you have 6 minutes?  Then you have time to prep this appetizer (5 minutes) and grab some crackers and wine (1 minute).

 

Favorite Bubbles: Iron Horse.  Bubbles go with ANYTHING, hence why I suggest you have a few bottles on hand this time of year.  Honestly, this is not the bubbles I would serve at a party (La Marca is my go-to bubbles that don’t break the bank) but they are my favorite bubbles.  So if you’re looking to splurge or it’s a party for two, I highly suggest you give toast with a glass of Iron Horse.

 

Cheers!  And happy partying.