Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Cheesy Crab Stuffed Peppers #SundaySupper

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.

cheesy crab stuffed peppers | foodietots.com

It’s no secret that cheese is a favorite ingredient in the foodie tots kitchen. Whether we’re enjoying a comfort food mac-and-cheese night or a nutritious after school snack of apples and cheddar, you can bet that our cheese drawer is rarely found empty. And here’s a little secret: cheese is often an easy way I can encourage the kids to try a new or previously unpopular vegetable. The boy was first turned on to salad by the introduction of Caesar salad. It’s hard to turn down lettuce topped with parmesan, croutons and a creamy dressing, right? A grating of parmesan also improves the taste of asparagus, and we’ve been known to dip broccoli and cauliflower into hot cheese fondue.

corn, crab and peppers | foodietots.com

As the temperature is heating up and our farmers markets are kicking into high gear for the summer, I wanted to come up with something new for our family dinner table that incorporated fresh seasonal produce. The tot has recently discovered that she loves red peppers, as long as we call them “sweet peppers” and not “bell peppers.” (It’s all about the marketing, sometimes!) One of our favorite vendors will soon have sweet peppers in nearly every color in the rainbow; the mild yellow and purple ones are particular favorites. Until we can get those, we’re making do with these sweet mini peppers at the supermarket. Stuffed peppers -– especially these kid-sized ones — make for a fun and kid-friendly dinner entrée or an appetizer for a summer dinner party. The filling for these cheesy stuffed peppers was inspired by another favorite summer treat at market, crab-and-corn dip. We’re not far from the Chesapeake Bay and its famed blue crabs, and the region is also known for summer sweet corn. The two make a lovely pairing even before you add cheese into the mix. Or three cheeses, to be precise — the crab mixture starts with a creamy mascarpone base, then I added equal parts of Asiago and Colby cheeses to compliment the sweet corn and crab.

wisconsin cheese recipe | foodietots.com

There are several steps the kids can help with — scraping seeds out of the halved peppers, grating cheese, and scooping and pressing the filling into each pepper half (as long as you’re prepared for things to get a little messy.) After stuffing the pepper halves with a generous scoop of the cheesy corn and crab mixture, I topped each with parsley and breadcrumbs and then another sprinkle of Asiago cheese. The peppers go into the oven for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden. I like to serve them with rice and a big side salad to round out our dinner.

asiago cheese topped stuffed peppers | foodietots.com

When it comes to cheese, we do choose Wisconsin Cheese often. I had the chance to visit Wisconsin cheesemakers two years ago, and the kids often ask, “Is that Wisconsin cheese?” when I’m pulling a wedge out of the fridge for snack time. The state has a long and storied history of cheesemaking, and today makes over 600 varieties of American, international-style and original cheeses. What’s your favorite?

cheesy crab stuffed peppers #sundaysupper | foodietots.com

Cheesy Crab Stuffed Peppers

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 smaller peppers (2 to 3-inches tall) or 4 regular sized (4-inches)
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Colby cheese, shredded
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed
  • 8 ounces lump crab meat
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare peppers by cutting in half lengthwise (stem to bottom) and scraping out seeds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parsley. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together garlic and mascarpone. Gently fold in Colby cheese,1/4 cup Asiago cheese, crab meat and corn. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide crab mixture evenly among the peppers. Cover filling with a spoonful of breadcrumbs and sprinkle the remaining Asiago cheese over top. Drizzle peppers with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Hungry for more? Find Wisconsin Cheese inspiration on Pinterest, and check out the below recipes from fellow Sunday Supper bloggers!

Cheese Appetizers:

Cheese Bread:

Main Dishes with Cheese:

Cheese Side Dishes:

Desserts:

10 Ideas for Cheese Dip Dippers by Sunday Supper Movement

Love to cook with cheese? Wisconsin Cheese is also sponsoring a recipe contest to send one lucky winner to the Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, Florida, this summer. Check out the details.

Connect with Wisconsin Cheese on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Asparagus and Egg Pizzas

Friday, May 1st, 2015

An updated take on pizza for spring … fresh from the farmers market!

My kids, no surprise to anyone who knows my husband and I, are true night owls. The boy has suddenly become a voracious reader, thanks in great part to the Spirit Animal series he devoured over the past couple months. We’d just concluded our year in Hogwarts, reading the Harry Potter series aloud each night, and this was the first series he really got into reading on his own. Now, we have to pry the books out of his hand at least twice each night to get him to turn off the light and go to sleep. The upside of their pushing the limits on bedtime is that they tend to sleep in later, and we’ve reached that sweet spot of parenting where they don’t need our attention the second they wake up — at least on the weekends. On the downside, it means we were late getting to the market this past Sunday and my good mood at getting to sleep in was quickly turning sour at missing asparagus for the second week. After we made our other purchases and were walking out, I saw the vendor at the end had a huge cooler labeled “asparagus.” I leaned over to confirm it was, in fact, empty — only to have the vendor announce, “Oh, we still have some if you need it.” Hallelujah!

asparagus ramp and egg pizza | foodietots.com

I’ve written before about the fickleness with which the foodie tots approach asparagus each year, alternately loving and hating it. A few weeks ago, we’d gotten some (non-local) asparagus in a veggie delivery from our dairy farm and the boy declared it one of his top favorite vegetables. The girl, however, is on an off-year with it. Likely thanks to Instagram, I had pizza on the mind and decided to make asparagus and egg pizzas. Not wanting to go back out just for pizza dough, I had the revolutionary idea to make it from scratch. I followed Mark Bittman’s Basic Pizza Dough recipe and am now completely embarrassed that I’ve never made it before. It came out perfectly, after just an hour to rise, and handled beautifully — so much better than store bought. (If you’ve already mastered this simple bit of kitchen alchemy, indulge me.) The dough comes together quickly in a food processor, no kneading necessary. It can be frozen, so I plan to make another batch ASAP to keep on hand and ready to pull out the next time a pizza craving strikes.

homemade pizza dough | foodietots.com

Now about the eggs. We only buy cage-free eggs from free-range chickens from local farmers. I’ve done the side-by-side comparison of grocery store eggs and local eggs, and the yolks are visibly, shockingly bright orange next to the bland yellow of grocery store eggs. Pastured eggs have nutrition benefits too — “2 1/2 times more omega-3s and twice the vitamin E in the eggs of pasture-raised hens,” according to a Pennsylvania State University study. And I will never believe that confined chickens are happier than chickens with access to fresh air, no matter what the Big Chicken industry would have your believe.

But when it comes to eating eggs, the male half of our family doesn’t like runny yolks, only scrambled. Thankfully the girl is coming around to my side, although that often means she’s swiping the yolk off my plate if I’m not careful.

making asparagus and scrambled egg pizza | foodietots.com

Most of the egg-topped pizzas you see have the whole egg with runny yolk, but I knew that wouldn’t go over well. I was afraid the scrambled eggs would dry out in the oven, so I cooked them on the stove only until just beginning to set. For the kids’ pizzas, I put the eggs on the pizza before cooking — they came out well done but not dry. (The brown crust is from the parmiggiano on top.) For my and the husband’s pizza, I cooked it half-dressed (oil, cheese, asparagus, ramps and radish) for 10 minutes, then added his scrambled eggs and my whole egg to the already hot crust. After another 6 minutes, his eggs were still soft and my white was set.

asparagus and scrambled egg pizza | foodietots.com

And yes, the girl swiped a piece of my runny yolk pie.

asparagus egg and ramp pizza recipe | foodietots.com

For the recipe below, I’ve written it as prepared with scrambled eggs. If you want runny eggs, see the note at the end. I also added ramps, but I’ve omitted them from the recipe due to their fleeting availability. Thin slices of garlic or green onions will lend a similar flavor, if desired. (I plan to make this again with garlic scapes, when they’re available.) I also added a few thin slices of an early radish from our garden.

Recipe: Asparagus and Egg Pizza

Makes: 3 personal-sized pizzas, or 2 regular

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch pizza dough (“Basic Pizza Dough” recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half (or whole milk)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound asparagus
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • sea salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Prepare pizza crust as instructed. Divide dough into 2 or 3 balls and set aside to rest while preparing toppings.
2. Preheat oven (and pizza stone, if using) to 450 degrees.
3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Wash asparagus and trim ends. Cut into about 2-inch pieces. Prepare a separate bowl half full with ice and water. When water boils, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Immediately remove asparagus and place into ice water for a minute, then drain and set aside.
4. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium low heat. Add eggs and half and half (or milk) and whisk together. Cook, stirring frequently, until eggs just begin to thicken. Turn off heat.
5. Roll out pizza crusts and place on baking sheet or parchment paper. Brush each with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a base layer of parmigiano cheese. Spoon scrambled eggs around the pizza, then arrange asparagus over. Sprinkle with another generous dose of cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper.
6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crust is golden and eggs are thoroughly cooked (will be firm to the touch.)

Note: To make with whole, runny eggs, skip step 4. Prepare pizzas and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully crack eggs onto the pizza (it helps contain the whites if you push asparagus to make a border on two sides). Return to oven and bake another 5 to 6 minutes, until eggs are white and mostly firm.

Smoked Cheddar Pepperoni Pull-Apart Bread

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Okay, so I know baked cheesy pull-apart bread is hardly a new idea. I’ve seen versions of them popping up on blogs for months. But for some reason, they never really caught my attention until I saw someone share one made with smoked gouda. We used to buy smoked gouda at our old neighborhood farmers market weekly, and it’s still a favorite in my mac and cheese. Something about the word “smoked” suddenly made this crave-worthy. I happened to have some maple-smoked cheddar in the fridge, so I picked up a nice crusty loaf of bread at the market and we made this for lunch on a Sunday afternoon.

cheesy pull-apart bread | foodietots.com

The scent of it cooking alone had us hungrily watching the oven timer, and it was lucky it was too hot to immediately dig into or I wouldn’t have had time to snap any photos at all!

So, so good. It may not be the healthiest of meals, but as an occasional snack — say, on Super Bowl Sunday or the like — you really must give it a try. Be sure to use a natural pepperoni and good cheese — I also had a gruyere-style cheese in the cheese drawer, but you could use asiago, gouda or another good melting type.

making cheesy bread | maple smoked cheddar | foodietots.com

It gets a little messy, but the kids might have fun cramming the cheese and pepperoni into the bread’s crevices — just be sure to supervise and make sure it’s more or less evenly distributed throughout the loaf.

smoked cheddar pepperoni pull-apart bread | foodietots.com

Smoked Cheddar Pepperoni Pull-Apart Bread

Adapted from Creative Culinary
Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf crusty bread (country white, wheat or Italian)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 ounce pepperoni (8-10 slices), thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces maple smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces gruyere or asiago cheese, shredded

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Score bread in 1-inch diagonal cross-hatch cuts, cutting nearly but not all the way through the bottom. Place bread on a piece of foil on baking sheet.

2. Whisk together melted butter, olive oil, mustard, sea salt, smoked paprika, garlic and parsley. Drizzle into the bread’s cuts.

3. Combine cheese and pepperoni and stuff between the bread cuts, distributing as evenly as possible through the loaf. Wrap foil up around the sides of the bread, leaving top open. Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and top golden brown.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers {#KidsCook}

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

As luck would have it, I was assigned preschool snack duty on the day of the kids’ Halloween parade. Obviously no ordinary fruit and crackers would do, so I decided it was time to make some homemade cheese crackers. The tot and I headed to the store in search of Halloween cookie cutters, but came home with these adorable woodland animals instead. I used the owls for Halloween, and, as her class is the Penguins, you can bet there will be a batch (or several) of penguins in the near future!

healthy preschool halloween snack | foodietots.com

I tweaked a couple recipes to make a simple version, using part all-purpose and part white wheat flour. (White wheat is a lighter whole wheat flour made by King Arthur flour.) I might try all white wheat next time, but for now these turned out light, cheesy and crisp. Lots of homemade cheese cracker recipes call for cayenne pepper, but I skipped that since I was serving them to three-year-olds. A dash of ground mustard powder was enough to boost the cheesy flavor. Try them and see what you think!

Kids Cooking Tip: All the mixing is done in a food processor, so be sure to enlist the little ones to press the button on and off. Older kids can help grate the cheese. And of course, rolling and cutting is always a fun task for little helpers.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers | FoodieTots.com

Recipe: Homemade Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Makes 3 dozen small crackers

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • optional: sunflower seeds or pepitas

Instructions:

  1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  2. Place first six ingredients in food processor and pulse a few seconds at a time, until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add milk and pulse a few more times until dough begins to stick together.
  4. Press dough together and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. On a lightly floured cutting board, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 1-inch squares or use a small cookie cutter to cut shapes. Use blunt end of a wooden skewer to poke eyes, or if cutting into squares, poke each in the center. If using seeds, press firmly into the dough.
  6. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden. Cool completely on cooling rack, then store in airtight container.

Jack O’ Lantern Grilled Cheese #KidsCookMonday

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This was intended to be a quick post about a healthy and fun pre-Halloween lunch, but of course my six-year-old had other plans. Oh, he was amused enough by the first sandwich, but then he asked for a second. And then he said it wasn’t scary enough. So I told him the jack o’ lantern was saying “Boo!” — to which he replied that he needed to see the word bubble to believe it. You can see how that went below…

Jack O' Lantern Grilled Cheese

First, though, the recipe — though it’s pretty simple. Whole wheat sandwich bread, a touch of pumpkin butter, and a blend of shredded cheese. A large pumpkin cookie cutter shapes the sandwich, and small cookie cutters are used to cut out the face. The cheese does ooze through while cooking, though, so the face won’t look quite so perfect when you’re done. *I* think that adds to the charm, but it depends how tough your critics are…

Recipe: Jack O’Lantern Pumpkin Grilled Cheese
Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices wheat bread
  • butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used a blend of cheddar and gouda)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin butter

Instructions:

  1. Cut bread into pumpkin shape. Use small cookie cutters to cut out a face in four of the slices.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium low heat.
  3. Spread 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin butter on the bottom slice of bread and place in pan. Cover with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and the face side of bread. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side until golden bread. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.

Note: Straight pumpkin puree can be substituted for the pumpkin butter — a good way to use up any leftover puree after baking.

And, as promised, here’s my first “Boo!”…

pumpkin grilled cheese sandwich

… but he said it had to be ON THE PUMPKIN to count. No pressure or anything.

halloween grilled cheese sandwich

Needless to say, next time he’ll be in charge of “carving” his own sandwich. ;)