Posts tagged cheese
Healthy Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese
Ok Mom. Back away from the blue box. Your kids deserve better than manufactured cheese flavoring that's been dyed orange. Yes, box mac and cheese is easy and always a winner with kids, but we are doing them a disservice. Home made mac and cheese can be almost as easy and its so much better for them. This version is a lightened up version of most home made mac and cheese, and the best part? It's all done over the stove top! No dirty baking dishes to wash, no bread crumb crust to make. Just one pot and done until you've reached cheesy goodness for your kids, or in my case, for myself. 

8 ounces whole wheat pasta
6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar 
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk 
1 head of broccoli, chopped into bit sized pieces 
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper 

Directions: Boil your pasta for 8 minutes in salty water. As that boils, use a steamer to steam your brocoli as your noodles boil beneath it. In a small skillet, melt your butter. Whisk in your flour and whisk continuously until no lumps remain. Remove from heat and slowly add your milk, whisking constantly. Add back to heat and continue to whisk until it thickens. Add mustard to sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add your cheese and stir until combined. Mix your cooked pasta, cheese sauce, and brocoli together, then serve. 

This seriously was super simple, and so much better for you than the genetically enginered and manufactured chemical laden boxed alternative. Take a few minutes and try this recipe. You won't be sorry. And your kids will love you for it. 
Mt Diablo Dip
Super bowl parties on the Lavender Apple Farm are legendary. It's typically the same smiling faces gathered around together for the game each year. Of course being surrounded by the people we love is a great part of the day, but honestly? The food is kind of my favorite part! Peggy always makes her amazing homemade pizza. But we also get the most amazing Mt Diablo Dip as well. This dip is so good, I feel bad calling it a bean dip. Honestly? I sometimes make Mt Diablo Dip for  dinner and my family will sit around with a bag of chips and just eat ourselves silly. It's seriously the best. Go forth, and dip. 

1 can refried beans
1 small tub sour cream
1 bunch cut green onions
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1 can olives
1 tub chopped roma tomatoes
1 cup guacamole

Directions: Layer dip: refried beans, sour cream, and guacamole. Top with onions, cheese, olives, and tomatoes. Serve with chips. 

On second thought, you probably should just double this recipe. It's so good, you're gonna need it. 
French Onion Soup (Soup a' I'Oignon Gatinee)
Time to resurrect an old favorite from almost 5 years ago when this blog first started. We have so many new readers, I thought it was time for us to share this treasure of a recipe again. 

When the Nelson's lived in France, Peggy bought a small little french cookbook called "The Best of France" at Harrods in London.  It's a family favorite. Every recipe is amazingly great. So for your dining pleasure, here is the best french onion soup recipe you'll ever encounter: 

1 1/2 lbs thinly sliced onions, about 3 large onions.  * see note
3 Tbs. butter
1/8 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. flour
6 cups beef stock
1/2 cup white wine
Bouquet Garni *  see note
8 slices french bread ( I use baguette)
melted butter
 garlic halved
1 cup grated Gruyere 
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

IN a large pot over medium heat, cook onions in butter with salt and a little pepper.  Stir occasionally until soft.  Add sugar and continue to stir until onions become  golden brown, Careful don't let burn.  Add flour and continue to cook 3 more minutes.  Add stock, wine and bouquet garni.  Cook partially covered for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Arrange bread on a baking sheet brushing with melted butter on both sides.  Bake for 15 minutes,  turning over half way through until golden brown.  When just out of oven, cut a  garlic clove in half and rub each piece of bread with the garlic.

Remove the Bouquet garni from the soup and pour the soup into ovenproof bowls.   Place the toasted bread on top of each bowl.  Depending on the size of bread you may need to use 2 pieces of bread per bowl.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake the soup for 15 minutes.  Then turn on the broiler to high.  Broil the cheese until browned and bubbling.  Watch closely.     Serves 4

Don't let a word like "Bouquet Garni" scare you from a recipe.  What your basically doing is putting some herbs in a small package,  like cheese cloth.   In this recipe I just throw in 2 bay leaves, a piece of celery,  about 1/2 tsp dried thyme and a sprig or 2 of parsley.  Then at the end I fish out the bay leaf and maybe the parsley and celery.

 Bon Appetite!
Non Traditional Mushroom Lasagna
This has got to be the tastiest lasagna that I have ever tasted. It comes together with a few untraditional ingredients, but that's what makes it extra special and extra flavorful. 

1/2 package whole wheat lasagna noodles
4 sprigs fresh rosmary
1/2 small package of lowfat cottage cheese
1 egg
1 ounce goat cheese
3 ounces sliced havarti cheese
3 ounces sliced gouda cheese 
salt & pepper
 1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 cup seasoned tomato sauce
1 pkg baby portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine
1/2 small onion, diced

Heat a large skillet and warm your olive oil. Slice your mushrooms (or if you are lazy like me, just break them over the pan into bite sized peices). Add your mushrooms and onion to the pan and cook on medium heat until they reduce down. Add your red wine and about a tsp of chopped rosemary until all the liquid is absorbed. Once your mushrooms have reduced down properly, remove them from the heat. In the mean time, boil a bot of salted water and boil your lasagna noodles for 8 minutes. While that boils, mix your goat cheese, cottage cheese, egg, salt & pepper, and a tsp of chopped rosemary. In a 9x9 casserole dish layer your noodles, then spoon some of the cottage cheese mixture over it, then spoon some of your tomato sauce over that. Then add another layer of noodles. Spoons some additional cottage cheese mixture, then add your mushroom mixture in a thin layer. Then add another layer of noodles. Spoon the remaining cottage cheese mixture on top, and some additional sauce. One more layer of noodles, some additional sauce, then top with your sliced cheese and italian seasoning. Bake in your oven at 375 for 35 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly. 

This lasagna is much creamier and less sauce based than most lasagnas. Its meatless, but packs a hearty punch with your wine drenched mushrooms. You also have the wonderful depth of flavor from the rosemary. This is a lasagna you will be so happy you can go back for seconds with. Enjoy!