Posts Tagged cheese

Weekend breakfast: Sausage & Peppers Omelet

In my mind, breakfast is one of those meals I know I shouldn’t skip but is often the first to go when I’m busy. This is especially true Monday through Friday. Between getting myself dressed and our house cleaned up before heading off to work, I’m lucky to grab a banana.

The weekend, however, is a different story.

I love my weekends. I love being able to control my schedule and do as little or as much as I want. I use those two days to catch up on my DVR’d shows (yes, I made that a verb) and to make great breakfasts for my husband and son. I liken it to those middle-aged men with little red sports cars–I overcompensate. I’ve been on an omelet kick here lately. They are simple, but you can dress them up as little or as much as you like. If you find time this weekend, give an omelet a try. Here’s an easy recipe to get you started.

Sausage & Pepper Omelet

*This recipe makes one omelet, double or triple as you need

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup sausage, cooked
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/8 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/8 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/8 cup jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/8 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/8 cup green onion, thinly sliced and garnish
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • cherry tomato, garnish

Crack the egg and add the milk; mix. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-low. Once the butter melts, add the peppers and onion. When the veggies are soft, turn off the heat.  Now, add the other tablespoon of butter ito another skillet over medium-low. Once the butter melts, add the egg. Cook until it bubbles up and then flip. Add the cheese, cooked veggies, green onion and cilantro. Fold over and remove from heat when the egg is done and cheese has melted. Garnish with a sliced cherry tomato and green onion.


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Creamy, Comforty, Broccoli-Cheese Soup

This week I had a great opportunity to start blogging for our local newspaper, the Columbia Daily Tribune. I will post an item there every other week talking about food, like I do for this blog. I’m excited about dipping my toes back into the journalism waters again. So, there will be times like today when I refer back to something I posted in the Trib’s Community Kitchen blog.

I certainly didn’t want to skip this post, as it’s one of my favorite recipes and one I tend to use as a back up when I can’t think of something else to make. Check out my broccoli-cheese soup, I’m hope you love it as much as I do. Click here to see my Community Kitchen post.

Broccoli-Cheese Soup

  • 2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 10 oz. frozen broccoli
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 oz. American cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (+ enough water to make it a slurry)

In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring the 6 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the fresh and frozen broccoli, and onions. Once the vegetables are soft, add the spices and cheese and stir making sure the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. In the meantime, mix the cornstarch and a little water in a small bowl until it’s smooth without lumps.  Now that the cheese has melted, add the milk and heavy cream. Once the soup is smooth, add in the cornstarch mixture and allow to simmer. The soup will thicken as it heats. Serve in a bread bowl or alone. Makes 8 servings.

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Bookclub Appetizers: Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip

In September some of my girlfriends decided we all needed some grown-up time. This happens occasionally, given the fact that several of us have small children and husbands. That’s how our bookclub, Reading Between the Wines, was born. Seven or eight of us gather each month to discuss the latest read, take turns hosting and eat really tasty food. I have to admit, I think bookclubs are more about the socializing and food than the books themselves…or at least that ‘s the way it is with my friends. And that’s ok. I think we prefer it. Afterall, hospitality is a point of pride for this Southern girl.

We’ve read several good books lately: Cutting for Stone, The Help, Winter’s Bone, etc. I tried to be one of those people who match the menu to the book, but that didn’t last too long. It worked out great for The Help with homemade caramel cake and sweet tea. But sometimes I just get a hankering for something and just have to make it. That’s precisely what happened for this month’s meeting. I wanted some warm, garlicky Spinach-Artichoke dip, so that’s  what I made–enough for my husband to snack on watching football and enough to share with the girls. So if you want to share with your girlfriends or husband, heck even if you don’t, give this recipe a try.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 can artichokes, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. Romano cheese
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients to the Crock-Pot and cook over low for 1-2 hours. Serve warm with crackers, tortilla chips or bread pieces.

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Kentucky Hot Brown

This is a rich, decadent meal that warms my soul and reminds me of home. Being a Kentucky girl, I love to share tidbits from my homestate with friends, coworkers, and well, just anyone who will listen. The Bluegrass has so much to offer, but I think one of its true gems is this Kentucky Hot Brown. And yes, it’s enough to serve as the entire meal–the richness of full fat butter, heavy cream and cheese is very filling and you won’t even be looking for side dishes, maybe just a pair of stretchy pants. But that’s ok, it’s totally worth it.

I learned to make this dish once I left home and have been cooking it ever since. It doesn’t take much time to prepare  and is easy to whip up. Below, you’ll find the recipe from The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky. That’s where this open-faced sandwich originated in the 1920s. Apparently the guests wanted something other than ham and eggs to nosh on after a night of dancing and the chef served the Hot Brown. Late night, early morning, mid-day…it’s a winner any time. Enjoy!

The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe

Ingredients (Makes Two Hot Browns):

  • 2 oz. Whole Butter
  • 2 oz. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Qt. Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 2 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
  • 4 slices of Crispy Bacon
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
  • Paprika, Parsley

In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk whipping cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

A few tips from Melissa:

 I always put my bacon in the oven. All pieces are evenly cooked and stay flat. Who needs that curled up stuff with pockets of uncooked fat, yuck! So, this is a winner every time. Also, I save the bacon grease and put it in a small container in the refrigerator. Pork fat is like liquid gold. Save that stuff!

I know the recipe above calls for tomatoes on the side, but I always slice them thinly and lay them atop the turkey. It seems to add great flavor and makes it a little juicier.

As you can tell, I put my sandwiches in a baking dish. My serving plates are not broil or oven proof, so this works just as well. I use a spatula to lift them out onto the plate.

 You’ll want to watch them closely so they are lightly brown and bubbly before pulling them out of the oven.

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