Category Archives: Cheese

Oven-Baked Butternut Squash Risotto

The weather is turning colder. The leaves are changing color. Earth-tone colored clothes are in the stores. Finally! At last! Autumn! It’s so close. Just a few more days and it’s officially time. Time for stews, and squash, and apple cider donuts. The best flavors of the year start soon. To celebrate my favorite season, I made my Autumn season opener: risotto. Every year I like to make Butternut Squash Risotto at least once. It’s the tastiest. This year, I had fancy new Williams-Sonoma Calphalon pans that I wanted to use in my first ever attempt to make Baked Risotto. I love that whole stove to oven to stove dance that I can do with these.

risotto2

So I wanted to do that dance a lot. I started off roasting the squash and mushrooms with a little bit of thyme. The pans are non-stick, so I just used a tiny bit of olive oil spray. It worked like a charm! I like my butternut squash with a little bite left to it, but if you don’t, then go ahead and let it roast longer. And make sure your pan is oven-safe!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushrooms

I’m not going to lie to you right now – I was nervous. I’m so used to stirring my risotto and being able to check it (taste-test!) frequently. So this was a little weird. But you know what? It worked! When it was done in the oven, I just finished it with my secret weapon – coconut milk – and it was all set! The coconut milk adds a lot more creaminess to the risotto than butter, plus a little bit more flavor as well. It’s my sneaky way of making the risotto slightly more decadent.

Just a quick note: Wrapping the handles in aluminum foil is a good visual reminder that the handles are HOT when they come out of the oven.

Baked Butternut Squash Risotto

Baked Butternut Squash Risotto
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
 
Roasted squash and mushrooms, mixed with creamy baked risotto.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (10oz) butternut squash, ½ inch cubes
  • 2 cups (5.5oz) mushrooms, halved or quartered - depending on size
  • 4-5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2-3 cups broth, chicken or vegetable - divided
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • Pecorino Romano cheese - topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Lightly use cooking spray on a large, oven-safe pan. Wrap the handle in aluminum foil. Add butternut squash, mushrooms, and thyme, and toss lightly to coat in oil. Bake about 15 mins, or until squash is fork tender. Remove from oven, and transfer contents to a bowl, and set aside.
  3. Return the pan to the stove. Turn up oven temperature to 425. Lightly spray again, and saute the shallot about 1-2 minutes. Add rice, and stir until it's coated in the oil. Add the wine, and stir continuously until it is absorbed. Add 1½ cups of the broth, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, and bake in the oven 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Transfer from the oven to the stove. Stir in ½-1 cup of broth as needed. Finish with coconut milk, salt and pepper. Add the squash and mushrooms, stir to heat it up. Serve with cheese.

 

 

Nutella Grilled Cheese

That’s right. Nutella Grilled Cheese. Trust me, I was doubtful too. Nutella is typically in desserts, but that doesn’t mean that can be it’s only purpose in life. It can be part of grilled cheese! Why? Because cheese makes everything better.

nutella grilled cheese

That isn’t to say that this is the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had. No no, that’s reserved for bacon stuffed french toast grilled cheese. But it was edible. And enjoyable too, in one of those this is so weird why am I eating this ways that food can be simply delightful.

To make it I used cinnamon swirl bread, spread Nutella on one side (I tried it on both slices and it was just TOO MUCH). Put 2-3 slices of American cheese, close it, butter the outsides, and then cook grilled cheese style until both sides are lightly brown.

nutella grilled cheese

Like this

Let it cool slightly. And then eat it. Enjoy it. Savor the moment.

I won’t bother posting an actual recipe because I trust in your intelligence. And everyone has their own grilled cheese method and I don’t want to start a Lid On vs. Lid Off battle right now (but seriously, a lid makes the cheese melt better).

Would I make this again? Absolutely. It satisfied my chocolate, hazelnut, and cheese cravings all at once. So awesome.

cheesyrice.com

Cheesy Rice (fancy version)

I have decided it is long past time that I give my original cheesy rice recipe a makeover. Why? Because I bought a really cool bowl and wanted to use it for my website's title recipe. Also I wanted to buy different cheeses. Normally I make cheesy rice with just butter, salt, and American cheese. This time I jazzed it up with chicken broth, Muenster cheese, cheddar cheese, and a green bell pepper (you know, so it's healthy). cheesyrice.com Was the rice still cheesy? You betcha! Am I now in love with Muenster cheese? Holy moly I really am. I almost ate it all before it was time to add it to the rice. That would have been tragic. Also this recipe makes a lot of rice. Why so much????? Because cheesy rice is a meal, not a side dish. cheesy rice2 You're probably wondering "can I add more cheese?" The answer is: YES. When in doubt, always add more cheese. See how my site is named Cheesy Rice? That means I have final say in this matter. In fact, I added more than just Muenster cheese, I added sharp cheddar too! BECAUSE I CAN. Check it: cheese Now check out the recipe  
Cheesy Rice (fancy version)
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)
  • ⅓ cup cubed Muenster cheese
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, bring broth to a boil. Add rice and butter, lower the heat, cover and simmer about 20mins or until done. Stir occasionally.
  2. Once rice is done, stir in the cheeses until thoroughly melted. Mix in the bell pepper, and season to taste.
  3. Top with more cheese, and eat it while it’s hot!

 

tacos

Shredded Beef Tacos

After I made the Bacon Cheddar Biscuits I had a lot of leftover ingredients, such as the crumbled bacon, chives, and cheese. Luckily, Thursday nights are taco nights, and so I figured I might as well use them up and make fancy tacos. My cousin and I try to make sure our taco nights feature something different each time, so that it doesn’t get dull. We’ve had ground beef, chicken, various toppings, wraps, and now this week I thought it would be fun to try shaved beef. And bacon.

tacos

They did taste as good as they look. Making tacos is really easy, all you need is meat (or lentils), vegetables, taco seasoning, cheese (non-negotiable), sauce, wraps/shells, and toppings. Here’s what I did for mine:

peppers

First I sauteed:

1 shallot

1 bell pepper

minced garlic

And then I removed them from the pan. I cooked the meat next, until it was brown, then added the seasoning and followed the directions on the packet. There is no picture of the meat simmering in taco seasoning because it is not pretty.

 

 

chives

 

While all this was happening, I prepped the toppings. I cut the rest of the chives, and grabbed the bacon, cheese, sour cream, and salsa from the fridge. Because I’m forward thinking like that!

 

 

 

 

tacos2

And then, assemble!!! You can see all the layers: meat, peppers, sauce, cheese, sour cream, bacon, chives!! I should have put the cheese down first, but clearly I wasn’t thinking right. I just wanted to eat. I really wish I didn’t eat them all, because now I’m hungry again.

I guess I’ll just have to start on my St. Patrick’s Day recipes…

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Bacon Cheddar Biscuits

Sometimes I think I should rename my blog something along the lines of  “Cheesy Bacon Laziness” because that’s totally how I roll. As you can tell, I was in the mood for bacon and cheese. Conveniently my cousin was having a potluck in her department at work so I was able to make a lot of Bacon Cheddar Biscuits, and then not be gross and eat them all by myself. Also, I work in the same building so I was able to have some of the potluck food since I contributed to it. (I may have eaten a lot of the chocolate ravioli…)

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The other half was already eaten before I remembered to take pictures.

 

I was feeling super lazy, so I decided to just use Bisquick for these. Here is my method:

 

First you cook the bacon. Remove it to a paper towel lined plate when it’s cooked, and either crunch it up with your hands or chop it to make it into small pieces. I just did a whole package, and saved crumbled bacon pieces for another meal.

bacon

I think this is the prettiest picture in the whole world.

ingredients

 

In a large bowl combine:

3 cups Bisquick (or other similar mix)

~2 Tbsp chopped chives

~1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

~2/3 cup chopped/crumbled bacon

1 cup buttermilk (add more if necessary)

These measurements are mostly guesses, I didn’t actually measure anything other than the Bisquick and buttermilk…

 

 

raw

 

Drop in rounded spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake at 450° for 8-10 mins, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt about 4 Tbsp of butter.

 

 

 

 

Brush tops with butter while still warm, and sprinkle chives/garlic powder/salt/whatever makes you happy. Best if eaten warm!

baked

 

This recipe made about 14 biscuits.