Tag Archives: cheese

3 Ingredient Chili Cheese Dip

5 Nov

I spent the weekend at my in law’s home in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We woke up early (thank you time change!) on Sunday to get back in time to watch football. About 20 minutes into the drive, I asked my husband, “What should we eat for lunch & dinner?” My husband replied, “Meghan, it’s 8:15 in the morning. I think we’ve got some time to figure it out.” He was kind of right…and I had a 3 hour drive in front of me to daydream about all of our options.

First hour into our car drive, my husband has started inviting people over to our house to watch the games. I go into pure panic mode– You mean I have to plan our game day food for a group of people, go to the grocery store, unpack our car, clean the house and make food all by noon??!! Just as my foot stepped down a little further on the accelerator, I remembered I have an easy, go to dip everyone always loves. 3 ingredient chili cheese dip.

I’ve been making this little dip for almost 10 years. It’s been referred to as Crack Dip — it’s incredibly addicting. Consider this a warning, don’t even try to think you can get away with just a couple bites. One time when I was living alone, I made this dip just for myself with intentions of eating the leftovers into the week… Too bad I didn’t have any leftovers. I ate the whole thing All.By.Myself. I probably shouldn’t be sharing that info, but seriously, this Chili Cheese Dip is just delicious.

So I’m sure all of you understand how tasty this dip can be. Another great thing — It’s just 3 ingredients. Cream Cheese, Chili and Shredded Cheese. That’s all you need! (And I even “cheat” by buying canned chili.)

Knowing I had this dip in my back pocket saved my day…and decreased the probability of me getting a speeding ticket.

3 Ingredient Chili Cheese Dip, serves 4-6 people

  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can 15 oz chili
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, I like to buy the Mexican or Taco Blend
  • Tortilla Chips

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread cream cheese to cover the bottom of a small casserole dish. Pour chili on top, spread evenly. Cover chili with shredded cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes before eating.

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Cheesy Meatball Lasagna

29 Oct

Sometimes I think of a recipe and it won’t leave my mind. It’s in my mind all day. While I’m driving to work, I’m thinking about my grocery list. During lunch, I’m dreaming of dinner.  At the gym, I’m trying to burn extra calories because I know what I’ll be eating later. Seriously, I think I have a one track mind for food.

I’m not sure what the weather temperatures are like in other cities, but in Chicago, last Thursday night it dropped 20 degrees in less than 2 hours. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of 70 degree days until 2013. Kind of sad, but I think I’ll get over it. I’m ready for comfort food which warms me up and hugs me from the inside… things like this Cheesy Meatball Lasagna.

This is probably the 2nd time in my life I’ve made a lasagna…but I knew I wanted to do something a little different. Enter Smoked Gouda Cheese. I put it in the meatballs and layered shreds of it throughout the lasagna. I think it gave the lasagna such a O.M.G. quality. I’m thinking I might need to add Smoked Gouda to everything I make. It truly has the effect of making everything that’s already awesome even better.

My only complaint is it took sometime to put together and cook to cheesy perfection in the oven. One of my favorite things to say is, “Drink some wine to kill the time.”  Trust me, I had a big pour…but I was still checking the timer every 10 minutes to see how much longer I had to wait. It was total torture.

But I was rewarded with this delicious dinner. Oh so totally worth it.

This lasagna was meaty, extra cheesy, smoky and has a deliciously easy tomato sauce with fresh basil. I’d make this dish for anyone. Well, anyone who loves meat and isn’t lactose intolerant.

So go ahead, day-dream about this lasagna and drink some wine while time stands still.. I mean while it’s cooking in the oven. 🙂

Cheesy Meatball Lasagna, inspired by Family Circle

MEATBALLS

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

LASAGNA

  • 12 traditional lasagna noodles
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (28 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 bag (8 oz) shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup smoked gouda cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Make Meatballs. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, sausage, bread crumbs, egg, milk, and cheese.  I used a medium-sized cookie/ice cream scooper to shape meatballs. You can also use your hands. Size of the meatball should be around 1 tablespoon.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs and cook for 5 minutes, shaking pan to turn meatballs while maintaining their shape. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining meatballs. Reserve drippings in pan. (FYI – Meatballs don’t need to be cooked all the way through.)
  3. Meanwhile, to make Lasagna, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Add noodles, 1 at a time, and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
  4. Place skillet from meatballs over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in both crushed and diced tomatoes. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in half the chopped basil. Set aside 3/4 cup of the sauce.
  5. In a medium bowl, blend ricotta, remaining basil, the egg and 2 tbsp of the Parmesan.
  6. Begin layering: Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9 2 inch baking dish. Top with 4 noodles, overlapping. Scatter half the meatballs over noodles. Pour half the remaining tomato sauce over meatballs. Top with 4 more noodles and spread with ricotta mixture and half of the mozzarella and smoked gouda cheese. Add remaining meatballs. Pour remaining tomato sauce over meatballs. Top with final 4 noodles. Spread with reserved 3/4 cup sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella, smoked gouda and remaining 2 tbsp Parmesan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms….on the grill

3 May

Turn off your oven! Make a pledge not to turn it back on until the fall. Summer is coming and no one likes a hot house.

It was in the 80’s today in Chicago…and for some reason I was craving stuffed mushrooms. Mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese and spinach. Usually I make stuff mushrooms in the oven, but there was no way that was going to happen today! I’ve got a grill — might as well use it.

I had my stuffed portobello mushroom for dinner, but this would be a great appetizer. Or you could slice it up and put in on toasted french bread.

The spinach and cheese provided most of the flavor, with the mushroom providing an earthy undertone and vehicle to get the filling from plate to mouth. I loved it! You will too!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms on the Grill, serves 8

  • 8 small portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 nine-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
  • 1 container goat cheese (5.3-ounce) with garlic and herbs, or Boursin cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

    1. Clean mushrooms and remove gills using a spoon. Brush all over with olive oil and set aside.
    2. Fire up your grill. While the grill is getting hot, mix the spinach, cheese, and garlic together in a bowl to make the filling.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Stuff each mushroom with a generous portion of the filling.
    3. When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. (If you have a gas grill, don’t turn on all of the burners.) Clean and oil the cooking grate.  Place the mushrooms on the cool side of the grill, stuffed side up, cover, and cook until filling is bubbling and the mushrooms are well seared, about 20 minutes.  Remove from grill and serve immediately.

 

Prime Rib Burgers

11 Mar

I drove to Milwaukee this week for work. When you make the drive from Chicago to Milwaukee, besides passing outlet malls and firework shops, you will see a magical place. It’s a castle filled with cheese. I’m serious.

It’s impossible for me not to go into Mar’s Cheese Castle when I drive by. On this visit, I picked up a spreadable horseradish cheddar cheese. It’s very rich and has a kick. So of course, I wanted to explore other options to eat this cheese besides on your everyday Ritz.

Prime rib & horseradish is like peanut butter & jelly. Both go hand in hand. It’s been so beautiful in Chicago and I’ll jump on an opportunity to use my grill. Instead of your everyday prime rib, I asked the butcher to grind it so I could make it into burgers. A little pricy but everyone deserves a burger treat.

I like to add lots of flavor to my burgers… so in goes garlic, worcestershire, dijon mustard, crispy fried onion strings, salt & pepper with the ground prime rib.

Form your patties & fire up the grill. Let them cook 5 per side. This was the longest 10 minutes of my life.

Do you like toppings for your burger?? I do. So I caramelized some onions & mushrooms. Ooo-la-la.

Now it’s time for the assembly. This is my 2nd favorite part. Spread the horseradish cheddar over a toasted bun. Yes, I put cheese on both inner portions of the bun. Get your perfectly grilled patty on top of the bun. Top with caramelized onion & mushroom delicious-ness.

Get that top bun on and give it a longing look.

Ahhh, perfection!

Ok, stop staring and bite in!

My favorite part is the flavor punch this burger has. It’s AMAZING! If you love horseradish, meat and onions – this is your meal… and you’ll stop thinking I’m crazy because I asked the butcher to grind prime rib.

Don’t judge me until you try it 🙂

Prime Rib Burgers – recipe will make 6 burgers

  • 1 1/2 lbs of ground prime rib
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup crispy fried onions
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 package of pre-sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbs parsley, minced
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • Spreadable Horseradish Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix prime rib with the next 4 ingredients. Season with salt & pepper. Form into 6 patties.
  2. Pour olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Set at a low heat, add onions & mushrooms. Cook low & slow for 20 minutes. They should be nicely browned, not burnt.
  3. Fire up the grill and cook burgers 5 minutes per side. Take off the grill and let them rest of 5 minutes.
  4. Spread horseradish cheddar cheese over toasted buns. Add burger and top with caramelized onions & mushrooms.