Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

Our farm share recently provided us with a TON of peppers that they wanted to pick before the first frost. I ended up cutting and freezing most of them, but I decided to try roasting a few, too. This was my first attempt and it was pretty easy to do, but rather time consuming from start to finish. The best part for me was picking off the skins after the peppers had cooled down. My husband loves to get on me about always picking at things, like my cuticles or grosser things that we don’t need to get into right now. So it only makes sense that I’d find picking off pepper skins enjoyable. Can you say weirdo?!

Roasted Red Pepper and Gorgonzola Dip

  • 3 red carmen peppers, halved with stems and seeds removed
  • 2 ounces of gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • handful of fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place peppers, cut side down, on a foil-lined broiler pan. Set broiler setting to high and place peppers under heat for 5 minutes. Remove from broiler when the skins are bubbly and charred. While hot, carefully place peppers in a ziplock bag, seal and set aside for 20 minutes. When cool, remove as much of the skins as you can from the peppers. They should easily ‘pinch’ off, but if they don’t that’s ok. Chop the peppers into smaller pieces and place in the bowl of a food processer with remaining ingredients. Pulse until almost smooth. This can be served hot or cold. If serving warm, place mixture in an oven safe dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until bubbly.

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Grilled Margherita Pizza

Grilled pizza seems to be all the rage nowadays, but I’ve never had the opportunity to try making it myself. I’ve heard from other people about either how easy it was to make or how much of a disaster it was. I decided to give it a go and hope for the best. I must say I was a little nervous when the dough first went on the grill, but boy was I really happy with the end result. I was lucky enough to have some fresh tomatoes from my father-in-law’s garden, but you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. I also went with store bought dough to save on time (which I haven’t had much of lately), but if you’ve got the time you can make your own. Grilled Margherita Pizza

  • store bought or homemade dough
  • generous amount of olive oil
  • toppings of your choice

Preheat grill to 300 degrees. Divide dough into two portions. With a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into two 1/4″ thick pizzas. Coat one side in olive oil and place directly on grill grates for about 5 minutes or until dough begins to rise. Once dough has risen, flip pizzas over and coat other side with olive oil. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add toppings of your choice to each pizza. Add back to the grill until cheese begins to melt and the bottom crust has browned.

Zucchini Pizza Crust

Last Saturday we picked up our third bag from our farm share only to realize there was more zucchini in it. After making zucchini, banana and chocolate chip muffins, I thought to myself “what else can I do with all this zucchini?” Ding! That’s when I remembered seeing on Pinterest that there was influx of my friends posting cauliflower pizza crust recipes. Why couldn’t I do that with zucchini? Well you already know where I’m going with this. To me it was like the skies opened and all of lives problems were suddenly solved. Yes, it was that serious. A pizza. That was delicious? And healthy? And used up all of my zucchini? Who could really ask for more? Not me. That’s for sure. Oh, annnd my zucchini-hating husband tried a bite and said “That’s pretty good.” Hallelujah!

Zucchini Pizza Crust

  • large zucchini, shredded about 2 cups
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • handful of fresh torn basil or 2 teaspoons dried
  • salt and pepper
  • toppings of your choice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the shredded zucchini with salt and let it sit in a colander for about ten minutes. Squeeze handfuls of zucchini to remove any excess water. To the drained zucchini add the eggs, cheese, salt and pepper, and mix well. Spread the ‘dough’ evenly into a well greased pie pan or parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is browned on the edges. Remove from oven and add toppings. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

Living in Buffalo, people assume that all we eat here are chicken wings and pizza, which is pretty accurate most of the time. However, it’s not always convenient to bring chicken wings with you to a party. That’s why some genius invented this dip. It’s super addictive and, in fact, just talking about it makes me wish I had plate of it to devour! There are a lot of recipes out there, but this one is, by far, the best. Most of them call for adding ranch dressing, but take it from a Buffalonian, ranch dressing is a BIG no-no here.

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s red hot
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add chicken breasts and poach until cooked thoroughly. Remove from water and let cool. Once cool, cut into smaller pieces and run them through a food processor until the chicken is finely shredded. In a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Transfer the mix to a 8 x 8 baking dish or round pie plate. Cover in foil and cook for 20 minutes or until dip is bubbling. Serve with celery sticks and tortilla chips.

Cheeseburger Soup

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a local restaurant named Grover’s Bar & Grill. Fun fact about this place is that it used to be president Grover Cleveland’s hunting lodge way back when. History aside, they have great burgers, chicken wings and the like, but this soup and this soup alone is what got them featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. This soup is unlike any soup you’ve ever tasted. It’s SO yummy and delicious that I could seriously LICK THE BOWL. I’m fully aware that this isn’t the healthiest meal out there, even with the fat free substitutions, therefore I only condone eating it after a vigorous workout at the gym. Then it’s on like donkey kong. Also, don’t be scared of adding in the lettuce at the end. I was too, but trust me, it’s a necessary ingredient in making this soup so dang tasty and addictive. My version is pretty close to the original, but if you ever get a chance to make it out to East Amherst, NY, I strongly suggest you check out Grover’s.

Cheeseburger Soup

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick’s hamburger seasoning or similar
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup flour mixed with 3/4 cup water
  • 1 pint fat free half & half
  • 1 32 ounce block of Velveeta or similar, cubed
  • 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, add ground beef and hamburger seasoning, salt & pepper and cook until browned and a bit crispy, drain. Add butter and sweat onions until translucent. Add chicken stock and flour slurry, bring to boil scrapping bits off the bottom. Add half & half and Velveeta. Cook until all the cheese is melted, but not boiling. Add in tomatoes and lettuce. Season to taste and lower heat. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

This is one of those recipes that’s super easy to make because you should already have all the ingredients on hand. At least, I know I always have cheese and pasta on hand in my house. The original recipe called for adding mascarpone, but I only had Greek yogurt in my fridge. It made the sauce more creamy and also added a bit of a tang to the overall flavor. I also felt that the cheese crisps in the original recipe were an unnecessary step for just a regular dinner at home so I decided against making them. We had steak in the fridge so I served this as a side dish, but you could certainly serve this as an entree.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli
adapted from http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/stovetop-mac-and-cheese-with-cheese-crisps

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups mild white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni or other preferred pasta (I used Rigatoni)
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and paprika and cook over moderate heat until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk and whisk until smooth. Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in Both cheeses and cook over low heat until melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the Greek yogurt and season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. About a minute before the pasta is finished cooking, add the frozen broccoli florets to the boiling water. Drain and add to the cheese sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until hot and bubbling, about 2 minutes.

Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese

I made this dish for a Mexican-themed potluck at work and it was a hit! I decided to make it the night before and reheat it the day of. It definitely dried out a bit so if you know you want to serve it the next day I would hold off on baking it until the day of the event.

Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese

  • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 jalepeno, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash of Frank’s Hot Sauce, or other cayenne sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips mixed with melted butter
  • Cilantro for garnish

Preheat to 375 degrees oven. Prepare pasta water, bring to a boil, and cook pasta to al dente. While pasta is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and peppers and saute until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add chili and hot sauce, mixing to combine. Turn heat down to low. Heat a small saucepan on medium heat and add butter. Once butter is sizzling, add flour and whisk to create a roux. Cook flour mixture for about 1-2 minutes, whisking continuously. Add milk and turn heat down medium-low. Add cheeses and stir, allowing cheese to melt and and sauce to thicken. It will take about 5-8 minutes for sauce to thicken—keep and eye on it and stir every minute or so to ensure the bottom is not burning. Once sauce is thick, add in pasta and pepper and onion mixture; combine. Stir in sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Spray a 2-1/2 quart baking dish and add mac and cheese. Top with crushed tortilla chips and cilantro. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is golden.

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas and Guacamole

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
Adapted from http://www.asweetpeachef.com/chicken/shredded-chicken-enchiladas/

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 12-16 4-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • jalapenos, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add the minced garlic and jalapenos to half of the enchilada sauce in a deep skillet and heat to boiling. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken breasts and then nestle them into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce, set aside and let both the chicken and the sauce cool. Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts by holding one fork steady and slowly scraping the other fork, prongs faced backwards, away from the other fork. Transfer the shredded chicken back to skillet and add the 1/2 cup of cilantro. Stir to combine. Using cooking spray, oil a 9×13 baking dish. In a small skillet over medium high heat, add a teaspoon of the oil and warm the tortillas on each side for about 2 minutes or just until they bubble up. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture along the center of the tortilla. Gently, but firmly, roll the tortilla around the filling and place into the baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle cheese over the sauce. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro. Lightly cover baking dish with aluminum foil and place into the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5-10 minutes prior to serving.

Guacamole

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced and seeds removed
  • 1 jalapeno, diced and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds. Scoop out the pulp and place in a medium bowl. Combine with the remaining ingredients, mix well and serve.

Baked Penne

Baked Penne

  • 1 box whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add ground beef, italian seasoning, garlic powder and red pepper flakes over medium heat and brown. Add spaghetti sauce to the ground beef mixture and simmer 15 minutes. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter, oil or cooking spray. Mix together pasta and beef mixture. Begin to layer as follows: 1/2 of the pasta/beef mixture, 1/2 of the ricotta cheese, 3 slices Provolone cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese, remaining pasta, remaining ricotta, remaining Provolone, remaining mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

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