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Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

Hi there!

I’ve decided that I’m just going to start where I left off. And that’s with these autumn apple cheddar squares.

I made them in September when people were driving to the country to pick apples on Sunday afternoons, kids were back in school, and us mom’s were trying to come up with new lunch box or after-school snack ideas.

These squares remind me of something my mom used to make … date squares.  Remember those? But instead of dates, the filling is made with apples, a touch of cinnamon, brown sugar and some old cheddar cheese.Yes that’s right.  Cheddar.  As in orange cheese.

Growing up, I remember seeing apple pie served with slices of cheddar cheese and often wondering just what the cheese doing there because, after-all, pie was dessert and well, cheese just wasn’t.

Well, now that I’ve tried these squares, I know that apples, cinnamon and cheese belong together.

Cheddar Apple Squares

Adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks: The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book

Makes 20 squares

Ingredients

4 apples of your choice (Crispin or Golden Delicious are recommended)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cheddar Crust and Crumble

11/2 cups large-flake rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup shredded extra-old Cheddar cheese

Method

1. Grease or line a 9-inch square metal or glass cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Cheddar Crust Crumble

2. In a bowl, whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar and salt.  With a fork, stir in butter until mixture clumps and is crumbly.  Add cheese, tossing to mix.  Press all but 1 cup evenly into the prepared pan.  Bake in centre of a 350 degree oven until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes.  Let cool.

3. Meanwhile, peel, core and cut apples into 1/2-inch  thick slices.  In a skillet or shallow saucepan, bring the apples, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon to a boil, adding up to 1/4 cup of water if the apples stick to the pan.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.

4. Spread apple mixture over the base; sprinkle with remaining oat mixture.  Bake in centre of 350 degree oven until golden, about 30 minutes.  Let cool in pan on rack.

5. Cut into squares.

These squares can be made-ahead wrapped well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

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Calling all mushroom lovers. Ovvvv–er here!

 

One of the things I absolutely love to eat are appetizers.  They’re so cute and so flavourful and of course, so little, that you have to have more than just one, or even two and well, dog-gone-it, sometimes 3 or 4.  Well the great thing about these little appetizers, is that they are almost all vegetables, so I’m giving you permission to have as many as you like and there’s absolutely no guilt involved.  None. Eat as many as your little heart desires.

The thing I like about this combination of flavours is its freshness.  It doesn’t leave a heavy aftertaste, nor does it make you feel like you’ve over-indulged.  It delivers a light, flavourful mouthful with every bite that will have your family and friends coming back for more. Served at a party, as an appetizer, these yummy little morsels are sure to get polished off.

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

4 strips bacon, diced

1/4 cup (50 ml) ground pork

30 – 40 medium to large fresh mushrooms

1 cup (250 ml) onion and garlic salad croutons, crushed

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 medium tomato, finely chopped

1/2 yellow pepper, finely diced

1/4 cup  (50 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons (25 ml) minced fresh parsley

1-1/2 teaspoons (6 ml) minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Method

1. In a large skillet, cook pork, drain fat and pat with a paper towel.  Chop finely with a knife or a hand-held blender and set aside. In the same skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, until crisp.  Remove to paper towels; pat dry, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings.

 

2. Remove stems from mushrooms; set caps aside. Finely chop half of the stems (save the remaining for another use).  Add chopped stems to bacon drippings; saute for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the heat. 

3. Mix mushroom stems with crushed croutons, cheeses, tomato, pepper, cooked ham, bacon, parsley and oregano.

4. Firmly stuff crouton mixture into mushroom caps. Place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 425 °F for 12-15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine 2011

Notes

I filled a combination of 40 medium to large mushrooms and still ended up with enough filling left over for a great lunch idea which I’ll be posting here later in the week. In the meantime, here’s a handy little tip I found over at Farm Boy to keep mushrooms fresh.

What’s the best way to keep Mushrooms fresh?
Once you’ve purchased mushrooms loose or in a package, keep them in a paper bag to ensure freshness. This allows the mushrooms to breathe better and stay fresher longer so they retain their firm, tasty shape. Do not store them in plastic bags since plastics non-porous nature causes faster deterioration and loss of flavour while cooking. Stored properly, mushrooms should keep for several days. It doesn’t matter what size of mushrooms you pick. Size isn’t a sign of quality or age. Large ones are great for stuffing and smaller ones for marinating. Medium mushrooms are perfect for anything.

 

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My husband’s mom could always make a really good biscuit.  Still does. So could my grandmother. Effortlessly.  I, on the other hand, could not.  I tried. Lord knows, I tried. But more often than not, I failed miserably. I’m not going to tell you how long it took me to make a biscuit worth eating. Let’s just say it was a long time.

Okay. It was a very long time. 

So, if you’re like me and you have a little trouble with things now and again (like me). Don’t give up.  Keep trying.

 

Here’s the recipe.

Good luck!

Cheesy Biscuit Squares

 2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons (20 ml) baking powder

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar

1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt

1 cup (4-ounces) cheddar cheese

1/4 cup (125 ml) shortening

3/4 cup (3-ounces) plus 1 tablespoon milk

Dill Butter

1/4 cup (125 ml) butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) dill weed

1/8 teaspoon (1 ml) garlic salt

Method

1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Stir in

the cheese.  Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in

milk just until moistened.

2.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll out into a 3/4-inch thick square.

Cut into 12 squares.  Place 1/8-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

3.  Bake at 400°F (200°C) or until golden brown. Combine dill butter

ingredients; brush over hot biscuits.  Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers.

 

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Stir in the

cheese.  Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Stir in milk just until moistened and gather in a ball.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out into 3/4-inch thick squares.

You don’t want to squish the dough down really hard.  Just ever so lightly.

Cut into 9 or 12 squares, depending on how big you want ’em.

I made 12, but feel free to make 9, if you want ’em bigger.

You’ve gotta admit … these are pretty.

And so are these.

Place onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 400° F ( 200°C) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 1 dozen.

Serve your biscuits warm with butter or honey.

Dip ’em in your soup or your chilli and eat ’em in a hurry.

That way you won’t have to refrigerate the leftovers.

If you’re a dilly kinda girl, and you’d like some dilly biscuits, combine 1/2

teaspoon of dill weed and 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt with 1/4 cup melted butter

and brush over the hot biscuits.

Cheesy biscuits with dill are great served with seafood.

These are yummy! I hope you enjoy ’em.

This Sweet Wife

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These potatoes are yummy and delicious.

And who doesn’t like cheese and bacon?

If you’re looking for great side to dress up a quick meal, these mashed spuds

are sure to fit the bill.  And if you have to feed the neighbours, (which

sometimes happens on a farm), they can easily be doubled or tripled for a

crowd.

Sour Cream Potatoes

2 1/2 lbs. medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 cup (250 ml) sour cream

1/4 cup (50 ml) milk

2 tablespoons (25 ml) butter, melted

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheese, divided

5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

2 cloves garlic, with ends cut off

1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt

1/8 tsp (1 ml) pepper

 

Method

1. Boil your potatoes and cloves of garlic in a large pot of cold water. Reduce

the heat once it starts to boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the

potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife. 

2. While the potatoes are simmering, heat the milk and butter in a small

saucepan until boiling.

3. When the garlic and potatoes are tender, drain and return them to the pot.

4. Mash the potatoes and garlic. Add the milk and butter, sour cream, 1 cup

(4 oz.) of cheese, salt and pepper and stir until smooth. Spoon into a greased

2-qt. baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese and crumbled bacon.

3. Bake uncovered, at 350° F(180 °C)  for 30-35 minutes or until heated

through.

 

Quite simply, these potatoes really dress up a meal without a lot of fuss.

They’re great for filling famished farmboys and anyone who just needs to be

fed. Scoop up a helping of these savory flavours and you’ll be all warm and

happy.

And your neighbours will love you for it.

If you have neighbours who don’t love you, (though I don’t know how that

could be), just bring them some of these and then they’ll love you too.

From my table to yours, I hope you have a really wonderful day!

This Sweet Wife

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