{Instant Pot Mac and Cheese}

This has become a favorite around here. Super quick to whip up and I love the garlic flavor it has.

Ingredients:

1 pound large or small macaroni
4 Tbs butter
2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cups water
4 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 cup whole milk
16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Bread Crumb Topping:

2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Italian parsley, chopped (you can use fresh or dried)

Directions:
Add the macaroni, butter, water, ground mustard, salt and pepper into the bowl of the Instant Pot. Place the lid on and set the vent to “sealing”

Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then manually release the pressure.

Open the lid and add the cubed cream cheese, stirring until smooth

Add the milk and shredded cheese and continue to stir until all the cheese is melted and smooth. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and bread crumb topping.

Bread Crumb Topping Directions:

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Toss the bread crumbs in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.

 

Recipe adapted from: Kelsey Nixon

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{Extra Cheesy Mac and Cheese}

I love homemade Mac and Cheese. But I probably only make it about twice a year, because lets face it, it isn’t the healthiest. But it is quit the comfort food. I have made other recipes in the past and this one has become a new fav. It has a lot of cheese so it’s really creamy and delicious. And the bread crumb topping adds so much more to the dish, I really loved it.

For the bread crumb topping:
2 Tbsp. butter
1  cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt and pepper
For the pasta:
1 lb. pasta shapes (I used medium shell pasta)
6 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2¼ cups chicken broth
3½ cups milk (I used whole)
16 oz package colby jack cheese, shredded
8 oz package extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Ground black pepper

To make the bread crumb topping, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add in the panko and cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are a light golden brown.  Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the pasta to the water and cook just until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.  Drain the pasta and leave in the colander.
Return the pot to the heat.  Melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Stir in the garlic, dry mustard, and cayenne, cooking just until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.  Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the chicken broth and milk and continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the cheeses, whisking until completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir the drained pasta into the cheese sauce.
Pour the pasta and cheese mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Sprinkle with the bread crumb topping.  Bake 30-35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden brown.  (You may want to place a baking sheet on the rack underneath the baking dish to catch any sauce that bubbles over.)

*Adapted from: Annie’s Eats

{Yummy Cheese Ball}

Here is a recipe for a yummy and very easy cheese ball. I hope you all have a fun and safe New Years!! xo

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 package ranch-style dressing mix
2 cups chopped pecans

In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and dressing mix. Form into one large ball or two smaller balls. Roll in chopped pecans to coat the entire ball. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

{Garlic Parmesan Sauce}

I made this sauce the other night to go with the Chicken Pillows we had. It was a-maz-ing! My husband even went as far as to say it tasted like Olive Gardens Alfredo sauce. Hello! So next time I make breadsticks I will be sure to make this sauce to go right along with them. This would also be fabulous on pasta too.

3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
1 chicken bouillon cube
 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
 1 1/2 cups milk
 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup sour cream

 In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, cooking over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden and bubbly. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper once the milk has been completely added. Stir constantly over medium heat until the sauce thickens and bubbles, about 5-10 minutes, make sure that the sauce doesn’t burn on the bottom. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and garlic powder and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Thin the sauce with a little milk if needed.

{Black Bean Nachos}

This was a quick lunch I made the other day and it was really yummy. I just grabbed things that I had on hand but you could put whatever toppings you like.

One bag of your favorite Tortilla chips, or homemade chips
 Shredded Cheese
 Black Beans, drained and rinsed
 diced tomatoes
 1 small can of diced green chilies
 Chopped cilantro
Diced avocado
chopped green onion
 lime juice
salt to taste.

 Line a cookie sheet with foil and place chips in a single layer. Top chips with the shredded cheese, diced green chilies, and black beans. Turn on your broiler and put the rack at the very top of the oven, broil the nachos for about 1 minute or until the cheese is completely melted. (make sure and check on them in every 20 seconds or so)
After they are done, top them with tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, green onion and lime juice and some kosher salt to taste.

{Pesto and Veggie Pizza}

I took a trip to the Farmer’s Market today and couldn’t wait to come home and make a delicious meal with the basil, tomatoes, zucchini and spinach I got. I decided to just throw them all together on a pizza. I got the idea from my friend Kristin’s blog, that I absolutely love. It was very fresh and yummy!

Pizza dough (Love this one)
1/2 cup pesto
1 small Zucchini, sliced thin
1 large tomato, sliced thin
couple handfuls of baby spinach
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup feta

sprinkle of kosher salt for taste

Roll out the dough and place on a greased baking sheet. Spread on the pesto.Top with 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella. Layer with all the vegetables, sprinkle on the feta and then top it all off with the other 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Bake at 475 for 10-12 minutes.

{Shaved Asparagus Pizza}

I have seen this recipe several places and it sounded so interesting and good. I bought a ton of Asparagus at Costco because I love it, but I need to figure out what to do with all of it. I made this and it was really good. The garlic herb cheese makes it great I think. I would even add a little bit more of it next time 🙂

Pizza dough
Olive oil, for brushing
8 oz. asparagus spears
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
3 oz. spreadable garlic herb cheese, I used Boursin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven 475 degrees. Roll out the pizza dough (I made mine on a cookie sheet, because I don’t have a round pizza pan). Lightly brush the surface of the dough with olive oil.

Cut the tough woody stems off the ends of the asparagus spears. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the spears into ribbons. You likely will not need all of the asparagus, but use more ribbons than you think you need because it will cook down in the oven.

Place the sliced mozzarella over the pizza dough in an even layer. Pile the asparagus shavings over the top of the mozzarella. Dot the surface of the pizza with the garlic herb cheese. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

Transfer the pizza to the preheated oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

*Adapted from Annie’s Eats

{Creamy Chicken Taquitos}

These were definitely a hit at our house, my husband was raving! I actually prepared the filling in the morning and kept it in the fridge until I was ready to assemble them at dinner time, so it was really quick and easy. Yummy recipe I found on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, original recipe from Our Best Bites.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 green onion, sliced finely
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese

small yellow or white corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

Working with a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and don’t crack while rolling. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of a soft tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Then roll it up as tight as you can. (Use a toothpick if they don’t want to stay closed)
Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch each other. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and lightly sprinkle some kosher (coarse) salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Serve immediately. Taquitos can be dipped in salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

{Asparagus, Gruyere, and Parmesan Tart}

When I saw this recipe on a blog called “What’s Gaby Cooking” I just had to make it. Everything about it sounded fabulous, and asparagus is my favorite vegetable so that just made it sound even better. This was so good and flakey and crunchy and cheesy and…well it’s amazing!

1 sheet of Puff Pastry (I got mine in the freezer section of the grocery store)
1/2 cup Gruyere, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 bundle asparagus
1 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt
Crushed Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Thaw the puff pastry either by placing it in the fridge overnight or by laying it on the counter, on a piece of parchment paper, for about an hour.
Trim the ends of the Asparagus by 1 inch to get rid of the woody stalk
Once thawed unfold the flaps and slightly roll out the dough to get rid of the seems.(Make sure it’s not too thawed, or it’s hard to work with) Transfer the puff pastry dough while still on the parchment paper to a baking sheet. Sprinkle half the Gruyere and Parmesan on the puff pastry. Line the asparagus on top of the cheese. Scatter the rest of the cheese on top of the asparagus and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry dough has puffed and the asparagus is roasted and cooked through.
Sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper before serving.