Easy Cheddar Cheese Fondue

I love fondue. Who wouldn’t love melted cheese to dip various food in. It also indulges my bent toward indecision. Will I dip apple? pretzel? bread? broccoli? chicken nugget? I can do one of each if I so desired. Last April, Jason and I went to the Melting Pot and still drool over the concept of going back. I just can’t bring myself to spent $80-$100 on a dinner of dipping.

But guess what? Fondue is really not that hard to make and you probably already have everything in your refrigerator right now. Or almost everything. This recipe is adapted from Taste Book  which is actually adapted from the Melting Pot!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of beer (we used Hefeweizen, but I am sure any will do)
  • 3 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix shredded cheese with flour until cheese is evenly coated. This helps it melt easily and thicken.
  2. In your fondue pot on low heat, heat your beer. Slowly add and mix the cheese and flour mixture.
  3. Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pepper to taste.
  4. Dip to your hearts content. We dipped homemade bread, green apples and pretzels because that is what we had.

fondue

We also made a chocolate fondue, which was really more like hot fudge (not a bad thing), but I will save that for another post!

Gourmet Portland Pizza

This weekend I was in Portland visiting my dear friends down there. I showed up just in time for dinner on Friday. Kylie made this pizza using Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough. The toppings included salumi, roasted red peppers (that they roasted themselves!), I think basil and mozarella and had an olive oil sauce instead of tomatoes. Delicious!

If you haven’t picked up the pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, its a must. For $1.29 you get the base for a delicious and homemade gourmet pizza!

Thanks Coco, Kylie and Trevor!

Turkey Lasagna

I found this recipe on the box of our Bastilla No-Boil Lasagna Noodles. I substituted ground beef for Italian ground turkey. I think turkey is more healthy (although I am not sure). 
Ingredients:
  • 1 (9 ounce) no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 lb ground beef or 1 lb sausage, browned
  • spaghetti or pasta sauce
  • parsley (to garnish)
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In bowl, combine beaten eggs, ricotta cheese and TWO cups of the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.
  3. If you choose not to use the parmesan, just add more mozzarella.
  4. Set aside.
  5. In a 13X9X3 pan, spread 1 cup of sauce on bottom of pan.
  6. Layer in the order, 4 uncooked lasagna noodles (they will overlap), then 1/3 part of the ricotta cheese mixture, half the browned meat, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup of spaghetti sauce.
  7. Next layer, 4 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1/3 part of the ricotta cheese mixture, and 1 1/2 Cups sauce.
  8. Next layer, 4 uncooked lasagna noodles, remaining ricotta mixture and remained meat, 1 cup of sauce.
  9. For top layer, 4 uncooked lasagna noodles, remaining sauce, and remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
  10. Bake covered with foil for 50-60 minutes.
  11. Uncover and continue cooking until all the cheese is melted on the top (about 5 minutes).
  12. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
  13. If you are using a 13X9X2 pan—just make 3 layers to avoid boiling over

The Best (and Easiest) Banana Bread Ever

This is the second loaf in a week that I have made this bread. I was impressed with how moist and delicious it stayed all week. I am not including photos of this bread slices and ready to eat because it is a gift for my friend, Kadi, who just had a baby. I am visiting her today and will hopefully get pictures up later with baby Boden who is 2.5 weeks old!

I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com (where I find most of the recipes I like). I made it even easier by removing an unnecessary step: saving you and me an extra bowl to wash! There is always that last banana of the bunch that you didn’t get to in time. I always have this probably since Jason doesn’t like bananas. I started throwing all these bananas into the freezer and can pull them out to make this bread anytime.

While I will stand by my claim that this is the best and easiest banana bread ever, I will admit it is the only banana bread recipe I have used. Hopefully that does not make this post invalid.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 4-5 bananas)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. I would suggest a stone, loaf (I used a seasoned Pampered Chef one).
  2.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Add in flour, baking soda and salt; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

I kept the bread in a zip lock bag and even the last piece was delicious a week later.