Tag Archives: cheddar cheese

Yummy Vegetable Pasta (Slow-Cooker Recipe)

Cooking in a crock pot is so easy and convenient, and there are lots of great recipes you can make. I found some really good ones to try in my review copy of the new cookbook Stock the Crock by Phyllis Good. There are lots of great full-color photos in this book that has 100 slow-cooker recipes which include:

  • Vegetable Pot Pie with Biscuits
  • Lasagna in a Soup Bowl
  • 4-Cheese Artichoke Dip
  • Honey Baked Chicken
  • Holiday Ham with Apricot Glaze
  • Garlicky Mashed Red Potatoes
  • Cider-Baked Apples
  • Pumpkin Spice Créme Brûlée

Such a great variety of recipes to choose from! I decided to try the Yummy Vegetable Pasta because I was in the mood for something comfort food-like, and this sounded like just the thing to make! The recipe was easy to follow and the only thing I did differently was add a cup of chopped zucchini, since I happened to have that already. Fresh sliced green beans would be a nice addition, too, if you want to add in an extra veggie or two.

This pasta dish smells great while it’s cooking. And you do have to stir it well before serving, since the spaghetti may clump together a little. But it’s very good and cheesy and yummy, just like the recipe name says! 🙂

YUMMY VEGETABLE PASTA from Stock the Crock (with a few little changes)

Makes 6 to 7 servings

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, with juice or 1 quart canned stewed tomatoes, with liquid (I cut the stewed tomatoes into large chunks)
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped zucchini and/or 1 cup sliced green beans
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 pound spaghetti or fettuccine, divided
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided (if you want this dish to be extra-cheesy, use 3 cups!)
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons sliced fresh chives, for garnish

Grease the interior of the slow cooker crock with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

In medium bowl, stir together the chopped onion, chopped green bell pepper, stewed tomatoes with their liquid, sliced mushrooms, and oregano (also stir in the chopped zucchini and/or green beans, if using).

Place 1/4 of the vegetables in the bottom of the crock. Top vegetables with half of the pasta, breaking pasta, as needed, to fit. Sprinkle the pasta with half of the Cheddar cheese.

Spoon in half of the remaining vegetables. Top with the remaining pasta, breaking the pasta as needed; the remaining Cheddar cheese, and the remaining vegetables.

In the bowl used to mix the vegetables, whisk together the soup and milk. Pour over the ingredients in the crock.

Cover and cook on low 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until the vegetables and pasta are tender.

Before serving, stir the sauce through the pasta and vegetables. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Scatter fresh chives on top just before serving.

Another nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t take super-long to make–3 1/2 to 4 hours isn’t bad for a slow-cooker recipe. Have you been making any great-tasting meals in your slow-cooker?

Sharing at Happiness is HomemadeMeal Plan MondayWeekend PotluckInspire Me Monday.

Advertisements

Cheesy Mixed Vegetable Casserole

Cheesy Mixed Vegetable Casserole @NancyC

This past holiday season, I went to a special Christmas lunch where one of the items they served was a vegetable casserole side dish. It was really, really good. One of my co-workers decided to try making one herself and she talked about how good it was. So I finally decided to try my own version of a mixed vegetable casserole and if you like comfort food and cheesy side dishes, then you’ll really like this recipe! I added lots of cheddar cheese and made a crunchy topping that includes crumbled Ritz crackers and those yummy french fried onions. This is a great potluck dish or something your whole family would probably eat up in no time!

CHEESY MIXED VEGETABLE CASSEROLE by NancyC

Makes about 10 servings

  • 1 (19-ounce) bag of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained (I used Birds Eye Steamfresh® Fresh Frozen Mixed Vegetables)
  • 1 cup frozen, thawed, and drained chopped broccoli (or substitute more corn, peas, or carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced celery ribs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup french fried onions (or you can use 2 cups of french fried onions or 2 cups of Ritz crackers)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9×13″ pan or baking dish; set aside.

In large bowl, combine the thawed mixed vegetables, broccoli, onion, celery, mayonnaise, plain Greek yogurt, mushroom soup and 2 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese, blending everything together. Spoon into your 9×13″ pan.

Sprinkle the last cup of shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the top of the vegetable mixture. Then combine the crushed Ritz crackers with melted butter, mixing until crumbly, and sprinkle that evenly over the cheese. Last, sprinkle the french fried onions evenly over everything.

Bake at 350˚F, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, and serve.

This casserole is so tasty it really is hard to stop eating it! With all the cheese and toppings, it’s not low-calorie, but it’s nice to indulge in when you’re craving comfort food on a chilly day. And it makes a great side dish for the holidays or any time of the year for that matter. Have you made any comfort-food type dishes this winter?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

Cheesy Zucchini Cornbread

Cheesy Zucchini Cornbread @ NancyC

I had one more cup of shredded zucchini to use up, and this is the recipe I made with it. During this time of year when summer gradually turns into fall, I think of cornbread for some reason. And savory cornbread sounded good–so savory cornbread it was. Speaking of summer turning into fall, I usually am sad to see summer end, since I really enjoy the warm weather and long days. But this year I’m focusing on all the things I love about autumn–the pretty fall leaves, apples and pumpkins, fall craft fairs, candlelight, and baking cinnamon-flavored treats.

But back to the cornbread. Not only is this is a savory cornbread, flavored with Italian seasoning and a hint of garlic and onion, it’s also cheesy. Cheddar cheese is mixed in the batter and sprinkled on top. Savory and cheesy flavors are hard for me to resist–I love that combination! The shredded zucchini and corn kernels make this cornbread moist and hearty, too. You could serve this instead of rolls with a meal and it would be great with a bowl of chili!

CHEESY ZUCCHINI CORNBREAD by NancyC

Makes an 8×8″ pan

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1 /2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8×8″ pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In medium size bowl, mix eggs, honey, melted butter, and plain Greek yogurt. Add this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl, stirring just until blended. Mix in Italian Seasoning, minced onion, and minced garlic. Fold in the shredded zucchini, corn kernels, and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese (save the other 1/2 cup cheese for sprinkling on top).

Spoon batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese evenly over the top. Bake at 350˚F for 32 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

This cornbread tastes great with or without some butter–it definitely has enough flavor to stand on its own! Are you a fan of cornbread? And are you looking forward to autumn?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Create With Joy.

Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls @ NancyC

The first time I had sausage balls was about 20 years ago. I thought they were amazingly good and I’ve been hooked on them ever since! They’re perfect for group breakfasts-or-brunches or potlucks–easy to make, and easy to take. And everyone loves them!

The very first time I made these, I didn’t realize you weren’t supposed to cook the sausage before hand, and mine turned out very dry. So be sure not to cook the sausage! Mix it up raw with the baking mix and the cheese. You’ll have to use your hands, since it’s such a thick mixture (those plastic disposable sanitary kitchen gloves come in handy for this). After the ingredients are mixed together, you just roll into balls, place them on a baking sheet, and pop in the oven. And everyone will love you for making these. 🙂

SAUSAGE BALLS

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 2 cups baking mix (like Bisquick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder, optional
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound uncooked pork sausage at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease (or line with parchment paper) a 15 x 10″ or 13 x 18″ baking sheet; set aside.

Mix baking mix and sausage together in a bowl; blend well, then add in the cheddar cheese (the mixture will be very thick; you’ll need to mix everything well with your hands). Roll mixture into 1″ to 1 1/8″ balls; arrange balls on prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and sausage is fully cooked. Drain on paper towels, then serve warm.

Some of my friends bake these at 375˚F for 18 minutes with good results, if you like having a shorter baking time. And you can freeze any leftover sausage balls and reheat at 350˚F for 10 minutes. But don’t count on having any leftovers!

Have you ever made sausage balls? It’s definitely a favorite recipe of mine!

Linked to Throwback ThursdayFiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Create With Joy, Meal Plan Monday, Show and Share, Wow Me Wednesday, Create it Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Texas Trash Warm Bean Dip

ncTxTrshWrmBnDp1nm I made this dip against my better judgement. I say that because it’s so hard to stop eating it–it’s totally addicting if you love creamy, cheesy, southwestern-style dips! You bake this in the oven and when it’s done, you dig in while it’s still warm with your favorite tortilla chips. And you may have to force yourself to stop! I added some chopped green chiles to the recipe I had found at Food.com and made it slightly different. All I can say is, wow–this dip is good! You need to try it sometime!

TEXAS TRASH WARM BEAN DIP by NancyC, adapted from Food.com

Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans refried beans
  • 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 13″ baking pan; set aside. In large bowl, blend softened cream cheese and sour cream. Add in green chiles, then mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning mix, blending everything well, then mix in 1/2 cup each of the Cheddar and Montery Jack cheeses (a total of 1 cup), blending into the mixture well. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses (you’ll have a total of 3 cups of cheese to sprinkle on top). Bake at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips.

ncTxTrshWmBnDip2nm This dip is great to make for parties, game-watching, or even when you’re watching the Oscars. Are any of your favorite movies or actors and actresses nominated for awards?

Sharing this recipe at Meal Plan Monday,  Weekend PotluckInspire Me Monday, Wow Me Wednesday, Show and Share Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday.