Quinoa, Edamame and Basil Salad...

What the Hell? Plant protein power! This is a heaping pile of fiber and protein goodness. Face it, you’re looking a little bloated over there and could use some more fiber in your diet. This simple gem is chewy, nutty, filling and very satisfying. This is great warm or chilled. You could even use this in wraps or pita pockets for portable lunches. What the hell should I drink? A Basil Grapefruit Fizz would go down easy with this. 2 ounces vodka 3 ounces freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice 2-3 teaspoon simple syrup (equal parts of sugar and water) 3-4 large basil leaves Club soda Directions: Muddle the basil leaves with the simple syrup in the bottom of a tall glass. Add ice, vodka and grapefruit juice. Stir and top with club soda. What the hell should I listen to? Her head’s revolving by the Three O’clock. Sweet, poppy goodness. Quinoa, Edamame and Basil Salad   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 25 mins Total time 35 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Serves: 4 Ingredients 1 C. quinoa 2 C. vegetable broth 2 C. frozen shelled edamame, thawed 1 Tbls. freshly grated lemon zest 2 Tbls. lemon juice 2 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbls. chopped fresh basil ½ tsp. salt ½ C. drained and diced jarred roasted red peppers ¼ C. chopped pecans, preferably toasted 6 C. chopped Romaine lettuce Instructions Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly. While the quinoa is toasting, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a...

Corn, Broccoli, Tomato and Cheese Pasties...

What the Hell? Golden, flaky pockets of veggie goodness. Think of them as homemade Hotpockets. Make these and freeze them for future instant hangover, handheld, booze soaking relief. They’re time consuming to make, but totally worth it. If you want to get fancy, serve them with some marinara dipping sauce. These can be made appetizer size or main course size. Appetizer size will yield 32 pasties, main course size will yield 16. What the hell should I drink? A Moscow Mule would be lovely with there. Vodka, good quality ginger beer, a pinch of grated ginger and a big squeeze of lime juice on the rocks. Yeah, that goes down real nice. What the hell should I listen to? All kinds of Girls by the Real Kids. You’re gonna need something poppy and upbeat to keep you rolling and stuffing. Corn, Broccoli, Tomato and Cheese Pasties   Print Prep time 1 hour 30 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 2 hours 10 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Serves: 16 or 32 Ingredients Pastry dough 3 C. unbleached, all purpose flour ½ tsp. salt 2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed and chilled solid 10-15 Tbls. ice water Filling 1.5 C. finely chopped broccoli florets 1.5 C. corn kernels 1 C. shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese 15 oz. carton of low-fat ricotta cheese 4 scallions, thinly sliced ¼ C. chopped, fresh basil ½ C. finely chopped, sun-dried tomatoes ½ tsp. garlic powder ¼ tsp. kosher salt ¼ tsp. black pepper 1 egg 2 Tbls. water Instructions Pastry dough Wisk together the flour and salt Cut in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal Gradually mix in the water until the mixture just comes together and forms a stiff ball. For appetizer size (32...

None more black stew

What the Hell? My culinary tribute to Spinal Tap. Black rice, black barley and black beans is a gooey mess of dark goodness. It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black. Feel free to improvise and add more hot sauce if you want to make this go to eleven. Black rice and black barley can be found in bulk at Whole Foods. What the hell should I drink? Dark beer! Thick and throaty. If you can find it, Fat Head’s Oompa Loompa Chocolate Cream Stout is really amazing. What the hell should I listen to? Big Bottom by Spinal Tap, of course. Triple bass assault. None more black stew   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 20 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Serves: 8 Ingredients Rice ½ C. black rice (Forbidden black rice) 1 C. vegetable broth 1 tsp. bacon salt ¼ tsp. kosher salt Stew 6 C. vegetable broth ½ C. black barley 1 C. diced onion 6 cloves garlic, minced 2 carrots, diced 2 ribs celery, diced 1 Tbls. Italian seasoning ¼ C. chili peppers, minced (heat level of your choice) 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. dried oregano 2 tsp. siracha chili sauce 1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed well 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes 1 bag Quorn grounds or Boca crumbles Instructions Rice Combine all rice ingredients in a small, heavy bottom pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stew While rice is cooking start the stew In a large, heavy bottomed pot, combine broth, black barley, onion, garlic,...

Red lentil-rice cakes with simple tomato salsa...

What the Hell? Little, crispy cakes of veggies goodness. These are little time consuming, but totally worth it. You can make the lentil-rice mixture a day ahead of time and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook. What the hell should I drink? Beer. Beer. Beer. Something crisp and not heavy. A real British shandy would be perfect. Alas, those are not easy to find in the US. Columbus Brewing Company Pale Ale would be very nice. What the hell should I listen to? I gave you my love, you gave me the clap by the Puddy.  You got problems of your own. Red lentil-rice cakes with simple tomato salsa   Print Prep time 30 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 50 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Main course Serves: 6 Ingredients Salsa: 3 C. seeded, finely chopped plum tomatoes (about 6 tomatoes) ¼ C. chopped fresh basil 1 green onion, minced 1 Tbls. balsamic vinegar 1 avocado, diced ¼ tsp. salt Lentil-rice cakes: 5 C. water, divided 1 C. dried small red lentils ½ C. uncooked basmati rice 2 Tbls. olive oil, divided ½ C. finely chopped red bell pepper ½ C. finely chopped red onion ½ C. finely chopped green onion ½ tsp. fennel seeds, crushed 2 garlic cloves, minced ¾ C. (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese ¼ C. dry breadcrumbs 2 Tbls. chopped fresh basil 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 3 lg egg whites, lightly beaten Instructions Salsa directions: Combine all 5 ingredients; set aside at room temperature. Lentil-rice cake directions: Bring 4 cups water and lentils to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again. Place...

Split pea and barley stew...

What the Hell? This is a vegetarian version of my favorite split pea and ham soup. Using pearled barley gives this stew some heft and rib sticking goodness. It’s stupidly easy to make and packed full of fiber and veggie goodness. Your colon will thank you. Eat it! What the hell should I drink? A nice mineraly, acidic white wine would be lovely. Something the in the Sauvignon Blanc family would be a good fit. What the hell should I listen to? She pays the rent by the Nomads. This is a Lyres cover. Since this soup is a different interpretation of my split pea and ham recipe it seems appropriate. Woot! Split pea and barley stew   Print Prep time 15 mins Cook time 60 mins Total time 1 hour 15 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 6 Ingredients 1 Tbls. olive oil 1½ C. chopped onion 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 C. chopped celery 1 C. chopped carrots ½ tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. kosher salt 2 tsp. dried marjoram 1 tsp. dried thyme ½ tsp. dried rosemary 2 bay leaves 8 C. vegetable broth 1½ C. green split peas ½ C. pearled barley Instructions Heat olive oil in large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent and tender. About 5 minutes. Add salt, black pepper, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Stir until veggies are will coated. Add vegetable broth, split peas and barley. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and slightly cover. Simmer until the peas are tender and just beginning to fall apart. About an hour. Remove bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper....

Garden Lentil Soup

What the Hell? Chop. Dump. Cook. Eat. No cooking skills needed. If you can chop vegetables, open a can and boil water you can make this soup! You have no excuses. Do it. Feel good about what you put into your gaping maw. I’ve seen you, and you could use the veg and fiber. What the hell should I drink? A nice, spicy Bloody Mary. Booze and veggies! Together at last! What the hell should I listen to? Parasight by Entombed. Something to help with all the chopping. Garden Lentil Soup   Print Prep time 15 mins Cook time 35 mins Total time 50 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 8 Ingredients 3 carrots, diced 3 ribs celery, diced 1 lg. yellow onion, diced 1 lg. red onion, diced 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 lg. potato, diced 1 C. dried, brown lentils, rinsed and drained 1 C. corn 8 C. vegetable broth 2 bay leaves 1½ tsp. dried thyme 1½ tsp. dried oregano 1½ tsp. dried parsely ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes 1 C. peas Salt and pepper to taste Instructions Place all ingredients except tomatoes and peas into a large sauce pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables and lentils are soft. About 30 minutes. Add tomatoes and peas. Simmer until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. 3.1.07...

Crack-a-licious Frosting...

What the Hell? The most amazing buttercream frosting EVER! It’s crack. Once you’ve had this, you won’t want any other buttercream. You’ll crave it. You’ll NEED it. It will haunt your damn dreams. It takes a little bit of extra time, but it’s so worth it! Super creamy, not too sweet and makes a ton. The best part is you can make it ahead and freeze it! Thaw in your fridge and give it a good whip before frosting your cake. Sweet, creamy bliss I tell you! What the hell should I drink? I’m gonna go with a White Russian on this one. The Dude Abides. What the hell should I listen to? Sugar Sugar by The Archies. Sweet! Crack-a-licious Frosting   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 30 mins Total time 50 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Dessert Serves: a three layer cake Ingredients Cooked base 2 C. whole milk, room temperature 6 Tbls. unbleached, all-purpose flour ¼ tsp. salt Buttercream 1 lb. unsalted butter, softened 2 C. granulated sugar 1 Tbls. vanilla 2 Tbls. meringue powder Instructions Cooked Base In a medium pot, whisk together the milk, flour and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and becomes very thick. Scrape mixture into a large, shallow dish. Immediately cover surface with waxed paper. Make sure the waxed paper is touching the surface of the mixture. You don’t want a skin to form. Set mixture aside and allow to come to room temperature. Once it’s room temperature, place in refrigerator to chill. Buttercream When you place the milk and flour mixture in the refrigerator, start the buttercream. In a large bowl, whip the butter with an electric mixer. You want to really whip...

Penne with shrimp, asparagus and sundried tomatoes...

What the Hell? This was the first meal I had on my first trip to England. My mother-in-law made it soon after we arrived. Simple, easy to prepare, it looks and tastes impressive. What the hell should I drink? You really should finish the dry white you plan to cook with. Don’t use grocery store cooking wine. That stuff sucks. Get a real bottle of wine, one that you would actually drink. Pour the 1/2 cup you need for the recipe and drink the rest with dinner. What the hell should I listen to? Psychotic Reaction by Trouble. You really should listen to a lot of Trouble. Do it. Now. Penne with shrimp, asparagus and sundried tomatoes   Print Prep time 15 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 35 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Pasta Serves: 4-6 Ingredients ½ C. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes drained and sliced, 2 tbls oil reserved 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into ½” pieces 1½ lbs. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined ½ C. chopped, fresh basil 2 lg. garlic cloves, minced ½ tsp. dried oregano ¼ tsp. dried crushed red pepper 1¾ C. vegetable broth ½ C. dry white wine 2 Tbls. tomato paste 12 oz. penne pasta ¾ C. fresh, grated Parmesan cheese Instructions Heat oil reserved from dried tomatoes in heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl Add sun-dried tomatoes, shrimp, ¼ cup basil, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper to same skillet and cook until shrimp is just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp mixture to bowl with asparagus. Add broth, wine and tomato paste to same skillet. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally...

Coconut Pecan Chewy Cookies...

What the Hell? Chewy, nutty and sweet. Just like you! Okay, maybe not the sweet part. Almost like candy, the cookie equivalent of an Almond Joy. What the hell should I drink? A bottle of Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout. It’s beer candy. Seriously, it’s like drinking a chocolate bar laced with boozey goodness. You need this beer. What the hell should I listen to? Hellraiser by The Sweet. Natural born raver, yeah! YEAH! Coconut Pecan Chewy Cookies   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 1 hour   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Cookie Serves: 30 Ingredients Dry 1¾ C. unbleached all-purpose flour 1½ tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt Wet 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 1 C. sugar 1 lg. egg 2 tsp. coconut extract 3.5 C. sweetened coconut 1¼ C. chopped pecans Chocolate drizzle 1 C. dark chocolate chips Instructions Preheat over to 350° Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and coconut extract and beat until fluffy and well combined. Add the coconut and pecans and mix well. Gradually add the flour mixture until well combined. With your hands, pinch off golfball sized pieces of dough and roll into a ball. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheets and flatten with your finger tips. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Do not over bake, cookies should still look a wee bit shiny on top. Remove from oven and allow to rest on baking sheet for 10 minutes to firm up. Move to wire rake to finish cooling. Chocolate Drizzle Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Slowly melt the chips in the microwave, being careful to stir frequently....

Winter Squash Soup

What the Hell? Creamy, smooth, warm bowls of comforty goodness. Get yourself some good, hearty bread and hunker down with a big bowl. What the hell should I drink? Something light and white or rosé would be lovely. What the hell should I listen to? Last train to satansville by Swervedriver. Smooth and dreamy. Winter Squash Soup   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 1 hour 15 mins Total time 1 hour 35 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 8 Ingredients Roasted squash 4 large acorn squash 3 T. olive oil 1 tsp. Bacon salt ¼ tsp. chipotle powder ½ tsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt!) ½ tsp. salt Soup base 1 stick of unsalted butter 1 lg. onion, minced 3 carrots, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, minced 6 C. vegetable broth 1¼ tsp. minced, fresh thyme 3 bay leaves ½ C. heavy whipping cream 1 C. grated Gruyére cheese (optional) Instructions Roast the squash Preheat oven to 400° Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds. In a small bowl combine olive oil, bacon salt, chipotle powder, garlic powder and salt. Brush cut side of squash with oil mixture. Arrange squash halves in a large baking dish/pan. Roast for 45 minutes or until flesh is easily pierced with a folk. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Scoop out flesh and set aside. Make the soup Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and carrots and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, roasted squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until everything is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and bring to simmer. Season...

Shrimp Ceviche

What the Hell? Real, Peruvian Ceviche is life changing. Some many favors and textures working together, your mouth cries with bliss. This isn’t really a true ceviche since the shrimp is cooked and we don’t have easy access to rocoto peppers and Peruvian limes, but this is still pretty damned good.  You’re gonna want to lick the bowl clean. Go ahead, it’s completely acceptable. This is very refreshing and works well at a Fourth of July or New Years Eve party.  It’s so easy, just chop, toss and chill. Impress your friends! What the hell should I drink? Pisco sour if you can find it! Pisco is a Peruvian grape brandy. It’s amazing by itself and killer in this cocktail. 3 oz. pisco 3/4 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, dissolved) or 2 tsp. sugar 1 oz. key lime juice, fresh-squeezed 1 fresh egg white 2 dashes Angostura bitters Ice cubes Tools: shaker, strainer Glass: cocktail or goblet In a shaker, combine pisco, simple syrup, lemon juice and egg white and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a glass and dash with bitters. What the hell should I listen to? Las Hadas by Reino Ermitaño. A little heavy Peruvian stoner doom. If is wasn’t for these fine folks, I would have never experienced Ceviche or Pisco sours. Two of best things I’ve ever put into my mouth. Yes. Shrimp Ceviche   Print Prep time 15 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 15 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Main Dish Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 1 lb. large shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined and chopped ⅓ C. fresh lime juice ⅓ C. chopped fresh cilantro ½ C. minced red onion 3 garlic cloves, minced 4 scallions, minced 1 red bell...

Grilled Polenta with Parmesan...

What the Hell? Polenta! Pasta’s corny, bastard brother. You can treat this polenta dish like you would pasta. Smother it in a spicy red or a creamy wild mushroom sauce. It’s also lovely topped with a fried egg and little extra cheese. Experiment! Play with your food! Polenta wants to be your friend. What the hell should I drink? Whatever you would drink with a pasta dish. Polenta plays well with both red and white wines. I’m a cheap ass, Trader Joe’s Blue Fin Pinot Noir is pretty nice for a $5 bottle of wine. There is nothing complex about it but it goes down easy. Awe yeah! What the hell should I listen to? Bitch by The Rolling Stones. Go on…make Polenta your new bitch, it can take it. Grilled Polenta with Parmesan   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 50 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Side Dish Serves: 6 Ingredients 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 C. finely chopped onion 2 tsp. minced garlic 1 C. frozen corn, thawed 3 C. vegetable broth 1 tsp. salt 1 C. stone-ground cornmeal ½ C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese Instructions Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add corn and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Bring vegetable broth and salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk cornmeal into boiling broth; return to boil. Cook until polenta is smooth and thick, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Stir in corn mixture and Parmesan cheese. Brush 13x9x2-inch dish with oil. Spread polenta in dish. Cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)...

Smoked Trout Ravioli

What the Hell? Ravioli! With smoked trout! Smothered in browned butter and fresh Parmesan! Your mouth will be overjoyed with smoky, pasta-y, full-fat goodness. No, this is not low calorie or for the health conscious. This is full-on pleasure food. Eat it! What the hell should I drink? Something crisp with a bite. These little pillowy bastards are rich, you need something to work with all that butter and cheese. My default white is Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde. It’s cheap and pretty much perfect with anything. If you’re looking for something fancier, anything in the Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc family would work. What the hell should I listen to? Let’s pretend we don’t know each other by Milligram. Powerful, melodic and perfect. Smoked Trout Ravioli   Print Prep time 1 hour 30 mins Cook time 10 mins Total time 1 hour 40 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Pasta Serves: 8 Ingredients Pasta (you will need two batches): 3 C. unbleached all-purpose flour 3 lg. eggs, room temperature 1 tst. salt 3 T. Olive oil Filling: 15 oz. carton Ricotta Cheese 8 oz. smoked trout 2 T. minced, fresh chives 1 T. minced red onion Sauce 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature Freshly grated Parmesan cheese Instructions Making the pasta dough: I suggest looking at some fresh pasta making videos on Youtube to show you what the dough should look like in the various stages. Mound flour on a clean, dry surface and create a well. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, olive oil and salt until combined. Add egg mixture to the well in the flour. With a fork, gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Continue to incorporate...

Applesauce

What the Hell? Naturally sweet and chunky applesauce. So stinky easy, just like you! There is no reason you should ever buy jarred applesauce again. Seriously, this will change your applesauce loving world. This is perfect. Using 8 different apples with different levels of sweet/tartness make all the difference. Grab a porkchop and get down Peter Brady style. What the hell should I drink? Spiked apple cider would be a winner! Grab some spiced rum and mix it with your left over apple cider. Oh yeah! What the hell should I listen to? Glowworm by The Apples in Stereo. Sweet, poppy and light. Applesauce   Print Prep time 15 mins Cook time 35 mins Total time 50 mins   So stinky easy. There is no reason you should ever buy jarred applesauce again. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Side Dish Cuisine: Comfort Food Serves: 6 Ingredients 8 lg. apples of different varieties. Get various types of sweet and tart. The more variation the better. 1 C. Apple cider 1 Cinnamon stick Juice from half a lemon Instructions Put apple cider, lemon juice and cinnamon stick in a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Peel and core the apples and chop into large chunks. As the apples are chopped, immediately add to the liquid and toss to coat to prevent browning. Bury the cinnamon stick on the bottom of the pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and partially cover, stir occasionally. Simmer until apples are falling apart and easy to smash with the back of spoon. About 25 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and smash the apples to chunkiness of your liking. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. 3.1.07...

Whiskey Toffee Nuts

What the Hell? Booze! Bacon! Butter! Sugar! Nuts! HELL YES! Five of my favorite things boiled together in a sloppy slurry of adult quality snacking goodness. You want these nuts in your mouth. Now. What the hell should I drink? These are, after all, whiskey nuts. Whiskey is the obvious choice, but beer is also a fine companion. I’m a fan of Jameson and Bulleit Rye in the whiskey department. What the hell should I listen to? Whiskey in the Jar by Thin Lizzy. Strong and smooth. Whiskey Toffee Nuts   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 45 mins Total time 55 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Snacky snack! Cuisine: Boozetastic! Serves: 6 Ingredients 1 lb. slab bacon, diced 1¼ C. of raw sugar (Turbinado sugar) 4 Tbls. unsalted butter ¾ C. whiskey of your choice 1 C raw peanuts (or any other raw nuts. Whole Foods is the only place I’ve been able to find raw peanuts without the skin.) Instructions In a large cast iron skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. When cooked, drain on paper towels. Meanwhile in a medium-sized, heavy bottomed sauce pan bring the sugar, butter, and whiskey to a boil. Lower the heat and slow boil until the liquid is thick, very bubbly and reduced to half it’s original volume. Stir occasionally. Add the raw peanuts (you can use any kind of raw nut) but if you use roasted nuts they may end up burning and turning black. Stir the nuts constantly, as the liquid reduces. Eventually all the moisture will evaporate and the sugar mixture will look like wet sand. Keep stirring and as the sugar begins to caramelize add the cooked bacon. Keep stirring until most of the sugar...

Chicken Noodle Soup

What the Hell? One of my very favorite comfort foods. No matter what time of year, a big, steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup sets everything right and cures what ails me. This is a super simple recipe, requires next to no cooking skills. Another recipe that if you can boil water, you can make this soup. Impress your family and friends and show them how much you care. Doooo eeeet! What the hell should I drink? Give your liver a break and try something healthy for once, like some nice lemon tea. What the hell should I listen to? Falling back to earth by Bluebird. No real reason, I just really like this song. Chicken Noodle Soup   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 10 mins   Comfort food! You love it! Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 8 Ingredients 10 C. chicken broth 1 C. chopped carrots 1 C. chopped celery 1 C. chopped onions 2 tsp. poultry seasoning 1 tsp. dried thyme 2 bay leaves 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper 2 Tbls. fresh, chopped parsley 3 C. cooked, diced chicken 8 oz. noodle of your choice Instructions Place all ingredients up to the noodles into a large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and partially cover. Simmer until veggies are tender. About an hour. Remove bay leaves. Bring back to a boil. Add noodles. Return to a boil and remove from heat. Cover and let noodles soak for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper....

Split Pea Soup with Ham...

What the Hell? HAM! HAM! HAM! So, you’ve got some leftover holiday ham. Make some hearty, comforty  split peas soup! It’s stupidly simple, if you can chop veggies and boil water, you can make this soup. Impress your friends with your boiling prowess. Fill your belly with a salty, smokey bowl of this veggie packed goodness. You need your veggies! What the hell should I drink? A nice mineraly, acidic white wine would be lovely. Something the in the Sauvignon Blanc family would be a good fit. What the hell should I listen to? Squealer by AC/DC. It’ll make you understand. Split Pea Soup with Ham   Print Prep time 10 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 10 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 6 Ingredients 8 C. ham broth or chicken broth 1½ C. green split peas 1 C. chopped onion 1 C. chopped celery 1 C. chopped carrots 1 C. chopped potatoes 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ tsp. black pepper ½ tsp. dried thyme ½ tsp. dried rosemary 2 bay leaves 2 C. cubed ham Instructions Place all ingredients into a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer soup until the peas are tender and just beginning to fall apart. About an hour. Remove bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper....

Sugar Cookie

What the Hell? Sugar cookies! Everyone loves a good sugar cookie. These are soft, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet cookie goodness. This recipe does not need to be refrigerated or anything. Super simple. The key is to slightly under bake these babies so they don’t get hard and crunchy. What the hell should I drink? A sugar cookie martini! Sugary, boozy, sweet overkill. Cookies and booze! Together at last! Ingredients: 1 sugar cookie, crushed 2 ounces Irish Cream 1 ounce vanilla vodka 1 ounce Butterscotch Schnapps Directions: Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass into water, then into the crushed sugar cookie. Combine Irish Cream with vodka, schnapps and ice in a martini shaker. Gently shake and strain into the prepared martini. What the hell should I listen to? C is for Cookie by Cookie Monster. It’s good enough for me! C’mon, sing-a-long. Sugar Cookie   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 1 hour   Sugar cookies! Everyone loves a good sugar cookie. These are soft, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet cookie goodness. This recipe does not need to be refrigerated or anything. Super simple. The key is to slightly under bake these babies so they don’t get hard and crunchy. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Cookie Serves: 30 Ingredients Cookies 3 C. unbleached, all-purpose flour 1½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. salt 1 egg 2 sticks unsalted butter 1½ tsp. vanilla 1 C. sugar Milk Icing 2 C. powdered sugar, sifted 2 Tbls. meringue powder 2 tsp. clear vanilla or almond or flavor of your choice ½ tsp. salt 4 Tbls. milk any color food coloring Instructions Cookies Preheat oven to 350° Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream sugar and butter together until...

Cottage Pie

What the Hell? Ground beef and veggies topped with mashed potatoes! What’s not to like? It’s a big plate of meaty comfort food. Substitute ground lamb and you get shepherd’s pie. Seriously, you want this in your mouth. Now. What the hell should I drink? Raison D’Etre from Dogfish Head would be wonderful here. Rich and ever so slightly sweet, it’s a yummy brew. What the hell should I listen to? ABBA, God and Me by The Meatmen, of course. Cottage Pie   Print Prep time 45 mins Cook time 30 mins Total time 1 hour 15 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Serves: 8 Ingredients For the potatoes 2.5 lbs. russet potatoes 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed ½ cup milk 4 Tbls. salted butter, softened ½ C. grated Parmesan cheese ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper For the meat filling: 2 Tbls. canola oil 1 C. chopped onion 2 carrots, diced small 1 rib of celery, diced small 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 lbs. lean ground beef 1 tsp. kosher salt ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbls. all-purpose flour 2 tsp. tomato paste 1 C. beef broth 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed 1.5 tsp. dried thyme ½ C. frozen corn ½ C. frozen peas Instructions Peel the potatoes and cut into ½-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan with the crushed garlic and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the butter, milk,...

Rainbow Bean Soup

What the Hell? Beans! Beans! The musical fruit. You know the rest. Beans, good tasting and good for you. Full of fiber and antioxidants to keep your poopy system running smooth. Nobody wants a clogged up poopy system. Eat your damn beans and feel good! What the hell should I drink? A medium bodied Côtes du Rhône or a young syrah would be lovely. E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône is tasty. Beer is always lovely with beans too. What the hell should I listen to? Whistle Pig by Solace. So good it hurts. Rainbow Bean Soup   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 3 hours 30 mins Total time 3 hours 50 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 4 Ingredients Beans ¼ C. dried kidney beans ¼ C. dried great northern beans ¼ C. dried split peas ¼ C. dried brown lentils ¼ C. dried black beans Soup 5 C. vegetable broth 1 C. diced onion 5 cloves garlic, minced ½ C. diced carrots ½ C. diced celery 2 tsp. dried oregano ½ tsp. chili powder ½ tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning ½ tsp. dried thyme 2 bay leaves 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes Instructions Rinse beans well Place beans in a large microwave safe bowl and cover with cold water, with at least an inch of water above the beans. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place in microwave and cook on high for 7 minutes. Stir and add more water if necessary. Recover and cook for an additional 7 minutes. Drain beans and rinse well. Place beans in a large pot and add all ingredients except the tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and slightly cover. Simmer for 3 hours or until beans...

Enchilada with sweet potatoes, black beans and kale...

What the Hell? Not so pretty to look at, but oh so tasty. I cheated with the photo and shot it before they were baked. Don’t let the ugly mess you end up with fool you , these are AMAZING. So many flavors working together, it’s a party in your mouth. Even non-vegetarians would find this appealing. This takes a little time, but it’s so worth it. You put love in, you get love out. Make your mouth happy and try this. Don’t fear the kale. Kale is your friend. What the hell should I drink? Mexican beer, Tecate or Modelo Especial would due. Or a big-ass margarita. Yes, oh yes. ¡Salud! What the hell should I listen to? I am the rain by Firewater. Oh yes. Enchilada with sweet potatoes, black beans and kale   Print Prep time 1 hour Cook time 50 mins Total time 1 hour 50 mins   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Dinner Cuisine: Southwestern vegetarian Serves: 6 Ingredients Enchilada Sauce 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large onion, diced 3 large green chili peppers (like Anaheim or Italian style long green peppers), roasted, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 jalapeño pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped 3 tsp. ancho chili powder 1½ tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. Mexican oregano (epazote) or regular oregano 28 oz can diced tomatoes, preferable fire roasted 1 tsp. sugar 1½ tsp. salt Roasted Sweet Poatoes 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1¼ lbs) ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. Mexican oregano (epazote) or regular oregano 1 Tbsp. olive oil ⅛ tsp. cayenne Filling 3 Tbsp. olive oil 8 cloves garlic, minced ½ lb. kale, washed, stem removed, and chopped finely ½ tsp. ground cumin 1 14 oz...

Chicken Pot Pie

What the Hell? Chicken Pot Pie Dammit! You know it. You you crave it. You love it. Yes, it’s a little time consuming. Yes, there are a lot of steps. Good comfort food takes time, quit complaining and cook! This is very free form. Add any veggies you like. Have fun and experiment. It’s pot pie dammit. It’s suppose to be fun and comforting. What the hell should I drink? Cheap white wine. Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde is fantastically cheap and remarkably tasty. Light and slightly bubbly. It will be your new go to chugger. What the hell should I listen to? Itchy Chicken by Los Straightjackets Chicken Pot Pie   Print Prep time 30 mins Cook time 1 hour 40 mins Total time 2 hours 10 mins   Chicken Pot Pie Dammit! You know it. You you crave it. You love it. Yes, it’s a little time consuming. Yes, there are a lot of steps. Good comfort food takes time, quit complaining and cook! This is very free form. Add any veggies you like. Have fun and experiment. It’s pot pie dammit. It’s suppose to be fun and comforting. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Winner. Winner. Chicken Dinner Cuisine: American Serves: 8-10 Ingredients Chicken 2½ lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken boobs 8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled ½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper ½ tsp. poultry seasoning ½ tsp. onion powder Roasted veg 1 C. diced turnips, about 1 medium (I like ½” dice) 4 C. diced red potatoes, about 3 large (I like to keep the skins on and ½” dice) 2 Tbls. olive oil 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. dried thyme ½ tsp. dried, crushed rosemary Filling 1 Tbls. olive oil 1...

Marinara Sauce

What the Hell? Simple, versatile and tasty red sauce. Not only is it great as a pasta sauce, it’s also a fantastic pizza sauce and adds some sass to soups or tomato based chowders. Use it, abuse and love every minute of it. What the hell should I drink? Red, red, wine. A full, sock you in the face, oaky Cabernet would be my first choice. What the hell should I listen to? I can never get enough pasta. Can’t get enough of you, baby by, ? and the Mysterians seems fitting. Marinara Sauce   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 2 hours Total time 2 hours 20 mins   This is my go-to, basic red sauce. It’s easy, makes a ton and freezes very well. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Basic Sauce Cuisine: Italian Serves: 10 Ingredients 3 Tbls. olive oil 3 C. chopped yellow onion 1 Tbls. sugar ¼ C. minced garlic 2 tsp. kosher salt 2 tsp. dried basil 2 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. dried thyme ½ tsp. dried, crushed rosemary 3 bay leaves 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp. fennel seeds, crushed 2 Tbls. balsamic vinegar 2 C. vegetable broth 3 (28 oz) cans no-salt-added crushed tomatoes (I really like Cento brand) Instructions Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sugar and next 9 ingredients (through fennel seeds); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook over very low heat for 2 hours or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Optional I like my sauce really smooth. Once it’s finished cooking, I puree my sauce with an immersion blender....

Connie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies...

What the Hell? The best, chewy, gooey, most amazing, chocolate chip cookie you will ever shove in your unworthy pie hole. The recipe was painstakingly crafted by my friend Connie Hansen. She is a cookie savant. She is making the world a better place, one cookie at a time. She sells her delicious gifts of cookie love locally in Columbus, Ohio. If you are ever in the area be sure to order a batch from her. Check out Constance Cravings for more details and to see all of her other cookie offerings. What the hell should I drink? Most folks would say milk is a chocolate chip cookies’ best friend. I’m not gonna deny this, but I’ve got to say, a nice White Russian goes really well with chewy, chocolate chip cookie goodness. What the hell should I listen to? A classic cookie, needs some classic rock. Unchained by Van Halen. Yes! Connie’s Chocolate Chip Cookies   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 50 mins Total time 1 hour 10 mins   This is the best chewy, fulfilling chocolate chip cookie EVER! It will change your life, it’s that good. This recipe was perfected by my friend Connie. She wants to make the cookie world a better place. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Cookie Cuisine: Yummy Serves: 30 Ingredients Dry 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 3½ C. unbleached, all-purpose white flour Wet 2 sticks unsalted butter, soften (room temperature) 1 C. dark brown sugar, firmly packed 1 C. light brown sugar, firmly packed ⅓ C. white granulated sugar 2 lg. eggs 4 tsp. pure vanilla extract 2 12ozs bags semi-sweet chocolate morsels Instructions Preheat oven to 375° In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. It’s...

Chocolate and peanut butter sandwich cookies...

What the Hell? Mmmmmm chocolate. Mmmmmm peanut butter. Mmmmmmm sandwich cookies. What the hell should I drink? A big, thick, chocolate stout. Rogue Chocolate Stout is yummy. What the hell should I listen to? Get out of my way by Roachpowder. It’s what you’ll be saying to anyone who tries to block your ingestion of these babies. Chocolate and peanutbutter sandwich cookies   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 40 mins Total time 1 hour   Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Cookie Cuisine: Yummy Serves: 20 Ingredients Dry ingredients 2½ C. unbleached, all purpose flour ½ C. unsweetened coco powder 1½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. salt Wet ingredients 2 sticks unsalted butter 1 C. sugar 2 tsp. vanilla extract Filling 1 C. smooth peanut butter ¼ C. confectioners sugar Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, coco powder, and baking powder. Set aside. In a second large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla mix until well combined. Gradually add in flour mixture, mix well. Dough will be a little dry. Use your hands to form dough into a large ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 5-10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll to ⅛” thick. Use 3″ circular cookie cutter (or whatever tickles your pickle). Make 40 circles. Use a cake decorating tip and cut holes into the center of 20 of the circles. Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 7 minutes. DO NOT over bake! Cookies should still look slightly moist when you take them out of the oven. Let cookies rest on cookie sheet for 10 minutes to continue baking and firm up. Move...

Jammy Dodgers with Raspberry & Almonds...

What the Hell? I love Jammy Dodgers and I love almond cookies. Why shouldn’t they live together in one happy cookie? Now they can. Tangy raspberry burst with smooth and rich almonds all in a happy sandwich cookie of love. What the hell should I drink? A nice fruity lambic is the way to go. Lindemans Framboise would be a lovely raspberry slap in the face and work wonderfully these babies. What the hell should I listen to? Psychotic Reaction by The Count Five. It’ll give your sugar buzz something to shake to. Almond Raspberry Cookies   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 45 mins Total time 1 hour 5 mins   I love Jammy Dodgers and I love almond cookies. Why shouldn’t they live together in one happy cookie? Now they can. Tangy raspberry burst with smooth and rich almonds all in a happy sandwich cookie of love. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Cookie Cuisine: Yummy Serves: 20 Ingredients Dry ingredients 2½ C. unbleached, all purpose flour ½ C. almond meal (finely ground almonds) 1½ tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. salt Wet ingredients 2 sticks unsalted butter 1 C. sugar 1 Egg 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. almond extract Filling ¾ C. raspberry preserves 1 Tbsp. meringue powder Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, almond meal, and baking powder. Set aside. In a second large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. About 10 minutes Add egg, vanilla and almond extract, mix until well combined and the sugar is no longer gritty. Gradually add in flour mixture, mix well. Dough may be a little dry. Use your hands to form dough into a large ball. Cover with...

Veggie Potato and Mushroom Soup...

What the Hell? Roasted taters, garlic and mushrooms! A tasty triumvirate. So simple, so yummy you’ll lick the bowl clean. What the hell should I drink? Russian Imperial Stout. Mmmmmm thick and hearty, liquid doom.  Stone Imperial Russian Stout is a powerful mouthful. What the hell should I listen to? The Tubes, of course. Duh. White Punks on Dope. Veggie Potato and Mushroom Soup   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 20 mins   Roasted taters, garlic and mushrooms! A tasty triumvirate. So simple, so yummy you’ll lick the bowl clean. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Cuisine: No idea Serves: 4 Ingredients 4 medium yellow flesh potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½” chunks 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, quartered 10 cloves of garlic, peeled 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced 4 C. vegetable broth 1 tsp. dried thyme pinch of cayenne pepper 2 bay leaves salt and pepper to taste Garnish shredded cheddar cheese Instructions Preheat oven to 450 degrees Place potatoes and garlic in a shallow roasting pan and drizzle with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; stir to coat. Bake for 15 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir Bake an additional 15 minutes or until potatoes and mushrooms are browned. In a large sauce pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Saute onions and leeks for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, broth, thyme and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 25 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard. Puree half of soup with an immersion blender or food processor. Return to pot, stir and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls...

Veggie Black Bean Soup...

What the Hell? Fiber! Fiber! Fiber! Tasty and delicious fart fuel! Fill your belly and treat your body right with this healthy and hearty soup. This recipe makes a shit-ton! You will need a very large Crock Pot to hold it all. This freezes very well. What the hell should I drink? A good ale would sit right with this. Bells Two Hearted Ale is lovely. If you’re more of a wino, something fruity with low tannin would be best. In my opinion, tannins and black bean are not yummy. A nice Beaujolais or fruity Zinfandel would fit the bill. What the hell should I listen to? A big black bean soup need some Big Black. Cables by Big Black is my choice. Veggie Black Bean Soup   Print Prep time 1 hour Cook time 8 hours Total time 9 hours   Fiber! Fiber! Fiber! Tasty and delicious fart fuel! Fill your belly and treat your body right with this healthy and hearty soup. This recipe makes a shit-ton! You will need a very large Crock Pot to hold it all. This freezes very well. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Cuisine: Southwesternish Serves: 10 Ingredients 1 lb. dry black beans (or 4 15-ounce cans of black beans if you don’t want to deal with dry beans) 8 C. water (6 cups if you’re using canned beans) 1 C. carrot, chopped 1 C. celery, chopped 1 large red onion, chopped 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 8 cloves garlic, crushed 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced ¼ C. dry lentils ½ C uncooked white jasmine rice 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 Tbsp. chili powder 2 tsp. ground cumin 2 tsp. dried oregano...

Veggie Chili

What the Hell? No bell peppers! Bring on the root vegetables and squash to bulk up this bitch! This is a very spicy chili. It’s a slow, forehead sweating, nose running, put hair on your teeth kinda burn. If you’re not a fan of spicy don’t make this or cut back on the chipotles and adobe sauce. You have been warned. What the hell should I drink? A nice porter would sit well with this chili. Great Lakes Edmond Fitzgerald Porter is yummy. What the hell should I listen to? Something with a melancholy 80s synth vibe. Hold On (Goodbye To All Of That) by Crippled Black Phoenix, fits the bill. Veggie Chili   Print Prep time 30 mins Cook time 45 mins Total time 1 hour 15 mins   Warm your guts with this hearty, spicy and veggie rich chili. It’s a slow, forehead sweating, nose running, put hair on your teeth kinda burn. If you’re not a fan of spicy don’t make this or cut back on the chipotles and adobe sauce. You have been warned. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Vegetarian Cuisine: Southwestern Serves: 6 Ingredients 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large yellow onion, diced 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 turnip, cut into ½-inch pieces 1 large sweet potato, cut into ½-inch pieces 3 C. peeled, seeded butternut squash, cut into ½-inch pieces 2 Tbsp. chili powder 2 Tbsp. ground cumin 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. thyme 1 tsp. oregano 2 bay leaves 1 26 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce 2 C. vegetable stock 2 C. chopped kale 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained 2 C. roasted corn 2...

Veggie Pasta Soup

What the Hell? So damn easy your dog could make this! If you can boil water, you can make this soup. This is my bastardized, vegetarian version of Italian Wedding Soup. Packed full of vitamins, it’s so tasty you won’t even realize how healthy it is. Popeye would get a boner over this soup. If you plan ahead you can serve this with the Crusty Bread Ball and pack your belly full of homemade goodness. What the hell should I drink? Your favorite cheap wine, jug or box. Go ahead, treat yourself, you know you love it. What the hell should I listen to? Dance around to a little Italian glam with Guida! Don’t stop rockin’ Veggie Pasta Soup   Print Prep time 5 mins Cook time 30 mins Total time 35 mins   This is soup is very similar to Italian Wedding Soup, but uses fake meat crumbles instead of meatballs. Super easy and very tasty. Yes, you will have spinach stuck in teeth after eating this. Enjoy with a friend and pick each others teeth. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Cuisine: Italian-ish Serves: 4 Ingredients 1 14.5 oz can of Italian-style diced tomatoes (with garlic, oregano and basil) 6 C. vegetable broth 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning 4 oz. smallish pasta (elbow macaroni or small shells or mini-bow ties, whatever tickles your pickle) 12-16 oz. of ground meat substitute (Boca crumbles or Quorn crumbles or rehydrated TVP, whatever puts a breeze in your sails) 4 C. (5oz.) chopped, fresh spinach salt and pepper to taste 2-3 Tbsp. fresh grated Parmesan cheese Instructions Bring tomatoes, broth and Italian seasoning to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Add pasta, ground meat substitute, spinach, and Italian seasoning....

Veggie Lentil Stew

What the Hell? Lentil soup! With mushrooms and roasted veggies! Warm, hearty, satisfying and it’s really good for you! So full of fiber your colon will thank you. Chow down, gas up and dutch oven your loved ones! Farts always equal funny. Fact. This is fantastic with the Crusty Bread Ball. What the hell should I drink? A nice porter or stout would be a fine choice. Old Rasputin is lovely. What the hell should I listen to? “Out in the cold wind, out in the snow.” Dead Meadow – What needs must be. Veggie Lentil Stew   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 20 mins   Yummy, hearty, full of texture and fiber. Perfect for a cold winter day with some rustic, crusty bread and a nice dark ale. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Serves: 8 Ingredients Roasted veggies 2 C. corn – fresh from the cob is best, but thawed frozen works too. ½ C. diced carrots 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 1 Tbsp. minced garlic 1 Tbsp. olive oil salt and pepper Soup 1 Tbsp. olive oil 8 oz. chopped crimini or mini-bella mushrooms 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 medium red onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste 6 cups vegetable broth 1½ C. dried, brown lentils, rinsed and drained 3 tsp. dried basil 1 tsp. dried thyme 1 tsp. poultry seasoning ¼ C. dry sherry Grated fresh Parmesan cheese Instructions Roast the veggies Preheat oven to 400 degrees Put corn, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil in a large roasting pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir the mixture to combine and spread out to a single layer. Roast in...

Cinnamon Toads

What the Hell? Halloween is right around the corner and it’s time to fill your pie hole with some hoppingly good cinnamon toads! Toads! Covered with cinnamon! The way nature intended. What the hell should I drink? Mulled wine or spiced rum spiked cider. What the hell should I listen to? Get in the mood with a little Cinnamon Girl cover by Loop. Sorry Neil, love your songs, I’m just not a fan of your voice. Cinnamon Toads   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 20 mins   Sweet, spicy and hopping good! Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Cookie Serves: 24 Ingredients Cookie Dough 3 C. unbleached, all purpose flour 1 tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. cinnamon 1½ tsp. baking powder 1 C sugar 2 sticks (1 C) unsalted butter 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla ½ tsp lemon zest Icing ½ C. confectioners sugar 1 Tbsp. meringue powder 1 Tbsp. + 1½ tsp. milk ½ tsp. vanilla 3 Tbsp. sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside. In a second large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and lemon zest, mix until well combined. Gradually add in flour mixture, mix well. Dough will be a little dry. Use your hands to form dough into a large ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 5-10 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll to ¼”-3/8″ thick. Use toad shaped cookie cutter (or whatever tickles your pickle). Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your cookie. DO NOT over bake! Cookies...

Chewy peanut butter cookies...

What the Hell? Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Full of peanut buttery goodness. The best peanut butter cookie you will ever have. What the hell should I drink? Milk. That’s all I got. I have no idea what booze goes well with peanut butter. You’ll have to figure that one out for yourself. Go forth and experiment! What the hell should I listen to? A song about peanut butter, of course! Peanut Butter by the Marathons. Dig it. Peanut butter cookies   Print Prep time 20 mins Cook time 1 hour Total time 1 hour 20 mins   Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside. The best damn peanut butter cookie you will ever eat. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Cookie Cuisine: American Serves: 36 Ingredients Dry: 1½ C. unbleached, all-purpose white flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 2½ C. quick oats Wet: 2 sticks unsalted butter, soften (room temperature) 1 C. chunky peanut butter ½ C. light brown sugar, firmly packed ½ C. dark brown sugar, firmly packed 1 C. granulated sugar 2 lg. eggs 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1½ C. lightly salted peanuts Instructions Preheat oven to 375° In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. It’s very important that these are sifted. I use a fine mesh strainer and a whisk over a large bowl to sift. Traditional hand sifters suck. Mix in oats. In a large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter together with a mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Add sugars until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour/oat mixture. The dough will be very stiff. You may have to mix the last bit of flour/oat mixture...

Spicy chicken tortellini soup...

What the Hell? Easiest soup on the planet. One pot and almost no chop. You don’t even have to know how to cook to make this. If you can use a can opener and boil water, you can make this. Impress your friends! What the hell should I drink? Something light and in the lager category. Not too hoppy, just beery, beer, beer. Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager is a tasty choice. What the hell should I listen to? Something loud and angry! I’m going with the Gallows – In the belly of a shark. Damnit! Spicy chicken tortellini soup   Print Prep time 5 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 25 mins   Easy. Easy. Easy. Yummy. Yummy. Yummy. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Soup Cuisine: Southwestern-ish Serves: 4 Ingredients 1 32 oz. box of fat free, low sodium chicken broth 1 16 oz. jar of salsa. (heat level of your choice) 1 tsp. minced garlic 1 15.25 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained 1 C. frozen corn 2 C. diced, cooked chicken 2 C. frozen cheese tortellini 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional) Instructions In a medium, heavy bottomed stock pot, bring chicken broth, salsa and garlic to a boil. Add black beans, corn and chicken. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add tortellini and continue to simmer until tortellini is heated through. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cilantro....

Big-ass Veggie Piroshki...

What the Hell? This is a recipe adapted from “Sara’s Piroshki” from a Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook I found Half-Priced Books. These are a little time consuming, but very easy to make, so don’t be a lazy ass. Once these are baked, they freeze very well and are great reheated in a toaster oven when you’re too hungover to make anything else. What the hell should I drink? A light, crisp white wine like a Vihno Verde or a nice hoppy IPA rocks pretty solid with these. What the hell should I listen to? With all the cabbage and cheese in these babies, hellish gas and an evening of good, old fashioned dutch ovening with your bed friend could be in your future. You too could be Like this with devil, enjoy this ditty by the Entombed. Big-ass Veggie Piroshki   Print Prep time 1 hour Cook time 35 mins Total time 1 hour 35 mins   Lovely, big-ass, potato, cabbage and cheese turnovers. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Vegetarian Cuisine: Russian Serves: 8 Ingredients Pastry dough 1½ C. unbleached, all purpose flour ¼ tsp. salt 1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes, chilled throroughly 3-5 Tbsp. ice water Filling 2 C. sliced potatoes 3 Tbsp. salted butter 2 C. finely chopped savoy cabbage 1 C. finely chopped onions 1 C. cottage cheese 1 C. grated, extra sharp white cheddar cheese 1 egg ½ tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh dill 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsely 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh scallions ¼ tsp. ground caraway seeds ¼ tsp. ground white pepper Topping 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water sesame seeds Instructions Pastry Mix the flour and salt thoroughly. Cut in the butter with knives or a pastry cutter until the mixture...

Crusty Bread Ball

What the Hell? No kneading. No fuss. This is by far the simplest bread recipe I’ve ever come across. It’s almost fool proof. This is an adaptation of a recipe from Simply So Good. This recipe will change your life. Seriously. Eat it! This is a very rustic loaf with big airy holes throughout similar to ciabatta. It’s crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. This recipe is for a flavored loaf. You can leave out the roasted garlic, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil for a plain, simple bread. Grab yourself a bottle of hearty red wine and some good cheese and have at it. Bliss I tell you! This is a big ball of bready bliss! If you don’t know how to make your own roasted garlic, I feel bad for you. You can learn if you click here. It’s super easy. You will thank me. What the hell should I drink? A big hearty red What the hell should I listen to? Here’s some inspirational music to get you started. Age of Pamparius by Turbonegro. Yeah, yeah, yeah the song has nothing to do about bread. It’s about mother fucking pizza! Crusty Bread Ball   Print Prep time 18 hours Cook time 45 mins Total time 18 hours 45 mins   No kneading. No fuss. Rustic loaf that’s crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. The key to this bread is baking it in a covered 3 or 4 qt. enameled cast iron pot. This is a must! It allows enough steam to build up to create the chewy crust. Author: Embrace the Cheese Recipe type: Bread Serves: 1 loaf Ingredients Bread base 3 C. unbleached, all purpose flour 1¾ tsp. salt 1 tsp. active dry yeast...