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   Save 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...

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   Save 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...

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   Save 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,...

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   Save 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....

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   Save 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   Save 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   Save 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...

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   Save 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...

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   Save 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...

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   Save 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....

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   Save 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...

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   Save 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;...

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   Save 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...

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   Save 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   Save 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...

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   Save 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   Save 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   Save 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...

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   Save 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,...

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   Save 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...