Pesto, Avocado, and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

Total time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 portion

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of whole grain bread of choice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup pesto (homemade or your favorite store-bought variety)
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat.
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place one slice of bread butter-side-down in the skillet.
  3. Generously spread pesto on the bread in the skillet. Then layer avocado slices and Mozzarella slices, followed by another layer of pesto.
  4. Place the second slice of bread, butter-side-up on top of the sandwich.
  5. Grill until lightly browned. Then flip sandwich and grill the other side until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden-brown. (If the cheese is not melting, you can add a lid to the pan – the trapped heat will help the cheese melt faster.)
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Labneh – Homemade Yogurt Cheese

How to make homemade Labneh for your next Cheese Plate

Labneh is strained yogurt cheese that you can make from whole fat yogurt. All you need is cheese cloth and a strainer.

Step 1) Line strainer with cheese cloth and dump all yogurt into cheese cloth. Place strainer with cheese cloth and yogurt over a bowl to let the whey from the yogurt strain.21st-labeh

Step 3) Bring the sides of cheese cloth up, and tie to cover top of the yogurt. Then place a weight on top of the tied cheesecloth to help press whey out of the cheese.

Step 3) Place the bowl containing yogurt in the fridge and let sit for three days.

Step 4) Take bowl out of fridge and unwrap the cheese cloth to test the density of the yogurt by touching it. Take the yogurt and dump into a bowl. Add any ingredients you want in your Labneh and mix together*.

Step 4) Roll Labneh into balls and place on cheese board or roll into logs, place onto saran wrap and roll tight. Keep refrigerated for up to five days.

*Labneh will take on the taste of any ingredients you mix it with, here are three recipes to try with you Labneh:

 

Honey Almond Labneh

  • 12 oz Whole Yogurt
  • (Use for converting into Labneh Cheese)
  • 4 oz Sliced Almonds
  • 2oz Honey

Once you convert yogurt to labneh, add sliced almonds and honey to a bowl with the labneh and mix until honey is fully incorporated.

Roll into balls and serve on cheese plate or roll into logs and store in fridge for up to five days

 

Olive Oil and Herbed Labneh

  • 12 oz Whole Yogurt
  • (Use for converting into Labneh Cheese)
  • 2oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1T Chopped Oregano
  • 1T Chopped Rosemary
  • 1T Chopped Thyme

After converting yogurt into labneh, dump labneh into a bowl, add all the ingredients and mix.

Once mixed, roll into balls and place on cheese plate and drizzle more olive oil on top, or roll into logs and store in fridge for up to five days.

 

Red Wine and Shallot Labneh

  • 12 oz Whole Yogurt
  • (Use for converting into Labneh Cheese)
  • 1 Whole Shallot
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 8oz Red Wine (Your Choice)
  • 1T Olive Oil
  • 1T Butter

Place sauce pot on stove and turn onto medium high, pour olive oil into pot and heat up

While olive oil is heating up mince garlic and shallot and place into sauce pot. Cook garlic and shallots until translucent.

Once garlic and shallots are translucent pour in 8oz of red wine and boil.

Once red wine is boiling turn heat down and simmer for 45 minutes or until red wine has reduced to a thick sauce. Once red wine has thickened add 1 T butter and mix.

Pour mixture into bowl and let cool in fridge for one hour.

After sauce has chilled, pull out labneh and red wine sauce and mix together until red wine sauce is evenly incorporated throughout labneh.

Roll into balls and serve on cheese plate or roll into a log and store in fridge for up to five days.

cheese-holidays

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Witches Cheese Broomsticks


These broomsticks are a fun Halloween treat that isn’t sweet!

Ingredients:

  • Pretzel sticks
  • Cheese sticks
  • Green onions

Directions:

  1. Cut string cheese into segments._DSC4664
  2. Put a pretzel into the end of each cheese segment._DSC4675
  3. Split the ends of the cheese so it looks like a broom. _DSC4678
  4. Tie a green onion around the top of the “broom.”_DSC4679
  5. Serve with other veggies and enjoy!Witches Broom Sticks (1)

Thank you to Florida Dairy Farmers for sharing this recipe with us!

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Homemade Cheesy Crackers

Ingredients:cheese crackers

  • Shredded cheese of your choice (try cheddar, swiss, pepper jack, etc.)
  • Parchment paper
  • Spices, if desired (pepper, chili flakes, garlic powder)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Shred cheese and spoon out tablespoon-sized clumps onto parchment paper. Space the cheese clumps about 1-2” apart.
  3. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of oven and let cool.

Learn more about this recipe:

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Custom Mac & Cheese

The cool thing about this recipe is that you use whatever you have on hand to make it, which makes it super easy and super convenient! You can add your own twists make it completely your own! Make a different version each week! Great for a quick dinner – and it makes leftovers easy for lunch the next day!

Ingredients (your choice, and you’re not limited to what’s listed!)

  • 1 box of Pasta (Elbow, Bow Tie, Spaghetti, Linguini)21st-custom-mac
  • 2 cups Cheese (Colby Jack, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Pepper Jack – or a mix of several)
  • ½ cup Milk
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • Dashes of Spices (Salt, Pepper, Garlic Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Dried Oregano – whatever you like)
  • 1-2 c. of Cooked Meat (Ham, Grilled Chicken, Ground Beef)

Directions

  1. Cook and drain the pasta.
  2. Return pasta to pot and stir in cheese, milk and butter on low heat until all cheese is melted and blended.
  3. Add spices and meat and continue to stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving and indulging!
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Luau Time Pizza

Recipe Created by:  Chef Jason K. Morse, CEC – Owner 5280 Culinary Spices. Chef Morse is a talented Chef and the Rocky Mountain Ace Hardware Grill Expert. These recipes adapt easily from oven, to grill, to wood pellet grill. Enjoy these fun creations at your next tailgate party or the Friday night pizza and game night. They are sure to be crowd pleasers. Happy Cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pizza dough, scratch made or pre-made (click here for our healthy dough recipe)
  • 1 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh diced pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded or chopped pork
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, sweet or smokey
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 fresh lime wedges

Directions:

PREP Instructions:

  1. PreHeat: Oven, Grill or Wood Pellet Grill as shown below (If using a pizza stone, place in the oven or on the grill when heating up to ensure the grill and stone are equally hot)
  2. Prepare the Pizza Dough Recipe or see Chef Tip: Use some Pre-Cooked Indian Naan bread.
  3. Place Dough or FlatBread onto a flat cookie sheet pan and top with ingredients as follows. If using fresh dough, lightly flour the cookie sheet to ease in sliding onto the pizza stone.
  4. Pizza or Flatbread Build Chart:
    1. Pizza Dough (rolled out, docked and on pizza screen or stone) or Naan Bread
    2. Pizza Sauce – Spread onto dough, leave ½ inch of edge un sauced
    3. Cheese – CHEF TIP:  If looking for lower fat option can use a skim milk or low fat Mozzarella
    4. Red Onion
    5. Pineapple, diced
    6. Pork, pulled or grilled strips
    7. BBQ Sauce
    8. Cilantro, Chopped – At the end as a garnish
    9. Lime, Juice – At the end as a garnish
  5. Grill or Wood Pellet Grill instructions: Preheat to 400 Degrees
    1. Place pizza onto the stone, or leave on the cookie sheet
    2. Close the lid
    3. Cook until pizza cheese is bubbly and golden
    4. Approx 14-18 minutes – center will be firm when dough is cooked and cheese is melted
  6. Oven Instructions: Preheat to 425 Degrees
    1. Turn on oven and place pizza stone in oven (if using)
    2. Place pizza onto the stone, or leave on the cookie sheet
    3. Close the oven
    4. Cook until the pizza cheese is bubbly and golden
    5. Approx 15-20 minutes – center will be firm when dough is cooked and cheese is melted
  7. Remove from the oven or grill, allow to cool slightly to set the cheese
  8. Garnish with the cilantro and squeeze of lime juice
  9. Cut into 8 wedges
  10. Sharing is optional!

Nutrition Data: per serving – based on 8 servings per pizza
Cal – 462
Fat – 11g
Sat fat – 4g
Chol – 40mg
Sod – 575mg
Carb – 69g
Fiber – 7g
Sugars – 9g
Protein – 24g

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Sweet Potato Bake

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • ½ cup chipotle-flavor creamy salsa
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 8 oz. Gouda cheese
  • 8 oz. Havarti cheese
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Peel and chop the onion. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and brown, followed by the onion. Once the chopped onions have caramelized, add the flour and chipotle sauce and stir for 1 minute.
  2. Add the chicken stock, heavy whipping cream, salt and black pepper. Stir occasionally and bring to a simmer.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 °F.
  4. Peel and slice sweet potatoes (1/4” thick round coins). Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Shred Gouda and Havarti Cheese, and mix well.
  5. Layer sliced sweet potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish, pour part of the sauce (from above steps) on top and sprinkle cheese on top.
  6. Repeat step 5 two more times (save ¼ cup mixed cheese). Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil, sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Place baking dish back into oven uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let set up for 5 minutes before serving hot.
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Harvest Veggie Pizza

Recipe Created by:  Chef Jason K. Morse, CEC – Owner 5280 Culinary Spices. Chef Morse is a talented Chef and the Rocky Mountain Ace Hardware Grill Expert. These recipes adapt easily from oven, to grill, to wood pellet grill. Enjoy these fun creations at your next tailgate party or the Friday night pizza and game night. They are sure to be crowd pleasers. Happy Cooking!

Ingredients:

  • Pizza Dough or Naan bread (click here for our healthy pizza dough recipe)
  • 1 1/4 cup Pizza Sauce of your choice
  • 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese Blend
  • 1/4 cup red onions, diced small
  • 1/2 cup green bell peppers, diced small
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced small
  • 1/2 cup ripe tomatoes, diced small (drained)
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs or Herbs de provence
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red or green pesto
  • 2 tbsp warm water

Directions:

  1. PreHeat: Oven, Grill or Wood Pellet Grill as shown below
    1. If using a pizza stone, place in the oven or on the grill when heating up to ensure the grill and stone are equally hot
  2. Prepare the Pizza Dough Recipe or see Chef Tip: Use some Pre-Cooked Indian Naan bread.
  3. Place Dough or FlatBread onto a flat cookie sheet pan and top with ingredients as follows. If using fresh dough, lightly flour the cookie sheet to ease in sliding onto the pizza stone (if using)
  4. Pizza or Flatbread Build Chart:
    1. Pizza Dough (rolled out, docked and on pizza screen or stone) or Naan Bread
    2. Pizza Sauce – Spread onto dough, leave ½ inch of edge un sauced
    3. Cheese – CHEF TIP:  If looking for lower fat option can use a skim milk or low fat Mozzarella
    4. Red Onion
    5. Red and Green Bell Peppers
    6. Tomatoes – Drained
    7. Minced Garlic
    8. Italian Herbs or Herbs de Provence – At the end as Garnish
    9. Chopped Parsley – At the end as a garnish
    10. Pesto – thinned with water. Drizzled over the finished and garnished pizza
  5. Grill or Wood Pellet Grill instructions: Preheat to 400 Degrees
    1. Place pizza onto the stone, or leave on the cookie sheet
    2. Close the lid
    3. Cook until pizza cheese is bubbly and golden
    4. Approx 14-18 minutes – center will be firm when dough is cooked and cheese is melted
  6. Oven Instructions: Preheat to 425 Degrees
    1. Turn on oven and place pizza stone in oven (if using)
    2. Place pizza onto the stone, or leave on the cookie sheet
    3. Close the oven
    4. Cook until the pizza cheese is bubbly and golden
    5. Approx 15-20 minutes – center will be firm when dough is cooked and cheese is melted
  7. Remove from the oven or grill, allow to cool slightly to set the cheese
  8. Garnish with the Italian herbs, parsley and then drizzle with the pesto
  9. Cut into 8 wedges
  10. Sharing is optional!

Harvest Veggie Pizza

Nutrition Data: per serving – based on 8 servings per pizza
Cal – 459
Fat – 14g
Sat fat – 5g
Chol – 28mg
Sod – 718mg
Carb – 64g
Fiber – 7g
Sugars – 4g
Protein – 20g

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Parmesan Cheese Crisps with Black Olive Spiders


Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces shredded parmesan cheese, NOT grated
  • 12 extra-large black olives

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. On a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet place two tablespoons of cheese in piles, 2” apart. Press down slightly.
  3. Top with olive spiders. (For the spiders, slice one olive in half, using one half for the body, slice the other half to create crescent shaped legs.)
  4. Assemble olive spiders on top of cheese and bake in preheated oven for 3-5 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  5. Allow to cool, and remove from baking sheet.

Makes 12

Thank you to Florida Dairy Farmers for sharing this recipe with us!

Spiderweb Parm Cheese Crisps

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Pumpkin Shaped Cheese Balls


Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 TBS butter, softened
  • 4 ounces mild cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 tbs flour
  • Pretzel sticks, rosemary sprigs, kale for garnish
  • Crackers

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, cheese, butter mustard and seasoning until smooth.
  2. Place into a bowl and chill for 10 minutes.
  3. If mixture is too sticky add a small amount of flour to mixture.
  4. Shape into circles and, using a toothpick draw lines along the sided to replicate a pumpkin.
  5. Use rosemary sprigs and pretzel sticks to create stems, and kale to produce greenery.
  6. Serve with crackers.

Serving Size: 2tbs

Serves: 16

Thank you to Florida Dairy Farmers for sharing this recipe with us!

Pumpkin Cheese Balls

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