Old Cheddar and Roasted Red Pepper Grilled Cheese

We really liked a grilled cheese sandwich in our house.  It’s pretty much a Sunday lunch staple, when we’re looking for something quick and easy after church.  And if we’ve been extra good, there’s usually two slices of cheese, one cheddar and one white slice (either white cheddar, or swiss, depending on what’s in the fridge).

However, sometimes you need a change.  I came across this recipe recently for a grilled pimento cheese sandwich, and thought it looked pretty tasty.  Here’s how I made ours!

I took about 1/2c of old cheddar cheese, and pulsed it in the food processor until it looked like this:

Cheddar

Next, I added some roasted red peppers, the equivalent of about 1/4 pepper.  You can roast your own, but for this, I bought a bottle of the pickled red peppers, which are also called ‘pimentos’.  I added them to the food processor next:

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Next I added a few cloves of garlic.  We used the bottled, pre-minced garlic, so it was about 4 cloves.  I also added two tablespoons of mayonnaise.  My two-year old also learned how to say ‘mayonnaise’ tonight, and shocked the rest of his family.

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Next, you will want to butter the sides of two pieces of bread, and toast them in the frying pan at the same time:

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You can then add your cheese mixture:

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And voila!  A very tasty and flavourful sandwich.  The two-year old ate more than three-quarters of the sandwich.  He kept saying ‘yummy yummy!’ and ‘num num num’, which is music to a mother’s ears!

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Fresh Tomato Soup

There’s nothing like fresh vegetables from the garden.  Especially huge, red, tomatoes.  These tomatoes were really big… almost too big, and really ripe.  I don’t think that I would have put them on a sandwich.

I managed to find myself a little helper for the task of making soup:

And there’s me.  I read the post on keeping Mom in the picture, and I got over it.

Anyway, this soup was really easy, and super tasty.  And as a bonus, I’m throwing in the garlic bread recipe!

Fresh Tomato Soup

  • Tomatoes
  • Broth
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Fresh basil and parsley
  • Pepper

Cut the tomatoes.  I simply quartered them and cut off the stem.  I left the seeds and the skin.  Put all of the ingredients in a pot and cook until the tomatoes are softened.  Notice I did not put quantities.  It does not matter.  Just make sure there is enough broth to cover the tomatoes, and you may need to adjust seasoning to your taste.  Once the tomatoes are softened, and the soup has cooled a little, blend the soup.  There will be little pieces of skin and seeds, and that’s ok.  If you must have soup that’s the consistency of canned soup, by all means strain it, otherwise leave it.  It’s ok!  And delicious!

With regards to the tomatoes, I used really ripe tomatoes, which made the soup almost sweet.  Apparently they use rotten tomatoes for ketchup for extra sweetness.  It’s up to you what you use, but I’d go for riper over greener any day.  Plus, it’s a great way to use them up before the frost hits.

Fresh tomato soup and homemade garlic toast

Fresh tomato soup and homemade garlic toast – Yummy yummy

We had some potato bread from the market, so I decided to turn it into garlic bread.  Hubby said “can you put cheese on it?”  Cheese is my best friend, so I did.  Here’s the recipe for garlic toast:

Garlic Toast

  • Bread
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Cheese (optional)
  1. Set oven to broil.
  2. Mix olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic together.  You’ll want between 2T oil, 2T cheese, 1T garlic, 1t seasoning for four pieces of bread.  Spoon oil mixture onto bread, and cover with grated cheese.
  3. Toast under the broiler until cheese is bubbly.
  4. Enjoy!

*Note* the extra cheese will add extra  oil.  You may want to halve the amount of oil on the bread so it’s not too greasy.

Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup

I apologize for the lack of pictures.  There are none… and more on that to come.

 
This past Saturday was our last Farmer’s Market of the year.  As a way to say thank you to the community for supporting us over the summer, the vendors each made soup to give away.  I made one of our favourites, roasted red pepper and sweet potato.  Yum.  Thinking that I’d get some for myself for lunch and take a picture of it, I didn’t take a picture ahead of time.  Which is too bad, because this soup ran out first.  Oh well.  Here’s the recipe so you can enjoy it, too!  It’s based on this recipe from Canadian Living, with just a few changes.

Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1T garlic
  • 1T Italian seasoning
  • 2C vegetable stock
  • Fresh herbs (basil, oregano, or parsley – optional)
  • 4T plain yogourt or sour cream (optional)

Method:

1.         Peel and cut the sweet potatoes.  Cut the red pepper and remove the seeds.  Place the vegetables on a cookie sheet on parchment paper.  Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables.  Add garlic and seasoning.  Roast at 450º for approximately 40 minutes, turning part way through.

2.         Puree the vegetables in a blender with the soup stock.  If the vegetables are dry, you may need to add a little more stock or some water to aid in blending.  Puree until you reach a desired consistency.  If desired, you can blend in the fresh herbs at this stage.

3.         Pour into a pot and heat on the stove.  Soup is ready when it is warmed.

4.         Serve with a dollop of yogourt or sour cream if you wish (Greek yogourt is our favourite!) and enjoy with a piece of bread.

 

I’ve also got some fresh tomato soup on the go… I’ll let you know how that one turns out!

Pumpkin Rosee Pasta Sauce

Another post with pumpkin without a picture.  It’s too bad they don’t last long enough, but I don’t consider it a bad thing.  I had some pumpkin left over after making muffins, and I wanted something different from the lasagna last week, so here’s what I cooked up:

Pumpkin Rosee Pasta Sauce

  • 1/4 c tomato soup or sauce (the hubby had tomato soup for lunch, and there was some left over, which led to the inspiration)
  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c alfredo sauce

This was all mixed together.  I added some milk to it to thin it out, because the pumpkin was thick.  I then poured it over some cheese tortellini.  Hubby thought that I should have mixed the sauce with the tortellini, added some roasted red peppers, covered it with mozzarella, and then baked it.  I didn’t have time, so we just had the sauce with the pasta.  It also could have used some pesto, but we were all out.  Hope you enjoy, and you experiment with pumpkin this fall!

Two Pumpkin Pasta Recipes!

“Necessity, who is the mother of invention.”  Plato, The Republic
Inspiration comes in many forms.  Monday night it came in the form of semi-soft oven-ready lasagna noodles.

I had made some pumpkin muffins over the weekend, and as always, there was a little bit of pumpkin puree left over (before you ask, this was the canned pumpkin, the kind that you just need to add an egg to to make pie, there were already spices in it… local pumpkins aren’t quite ready yet).  With my leftover pumpkin, I was ready for my pumpkin rolls.  I had gone to the grocery store and bought the ricotta cheese, and came home from work ready to cook, and all I found was oven-ready lasagna noodles.  I normally use regular noodles, boil them, and then roll.  It wasn’t going to work.  So off to google I went.  “Can I boil oven-ready lasagna noodles?” was my query.  In short, no.  Oven-ready noodles will fall apart if you boil them, but one of the chefs online suggested soaking them in warm water to soften them.  I tried that, and it worked, but I was a little impatient, so most of them broke.  I then conceded that I needed to make a lasagna instead.  And it turned out beautifully!  I would have a picture for you, but we needed to eat in a hurry Monday night, and then the leftovers disappeared surprisingly fast.

Pumpkin Rolls

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Cooked lasagna noodles
  • Pumpkin pie spices, if desired
  • Sauce (pesto or Alfredo is nice)
  • Mozzarella cheese, if desired
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.
  2. Mix together your puree and the cheese.  You may like more pumpkin and less cheese, or vice versa.  Add spices if your puree isn’t already spiced.
  3. Lay your noodles out flat, and cover with the cheese mixture.  Roll them up and place in a baking pan.
  4. Cover with desired sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Bake until cheese bubbles.

Pumpkin-Spinach Lasagna

  • lasagna noodles
  • Alfredo sauce
  • pumpkin puree
  • spinach
  • ricotta cheese – 1tub
  • cheese for top
  • pumpkin pie spices, if desired
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, and pumpkin in a bowl.  You may need to add some pumpkin pie spices, if desired.
  3. Layer your lasagna in this order: Alfredo, noodles, pumpkin, Alfredo, noodles, pumpkin, noodles, sauce, cheese.
  4. Bake until cheese on the top is melted, and the centre is cooked.

Vegetarian Cannelloni

My hubby recently came home with a package of cannelloni pasta.  They were the express kind, meaning I could put them in the oven without boiling them first.  I was anxious to try them.  In our house this year, we started doing ‘Meatless Mondays’, and I’m always looking for another way to eat my vegetables.  Let me tell you, these were a little finicky to work with, but the end result was pretty darn tasty.

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So the first thing I did was start with my spices in a small sauce pan.  I melted a little bit of margarine in the pot, and then I added garlic, fresh basil (we have planters in our kitchen), and some parsley.  I then threw in about half a cup of frozen spinach (I think… I use the Compliments brand, and it was three little balls of spinach).  When that was ready, I put in one tub of cottage cheese, and some Parmesan cheese.  Now for the tricky part: filling them.

If you have a better method of filling them, please leave me a message!  I first laid down a good layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of my 9×13 pan to lay the cannelloni on.  I then held the hollow noodle in one hand, using my palm to plug the bottom, while I used a spoon to put the cheese mixture in.  Once it was full, I transferred it quickly to the pan.  It made 18 filled tubes, which pretty much filled the pan, anyway.  I then put a lot of spaghetti sauce over top.  I used a whole bottle of Catelli Garden Selects. Once it was empty, I swirled a little water around in the bottle to get the rest of the sauce, and poured that over the top, too.  That was I was sure to get enough liquid to soften up those noodles.

They got pretty good reviews from the family.  If you are going to make them, they do take at least an hour to get ready.  The prep was about 20 minutes, and then they cooked for at least 40.  They’re a nice change from lasagna, though!