Tag Archives: cheese

Jalapeño, Sausage, Jack, and Egg Breakfast Braid

Maybe you don’t like breakfast food and if not, too bad for you.  I’m going to cut right to the chase here – this Jalapeño, Sausage, Jack, and Egg Breakfast Braid is divine.  This delicious little package has eggs, cheese, turkey sausage, jalapeños and is full of flavor.  The recipe calls for chicken sausage with jalapeño peppers but I used hot turkey sausage instead.  The sausage combined with the peppers doesn’t overpower this dish at all but instead gives it just enough of a kick to keep eating another bite, and then another.  If you want to keep things a little more mild, you could use sweet turkey sausage here (or pork if you prefer).  I made this in June when my sister and 2-year-old niece were visiting and since I wasn’t sure if my niece would like the spiciness, I left out the jalapeños and used sweet turkey sausage.  It was just as delicious then but I really loved the fresh jalapeño pepper this time around.  This is a perfect breakfast to make for Christmas morning, in my opinion.  Go ahead and cut yourself a piece of this and see if you can keep from cutting another one.  It’s pretty much impossible.

The ingredients:

Cook onion and sausage in a skillet with the olive oil until sausage is fully cooked.

Add in slightly beaten eggs and cook until set.

Unroll the pizza dough and shape into a rectangle on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle cheese down the middle of the dough, leaving 2 inches on the sides.  Top the cheese with the egg and sausage mixture, remaining cheese, and chopped jalapeño.

Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the sides of the dough, about an inch apart.  Fold dough strips over the mixture diagonally, overlapping strips to look like a braid. 

Brush dough with egg white. 

Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None


  • Hot turkey sausage for chicken sausage
  • Reduced-fat Colby-Jack cheese for Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Breakfast Sandwich with Mango Chutney

When I end up at the office late and don’t get home until 8 or 9pm, my usual go-to quick dinner is an egg sandwich. My mom used to make fried egg sandwiches on toast with a thin layer of mayonnaise and I wasn’t comfortable with straying in order to make this Breakfast Sandwich with Mango Chutney. But this blog is all about getting me out of my comfort zone, right? As I mentioned earlier this week, I had turkey Canadian bacon in my refrigerator and this is a perfect way to use it. English muffins are spread with a little bit of mango chutney before being topped with slices of ham or Canadian bacon, a fried egg, a handful of cheddar cheese and then broiled. I was worried the mango chutney would make this too sweet but it brought the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and complemented the Canadian bacon deliciously. To add a slight crunch, I’d recommend toasting the English muffins first. I just might make this for dinner again tonight!

The ingredients:

Heat a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray over medium-high heat. Cook slices of Canadian bacon until fully cooked. Remove from skillet.

Crack egg into warm skillet and cook until it’s cooked to your liking.

While egg cooks, place English muffin(s) on a baking sheet and spread mango chutney on each slice.

Top chutney with slices of cooked Canadian bacon, fried egg, and a small handful of cheddar cheese. Place baking sheet under broiler until cheese has melted.

Combine halves and enjoy!

Additions: None

Omissions: None


  • Turkey Canadian bacon

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Turkey, Cranberry, and Pepper Jack Quesadillas

I made my own cranberry sauce this year for Thanksgiving and I will never buy canned or premade cranberry sauce again because mine turned out perfect (see note below for the link to the recipe I made). Unfortunately, of the six people who came to my house for dinner, only my aunt and I ate any of it which meant that I basically had an entire bowl leftover in my fridge. I figured, what a better way to take care of some leftovers than to throw them in a quesadilla? As a result, I came up with these Turkey, Cranberry, and Pepper Jack Quesadillas. Cranberry sauce, turkey, sliced apples, scallions, parsley, and pepper jack cheese are sandwiched between whole wheat tortillas and grilled until toasty brown. One thing I love about quesadillas is that they can be an appetizer, snack, or a light meal in a pinch. These quesadillas are sweet, tangy, and spicy and you’d never know they are from leftovers.

Turkey, Cranberry, and Pepper Jack Quesadillas (makes 2 quesadillas or 4 servings; 2 wedges per serving):

  • 4 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 McIntosh apple, sliced (or any apple of your preference)
  • 1/2 cup prepared cranberry sauce ( I made Basic Cranberry Sauce from Cooking Light)
  • 1 cup turkey breast, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese

Place two tortillas on a flat work surface. Spread 1/4 cup of the cranberry sauce on each tortilla; top with apple slices. Layer chopped turkey and 1 tablespoon each parsley and scallions on each tortilla. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese. Top cheese with remaining tortillas. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat (or heat panini maker to 350°). Place one quesadilla in the pan and cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side until lightly browned (top with another pan to flatten quesadillas as they cook, if necessary). Remove quesadilla from pan and repeat procedure with the remaining quesadilla. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve with sour cream if you like.

Thanksgiving leftovers used: turkey, cranberry sauce, apple, parsley

The ingredients:

Place two tortillas on a flat work surface. Spread 1/4 cup of the cranberry sauce on each tortilla; top with apple slices.

Layer chopped turkey and 1 tablespoon each parsley and scallions on each tortilla.

Sprinkle each tortilla with 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese. Top cheese with remaining tortillas.

I used my beloved Cuisinart Griddler® to make my quesadillas (heated to 350°).

Remove quesadilla from pan and repeat procedure with the remaining quesadilla. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges.

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Me 🙂

Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Crostini

I came up with this appetizer, Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Crostini, while trying to think of a flavorful appetizer I could offer on Thanksgiving. The result is a tasty bite with layers of delicious flavor. Baguette slices are toasted and topped with basil, roasted red pepper, smoked gouda, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This is an appetizer that can be made quickly if you are having a party or need a bite in a pinch. Come Thanksgiving, I hope I can steal a couple of minutes with the oven to make this because it is so tasty. I used roasted red peppers to save time but if you have fresh peppers on hand, roasting them is super easy (see below). When it comes to cheese, smoked gouda is my favorite hands down but any other smoked cheese will work here as well. This crostini is versatile too – consider tomato and mozzarella or apple and Gruyère here in place of the red pepper and gouda to make for an equally delicious appetizer. I have no doubt these will be a hit with both your vegetarian and meat-eating guests at your next get-together.

Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Gouda Crostini (makes 12 appetizers):

  • 1/2 French baguette
  • 12 pieces jarred roasted red peppers (about 1 1/2 inch in size)
  • 12 small fresh basil leaves
  • 12 smoked gouda cheese slices cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lemon

Note: To make your own roasted red peppers, cut fresh red peppers in half, remove seeds and ribs, flatten, and broil for 15 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place blackened peppers in a sealed zip-top plastic bag seal and let stand 15 minutes. Remove from bag, peel, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

The ingredients:

Preheat the broiler. Cut bagette into 1/4 inch slices and put into a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and place under broiler for a few minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile, pour balsamic vinegar into a small pan and bring to a boil over medium-heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid reduces by half (about five minutes).

Remove bagette slices from the oven and top each piece with a piece of roasted red pepper and basil.

Cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the basil. Top each basil leaf with a slice of gouda cheese.

Place under the broiler until cheese melts (about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes). Move crostini to a plate and, using a spoon, drizzle balsamic glaze over each crostini. Serve warm.

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Me! 🙂

Caramelized Onion, Gruyère, and Bacon Spread

If you like caramelized onions and need a tasty appetizer for any of the upcoming holidays, consider Caramelized Onion, Gruyere, and Bacon Spread.  This creamy dip can be spread on crackers, crusty bread, or crisp vegetables.  Onions are slowly sautéed until soft and golden brown before being mixed with gruyère cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, and bacon.  I used light mayonnaise, fat-free sour cream, and turkey bacon in this dish which helped to lighten it in calories without sacrificing any flavor.  I really like the addition of the chives in this dip – I just wish I liked onions more.  Before I started this blog, I usually either left onions out of a recipe or used shallots instead.  I’ve come a long way since then and cooked onions don’t bother me as much anymore but this dish was a little too ambitious for my taste buds.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a tasty dip.  Just make sure you like onions.

The ingredients:

Sauté chopped onion in non-stick spray over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and cook onions for 20 minutes until golden brown. 

Once onions have cooled, combine them in a bowl with cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, and crumbled bacon.

Pour into an oven-proof dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of reserved cheese.

Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None


  • Light mayonnaise
  • Turkey bacon

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Jalapeño Corn Muffins

Yesterday, I introduced you to a delicious version of chili, perfect for colder weather. Now, I have the perfect complement to such a dish – Jalapeño Corn Muffins. I searched out this recipe after being surprised by a similar corn muffin during a training session lunch break at my job. I don’t remember anything else I ate for lunch that day, but I remember those spicy muffins. So, I went in search for something similar and found these. Not only do these muffins get a kick of heat from a jalapeño pepper but they also have pepper jack cheese for a double-whammy. But these aren’t just hot – they are also buttery, cheesy, and perfect for dunking in a bowl of chili.

The ingredients:

Sauté onion and jalapeño in butter until soft. Move to a plate.

In one bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, buttermilk and melted butter.

Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture.

Fold in the onion mixture and pepper jack cheese.

Pour batter into 16 muffin cups and bake at 425ºF for 12-14 minutes.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: All You Magazine

Ciabatta French Toast with Warm Apple Maple Syrup

This recipe for Ciabatta French Toast with Warm Apple Maple Syrup has been silently taunting me for a few months.  First of all, anything with McIntosh apples has me at hello.    Second, these are stuffed with Gruyère cheese, a pale yellow cheese similar in flavor to Swiss, so the combination of the savory and sweet flavors in the dish peaks my interest.  Slices of ciabatta bread are stuffed with the cheese, soaked in an egg and buttermilk custard seasoned with nutmeg and black pepper and cooked in a skillet until golden brown.  The French toast is served with a thickened syrup cooked of apples and shallots.  There is something very homey, almost holiday-ish about this recipe.  The combination of the cooked shallots, apple and ciabatta reminds me slightly of Thanksgiving stuffing (not that it tastes that way, it just reminds me of it!)  This is not your mom’s French toast which probably has puddles of melted butter and maple syrup (albeit delicious!) but insteads appeals to a more savory palette.   Looking for something different for brunch?  Look no more!


The ingredients:

Wisk together apple cider and cornstarch in a bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in a skillet and add shallots, cooking until soft. 


Add in the apple cider/cornstarch mixture, apples and maple syrup to the shallots.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat, cooking until apples are soft.  Set aside to cool.

Cut a deep slit into the ciabatta bread and stuff with Gruyère cheese.  (I used individual ciabatta rolls because that was what my grocery store bakery carried.)

In a shallow dish, combine milk, buttermilk, nutmeg, egg, egg white, salt, and pepper.  Place cheese-stuffed ciabatta slice (one at a time) into the mix until coated on both sides.  (If using ciabatta rolls like I did, slice a thin layer off the top and bottom of each roll first to expose the inside of the bread for better coating.)

Melt butter in a skillet and add two ciabatta slices at a time, cooking until golden brown.  Repeat for the other two slices.

Serve french toast with apple/shallot maple syrup and top with toasted pecans.


Additions:  None

Omissions:  None


  • Shredded Gruyère for slices
  • Ciabatta rolls for bread

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine


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