Beer Cheese Dip

Beer Cheese Dip

I recently came across Holidaily Brewing, a 100% gluten-free brewery in Colorado with incredible beer that is totally safe for celiacs. I absolutely love their IPA and their stout is the perfect, not-too-heavy, fall beer, but the real sleeper is their blonde ale which is mild but flavorful and perfect for cooking with.

As the weather in Chicago has suddenly started to feel like fall, and with football season right around the corner, I have been experimenting with some different comfort food snacks for during games and for outdoor get togethers with friends. I am always a big fan of recipes that are low mess, don’t require the oven and use ingredients that I am likely to have in the fridge at home. This beer cheese dip is all of those things and is a serious (socially distanced) crowd pleaser.

It is super cheesy with a little bit of spice and tanginess and the Holidaily Brewing Company blonde ale adds a perfect malty, hoppy flavor to balance everything out. I paired the dip with gluten-free pretzels but it would also go great with some warm bread or veggies. As we get further into fall, I have a feeling that this would also be delicious warmed up and paired with hot pretzels…it may just be something I try the next time I make it!

Ingredients: (Total Time: 10 minutes. Serves 6 ):

  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Fage 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup Holidaily Brewing blonde ale (or any other blonde ale)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp Worcester sauce

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or high powered blender and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Serve with pretzels, chips, veggies, warm bread or anything else your heart desires.
  3. Enjoy!

One Pot Quinoa Chili

One Pot Quinoa Chili

Well, it has been a while since I last shared a recipe and I am going to use the “2020 has been crazy” card as part of my excuse. Josh and I have been riding out the majority of quarantine at our parent’s places so I have been able to get a lot of feedback on some ideas I had been playing around with and, with a bit of trial and error, I’ve come up with a few recipes that are a big hit.

This One Pot Quinoa Chili has been a favorite with my family. It has a ton of vegetables, uses way less meat than standard chili, the quinoa lightens things up a bit and the clean up is really easy. It is full of flavor especially if you let it simmer for a few hours and makes a ton of food, which I see as a bonus because it tastes even better the next day. I also cannot stress enough how much better homemade chili seasoning is to store bought. Having control of the amount of each seasoning that you use makes such a difference to the flavor and the majority of store bought seasoning mixes have all sorts of additives, like gluten, which are completely unnecessary. Plus, the addition of cinnamon to this recipe adds a bit of sweetness and warmth that is seriously delicious!

I recommend topping this chili off with a dollop of greek yogurt, diced onion, cilantro and a bit of shredded cheese but it is excellent on it’s own as well. If you are vegan or vegetarian you can absolutely omit the ground beef all together add a bit more quinoa (maybe 1/2 cup) and this would still be a great meal.

Ingredients: (Prep Time: 30 min. Total time: 70 – 90 min. Serves: 8):

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef (I prefer 90/10)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 bell peppers (I like to do a few green and a few other colors), chopped
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1, 4.5 oz. can diced green chilis
  • 3 chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce, diced, plus 2 tbsp. sauce
  • 1, 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3, 15 oz. cans black beans (do not drain)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 heaping tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. oregano

Optional Toppings:

  • Cilantro
  • Lime
  • Diced onion
  • Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheddar
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium high and add ground beef. Cook until beef has just barely turned brown.
  2. Add in garlic, onion, bell and poblano peppers and cook until they start to sweat and cook down a bit (about 5 minutes).
  3. Mix in diced green chilis, adobo peppers and sauce and all spices. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add in quinoa and water. Stir until quinoa is well incorporated. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for at least 40 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. If you can let it simmer a bit longer, go for it, the flavors keep getting better.
  6. Serve with whatever toppings your heart desires!

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

I don’t care how basic it is. I love pumpkin everything. There, I said it and there’s no shame in my game. Lattes, bread, cookies, pasta, you name it and chances are I’ve made it and devoured it. But of all of the pumpkin treats I’ve made, these mini pumpkin cheesecakes are by far my favorite.

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Unlike traditional cheesecake that is labor intensive, requires a water bath and takes forever to bake, these mini cheesecakes take 30 minutes in the oven, have a super simple ingredient list and bake in cupcake tins. So easy!

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We were having friends over for the Steeler’s game on Sunday so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a batch.

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I’ve been making these for years with all sorts of flavor combinations using different fillings and cookies as the crust. For this batch, I used Goodie Girl’s seasonal Caramel Apple flavored cookies with pumpkin spice filling and whipped topping. They were to die for and the Goodie Girl cookies worked wonderfully. They had great crunch, and the caramel apple flavor added a really nice tart kick.

If your store doesn’t carry the caramel apple flavor, I think their toffee crunch or even chocolate chip cookies would work well also.

If you are looking for an easy fall treat that is perfect for parties, give these a try!

Ingredients (Prep Time: 15 min. TotalTime: 50 min. Serves: 15):

For the Crust:

  • 1 box Goodie Girl Caramel Apple Cookies (about 2 cups of crumbs)
  • 4 tbsp butter (melted)

For the Filling:

  • 12 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

For the Whipped Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners (you will need 15).
  2. In a food processor, pulse cookies until they are fine crumbs. Add in melted butter and pulse until well incorporated.
  3. Distribute cookie mixture among cupcake tins (about 2 tablespoons per tin) and press into the bottom. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until they just start to brown.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, greek yogurt, sugar, egg, vanilla and pumpkin puree until smooth.
  5. Distribute cheesecake mixture evenly among cupcake tins. Bake for 25 minutes until the middle isn’t jiggly and the top has browned a tiny bit. Once removed from oven, let them cool completely.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, whip heavy cream until peaks just start to form. Then, mix in cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin spice until they are well incorporated and smooth.
  7. Serve cheesecakes with a generous dollop of whipped topping and enjoy this delicious, seasonal treat!

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Inspired Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Fall Inspired Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Fall weather is officially here and I’m excited because I get to share the fall recipes I’ve been working on. As much as I love summer and warm weather, I also love the comfort food that comes with the season change.chebe-1.jpg

In my opinion, chicken pot pie epitomizes comfort food but can be a bit heavy. I decided to play around with a typical chicken pot pie recipe, lighten it up, and add in some fall flavors.

The filling is full of vegetables and is flavorful without being overly creamy. The crust is slightly more chewy than a typical pie crust, but I enjoy it because it feels more substantial and isn’t super oily.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This recipe is low mess since I made the filling in a large (12 inch) cast iron pan and threw the crust loosely on top before tossing it in the oven. If you don’t own a cast iron pan, you can still make this recipe by transferring ingredients into a pie dish and baking it.

I mentioned in a recent post that I’m working with Chēbē to create a few recipes using their baking mixes. I absolutely love their products because they’re versatile, grain free, and they taste great. I used their all purpose baking mix for the crust in this recipe and it worked wonderfully.

It was easy to work with and didn’t fall apart or crumble like some of the other crusts I’ve tried in the past. I have seen Chēbē products in Whole Food’s or you can order boxes through their website.

If you are looking for the perfect recipe to kick off fall with, give this a try!

Ingredients (Prep Time: 35 min. Total Time: 90 min. Serves: 6)

For the Crust:

  • 1 package Chēbē All Purpose Baking Mix
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into tiny cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together Chēbē All Purpose Baking mix and baking soda.
  2. Using a fork, mash the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly and well incorporated.
  3. Add in eggs, milk and water and mix until stretchy and smooth. Form mixture into a ball. If the dough is a bit dry, add in more milk 1 Tbsp. at a time.
  4. Cut two large pieces of parchment paper and lay dough between them. Roll into a 12 inch round and place it in the freezer while you finish the filling portion of the recipe (leave it in between the parchment paper).

For the Filling:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups shredded kale
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I use cup4cup)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add in onions and sauté until they  start to soften, about 5 minutes. Once softened, add in garlic, sage, carrots, celery, and squash. Sauté until the celery begins to turn translucent, about 5 more minutes.
  3. Add in kale and sauté until it just starts to wilt. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stir until combined.
  4. Pour in chicken broth bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir constantly until it  the mixture begins to thicken up, about 5 minutes.
  5. Once thickened, turn off the heat and add shredded chicken.
  6. Remove dough from freezer and peel off parchment paper. Lay dough round over the top of the filling mixture in the skillet.
  7. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  8. Remove from oven and allow the pie to cool for 15 minute before serving. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Crust Veggie Quiche 

Sweet Potato Crust Veggie Quiche 
There is nothing quite like a piece of buttery, delicious quiche. However, it’s generally a more heavy dish and I’ve found making a gluten-free pie crust to be fairly difficult. I fixed that by making a naturally gluten-free crust made of sweet potatoes.
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It turned out wonderfully and the sweet potatoes were a great substitute for a regular pie-crust. I am sure that you could experiment with this and try using potatoes as a crust instead of sweet potatoes. You can also be flexible as far as what you want to add to the egg mixture. Just try to keep the veggie ratios somewhat similar. I hope you like this recipe as much as I did!

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Ingredients: (Prep Time: 30 min. Total time: 90 Min. Serves: 8):

  • 1.5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. olive oi
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped kale (remove stems)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar (I used reduced fat)
  • 3 tbsp skim milk
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a pie dish with ½ tbsp olive oil.

2. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Then cut them into very thin slices, around 1/8 in. thick and layer them in the pie dish so that the bottom and the sides are covered. Place in the oven for 15 min until the sweet potatoes have softened slightly.

3. While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper until slightly softened (about 3 minutes).

4. Then add the kale, mushrooms and zucchini to the pan. Sauté them very briefly (about 1 min), remove the pan from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool to about room temperature.

5. Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

6. Add cooled vegetables to the egg mixture and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the pie dish with sweet potatoes.

7. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until the middle of the quiche does not jiggle.

8. Remove from oven, allow it to cool slightly before serving (about 15 min). Enjoy!