Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

I’ve always preferred the savory over the sweet, so the “muffins” I’ve made almost always are cheese muffins or mini pot pies. For the upcoming St Patrick’s day I decided to go for something green, so today I’m sharing how I made Broccoli and Cheese Muffins. They only require a handful of ingredients and I prefer if I have to make something green to use something already naturally colored green like broccoli rather then food dyes. I’ve also shared other recipes that would be perfect for St Patrick’s day and are naturally green previously plus a mini Reuben recipe to get bites of your corned beef perfect for a party.
Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins, a natural green food for St Patricks Day or any day. You can make muffin sized ones which are nice and portable snacks, or do mini muffin ones for a party. Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins, a natural green food for St Patricks Day or any day. You can make muffin sized ones which are nice and portable snacks, or do mini muffin ones for a party.

You can see I made these in both my mini muffin tins and in my regular muffin tins. The mini muffin versions are great for a party, while I preferred the regular muffin size ones because I just want to eat more broccoli and cheddar please. One batch of the recipe should make 40 mini muffins, or a dozen of the regular muffin size ones.
Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins, a natural green food for St Patricks Day or any day. You can make muffin sized ones which are nice and portable snacks, or do mini muffin ones for a party.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of finely chopped raw or cooked broccoli
  • 1 3/4 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (you can use Irish cheddar if you’d like!), divided (1/4 cup will be used to top each muffin optionally)
    Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins uses your choice of cheese though I recommend a very sharp cheddar, you can even make it Irish Cheddar to stick to the St Patricks Day theme
  • 1/3 cup of finely chopped onion
    Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins; 1/3 cup of chopped onion. I love my onion chopper so I never will cry chopping onions again
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or torn bread (no crusts) or you could use crumbled buttery crackers
  • 2 eggs
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1.  The key step is to make sure the broccoli has as little moisture as possible – I’ve seen some recipes that use the broccoli raw and just grate it and then press the liquid out. Other versions boil or steam it then squeeze the moisture out. I decided to chop mine and then roast it in the oven for at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. If you still have too much moisture, the broccoli will be mushy and the muffins will not hold together as well or crisp up on the sides. The plus of roasting them like I did is that for 20 minutes is that besides cooking them for a bit, now your oven is already preheated for the Broccoli and Cheese muffins baking portion.
    Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins starts with 4 cups of broccoli, which you can grate raw to use or steam or boil or roast Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins starts with 4 cups of broccoli, which you can grate raw to use or steam or boil or roast
  2. Combine your 4 cups of broccoli with 1 1/2 cup of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for topping later), the 1/3 cup of finely chopped onion, and the 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs/torn bread/crumbled buttery crackers. Break in the 2 eggs and mix everything. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins. Combine your 4 cups of broccoli with 1 1/2 cup of the shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for topping later), the 1/3 cup of finely chopped onion, and the 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs/torn bread/crumbled buttery crackers. Break in the 2 eggs and mix everything.
  3. In each of the muffin tins, grease them a little to help remove the broccoli and cheese muffins later. Using a spoon, pack in each of the mixture, pressing on top with the spoon.
    Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins, In each of the muffin tins, grease them a little to help remove the broccoli and cheese muffins later. Using a spoon, pack in each of the mixture, pressing on top with the spoon. Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins, In each of the muffin tins, grease them a little to help remove the broccoli and cheese muffins later. Using a spoon, pack in each of the mixture, pressing on top with the spoon.
  4. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. I put a pinch from the last 1/4 cup of cheese on top of all the muffins at the end (they should be lightly browned by now) and let melt for a few minutes before pulling out of the oven. Let them cool a bit before attempting to remove them, and use a plastic instead of a metal knife to help loosen the edges of the Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

This gorgeous slate board that I plated the crispy on the sides and cheesy broccoli insides muffins and mini muffins is from Slateplate, a small business located in North Carolina. You can see it is a gorgeous black color, and on their site you can order them in a variety of sizzes, ranging from square plates for a dramatic dish during dinner or boards for the middle of the table that are rectangular as large as 12 x 24 to put together the ultimate cheese and charcuterie platter.
Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins, a natural green food for St Patricks Day or any day. You can make muffin sized ones which are nice and portable snacks, or do mini muffin ones for a party.

I love the fact that it comes with acrylic feet so it is a bit easier to pick up (and they will stay on unlike others with the cork feet), and optionally you can choose to order one with handles, and for a personalized touch you can even have it engraved! The slate is dishwasher safe, which most slate plates are not.

The slate is 100% sourced and manufactured in the US, and the slate is sealed using a food safe mineral oil (this also means you won’t see staining from softer food like cheeses being on the slate). Another interesting use is that these slate plates can be warmed up to 200 degrees F in the oven or in the freezer or fridge, to help keep your food a little warmer or colder when you are serving it.

It’s always been annoying taking some food photos as I try to work around the light and white plates especially in winter – but this photoshoot literally took only a few minutes because of how good this plate made the food look. Special thanks to Slateplate for sharing this slate board with me, you will definitely be seeing it in more recipes from me in the future.
Recipe for Broccoli and Cheese Muffins, a natural green food for St Patricks Day or any day. You can make muffin sized ones which are nice and portable snacks, or do mini muffin ones for a party.

Disclosure: This Slateplate that I used was complimentary, but I was not otherwise compensated in any way and I was not obligated to promote Slateplate, I just really love the plate! I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

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Scallion Pancakes Recipe

I needed 2-3 bulbs of green onions or scallions (yes, green onions and scallions are the same thing!) for a tomato pie recipe with fresh cheeses and uncooked cherry tomatoes I was doing (recipe here!). I asked F to pick some of those up at the Portland Farmers Market. This is what he brought back – after I already took 2 bulbs to use is when I took this photo, with fork to scale.
Green Onions or Scallions from the Portland Farmers Market

Yes that’s right, instead of a few bulbs he brought me two BUNCHES of scallions. It was terrible timing too because I already had multiple meals on my calendar with others for the next week, and then I was traveling to California for work a day then more travel to see family. So, I knew I would have to freeze them.

Have you ever frozen scallions before? It’s pretty simple – wash and chop, and then place them on a pan spread out with wax paper or such, then put them in the freezer. After an hour or so, you can then transfer them from the pan into a freezer ziploc bag. This way, when you want to use them, you can just grab a handful from the bag and they aren’t already all stuck together in a block.
freezing Green Onions or Scallions from the Portland Farmers Market Freezing Green Onions or Scallions from the Portland Farmers Market

You can also make scallion pancakes, which are sort of a mashup between Indian paratha in that it is stuffed with in this case scallions within the bread, but it’s slightly fried and flaky on the outside and soft on the inside, almost like a cheeseless quesadilla. All you need is flour, water, scallions, and oil for this easy peasy Scallion Pancakes Recipe! And, you can even make these pancakes ahead of time and just freeze them too for an easy snack. This is totally vegan!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Sesame Oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, by which I mean the tiny ones that are the small size like a foot long at most and maybe 3-5 bulbs… not gigantic monsters like what brought me that are as long as my arm

Directions:

  1. First we’re going to make the dough since it has to rest a bit before making the pancakes. So, in a mixing bowl, mix the 2 1/2 cups flour (traditionally white, but I also make it with whole wheat flour) with 1 cup warm water until it forms a smooth dough. You can do this in a mixer with a bread kneader, or I just do it by hand by continually doubling the dough over and pressing down. If you are using a mixer you can even go up to boiled water – the reason why you want to use warm to hot water is that it breaks down the proteins so there is less gluten when you knead in the next step. This is because you don’t want the dough to be too elastic, and it will make it easy to roll out and stretch.
  2. Coat this ball of dough lightly in oil (maybe a teaspoon or so worth) and put it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
  3. During this resting time is usually when I do my scallion chopping.
  4. After the dough has rested, cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Lightly oil a working surface and roll out one of those four parts until it is a thin rectangle, it should be only a few millimeters thick.
    Scallion Pancakes Recipe, also known as Green Onions Pancakes - let rest for 30 minutes before cutting into four pieces
  5. With the back of a spoon, I lightly spread some more sesame oil, then sprinkled the chopped scallions
    Recipe for Green Onion Pancake, also known as Scallion Pancakes - Flatten each of the balls, brush with sesame oil and sprink with scallions
  6. Now, starting from one end, start rolling up the dough as tight as you can. Don’t worry if some of it tears a little bit here or there and you have a hole, just keep rolling. Adding layers is how we will get flakiness to the pancake, so this is step one of rolling.
    Recipe for Green Onion Pancake, also known as Scallion Pancakes Recipe - Roll each of the rectangles now brushed with sesame oil and sprinkled with scallions into a long tube
  7. Cut this long rolled tube in half, and then coil each of those halves individually into a circle. Let it rest, and continue with the other parts from the original ball. In the end you will end up with 8 coils which you will have let rest at least 15 minutes. Now you have completed step 2 of adding layers to add flakiness!
    Scallion Pancakes Recipe, also known as a recipe for green onion pancakes
  8. Now, roll or pat each of the 8 coils into a a ball and flatten into a smooth round pancake. At this point, you can freeze them if you’d like – just separate each pancake with a wax paper layer.
    Scallion Pancakes Recipe, also known as a recipe for green onion pancakes Scallion Pancakes Recipe, also known as a recipe for green onion pancakes
  9. To cook the pancakes, heat a pan on high with a tablespoon of oil. After the oil is hot, place the pancake gently in the pan so it doesn’t splash and it should start to sizzle. Let it cook on each side for 2 minutes, it should be golden brown when you flip it. Haha the ones I made below you can totally tell I didn’t pat them as flat because they are so full of scallions since I had soooo many.
    Scallion Pancakes Recipe, also known as a recipe for green onion pancakes

You can cut the pancakes into wedges to serve and dip. Some various dipping sauces you can use include gochuchang or other spicy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, or a mix of soy sauce (usually an equal part of soy sauce and rice vinegar, and then add ginger or chili pepper or a little bit of sugar per your taste).

Have you had Scallion Pancakes before? What sauce would you make alongside this Scallion Pancakes Recipe?

Have you ever sent someone to get you ingredients to hilarious results like my story with the giant bouquet of scallions I received?

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Cheddar and Swiss Fondue Recipe

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! In previous posts, I’ve shared a Gluten Free Cheddar Fondue Recipe and my favorite Brie and Blue Cheese Fondue Recipe, but this time for the day appreciating love I’m going with a classic combo here of a Cheddar and Swiss Fondue Recipe. This Cheddar and Swiss Fondue  is perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Night or any romantic night meal at home where you can snuggle in close together chatting and dipping.

Cheddar and Swiss Fondue Recipe

I’m a huge fan of cheese. So much of lover of cheese that when my bf (now husband) once mentioned he might filter his vegetarian food to include only cheese with vegetarian rennet, I told him outright “Oh… really. I don’t know if we are going to work out so much if you do…” A few days later, he said he would overlook only eating cheese with vegetarian rennet, just like he knows that beers sometimes (mostly not, but sometimes) could use animal product to help filter beer as part of the process. Most of the time this is not labeled anyway, so it’s really difficult to tell, be it cheese or beer. And so, it makes it ok that at least one romantic day a year, we have a fondue dinner.

And this doesn’t include usually when I also host a ladies wine share night that has a fondue theme. So I guess my fondue making in at least twice a year, if not more.

This Cheddar and Swiss fondue is perfect for F and I because rather then using wine, it uses beer – a light ale, so not too heavy. The Swiss cheese portion makes for it to be gooey which is fun when dipping bread and vegetables in (after pulling the item out of the fondue, twirl it a little bit!). But, the cheddar has great flavor, and combining the two makes it more interesting then just a mac and cheese sauce. Though, if you have any fondue cheese leftover after you’re full, you can totally put it in the fridge and reheat it in a pot to use it to make mac and cheese, which I have done before!

Ingredients
:

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (from 8 ounce cheese)
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese) from 8 ounce cheese)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mustard
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of a light ale or similar beer
  • 2 teaspoon of vegetarian (or normal) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions:

  1. I recommend grating your own cheese rather then pre-grated, you can do it the day before while watching This Is Us for instance. The pre shredded version in packages comes with other additives already. If you purchase a a 16 ounce block of cheese which is a common size, it will not take the whole block to make 2 cups,  only half, so it’s your choice to grate it anyway in case you want more fondue and you can add more cheese towards the end as needed or use it in some other casserole or something if you don’t!
  2. Peel the garlic clove and rub the inside of your fondue pot with a clove – your fondue pot could be an actual fondue pot that has on off/on switch, or you could use a regular pot, or a crockpot/slow cooker (which is what I used here). Begin to heat the fondue pot on high.
  3. As the pot is heating, mince both garlic cloves and add it to the pot. Once the garlic is sizzling a bit, add the cheese, followed by the ground mustard and start with pouring 1/2 cup of the beer. Let all the cheese melt, stirring.
  4. As you stir, add the vegetarian (or normal) Worcestershire sauce and ground in about a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper. Once everything is melded together, turn down the heat to low. Depending on the flavor and consistency, you may want to add a bit more beer. You will need to still stir your cheese once in a while just to keep it from solidifying, and possibly turn up the heat now and then.

For dippers, you can choose any kind of bread and cut into cubes – I sometimes choose a mix of white french bread with rye or pumpernickel. You could also use pretzels!

Cheddar and Swiss Fondue Recipe

I also like to have raw mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower florets, cut peppers, and cooked potatoes (either fingerlings or larger potatoes then cut smaller to be bite sized). If you aren’t trying to keep this vegetarian, you might also use sliced and cooked sausage (bratwurst for instance!) or meatballs or sliced steak or diced ham. Whatever you choose, e you could easily prep almost all of this ahead of time which makes it perfect for a romantic weekday night meal or when Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday like this year – all you have to do is melt the cheese, set out the dippers, and get close together over the pot!

Optionally, as another dish to offer something cold between the hot bites, you could offer a ranch dip – everything I mentioned above you can then dip either in the ranch dip or hot cheese. Plus now you can snack on chips while waiting for your cheese to melt.

Recipe for Cheddar and Swiss Fondue - add a cold option by also offering ranch dip you can also put all the same dippers for the hot cheese into the cool ranch

Maybe you and your other half have had these conversations already, but here are some ideas to help you get started while melting and dipping:

– Review the five love languages and talk about which ones are the ones you value

– If you suddenly won the lottery, what would you do? Where would you travel to and do there? Would you still work like now or what would you do instead?

– What movie or TV couple do you think is the best and which is the worst and why?

– If you have all the knowledge about me you do now but it’s an alternate time line where we didn’t get together and now  you are trying to have a conversation with me to get me to go on a date with you, what would you talk or propose to do to get me to agree? (both sides answer)

– What is your happiest memory of something we did together (wedding and children don’t count)

– What’s your survival plan during an apocalypse (varying types of apocalypse scenarios are ok haha!)

Have you ever made fondue at home? What would you choose for your cheese or dippers? What do you think would be an interesting conversation starter?

Recipe for Cheddar and Swiss Fondue

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Valentine’s Day Inspired Recipes using Strawberries

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I wanted to reshare some recipes from the past that you might want to consider for a Valentine’s Day with Strawberries. Well, you could use any of these for a Valentine’s Night date, or any date night, at home. I usually go into intense strawberry mode later in the spring/early summer when the intense Hood strawberries appear, but this time of year supermarkets seem to really want to push strawberries too and after walking by them so many times I ultimately cannot resist one of the sale priced big red berries.

Some of the offerings at the Hollywood Farmers market on Saturdays - Sea Scape Strawberries

F doesn’t like going out for Valentine’s Day – the hype is too much, and what says true love more then coming home and being in your comfy pjs snuggling and not worrying about PDA as we share a bottle of bubbly with candles and a home cooked meal? I don’t make all of these as it’s too much strawberry for us and perhaps half our meal is the bubbly – though I guess I’m prepared for a Strawberry themed Iron Chef if called to it.

Starter: Strawberry and Cheese Bruschetta (two options here, one with mozzarella and one with goat cheese)
Strawberry Bruschetta, vegetarian and easy to put together with fresh strawberries, basil, olive oil and balsalmic vinegar, and fresh mozzarella cheese on good bread Strawberry Bruschetta, vegetarian and easy to put together with fresh strawberries, basil, olive oil and balsalmic vinegar, and fresh goat cheese on good bread

Soup: Strawberry Champagne Soup, served with Champagne Ice, Pistachios and Mint as shared by restaurant H50

chilled strawberry soup served with champagne ice, pistachios and mint, H50 Bistro Bar, Hotel 50 restaurant, Portland, waterfront restaurant

Main Course: Shrimp and Strawberry Risotto in a Parmesan Bowl (you can make this vegetarian by instead of shrimp substituting asparagus to counter the balance of the strawberries).
Shrimp Strawberry Risotto in a Parmesan Bowl recipe

Dessert: Strawberry Fool Recipe is blended strawberries with the cut strawberries and the fresh whipped vanilla cream. Or just go with strawberries and melted chocolate and whipped cream or creme fraiche that you dip yourselves!
April Fool's Recipe with no Trick: Strawberry Fool Recipe is blended strawberries with the cut strawberries and the fresh whipped vanilla cream (Grand Marnier optional) PSU Portland Farmers Market Strawberries and Creme Fraiche

Or combine take inspiration from Pulehu Pizza, which made this Strawberries & Crème Flamee Fresh Strawberries, Lemon Zest & Fresh Mint on a creamy base. LOVE. L O V E

Pulehu Pizza Strawberries and Crème Flamee Fresh Strawberries, Lemon Zest & Fresh Mint on a creamy base, Portland food truck grilled pizza

What is your idea of romantic food? What would be your ideal Valentine’s Day meal?

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Cucumber Roll ups

I’m a sucker for all those cheesy and fried appetizers I’ve been seeing especially with Superbowl Sunday coming up this weekend. I wanted to share an option like these Cucumber Roll Ups that are easy to do that offers a healthy option and can also feed those who are gluten free, vegetarian, even vegan.
Slice cucumbers the long way to make cucumber roll ups for a healthy, vegetarian, gluten free bunch of bites for a party Slice cucumbers the long way to make cucumber roll ups for a healthy, vegetarian, gluten free bunch of bites for a party

The trick isn’t really a trick at all. And I’m not sure this is even a recipe. Basically, you use cucumbers instead of bread or crackers. I’ve shared how you can just slice cucumbers and top them with stuff just like crackers before.

Cucumber with cashew ricotta and pesto Saison Beer Ricotta on Cucumber

This version is a fancier version where you use a mandoline or a vegetable peeler to peel a cucumber along its length. You want about a 1/8 inch thick so it’s easy to roll. After you do each slice, lay it out to dry on a towel for a short period of time. There’s as lot of water in cucumber and by drying it as you finish slicing your cucumbers it will make it easier for whatever you want to roll it with stick.
Slice cucumbers the long way to make cucumber roll ups for a healthy, vegetarian, gluten free bunch of bites for a party

The possibilities of what you want to roll inside are endless. Red pepper pesto. Hummus. Other veggies or ham and some whipped cream cheese or sliced cheese. Turkey and greek yogurt, or just make curried greek yogurt on its own. Guacamole with a little queso. Smoked salmon. Any dip really you could put in here too. Anything you might make into a mini sandwich with bread or tortilla, use cucumber!
Slice cucumbers the long way to make cucumber roll ups for a healthy, vegetarian, gluten free bunch of bites for a party Slice cucumbers the long way to make cucumber roll ups for a healthy, vegetarian, gluten free bunch of bites for a party

What do you think you would put in your cucumber roll up?

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