Category Archives: Cheese

Ham and Cheese Pockets

Ham, sharp cheddar cheese, spicy brown mustard and refrigerated biscuits are a tasty dinner sure to please the family and help you use up the leftovers.

As the holidays have come to an end, I find that there are many tasty ingredients in my refrigerator worthy of being showcased. With a bit of help from store-bought biscuits, an impressive and easy meal was made. Once you’ve tried these, the filling options are endless! I simply served these pockets with a side salad for a complete and nutritious meal.

Yields 8 Pockets


1 Package of large refrigerator biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands biscuits)
2 cups diced ham
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, sliced or shredded
Spicy Brown Mustard
1 egg
sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, make your egg wash by whisking 1 egg and a splash of water to thin, set aside. Lightly flour surface. Roll a refrigerated biscuit to a 6 inch circle. Smear a thin layer of mustard in the center. Place 1/4 cup diced ham and 1 oz cheese just off from the center. Dampen bottom edge of biscuit with either water or I used the egg wash as it was next to me. Fold in half gently so not to tear dough. Gently seal with a fork. With a sharp knife, make 2-3 slits in the top. Lightly brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the dough is a golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve.

These are so easy and will disappear just as quickly as they were made. I did, make a few with ham, diced green apples, cheese and Dijon mustard. These were the kids favorite! Other ideas for filling would be pizza sauce, fixings and mozzarella cheese. Or, as a friend of mine suggested, use pie filling, and sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar for dessert.



Left: Ham, Spinach and Cheddar Cheese. Right: Ham, Swiss, Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Rosemary

It’s my day off and the kids return to school next week. They were kind enough to let me sleep in, but when I awoke, they were already asking me what I was going to make for lunch. It was only 10am but I suppose their breakfast cereal was quickly dissipating in their stomachs. Luckily, I have a plan.

My grocery store, Plumbs, had double pie crust on sale for only $.99 this week. I of course eagerly added this to my cart as I was on a budget this week. Who am I kidding, I’m always on a budget. My menu is usually centered around what is on sale.

Today, I pulled the pie crusts out of the freezer and began the very quick process of making Quiche. Once you have a basic recipe, the options are endless! I made 2, since my oldest had a friend over and teens can  sure eat a lot. The first one was pretty basic, I used ingredients that I knew the kids liked, although, I successfully managed to add spinach. My second one, was more for my taste and included spinach, swiss cheese, roasted red pepper and Rosemary.

So, what exactly is Quiche? I decided to educate myself as it was happily baking in my oven. The following information was found on Wikipedia:

In French cuisine, a quiche (English pronunciation: /ˈkiːʃ/) is a baked dish that is based on a custard made from eggs and milk or cream in a pastry crust. Usually, the pastry shell is blind baked before the other ingredients are added for a secondary baking period. Other ingredients such as cooked chopped meat, vegetables, or cheese are often added to the egg mixture before the quiche is baked. Quiche is generally an open pie (i.e. does not contain a pastry covering), but may include an arrangement of tomato slices or pastry off-cuts for a decorative finish. Quiche may be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, depending on local customs and personal tastes.

Yup, just what I thought. So, here is a basic recipe for Quiche. Let your imagination and taste buds create your own version, or use mine

Ingredients for 1 Quiche

1 Frozen pie crust (or make your own if desired)
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, gryue, etc..)
1/2 cup cooked meat (ham, bacon, sausage are common)
1/3 cup spinach (thawed and squeezed of juices, or canned and squeezed of juice. Fresh is wonderful too)
Up to 1/3 cup Additional chopped veggies, such as sautéed onions, roasted red pepper, mushrooms sliced. Careful not to add too many vegetables, as it can make the Quiche runny.
1 Tsp Fresh herbs (optional) I used Rosemary, but Parsley, Cilantro or Thyme would be nice too.
4 eggs beaten with 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place pie crust in oven to pre-bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Place meat, veggies and cheese in crust and pour egg/milk mixture over combination. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, lower heat to 350 degrees and finish baking for about 35 minutes or until eggs are set. Cover the edges of crust with aluminum foil if it begins to brown too much. Let cool for at least 5 minutes, slice and serve.

1 pie yields 6 servings

Zesty Italian Subs Pizzaria Style

Cody was craving an Italian sub from the local delivery place. The cost $7.99 + tax and delivery. This got me thinking and I made a trip to the grocery store. For the price of 1 sub, I bought enough ingredients to make 6 subs!

Sub-style buns
Deli ham
Deli hard salami
Provolone cheese slices
Lettuce shredded
Bannana peppers sliced (mild yellow in a jar)
Onions (optional)
Zesty itallian dressing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a piece of foil, place bun and layer with ham, salami, pepperoni and provolone cheese. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Top sub with shredded lettuce, peppers, olives and Zesty Italian dressing. Eat right off the foil that its cooked on…no dishes!

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Bacon

I have a serious addiction to the BBQ Pizza at my local pizza place. For the price of this homemade pizza…I can make over 3-4 of them! Not to mention I can add more chicken and customize.

1 store bought Large premade pizza crust (I got mine from Plumb’s  bakery, made fresh that day)
1 Cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 large cooked chicken breast diced (I made extra earlier in the week so I would have leftovers)
3-4 pieces of cooked and crumbled bacon (also made earlier and used the leftover pieces)
Thinly sliced red onion to taste
About 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (Buy on sale and freeze…keeps very well)
1 TBS butter or margarine
2 TBS toasted sesame seeds (optional, but highly recommended)

Spread BBQ sauce with the back of a large spoon onto crust avoiding edges. Sprinkle with Chicken, Bacon, sliced Red Onion and top with Mozzarella Cheese avoiding crust. With a basting brush, lightly coat crust with softened butter, sprinkle crust with toasted sesame seeds. Place pizza directly on the rack of a pre-heated 375 degree oven until ingredients are warmed and cheese is melted. About 12-15 minutes.

Other Topping Ideas:
Sliced Hot pepper Rings
Turkey Bacon

Perfect Panini

Panini’s are no more than adult grilled cheeses. This one is made with Ham, provolone,red onion slices, spinach and tomato with a few more touches. The bread needs to be the good deli kind, crusty and hearty. Serve with a side salad or your favorite cold pasta salad…perfect picnic food or lunch for company!


1 Loaf crusty bread cut into 1/2 inch slices. (I used sourdough, feta and spinach bread from family fare, just baked)
Deli shaved ham (Virginia baked was on sale or your favorite)
Deli sliced smoked Provolone cheese
Sliced tomato
Baby spinach (I used the organic on sale prewashed)
Thinly sliced red onion
Fresh ground salt and Pepper
Pinch of dried Oregano
Olive oil

Spray grill pan with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat at med-high. Brush outsides of bread with olive oil. Salt and pepper tomatoes and sprinkle with oregano. Layer on bottom piece of bread, ham, cheese, onion,tomato and baby spinach. Top with 2nd piece of bread. Place Panini on preheated grill pan. Weigh sandwich with a cast iron skillet or a clean brick covered with foil. Cook 3-5 minutes or until grill marks are dark brown. Flip Panini and weigh down with skillet or brick for another 3-5 minutes until done. Let sit 1-2 minutes before cutting in half.

Serve with a side salad or favorite cold potato or pasta salad.

Try this with any flavor bread, cheese, chicken, turkey, peppers, avocado, mushrooms….let your imagination lead your tastbuds!

Philly Cheesesteak Panini with Au Jus

This is a fun way to have all of the flavors of a Philly Cheesesteak in a Panini. Make your own Au Jus it’s simple and tastes better than the dry packet from the store.

This recipe makes up to 4 Panini’s

Ingredients for Panini
3/4 pound sliced roast beef from your grocery deli
8 slices swiss cheese
1 sweet red pepper cleaned and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 sweet green pepper cleaned and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 med. Vidalia onion peeled, halved and sliced into 1/4 inch half moon slices
8 slices of a good hearty sourdough bread from your bakery
2 TBS EVOO 1 to saute onions and peppers, the other to lightly brush outside of bread slices

Au Jus
3 cups beef broth
3 TBS finely diced onion
1 tsp finely diced garlic
1 TBS flour
4-5 dashes Worchestershire Sauce
Pepper to taste

Directions: Slice peppers and onions into 1/4 inch strips. Saute in EVOO until slightly tender but not soggy. Set aside. Lightly brush the outside of bread slices with EVOO. Layer bread slice with cheese, roast beef, peppers and onions, another slice of cheese and top with bread slice. Place Panini on a hot grill pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Place a heavy cast iron skillet over sandwich to weigh it down. When 1st side is done, flip and repeat. Serve with Au Jus.

Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, heat EVOO and gently cook diced onion over medium heat careful not to brown onion. When onion is tender, add minced garlic. Cook 1 minute more. Add 4-5 dashes Worchestershire Sauce and flour. Stirring mixture with a wire whisk, cook flour for 30 seconds to 1 minute careful not to burn. Slowly add beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve.

Place Au Jus into small bowl for dipping your Philly Cheesesteak Panini.