Tag Archives: cheese

Breakfast Cupcakes

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowMy original vision had a perfect sunny-side-up egg in a basket of crisp hash browns.  But then I remembered two things: hash browns burn and I can’t cook eggs.  It’s true, I almost always eat scrabbled eggs because that’s just how things turn out.

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowSo then my second vision was to make hash brown casserole.  You know, the ones with the cream-of-something soup and lots of cheese.  The ones every mid-westerner grew up with.  I’m not going to lie, that’s some good casserole and I wouldn’t mind a scoop or two; it’s been years since I’ve had any, but  I try not cook like that at home.  Throw cream-of-something soups in with boxed mixes and fried foods – just not for me in my kitchen.

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowThrough extensive Pinterest searching, I came across this recipe and it was exactly what I was looking for!  Crispy hash browns, cheesy goodness, lovely eggs, and easiness.  I only added bacon to half because a vegetarian was present, but feel free to up the bacon for your more carnivorous friends.

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowDon’t skip the onions, caramelized onions add sweetness and depth of flavor.  Also, don’t skip the initial browning of the hash browns.  Also, also, use LOTS of baking spray in the cupcake tin, you’ll thank me!  I think that’s all of my tips.  This recipe shows how you can have cupcakes for breakfast in an appropriate manner!  These can be served warm, room temperature, or even cold; plus they heat up nicely for later.  I think breakfast cupcakes would make a marvelous addition to your Easter party, or any brunch!

breakfast cupcakes | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Don’t get your panties in a bunch – Decorated Sugar Cookies

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Breakfast Cupcakes
Adapted from Tablespoon
Yield – 24 cupcakes

40 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely sliced
salt + pepper
4 pieces bacon, optional (8 slices in you’re adding to all the cupcakes)
14 eggs
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt + pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F and liberally spray 24 muffin tins with olive oil.
  2. Mix the thawed hash browns with oil, salt, and pepper.  Place a heaping 1/4-cup of hash browns in each muffin cup.  Press the hash browns down.
  3. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the hash browns are brown and crispy.
  4. While the hash browns bake, saute the onion slices in olive oil in a small saute pan.  Sprinkle in salt and freshly ground pepper.  Cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
  5. Transfer the onions to a bowl to cool completely.  Cook the bacon in the same pan until crispy.  Let cool and then crumble.  Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk.  Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Stir in the cheese and the onions.
  7. Use a 1/4 cup to smash down each hash brown.  Add a 1/4 cup of the egg mixture on top of each hash brown patty.
  8. Sprinkle bacon on each cupcake if desired.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set.  Let cool slightly and then remove with a small spatula.breakfast cupcakes | pale yellow
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Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo

Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo | Pale YellowI would say this is the last pumpkin recipe, but that’s not true, there is another one scheduled to drop next week!  This recipe, however, is the easiest pumpkin recipe.  Plus it’s kind of healthy and perfect for dinner.  Maybe you could whip up a batch before the Thanksgiving eat-fest begins.

Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo | Pale YellowIt’s one of those weeks when quick meals are a must: it’s a short week, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and the weather in NYC has been horrible.  Comfort food is needed in my mouth!  Few things are more comforting than pasta and cheesy goodness.

Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo | Pale YellowSpeaking of bad weather, I’m really hopeful I can get out of town tomorrow morning.  My flight is at 6 a.m. and although the weather shouldn’t be a problem for me I’m worried about an early wake up and back up delays, boooooo.

Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo | Pale YellowThe pumpkin gives a lovely orange hue to the pasta that mimics decadent mac & cheese, but it’s pumpkin!  The pasta is creamy and spicy from the cayenne and nutmeg.  Parmesan adds saltiness and flavor, plus all the cheese!  Look no further for a fall spin on a classic comfort food!

Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo | Pale YellowOne Year Ago – Vanilla Cupcakes

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Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo
Adapted from Table for Two
Yield – 6-8 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
1/2 cup milk, whole
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
16 ounces (1 box) orzo
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan (no Kraft…) + more for garnish
1 tablespoon (3-4 leaves) of sage finely chopped
a few grates of fresh nutmeg
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
salt + pepper

  1. In a medium saucepan melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour; keep whisking so the flour fully incorporates and does not become lumpy.
  2. Whisk in the vegetable stock little by little to avoid lumps.  Whisk in the milk, water, and pumpkin puree.
  3. Cook the mixture for 10 minutes until it thickens, stir occasionally.
  4. Add the orzo and cook for 10-12 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is cooked.
  5. Stir in the cheese, sage, nutmeg, and cayenne.  Remove from the heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately and sprinkle some more cheese on top.Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo | Pale YellowHappy Thanksgiving!

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Baked Pizza Rolls

Pizza Rolls // Pale Yellow

As much as I love my roommates, and I do love my roommates, there is nothing better than having the whole apartment to myself.  The opportunities to make a mess and not be considerate to others are few and far between so I try to take advantage whenever I can.  This weekend I went on a baking frenzy!  Pretty much everything made this week and next was made in one weekend.

Pizza Rolls // Pale Yellow

I saw these pizza rolls awhile ago and wondered if they could be baked.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with fried food, I love it, I’m just not making it at home.  Once I made Joy’s fried guacamole for NYE, but that was a rare opportunity.  Since discovering baked doughnuts here and here, I’ve come to prefer baked doughnuts over fried.  Whenever I see a fried item I now think, “could I bake this?”

Pizza Rolls // Pale Yellow

Yes, you can bake these pizza rolls!  They come out crispy and were super easy to make.  In fact, they are probably easier to make than fried because you just flop them all on a baking sheet and toss in the oven.  There is no need to stand over hot oil flipping and watching pizza rolls.

Pizza Rolls // Pale Yellow

Homemade pizza rolls, like everything homemade, are so much more flavorful than the highly processed version.  This version is tasty with a good amount of spice.  They are cheesy and gooey.  I shared a little recipe for a dipping sauce, but honestly, I preferred these dipped in ranch.  Ranch is my guilty please!

Pizza Rolls // Pale Yellow

One Year Ago – Slutty Brownies

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Baked Pizza Rolls

Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Yield ~ 21 rolls {2 dinner servings, 4-5 snack servings}

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 garlic cloves

good sprinkle of dried oregano

sprinkle of red pepper flakes {more or less depending on your desire for spiciness}

1/2 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Italian-blend cheese

4 leaves of basil

21 wonton wrappers

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Add the oil to a medium saute pan and allow to heat.  Add in the tomato paste and stir around for about one minute.

  3. Use a garlic press to smash the garlic, add to the tomato paste and saute slightly.  Stir in the oregano and red pepper flakes.

  4. Pour in about half the can of diced tomatoes with the juice.  Stir and allow to cook until all the water is evaporated and you have a pasty consistency.

  5. Transfer to another bowl and place the fridge to cool.

  6. Once cool, chiffonade the basil and add to the tomato mixture with the cheese.  Mix well.

  7. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray generously with cooking spray.

  8. Set up your pizza roll making station with a small bowl of water and a fork.

  9. Dab a small amount of water around the edge of the wonton wrapper; add about 1 teaspoon of filling in the center.  Fold in half and use a fork to seal the edges all the way around.  Place on the foil and repeat until you run out of filling.

  10. Bake for 6 minutes and then flip each pizza roll.  Bake for another 5 minutes or until the edges are crispy.

  11. Allow to cool for a minute or two because the filling is hot!  Serve immediately.

Dipping sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cloves of garlic

generous sprinkling of dried oregano

salt + pepper

the rest of the diced tomatoes + the juice

1/4-1/2 cup water

  1. Heat the oil in the same saute pan used for the filling.  Add in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Stir for a few minutes to toast.

  2. Add in the diced tomatoes and water.  Cook on low.  Add more water if needed.

Pizza Rolls // Pale Yellow

While writing this post all I could think about is how much I wanted some more pizza rolls…

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French Onion Soup {Roommate Dinner}

Fall is out in full force and there is nothing better than warm soup  for dinner.  I used to be a really picky eater, I mean I wouldn’t eat onions or beef, but I always wanted to try french onion soup.  Obviously I wasn’t ready eat this kind of soup.

Eventually I got over my my fears, irrational fears, of onions and beef and learned to love both.  After that I ordered my first bowl of french onion soup.  It is everything I ever dreamed of: rich, sweet, onion-y, and cheesy.  I was smitten!  The only thing stopping me from making some soup at home was oven proof crocks.

Well, I found some!  I bought a set of crocks at a local second-hand shop and knew it was just a matter of time before I made some soup.  When looking for a recipe, I went to a trusted source, Smitten Kitchen.  Honestly it is easier to visit a blog I love, and type an idea into the search bar than look through cookbooks.

This was the right recipe – simple ingredients, full flavor, and not at all difficult.  Paired with my favorite arugula salad, this is a perfect roommate dinner!

French Onion Soup
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield – 4 servings

1 pound (2 large) yellow onions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup white wine
6 cups beef broth
freshly ground black pepper
4 large slices of bread
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

  1. Slice the onions thinly while you melt the butter and olive together in a large pot on the stove.
  2. Add in the onions and saute on low heat for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the onions brown and develop flavor.  Add the salt and sugar about 15 after you start sauteing.
  3. Once the onions are properly caramelize, add in the flour and stir to cook for about 3 minutes.  De-glaze with the wine and be sure to scrape up all the brown bits.
  4. Add in the beef broth and pepper and let simmer for about 30 minutes.
  5. Before serving add the soup into oven safe bowls and top with a slice of bread and 1/4 cup of Gruyere.
  6. Place the bowls under the broiler for about 5 minutes (watch very closely!) until the cheese begins to brown and bubble.

Arugula Salad
4 cups arugula
2 bartlett pears
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Slice the pears and shave the Parmesan.  Toss together with the arugula.
  2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a small bottle, shake to combine.  Drizzle over the salad.

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Eggplant Pizza

A couple of weeks ago bloggers and food shows celebrated what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday.  I may not be the biggest cook of french food or large meals, but I greatly appreciate and admire any woman who does what she loves and can throw a fabulous dinner party!  Julia is the embodiedment of what it means to have a passion for food.

This recipe caught my eye because it’s easy!  Can I make pizza out of eggplant?  Absolutely!  It’s been several months since I’ve cooked a real, multiple course dinner and I was itching to do so.  I invited my friend Kristin over, who, by the way, named this blog Pale Yellow!  The idea of a vegetable and cheese laden meal sounded healthful and decadent all at the same time!

I served the eggplant pizzas with cheesy garlic cauliflower “bread,” a simple strawberry spinach salad with pistachios, and peach sorbet bellinis.  We ate outside on a beautiful, late summer evening.  It’s a moment like that that helps you to remember how awesome and amazing your life really is!

Not only were the pizzas themselves pretty easy tasty, the smells are amazing!  Both Ruth and Kristin walked into the apartment commenting on how delicious it smelled inside.  Is there really anything better then the smell of sautéing garlic and herbs?  The eggplant is soft and well seasoned, the sauce is outstanding and full of flavor, and the cheese is a mess of melty wonders!  This dinner is a keeper!

Print the Recipe!

Eggplant Pizza
Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Yield – 4 servings (2-3 eggplant rounds each)

1 8-9 inch eggplant
Kosher salt
olive oil
2 + 1/2 teaspoons Italian herb mix
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/3 cup freshly grated mozzarella

  1. Slice the eggplant into 3/4″ slices.  Place on a paper towel on a wire rack.  Sprinkle generously with salt and then rub the salt in.  Let sit for about 20 minutes.
  2. Flip the eggplant slices over and sprinkle the other side with salt and rub in.  Again let sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray.
  4. Thoroughly dry the eggplant to remove any moisture and salt.  Drizzle olive oil on the top of each eggplant slice and rub in with your fingers.  Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the Italian herb mix over the tops of the slices.  Place on the baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, let’s make a sauce.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan on the stove.
  6. Finely chop or crush the garlic and add to the heated oil.  Stir often, don’t let the garlic burn.
  7. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian herb mix and the oregano.  Stir to toast the herbs.
  8. Add in the can of tomatoes and stir to combine.  Keep on low heat and cook until needed.
  9. Grate all of cheese and mix together.
  10. When the eggplant comes out of the oven, top each slice with a generous amount of sauce.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of each slice.
  11. Carefully broil until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

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Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower “Bread”

I’m neither a vegetarian or gluten free, but sometimes it is fun to cook that way.  The idea of using cauliflower as a base for pizza has been floating around Pinterest for awhile and I have been curious to try it out myself.  I was making dinner for a few friends and the idea of garlic bread was inciting, and a lower-cal garlic bread sounded even better!

Using cauliflower as a base for garlic cheese bread does not require anymore steps than making a dough from scratch.  The only difference I would make would be to drain the cauliflower of some of it’s liquid to create a dryer dough.  The edges became nice and crispy, but I wish the middle was crispier.  The flavor is fantastic!  There is a strong garlic flavor and plenty of cheesy goodness.

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Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower “Bread”
Adapted from Mom, what’s for dinner?
Yields – 3-4 servings

1 small cauliflower (only need 1 cup of pureed cauliflower)
1/2 + 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 + 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, smashed or finely diced
olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
salt and pepper
marinara sauce for dipping

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces.  Steam for about 15 minutes until fork tender.
  3. Use a food processor or ricer or immersion blender to puree the cauliflower, discard any chunks.  Squeeze out any excess moisture.
  4. Shred all your cheese!
  5. Add 1 cup of the pureed cauliflower into a bowl with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, the egg, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Use a fork to thoroughly mix together.
  6. Rub a baking stone with olive oil and lay a sheet of parchment paper on top, oil the parchment paper as well.  Pour on the cauliflower mix.
  7. Use your hands to pat the cauliflower dough into a rectangle on the parchment paper.  Try to make the crust as even as possible.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.  I had to check several times.
  9. Meanwhile, mash together the butter and the two remaining cloves of garlic with some salt and pepper.
  10. Smear the garlic butter on top of the hot crust and then sprinkle with 1/4 cup of each cheese.
  11. Bake for another 5-6 minutes, but watch closely!  You want the cheese to be bubbly and golden brown, not burnt.
  12. Cut into slices and served with sauce if desired.  These are great room temperature as well as hot!

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Shepherd Salad

After last week’s cupcake fest, I wanted to post something healthy.  Now that it’s summer vacation I actually have time to make a nice lunch and eat it during the day.  There are few things better than fresh vegetables, some feta, and a light dressing!  When tomatoes are at their peak, I want to eat them everyday.

I had never heard of a Shepherd Salad before I moved to New York, but now I love them!  When I order one from a restaurant they always seem to have too much oil or not enough feta.  Typically I just make the salads at home now.  I feel like this salad goes by a lot of different names, but whatever it’s called, it’s delicious!

This a salad that gets better as the week goes on.  I made the salad Monday morning and ate some for lunch all week.  Luckily, I can eat the same thing multiple days in a row!  This is a quick and easy lunch salad or side salad.  Shepherd salad would also be great for a picnic or barbecue.  All ingredients are completely customizable for your tastes and preferences.  I like my salad this way!

Print the Recipe.

Shepherd Salad
Yield 4-6 servings

2 beefsteak tomatoes
1 English cucumber
1 medium red onion
2 lemons, juiced
olive oil
salt
pepper
8 ounces feta cheese

  1. Chop the tomatoes into quarters and squeeze the excess juice and chop up.  Chop the cucumber and add it to the tomatoes.
  2. Peel and slice the red onion into thin pieces, add to the tomatoes and cucumbers.
  3. Juice two lemons into the vegetables and add in a swig of olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix to combine.
  4. Chop up the feta and add to the salad.  Mix in.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Drain excess liquid if necessary.

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Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese

I made this recipe almost a month ago for our Super Bowl party, but I forgot to take pictures due to the Blood Orange Margaritas.  This was a recipe was also chosen for the New Foods list.  These little dates are so good, it was not difficult to want to make them again!  A lazy Saturday is the perfect time to enjoy some delicious dates!  They are so good!!!!  Like really, really good!  If you are having a cocktail party or you want to make a fancy appetizer, please make these, you will not be disappointed!

One note about dates – all by themselves, these little guys are so delicious!  I didn’t even know if I would like them, but I do!  They are sweet and chewy, almost like candy, but they are not candy, dates are a fruit!

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Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese with balsamic-honey sauce
Yield – 24 pieces
Adapted from Simply Scratch

8 slices of bacon
24 dates, pitted and split open
4 ounces blue cheese, I used gorganzola
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
pinch of Kosher salt
2 grinds of black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Split open all the dates, I used kitchen scissors to cut open one side.
  • Stuff each date with some blue cheese crumbles.
  • Cut each strip of bacon into thirds so you have 24 pieces.
  • Wrap each date stuffed with cheese in a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  • Place the dates on a wire rack (I used the rack from the toaster oven) over a foil lined baking sheet.  This is all for easy clean up.
  • Bake for 23-25 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.
  • Drizzle with the balsamic-honey sauce

Balsamic-Honey Sauce

  • Combine the vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper into a small saucepan on medium heat.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce reduces by two-thirds, stir frequently.

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