Category Archives: Cheesy Cheese

Recipe Reviver: Part II

Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage
Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage from Bon Appetit Magazine

So, I wanted to let you know that I had a slew of new recipes for you, but then my blog was hacked and temporarily disabled…so this time I was not a lazy panda. First up, is my reviews from the gloriousness that was the new Bon Appetit. Well, did I call it or did I call it gang? So far we have tried the three recipes below and none have disappointed. My favorites in order and a brief description of each:

  • Braised Beef with Red Onion and Gremolata: Jeez Louise, this was ALL kinds of good. No seriously, absolutely amazing and would be a great crowd pleaser at a dinner party.
  • Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage: Did you know you can make pasta feel like a cheesy dish with winter squash? Well you can, and this dish is a perfect example of easy, cheesy, breezy it is. My mind is racing with where else I can apply this method…so many opportunities!
  • Chicken and Dumplings with Mushrooms: This was really good. David liked it more than I did as it was a little heavy on the mushrooms for my liking. While I think mushrooms have their place in this world, in my stomach is not one of them.

More to come poppets from Real Simple and Cooking Light including one that had us bickering over the larger leftovers!


Sufferin’ Succotash

I always know it’s a Kealey house favorite when David gets excited about the leftovers the next day. We’ve decided to go meat-light/almost vegetarian the next few weeks since the two of us love meat and I think it’s always good to push the reset button every once in a while.  What a fantastic dish to start with! If this is how our vegetarian adventure is going to be for the next few weeks I’m pumped!

This Summer Succotash Gratin recipe by Chef Michael Romano is super simple and I liked that you can easily tweak it to include any kind of veggies you might have laying around. I know there are times that we just haven’t gone through all of our veggies in the crisper and this is a perfect way to use them up deliciously. I included some ripe tomatoes and mushrooms to our mix and then followed everything else just as it called for. This is definitely my go-to recipe when I’m in a time crunch and a perfect summer vegetable dish. Yum!


Summer vegetable succotash gratin A130326 FW Handbook July 2013


Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna


It’s no secret that I love Cooking Light, well I’m obsessed with all of the food magazines I’ll admit, but I love that Cooking Light can still throw a mean punch even with one hand tied behind it’s back. While others can lean on butter, tons of cheese, fatty meats etc, Cooking Light has to bring flavor AND nutrition to the table and this Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna recipe is perfect example of how they can nail it. KAPOW!

Our little one was still sick and had actually gotten worse (cursed daycare!) and while she was screaming and yelling, I still wanted to get a home cooked meal on the table for us both. You need something to keep your strength up right? When I looked up what I had chosen for the night, I sighed loudly and thought about making something else given that we have a screaming kiddo and lasagna can take time and patience, both things I was running very short on at the moment. However, and maybe it was the heat of the moment, the lack of sleep or both, I whizzed through this recipe in no time. It was in the oven and done and what felt like five minutes later my husband and were gobbling this up. I’m not a ricotta fan at all and really shy away from lasagna at most places for this reason, but, because Cooking Light can’t put in too much ricotta this recipe was right up my alley. It’s a very different take on lasagna and to me (and David) it was just perfect. So perfect that even I went back for seconds which is something I rarely do since I want to get to my dark chocolate after-dinner treat as soon as I can.

Once we were done hoovering our food, we looked up at each other, bleary eyed and covered in who knows what of bodily fluids (I never knew so much snot could come out of something so small), holding hands we went back to her room to check on our little sick one. I have to say, I have a whole new appreciation for my parents, and any parents for that matter, now!

A Winning Night

Yowza! I don’t care what side you were on last night, that was a nail biter at times huh? I wanted to make something quick and simple so we could get back to watching the pundits dissect and predict every single swing state for hours upon end until the polls actually closed and the good stuff got started. I chose this Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart from Cooking Light with a simple spinach side salad drizzled with my homemade Lemon Oregano dressing.

First, the crust. You know I make crust for a living so I was intrigued by this one with its salt, pepper, baking soda and olive oil as the fat to bind. Interesting. It was like a shortbread crust but savory, and yummy! The combo of butternut squash, eggs, Gruyere cheese, bacon and mushrooms was simply divine. Added bonus, I’m so super duper pregnant right now that I was thankful this was a quick and easy recipe. I’m telling you I can’t stop cooking, I love it too much!

This soared passed any predictions we had and won the popular vote in our house. For picky eaters or if you are in need of a quick crowd pleaser, this definitely has the ability to reach across the aisle and make everyone happy. Oh dear, I’ve been watching way too much CNN.


Boy? Girl? Let’s Find Out!

284967_395016050552859_1805443785_nOK, I’m going to admit that I completely dorked out over the gender reveal party for our baby. Massive, massive dorkage.  Maybe it’s because I was so tired in my first trimester and wanted to get my food groove back on or I’ve been fatigued and haven’t been able to spend as much time with friends as I’m used to, whatever it was, I was pumped pandas. Never mind the fact that we were about to start calling “it” her or him instead! David and I got to see baby Kealey that Friday on a sonogram (such a cutie) and then proceeded to give the sealed card to Tyler, my niece’s super gentle chef boyfriend. Alex, my niece, created a blueberry and a strawberry pie filling, the super cute cutouts and then gave Tyler directions on how to make the pie once he opened the card. We got back from lunch and Tyler had done such an awesome job with the pie…look at that, he SHUT IT DOWN. I kept swearing up and down the color looked blue underneath and David thought so too. Not until tomorrow would we know!

So down to the food geeking out part. I wanted to make foods that represented our very different backgrounds including something that embraced my East Texas/Southern roots and his Canadian/Northeast ones. Obviously, my Mama’s chicken fried steak and creamy gravy was on the menu and as was poutine –  the national dish of Canada. David requested tomato soup and grilled cheese since he loved that as a kid and fried mac ‘n’ cheese because it’s “just so awesome” in his words. I also served a kale salad for those trying to eat healthy (weird, but it does happen here sometimes) plus Devils on Horseback because bacon, dates and cheese are never wrong, a cheese plate and crackers. I thought earlier in the day that I had bitten off way more than I could chew, but actually, it wasn’t that bad making all this food!

Continue reading Boy? Girl? Let’s Find Out!

French Onion Soup – Grandpa Jacques Style

I’ll paint a little picture of a young Emily for a moment. I grew up loving PBS (I’ve always been a public television and radio junkie) and Julia Childs and Jacques Pepin were two of my favorites. I would sit in front of the TV with my head perched in my hands and a smile plastered on my face as I watched these chefs stir up their magic. Between this and my Mom teaching my all the southern ways of cooking, I didn’t stand a chance to not be in the kitchen did I? With Jacques Pepin I always felt like I was learning to cook from an awesome French grandfather and as I got older and started cooking in the kitchen, I realized just how much I loved his recipes too. Fast forward to now, where I’m cooking each night for my wonderful husband in our own cozy little house…ah, life huh? After a few weeks of random dental surgery, we needed soups, stews or anything soft and palatable for a week. I found Jacque’s French Onion Soup and knew this would be a winner for tender mouths and hungry stomachs.

Cooking Light suggests you can use store-bought broth but I followed their recommendation and made my own. Patting myself on the back for that one. Sure, it’s more work and more groceries but you cannot beat this version with any store-bought brand. I felt so Chef-y as I was ladling my from-scratch made soup into the bowls to boil the cheese and bread. It doesn’t take much lambs, obviously.  I’ve made plenty of French Onion Soups in my lifetime and never have I ever gone “MMMMMMMMMMM!!!! OMG!” and pointed at my soup bowl like a 4-year old who’s learned to tie her shoes. That should tell you enough to make this if you are craving some seriously good French Onion Soup.

Tonight we are making David Chang’s Pork Butt (Bo Ssam) with Ginger Scallion Noodles. If you haven’t read the post here you go, and if you haven’t made this dish, please let my husband requesting it once a week inspire you to do so now:

Pantry Party!

Typically through my menu planning process, I go through pretty much everything I purchase if not in the first week, then definitely in the next. But there are those rare occasions were the beckoning of a Polvo’s Crackerita is too strong or I’m just too darned tired to cook after baking in the kitchen. I decided to check my pantry for these rare occasion relics that might be lurking in my pantry and found cream of mushroom soup, piquillo peppers in a jar and canned whole cranberries. As I sat trying to remember what recipes these ingredients were for originally, I started researching some new fun ones to try and voila lambs, I found two!

Bobby Flay’s Loin of Lamb Marinated in Merlot, Garlic and Parsley with Piquillo Pesto. Now I didn’t change much except for, well, the main protein. We are on a tight budget after all the wedding festivities so I turned to my most favorite, cost-effective cut of meat – flank steak. It’s juicy, flavorful and worked beautifully with this marinade. Talk about simple and quick. I marinated the steak, made the pesto (in our new food processor, yippee!!) and then when David got home, I threw the steak on the grill and bam dinner was done. I turned this into a small salad with arugula, bleu cheese, halved cherry tomatoes and then placed the steak on the greens and drizzled the pesto on top. I also had enough pesto the next day to make David a snack with pita chips. Am I getting good wife points yet?

Moving on to the cranberries. I found this Jack Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa from Cooking Light…yum! Keep this one in mind for the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays for sure. Although I substituted

Jack Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa (Photo by Randy Mayor)

rotisserie chicken for turkey, what really makes it is the salsa. I can see canning this and giving it as pretty holiday gifts or it would even be great over some baked brie or on an old shoe, seriously it’s really good. I made extra and now we both have quesadillas and cranberry salsa for lunch today. YAY!

Now, what the heck am I going to do with that Cream of Mushroom soup?

Awesome Grilled Cheese

I do like grilled cheese with bacon. I do like grilled cheese with tomato. I do like grilled cheese with tomato and bacon. Grilled cheese with sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade? You betcha.

Sorry, I was reading to two very cute kiddos today and I’m channeling my inner Seuss. I got back late from the kitchen last night and after a brief wedding catch-up with David, it was time to start cooking. I’m using the term “cooking” loosely since this took two seconds to make. As David took our dog Cricket on a walk, I had these d.o.n.e. done. This felt so super indulgent but actually, the tapenade and the tomato filled the sandwich so much you got just enough cheese to feel satisfied. Plus, what a fun and different twist on a grilled cheese! If you are mouthbreathing like a champ and want something slightly decadent but actually a little good for you – tomatoes, olives, whole wheat bread – keep this recipe on hand.

Grilled Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches (Photo by John Autry)


Poodles, you probably saw this coming, so it should be no surprise that I am going to have to put Cooking Inside the Lines on a brief hiatus. With a home remodel, starting a new business and that little thing called life going on, I’m afraid CITL has moved to the back burner (pun intended). Although I hate to leave the blog I’ve loved updating for the past two years, it’s actually a positive sign since our little pie company that could is doing quite well! Yay The Pie Society!

I hope to be back by the start of June when I’m a little bit more in the swing of things and heck yes, when summer fruits and veggies are flourishing. I hope you have enough content here to inspire you to try some recipes and keep cooking up magic in the kitchen. With that, I leave you with one amazing burger recommendation from Cooking Light and my menu plan from the magazine’s new issue. Can’t wait to make these!

Take care lambs,


Sunday: Grill-Braised Clams and Chorizo in Tomato-Saffron Broth

Monday: Grilled Farmer’s Market Sandwich and garlic and thyme fries

Tuesday: Curried Coconut Mussels

Wednesday:  Curry Chicken Wraps with Nectarine Chutney, Curried Potato Salad

Thursday:  Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Fig Chutney, Couscous

Burgers with Blue Cheese Mayo and Sherry Vidalia Onions (Photo by Anna Williams)

I’d Like To Thank The Academy…

Last night we had a BIG Oscar party in our house and I was a little nervous since it was the first big shindig in our casa, well that and I chose to make a flotilla of food. I simply adore our gentle friends and one thing I know about our group is we love to eat. With that in mind I was going to make darn sure everyone had enough to nibble on during the three hour show. 

The Obligatory Picture of Colin Firth

Epicurious assembled menu plans based on the Best Picture nominees and the one that stood out to us was the Inception option. It’s very French inspired since part of the movie takes place in Paris – the scene with the city folding on top of itself is still incredible every time I see it.  Although I liked the recipes they suggested, I decided to stick wtih French fare but do it my way. And the award goes to…. 

 To get real nerdy about it I made an “Execution Plan” to ensure everything was done by 6:00 p.m. so we could watch arrivals and snarkily judge away. 

  • 2:00 p.m. Prep and mis en place
  • 3:00 p.m. Make compote for Brie, while compote cooks, make pots de creme, refrigerate
  • 3:30 p.m. Make soup
  • 4:00 p.m.  Make green beans, assemble and bake Brie rounds
  • 5:00 p.m. Make sandwiches
  • 5:40 p.m. Fire steaks, let rest and slice, make fries
  • 6:00 p.m. Guests arrive

Everything pretty much went according to plan and let me tell you, the soup, green beans, sandwiches and brie rounds with that stellar compote were delicious. For the steak frites I kept it very simple. David (the super poodle) ran to the store and bought a Weber charcoal grill so he could grill them properly. Little salt and pepper on the steaks, grill and you are done.  I took  frozen fries and mixed with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme leaves and baked until crispy. Thanks to my lovely and talented niece Alex who is a bomb chef for coming up with that tasty concoction.  

I’m giggling at the thought of the Pots de Creme because the flavor was amazing but I didn’t have enough glasses to properly make individual servings, so I decided to place the whole shebang in a large ramekin. Yeah, don’t do that. We had to put it in the freezer so it would set up, but a few minutes on the table and it was like ice cream. Of course, no one cared and it was gone by the end of the night but I highly suggest not being an idiot like moi and scratch the idea if you can’t do it individually. 

The Oscars were OK this year, a little zzzzzzzzzz at times and it wasn’t as exciting as in years past but I am so happy for The King’s Speech! It’s an excellent, heart warming story and if you haven’t seen it yet, GO. 

Here’s our spread and more posts to come this week…I hope. :)