Our First Cheese Slicer

Filed Under (Kitchen Tools) by Lisa on 05-04-2009

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This afternoon while I was eating lunch I commented to my mom that I can never cut my cheese slices very thin. This was in relation to the grilled cheese sandwiches which I had made myself (my style which are featured in this post http://www.lisaopolis.com/?p=228 for lunch. I had said to my mom that “the cheese never melts fast enough for me because my slices are so thick“). She said that a cheese slicer would make them thinner. I had never heard of a cheese slicer before. I have had those nice thinly sliced cheeses from the deli section a few times. However I had always thought that a large industrial sized slicer sliced those (since I had used those several years ago when I worked in a café and sliced cheeses).

After lunch my mom and I went grocery shopping. She decided we should look for a slicer, so we did. We found them located in the section with the cheese graters. We picked the cheapest one since they all looked pretty much the same.

Here is the one we purchased:

cheese slicer

When we got home I decided to test the slicer and see how it measures up to my normal cheese slices.

Below is my normal cheese slice (with a knife).

cheese thick

Here is a slice with the cheese slicer.

thin cheese slicer cheese

 The difference is not visualized that well in the photos but in reality there is quite a difference. My slices made with a knife are much thicker and not very uniform. The cheese slices I made with the slicer are thin and uniform!

I have to say I love this kitchen tool. I will be using it often!

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Filed Under (Soups, Supper) by Lisa on 18-02-2009

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This afternoon I decided I was in the mood for soup. I searched the internet for a recipe, that seemed appealing. I found one for broccoli and cheese soup. I changed the recipe quite a bit. Here is my version, and a link to the original one. http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-0010-065u6.html (the original recipe)

The soup was a household hit! There were no left-overs.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

1 lb fresh broccoli

Fresh grated cheddar

3 medium-large sized potatoes

2 white onions

1-2 garlic cloves

2 packages of vegetable stock (made according to package directions)

3 cups water ( and 2/3 cup water for each package of vegetable stock)

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Parsley (dried flakes)

1 tsp white sugar

Prepare all vegetables (peal and chop). Place the oil in a large pot and add the oil. On medium heat fry the onion and garlic in the pot until lightly brown. Now add the potatoes. Stir well. Add the prepared vegetable stock and all the water. Also add the tsp sugar and the salt, pepper, and parsley. Stir well. Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Now add the broccoli and add a little more salt and pepper. Cook for about 6-7 minutes. Now pour or spoon the mixture into a blender or food processor and whiz for a few seconds. Then pour your soup back into it’s pot. Now add your grated cheddar cheese. Heat on low for a few minutes and serve.

I served the soup with some garlic tortilla chips that I made.

The Not So Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Filed Under (Cooking, Lunch, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 20-01-2009

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When I was a kid my mom introduced me to what she called “grilled cheese sandwiches”. It was not until later in life that I learned that these sandwiches that she called “grilled” were not grilled at all. Instead they were baked.

I have had real “grilled” cheese sandwiches a few times in my life (in my 20’s), and from those experiences eating them I can say that they are nothing like the baked (grilled) cheese sandwiches that I grew up with. Both kinds are very good, but in different ways.

Here are the not so grilled cheese sandwiches that I grew up with.

I made them with whole wheat sliced Italian bread, and low fat marble cheese. I baked them in the oven for about 4 minutes on 375 degrees F. Then I placed some garlic style sliced baby dill pickles on top. That is it. There are no sauces and no margarine or butter. The fat in a low fat cheese is enough to make the bread (not dry).

I think the not so grilled cheese sandwich is a good alternative to “real” grilled cheese sandwiches because real ones seem to have butter or margarine in them (meaning more calories).

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Filed Under (Cakes) by Lisa on 01-12-2008

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Tonight I was in the mood for cheesecake, so I decided to make some. I chose to make pumpkin cheese cake since we have a lot of pumpkin in the freezer (from Halloween).

The original recipe I used (and greatly morphed) came from this website: http://recipegal.com/pumpkincheesecake/Bon-Appetit-Pumpkin-Cheesecake.htm

The cheesecake turned out divine. The flavor is exquisite. Not too sweet, but sweet enough, and nice and smooth. The crust is also very flavorful. The only recommendation I would make would be to add more margarine to the crust (maybe double) because the crust was a bit crumbly. Other then that, this is a must try cheese cake recipe.

Here is my morphed version.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

1 ½ cups graham crumbs

1 ½ cups ground pecan

¼ cup of brown sugar (not packed)

¼ cup olive oil margarine (melted)

Filling

13 oz light cream cheese

1 ¼ cup no fat cottage cheese

1 cup brown sugar

1 ½ cups pumpkin pieces

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground allspice

¼ tsp nutmeg

4 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the graham crumbs, ground pecan, and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix well. Add the melted margarine. Press into baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Set aside. (makes one crust). Two crust recommended for this recipe.

For the filling:

In a blender place the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. In a large bowl add the cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. Beat with an electric mixture until combined. Now add the pumpkin mixture to the cheese mixture and blend until smooth. Pour over crust. Bake in your preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on your pan(s) and oven). Cool. Refrigerate overnight. Serve.

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