Tag Archives: cheese

Yesterday I Did This…

Yesterday I did this

With weights.

Woah Jackie Warner, you seriously don’t mess around do you.

Today I’m having trouble walking down stairs, or just walking in general, but whatever.  Tomato-tomahhhto.

Not everyday a workout gets that type of serious, right?  Loved it.

Plus it’s nothing that a little kitchen therapy couldn’t cure, you know what I’m sayin’ 😉

And after tweeting with my girl Brandi about her delicious dinner idea, I just knew that tonight’s dinner had to be Mexican inspired!

Plus the homemade corn tortillas I made yesterday were just screaming my name from the fridge.

I tried to resist.  I swear.  They have a power over me.

This is a recipe that I’ve had on my “to-make” list for some time now (is anyone else’s to-make list like a mile long too?)

However I wanted to put a CookinFanatic spin on it <—- in enters plain Chobani.

Remember the Green Chicken Chile Casserole adventure using Cho as a replacement for sour cream?

It was such a total success that I just had to try something like it again!

Here is the original recipe from Taste and Tell, modified to how I made it.

  • 7 small homemade corn tortillas
  • 1/3 block shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 block shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 4oz. can whole green chiles, drained & chopped
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 6oz. containers of plain nonfat Chobani
  • pinch of sea salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 tblsp ground cumin
  • cooking spray

Coat casserole dish with cooking spray, then layer in corn tortillas to cover.

Store bought would work perfectly as well.

Follow with a layer of cheese – about 2/3 of the total shredded.

And the diced green chiles.

At this point whisk together your liquids – the Chobani and eggs – plus seasonings – cumin, sea salt and black pepper. 

Then pour over the top of the tortilla, cheese and green chile layers.

Top with the rest of the cheese and you’re ready set for baking!

350F for 40 minutes (or until set)… 

Plus a few more with the oven off since The Man was running late!

Check it out 😀

This smelled so good cooking too!

To serve alongside we had a “fried” plantain side dish.

If you’ve never cooked with plantains before you definitely should, they are totally delicious and fun!

This plantain was super ripe (they turn really black when they are ripe – kind of like a rotten banana – don’t be afraid!) and therefore very sweet.

I decided to play up those sweet flavors by “frying” the sliced plantain in 1 tblsp unrefined coconut oil.

Plus a sprinkle of chile powder, cumin and sea salt.

Check out that caramelization!!  I had to sneak a few – these are my favoriteeeeeeeeee 😛

Talk about a play on sweet + savory.

This coconut oil rocks too by the way… smells soooo good when it hits the hot pan too.  Mmmm mmmm.

A side salad to round out the meal and we were set.

Talk about a happy week-starter meal, set to cure any case of the Mondays!

Not that there’s any around here or anything 😉

This tortilla pie was delicious, we will definitely be having this one again.  Such a great meat-free option for a busy weeknight!

Well I better go cozy-up… snow is on the way yet again!  Hopefully there won’t be too much since it’s crucial that I make it to work tomorrow, gone are the grade school days of getting a “day off” *sigh*

Enjoy your Monday night all 🙂

Is it snowing where you are?


From scratch…

Every Christmas Eve since I was a little girl I can remember having pierogi as part of Wigilia, our Christmas Eve dinner.

When my Nanny was still with us, I can remember her making these from scratch each year.

And until I took my first try at them last holiday season, I never realized that these would be one of the most difficult tasks I have ever tried to tackle in the kitchen!

You have to get everything just right… and my Nanny knew just how to do it.  But me, I’m still learning 😀

So today the Fanatic ladies spent the afternoon in the kitchen carrying on the tradition, making pierogi, from scratch. 

Well not this lil’ fanatic lady, although she sure did try 😉

Fanatic Mom and her two girls.  I know Nanny would be proud.

Potato & Cheese Pierogi

First step is to make the dough.  This dough is more temperamental than me on a Monday.  Just sayin’

Flour, milk, eggs and salt. 

This year I actually followed the directions and sifted the flour.  I’m attributing that to the increased quality of the final dough product.

Along with this fabulous kitchen tool.  The pasta roller.  Love this thing and it made rolling the dough thin enough possible without me breaking my back, a la last year.

For the most part 😀

Next step, make the filling.  This would be a mixture of potatoes, sharp cheddar and onions sauted in butter.

This is the stuff dreams are made of.  I think we can all agree on that.

After your dough is rolled thin, cut out circles using the top of a drinking glass.  No need to get too fancy here.

Drop a spoonful of the potato mixture on top.

Then seal, using a fork if you like. 

Let’s just say that Mini-Fanatic got reallyyyyyyyy good at this step 😉

Last step is to boil in hot water.  For about 5 minutes.  This gets them ready to be stashed away in the freezer until Christmas Eve arrives.

Which is where they are now, whispering to me “come eat me, come eat me”…

Because that’s just so totally normal.

I can’t wait until Friday is here, toasted up in some warm butter and drenched in green onions, these are going to be outta this world delicious!

Just you wait and see 😉

There was also some Sunday night family dinner cooking  action going on during the day… which you’ll see soon enough.  But until then, here’s a little hint!

Oh yeaaaaa.

Plans for the upcoming week include one day of work.  One day.  Monday has never looked so sweet 😉 

Then lots of baking, cooking, hanging out with family and relaxing.  Love the holidays!

Have you ever eaten pierogi?

Strata take 1000!

Hey hey everyone!!!!!!  Long time no see?

Well I know many of you may be curious as to what I was up to last night….

Let’s just say that it was one of the most exciting times I’ve had and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!


You’ll have to be patient with me and know that once the details are ironed out you’ll be the first to know everythinggggg! 🙂 🙂 🙂

So to make up for it I have a great, easy dinner recipe for ya tonight… kapeesh?

I think ya’ll know my love for egg strata by now.  And if you don’t, check out all the fabulous ways that we’ve eaten this dish in the Fanatic house here, here AND here!

What I love about this meal is how simple, flexible, economical & flavorful it always is 😀

Got some extra bread ends stashed in the freezer?  Go ahead, use ’em.  Got some extra veggies on hand that you don’t know what to do with?  Strata it is!  Need some leftovers for lunch?  Get a lil’ crazy and make some extra, it keeps beautifully overnight!

Here was tonight’s version – featuring freshly picked green peppers from our garden. 

I grew these from the seed and must say that I’m very proud of them!

Chop up an onion, 2 green peppers and a pattypan squash.  Saute in 1 tblsp olive oil, seasoning with salt & pepper, until everything starts to brown.

While the veggies are sautéing get everything else ready to go.  Start by preheating the oven to 350F. 

Then gather whatever bread you may be using.  Ours was sliced Italian that was stashed in the freezer, perfect.  Just give it a rough tear/chop and layer into a baking dish.

(Cooking spray or butter on the bottom – I’ve made this mistake eh hmmm tonight once or twice before 😉 )

I threw this into the oven for 5 minutes to get a little toasty/crunchy too.

Next give whatever cheese you may be using a slicing/grating.  I chose to do both, grated to mix in with the egg mixture and sliced to top the strata.

Mozzarella and hot pepper cheese.  Yum 😛

Next combine your eggs with milk, here you see 4 eggs and 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk. 

Yep, you read that right haha.  It’s all we had on hand, and quite honestly I have found that it makes a great sub in for regular milk or even the original flavored almond milk in dishes that feature cheese.  I don’t know why, but it’s really really good!

Plus some S&P and Frank’s hot sauce.  Obsessed.  I also stirred in the grated cheese so that it would spread evenly through the strata when I poured the egg mixture over the top.

I added in some sweet sliced ham too – call me crazyyyy 😉

Sliced cheese to finish.  Oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Into a 350F oven for 30 minutes and then cranked up to 375F for the last 10 minutes to brown up the cheese. 

Oh the smells…

This is one of my favorite go-to meals when I don’t have a dinner plan.  It is so flexible and you can really use anything you have on hand!

So what are you waiting for… there’s a strata in your kitchen with your name on it 😀

Egg Strata – “today’s version”

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 small green peppers, chopped
  • 1 pattypan squash, chopped
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 loaf sliced Italian bread, torn
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • Frank’s hot sauce
  • cheese (whatever you like, however you like!)
  • sliced ham
  • salt & pepper

Saute the veggies in olive oil until they begin to brown, seasoning with salt & pepper.  Allow to cool for a few minutes. 

Tear/chop up the bread pieces and layer them into a baking pan coated with cooking spray or butter.

Slice/grate cheese – whatever you choose to do.  Mix eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt & pepper together – I also threw in some of the grated cheese.

Start to put the strata together by topping the bread pieces with the veggies & ham.  Then pour the egg mixture over top and finish off with the sliced cheese.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then 375F for another 10 minutes until the cheese is browned & bubbly.


Simple Dinners

After work yesterday I knew it was going to be an easy dinner kind of night, I just wasn’t in the mood for a real “sit-down” kinda  meal…

Do you ever have nights like that?  Where all you want to do is pick at some small foods while lounging around and hanging out?

Well that was just the kind of night this was!

Some vino, the boyfriend, the sister, miss Lucy Dog and a movie and some simply yummy food were perfectly enough to complete this Friday night 🙂

Up first, some steamed shrimp w/ Old Bay:

I still can’t cook them as perfectly as Fanatic Mom (she’s the shrimp masterrrrr!) but I’m working my way there 😉

Next on the menu was a bread & cheese platter, which I was just craving to pair with a cool glass of white wine.  Is there anything better?

Here we have a freshly sliced warm Italian loaf (Whole Foods bread rocks), Monterey Jack cheese & fresh garden tomatoes (as sweet as candy I tell ya)!

Plus some sweet snow peas to round it out 😀

There’s something to be said for a simple, fresh dinner.

All in all, a great way to spend a Friday after a long week at work!

And now I’m off, to do big things…. well not really, but whatever floats my boat right 😉  Farmer’s Market here I come!

Cuban Picadillo

Hey friends!  Well we’ve made it to Thursday (what, it’s Thursday already, what a week?!) 😛

Anywho, last night’s dinner was super delicious & also fun bc The Man got in the kitchen and really helped me out!

On the menu?

Cuban Picadillo

“Fanatic Style”

Ever had it?

After purchasing some local ground beef at the farmer’s market last week, I was looking for fun & new recipes to try and stumbled across this one.

What is picadillo? A traditional dish in many Latin American countries made with ground meat, tomatoes and other ingredients that vary by region.  The Cuban version usually includes ingredients such as peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, olives, raisins and olive oil.

With the salty addition of green olives plus the sweetness of plump raisins, let’s just say that this recipe had me at hello 😀

So The Man & I proceeded with mixing up our own version of this dish!

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 lb local grass fed ground beef
  • 2/3 can green olives, drained & sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 small package raisins, soaked in water for about 20 min to plump up
  • salt & pepper
  • approx. 1 tblsp cumin & coriander

1.  Saute onion in olive oil.  Add garlic towards end, plus spices and S&P to taste.   Holy smell, deelish 😛

2. Add in ground beef, cooking through until close to done.

3, Then comes the tomatoes, olives, tomato paste and raisins.  Let’s all be friends!

Then turn down the temp to med-low and cover to let finish cooking through.

Served unconventionally atop a bed of egg noodles…

We adored this dish!  The saltiness of the olives paired with a sweet bite of raisin here and there, plus the heartiness of the grass fed beef really made this dish unique.

We both mmmmmm’ed and yummmm’ed through the whole thing, loved it 😀

Oh yea, we also had some side salads to go with, per usual, his & hers…

… which featured this farmer’s market buy!

This cheese is spectacular!  I can’t wait to try a new flavor next time around too.

Such a fast and easy meal, plus I love spending time together in the kitchen.  It was just what I needed after yesterday’s long work day and it fully rejuvenated me to my core!

Good thing…. because it’s time to tackle another day 😉

After work we have a bazillion and one errands to run for the Cinco de Mayo party this weekend (menu is planned, sneak peak tomorrow perhaps????) so we’ll be busy bees tonight!  Hoping I can squeeze in a workout too, but we’ll see.

Until later my friends, enjoy your day!

Here she goes again…

Good morning everyone! 

Well, I guess it’s not technically morning anymore now is it? 😉

Today has started off pretty darn good.  My throat was a bit more sore than yesterday though, not sure what’s up with that?

Anywho, I decided to go to my favorite place on earth (here she goes again…) and see what kinda fun stuff I could find!  I also had a coupon, even betterrrrrrr 😀

Picked up some fun new things to try, always exciting!

For lunch I decided to put together a lil’ salad sampler plate

  • spinach
  • roasted red pepper hummus
  • broccoli slaw
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • laughing cow wedge

So good!

I made the broccoli slaw with these guys…

Notice the new placemat purchase from World Market!

Also added a splash of cider vinegar too.  This was my first time with the Dannon Greek, the plain was pretty thick n’ creamy and since I had a coupon for it I think it was a good purchase for the price.

No Chobani however 😉

This afternoon’s plans include going with The Man to visit my fave prego lady (can’t wait to see how big that baby bump has gotten!) then just lounging around resting up in hopes of returning to work tomorrow 🙂

Tonight is going to be round 2 of The Time Traveler’s Wife (this time with The Man) and we have some dinner plans, his & hers style, that I’m pretty excited about too!

Have a fab Sunday!

Massive quantities of ice cream!!

Well hello there friends, how’s everyone doing today?! 🙂

I am saying hello to ya’ll fabulous peeps from my bed, which I have been stationed in for ohhhh the past 30 hours or so haha.  But I think that I am finally starting to get better wooo hooo!  Perhaps it was all your kind words that helped in that (ya’ll rock) !!!

Lucy Dog says that she is bored of all this bedtime!

I think I’m going to have to agree with her for once 😉

So after I saw you last my temperature decided to play tricks on me and spike to a lovely 100.5F for the remainder of the afternoon/evening which was awesome.  And by awesome, I mean miserable 😦  So needless to say I have been doing alot of sleeping! and eating ice cream (shhhh)

I would have posted dinner, except I doubt you friends were dyin’ to see a can of chicken noodle soup and half grilled cheese in the GF that The Man whipped up for me (he takes care of me <3) so I refrained 😉

I slept through the night sans Advil (a miracle!) and woke up today feeling a bit better.  After another morning of doing nothing around the house (besides eating massive quantities of ice cream gahh? why don’t I lose my appetite when I’m sick like normal people? so freaking weird!) I felt up to a somewhat normal lunch — good sign!

Eggs, Broccoli and Cheese were what I was craving…. so that’s how it went down.

Sauteed up some frozen chopped broc and hashbrowns

Added in 3 egg whites and some of this guy – which is quite possibly some of the best cheese I have had in “ages” (haha get it? I crack myself up sometimes… terrible)

All finished up with some S&P + ketchup (ya’ll know how I roll)

Plus a small leftover salad that I didn’t want to go to waste, not the most fun to eat in this sore throat condition I learned though hmph!

And then of course MORE ice cream (hello bathing suit wearing in 5 days… nice to meet you… my name is “I eat a tub of ice cream in 2 days”… how have things been?… can’t wait for our rendevous in Mexico, it’s sure to be swell ha)

Anywho, we won’t go there, K friends?? 😉

Well I am sure there is more of the same on the agenda for this afternoon… hoping I really make a turnaround into tonight and continue on this upswing!  I think I’m going to try to make a list of items to pack for the cruise too, does anyone else make detailed packing lists before vacations too?  I couldn’t pack any other way – call me anal retentive if you will 😛

I also want to dig a lil’ more into this fabulous book that my Dad got me for Christmas… so far it has been amazing and you better believe that you friends will be seeing these dishes in the new year!

I am in love 🙂

Alright everyone, plan on seeing another broc & cheese themed dinner if all goes well! 

Lucy Dog says goodbye too – she’s got more napping to do and we wouldn’t want to wake the princess haha 😉

She’s such a snob isn’t she?!

Have a wonderful day friends and see you soon 🙂