Drink & Dish: Cranberry Goat Cheese Bake

Warm melty goat cheese topped with sweet and tart cranberry sauce. The perfect easy, flavorful and impressive way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Cranberry Goat Cheese Bake #glutenfree #vegetarian

It’s officially my favorite week of the year. I’ve made no secret that Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday, but I am equally in love with the entire weekend that follows. A four day weekend, getting out my menorah, putting up the Christmas tree (I am an equal opportunity celebrator), decorating the house, plenty of shopping for presents, and of course, eating delicious Thanksgiving leftovers all weekend long.

Cranberry Goat Cheese Bake #glutenfree #vegetarian

I love making the usual turkey sandwich, or doing crazy things with leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes, but especially when we have people in from out of town who are going to be hanging around, I like to do something unique, and something that seems a bit more thought out than the usual leftovers fare. Basically, I want to impress people (story of my life–such a people pleaser!), but I’m exhausted from cooking for 3 days straight to prepare for the big day, so I want to do it without actually having to do any work. Good thing I’m creative. ;)

xxCranberry Goat Cheese Bake #glutenfree #vegetarian

For our latest episode of Drink & Dish, Nicole and I show you what to do with some of those Thanksgiving leftovers. We both ended up using cranberry sauce, so make a little extra this year so that you can make Nicole’s awesome Poinsettia Blossom to go with this goat cheese!

This dish could also be served as a Thanksgiving appetizer–in fact, Steve loved it so much that he requested I make it on Thanksgiving day.

Cranberry Goat Cheese Bake #glutenfree #vegetarian

It may seem like a strange combination, but the tangy goat cheese really is the perfect pairing for the sweet cranberry sauce–it’s like a match made in heaven! Together, they are baked just enough for the goat cheese to get soft, but not completely melted–just the right consistency to easily dip your cracker into, but solid enough to hold its form.

Drink & Dish: Cranberry Goat Cheese Bake

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 7 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Drink & Dish: Cranberry Goat Cheese Bake

Warm melty goat cheese topped with sweet and tart cranberry sauce. The perfect easy, flavorful and impressive way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1 x 4oz log herb goat cheese
  • Approx 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • Crackers, chips, or bread for serving (I used gluten-free bagel chips)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Place goat cheese on a heat-safe dish. A rimmed plate (as seen in the photos) works best so that cranberry sauce can spill over goat cheese while staying contained on the plate. Spoon cranberry sauce over goat cheese. You may use more or less--whatever ratio you like, and depending on how much you have leftover.
  2. Bake until softened, but not melted, about 7-10 minutes. Serve immediately with crackers, chips or bread of your choosing. Best eaten the same day, but leftovers may be refrigerated in an airtight container and reheated for up to 5 days.

Notes

If using a jellied cranberry sauce, whisk it up first to make it easier to pour onto the goat cheese.

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Psssst…still figuring out your Thanksgiving menu? This infographic is amaaaazing–a must see for anyone who loves cooking, entertaining or Thanksgiving!

Drink & Dish: Red, White & Blue Grilled Cheese

Red, White & Blue Grilled Cheese.jpg

It’s almost the 4th of July!!!

Red, White & Blue Grilled Cheese

One of my very favorite holidays because I am obsessed with fireworks. I’m sure this is totally surprising information given that I am never a sucker for bright, sparkly things, but I can ooohh and ahhh for the entire fireworks show, and always get a little sad when they start going all crazy for the grand finale because that means it’s over.

Red, White & Blue Grilled Cheese

Maybe it’s because for years I never got to watch the fireworks? I’ve spent almost every summer since I was 15 years old at theatre camp. First as a student, then as a counselor, and the last few years as a teacher/director/choreographer. For most of those years, the camp was located at the top of this hill in the middle of nowhere White Salmon, WA. We were always in rehearsals at night, so I never got to get into town (a good 40 minute drive) to watch the fireworks. Now camp is in Portland, and we light little sparklers and the kids get really into it which is fun in an entirely different way.

Red, White & Blue Grilled Cheese

You know what else I love about the 4th of July? RED WHITE AND BLUE FOOD!!! Last year, I made red, white and blue cookies, and they still stand as some of my all time favorite cookies. This year, I decided to go with something you could eat for lunch or dinner while celebrating America (you have to pronounce it Ah-murrr-kah).

Red, White & Blue Grilled Cheese

This sandwich….I just…I’m not sure I even have the words? I made it 3 times in 1 week. The brie cheese is so melty and dreamy, and then the goat cheese provides the perfect creaminess. Both of these cheeses pair perfectly with fruit, and the raspberry jam adds a bright sweetness the compliments the slightly tart bursting blueberries. It sounds crazy, but it just works. It works so well that you want to eat it every day for the rest of your life. You know I’m not usually a meal repeater, but I can’t get enough of this sandwich, and I can see it making a comeback all year long.

Check out the latest episode of Drink & Dish to learn the secret to making a perfectly melty grilled cheese, and make sure to also check out Nicole’s super fun 4th of July Citrus Splash. I mean, it has poprocks and it’s BLUE!

Drink & Dish: Red, White & Blue Grilled Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Serving Size: 1 sandwich

Drink & Dish: Red, White & Blue Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 slices whole grain bread (use gluten-free if applicable)
  • 2 tbsp reduced sugar raspberry jam (or jam or choice)
  • 1 1/2 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 small handfuls fresh blueberries (preferably organic)
  • 2 oz light brie cheese, sliced, rinds removed

Instructions

  1. Heat a large grill pan, griddle or nonstick pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Spread 2 slices of bread with 1 tbsp each of jam. Spread remaining two pieces with softened goat cheese (evenly divide the 1 1/2 oz between the two slices). Place a handful of blueberries on each goat cheese slice and lightly press the berries into the cheese. Top each with 1 oz sliced brie. Place the jam side on top.
  3. Grill until the bottom is browned, about 5-7 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until both sides are browned and cheese is fully melted, about an other 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.
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Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfreeSometimes I just really don’t want to make what I planned for dinner. Steve and I have been pretty good about meal planning. It gets me excited to cook dinner, keeps me from eating Chipotle for dinner every night of the week, and it’s a great opportunity to work through my recipe to do list, but sometimes I just really, really don’t want to make what I’m supposed to.

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfree

I usually use this as an excuse to go out to dinner. Steve is realllllly good about letting me. It goes something like this:

Me: Uggghhhh, I don’t want to cook. Can we just get sandwiches from Whole Foods? Or Chipotle? Again?

Steve: Sure. Put the dogs outside.

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfree

He is so agreeable that one. Sometimes I wish he’d be more of a jerk, and say something like “No B. Get in the kitchen and make my dinner!” Okay, actually I don’t wish he would say that. I wouldn’t mind being held a liiiiiittle more accountable though.

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfree

So this particular night, I was supposed to make lettuce wraps. It sounded good when I wrote it on the list. I took chicken out of the freezer to thaw for it, but the night came, and I was tired, and I just didn’t feel like going to the trouble of chopping things. I really wanted to go out instead, but I gave myself a little pep talk, and before I knew what I was actually making, I was butterflying some chicken and throwing things inside.

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfree

Excluding salt and pepper (which I don’t count as ingredients, because I think that’s silly), this recipe has a total of 3 ingredients, and an equal amount of steps to prepare it. I know a lot of people struggle with making healthy eating, especially weeknight dinners, easy and accessible.

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfree

In fact, my friend Meryl even asked me to create a space for simpler recipes on the blog where they’d be easier to find (I plan to).

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfree

I wasn’t sure how this chicken would turn out since, as I said, I didn’t actually plan any of it out. I happened to have some leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from this recipe, and in my house, goat cheese goes makes everything better, so I stuck them inside the chicken and crossed my fingers.

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfree

If you want to make your life easier, browning the chicken is not mandatory, but I would highly recommend it. By giving the meat a quick sear to get it browned then transferring to the oven to cook all the way through, you get the best of both worlds–perfectly browned outside with the softest, juiciest, most tender chicken breast you will ever taste underneath.

3 Ingredient Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken #glutenfree

The biggest complaints people have about chicken breast are that it’s boring and dry. This meal is neither of those things! The chipotle peppers give it a bold, spiciness, while the goat cheese adds a comforting creaminess, and the sear-then-bake method makes for anything but dry chicken!

 

Chipotle Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

yield 2 servings

  • 2 medium chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper (a good pinch of each)
  • 2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (I used 4, and it was SPICY. Use less for a more mild taste.)
  • 1 oz goat cheese, crumbled**

**If you’re looking for a dairy free option, try using half an avocado instead!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside. Season both sides of chicken with a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper. Butterfly each chicken breast and top with peppers and goat cheese. Fold chicken back over on top of fillings.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and coat with nonstick spray (or olive oil if you prefer). Once pan is hot, carefully add chicken and sear until browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip chicken to brown the other side, about an other 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken to prepared baking dish. Use a couple of toothpicks to secure the opening and keep the fillings inside. Bake in preheated oven until cooked throughout and juices run clear, about 15-20 minutes. Drizzle with extra adobo sauce if desired, and serve immediately.

Apple, Goat Cheese and Fig Stuffed Chicken

I did it! I made up a dish. I didn’t look at anyone else’s recipe for inspiration (although I’m sure there are a million recipes out there like this one). I just thought about things I liked and put it together and it was so delicious! This dish is perfect for when you’re busy around the holidays and have been living entirely off cookies because there’s not a ton of prep time, it’s healthy and it looks much fancier than it actually is!

Apple, Goat Cheese and Fig Stuffed Chicken

yield 4 servings

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts approx 6oz each
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 apple, thinly sliced (I used the amazingly delicious honey crisp, but any apple will be good!)
  • 4 tbs fig butter
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • freshly ground garlic pepper (I bought it at Whole Foods and it is so amazing!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Season chicken with salt and garlic pepper on both sides.
  3. Butterfly the chicken, and stuff with 1/2 oz goat cheese, 2 apple slices and 1 tbs fig butter. Fold chicken back over.
  4. Heat a pan on medium high and drizzle with a little olive oil (just enough to avoid sticking).
  5. Sear chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side, then transfer to baking dish.
  6. Baker for 40-50 minutes until cooked throughout and juices run clear. Let chicken rest out of oven about 2-3 minutes.