Tag Archives: Cheese

Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches with Herbed Goat Cheese Served on Focaccia Bread

Remember those tasty, squared little focaccia samwiches from my focaccia bread post?

If you are entertaining at home this weekend, these mini samwiches (I love calling it a “samwich”) are something that you will want to serve. They are crunchy, creamy and delicious.

Serve them at your next party, or you can just stick them in your lunch box; they are great any way that you want to enjoy them.

You will need:

  • 1 homemade focaccia bread, cut up into squares
  • Red Peppers, 1 per sandwich (my bread recipe should yield 8 to 10 sandwiches)
  • baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • Herbed goat cheese spread

For the goat cheese you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package (3 oz.) of goat cheese


For the Peppers:

  • To roast the peppers, preheat the broiler and line a sheet pan with parchment paper, or grease it lightly.
  • Cut peppers in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds and stems.
  • Place peppers cut side down on the sheet pan.
  • Broil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Peel when cooled.

For the Herbed Goat Cheese Spread:

  • In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the goat cheese, mix well.
  • Coat the goat cheese with the mixture, press the mixture into the cheese with a fork and combine well.
  • Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you have the time, prepare this a day ahead; the longer it sits, the better it tastes.

Assembling the Sandwiches:

  • Spread the herbed goat cheese on two squared slices of focaccia.
  • Layer the portobello mushrooms on one slice, then follow up with the roasted pepper.
  • Cover with a slice of focaccia, and serve.



Filed under Dinner A la Diethood, Home

Semi-Homemade Cream Cheese Pizza

Judging by some of the comments and emails I received regarding my last post, it seems as if though I was either unclear or I was misunderstood. I think I was misunderstood. Blame it on my accent. (I don’t really have one)

Some of my readers seem to think that I might be a food snob?!? Me?! The girl that makes Pistachio Pudding from a box?

I am far from a food snob – and I do not aspire to become one, either.

The hosts of that party invited us to a “Dinner Party”, and they made it sound as if the party was going to be some sort of a Black-Tie Affair. They even asked me to bring, “that incredible” Chocolate Pie.

I spent four hours on that Chocolate Pie, plus chill time. They spent an hour at Sam’s to buy all the pre-packaged food, and probably another hour to set up.

Again, don’t get me wrong, I do not care that they bought it all from Sam’s, I just wish I wasn’t told that this was going to be a fancy, shmancy “Dinner Party”.

So now I am going to prove to some that I am definitely not a food snob, and that I do make things that come in a box! 🙂

Take this pizza for instance. You will probably never ever see me at a Pizza Hut, but you will definitely see me in the Baking Aisle at the grocery store reaching to grab one of these pouches:

I’ve blogged about this before. It is my favorite mix for a pizza crust and I use it very often.

Sunday was a day to relax, so instead of whipping up something from scratch, I decided that we were going to have a semi-homemade pizza, topped with cream cheese, ham, mozzarella, parmesan, onions, and baby portobella mushrooms.

Semi-Homemade Cream Cheese Pizza

You will need:

  • 1 Betty Crocker Pizza Crust mix
  • 1/4 (2 oz.) of a package of cream cheese, or you can use Neufchatel cheese
  • 1/2 cup baby portobella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup of your favorite ham, diced, or you can use leftover baked/grilled sliced chicken
  • 1 small onion, red or yellow, sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 cup of part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Parmesan cheese, grated


  • Preheat oven at 450.
  • Make the dough according to the directions on the package.

  • Bake the dough for 7 minutes.
  • Let it cool.
  • Turn the oven down to 400.
  • Once cooled, spread the cream cheese evenly over the crust.

  • Add the rest of the toppings.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until the mozzarella cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle with a handful of parmesan cheese, cut and serve.


Filed under Dinner A la Diethood, Home

“Cute!?!”: Phyllo-Stuffed Cheese Puffs

Why do I want to show you how to make a cheese puff stuffed with phyllo? Because there is a story behind it. 🙂

With a happy-go-lucky tone in my walk and in my voice, one early Saturday morning (about 4 years ago) I decided that I was going to make my new husband one of his favorite baked treats – Gibanica/Banica (Bah-knee-tsa), or a Cheese Puff made with eggs, cheese, and milk. And I also thought that it would be “sooo cute” (remember those words) if I made banica in individual sized portions. I quickly did the math and jotted down a recipe that would enable me to put a phyllo pastry inside the filling and have enough of that filling to fill all twelve muffin cups.

As I was working on the filling, my husband walked in. With a seriously puzzled look on his face he asked me “what the heck” I was doing. I explained my idea of having individual-sized banica and he responded with a snotty remark, “Oh so you’ve decided that your idea of an individual-sized banica is the right idea and the right amount for everyone else?” (Did I just hear fighting words?!?) So then I told him that I just thought it was a cute idea.  “CUTE!?! Do I look like I should be eating something that’s cute?” (He’s about 6’4 tall, 200-and some lbs.).  By this point I was annoyed and I responded with my own fighting words; “Are you PMS-ing??? – Pissy Man Syndrome – You’re pissin’ me off – go play some soccer!”

He left and I went back into my kitchen, got my ingredients ready, and started to work.

Moral of the story? If you can describe something as ‘cute’, don’t serve it to your husband/boyfriend. Or, if you are going to serve it to him, do not label the treat as ‘cute’ in front of him. 🙂

But, it didn’t bother him to “kill” six of these in one sitting. Go figure.

Phyllo-Stuffed Cheese Puffs

You will need:

  • 1/2 roll of frozen Phyllo Dough, sliced crosswise, slices should be about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • Sesame Seeds


  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Slice up the frozen phyllo dough.

  • In a large, deep mixing bowl whisk in the yogurt, oil, club soda, baking powder and eggs.

  • Add in the feta cheese and mix until well combined.
  • Lastly, stir in the cut up phyllo and mix it all together.

  • Pour the batter into a muffin pan, sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds, and bake it for around 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

  • Makes 12 “so cute”, individual-sized cheese puffs.


Filed under Home, Macedonian Cuisine

Ricotta & Roasted Peppers Spread

For the reason that we grow peppers in my garden, I usually come up with creative ways to use them; pepper jams, pepper sandwiches, pepper spreads, etc… This spread is one of my favorites because I get to incorporate one of the best foods out there; feta cheese!

You will need:

  • 1 tub of Low-Fat Ricotta cheese
  • 2 bell peppers, roasted, skin peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of feta, crumbled
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Crackers, Whole Grain


  • Put the chopped roasted peppers and the minced garlic inside of a mixing bowl; blend and mash with a pestle, or you can use a fork.
  • Mix in the red pepper flakes.
  • In a separate bowl bring together the yogurt, feta, and the Ricotta cheese; add to the pepper mixture.
  • Blend well and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving on a platter with crackers.

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Filed under Dips & Spreads, Macedonian Cuisine

Homemade Yogurt

Now you can make your own natural fruit yogurts! I usually buy a bunch of berries, frozen or fresh, add them to my cup of yogurt, stir in some honey and have a go!

At times, I eat it plain, sometimes I will add some granola to it, or I just pour it over my morning cereal. This is my one year olds’ favorite snack, and she likes it plain!

I’ve tried this with all types of milk (organic, Vitamin D, 2%, even skim milk), and it works every time. Truthfully, though, it tastes best when made with 2% milk.

You will need:


  • Pour the gallon of milk into a deep stainless steel cooking pot.
  • Bring the entire gallon of milk to a boil; watch it closely because it will spill over in no time!
  • Remove from the heat and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
  • Add the Dannon Plain Non-Fat Yogurt; mix it very well, cover the pot, and wrap the pot nice and tight with an old bath towel.
  • Let it sit overnight on your kitchen counter.
  • In the morning, transfer the yogurt into a deep dish, uncovered, and put it in the fridge. You can cover it once it is set and cool.
  • Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before you give it a try.

*The next batch can be made with your own cup of yogurt; just don’t forget to save a cup on the side!

Homemade Plain Yogurt

**Left over yogurt? Pour the yogurt in a colander and line two layers of cheese cloth over the yogurt, then place the colander in a bowl. Allow the yogurt to drain for 24 hours in the fridge. The yogurt will thicken, and once you salt it, it will become cheese! This is a delicious spread for your crackers, toasts, or wherever else you desire to spread some cheese!


Filed under Dips & Spreads, Home, Macedonian Cuisine