Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cheddar and Green Chili Drop Biscuits

Warm, Gooey, and Cheesy? Yes Please!!!
Ho, Ho, Holy Cow! How is it the middle of December already? I still have presents to buy, a couple of decorations to put up, and assorted other obligations that may or may not get done before the end of the season.

In the midst of all of this holiday hustle and bustle, I forgot to move “Jess” our Elf on the Shelf last night. Good thing the toddler is in preschool for a few hours today…I’ll just have to come up with some sort of crafty response as to why she moved this morning instead of after her midnight jaunt to the North Pole. Perhaps this gymnastics-inspired pose will serve as a good distraction?
"Jess" Hanging Around
Anyhoo, I promised in my last post to put up a few seasonal dishes this December and there’s definitely room on our holiday table for these Cheddar and Green Chili Drop Biscuits. In reality cheesy biscuits are amazing ANY time of year but these are a nice alternative to traditional dinner rolls.
Now, the recipes I post are usually healthy and made pretty much from scratch. However, this one calls for Bisquick (gasp!). But I promise you, they are simple and delicious and those are two big bonuses in my book—especially this time of year.

As you can see in the picture above, I made five giant biscuits but you could easily use less dough mixture for each and have maybe 10 small rolls per batch. Play around—the size of your biscuits is up to you. Here’s what I came up with.
Cheddar and Green Chili Drop Biscuits
Makes 5 large or 10 small biscuits

1½ cups Bisquick (I used the HeartSmart version)
1 (7-ounce) can diced green chilis
¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup reduced-fat milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well to distribute cheese and chilis evenly.

Use a spoon to “drop” the dough mixture onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. (This amount should yield 5 large or 10 small biscuits.)

Bake 11-13 minutes at 450 degrees until biscuits are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
These are SOOOOOOO good. How could they not be? They are warm, gooey, and full of cheese…it’s basically impossible to go wrong with that combo.

I call them drop biscuits because you literally plop them onto the baking sheet and stick them in the oven. No rolling pin or cutting implements required. Again, easy peasy. Just the way I like my recipes.
I served these biscuits with a large field greens salad topped with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, a crab cake, and spicy mango salsa…but they make a great side to just about any dish, from holiday ham to roasted turkey. They would also pair nicely with chicken tortilla or Caliente Crock Pot Chicken and Vegetable Soup. Let’s not kid ourselves: They would even be good alone.

Stay tuned for more holiday favorites. I’m working on an orange-spice cranberry sauce and I’m also on the lookout for a good sweet potato dish I can modify. If you have family favorites you’d like to share, feel free to email them to me at You can also post them in the comments section below.
Hope everyone is enjoying this crazy, yet wonderful time of year.

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cheesy Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

The picture doesn't do it justice...this soup is SOOOOO good!!!
Well, friends, the holiday season is in full swing and you know what that means—we are all BUSY. There are gifts to purchase and wrap, decorating to be done, parties to attend…and that’s all on top of our normal hectic schedules. It’s may be the most wonderful time of the year, but this mama could seriously use a few more hours in the day to get things done.

Now more than ever, I’m thankful for easy recipes I can toss in the Crock Pot. And this time of year is perfect for slow cooker soups. When I saw
this one on Pinterest I seriously couldn’t stop drooling. But I wanted to make a healthier version so I swapped the hash browns for sweet potatoes, ditched the butter and half and half, used all cream of portabella mushroom soup, and added leeks and chicken broth. It still contains a cup and a half of cheddar cheese but hey, you’ve gotta keep at least one of the naughty ingredients, right? Here’s what I came up with.

Cheesy Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

Serves 4-6

Olive oil spray
3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup leeks, chopped
3 cups of condensed cream of mushroom soup (about 2 standard cans)***
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded (you can use reduced fat cheese if you prefer)
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper

***I used 3 boxes of Trader Joe’s Condensed Cream of Portabella Mushroom Soup but it’s seasonal so it may not be available for much longer.

Lightly spritz Crock Pot with olive oil spray. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours or until sweet potatoes are tender and cooked through.

You could easily make this a vegetarian dish by swapping the chicken broth for vegetable broth. You could also toss in a little cooked chicken if you wanted to add more protein.

All I have to say is YUMMO!!!! I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of mushrooms so it’s weird that I’m in love with a soup that uses cream of mushroom as a base but it’s true. And let’s face it; anything with cheddar cheese melted into it is bound to be delicious. The hubs, who doesn’t really care for sweet potatoes, was pleasantly surprised by how much he enjoyed this soup. So it’s an all-around winner at our house.

The best thing about this recipe is that soups tend to taste better the longer you simmer them. So set your Crock Pot on low and forget about it while you are dashing around town, wrapping gifts, or watching holiday movies.

The next time I make this, I may cut the chicken broth in half (use 1 cup instead of 2) for a little creamier consistency but honestly, it was great the way it was.

If you are a fan of easy, hearty, and tasty soups, this is the perfect recipe for you. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Until next time,