Parmesan crisps

These were so much fun! Now, they’re complicated so take a minute to prepare yourself for the giant shopping list. I kid! Obviously. My awesome sister rocks a lower carb diet, but we felt the need to have a chips and salsa night so I made these as a chip alternative. As with most things I make, they’re ridiculously easy.

Parmesan crisps

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat
  2. Put 1 Tbsp. cheese on the mat and tap a little with the back of the spoon to flatten it out a bit; repeat, leaving a couple inches between your little piles of cheese
  3. Bake at 350F for 4 to 5 minutes, watching for the edges to start browning; this will happen quickly so don’t go anywhere. Either pull them when the edges are brown, or let them go a little bit longer for even crispier, um, crisps
  4. At this point you can either leave them to cool on the tray or you can drape them over an overturned glass or a rolling pin (as above) to give them a little shape (the better to hold your salsa with, obviously). If you go the draping route, let them cool on the tray for a minute or two till they start to harden up a bit; when you can get a spatula cleanly under them then you can move them without turning them into a ball of cheese

Enjoy!

Unholey clementine bagels

They’re not biscuits. I promise.

They’re bagels, but without holes. Get it? Unholey? I’ll be here till Thursday!

No, seriously. No holes = more surface area for cream cheese. That’s a total win in my book.

I had a couple bags of clementine puree in the freezer left over from the Cutie Cakes so I decided to see if I could work them into bagels. Batch #2 was a success! Batch #1 involved dead yeast. D’oh. Anyhoo, work these up like super simple bagels:

Unholey clementine bagels

Ingredients

For the overnight starter:
    • 2 1/8 oz bread flour (I actually used AP flour for the starter and it was fine)
    • 2 oz. cool water
    • a pinch of yeast
Add the next day:
  • 12 oz clementine puree* (or 10 ounces clementine and 2 ounces water)
  • 18 oz flour (bread flour would be great)
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Let the starter sit, covered, overnight at room temperature
  2. Add the remaining ingredients the next morning
  3. Knead, knead, knead, especially if you’re using bread flour. When it’s lovely and smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes in a stand mixer) then let it rise for about an hour; punch it down and let it rise again for another 30 minutes
  4. Transfer to a work surface (I use a silicone mat) and either divide into equal pieces, or roll out and cut out with a biscuit cutter if you’re doing the unholey version; cover with plastic wrap and let them sit for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425F and get a large pot of water boiling
  5. At the end of 30 minutes drop the bagels four at a time into boiling water, cooking for 1 minute on the first side, then flipping and boiling for three more minutes, then bake for about 20 minutes or until they’re nicely browned

Notes

Need a refresher on clementine puree? Put five clementines in a pot and pour in enough cold water to cover; bring to a boil then cook at somewhere between a simmer and a boil for two hours; drain and cool, then halve the clementines and run them through a food processor (the whole fruit, peel and everything) until you have a smooth puree. Easy!

Enjoy!

Taco pasta bake

This is an interpretation of a dish I saw at Carrie in the Kitchen (originally at About a Bit of Everything). It’s SO tasty, but rather unphotogenic — as I suppose a lot of casseroles are.

Regardless, you should try this. Just, you know, don’t sign it up for a food modeling contest.

Taco pasta bake

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 8 ounces dried pasta
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can Ro*tel

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cook pasta in salted water for two minutes less than lowest time recommendation on box (e.g. if “cook 7 minutes for al dente” then cook yours for 5 minutes); drain
  3. Brown ground beef and drain any grease; add water and taco seasoning, stir, and let simmer uncovered 5-10 minutes; stir in cream cheese, cooked pasta and RO*TEL
  4. Spoon into greased casserole dish and top with mozzarella cheese; bake for 20 minutes or so until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown around the edges

Bonus: this freezes like a dream! Make two and freeze one covered in a layer of plastic wrap then a layer of foil — just remember to remove the plastic wrap before baking!