Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Broccoli Cheddar Pockets

I found these on a whim last week while desperately searching for something new and easy to try for dinner. We grabbed ingredients on the way home (thank you, premade bread dough), and within an hour were pulling these out of the oven. A few bites later, Dan the Man declared these broccoli-cheddar pockets had made it to his top ten list of favorite meals.

Of course if you had time you could certainly make your own dough from scratch, but I was pleased with these results. We brainstormed future fillings like pepperoni and mozzarella, ham and cheddar, or spinach and feta.

Based on a recipe from

Ingredients (makes 8 pockets)

  • 3-4 small broccoli crowns, chopped into small pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 8 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream
  • small handful fresh chives, chopped
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing (vegetable oil spray works fine too)
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 2 (11-ounce) tubes refrigerated French bread dough
  • 1 large egg
  1. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool; pat very dry. 
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush or spray baking sheet with vegetable oil.
  3. Mix broccoli, cheddar, sour cream, and chives in a bowl until combined. Squeeze the mixture together to compact it.
  4. Use a little bit of flour to lightly dust your work surface.
  5. Cut each tube of dough into four pieces. Roll each piece out and fill with broccoli mixture. Fold and secure each pocket, then place seam-side down on the baking sheet.(Check out these excellent step-by-step photos if you have never made these before!)
  6. Beat egg in a small bowl. Add 1 Tbsp water and mix well.
  7. Brush each pocket with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

Whenever I used to make macaroni and cheese, the boys in my family would cover it with hot sauce. Once sriracha came into our lives, it became the new mac and cheese topping. It sort of bugged me until I accepted that they just loved spicy food.

So I am sure you can imagine how excited I was to try this recipe when I stumbled upon it. Thank you to Budget Bytes for this lovely recipe to which my family is now addicted!


  • 1 lb cut pasta (spirals and penne are both good here)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 brick)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 oz can sliced jalapenos
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Once pasta is added to boiling water, begin cheese sauce. Heat medium-sized stockpot over medium heat. Add milk, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Whisk until cream cheese has softened and mixture has combined.
  3. Turn heat to low. Add sour cream, jalapenos, and chiles, continuing to whisk until combined. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Once everything is done cooking, turn heat off. Drain pasta. Return to its own pot. Pour cheese sauce over top of pasta. Stir well. Add shredded pepper jack cheese and stir well until pepper jack has melted. Serve immediately.