Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Pepperjack Macaroni & Cheese

This past weekend, I had the privilege of traveling to Roanoke to gather with a bunch of food bloggers for the first-annual Mixed conference. I will be posting more photos and stories of the event soon. It was a total blast!

One of the highlights of the weekend came as a total surprise to me. My Roasted Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese ended up winning a midnight mac ‘n’ cheese contest sponsored by Dreamfields Pasta! I was more than a little shocked, and have no doubt that my face turned beet red as I walked up to receive the prize. But they were awesome, and even gave me a red sash, black feather boa and a little tiara. So fun! :)

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Baked Mexican Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

A few weeks ago, I was adding in the thyme and oregano to my favorite homemade mozzarella sticks when it suddenly occurred to me — why are cheese sticks always made with Italian seasonings? Mexican food includes mozzarella all the time. Why not give this cheese stick recipe a try…Mexi-style?!?

So I did.

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Spinach Artichoke Chicken Pizza

Calling all of you spinach artichoke dip lovers!

Allow me to introduce you to one of my new favorites — Spinach Artichoke & Chicken Pizza! Actually, the chicken is optional, but the spinach and artichokes are a must. This one turned out to be fantastic!

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Easy Pizza Cups

You all know I couldn’t go too long without posting another recipe with wonton wrappers. (For you newbies, they happen to be one of my favorite ingredients!)

In honor of football season and fun gametime apps, I decided to turn everyone’s favorite pizza ingredients into cute little “Easy Pizza Cups”! These couldn’t be more simple. Bake up some wonton shells, fill them with your favorite pizza toppings, pop them back in the oven for a bit to melt the cheese, and voila! These adorable little pizza cups are yours to enjoy. And let me tell ya – they will easily disappear before halftime if you’re watching the game!!

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Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

I thought it was only appropriate to kick off October with another pumpkin recipe! But instead of sweets, this time it’s pumpkin-meets-savory-comfort-food with this Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese!

I was going back and forth today, though, about whether to just make the macaroni plain on the stovetop or bake it up with some extra breadcrumbs. So I turned to my favorite research lab – Instagram. And you all are awesome! Within minutes, I had a long list of your heartfelt convictions about mac and cheese. Breadcrumbs or no breadcrumbs. Baked or stovetop.

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Espinaca Con Queso (Spinach Cheese Dip)

As much as I a-d-o-r-e going out for Mexican food, my friends would be the first to tell you that 90% of my meal usually ends up being three things: chips, salsa, y queso. I’m a total lost cause, though, when the queso is “espinaca” — white cheese dip with spinach.

Oh my heavens. This stuff is completely irresistible.

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Pasta With Goat Cheese, Chicken, Asparagus and Mushrooms

Food photography can be bewildering at times.

When I looked through the viewfinder, the main thing I saw was this luscious, creamy goat cheese sauce covering every bite of this dish. But strangely after uploading my photos — of course after having devoured this for lunch with a friend — the sauce is just barely visible. What the what?!

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Strawberry Margarita Cheesecake

What does one bring to a rockin’ Cinco de Awesome fiesta thrown by a bunch of foodie friends?

But of course, a super-awesome strawberry cheesecake…

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Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas

Whenever my coworkers ask where I’d like to go to eat for lunch, about 9 times out of 10 my reply is a way-too-enthusiastic vote for Mexican. Yeah, it’s kind of the office joke. This food blogger could absolutely live on Mexican food.

But being that we work clear out in the ‘burbs, authentic Mexican food can be a little hard to come by. Thankfully the closest local Tex-Mex chain happens to have some of the best chips and salsa in town, plus one of my all-time favorite dishes — Parmesan-Crusted Shrimp Quesadillas.

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Football Bites (With Summer Sausage, Cheddar & Ranch)

Ok, I confess — I really like to play with my food. :-)

So when surveying the ingredients I had out to make some apps for a Chiefs game this month, suddenly the thought of just slicing the cheddar and sausage seemed a little too boring. So with the help of a can of chopped green chiles (somehow lost my small round cookie cutter!) and an extra Ziplock to pipe on some ranch dressing, suddenly my plain little apps were “kicked” (ha!) up a notch. ;)

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