Tag: Parmigiano Reggiano

Cheesy Crackers – The Simple Joy of Homemade Crackers

Making homemade cheese crackers has never been very high on
my must-do baking list, but with entertaining season rapidly approaching, I
decided to give it a try to see just how vastly superior they are to their
store-bought cousins.

I’m happy to report that they better anything I’ve ever
had out of a factory-sealed package. They have a much better texture with more crunch, and way
more real, cheesy flavor. The only thing they have less of is ingredients; like
by 45 to 5.

By the way, these cheesy crackers are based on a recipe I found on
my friend, Joy the Baker’s blog. If you’re not familiar with her fine work, I
encourage you to go check her out. She’s one of my favorites!

As far as the cheese goes, I went with three parts sharp
cheddar to one part Parmigiano-Reggiano. I’m giving the cheese measurements
below in weight, as the proportions to the rest of the ingredients are
critical, and as you’ll see in the clip, measuring by cup is highly inaccurate.
Since I used a fine grater on the very dry, hard cheese, it looks like well
over a half-cup of cheese, but in fact was only one ounce.

This is why when recipes call for a cup of Parmesan cheese,
some people will be adding 2-oz of cheese, and others 4-oz, simply depending on
how they grated the cheese and packed the cup. But, when portioning cheese by
weight, one ounce is always one ounce. 

Okay, I feel better. I hope you give
these delicious homemade cheese crackers a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 36 crackers:
(Note: This is a half recipe,
you should double to make enough for a party)
Based on this recipe from Joy the Baker
2 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup lightly
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1/3
cup lightly packed)
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.25 oz by weight)
1 tablespoon cold water

Turkey Meatball Spinach Tortellini Soup

This easy, kid-friendly soup is a great way to warm up on a cold winter night. One large bowl is under 300 calories and is very satisfying.

I love turkey meatballs in my soup. Spaghetti and meatball soup[1] is a regular in my home because my kids love it! I also love making tortellini soup – Spinach Tortellini en Brodo[2] is a winter favorite of mine. This recipe combines the best of both soups and my family loved it. I hope yours does too!

Turkey Meatball Spinach Tortellini Soup
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 1/2 cups • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 271 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 26 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 20 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 1064 mg • Cholesterol: 89 mg


For the Meatballs:

  • 10 oz 93% ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

For the soup:

  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled & chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 (14.5 oz) cans reduced sodium chicken broth (I used Swansons)
  • 1 small Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
  • 9 oz refrigerated spinach cheese tortellini (Buitoni)fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for topping


Combine the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic, salt and parmesan cheese. Using your (clean) hands, gently mix all the ingredients well until everything is combined. Form small meatballs, about 1 tbsp each, you’ll get about 20 to 22.

In a large nonstick pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When melted, add the celery, onion, carrot & garlic. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

Add the chicken broth and parmesan rind and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. When broth boils, season with black pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium and gently drop in the meatballs. Cook about 4 minutes.

Add the tortellini and simmer until cooked according to package directions, about 7 minutes.

Once cooked, remove the rind, and add the baby spinach. Stir to combine and serve topped with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano.


  1. ^ Spaghetti and meatball soup (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  2. ^ Spinach Tortellini en Brodo (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)

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Spring Asparagus Risotto

Creamy risotto, cooked with Spring asparagus, fresh herbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano and a touch of lemon. Perfect as a meatless main dish if you use vegetable broth, or wonderful as a side with grilled shrimp.

This Italian rice dish is a labor of love, not the kind of dish you turn on and walk away from, but instead slowly cooked with ladlefuls of broth, adding more each time it’s absorbed. Just before the last ladle, I added fresh asparagus to the last five minutes of cooking time and finished it with a touch of lemon juice and lemon zest.

Because risotto is so simple, I like to use the freshest ingredients when I make it such as seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs and good cheese.

Asparagus is perfect addition to risotto, and now in season. This spear-shaped veggie is an awesome weapon for your health. It’s packed with disease-fighting nutrients including fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K and glutathione, a detoxifying compound that may protect against certain types of cancer. And it’s loaded with age-defying antioxidants that work to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals in your body. Look for spears with tight buds and firm stalks without wrinkles.

Spring Asparagus Risotto
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 generous cup as a main • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 255 • Fat: 4 g • Protein: 9 g • Carb: 43 g • Fiber: 2 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 630 mg


  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 oz dry white wine
  • 3/4 lb thin asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, cut 2-inches long
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest for garnish


In a large saucepan, heat broth over medium-high heat. When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and maintain over low heat, taste for salt and adjust as needed.

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and add the shallots; sauté 3-4 minute. Add the rice; mix well so the rice is coated throughout and saute until the rice is slightly translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed. 

Add a ladleful of the simmering stock; stir and wait until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful stirring gently and almost constantly. 

Continue this process until the rice is creamy, tender to the bite, but slightly firm in the center. Add the asparagus along with the last ladle of broth and continue cooking 5 minutes, total time should be about 25-30 minutes from the time you started. When all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Serve immediately and top with fresh cracked pepper, lemon zest, and extra grated cheese if desired.

Makes over 4 cups.

Nutritional information for asparagus provided by Heather K Jones[1], RD.


  1. ^ Heather K Jones (www.heatherkjones.com)

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