Three Cheese Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

I’m sad to say that there was a point in my life when I hated Mac n’ Cheese.

Three Cheese Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese.  So rich, so creamy, and so extremely cheesy!  Just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker (even the uncooked pasta) and in just a few hours you have some of the tastiest mac out there! | blog.hostthetoast.com

Doesn’t that make you sad for my childhood?  Oh, the wasted years!

For much of my life, I didn’t realize that there was anything else out there other than the watery, powder-made instant cheese sauce from a box.  No thank you!

Then I discovered the joys of baked Macaroni and Cheese at a barbecue a few years back, and then I realized that, of course, you can make Mac ‘n’ Cheese with real cheese on the stove top.

And I thought to myself, “What a wonderful world.”

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Fried Pickle Poppers

As a “northerner”, there are a lot of foods that I feel it took me far too long to discover.  I’ve fallen in love with BBQ brisket, pecan pie, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, and chicken fried steak all within the past few years.

Fried Pickle Poppers.  These cheese-stuffed fried pickles are way easier to make than the typical deep-fried pickle chips, and they're even tastier!  Also, Chipotle Mayo Dip = delicious| blog.hostthetoast.com

There’s no denying that there’s some delicious dishes to be had down south, but one really surprised me as a New Jersey native:  Fried Pickles.

Fried Pickles sounded gross to me when I first heard about them, but in the spirit of trying anything once (especially anything fried), I gave them a try in North Carolina a few years back.  Oh my.

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Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Parm Meatballs

At all times, I have at least 3 varieties of mozzarella in my fridge.  Bocconcini, shredded, sliced, mozzarella di bufala… it’s all got its place in my heart and in my meals (especially since I learned how to make my own fresh mozzarella).  I could –and would– eat mozzarella in everything, but I try to save it for dishes where it will really shine.

You know, like Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Parm Meatballs.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Parm Meatballs!  All the flavors of chicken parmesan in a fun-to-eat bite!  Click through to see a picture of the mozzarella-y inside and get the recipe!  | blog.hostthetoast.com

I bought ciliegine (bite sized mozzarella balls) a week or so ago, thinking I would use them in a recipe that never wound up happening.  I don’t believe in wasting food, so I had to come up with something quick when I realized that my precious (think Gollum from the Lord of the Rings– I’m serious about my cheese) mozzarella would probably be going bad if I didn’t use it up soon.

The horror.  I couldn’t allow it.

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Garlicky Feta Dip

If I could make Greek-inspired dishes every single day for the blog, I probably would.  You might be getting sick of the mass amounts of feta I’ve been shoving into recipes (hello, Zucchini, Feta, and Spinach Fritters, Greek Chicken “Pitzas”, and Athenian Chicken Quesadillas), but I can’t help myself.  I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more feta.

Garlicky Feta Dip.  This creamy, tangy dip goes great with pita and is easy to whip together as a party appetizer! | blog.hostthetoast.com

But if you are right there with me riding this feta train until it breaks down, then behold this delightful bit of taste-bud splendor: Garlicky Feta Dip.

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Favorite Melty Mozzarella

You know what I love?  Some deliciously creamy, fresh mozzarella cheese.  You know what I don’t love?  Paying $8 for a pound of it.

Favorite Melty Mozzarella.  It's easy to make and costs way less!  Not to mention mozzarella this fresh is just amazing beyond words. | blog.hostthetoast.com

Every time I go to the grocery store and pick up a log of fresh mozzarella, my mouth salivates, but my wallet cries.  I’d been thinking a lot lately about attempting to make mozzarella myself, but it just seemed so hard.  There was no way I could make it without messing it up majorly and taking up my whole day, right?

Wrong.  So very wrong.

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