Friday, November 30, 2012

Crosshatch-Cut Stuffed Bread

From my understanding, the original basis of this recipe came from The Girl Who Ate Everything. I haven't read that particular blog as yet, but I have seen various versions of this recipe show up on other food blogs and on Pinterest.

So I decided to make my own version and see how it came out. There are multiple options for this, as you can pretty much stuff what ever ingredients in here that you want to have your own impressive display of cheesy bready goodness.


One loaf of sourdough bread
1 package of provolone slices (or have it cut at the deli)
1 package of mozzarella slices (again you can also have this cut at the deli)
Pepperoni Slices
1 Package of button mushrooms
1 bunch green onions
1/2 stick of butter


Slice your bread loaf in parallel lines in one direction and then another set going the other direction, making a crosshatch pattern of cuts through the bread. Don't cut it all the way through though, just down to maybe about a quarter inch above the bottom of the loaf. The cuts should be about an inch apart. After cutting, put your bread on a foil line cookie sheet, it will make clean up much easier!

Take the provolone and mozzarella slices and stuff them down into the cut open sections of bread, alternating the cheeses. Or you could even do provolone on one side and mozzarella on the other. Then take the pepperoni slices and stick them throughout your bread as well.

Rough chop the mushrooms and slice up your green onions (use both the white and the green parts). In a large skillet, add 1/4 stick of butter and melt it over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, toss in the mushrooms and onions and cook them down for about 10 minutes. Then using a spoon, add the mushroom/onion mixture to the crevices in the bread with the cheese and pepperoni. You can use the spoon to push down your mixture to get it all in there. Then take your remaining 1/4 stick of butter and put it in the skillet that cooked the mushrooms and onions in. Melt it down over medium high heat and then drizzle the butter over your entire stuffed loaf.

Cover with tin foil and then put in a 350 F oven for about 20-25 minutes. (I did mine for only 15 minutes and the cheese down in the center didn't melt quite enough). Remove your bread from oven, transfer to a large serving dish and you're good to go! Great snack for Superbowl Sunday, or add a side salad and call it dinner. Or add a craft beer with a side of Serpico and you have a guys movie afternoon. Whatever you choose to do, you won't have any problem eating the damn thing. Its tasty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

Well it seems as though everything is about food and recipes so far, but I have not currently been in gardening, brewing or project mode.  This recipe is not for the dieter or the the weak of heart (since this will probably cause any working arteries you have to seize up), however if you aren't worried about that and just want something that is easy to make and damn delicious, then please proceed with wild abandon.

You have a couple of options here with the chicken. You can buy raw chicken and then cook and shred it to your preference, or you can take the easy way out like I did, and just buy a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store and dress it up from there. With cooking and prep this took me a little under an hour to make.


1 Rotisserie chicken
2 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded)
3/4 stick of butter
2 Cups chicken broth
3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 4 oz. can of Green Chiles
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (feel free to add more for your taste preference)
1 tsp. cracked or ground black pepper
10 flour tortillas
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro chopped


Remove about 2 cups worth of the chicken and shred it with a fork and knife. You can leave the skin on as well as it makes a tasty addition. If you have used raw chicken and cooked it yourself, just make about two cups shredded. Add the chicken to a sauce pan or large non stick fry pan. Put on a very low heat and add the cumin, garlic powder and black pepper. Stir well to ensure all the chicken is incorporated well with your spices and leave on low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a sauce pan on medium high heat melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in your flour. Continue to whisk for a couple minutes until the butter and flour are bubbly and thick. Then add the chicken broth. Whisk together and then leave on heat until the mixture thickens in consistency and  begins to bubble. Turn heat down to low so as not to boil the mixture as you are now going to incorporate your sour cream (but you don't want it to curdle in a super high heat). Whisk in the sour cream and then add the green chiles. Leave on the heat for a couple more minutes while continuing to stir and then turn off heat.

Now that the chicken has cooled some, you will add 1 cup of the monterey jack cheese to the chicken and mix it together. Put some of your chicken and cheese mixture on a tortilla and then roll it up and place it in a glass baking dish. Continue to do this with each tortilla until you have filled the bottom of your dish. I think I used a 9x12 pan and it held 10 of these, which used all of my chicken and cheese. Now pour your sour cream and green chile sauce over all of the tortillas. Add the remaining 1 cup of monterey jack cheese on top. Bake in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes. Then remove from the oven and turn your broiler on high. Place the dish under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes or until your cheese on top gets a nice crispy brown.

When you serve your enchiladas, top them with the fresh chopped cilantro. I also included a side of black beans. (1 15oz. can heated with 1 tsp of cumin).

These enchiladas are rich and tasty!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spinach Cheese Wreath

Back a few years ago, my niece had a Pampered Chef party and invited me to come check it out since she knew I enjoyed cooking. So I figured I would stop by for a while and show her some support but didn't plan on buying anything really.

Somehow a few hours later I left with over $500 worth of Pampered Chef cookware and gadgets. Not really sure how that happened, I think someone slipped something in my drink and took advantage of my cookware coma. Nevertheless I have been quite pleased with the items I purchased, most of all the pizza stone. I am not really sure how I got through the years prior to owning a pizza stone, and I highly suggest you get one, Pampered Chef or otherwise.

So this past weekend, I decided to pull out the trusty stone and do a little baking. As if we didn't already have enough food in the fridge left over from Thanksgiving. But quite frankly, I was tired of turkey, ham, and sides, didn't feel like re-creating a Pinterest worthy dish out of leftover turkey, and just had a hankerin' for something different.

I made a spinach cheese wreath, which I have made several times a year ever since I got the pizza stone. The basis of the recipe comes from the Pampered Chef cookbook, although I make small variations to the recipe each time I make it depending on what I am in the mood for or what I have in the fridge. Here is the one I made last night....


2 packages of crescent rolls (16 total rolls) Leave in fridge until ready to use.
10 ozs frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 6 oz. package of feta cheese
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of mayo
1 egg
1 clove of garlic, minced or sliced paper thin.
1 tomato
Salt and Pepper to taste


Chop the spinach (if you didn't buy pre-chopped) and the artichoke hearts and put in a mixing bowl. Add the mayo, mozzarella, parmesan, feta cheese, egg, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.

Remove the crescent rolls from the fridge and open and unroll. Arrange the first package of rolls in a circle on the pizza stone with the pointy ends facing outward. Do the same with the second package of rolls filling in the gaps between the first circle. A smaller version of it would look basically like this on your stone (or pan): 
Then spoon your cheesy mixture onto the thickest part of the dough on your wreath. Once you have made a complete circle with your mixture you are now ready for the tomato. Cut your tomato into slices, and then cut each slice in half length-wise. Place the tomato slices in a circle on top of the cheese spinach mixture.
Once this is complete, take a pointed edge of a crescent roll and fold it over the mixture in a clockwise direction. Do this with every other cresecent roll. Then fold over counter-clockwise the remaining crescent rolls. This will give you a braided look to your wreath. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
I didn't take any pictures last night of the wreath I made, so here is a couple I gleaned from the internet to give you an idea. I will take pictures next time I make one and replace these.
There are multiple ingredients you can use in this. I have previously made mine with a mix of swiss and mozarella cheese. Other ingredient options to consider:
Green Onion
You can omit or add as your tastebuds prefer. It really is a versatile dish and awesomely delicious. Plus once you get the braid down, it makes quite an impression when friends or family are over for dinner. Another option is to use an egg white to brush over the whole outer roll and then sprinkle with slivered almonds, as seen above.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Barbecue Pulled Pork

Pulled pork in all its tasty glory!

Here is a simple recipe to give you plenty of good eats for a weekend. I made this last Friday/Saturday and had enough for three of us to make several meals out of.


5-6 lbs of boneless pork roast or pork butt. (I purchased two roasts that were around 2.8 lbs each.)
2-3 Cups of a good beef broth
Barbecue Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's original recipe, about 1/3 of one of the big bottles)


Put your pork roast in the crock pot. Add 2-3 cups of the beef broth. Turn heat to high and allow to cook for 3-4 hours. Turn heat to low and cook for another 7-8 hours. (I just let mine cook overnight). Remove roast, discarding broth and add to a large bowl or casserole dish. Using a couple of forks, pull apart the meat, shredding it, and removing any pieces of fat. Once all the meat is shredded, add your barbecue sauce, toss until well coated. The amount of sauce is up to your personal preference.

Serve on a soft bun with a side of coleslaw and a good dill pickle. Enjoy!

This recipe is great for football Sundays!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

First Thoughts

This blog was originally set up to document my adventures in home-brewing, however after only 3 posts, I never really kept up with it. I also felt that limiting this to solely home-brew did not fully encompass the myriad of projects in which I find myself constantly immersed. 

Having purchased a house from my father, my fiance and I spent the next several months painting, redoing hardwood floors, ripping up carpet and gutting a moldy basement. We were finally able to move in, but have lots of additional projects planned, including building the basement back out, building a deck, planting gardens, etc.

I often peruse Pinterest and come up with all sort of grand ideas of water features, garden walkways, a cottage style greenhouse and cedar decking. However, my bank account after all the initial work is pointing me in the direction of a garden hose and sprinkler, dirt paths, and a few shrubs. Additionally, I should probably first concentrate on putting up a fence to prevent our neighbors black lab from bullying us out of our yard. He has a tendency to charge us everytime he is allowed out, flying across the yard at top speed growling and baring teeth. I have no idea who this canine thinks he is, but he will not be ruling MY yard much longer.

But I digress. This blog will serve to share all of my gardening tips and woes, home-brewing successes and failures, house projects, recipes, crafts, and whatever else I get myself into. Hopefully I will be able to share some good tips on something you are interested in, or at the very least, provide you with an entertaining story from time to time.

So why the name Crosshatch? For those of you who are not familiar with drawing or quilting, Cross-hatching is the practice of overlapping parallel sets of lines in drawing to indicate lights and darks, or shading. (Hatching is one set of parallel lines, cross-hatching is one set going in one direction, with another overlapped set going in a different, often perpendicular, direction.) These parallel lines basically form grids. Anyway, to me, brewing, gardening, music, etc., are all the parallel lines that cross and recross to form the gridwork of who I am and/or what I do. A great patchwork of hobbies, interests and knowledge that help to form the framework of the soul.

....or more likely, I'm just a middle-age guy with a touch of A.D.D. who likes to have about 15 different things going on to keep my attention....Hey look! A squirrel!