99 Flavors of Dip: # 1 5-Minute Blender Salsa

This 5-Minute Blender Salsa is fast, easy, and fresh.  All you need is fresh ingredients, a little salt, and a blender.

5-Minute Blender Salsa prep

The salsa can be served with tortilla chips or used as a topping on tacos, burritos, or whatever else you like.

5-Minute Blender Salsa

This salsa is rather Hot.  If you’d like a less spicy version, remove the jalapeno seeds or use half of a jalapeno.

It tastes even better on the second day, once all the flavors have melded together.

5-Minute Blender Salsa

5-Minute Blender Salsa

  • Servings: 4-6
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Fresh, spicy tomato salsa made in the blender.

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 ts salt

Directions

1. Place all of the ingredients except salt into a blender.  Blend on high until all vegetables are pureed to desired consistency (20-30 seconds).  Pour the salsa into a bowl and stir in salt.  Letting the salsa sit will allow the flavors to blend.

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99 Ways with the Air Fryer: # 1 Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites

The air fryer is great because you can produce food that tender on the inside and crispy on the outside without the fat and calories of deep-frying. One of my favorite things to make in the air fryer is cheese sticks or cheese bites. These Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites are coated in crushed cheeseballs and the perfect size for popping in your mouth.

To make things extra easy, I used cut up pieces of string cheese for the mozzarella. The cheeseballs need to be crushed into fine pieces so that they stick to the flour and egg coated pieces of cheese.

mozzarella cheeseball bites ingredients

When placing food into the air fryer, I give it a quick spritz with cooking spray to make sure the outside coating crisps up well.

cheeseball mozzarella bites in the air fryer

One thing I learned from using the air fryer is that you need to remove the food immediately, especially anything with cheese, otherwise it keeps cooking. The Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites need to be whipped out right away after 3 minutes otherwise you’ll find gooey cheese all over the bottom of your air fryer and empty pieces of crispy coating.

But follow this recipe and remove the bites quickly and you’ve got wonderful pieces of soft cheese with a cheeseball crust.

Air Fryer Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites

Air Fryer Cheeseball Mozzarella Bites

  • Servings: 4
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Soft bites of mozzarella coated in crushed cheeseballs and cooked in the air fryer.

Calories per 4 bite serving = 160

Ingredients

  • 3 pieces of string cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 ts water
  • ¾ cup crushed cheeseballs or cheese puffs (can be done in food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin)
  • ¼ ts salt
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Mix salt with crushed cheeseballs or cheese puffs. Cut each piece of string cheese into 5 pieces. Roll each piece of string cheese in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in cheeseball crumbs. Repeat will all mozzarella pieces.
  2. Refrigerate coated cheese bites for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Place cheese bites in air fryer basket and spray with cooking spray. Set air fryer to “fries” setting or 400 degrees. Set time for 3 minutes. Remove cheese bites immediately after time has ended, otherwise the cheese will start leaking out. Eat quickly while warm and soft, before the cheese becomes firm.

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99 Flavors of Mac & Cheese: # 1 Classic Baked Mac & Cheese

Baked Mac & Cheese is a favorite side here in the south. Gooey and cheesy in the middle with a golden crunchy baked top – who wouldn’t like it? I bake the leftovers in a muffin tin with a little extra cheese on top to put in my daughter’s school lunches.

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My recipe is adapted from the Mac & Cheese Cookbook by the Homeroom restaurant in San Francisco. I figure they know a little bit about making macaroni and cheese.
Using a high quality sharp cheddar and kosher salt are crucial to bring out the flavors in this mac & cheese. I use Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar since it is available at my local grocery store.

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My family loves the crunchy baked topping.

Classic Baked Mac & CHeese

Classic Baked Mac & Cheese

  • Servings: 6-8
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Baked cheddar macaroni & cheese, creamy in the middle with a crunchy topping.

Credit: adapted from The Mac & Cheese Cookbook from the Homeroom

Calories per serving = 312

Ingredients

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 ts kosher salt

Topping Ingredients

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tb butter
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a casserole dish.
2. Cook elbow macaroni in boiling water with 1 ts kosher salt according to manufacturer’s directions for al dente pasta. Drain and rinse in cold water (to stop the cooking process).
3. While the pasta is cooking, melt ¼ cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add ¼ cup flour and stir or whisk constantly until golden and bubbly. Slowly add milk ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly, until smooth, but thickened. Turn heat to low and add 1 ts kosher salt and 2 ½ cups shredded cheese. Continue stirring until smooth.
4. Pour macaroni and cheese sauce into greased casserole dish. Stir so pasta is covered in cheese sauce. Melt 1 Tb butter and mix with ½ cup panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle all over the top of macaroni followed by ½ cup shredded cheddar. Bake in the oven for 15 mins.

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