Cheeseburger-Soup-with-Green-Chile-15

Another discovery from “Great Day Cafe” is their Cheeseburger Soup.  Their daily soup menu changes day to day but you can always be sure to find a tasty bowl listed on the blackboard.  My version has a few differences, however.  Great Day Cafe cooked diced potatoes in their soup where as I like crisp fries on the side.  Waffle fries are perfect to dunk in this soup and also as a side cruncher.  To give it some New Mexican flavor add some green chile, which is purely up to you.  Don’t tell Great Day Cafe, but I think I like my Cheeseburger Soup slightly better than theirs.  That won’t stop me from going back, I feel inspired every time I visit their cafe!
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Green-Chile-and-Cheddar-Mashed-Potatoes-13

There’s nothing more comforting to this native New Mexican than a bowl of Green Chile and Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.  Especially like today when the temp will be no higher than 10 degrees for the day.  It’s frigid outside and I’m all about staying warm.  A bowl of comforting potatoes with spicy Hatch green chile and cheese is the perfect side dish or in my case main dish to serve on a blustery day like today!  These mashed potatoes with buttery creamy melting cheese and green chiles are something that I make quite often.  I love them soooo much!!  Ask any member of my family and they will vouch for me that I have an infinite love of potatoes that goes way back.  I had a hard time coming up with a recipe because I don’t measure when I make mashed potatoes, I just make them.  So this time I did my best to put together something on paper that would help recreate the bowl of comfort that I’ve enjoyed so many times.  I hope you will enjoy them as much as I have!
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Mini-Peanut-Butter-Cup-Cheesecake-21

Another year passed by, another birthday cheesecake for Josh!  For Josh it must be cheesecake and it must involve peanut butter cups.  I try different variations every year so it’s not the same ole cake.  Last year I made a layer of peanut butter cheesecake topped by a layer of chocolate cheesecake, swirled the two together and sprinkled peanut butter cups over top.  He liked it, however he prefers a plain cheesecake with peanut butter cups, chocolate, and peanut butter as layers so he can savor each individual flavor.  So I went back to the drawing board and came up with this.  It’s a smaller version, a 6 inch cheesecake with little mini peanut butter cups that are so cute!  I made a center layer of mini peanut butter cups with a drizzle of melted chocolate and a few peanut butter cups on top just for decor. I don’t know what’s in store for next year’s birthday treat but I’m sure it will include chocolate and peanut butter and cheesecake!
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Date-Bars-18

It seems like dried fruit is always front and center this time of year.  I enjoy most dried fruits but dates aren’t necessarily one of them.  However, they are one of Joe’s favorites and he loves date bars so I thought I would give them a try.  He described a soft chewy bar with a bottom crust and date filling, topped with a crumbly streusel.  They must have turned out pretty good because he grabbed a bar every time he walked by and gave me a thumbs up with a smile!
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Creamy-Risotto-18

Creamy Risotto is one of my favorite comfort side dishes. It’s similar to the recipe Pioneer Woman makes which was my inspiration.  It’s so easy to make, the only requirement is that you stay close by and continuously stir the pot as the liquid is absorbed into the rice.  The process is repeated by adding additional amounts of liquid until all is absorbed over an approximate 20 minute period.  Then comes the delicious creamy part, adding a blend of three cheeses with a splash of cream that taste so good that you could eat the whole bowl!  It’s meant to be a side dish but could easily be the main attraction!
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Chicken-Mole-Nachos-13

Making anything from scratch is the way to go if you have the time and effort to do so.  Mole sauce is a favorite of mine but is a bit complex to make with a long list of ingredients.  When in a pinch for time, I sometimes reach for a Frontera sauce packet for a quick and easy meal.  Frontera is founded by Rick Bayless and makes some of the most flavorful sauce blends you can find that is packaged and ready to go.  I don’t usually promote pre-packaged anything but I will make an exception for Frontera products. This chicken mole makes fantastic nachos but is so versatile it would be yummy folded into tacos, rolled into a flour tortilla for burritos or stacked between corn tortillas for a savory enchilada with melted cheese and a fried egg.  You can’t beat the flavor combinations of rich smoky mole chicken with melted Manchego cheese, jalapeno slices, fresh avocado pico, sliced black olives and verde seasoned sour cream.
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Cranberry-and-Pecan-Salad-from-Great-Day-Cafe-2

Great Day Cafe is one of our favorite little cafe’s in the heart of downtown Overland Park.  It’s a quirky little cafe with a cool menu of sandwiches and panini’s with vegetarian and gluten free choices, a new soup for each day of the week, quiches, and my favorite, this Cranberry and Nut salad which comes with your choice of pecans or walnuts. You can’t beat the charming staff or the black board specials where you might find something new to tempt your palate!  A very tiny space with an outdoor patio featuring artwork and a small band in house for a unique experience.  Located next door to the Farmer’s Market, Penzey’s and The Tasteful Olive, it’s safe to say I’ve been there a few times.  After my last visit I came home and made a Cranberry and Pecan salad at home with a homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette. I don’t have a house band to entertain you but the salad is great!
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