Everything’s better with cheese: My personal favorites

Some of the very best recipes involve the one and only ingredient that makes everything better—Cheese! The three that I have prepared for you this week involve a lot of cheese, and not only cheese, but other appealing ingredients as well! The first is a cheeseburger crescent roll delight. This is one of the easiest casseroles to prepare on a busy weeknight—when you have nothing else in mind to prepare. The second recipe is a mouthwatering pasta recipe that is also worth giving a try on a busy weeknight! Your kids and family will beg for seconds when they get a generous helping of this delicious, rich cheesy Ro-Tel pasta! And finally—a tempting recipe for cream cheese sausage balls. I love these for appetizers at a party! The cream cheese makes them so much better! Enjoy, readers!

Cheeseburger Crescent Roll Delight

Note: This recipe came to me from a friend of mine a long time ago. It’s a recipe that is easy to prepare on a busy weeknight. This is perfect, served with hot buttered garlic bread and a nice salad.

1 lb. ground chuck

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp. lemon pepper

Dash garlic salt

Dash salt and pepper

One and one half pkg. Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls

20 oz. Velveeta cheese, grated

3 Tbsp. sour cream

1 stick butter

Brown ground chuck with onion and spices, then drain well. Add 8 oz. cheese and sour cream to this. Stir until cheese has melted. In a 13×9 casserole dish that has been lightly greased, layer the meat mixture. Sprinkle meat mixture with 12 oz. cheese. Layer crescent rolls over the meat and cheese forming a crust, but covering meat mixture. Dollop pats of butter evenly on top of crescent roll crust (1 stick butter). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes covered, or until crust is golden brown and completely done.

Ro-Tel Pasta

Note: A friend of mine prepared this recipe once for a party, and I absolutely fell in love with this dish. It is also a perfect recipe for busy weeknights. It is best served with hot buttered garlic bread.

1 lb. Penne pasta

1 lb. diced Velveeta cheese (original)

1 lb. ground chuck

1 small onion, chopped

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

One half cup green onions, diced

1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles (mild, with juice)

1 stick butter, softened

One half cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper

Cook ground chuck with onion and bell pepper and drain well. Boil pasta until tender and drain. Add meat to hot pasta, along with cheese, green onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow cheese to melt into pasta. Add Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles with its juice, butter and heavy cream. Incorporate well. Serve hot in bowls with hot buttered garlic cheese bread.

Cream Cheese Sausage Balls

Note: Regular style sausage balls are good, but these sausage balls with cream cheese are a hundred times better! Try them, and you won’t be disappointed!

16 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 lb. pork sausage, uncooked

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

One and one fourth cups Bisquick baking mix

4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients until well combined. Roll into 1 inch balls.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Don’t over bake them, or they will be too hard. You can make these ahead and refrigerate until needed. Or also freeze until ready to use, you will need to add a few minutes to the baking time.

Editor’s note: Brock Wetherly Rogers is an experienced southern food writer, educator, overseas traveler, and passionate student of the culinary and pastry arts.

E-mail your comments to him at brockrogers1@gmail.com ,or find him on Facebook.