Smoked Gouda Cranberry Cheeseball

The holiday season is upon us and this means parties and family get togethers! This cheeseball adds a savory, smoky with a bit of sweetness to any appetizer table.

I often use my family and friends as my taste testers for recipes and this one was critiqued during Thanksgiving. Per my dad “The Cranberries round out this recipe and help balance the smokiness from the gouda”. I almost dropped the gravy that I was making when he said that, as my dad is a man of few words.

Smoked Gouda Cranberry Cheeseball


1 package of cream cheese softened

½ c shredded smoked gouda

½ c shredded aged gouda

½ c shredded sharp cheddar

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Sweetened dried cranberries roughly chopped

Add soften cream cheese and seasonings (ground white pepper and smoked paprika to a bowl).

Using an electric hand mixer combine ingredients together. At this time, I will sample the now seasoned cream cheese and if I feel that it needs some extra pepper or paprika this is the time to do so!

Add shredded cheese and mix.

Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill a minimum of 30 minutes or until ready to use!

Remove plastic wrap and roll in sweetened dried cranberries.

Serve with crackers, pretzels and veggies.


If you make this recipe, please show me your creations at @inthekitchenwithjohnnarose on Instagram or #IntheKitchenwithJohnnaRose

Herbs and Cheese Cauliflower

Growing up, mom would pull use frozen vegetables as a side dish for many meals and back then I would absolutely refuse to eat them. As an adult, I now eat vegetables and have a bag for frozen vegetables on hand for a quick meal or side dish.

This recipe took me awhile to perfect, and the first time I was making it I managed to start a fire in my oven. Let’s just say my smoke detectors work, my dog is highly afraid of that sound and my neighbors got one heck of a laugh on a Wednesday night. What did I learn? Do not put frozen vegetables in an oven with oil, the oil and water will splatter than poof fire!

Herbs and Cheese Cauliflower


1 12oz frozen steamer package of cauliflower

1 tablespoon of olive oil

½ teaspoon chives

½ teaspoon basil

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon parsley

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon dry grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Prepare the cauliflower the microwave according to the steamer package.

Drain out excess water.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir

Add seasonings: Basil, oregano, parsley, chives and ground pepper. Stir

Place onto a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, carefully remove from the oven and stir the Cauliflower to obtain slight browning on the vegetables. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Once done add dry grated parmesan and stir.


For a dairy free option swap out the dry grated parmesan for 1 teaspoon of nutritional yeast.

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese ball

I grew up in a time where cheeseballs were not a big thing, but I feel that it is my duty to bring them back into everyone’s kitchen! These creamy balls of cheesy goodness are very simple to make once you know the basic ratios of cream cheese, shredded cheese and seasonings!

This recipe makes one large cheese ball or two medium ones that are just the perfect size as an appetizer for a party of 10 with an extra one for snacks after the party! Okay, that might be what I do in my family and it works. Last year on Christmas Day my brother specifically asked me it I had one of those cheese bally things and lucky for him there was a one in refrigerator ready!

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball


1 package of cream cheese softened

1 to ½ c shredded cheddar cheese

  • I have used pre-shredded cheddar cheese and also shredded my own. Both work just fine.

1 and ½ tablespoon of dry ranch seasoning

4oz of bacon bits

Add soften cheese, ranch seasoning to a bowl.

Using an electric hand mixer combine ingredients together. Fun fact when I started making cheese balls every recipe and tutorial told me to use a food processor. I did not have one so I grabbed my trusty electric hand mixer and it works just fine!

Add shredded cheddar cheese and just mix.

Form into the size of ball desired. Wrap in plastic wrap to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Remove plastic wrap and roll in bacon bits!

Place on a pretty platter and serve with crackers, pretzels, and veggies.


Breakfast Burritos

Eggs, Sausage and Cheese are a perfect breakfast, but when wrapped in a tortilla shelf they can make early morning so much better! I started making these breakfast burritos when I was in graduate school while working full time. I needed a needed a nutritious breakfast that could be made during a meal prepping section and was quick to reheat. Enjoy with fresh fruit and a dipping sauce of either salsa, taco sauce or maybe some Ranch.

(1) 16oz package of ground seasoned breakfast sausage.

10 eggs

1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese

1 package of tortilla 10 ct

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°F

In a medium sized frying pan, brown ground seasoned breakfast sausage and set aside. The sausage that I used in the photos is a venison breakfast sausage that my family has in an abundance.

Whisk eggs and salt and pepper together. Add to the same frying pan that was used to brown the breakfast sausage. Scramble eggs on low heat until cooked through.

Now it is time for the burrito making process!!! This process can be challenging if you do not know how to roll a burrito. It took me many burritos to perfect it. Okay maybe not perfect… I still have a burrito or two that go rogue, but those suckers still taste just as good!

Lay out your tortilla on a clean flat surface.

Add approximately 1/8 c of cheese, browned breakfast sausage and eggs to tortilla a little off center in a straight line. This is shown in the picture of the cheese. I have made these burritos using different types of cheese such as (cheddar, pepper jack, colby jack and mozzarella) and they came out fantastic each time.  

Fold the ends of the towards the center of the tortilla.

Short ends fold in and hold.

Then with the side closest to you fold way and tightly roll.

Fold the side closest to you over the filling and roll.

Place on to a baking sheet with seam down and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and the tortilla shell is just crispy.

Place on a baking sheet.

These burritos can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just omit the baking step and place the baking sheet into a freezer for 1 hour or until frozen. Place into a freezer safe container or baggie. When ready to eat, wrap a damp paper towel around the burrito and place on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for 90 seconds or until hot.


Such a pretty burrito on my parents dinner plates which originally belonged to my grandma.
Close up of the cheesy, eggy and sausage breakfast!

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Spinach

The weather in the upper Midwest is getting colder by the day! Heck so far, the temperature has been below average for the entire month of November! One easy way to stay warm is to make a soup. I absolutely love making a soup on a Sunday and eating it all week long. This meal prepping started when I was in grad school and this recipe was a sure winner! Chicken Lemon Orzo with Spinach tastes like summer in a bowl and is perfect for a chilly fall day.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup with Spinach

2 Chicken Breast cubed into ½ inch pieces

4 c Veggie or Chicken Stock

1/2 c Lemon Juice

1 Medium Onion Diced

3 Celery Stocks Diced

2T Olive Oil

1/2 c Orzo

1 tsp Thyme

1 tsp Rosemary

1 tsp Oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp Turmeric

1/4 tsp Paprika

In a large Dutch oven add olive oil and cubed chicken breast.

Brown chicken breast with (1/4 tsp of salt and pepper) about 12 minutes

Add diced onion and celery and remaining salt and pepper. Cook until just the veggies start to soften. About 6 minutes.

Add the seasonings to the chicken and veggies. Stir and allow them to become fragment. About 1 to 2 minutes.

Slowly add 1 cup of stock to pan. Scrap off the brown bits on the bottom of the pan (hello flavor!!!)

Add remaining stock and lemon juice. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer and cook 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add orzo and cook 3-4 mins. Be careful not to overcook.

OPTIONAL STEP: If you want to add an extra serving of veggies add 3 handfuls of baby spinach to soup and stir until wilted.

If you are planning on freezing a portion of soup, skip adding spinach. Add spinach when the soup has been thawed and reheated.

The soup freezes and reheats well.


My First Blog Post

Instant Pot Venison Chops with Sautéed Mushrooms

While I was prepping for this blog, I kept trying to figure out what I should do for my first recipe. Should it be my famous grilled potatoes, my go to pasta salad… I don’t know where you’re at, but in the upper Midwest it is cooled outside, so grilling and a cold pasta salad does not seem right.

Then I looked at the calendar and remembered what is coming up in Minnesota this weekend. Deer Hunting. In my family it is a tradition that my Dad has passed down to my Brother and I, and this recipe is a spin on the slow cooker version my Mom made while growing it. Instead of waiting all day for a meal, this one takes about 40 minutes!

Now this recipe cuts down the cooking times, well you use an Electronic Pressure Cooker such as the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Venison Chops with Sautéed Mushrooms

1 package of Venison Chops or Steaks

1 T Avocado Oil

1 package of mushroom slices or 1 small can of mushroom slices (yes canned mushrooms will work just fine)

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of water in 1/2c increments

1 T Dried Minced Onions

Salt and Pepper

  1. Using the saute function heat the multi-function cooker with Avocado Oil
  2. Season chops with salt and pepper
  3. Add chops and mushrooms and dried minced onions to multi-function cooker. Brown both sides of the meat about 4 minutes each side. During this time stir the mushrooms having them cook down.
  4. Add 1/2c of water to the multi-function cooker to de-glaze the pot.
  5. Mix the remaining 1/2c of water and cream of mushroom soup together. Add to the multi-function cooker pot.
  6. Turn off saute function. Place lid on the multi-function cooker, place the vent in the sealed position. Select the pressure cook function, in the high pressure section add 15 minutes to the cooker.
  7. When the 15 mins let the multi-function cooker naturally release for 10 minutes then open.
  8. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or cauliflower rice.
  9. Enjoy!
Finished Product in Multi-Function Cooker
I know this does not the best, but trust me it is amazing!  
PS. I was going to take a pretty picture final product, the chops were to delicious to wait!


Welcome to In The Kitchen with Johnna Rose! I am beyond grateful that you have taken time out of your day to stop by my site and read this post! This is my first adventure into blogging about food, the recipes that I love/ created and maybe even some restaurants that I frequent!

So a little bit about me for this first post! I grew up in west central Minnesota on a Family Owned and Operated Dairy Farm. Growing up in rural America I learned how to cook from some of the greatest chefs known to man… home cooks, and everyday life revolved around the Kitchen.  Still to this day some of my favorite  memories and meals I have are from my mom, grandma, aunts/uncles and great aunts! They do not use recipes, but just know how to cook delicious food. My mission is to recreate, write down their recipes,share them with you and put a healthy spin on them!

Another random but fun food fact about me is that I went to school for Dairy Science! I learned everything from farm to factory, so basically from milking the cows to manufacturing raw milk into fluid milk, yogurt, ice cream and cheese. AND have made, and seen how all those dairy products are made! I have furthered my education and got a Masters in Food Safety, to make sure that the food I produce at work is safe for all consumers, but also for the food that I cook at home. Yes you read that right, I work in a food processing plant. Actually it is a cheese plant!

Once again welcome to my Kitchen!

Johnna Rose