As I continue to study for the CPA exam day in and day out, my days are getting a little monotonous. Will it be worth it in a few months when I am working and hopefully won’t be studying? Yes, but the goal is a little too far ahead to picture. Until then, it’s the little things that make my day, like finding out I have Candy Crush on my iPhone, finding the perfect study spot, and getting new sticky notes. Speaking of sticky notes, please look at my recent find to tab my chapters! I may be a little more excited about these than the average person, but hey, if a 3 dollar pack of post-its makes my day, let me have it.
Now that gets me to my recent stress reliever in the kitchen. I have to move out of my apartment by the beginning of the August and my roommate has an internship, so we have quite the accumulation of food to get rid of. One of those foods that we classify as it’s own food group is cheese. We have shredded cheese, grated cheese, cheese cubes, and cheese sticks. A few months back I saw a Pinterest idea to take cheese sticks and turn them into those ooey-gooey cheese sticks you get when you’re out to eat. The thought of the calories in those things made me cringe, yet I had no problem woofing 8 down. A better solution? Take your string cheese that’s already lying in your refrigerator and turn it into a healthier option. You can pick your favorite cheese and the type of milk it’s made out of. Maybe you want the 2% Kraft brand like I have or maybe not, but either way the calories will be cut let me tell you. Even more exciting than that is the fact that I made these on National Cheese Day!!! Is that a real holiday you ask? According to the internet it is and I was in full celebration mode! …Again its the little things at this time of my life 🙂
Ingredients (for 16 Skinny Mozzarella Cheese Sticks)
Kraft/Wegman’s Cheese Sticks: 8 (use whatever you have or prefer!)
Flour: 1/3 cup
Bread Crumbs: 1/2 cup
No need to preheat your oven first. You are going to freeze these cheese sticks before baking to avoid a melted cheese mess in your oven. Take your cheese sticks; like I said these can be whatever variety your prefer. I used a mix of Wegman’s brand and Kraft that I had handy.
Obviously you need to unwrap these and then you can cut them in half “hamburger style” if you learned that in elementary school 🙂
Now it’s time to bread these little string cheese sticks! You will have three stations before your snack is ready to be stuck in the freezer. Add your flour to a bowl, an egg to another, and a last bowl with your bread crumbs. You can alter the exact amounts of dry ingredients as you see fit. Only add a little bit of bread crumbs at a time to avoid getting clumps from dipping.
We are doing a basic breading of our string cheese sticks by first dipping your cheese halves into the flour. Doing our homemade breading will decrease the calories in your snack and allow you to know exactly what is going into your mouth; regardless if you eat 1 or 8!
Go right down the line by then dipping your floured cheese stick into the egg and followed by rolling it in the bread crumbs. Make sure you have a nice even bread crumb coating on all sides.
Before we can bake these yummy snacks they need to be frozen for at least 2 hours to allow the cheese to get nice and cold. If you were to bake these as is the cheese would ooze out before the outside coating could get a chance to get nice and brown. Put your breaded cheese sticks in a tuperware container of your choice and place them in the freezer for at least two hours. You can leave them in for more than 2 hours of course; this way you can have your new favorite snack at your fingertips whenever you get hungry!
Once it has been at least two hours or you take them out of the freezer a few days from now, you want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lay your cheese sticks on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil. I would recommend if you’re using aluminum foil that you spray the foil with a cooking spray first to make sure they don’t stick. Pop these babies in the oven and let them cook for 8-10 minutes or until they get golden brown. If you really want a nice golden brown look you can always add a spray of low-calorie butter on top.
Once they get a nice golden brown and before the cheese goes everywhere carefully remove them from the oven.
Now what do these little cheese sticks remind you of? Was I still in CPA mode thinking of my recently purchased sticky notes? Maybe..
I gobbled these up about as fast as I could put them on a plate. Of course add your favorite dipping sauce, in my case, marinara is always in the fridge ready to go. Now I only ate half of the batch on National Cheese Day, but don’t worry, the rest didn’t go to waste. Like I said, leave these in the freezer just like you would any other frozen foods, but this time you know the ingredients and what goes into your food. Pop them in the oven whenever you get hungry for something tasty and a healthier option to the freezer section in your local store. Skinny Mozzarella Cheese Sticks for the win!