Tag Archives: bacon

Cheeseburger Quesadillas

30 Sep

Cheeseburger Quesadillas 1
Besides cooking and photography, one of my big hobbies is crafting. I guess I have a love for creating and capturing. Recently I have been working on a quilt that I have grown to love; every time I pick it up to work on it, I adore it even more. I know quilting is an uncommon hobby for a 20-something but I am kind of addicted and I’m not afraid to say it. Call me granny if you wish but I’m creating awesomeness around here. The concept of this quilt started at Christmas when Joel’s mom was given 12 quilt squares made by her grandma and great grandma. She wasn’t planning on doing anything with them so she offered them to me to create something with them. After several months of brainstorming, I came up with a concept and created 18 of my own quilt blocks to go along with the vintage ones. Each and every square has a different fabric yet they look like they were made for each other. Along the border are names, places, dates and special family jokes quilted to evoke memories each time it’s used. It’s a quilt decades in the making and something I am so proud to have had a part of creating.
heritage quilt
Just like this quilt, I love dreaming up and creating in my kitchen. The quilt nourishes my soul and these cheeseburger quesadillas nourish our bellies. They come together in less than 30 minutes and will definitely be a crowd pleaser. Even my impossible 4 year old ate these without complaint and he almost never eats meat. I’m telling you, tortillas are magic makers in getting your kids to eat. The fact that they taste like a rich, meaty cheeseburger helps too.
Cheeseburger Quesadillas 3
Cheeseburger Quesadillas

8-12 whole wheat tortillas
1 lb. lean ground beef
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. mustard
1 Tbsp. worchestershire
S&P
1-1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar (1/4 cup per quesadilla)

1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef until cooked through. Drain grease then stir in ketchup, mustard and worchestershire.

2. Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Lay a tortilla in the skillet then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese, desired amount of ground beef (we divided this to make 6 quesadillas but if you want yours a bit meatier, add 1/4 of the ground beef mixture), bacon and another 2 tablespoons of cheese then top with another tortilla. Cook until brown and crisp then flip and cook other side until golden. Remove from skillet and cut with a pizza wheel. Serve with pickles on the side.
Cheeseburger Quesadillas 4

Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza

10 Jun

Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza 5
Have you had enough of all my talk about roasted garlic yet? If you have, so sorry but here’s one last recipe for awhile. I told you I was going to share this with you last week but life happened and this didn’t.

This pizza has some of my very favorite things in life, chicken, bacon, cheese and of course the garlic. Seriously, how could it not be good?
Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza 3
The pizza feels lighter than most since there’s not really a sauce but I’m sure it’s not (calorie wise) due to all the deliciousness. Joel missed not having sauce so he drizzled it with ranch for a spin on a chicken bacon ranch pizza.
Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza 1
Another thing I love is black pepper and I just happened to find a black peppercorn smoked gouda that was an amazing addition to this creation.
Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza 4

Most of the prep for this pizza can be done ahead of time (think pizza dough in the freezer, cook bacon and chicken the night before, shred cheese) so you can just throw it together when you are ready to eat. I love that with a little planning and prep work we can have fresh, homemade pizza on a busy weeknight. And fancy pizza at that. Especially seeing that my boys are “fantastic lovers of pizza.” Yep, the 3 year old came up with that. How could you not serve pizza?

Roasted Garlic Chicken Bacon and Gouda Pizza

1/2 whole wheat crust recipe (2 disks)
2 heads of roasted garlic, mashed very well
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large chicken breast, grilled and cut into small bite size pieces
6 strips of bacon, crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded smoked gouda

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Roll out pizza crust to desired thickness and place on a pizza stone.

2. Mix together roasted garlic and olive oil then spread evenly over the crust. Top crust with chicken, bacon and cheeses.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole

28 Feb

I absolutely love magazines but rarely buy them but when I saw this one last week I just couldn’t resist.
Bacon!
Yikes…not good for the whole diet thing. Seriously, 108 bacon recipes! That’s just crazy talk.
Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole
This guac recipe is not from the magazine but can you tell I had bacon on my mind? I whipped up a Mexican feast for the in-laws this past weekend and needed a yummy little appetizer to start things off. Joel is kind of addicted to guacamole so I knew it would be the perfect starter.
Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole
I have a standard go-to guacamole but I wanted to spice things up and try one of the many fun, creative varieties that I have been seeing so much of lately. And really, what’s better than roasted garlic and bacon? Not much in my opinion.
Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole
My father-in-law Ken doesn’t even like guacamole but he really enjoyed this recipe. I think that says a lot!

The roasted garlic brings a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and the bacon brings its signature smoky, saltiness. The perfect way to start off a little fiesta!

Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole
recipe slightly adapted from Fabtastic Eats

1 head of garlic
Olive Oil
3 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 avocados, pit removed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Juice of 1 Lime
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped*
Kosher salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Meanwhile, slice a bit of the top off of the garlic (just enough to cut open each clove) then place it on a square of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Seal it up tightly and bake for about 45 minutes.

2. Place avocados in a bowl and mash to desired consistency. Squeeze roasted garlic into the mashed avocado and mix along with the bacon, cayenne, lime juice and cilantro. Add kosher salt to taste. Enjoy with chips and carrot sticks.

*I left out the cilantro because Joel isn’t a big fan but I think it would be an amazing addition and am totally adding it next time.

Roasted Garlic and Bacon Guacamole

Cobb Salad

26 Jun

Cobb Salad 2
Now that the summer heat has set in, I have been craving cool, crisp salad all the time. The only problem here is one of those boys I live with (the big one) doesn’t think salad is a meal.
Cobb Salad 3
In comes the Cobb Salad to prove him wrong because if you know me, you know I like to be right. I even have a magnet given to me by my mom’s best friend that states: “The Happy Couple: Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right.” It’s a problem I have. But not really…life is just easier if things are done my way.
Cobb Salad 1
How could a salad covered in grilled corn, hard boiled eggs, bacon, chicken, avocado, cucumbers and cheese then drizzled with roasted garlic vinaigrette not be deemed a meal? Well, people…it was. I knew I would convince him (if he knew what was good for him). And there were no complaints from the dinner table. I call that a success!

Cobb Salad

1 romaine heart, chopped
1 head of butter lettuce, chopped
2 ears grilled corn
2 hard boiled eggs
1 avocado, sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbles
1 grilled chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 english cucumber, sliced into half moons
1/4 cup bleu cheese, feta or gorgonzola
croutons 
Roasted garlic vinaigrette

Mix together the romaine and butter lettuce. Place chicken down the middle. In a line layer the avocado on one side and the cucumber on the other. Continue with the remaining items (except dressing). Serve individual portions being sure to get all the toppings. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

8 May

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 3
I am a huge fan of baked potatoes but now that spring has finally arrived (or so it seems) they just aren’t something I cook. I hate heating up the oven and the house once the warm weather hits and I avoid it at all cost. So what do I do when the craving strikes? Make up this loaded baked potato salad! It provides all the delicious taste of a loaded baked potato without having to heat up the oven. Plus, it’s chilled and refreshing which helps beat the heat.
Loaded Baked Potato Salad 4
There really isn’t anything not to like about this potato salad. Cheese, bacon and ranch are always a winning combination! This would be a great side dish to bring to a summer bbq or just to whip up on a weeknight with a yummy grilled steak.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad
recipe slightly adapted from Key Ingredient

4 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes
1/4 cup light mayo
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. dry ranch seasoning
8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste

1. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo and sour cream. After thoroughly combined, stir in cheese, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper.

2. Chop potatoes into bite size chunks (you can peel them if you want, I was lazy and didn’t). Boil potatoes for 10-20 minutes, until tender but not falling apart. Drain potatoes and allow to cool a bit.

3. Mix potatoes and 3/4 of the bacon into sour cream mixture. Top with remaining bacon and chill until ready to serve.
Loaded Baked Potato Salad 2

Twice Baked Cauliflower

7 Nov

Twice Baked Cauliflower
Ok, I have to admit this isn’t the most appetizing looking dish but it tastes absolutely amazing. It’s seriously one of the best things I have made in a long time. When I told Joel I was making it for dinner he was quite skeptical and wondered why I didn’t just make it with potatoes. I told him to buck up and deal with it and that he would like it. And I was totally right. It was creamy, cheesy and tangy, a bit salty and crispy. It was deliciousness.
Twice Baked Cauliflower
I’m excited to make and share this at Thanksgiving this year. Although when we have Thanksgiving at Joel’s family, corn casserole is usually the top request from my recipes. I guess I kind of have a thing for cheesy vegatables.
Twice Baked Cauliflower
Twice Baked Cauliflower
recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen

1 large head cauliflower
4 oz. low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (If you only have finely grated Parmesan, use a bit less)
6 slices reduced fat bacon, cooked until very crisp, fat blotted with paper towel and then crumbled
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut out stem and core from cauliflower, and cut into small pieces. Cook in large pot of boiling salted water until cauliflower is tender, but not overly soft. Drain well and mash with potato masher, leaving some chunks. Mix in light cream cheese, light sour cream, green onion, Parmesan, and 3/4 of the crumbled bacon.

2. Spread evenly in a medium-sized glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with low-fat cheddar cheese and reserved bacon. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Loaded Potato Skins

5 Oct

This is a pretty basic, straightforward recipe for potato skins but they are crispy, cheesy and delicious. Not to mention they are perfect for football season. Around my house, this is a very important requirement this time of year. I spend way too much time considering the menu for football games. These would be wonderful served with sloppy joes or shredded french dips!
Potato Skins
Potato Skins

3 large russet potatoes, baked
4-6 strips bacon, cooked and finely crumbled (or a few tablespoons of bacon bits)
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
Green onions, thinly sliced
Sour cream or ranch for dipping
Vegetable or peanut oil for frying

1. Preheat oil to 350 degrees F. Once the potatoes have cooled, slice them in half then slice each half into fourths. Scoop out pulp of potato leaving about 1/4-inch with the potato skin. Turn your oven on to broil.

2. Fry the skins in batches until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with kosher salt.

3. Place skins on a baking sheet then top each one with 1 tablespoon of cheese then sprinkle with bacon. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Potato Skins
4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onions. Serve with sour cream.

Baked Spinach Dip

28 Sep

Spinach Dip
Besides cucumber dip, this is my absolute favorite dip/appetizer EVER. And it’s obviously healthy since cream cheese, bacon, mayo, cheddar cheese, spinach is such a prominent ingredient. Duh. How could you go wrong with that list of ingredients? It’s really one of those things you indulge in rarely, but when you do it’s totally worth every.single.calorie.

You can bake this dip in a bread bowl or baking dish or you can throw it in the crock pot on low a few hours before serving. I have made it all three ways and I have to say my favorite is when it’s just in a baking dish. It seems to get more melty and gooey that way which is always a good thing in my opinion. If I am making this for a party where people will be eating over the course of a few hours, I either put it in the crock pot after all the ingredients have been mixed up (like stated above) or bake it in a dish then put it in the crock pot on warm.
Spinach Dip

This dip almost always graces our football gatherings…it’s kind of become a requirement and expectation.

Spinach Dip
recipe from Taste of Home The New Appetizer Cookbook

2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat)
1 cup mayonnaise (I use the reduced fat olive oil kind)
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry*
1 cup (4 0z.) shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. dill weed
1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 round loaf (1 lb.) unsliced sourdough bread
Assorted fresh vegetables
Tortilla chips

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and may until blended (I sometimes use my food processor for this to make quicker work of it). Stir in spinach, cheese, bacon, onion, dill and garlic; set aside. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until it’s time to bake.

2. Cut a 1 1/2-in. slice off top of bread; set aside. Carefully hollow out bottom, leaving a 1/2-in. shell. Cube removed bread and place on a baking sheet. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown; set aside.

3. Fill bread shell with spinach dip; replace top. Place any dip that doesn’t fit in the shell in a greased baking dish. Wrap bread in a large piece of foil. Place on a baking sheet.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour or until dip is heated through. Cover and bake additional dip for 40-50 minutes or until heated through. Open foil carefully. Serve dip warm with veggies, reserved bread cubes and tortilla chips.

*Make sure it is really dry! After it is thawed, I put it in a kitchen towel and squeeze the heck out of it until no more liquid drips through the towel (sometimes I go through two towels). I didn’t dry it enough once and a weird green liquid collected on the top of the dip. It tasted fine but looked quite unappetizing.

Turkey Avocado Wraps

31 Aug

Turkey Avocado Wraps
These turkey avocado wraps, also known as my new favorite lunch, are the best! Noah is so incredibly busy so I am always looking for quick and easy lunches to throw together that are still relatively healthy. The salt and crunchiness of the bacon is soo good with the creamy guacamole. And who doesn’t love turkey and cheese? These are just perfect in my book!
Turkey Avocado Wraps
Turkey Avocado Wraps

1 whole wheat tortilla
3 slices deli turkey
1 slice of bacon, cooked crisp
1 slice cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp. guacamole

Spread guacamole over tortilla then layer with turkey, bacon and cheese. Roll up and slice in half.

Creamy Macaroni Salad

24 May

Creamy Macaroni Salad
I just love picnic food so it should be no surprise that I just love when Memorial Day rolls around because it means that picnic food is here and not going anywhere for a few glorious months! What could be better than cold fried chicken, lemonade and macaroni salad? Not a whole lot in my book.

This macaroni salad recipe happens to be my favorite so I wanted to be sure to share it with you before the holiday weekend hits. It’s super creamy and has some of my favorite indgredients – pasta, bacon, vinegar and pickles (I know vinegar is a weird thing to love but I do). I like to use Barilla Plus pasta for this because it tastes just as good as regular pasta but is much better for you. Also, the box is a little less than a pound so there is an increased saucy-ness to the salad which is always a good thing to me.
Creamy Macaroni Salad
Creamy Macaroni Salad
recipe adapted from Food.com

1 lb. large elbow macaroni, cooked to desired tenderness
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion
1 small red sweet bell pepper, finely diced
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pickle relish (I chop up Claussen pickles because they are my favorite)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon celery seed
1/2 lb bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled

1. Mix cooled macaroni, celery, onions and bell pepper together in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, pickle relish, sugar, salt, pepper and celery seed, stirring well.

3. Stir dressing into the macaroni mixture.

4. Stir in the crumbled bacon.

5. Serve chilled. Best if made the night before.

Recipe linked to Totally Tasty Tuesday, Cast Party Wednesday and Full Plate Thursday.

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