Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Bread

Need a summer get-together recipe?  You’ve found it right here.  I guarantee this cheesy, bacon ranch bread will be a hit!  You can prepare it in advance and then just pop it in the oven before your guests arrive.

I’ve taken this to two parties so far and there was nothing but the bottom crust left each time (and barely that).  I served it with a bowl of ranch on the side for dipping.  So good!

If you don’t want to use the oven, I’m sure you could do this on the grill with indirect heat as well.  You also don’t need a get-together to make this, John and I devoured almost an entire loaf in one night!

So let’s get to making this cheesy delight…

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Bread

1 unsliced round loaf of sourdough bread
8-12 oz. package of sliced sharp cheddar cheese (I used Sargento)
3 oz. bag of Real bacon bits
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 T. packaged ranch dressing mix

Using a bread knife, cut the bread about an inch from the bottom crust. Cut in both directions, about an inch apart.
IMG_8670

Next places slices of cheese in between cuts.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
cheddar bacon ranch pull bread

Sprinkle bacon bits on bread, being sure to get in between cuts. Mix together butter and ranch dressing.  Pour over the entire loaf of bread.
cheddar bacon ranch pull bread

Wrap the bread in a tent of tin foil and place on a baking sheet.
cheddar bacon ranch pull bread

Bake for 15 minutes.  Unwrap bread and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
cheddar bacon ranch pull bread

Hurry up and get a piece or 3 before it’s gone.  I can say it’s highly addictive!
cheddar bacon ranch pull bread

Original recipe found here.  Have a great weekend y’all!

Posted in Appetizers | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

Baked Steelhead Fillets

Yes, you read it correctly it does say baked but, you could easily do this on your grill.  Am I the only person that uses the oven in the summer?  I use my grill a lot but, I still use the oven too.  Then again, heat does not bother me at all.  I use my air conditioner maybe one week of the entire summer.  My house can be over 80 degrees and I don’t mind it.  I wouldn’t mind someone fanning me at times but, hey that won’t happen will it? 😉  Unless, you count dog tails fanning you!

Though I did not catch these fish, I’m an avid fishergirl myself…yep, that’s a new word right there.  Nothing beats fresh fish.  This recipe calls for steelhead or trout but, can very easily go with any fish.  Do you know how long it takes to remove pin bones from a fish?  Forever and a day!  That is the longest task in this entire recipe.  Is there a trick that I’m missing on removing pin bones?

This is a great dish for guests or a special occasion, it looks amazing and tastes great.  The fish is light and flaky and moist.  Prep time is almost nothing with the exception of those pin bones.  This recipe is a keeper and was even husband approved…woot!

Baked Steelhead Fillets

2 steelhead fillets
1 stick of butter (1/2 c. butter)
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 T. fresh dill or 1-2 t. dried dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, 1 t. of lemon zest and all of the freshly squeezed juice

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line a cooking sheet with tin foil and spray generously with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Add the shallot and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes until the shallot softens.  Add the garlic and the lemon zest, cook for another minute.
Baked Steelhead fillets

Cool slightly.  Squeeze in half the lemon juice.

Place the fish on the prepared baking sheet.  Season with salt, pepper and dill.
steelhead fillets

Spoon the butter mixture over the fish.  Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is.  To check for doneness, use a fork to gently pull apart the fish, if it flakes easily, it’s done.

Using a couple of spatulas to keep the fish from falling apart, remove the fish to a plate.

Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the fish, sprinkle with some more dill and enjoy this succulent dish!
Baked steelhead fillets

Recipe adapted from here.  Serves 4 people.

Do any of you go fishing?  I love being outside, if you haven’t noticed.  I could spend every weekend fishing if I could have my way 🙂 Have a great weekend y’all!!

Oh, one last thing…I will be back to posting on Wednesdays next week 🙂

Posted in Main dishes | Tagged , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Braided Spaghetti Bread

I know it may be too hot to use your oven but, I made this awhile back and I promised to post it.  If you get a cool night though, you will want to make this it was so good!  It was all pretty easy, except working with the elasticity of bread dough was not my favorite part, it was worth it in the end.

Another dish that the hubs highly approved of.  Craziness!  I have a link that I adapted this recipe from at the bottom of the page.  She has much more detailed instructions with pictures to follow if you’d like to check it out.  I’m the lazy blogger, I just tell you most of it and direct you somewhere else…ha!  Really though, my pool is calling my name and I can’t just leave it all lonely out there 😉

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb. loaf of  frozen bread dough, thawed for 3-4 hours at room temp.
6 oz. cooked spaghetti
1/2  lb. Italian sausage, cooked
1 1/4 c. spaghetti sauce
8 oz. mozzarella, cut into small cubes
1 egg white
Parmesan cheese
parsley flakes
garlic powder
butter

Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface where you can roll the dough out.  I used a large cutting board.  Roll out dough to a 12″ x 16″ rectangle.
braided spaghetti bread

Yes, that is my rectangle, quit laughing! Ha!  Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 10-15 minutes.  In the meantime cook your sausage in a skillet until no longer pink; drain if necessary.  Cook your spaghetti according to package directions and drain; let cool slightly.  In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti, sausage and spaghetti sauce.  Mix well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Unwrap the dough.  Scoop the spaghetti mixture into the center of the rolled out dough (lengthwise).  About a 4 inch wide strip.  Leaving about an inch at each end.  Top spaghetti with cheese cubes (forgot the cheese pictures).
braided spaghetti bread

Now on the sides (lengthwise) of the spaghetti you will cuts 1 1/2 inch strips of dough on each side of the spaghetti.  (I forgot a picture here (again), the link below shows exactly what I mean).  Coming to about 1/2 inch from the spaghetti in the center.

Begin braid by pulling top and bottom strips toward filling.  Then braid strips left over right, right over left.  Finish by pulling last strip over and tucking under braid.
braided spaghetti bread

Spray a cooking sheet with Pam or any cooking spray.  Lift braid with both hands (or two large spatulas) and place on sprayed cooking sheet.  Brush the loaf with egg white and sprinkle with parsley and a generous amount of garlic powder.
braided spaghetti braid

Bake for 20-22 minutes, top will be getting golden brown at this point. Place a loose piece of tin foil over loaf and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven,  brush some butter over the loaf and top with Parmesan cheese.  Put back in oven (uncovered) for an additional 3-5 minutes. Altogether my cooking time was 35 minutes.  It just depends on your oven.
braided spaghetti salad

Remove loaf and set on cutting board; cool slightly, about 10 minutes.  Slice to serve.
braided spaghetti bread

Recipe adapted from here.  I would say this would serve about 4 people nicely, especially if you had a large side salad to go with it.

Enjoy!  I know we really did.  Have a great day!

Posted in Main dishes | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Lime Gelatin Dessert

My friend Renee posted this recipe a month or so ago.  I knew I wanted to make it right away.  I did and have made it a few times since, I just now am getting around to telling you about it.  I did not change anything in her recipe.  It was perfect as is.

I noticed the comments on her blog that many people had this dessert in their families for years.  It was actually a staple at family functions and get-togethers.  I personally had never heard of it.  Have you had this dessert before?

I’m not a huge fan of sweets but, I do like jello.  I especially like lime jello.  When I was young I spent a fair amount of time in the hospital with asthma problems.  My favorite part of being there was the jello, because you could order it anytime and trust me I did! 😉  My other favorite part was the oxygen tent, that thing was just cool…lol!  So, that is my story of why I love jello to this day.

This is a simple, light, refreshing summer dessert.  Let’s whip some up…

Lime Gelatin Dessert

2 (0.30 oz.) packages of sugar-free lime jello
1 (20 oz.) can of crushed pineapple in 100% juice
6 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) container of fat-free whipped topping (Cool Whip Free)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, dissolve the 2 packages of lime jello in 1 cup of boiling water.  Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice.  Measure out a half cup of the juice and mix with the jello.  Add the remaining juice back with the pineapple.  Set aside.

Let jello set in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until it just starts to set.  With an electric mixer, combine the softened cream cheese with the jello.
lime gelatin dessert

Mix in the reserved pineapple and juice.  Fold in the whipped topping and walnuts.
lime gelatin dessert

Spray an 8 x 8 inch square glass baking dish lightly with cooking spray. Pour the jello mixture into the dish and spread out evenly.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Put in refrigerator and allow to set up, at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve cut into 9 pieces.  Garnish with more fat-free whipped topping and a lime wedge if you chose.  Enjoy!  Also, thank you Renee for a wonderful recipe 🙂
lime gelatin dessert

Have a great weekend y’all!

Posted in Treats | Tagged , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Turkey and Cranberry Grilled Cheese

When it comes to grilled cheese I don’t think of too many new and creative ways to make them.  I might get inspiration from a  tv show, Pinterest or one of my foodie magazines and try something different like this recipe but, usually I fall back to plain old grilled cheese or grilled ham and cheese.

I seen this on Veronica’s blog and it looked so very scrumptious that I had to make it then and there!  And yes, I read the blog at midnight and by midnight 30 I was eating a turkey grilled cheese 🙂

I didn’t have an onion on hand and I only had sharp cheddar, so I strayed from her recipe.  Veronica knows I have a love for cranberries and was kind enough to send me two jars of her killer cranberry sauce (minus the pecans).  I promptly added some to my sandwich.  It was like a mini-Thanksgiving in my belly!  In May 🙂

Here is what you’ll need:

Two slices of whole wheat or multi-grain bread
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
butter (*or light mayonnaise)
6 slices honey roasted deli turkey
2-3 T. cranberry sauce (recipe in link above)

Butter the bread on one side put buttered side down in pan.  Add a piece of cheese, turkey, cheese and cranberry sauce.  Top with the other slice of bread and grill until golden brown and cheese is melted.
grilled turkey and cranberry

Enjoy!
Turkey and cranberry grilled cheese

 

 

 

*Tip ~ You can use light mayonnaise instead of butter for the outside of your bread, it’s a bit less calories for those of you counting calories.

This cranberry sauce is fabulous over brie cheese with crackers too.  Or you can eat it right out of the jar…just sayin’ 😉  Have a fantastic day and thanks for stopping!

Posted in Main dishes | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Spicy Mixed Nuts

I love bar nuts.  No, not the people that hang out at the bar but the peanuts or mixed nuts.  Not many places even put them out anymore so I like to make them at home, just to snack on.  At midnight or two in the morning, not that I do that I’m just sayin’.

You’ll want to have some on hand for your next bonfire or card game or hey, even watching Duck Dynasty re-runs.  I guarantee they will be gone before the party starts to get too lively 😉

They are quick, easy to make and you can buy a can of mixed nuts (check the date) at the dollar store.  Woot!  I love a cheap snack.  So let’s make a batch.  I mean who doesn’t love nuts right?

Spicy Mixed Nuts

2 T. melted butter
1 T. hot sauce (I used Frank’s original Red Hot)
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 T. worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. salt (optional)
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. ground mustard
1 t. ground rosemary
1 1/2 t. Old Bay seasoning
1 can (9.5 oz) mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix the cayenne pepper, salt, garlic powder, ground mustard, rosemary and Old Bay in a small dish.  Whisk together.  Set aside.
spicy nut mix

Melt the butter in a cup.  Add the hot sauce and the worcestershire sauce.
spicy nut butter mix

Put the mixed nuts in a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle the dry ingredients onto the nuts.  Pour the butter mixture over the nuts and stir until everything is coated evenly.
spicy nuts

Spread nuts on a baking sheet.  Try to space them apart from each other.  You want your nuts spread out…ha! 😉
spicy nuts

Bake for 20-22 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.

These are not too spicy or hot in my opinion.  In fact, I would make them much hotter/spicier next time.  So, if you don’t like much heat, these would be perfect for you.  If you would like them hotter add more cayenne and less butter, more hot sauce.
spicy nuts

Let cool for about an hour and store in an airtight container.  Have a great weekend y’all!

Posted in Appetizers | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

Crockpot Ham

I made this back in March.  I had ham from Christmas in the freezer and decided to make this recipe.  I printed it out last year sometime and there is just a recipe, no one to give credit to.  I will say that it was really good and they deserve credit though!

This was great on sandwiches.  The ham is pretty sweet so paired with a spicy mustard on whole wheat bread and some smoked gouda it was an awesome grilled cheese.  Like the bomb-diggity!  So good that I didn’t even take a picture, I was too focused on getting my grub on 😉

I did get a picture of another dish I made with the ham though.  I’m not such a bad blogger after all…ha!

So here it is and it’s uber easy too folks…

Crockpot Ham

1 /2 – 2 lbs. cooked ham
2 1/4 cups apple juice or apple cider (I had juice on hand)
1 t. dry mustard
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. allspice
dash of nutmeg
1 c. golden raisins

Place ham into crockpot.  Add your dry ingredients.
Crockpot ham

Add the apple juice or cider.  It should just cover your ham, if not add more juice.
Crockpot ham

Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Crockpot ham

I ended up making hash browns with ham and cheese topped with an fried egg for dinner with the leftover ham.  So good…mmm!
Crockpot ham, hash browns, cheese and egg

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by 🙂

Posted in Main dishes | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Garlic Soup

Have you ever heard of garlic soup?  Well, neither had I until I seen it in Food Network magazine.  I do love garlic, so I thought what the heck I’ll check it out.  It sounded like it would be a bit strong to me but it was surprisingly mellow and subtle.  The flavor was perfect.

It’s an excellent spring/summer soup.  Even though I know some of you don’t do the summer soup thing.  You can always save/pin it for cooler weather.  I just had to make it because I was very intrigued by the recipe.

As usual I cut this recipe in half so don’t let the pictures fool you.

Oh and here’s a little spring Robin who made her nest in an upstairs windowsill, she’s sitting on 3 eggs 🙂
Robin

Garlic Soup

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 small heads garlic, smashed and peeled, plus 3 cloves, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 c. dry white wine
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 1/2 c. water
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 piece parmesan cheese rind, plus 1/2 c. grated parmesan
2 c. cubed day-old crusty bread
1/3 c. sour cream
Fresh dill, for topping

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the smashed garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly golden, about 8 minutes.
Onions for garlic soup

Add the wine, thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and the cheese rind.  Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.  Add 2 1/2 c. water and 2 1/2 c. chicken broth, reduce the heat to low and bring to a gentle simmer; cook until the garlic is very soft, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat, add the bread and let soak for 10 minutes.
Garlic soup croutons
Garlic soup

Remove the thyme, bay leaf and cheese rind from the saucepan; stir in the grated cheese, sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Transfer the soup to a blender in batches and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the sliced garlic and a pinch of salt in a skillet over low heat; cook until the garlic is golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.

Divide the soup among bowls.  Top with the fried garlic, some of the garlic oil and fresh dill.
Garlic soup

Yield: 6 servings.  Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine April 2013.

*Notes ~ I used dried dill as fresh was not available.  Croutons work great in this recipe!

Next week I will also be posting on Tuesday and Thursday. Have a great weekend y’all!

Posted in Soups | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread

I am not a baker.  Not by far.  I have made my friend Veronica’s beer bread a few times and have baked a few other things.  Baking is not my favorite though, it intimidates me!  All that measuring and stuff…lol 😉  This was very close to Veronica’s recipe (which is wonderful) so I thought I would give it a shot.

I’m certainly glad I did because it was really good.  My husband ate almost the entire loaf, so that in itself is praise-worthy!  He is usually not a fan of much I make.  Weird man.

You don’t need a stand mixer to make this either.  I don’t own one so I am happy when I find a recipe, for baking, that doesn’t require one.  I have enough kitchen gadgets and because of my lack of baking, will not purchase a mixer.  Though if anyone wants to send me one I will not complain 😉  I tease!

Let’s get baking…

Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 T. sugar
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz.) bottle or can of beer
4 slices of bacon, cook and crumbled (or 1/4 c. real bacon bits)
2 T. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare bread pan by greasing with butter or spraying with Pam.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar with a whisk.  Make a well in the center.  Add bacon, cheese and full beer into the well.  Stir mixture with a spoon until well combined.
Bacon cheddar beer bread

Pour mixture into prepared bread pan.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
Bacon cheddar beer bread

Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of  melted butter over the top.  Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until browned on top and loaf thumps when you tap the top.
Bacon cheddar beer bread

Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and allow to cool on wire rack.  You can brush with more butter if you choose.
Bacon cheddar beer bread

Slightly adapted from here.

*Notes:  You can use any cheese that you prefer, monterey jack, colby or a mixture.  When I drizzled the last tablespoon of butter on top, I also sprinkled a little sea salt on it.  This made it almost taste like a cheesy pretzel bread…yum!!  Have a great day!

Posted in Appetizers | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Shrimp and Crab Cannelloni w/ Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

My favorite station on television is the Food Network channel.  I know many of you can relate.  I love it so much that my husband often times ‘threatens’ to change cable companies just to hear me beg…I swear!  If I get him to watch one or two shows that showcase ginormous, mouth-watering burgers and I promise to make them, I’m good for another few months 😉

This recipe was featured on Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives, my personal favorite show on Food Network.  If you watch this show you know they give you close to the recipe but, not the exact recipe.  Well, most of the time.  This is where I have fun trying to duplicate it.

Though I have not had the dish featured on the show, I can say this one that I recreated is awesomeness!  I think Guy Fieri should feature me or at least high-five me 😉  Ha!

So let’s check out the shrimp and crab cannellonis. Oh and this recipe uses egg roll wrappers.  How cool is that?

Shrimp and Crab Cannelloni w/ Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Filling:

One can (4 0z.) deveined, medium shrimp
One can (4.25 oz.) lump crabmeat
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 t. dried parsley or 1 T. fresh parsley
zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
pinch each of salt and pepper
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Egg roll wrappers
Parsley and lemon for garnish

Sauce:

3 T. butter
2 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. pureed roasted red peppers
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced

Rough chop the shrimp.
chopped shrimp

In a large bowl mix the chopped shrimp, crabmeat, ricotta cheese, parsley, lemon zest, egg, parmesan cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Mix well and put seafood mixture in a ziploc bag.
seafood cannelloni

Cut the corner of the bag.  Squeeze shrimp mixture onto the edge of the egg roll wrapper.
seafood cannelloni

Roll up the egg rolls and put two cannelloni, seam side down, into an oven proof baking dish.  Set aside.
seafood cannelloni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put your sauce ingredients into a pan, except the parmesan cheese.  Heat on medium heat stirring constantly.  When warmed through, add the parmesan cheese and stir until melted and slightly thickened.
seafood cannelloni

Pour sauce over cannelloni.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.  Top with parmesan, parsley and lemon wedges.
seafood cannelloni

Yields: 6 cannelloni.
Serve with a side salad and enjoy 🙂

P.S. I usually post on Wednesday each week but, next week I will have a post on Tuesday and one on Thursday….just a heads up.  Have a great weekend y’all!

Posted in Main dishes | Tagged , , , , , , | 28 Comments