Warm Bacon and Cheese Dip

Here is a yummy dip recipe that I’ve made for parties!   Very simple and very delicious!  Who doesn’t love a combo of cheese, onions and BACON?  Mmmmmmmmmmmmm……….. All cooked together into melty goodness?    It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Warm Bacon and Cheese Dip
1 block of cream cheese, softened
1 bag of shredded cheese, mild or sharp
1 16 oz. jar of sour cream
2 or 3 oz bacon pieces
-I buy the Hormel brand and the jar is exactly what you need, 2 or 3 oz, that is the way it comes — pieces not bits
1 cup of chopped green onions
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Combine all ingredients
Put in oven safe dish
Cover in foil
Bake on 350* for 35-45 min
Serve with tortilla chips!
ENJOY!
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~gianna~
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Bacon And Mushroom Mac-N-Cheese

Recently I found out a friend of mine makes a pretty “slammin” (this word was used) Mac-N-Cheese……and who doesn’t love the sound of an amazing Mac -N-Cheese?   When I asked him for the recipe, he sent me a link to a blog I frequent and one that has been mentioned here a few times!  Fake Ginger!!   BUT he had put his own twist on it…tweaking her recipe…..and then I did some tweaking of my own with what I had on hand!  Needless to say…….the mac and cheese was really…..AMAZING!  Joe and I enjoyed it, the girls (after picking out the mushrooms)…Ava loved it, but Olivia couldn’t get past the mushrooms.  3 out 4 of us…not too shabby!!!   I’m not going to give it a “Kid Approved” rating because Olivia specifically said, “NOT KID APPROVED!” which eating it, but it’s really pretty tasty and if your kids like mushrooms….they’ll probably like it!

Here is the original from Fake Ginger.   Alan (“slammin” Mac-N-Cheese maker) used more bacon, a different variety of cheeses and topped it with crushed Cheez Its…..and I used less variety of cheeses,  topped it with Cheez Its and used more bacon!   So as you can see, you can really spin this  recipe any way you want….and it’ll still be a delicious spin off of your regular, every day Mac-N-Cheese!   Give it a shot!!

Bacon and Mushroom Mac-N-Cheese

1 pound small pasta

1 teaspoon olive oil

3/4 pound bacon, chopped

8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced thinly

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup light cream

salt & pepper to taste

4 cups extra sharp cheddar, shredded

1 cup Swiss, shredded

1 cup mozzarella, shredded

1/2-3/4C Cheez Its, crushed

spray olive oil

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Bring a lot pot of salted water to a boil.
Add pasta, stir, and let boil.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is cooked and slightly crispy.
Remove bacon to a paper towel, using a slotted spoon…onto a lined plate to drain.
Pour off some of the bacon grease (or all & add a little more olive oil to the pan) and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan make a roux by melting your butter and slowly adding your flour.  Whisking the whole time.
Slowly add in chicken broth and cream, continue whisking until sauce is thickened.
Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted.
Preheat oven to 375.
Once pasta is al dente, drain and put in large bowl.
Add bacon, mushrooms, and cheese sauce and stir to combine.
Pour into prepared 9 x 13 pan.
Top with crushed Cheez Its,  over the entire pan and spray lightly with olive oil.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until pasta is bubbly.
Enjoy!
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~gianna~

It’s a Jersey Thing

In honor of New Jersey (YES…..It’s being played in New Jersey, NOT New York) hosting the Super Bowl tomorrow, I decided to post a recipe that’s popular here.  And just because everyone’s asking and talking about it……This Jersey Girl and JETS fan will be sporting my Seahawks shirt (#25)!!!  Go Seahawks!!!

This is a great thing to make after a night of drinking…so maybe Monday morning after the big game!  

Here in NJ we have one of the most delicious things you’ll ever lay your mouth on.  In North Jersey we call it taylor ham, egg and cheese in South Jersey they call it pork roll, egg and cheese.  It’s also popularly known as “TEC” because this is what is written on the wrapper after it’s wrapped up to go with your coffee, iced tea, 1/2 & 1/2 (known around the world as an Arnold Palmer, but in my parts a 1/2 & 1/2).  You can’t even get taylor ham/pork roll in many parts of the USA….shocking that some people have never had the pleasure of enjoying this NJ delicacy.

So what IS taylor ham and pork roll, you ask????   Well Taylor Ham is actually a brand of pork roll…..just like Q-Tip is a brand of cotton swab or Band-Aid is a brand of adhesive bandage.  Pork roll is a breakfast meat…similar to ham, but when pan-fried in a skillet or on a griddle, tastes much different.   It gets sliced (sometimes it comes sliced already) into a circle and then gets 3 or 4 slits around the circle…to prevent the finished product from curling around the edges.  

Once cut up, you put the pieces onto a hot, buttered griddle or frying pan and cook it for about 5 minutes on each side…or until it’s browned.  On the other side of the pan or griddle crack open your eggs….right on the hot pan!  Cook the eggs however you like them cooked….they are usually served fully fried or over medium (yolk harder), BUT some like it a over-easy and more runny.  You can cook it however you’d like.  

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Once it’s almost cooked to your liking you add the American cheese and let it cook until it’s melted on top of the eggs!

Next you simply layer it all on top of a hard roll, a bagel, a croissant..I prefer mine on a hard roll and add some salt, pepper and ketchup (SPK).   When you order one of these sandwiches in NJ…..they will always ask “saltpepperketchup?”   3 words, mumbled into 1, but that any New Jerseyian understands. 


I eat mine with just ketchup…no salt or pepper!  So that’d be “TEC K” in Jersey terms!  I’d say most people get “TEC SPK”. Make sense???  


There really isn’t a specific recipe for this breakfast sandwich…it’s really how you like it!  All you need is


Taylor Ham (pork roll) sliced

Eggs

American Cheese (sliced)

saltpepperketchup

Rolls, bagels….


And voila……THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER!

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~gianna~

Fajitas

Fajitas are one of my favorite things in the world……I can’t even imagine anyone NOT liking them.  Cheese, peppers, sour cream, cheese, chicken, cheese, guacamole….CHEESE!!!!  And I  sometimes even use the full fat version of everything!!!!  Mmmmm….I love fajitas.

So while I have never met a chicken or shrimp fajita I didn’t like…I’ve also never met anyone who doesn’t like these fajitas….welllllll..except my sister-in-law, Ann…who slathered hers in ketchup when I made them for her and my brother in law!  I don’t think I ever made her fajitas again……and I probably never will!  🙂  Her loss!

These fajitas are so easy and so delicious, thanks to one special ingredient…the marinade!  It’s all in the marinade  and I’m not ashamed to admit it!  Someone perfected a perfect (in my opinion) fajita marinade and WOW it’s great!

marinade

When I make this I usually make extra so we have leftovers for lunch or another dinner.

So I don’t have many measurements and I sometimes substitute shrimp and it’s equally delicious!  I also love peppers and onions, so I go heavy on those!

Chicken Fajitas  (or shrimp)

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (washed, trimmed and sliced into bite sized pieces)

OR

Uncooked shrimp (devined and shell removed)

World Harbors Fajita marinade (I usually use 1/4 – half a bottle)

Olive oil

Red bell peppers  (washed, cleaned and cut into slices)

Green peppers (washed, cleaned and cut into slices)

Vidalia onion (cut in half and then sliced)

Olive oil

Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese  (LOTS!)

Sour Cream

Guacamole or Avocado

Salsa

Clean and cut chicken.

In a large pan add chicken and Fajita marinade and toss and cook until it’s done.  Usually takes about 10 minutes.

Wash and slice peppers and onions into strips.

In another large frying pan add peppers, onions and olive oil.  Just enough for sauteing.   And cook those until done.  “Done” for the peppers and onions is however you like them.  I like mine cooked until still slightly crunchy. 

Heat tortilla shells (follow directions on bag)

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Fill (or stuff…like I do) your tortillas with all the yummy toppings, roll it up and ENJOY!!!!

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~gianna~

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