Friday, June 6, 2014

Desserts - Ice Cream and Baked Apples

So this might be a little more of a fall post, but sometimes it's not the season and you just want a taste of fall! I had this post floating around my pinterest for a while and it just looked drool worthy, and when I had to pick a somewhat healthy dessert, I picked this baked apples recipe. It's super simple, so easy to throw together your kids could help with it, and delicious. And what are baked apples without ice cream? I'd had the ice cream attachment sitting around for my kitchen aid for a long time, but had never used it! So I found this great simple recipe, got the ingredients, let it sit in the freezer (make sure it's for a good couple days), and had that to go with it. It turned out delicious, the apples are wonderful, with a little cinnamon sweetness to go with it, baked just long enough to keep a lil crunch with it but still be warm and a little softer. The ice cream was good, though it was a little sweet to me, I think next time I might use less sugar. The first batch I did was vanilla, but feel free to mix it up! I have another batch in the freezer right now of Chardonnay ice cream. It set up and the batter tasted good, we'll see how it tastes frozen with the apples tonight! It's so easy to do ice cream, and cheaper! The recipe calls for heavy cream, but I substituted half and half, partly because it's cheaper, and partly because it's lower fat and healthier, and it turned out great. Feel free to play with the ingredients a bit, fat free milk, mixers, etc. and let me know how it turns out! Alright, so on with the recipes.

Baked Apples with Oatmeal Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • pinch of ground ginger and salt
  • 3-4 apples
Preheat your oven to 350, and melt the butter and mix it with the rest of the streusel toppings. Halve the apples and scoop out the seeds and stem areas, then fill them with the topping. Place in a dish and bake until the apples start to swell and the topping starts to brown, or roughly 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Simple Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I'd take it down to 1/2)
  • 1 T vanilla (the higher quality the better)
  • pinch of sea salt (optional, but believe me, it's good)
If you are using a kitchenaid, make sure you put the attachment into the freezer at least a couple days before hand. Personally, I leave it in there in between batches, then it's ready when I run out. Stir all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until the sugar is dissolved, then assemble the ice cream machine and pour the cream mixture into it. Turn it on a low speed and let sit until it starts to form a sort of slushie texture or longer. That's how long I let mine sit, and it takes roughly 10-15 minutes, but don't get impatient! Spoon it into an airtight container and let sit in the freezer 4+ hours, if not overnight. It'll be loose before then, but still edible.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Been a while, but I'm baack. Life threw me for a loop while I was gone, but I'm back in the swing of cooking and ready for some more posts! There isn't going to be much of an order to these, or a posting deadline, but it'll be updated more often than it was in the last couple months ;)

One of the dishes I made during my healthy eating spree (which is fairly over now, back to my comfort foods) is ratatouille, and I had enough of the ingredients left over to make it again, this time getting some pictures so you can all can see how pretty it is! Now most of these ingredients aren't totally in season yet, if you don't have a garden and grow them yourselves you can still buy them, just a little more expensive right now. If you want to try it though, keep it for later when they're cheaper! The sauce on the bottom is amazing for dipping, or if you double it, you could save what's left for later and put it on pasta, with all those awesome veggie tastes in it.

I got this recipe off a site called which is wonderful and has a ton of awesome recipes, including this one. Check it out if you get some time, lots of options and she prices down everything for you, focusing on budget friendly meals.

Oven Baked Ratatouille

  • 1 cup marinara sauce 
  • 1 small yellow onion 
  • 1 small eggplant 
  • 1 medium zucchini 
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes 
  • Pinch of salt and pepper 
  • ½ tsp dried basil 
  • ½ tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara along the bottom of a pie plate, reserving the rest for later. Thinly slice your onion and sprinkle it over the marinara. Thinly slice the rest of the vegetables, halving or quartering the ones that are thicker, as you're aiming for a similar sized slices, both thickness and diameter (Math terms in cooking, yuck). Layer them in the pan, starting from the outside and working your way in, alternating vegetables to form a pattern. Great for sight as well as making sure everyone gets a little bit of everything in each bite. Sprinkle the top with the seasonings (you can also just use italian seasoning) and the remaining marinara sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After that point, remove the foil and sprinkle the cheese on top, then return to oven and cook for 10-15 more minutes, making sure the cheese doesn't get too dark!

This is wonderful, it ends up being almost like a veggie crustless pizza with the sauce and cheese and spices. I'm not a huge veggie fan, but the sauce and cheese definitely help to cut down on that Ewww veggie feeling, and I really enjoyed it. A wonderful summer side and it looks BEAUTIFUL in the pan if you're having company over!

Friday, April 11, 2014

I have a confession to make

I like to fancy myself a great planner and everything, but the very sad truth is that I am miserable at it. I try my best but sometimes I just have these great epic fails that just... don't work. I know I said I wouldn't miss another day and I'm sure you all noticed that I missed... well a lot. Here is my lovely planning snafu (am I spelling that right? I love that word). So I planned this 30 days of bacon thing, got so excited, gathered up all these awesome recipes I was determined to try! Shortly after that, I heard about this awesome shake replacement plan, and decided to give it a try and do this healthy eating, meal replacement, work out thing and try to get fit and strong and just see where I could push my body. Well the lovely thing about that is it started this week, and healthy and bacon just don't. quite. work.

I hemmed and hawed and overall just avoided this subject but I needed to tackle it so here it is! I have one more recipe left that I tried to share, so I'll start adding that, but otherwise I'm afraid all I'm going to have are healthy recipes! Sorry to disappoint, but sometimes, life happens! If you stick with me I do have some good healthy recipes, they're just going to be coming in less frequent as I just can't eat that much that fast by myself! Otherwise, if anyone wants to guest blog a bacon recipe before it's over just holler :) I'm more than happy to hear what other people are doing with that wonderful ingredient!

Alright, luckily for us, I ended it with an amazing ingredient. Really this one was such a big hit, but how could I go wrong? Chicken, cheese, bacon, green onions, it's delicious and everyone adored it. Make it if you can, because it's sure to be a staple at your house after this!

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 T cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 2 T diced green onions
  • 4-8 slices of bacon
  • pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cut the chicken into 4 equal pieces, preferably not just flat in half, if you sort of butterfly it, it'll go better, because we're going to flatten the chicken so it's about 1/4 inch thick. Mix together the cream cheese, pepperjack and green onions, and put 1/4 of the mixture down the middle of each chicken breast. Roll the chicken breast up, keeping the mix in the middle, and wrap in the bacon, using more or less bacon depending on the size of the bacon and the chicken breasts. Secure with a toothpick if needed, and sprinkle with some pepper, depending on how much you like. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, broiling the top for 5 minutes after that until the bacon is crisp and brown, and then turn it upside down and broil an additional 3-5 minutes to crisp up the bottom so you don't get stuck with soggy bacon. Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

irish beer bread with cheese, dill and BACON

So this one will be short cause I'm on the road in a hotel typing on my phone (which is a pain in the butt when your phones auto correct doesn't recognize words like irish. Or butt.) But I promised I wouldn't be behind on posts again so here goes! For St paddys day most people celebrate by drinking, and I celebrate with cooking. This year I made corned beef and cabbage, Baileys and beer cupcakes and... irish beer bread with bacon (among other things). It was delicious, no one made it to my party but I am vouching for this recipe! It stayed moist and the flavors were awesome, the little flecks of bacon and cheese, yum! It's not difficult either so no worries about that aspect :) here we go!

Irish beer bread with cheddar bacon and dill

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 12 oz of your favorite beer at room temp
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 T fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon crumbles
  • 3 T butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 and mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the beer to combine and then add the cheese, bacon and dill. Scrape the batter into a greased loaf pan and top with the melted cheese. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Enjoy! Even better warm :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bacon cheese bombs!

BOOM! Finally I'm back on time and that deserves a lil celebration, so I thought this recipe would do nicely. Little crunchy explosions of fried cheese and crispy bacon in your mouth, like little fireworks of awesomeness. After trying it out I'll admit I was a bit disappointed. The breading didn't seem to want to hold the cheese in and as such I ended up losing most of it in the oil, but they were still tasty little bundles of bacon and biscuit. I might mess around with it sometime, maybe try with a normal mozzarella stick breading rather than the biscuit, but for now, this was quick, easy and went over fairly well :) Try experimenting with the different cheeses, the breading, etc. If you do, let me know how it is! And with that, here is the recipe.

Cheesy Bacon Bombs 

  • 1 can (8ct.) Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits
  • Cubed Mozzarella Cheese (1-1″ cube per Bomb)
  • 2 lbs. of Bacon (1 slice per Bomb)
  • Sticks (toothpicks, skewers, etc.)
  • Oil for frying (I used Canola)

Cube up the cheese and cut the biscuits into fourths, wrapping the cheese cubes in the biscuit bits. Roll it up nice and tight, and then wrap it in bacon and secure it with a skewer. It's easy, get an assembly line going! Heat approximately 2 inches of oil in a large pot to roughly 350 F and fry them in smaller batches, so as not to lower the temperature of the oil too fast. Drain them on some paper towels and serve them warm so the cheese is still lovely and ooey and gooey. Yum!

I swear it's the last time I'll be late!

Wow I had no clue I was 2 days behind, I swear I had caught up better than that. As you can all see I suck at deadlines! So I guess I have two more posts to put up today. I saved this recipe for a special occasion, and I suppose this fits it to make up for my grievous mistake, hopefully this helps!
So this recipe, the ace up my sleeve, is Bacon Double Cheeseburger Beer Cheese Soup. I know, lots of wonderful words squished together in one recipe, too good to be true right? You'll think so when you try this. I was skeptical, the ingredients are so simple, it's so easy, it might be good but could it be THAT good? Yes, it could. It's like crack soup. I tasted a little while cooking it and could not stop myself from eating it the rest of the time. Anyone else who's tried it agrees with me and I hope you will too! Easy to make for parties, company and I guarantee you it'll be a hit, especially among bacon lovers. There is just so much bacon in it, and the bacon flavor permeates the entire soup. It's like the holy grail of soups. No hidden secrets here, this one is easy, you could do it with the kids :) Feel free to mess with it, add your favorite cheeseburger toppings on top or mixed in. I'd probably do some sauteed onions and mushrooms next time diced up in it, and top it with some fresh tomato, croutons, diced pickles, bacon... maybe even some mayo (I lived in the south for a while, everything is better with mayo) mmmm

Bacon Double Cheeseburger Beer Cheese Soup

  • 12 ounces thick cut bacon, uncooked
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Montreal steak seasoning 
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 (12 ounce) beer (I used Blue Moon)
  • 4 cups half and half 
  • 16 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • croutons, pickles, bacon bits (optional garnishes)

Warm a large pot over high heat, and using kitchen scissors cut the bacon into the pot (roughly 1/4 inch-1/2 inch sizes, you want bacon bit sorts sizes when you're done). Cook, stirring occasionally until lightly crisp, and then add the ground beef. Break it up and cook it through, when it's done you're going to want to drain as much of the drippings as you can, you don't want a super oily soup. Don't drain it all out, keep probably 2 Tablespoons in it, you want that bacon flavor to soak into the cheese and half and half still. When that's done, stir in the flour and seasonings until the flour has coated all the meat. Add the beer and cook for 3 minutes, scraping up all the little bits off the bottom as you do, don't want to let any bacon flavors go to waste! Then add the half and half, stir it in and bring it til it's bubbling. Add the cheese and stir it in til it's melted, and finally allow it to simmer, stirring occasionally until you're ready to serve. The longer you let it simmer the better those flavors are going to just invade the entire soup, but it's still amazing right when it's done. Enjoy!

Late again - Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

What better way to wake up on Sunday morning than with some bacon an cinnamon rolls? Or, even better... all in one delicious salty sweet crunchy gooey bite!
I'd seen this recipe kicking around Pinterest a lot and was curious, had to try it out. It was delicious, went over great with everyone! While I personally would probably still prefer to eat them separately, other people liked it better this way. A few tips, it's very important to get the pillsbury grands cinnamon rolls, the one with 5 in a pack, any other one and the numbers won't quite work out, and some aren't the right size. You can make it work, but it'll be much more difficult. And second, make sure to precook the bacon. You can get it fairly crispy and it'll still work, but just don't over cook it. This is the easy way, you could do it with your own cinnamon roll recipe but I was feeling lazy this weekend.

Alright, on to the recipe!

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 can pillsbury grands! cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
  • 10 strips of bacon

Preheat the oven to 350 F and cook the bacon on the stove top until your desired done-ness. Anywhere between lightly done and starting to get crispy, when done pat dry with paper towels to remove the grease. Separate dough into the rolls and unroll, laying the still warm, strips of bacon onto the cinnamon rolls and roll back up into cinnamon roll form, 2 strips of bacon to a roll for the right size. Place in a greased 8 or 9 inch round pan and bake for 25-29 minutes or until golden brown. Top with the icing and serve!