You know Me & Cheese Dip!

Two weeks ago on Rachael Ray they had one of The Doctors on the show and he was discussing food health and reading labels, etc.  They picked up a bag of Bacon Bits and read through the ingredients… how scary was it that there was no bacon in Bacon Bits.  ACK!  So I guess the take home from this boys and girls, read your labels!

Ok now I’ll share a fun recipe with you, hows that for fun?!?!  It even contains bacon bits, but the real things… just sayin!

Cheese Dip

1-16oz sour cream
1-8oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1-cup green onion
1-bag real bacon bits

Mix together & bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve warm with crackers or chips.

Bacon, Cream Cheese & Jalapeno’s, Oh My!

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Hello yum is all I have to say. In fact I couldn’t keep my sweet husband out of them, but don’t worry, for every one he got, he took a bite and then I got a bite is it was all good, right!?!?

Ok so what you do:

Get Jalapenos.  Slice them in half and remove the ribs and seeds (because that’s where the heat lives in a pepper).

Then you take cream cheese and stuff the half pepper full of cream cheese.  Wrap a half piece of bacon around the pepper.

Place them in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Then try to stay out of them!!

Eat and Enjoy!

Creamy Hot Artichoke Dip

For Christmas, (I know Christmas, what am I talking about) my mom had us come over early and help her with cooking preparations.  To say she was a bit overwhelmed, well, we all have our moments and cooking in the kitchen is soooo my thing so I jumped at the chance to help out!!  Besides she does everything else so brilliantly!!

The dip was sooo good that hubby and I couldn’t stay out of it.  We practically ate it all ourselves.  So then for New Years, we chose to make it again.  We varied off this recipe we found on the Hellmann’s website a bit, but to remember what we did, well I’m not sure any 2 dips are the same anyway 🙂

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Pineapple Tidbits


The pineapple is a member of the bromeliad family.  It is extremely rare that bromeliads produce edible fruit. The pineapple is the only available edible bromeliad today.It is a multiple fruit. One pineapple is actually made up of dozens of individual floweret’s that grow together to form the entire fruit. Each scale on a pineapple is evidence of a separate flower.

Pineapples stop ripening the minute they are picked.  No special way of storing them will help ripen them further.  Color is relatively unimportant in determining ripeness.  Choose your pineapple by smell.If it smells fresh, tropical and

sweet, it will be a good fruit.

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Donnie’s Delight

So you remember back when we were talking about the D- foods?  Well, this was one of those recipes that came out of the wood works, and it was yummy!

Inspiration came from this pin

Donnie’s Delight
2 pkgs. cream cheese,
8 oz. ranch dressing,
2 -10 oz. cans chicken, drained well
shredded cheddar.
Couple Dashes of Hot Sauce

Melt first 3 ingredients together with a handful of shredded cheddar. Mix in chicken (I shred it).  Add a couple dashes of hot sauce. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle top with shredded cheddar (light cover). Bake at 375 for 15-20 mins or until cheese on top is melted. Serve with crackers.

and ours turned out like this:
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Donnie’s Delight
by Nicole
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients
  • 2 pkgs. cream cheese,
  • 8 oz. ranch dressing,
  • 2 -10 oz. cans chicken, drained well
  • shredded cheddar.
  • Couple Dashes of Hot Sauce
Instructions

Melt first 3 ingredients together with a handful of shredded cheddar. Mix in chicken (I shred it). Add a couple dashes of hot sauce. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle top with shredded cheddar (light cover). Bake at 375 for 15-20 mins or until cheese on top is melted. Serve with crackers.

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Creamy Chicken Cajun Pasta

Tuesday Night Patty brought Creamy Chicken Cajun Pasta.  She found the recipe on Pinterest.  That seems to be a great place to find things when you’re looking!

Source: delish.com via Patty on Pinterest

Creamy Chicken Cajun Pasta (via delish)

  • 8 ounce(s) whole-wheat fusilli or rotini
  • 1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • 2 slice(s) bacon, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound(s) boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoon(s) Cajun seasoning (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 can(s) (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup(s) reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup(s) sliced scallions for garnish

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Cream of Mushroom Soup (Gluten Free)

In the last few years, I’ve heard people refer to Gluten and going Gluten Free for this reason or that.  I can remember thinking, what the heck is “Gluten”?

Gluten (from Latin gluten, “glue”) is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture. Gluten may also be found in some cosmetics, hair products, and other dermatological preparations.  (definition via Wikipedia)

Hmmm….

More recently though, my friend’s daughter has been told to go Gluten-Free.  This gave us the chance to learn more about what it means to be gluten-free.  I’m not going to lie, even with finding Recipes and doing a little research, I’m not 100% sure what it is, but hey, we’re learning!!  That’s the main factor here!

Recently for a Sunday Night Dinner we had Nacho night. The recipe that I planned on taking called for Cream of Mushroom Soup.  Oddly enough, it has gluten (flour) in it as the thickening agent.  Earl had recently found a recipe for Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom soup so Tbug, hubby and I decided that we were going to make our own Cream of Mushroom Soup (adapted from here) so that Moo could eat our nachos too!

Tbug’s shirt came from here!!

 

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Andrew Zimmerman – Chef Struggles

A friend of mine at work recently gave me an article to read.  She knows how much I love cooking and would love to be a chef/attend culinary school.  She read this article in a little magazine called Guideposts and I’m not really sure much about it, but she showed me this article on Andrew Zimmern who is on Travel Channel.  I scanned the document in for you to read as well because it is encouraging for anyone who struggles with something, whatever your story & case may be.

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Cajun Cuisine

I decided to be informative today… sorry, sometimes it happens, since I did my homework, I thought I’d share what I found out.  With Mardi Gras coming up this next week, I thought I’d ponder on what Cajun Cuisine was and what separates it from Creole…

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I sometimes have a very inquisitive mind, especially when it comes to food so I started wondering how Cajun cuisine came to be:

Cajun cuisine is the style of cooking named for the French-speaking Acadian (Now day New Brunswick & Nova Scotia) or “Cajun” immigrants deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana, USA. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine — locally available ingredients predominate, and preparation is simple. An authentic Cajun meal is usually a three-pot affair, with one pot dedicated to the main dish, one dedicated to steamed rice, special made sausages, or some other seafood dish, and the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available. Ground Cayenne & Fresh Black Pepper are used often. (via wikipedia)

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Now I’ve noticed that Cajun and Creole get intertwined a lot so here’s what I found about Louisiana Creole

Louisiana Creole cuisine is a style of cooking originating in Louisiana which blends French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Native American, and African influences, as well as general Southern cuisine. It is similar to Cajun cuisine in ingredients (such as the holy trinity), but the important distinction is that Cajun cuisine arose from the more rustic, provincial French cooking adapted by the Acadians to Louisiana ingredients, whereas the cooking of the Louisiana Creoles tended more toward classical European styles adapted to local foodstuffs. Broadly speaking, the French influence in Cajun cuisine is descended from various French Provincial cuisines of the peasantry, while Creole cuisine evolved in the homes of well-to-do aristocrats, or those who imitated their lifestyle. Although the Creole cuisine is closely identified with New Orleans culture today, much of it evolved in the country plantation estates so beloved of the pre-Civil War Creoles.  (via wikipedia)

So one commonality that they have is the Holy Trinity.  No, I’m not talking about the Father, the Son & the Holy Ghost… I’m referring to the Cooking Holy Trinity which is Onions, Bell Pepper & Celery in roughly similar quantities.

And most people look at Cajun cooking to be insainly spicy, but they prefer to look at it as “well seasoned”.

Some Cajun or Cajun influenced chef’s
Justin Wilson
Emeril Lagasse
Paul Prudhomme
Ryan Boudreaux

And here are some cool Cajun Websites I found:
Real Cajun Recipes
Great Cajun Cooking
Cajun Cooking Recipes
Real Cajun Cooking – Pure & Simple

Hey and after all of this, if you make it on to who wants to be a millionaire and the million dollar question you get from this blog post, by all means, I’d like some of that prize money too ;). haha!  Make checks payable to Nicole 😉 haha.

I’ll leave you with this…

and I think Emeril says it best