Here’s great way to introduce people to Brussels sprouts: roast and smother them in bacon and melted cheese —
the sprouts, not the people, that is.
This recipe came from 12Tomatoes.com — one of my favorite recipe sites. Check it out for lots of yummy dishes. Here’s how I made it:
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
8 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup fontina cheese, grated
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced (I’ll use a little less next time)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Makes 6 servings (or 3 if you’re like me!)
1. Toss Brussels sprouts in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place in a large baking dish. Roast at 400˚ for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Whisk together the egg, cream, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder and red pepper flakes. Stir in cheese.
3. Add a little more than half of the bacon to the sprouts and cover with the creamy cheese mixture. Stir to combine.
4. Top with remaining bacon and maybe a bit more cheese.
5. Bake at 350˚ for 20 to 25 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Quick, easy and oh-so-yummy!
Since there are NEVER left-over mashed potatoes in my house, I simply used a container of prepared mashed potatoes from the
grocery store. 2 cups of those, 3 eggs and 3/4 cup of shredded
parmesan cheese. Stirred it together, plopped it into greased mini-muffin tins, topped with a little more cheese and baked at 400
degrees for 20 minutes. OMG! So good!
You could add spices, chives, bacon bits, ham, different cheeses or anything else that sounds good to you, but believe me, this simple version was delicious.
TIP: Let rest 5 minutes and then run knife around the edges to
encourage them out of the muffin tin.
These Sweet-n-Spicy Nuts are easy to make ahead and add a nice touch to any table. They also make simple holiday or hostess gifts.
You can use any nuts that you like — I chose a combination of
cashews, pecans, almonds and walnuts. Store them in an airtight container on the shelf for a week, in the frig for a month, or in the freezer for six months.
4 cups of raw nuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat sugar, water and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
Stir in spices and slowly pour over the nuts. Stir until the nuts are well coated.
Spread the nuts into a single layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Stir nuts and spread out again into a single layer. Bake another 10 minutes and let cool before serving.
For a yummy Southwestern appetizer, just make your favorite recipe for stuffed peppers and use mini sweet bell peppers instead of large ones. Here’s the recipe I used:
12 to 14 mini sweet bell peppers
1 cup white rice, cooked
1/2 lb ground sausage (or ground beef)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
10 cherry tomatoes, finely diced
8 oz shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
- Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds and inner spines, rinse, dry and lay in 9″x13″ baking dish.
2. Saute sausage, onion and garlic until browned.
3. Add rice and tomatoes to the sausage mixture and stir well.
4. Stuff each pepper half and return to pan.
4. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil, top with shredded cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.
To prep ahead: Slice and clean the peppers and store in zipped bag in frig up to two days ahead. Make the stuffing mixture the day ahead and store in the frig.
For a delicious, moist banana bread that is very simple to make, you can’t beat this recipe.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
4. Stir eggs and mashed bananas into the butter and brown sugar mixture until well blended. If you are using nuts, add them at this point.
5. Stir banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then take out of pan and cool on wire rack.
This Chile Relleno Casserole is delicious and so simple with only five ingredients. Great for breakfast, brunch or any meal, and leftovers are yummy, too.
1 lb shredded cheese (Mexican cheese blend or cheddar)
1½ cups milk
½ cup flour
8 oz can of whole green chiles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9″x13″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Whisk together eggs, milk and flour.
- Slice chiles open and rinse away seeds. Pat dry. Arrange half the chiles to cover the bottom of the dish.
- Pour half of the egg mixture over the chiles.
- Cover with cheese.
- Repeat layers of chiles, then egg mixture, then cheese.
- Cut a chili to create a design on top if you wish.
- Bake about 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
For a creamier dish, substitute half of the milk with cream. You could also add any number of ingredients to this dish, such as bacon, red bell peppers, onions, etc. This Chili Relleno Casserole has become a breakfast regular in my house.
Pineapple Dream is just that… a dream. Light and creamy and easy to make.
2½ cups graham crumbs
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
8 oz Cool Whip
20 oz crushed pineapple, drained well.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice to drink or use in another recipe.
3. Melt ½ cup (1 stick) of butter and stir in the graham crumbs. Press into a 9″x9″ square baking dish and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
4. Beat the cream cheese and ½ cup (1 stick) of butter until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
5. Stir a large spoonful of the drained pineapple.
6. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the baked graham crust.
7. Fold remaining pineapple into Cool Whip and spread evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
8. Sprinkle remaining graham cracker mixture on top.
9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least four hours.
Bacon is always a hit, but this Hot Bacon Crab Dip vanished quickly. Everyone raved about it. It would probably taste just as yummy cold, but I doubt it will ever last long enough for me to find out.
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz crab meat
1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 green onions, chopped
Juice of one lemon, about 3 T
Combine first 6 ingredients. Spread in baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
I doubled the recipe so it filled a 9×12 baking dish.
Print recipe: Hot Bacon Crab Dip
What a colorful way to serve roasted veggies. Depending on what’s in season, you can use cherry tomatoes… red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers… yellow and green zucchini… yellow and orange squash… red onions… purple potatoes… any veggie you like really.
When using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water a few hours or overnight so they don’t burn in the oven or on the grill.
Cut vegetables into various sizes depending on how quickly they will cook (potatoes and butternut squash take longer to cook than bell peppers and zucchini). Put the cut veggies into a plastic food storage bag, pour in olive oil and salt and pepper, seal and shake until evenly coated. Then put the sealed veggies in the fridge for at least two hours (overnight is fine).
Arrange the veggies onto the skewers in colorful patterns. Cook on a barbeque grill or bake in a 450 degree oven until tender and nicely browned. They need careful monitoring because the time can vary so much depending on the combination of vegetables used. As long as they don’t burn, I think roasted veggies taste better the longer they are cooked, but that’s my preference. You may like yours crunchier.
They taste best when served hot, but even cold roasted veggies are yummy.
Nothing says “Ides of March” like a good lamb stew. The secret to tender lamb is to sear the edges of the meat to seal in the juices and then cook at a very low temperature for hours.
You can add your favorite stew ingredients and seasonings. I used lamb, but beef would be yummy, too. Onions, carrots and potatoes are pretty standard, and I added garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for
additional protein and texture. Tomatoes are not technically appropriate for an Ides of March stew since they weren’t eaten in Caesar’s day, but I chose flavor over authenticity.
1. Put 1/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in a plastic food storage bag. Add 2 pounds lamb (cut into 1-inch
cubes) and coat the meat evenly with the flour mixture.
2. Brown the meat over medium-high heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turning to brown all sides, but do not cook through. Depending on how much meat you are using and the size of your skillet, you will probably need to brown the meat in batches. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat from the skillet to the crockpot.
3. Add one sliced onion to the skillet and sauté until golden brown, scraping up the remaining bits of lamb. (I left several pieces of lamb in the skillet and cooked them through for my dinner. Oh my! So delish!)
4. Add the onions and the remaining ingredients to the crockpot:
2 cups carrots, 2 cups potatoes, 28oz can crushed tomatoes,
15oz can of garbanzo beans (drained) and 2 cups of water. My crockpot was filled to capacity, so I only used 1 cup of water and it was fine.
5. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Printer-friendly recipe: Slow Cooker Lamb Stew