On the Side, Recipes, Small Bites

Get Yourself a Husband Bacon

If you’ve ever been to First Watch, you may have seen Million Dollar Bacon on the menu. This recipe is inspired by that recipe but with a twist! This Candied Bacon recipe is sweet and salty, with a kick of heat. Crispy, thick-cut bacon caramelized with a little bit of spice is a perfect pairing for brunch, a Bloody Mary skewer, or even as a holiday food gift!

My friend, Rhiannon  and I recently hosted a Sunday Fun Day brunch. I knew this bacon had to be included on the menu especially on a skewer at our Bloody Mary bar. As soon as Rhiannon tasted it, she said this will definitely get you a husband and so the name was born!

This is a baked bacon recipe, so you’ll be using your oven. It’s the best way to cook bacon, and it’s very easy to do!

After you bake it, you’ll let it cool on a rack to allow the sugar to caramelize and harden for that perfect, crispy, candied texture.

Ingredients

  • 10 pieces thick cut bacon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Instructions

Place the oven rack on the center rack. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine brown sugar, and seasonings in a bowl. Set aside.

Place foil on a 13×9 baking sheet. 

Add bacon in a single layer.

Cover both sides of pieces of bacon with the brown sugar mixture.

Drizzle honey over top. 

Bake in a preheated oven on the center rack for 20 minutes, 

Remove bacon from oven and place on cooling rack to dry.

Small Bites

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

These bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers are baked instead of fried! Who can resist fresh jalapenos stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and baked to crispy perfection? Not me, that’s for sure. This is the ultimate party snack!

The jalapenos are sliced in half and the seeds and ribs get removed. Removing the seeds and ribs removes most of the heat from the peppers; if you like it spicier, leave some of the seeds and ribs in. The peppers are stuffed with a combination of cream cheese, cheddar cheese and spices. Then wrapped in bacon before baking in the oven. 

I like to serve my bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers with a side of ranch for dipping, but honestly they’re great as-is too.

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
  • 12 slices bacon

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Mix cream cheese, seasonings and cheese together in a bowl until evenly blended. 

Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture. Put halves back together and wrap each stuffed pepper with a slice of bacon. 

Arrange bacon-wrapped peppers on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes.

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Peach & Blueberry Cake

After picking blueberries and peaches at Southern Hill Farms this weekend, I was inspired to make this delicious and beautiful Peach and Blueberry Cake!

This cake screams summer fruit! And you can easily switch out the fruit and make it a year-round dessert.

The combination of the peaches and blueberries is amazing. The natural sugars in the fruit enhance the flavor. The crust is almost biscuit-like and has a rich buttery flavor. 

Enjoy the summer weekend and this scrumptious summer cake!

Check out Southern Hills Farm!

INGREDIENTS

For pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½  tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 lb firm-ripe large peaches (about 4), halved lengthwise, pitted, and each half cut lengthwise into fourths
  • 1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Make pastry:

Pulse together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Add egg and vanilla and pulse just until dough clumps and begins to form a ball, about 15 pulses.

Press dough onto bottom and evenly (about 1/4 inch thick) all the way up side of springform pan with floured fingertips. Chill pastry in pan until firm, about 10 minutes.

Make filling while pastry chills:

Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F.

Generously butter the inside of your springform pan.

Grind 2 tablespoons sugar with flour and cornstarch in a food processor until combined, then transfer to a large bowl. 

Add peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice and sprinkle 6 tablespoons over the top, toss to coat. 

Spoon filling into pastry and bake, loosely covered with a sheet of foil and cover the bottom of the pan with foil, until filling is bubbling in center and crust is golden, about 1 3/4 hours.

Transfer cake in pan to a rack and cool, uncovered, 20 minutes, then carefully remove side of pan.

Cool cake to barely warm or room temperature, then cut into thick wedges with a sharp knife before serving.

Tip:

I recommend using light-colored metal pans for baking. Dark metal pans, including nonstick, will cause your baked goods to brown more quickly. If you don’t have a light-colored pan, wrap the bottom of your pan with foil and lower the heat to 350 degrees F. 

Healthy, Recipes

Roasted Veggie Salad

Roasted Vegetables – this is hands down my favorite way to cook vegetables. When you roast them it adds depth and delicious flavor, and they finish with the perfect texture. This has been one of my go-to dinners lately, just a bowl of roasted veggies with a piece of grilled protein like my grilled shrimp!  So good!

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can totally switch the other veggies with whatever you may have on hand, you can also use different seasonings based on what you like. 

You can roast just about any vegetable, using the same easy method – chop, drizzle with olive oil, season, toss and roast. Toss once or twice through baking.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. zucchini, cut into quarters
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Citrusy Garlic seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • Salt and Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place vegetables in a large bowl, toss vegetables with the rest of the ingredients. 

Spread into an even layer on a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet lined with foil. 

Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Remove and toss, return to the oven and roast 10 minutes longer.

Healthy, Recipes

Tangy & Sweet Grilled Shrimp

I love grilled shrimp… this is my go to marinate! 

It’s the perfect weeknight meal or poolside dish!

They are super quick, full of flavor, and so easy to whip up.  Everyone will absolutely love and devour them!!

Grilling shrimp is my favorite way to cook this very popular seafood. The grill gives them a fantastic smoky flavor and adds to the perfect tangy spices of the marinade. 

You can serve them on a platter by themselves, over buttery pasta, rice or my favorite roasted vegetables!

Don’t forget to grab a glass of Scout & Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Sauvignon Blanc!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup white wine such as Scout & Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a bowl & marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Save some marinate for brushing while grilling 

Recipes

Chile Lime Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This Grilled sandwich comes together with a delicious combination of spices, fresh tomatoes, avocado, and Pepper Jack cheese making this the perfect summer sandwich recipe!  

Just grab your favorite bread (Tuscan Pane from Trader’s Joe is my go to), slather with butter, top with Pepper Jack cheese, tomatoes, avocado smashed, and a teaspoon of Chile Lime seasoning. Grill up on a hot skillet until the cheese is melty! 

Pair it with fresh salad for a complete meal! Dinner or lunch in 10 minutes or less! 

Ingredients

  • Two slices of the Tuscan Pane
  • 3 slices tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Chile Lime Seasoning
  • 4 slices Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1 avocado, smashed
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Instructions

Spread 1 tablespoon butter on one side of each slice of bread. 

Arrange cheese slices on top of each piece of bread. 

Spread smashed avocado onto one piece of bread, opposite the butter side. .

Place tomato slices on top of the avocado. 

Sprinkle the Chile Lime seasoning on top and other slice of bread.  

In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter.

Place the sandwich butter side down and cook until lightly brown. Flip and cook a few more minutes until the bread is slightly brown. 

On the Side, Recipes

Summer Corn Salad

This Corn Salad is one of my favorite summer sides!  This easy Summer Corn Salad features sweet fresh corn off the cob, crisp bell peppers and feta cheese all combined in a light and zesty vinaigrette.

Summer is the best time of year to serve up fresh salads and vegetables. I visited the Southern Hills Farms with some friends this weekend and knew I had to stock up some fresh summer corn. If you live near the Orlando area, I definitely recommend visiting Southern Hills Farm in Clermont. It is absolutely the best You Pick farm I have ever been to and it’s perfect for photos! 

Such a fun day picking sunflowers at South Hills Farms!

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 cups corn kernels about 6 cobs of corn or frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • ½ medium sized red onion diced
  • 1 red and green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon dried White wine, such as Scout & Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Chardonnay
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon Chile Lime seasoning
  • 4 oz. crumbled Feta cheese
  • a generous sprinkle of course salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss.

Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Healthy, Recipes

Beyond Burger Salad

I first tried the Beyond Meat Burger at Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival last year. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was! I immediately fell in love with it! I couldn’t wait to find it at my grocery store so I could create my own recipes. I’ve used the Beyond Meat as a substitution in several of my recipes. It’s that good!

Have you never heard of The Beyond Burger™? 

It is from the company, Beyond Meat, it’s a plant-based burger that looks, cooks and tastes like beef, but is made entirely from plants without ANY gluten, soy or GMOs. It’s good for you, the planet and delicious! 

Skip the meat and try this vegetarian alternative instead!

This Beyond Meat Burger salad is juicy and loaded with toppings like sautéed caramelized onions, red pepper, and mushrooms served over a bed of baby spinach and arugula. you can Seriously you jazz it up with any number of toppings to make it taste just like one of your favorite burgers.

Ingredients:

Burgers:

  • 1 package Beyond Burger
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper 

Caramelized Veggies

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms 
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce 
  • Handful of Arugula & Baby Spinach

Instructions:

For the Caramelized Veggies:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. 

Add the sliced mushrooms, cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. 

Add the red peppers, stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Add chopped garlic and red pepper flakes, stir. 

Pour Liquid Aminos (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until coated and most of the liquid has cooked off. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to a bowl; cover to keep warm. 

For the Burgers: 

Preheat the grill pan and olive oil over medium high heat. 

Mix beyond burger meat with seasoning.

Make 5 patties. 

Add the patties and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. Flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. 

Assemble Salad:

Place a handful of arugula and baby spinach on a plate.

Place the burger on top of greens and top with the Caramelized Veggies. 

Drizzle your favorite dressing & enjoy!

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

CREAMSICLE CHEESECAKE

This dessert combines a childhood favorite with creamy cheesecake.

With Summer peeking around the corner, I’ve been working on creating refreshing recipes that will be perfect to soothe the hot weather. For this recipe, I thought of my mom and my favorite childhood summer treat: creamsicles. I used to love those colorful popsicles with a creamy center. Creamsicles are refreshing fruit juice popsicles stuffed with a creamy, vanilla filling. Yes, they came in different flavors but the orange was the most delicious, in my opinion! 

So for this recipe, I combined one of our childhood favorites- creamsicles and creamy cheesecake. It’s a perfect pairing. Bonus- this is a no-bake treat which means there’s no need to heat up the house by turning on the oven. 

This will be your new go to summer dessert for a picnic, pool party or BBQ!

Trust me…. everyone will LOVE it!

My family on Mother’s Day!

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CRUST

  • 24 whole Golden Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter
  • Pinch of kosher salt

FOR THE FILING

  • 3 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • Zest of one orange
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 box (3 oz.) orange jello
  • 1 cup boiling water

FOR GARNISH

  • 1 c. whipped topping
  • 1 clementine, peeled and separated into segments

INSTRUCTIONS

Make crust: In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, butter, and salt. Press into the bottom of an 8″ springform pan or a loaf pan and up the sides.

Chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Beat in the Jell-O mixture, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla.

Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 4 hours or overnight before serving.

To serve: When firm, pipe dollops of whipped topping around the outside of the cheesecake. Top each dollop with a clementine segment, garnish with orange zest, and serve.

Healthy, Recipes

KETO Cheesy Broccoli & Chicken Casserole

This Keto Cheesy Broccoli & Chicken Casserole recipe is super easy to throw together. It’s rich, cheesy, and a quick dinner or make ahead weeknight meal!

I love making casserole at the beginning of the week so I can have them all week long for lunches. This keto friendly casserole is comforting and simple to make. It’s creamy, topped with cheese and filled with perfectly seasoned chicken and broccoli. You can have this casserole on your dinner table in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup Half and Half  or Heavy Cream
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of Pepper, ground
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese plus 1/2 cup more
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Preheat oil in an oven safe skillet. Add diced chicken and cook it until golden brown.

Add broccoli florets, onion and garlic to the skillet and sauté.

In a medium sized bowl, combine cream, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, mustard, and garlic and salt & pepper. Pour into the skillet, stir to combine. 

Top with the shredded parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for ten minutes, pull out of oven, sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and continue cooking for ten more minutes, until warmed through and the cheese has browned.

Serve immediately.