Cheesy Bacon Ranch “Crack” Dip

Cheesy Bacon Ranch “Crack” Dip.

It’s party food time of year!

Time for dips and spreads, puffs and cups, hors d’oeuvres and crudites, balls and logs… Time for bits and bites in every color and shape and flavor.

When you are looking for an easy, crazy addictive, crowd-pleasing recipe, give this warm, cheesy, bacony, ranchy dip a go.

It’s sure to be a hit!

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Crack Dip

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 Less Fat)
  • 16 oz. sour cream (I used Light)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (reserve a few for garnish)
  • 2 Tbsp. (or one 1oz. envelope) Ranch Dressing mix

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients in bowl, reserving a bit of cheddar cheese and a few green onion slices for garnish.

Transfer dip to a pretty oven-proof serving bowl, fand back 20-25 minutes, uncovered until browned and bubbly.

Remove from oven, and immediately garnish with reserved shredded cheddar cheese and green onions.

Serve warm with tortilla chips, pretzel sticks, carrot or celery sticks, crackers, or your favorite dipper.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup.

Does anything warm you up more wonderfully on cold winter days than a steamy, creamy bowl of soup?

I made this yummy creamy, cheesy cauliflower soup one day this past week, and we absolutely loved it.

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When hubby, who typically prefers to eat lunch out during the work week, asked for a serving to take for lunch the next day, I knew I had a real winner on hand!

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It is chock full of delicious vegetables simmered in broth and then creamed by adding an easy cheesy roux and blending a bit.  You could completely cream it if you like, but I like to cream about half and leave plenty of hearty chunks of the cauliflower, celery, carrots and sweet red peppers.

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Fresh thyme really adds a fabulous fragrance and taste, and hot sauce is a great way to kick it up just a bit!

Imagine serving this with some crusty french or chewy ciabatta bread to dunk in it or alongside a sandwich or salad.

Hope you’ll give it a try, and hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:creamy-cauliflower-soup-4

  • I head cauliflower, broken into florets (5-6 cups)
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 3 cups chicken broth (I made from water and 3 tsp. chicken base)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • Dash of salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups half and half or milk
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (do not use pre-grated)
  • 2 tsp Cholula Hot Sauce (or you can use Sriracha or your favorite or none)

Directions:

  • Combine all vegetables, thyme, and chicken broth in a large pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter, then add flour, salt and pepper to create a roux.  Whisk half and half in slowly.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook and continue whisking for 2 minutes until thickened and smooth.  Turn heat off and stir in shredded cheese until melted.  Add hot sauce (if desired).
  • Pour creamy cheese mixture into vegetables and broth.  Stir until completely combined.
  • Puree to desired consistency using Immersion Blender leaving chunks of vegetables, but creating a creamy texture.
  • Ladle into bowls to serve.  

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Roasted Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna


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Roasted Butternut Squash….
Fresh Baby Spinach…
Spicy Pepperoni…
Cheese, Cheese, and just a little more Cheese….

O. M. G!

This might seriously be the most delicious thing I have ever made…

Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna.

(Either that or I was just totally craving butternut squash…. which I was… but still…)

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When I saw one of my blogging buddies, Jenna at The Painted Apron, share this recipe a few days ago, I could not resist making it that same evening!

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I may have added a bit more cheese (because… well…. just because…) and Jodi’d it up a teensy bit, but Jenna totally gets the credit for sharing this amazingness!!!

This is one of those recipes where you kinda moan in delight after each bite.  (Well – at least I did!)  Hubby absolutely loved it too.  A LOT!

And when I shared some with my son, Nick – he called it “ridiculous!”

I think this might just be my absolute favorite lasagna recipe ever, and I can’t wait to make it again and share for company or a potluck or party.

Okay – I think I’ve told you enough how much I loved this.  Now – please – go make it – and tell me it isn’t so!

Roasted Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna

Ingredients:roasted-butternut-squash-and-spinach-lasagna-1

  • 6 Barilla Oven Ready Lasagna Pasta Sheets
  • 1 Butternut Squash, cubed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni slices
  • 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 6 oz (4 thick slices) fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated  Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Parmesan Cream Sauce

  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated  Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Place cubed butternut squash on a baking stone/sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, ginger, and minced garlic.   Roast at 425 degrees F for 20 mins.

Place chopped pepperoni slices on a paper towel or napkin lined plate and microwave on high for 20 seconds to render the fat.

Prepare sauce by combining butter, milk and wine (or water) in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil.  Briskly whisk in flour until incorporated and thickened.  Stir in 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano.

Spread about 1/4 sauce on the bottom of 9×9 square baking dish.   Place two lasagna sheets side by side on top of sauce.  Layer half of the roasted butternut squash on top, followed by half of the fresh spinach, half of ricotta, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and half of the pepperoni.  Top with another 1/4 of sauce and repeat layers.

Top with remaining 2 sheets of lasagna and spread with remaining sauce.  Add sliced mozarella cheese and a few reserved pieces of pepperoni.  Finally top with 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano.

Bake in 350 degree F oven uncovered for 30 minutes, or until hot and browned and bubbly.   Let set for 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi