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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Have you ever read the ingredient list on a bottle of ranch dressing? I mean, I'm not starting a campaign against Hidden Valley or Kraft, but there is a lot of weird stuff listed. I have to say, this homemade stuff is definitely better than the store bought kind. Give it a try!!

1 cup Duke's mayonaise
1/2 cup sour cream
~1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
~1/4 cup fresh dill
handful of fresh chives, rough chop
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced and smashed into a puree
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
healthy dash of Tabasco (or your favorite hot sauce)
1/4 cup 2% organic milk (or 1/2 cup for thinner dressing)
dash of paprika

Put everything into the food processor and combine on low. 

Taste for adjustments

I think this is a good base recipe, but some people may prefer more or less of certain flavors in their ranch dressing. Store in a mason jar.

Add more or less herbs according to your taste. I like the herb flavoring, so I tend toward a little more of those.

Notes: After a day in the fridge my dressing was pretty thick. It still tasted good, but next time I may add a little more milk to thin it out. I think I was a little hesitant to make it too watery. Oops! But still delicious!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Cheeseburger Casserole

This is one of those easy week night meals. Easy and tasty--can't beat that! And who doesn't love cheeseburgers?

Cheeseburger Casserole

1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 yellow onion, diced
small bell pepper, diced (from our backyard plant!)
1 large clove of garlic, minced
2 cups uncooked shells
1 tsp.+ seasoned salt
2 tbls. dijon mustard
2 tbls. ketchup
shredded mexican cheese blend
3 roma tomatoes, diced
dill pickles (buy the chips or dice them up) for topping

 Boil your pasta in salted water and drain. While the pasta is boiling, brown the beef in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute about 5-7 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Drain off any excess grease.

Add seasoned salt, ketchup, diced tomatoes and mustard to beef mixture and gently combine with a spatula. Let this simmer for about 3-5 minutes to combine the flavors. (It should be thick but a little saucy at this point.)

Grease a casserole dish. Combine the pasta and beef mixture and pour into the casserole dish. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (or until cheese is completely melted on top). Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Serve with dill pickle slices.

Servings: about 6
Total Time: 45 minutes

Notes: Super simple! I thought I wouldn't be able to detect the ketchup and mustard taste, but I really could and it was strangely very good. Leftovers did not last! This could easily be one of those comfort go-to meals. Enjoy!

Recipe: Originally from Bakerette

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Alice Springs Chicken

Here you have my version of the Alice Springs Chicken. Oh soooooooo tasty with a sauce that is your new best friend.

Alice Springs Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (or chicken breasts pounded thin)
season all salt
olive oil
8 oz. package mushrooms, sliced
8 slices of bacon
1 small bottle of Ken's Light Option Honey Dijon dressing (or your favorite honey mustard dressing)
4 pepper jack cheese slices
sliced green onions for garnish
(jalapeno slices for husband)

Poke a few holes in the chicken cutlets with a fork and drizzle with olive oil and top with season all salt. Let that set for a few minutes on a plate or dish. (Or you could marinate this in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.)

Fry the bacon in a skillet and drain on a paper towel. While that is cooking/sizzling, put a small dose of olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-low heat. Gently pan sear the chicken; approximately 7 minutes on each side (at this point I added a couple more dashes of the season salt).

Once the bacon is cooked, pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease. Saute the mushrooms in this (I know this isn't super healthy, but you can always just saute in some olive oil or a little butter instead.) Once the mushrooms are golden brown, remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Now it's time to assemble the dish. I assembled everything in the cast iron skillet (fewer dishes to clean!), but you could easily do this in any oven safe dish. Top the chicken with a healthy coating of the honey dijon dressing. Next add the sauteed mushrooms and top each piece with 2 slices of bacon.

Put a slice of the pepper jack cheese on top for good luck. 

Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melty and the chicken is done. Serve with green onions, jalapenos or spoon extra sauce over the top. You will not be disappointed!

Notes: This is seriously awesome! I mean, really delicious! I wouldn't eat it all the time because it's probably not so great for the waistline. It's obviously not going to be on any diet, but it's soooooo good! You get my point. Husband did not use Tabasco and used his finger to lick up all the sauce on his plate. I say that's a winner winner chicken dinner!!!