Green Bean Bacon Bundles

If you’ve looked at some of my other posts, you may have noticed that I have an obsession with all things bacon. However, this is one of my alltime favorite dishes. We have this side dish at every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal in my family. No matter how many more bundles are made each year, this dish is always the first to disappear. Since it’s always such a hit, I decided to make this dish for my friends for our “Blue House” Thanksgiving meal. There’s a lot of different ways to make the bundles, but here’s the recipe my family uses and one that I personally think is the best!

Here’s the ingredients you will need:
2 cans of whole green beans
10-12 slices of centur-cut bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt
pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking dish with tin foil.
2. Open the can of green beans and put them in a strainer. After straining, move green beans to bowl and season with salt and pepper. 3. Bundle together about 5-8 green beans and take a slice of bacon and wrap it around the center of the green beans.
4. Lay the bundle bacon seam side down in the baking dish to hold it together. Repeat with remaining beans.
5. Heat a small saucepan over low heat. Add butter, brown sugar and  whisk until melted and combined. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture over top of each green bean bundle.
6. Bake for about 35 minutes or until bacon is cooked.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bites

You had me at cookie dough…and chocolate chip…and oh my god, cheesecake too! When I saw this recipe on pinterest, my heart stopped and I knew I would have to try these. I am a cookie dough fanatic and also happen to love cheesecake, so this combination looked utterly mouthwatering to me! Living with eight girls also means there are always hungry mouths willing to try a new dessert. So I gave it a try and I have to say it was a delicious success! Thanks to brandysbaking.blogspot.com for this amazing dessert!

Here’s the ingredients you will need

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup chocolate chips
Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper or foil allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave your oven on while you prepare the dough.
3. While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed, and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Using your hand to form clumps, distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps. Be sure to use all of the dough.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (the cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple hours.
6. Lift the bars out by the overhang and cut into squares for serving.

Bacon Mozzarella Sandwich

I absolutely love sandwiches! They are so easy to make yet have the ability to be so tasty! For years I have been making my own sandwiches, everything from the simple PB & J to my own version of a shrimp po-boy. A few months ago I was given Tom Colicchio’s “wichcraft,” an incredible cookbook that features sandwiches that are served in his New York City ‘wichcraft restaurants. I’ve eaten at ‘wichcraft a few times in NYC and am always so impressed with the diverse ingredients he uses in his sandwiches. I highly suggest picking up a copy of Colicchio’s book if you’re at all interested in spicing up your sandwiches!

After drooling over many of the sandwiches in the ‘wichcraft cookbook, I decided to make my own sandwich with some new ingredients. Here are the ingredients I used, but feel free to add in other ingredients for a different taste!

Ingredients
2 slices of bread (anything will do, but I prefer ciabatta from Trader Joe’s)
2 tablespoons of basil pesto
1 slice of tomato
3 slices of cooked bacon
2 slices of mozzarella cheese
Avocado chunks

Directions (really simple)
1. Cook bacon in skillet until it reaches desired crispness, set aside
2. Spread the basil pesto on both slices of bread
3. Add the avocado chunks on top of the pesto
4. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on each slice of bread
5. Add the tomato and bacon to the sandwich
6. Cook in panini press until cheese melts  (can also be cooked in a skillet)
7. Give it a minute or two to cool off, then enjoy!

Chicken Bacon Pasta

Pasta is one of my favorite dishes to cook because it’s so easy and always tastes good. It takes a little bit of practice to learn how to boil noodles properly, but the skill comes along with time. This recipe caught my eye simply because the word bacon was in the recipe name. I knew I had to try it, and after taking my first bite I had no regret!

Here’s the ingredient’s you will need

1/2 pound bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less if you don’t want the heat)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 whole eggs
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 grilled chicken breast, sliced (I marinated the chicken in Stubbs Chicken Marinade)

Directions

1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until done. While the pasta is boiling, add a bit of olive oil into a skillet and cook the chicken until done. Once the chicken is cooked, you can use the same skillet to cook the bacon. Cut up the bacon and chicken and place both on the side.

2. Place cream and cream cheese in a small saucepan. Heat over low until cream cheese is melted, and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Add the parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and pepper and whisk until blended.

3. Drain pasta (reserving 1/2 cup of hot water) and return to pot. Immediately add the white sauce and toss to coat. The hot pasta will cook the eggs. Stir in the bacon, and add some reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce.  Top with grilled chicken. Add a little bit of salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning.

Ta-daa! Eat and enjoy!

Let’s Eat!

A year ago, my family and friends would have had quite a laugh had they heard I was starting a cooking blog. However, much to their surprise, I have recently taken on the challenge of learning how to cook….and I have to admit I am really loving it!

When I moved into my house last year, it was the first time I was ever truly “on my own” in the cooking department. No dining halls, no Kappa cooks…just me and the kitchen. Ever since then, I have come to enjoy finding recipes and then testing them out. This blog will feature recipes that I have found, that I have tried, and that I have absolutely loved!

As a college student, I never have enough time and certainly never enough money. Therefore, these recipes will be easy for beginner cooks, affordable to make, but most of all….delicious! Hope you enjoy!

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