Loaded Baked Potato with Cheddar Broccoli and Bacon

I bought a couple of huge baking potatoes today and decided to make us a stuffed potato for lunch.  I thought a broccoli soup of sorts would be perfect and it was.  I chopped my bacon before cooking it but crumbled cooked bacon will work lovely too if you happen to have some leftover bacon waiting to be used.  I microwaved my potato today but feel free to cook them however you prefer.

  • 2 strips bacon – diced
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli – chopped
  • 1 jalapeno – minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup cheddar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Cook potatoes and set aside.  Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy.  Set aside reserving about 1 Tbs of bacon fat in skillet. Add flour to bacon fat, stir and cook for about 1 minute.  Add milk and stir until thickened.  Add broccoli, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 4 minutes until broccoli is desired tenderness.  Stir in cheddar until melted; add sour cream.  Serve over 2 giant baked potatoes or 4 small ones and sprinkle with bacon.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Spicy Rumaki

For some weird reason I had an urge for some chicken livers.  Not usually something I would crave;  I decided to go with a rumaki of sorts.  I had opened some of the red hot sauce Charles had canned and thought this would be great for a sauce and marinade. A chili sauce might work nicely too. I’ve also seen versions that use a teriyaki and ginger combination so go with some kind of sauce you really like and follow the techniques below.

  • about 1/2 pound chicken livers
  • 6 slices bacon
  • canned water chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup homemade red hot sauce or a chili sauce
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar

Cut bacon and any large livers in half.  On each half slice of bacon stack a slice or two of water chestnuts and a chicken liver.  Wrap bacon around and secure with a toothpick.

Mix together sauce and brown sugar. Pour over bacon wrapped chicken livers and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Discard marinade and spread livers onto a foil lined baking sheet.  Bake at  375 degrees for about 25 minutes; broil for a couple of minutes if desired to crisp up the bacon a bit.  I made another batch of the red hot sauce and brown sugar mixture and served as a dipping sauce.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Quick and Easy Shrimp with Spinach

I was fixing a quick shrimp dish for Charles’ lunch tomorrow and I thought some bacon and spinach would be great.  So I got to cooking; I needed some bacon fried for breakfast anyway so that would be easy and something different.  I get done, I eat my share of it, and I pack up the rest only to remember a few days ago I posted scallops with spinach and bacon …. so it really wasn’t so creative and exciting after all!  It’s been a long weekend so I am going with this for my post anyway.  It is a bit different from the scallops dish and who doesn’t enjoy another fast shrimp recipe.

Quick and Easy Shrimp with Spinach

  • 12 o.z. shrimp; peeled
  • 2 Tbs bacon grease or butter
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 – 4 o.z. spinach
  • crumbled bacon if desired

Heat bacon fat or butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add shrimp and season with cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper.

Cook for about 2 minutes and flip shrimp over.

Cook 1 – 2 minutes longer; add spinach on top; cover and steam for about 2 minutes.  Toss together and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Sea Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

I made some quick and easy scallops tonight.  Very rich and delicious; bacon and spinach go so well with seafood.  I served it over a combination of rice and orzo  and had some crusty bread on the side.  It could have used some herbs perhaps but the simple salt and pepper combination worked well while letting the flavors stand out on their own.

Sea Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

  • 4 strips bacon
  • 12 o.z. scallops
  • 3 o.z. spinach
  • salt and pepper

Cut bacon into small pieces. Fry over medium heat until crispy about 5 minutes.

Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Reserve bacon grease in skillet.  Drain scallops well and heat bacon grease over medium high heat.

Add skillet to hot bacon fat and sear on one side for 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Flip over scallops.  Top with spinach; cover with lid and cook for an additional minute or two.

Serve over rice or pasta.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

 

BLT and A ~ Bacon Lettuce and Tomato …. plus avocado

There isn’t much better in the summer than a BLT with garden fresh tomatoes.  My tomatoes are still a week or so off though and the farmers at the farmers market weren’t selling them either so I did have to settle for a store-bought tomato not quite as tasty as the home-grown kind but much better than they used to be.  As for the avocado, last summer I was spreading the mayonnaise on my sandwich when I looked over and saw the avocado setting there all lonely; it just seemed like a natural addition and I don’t think I’d have it any other way. Next time I might even try using homemade guacamole!

BLT and A ~ Bacon Lettuce and Tomato …. plus avocado

  • Bacon
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • lime, salt, and pepper for the avocado
  • mayonnaise
  • bread

Cook bacon as desired ~ here’s the link to my baked bacon technique. While bacon is cooking slice tomato and remove lettuce leaves.  Mash avocados with fresh squeezed lime and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Once bacon is cooked remove from baking sheet and drain on paper towels.  Toast bread; spread toast with mayonnaise on one piece if desired and plenty of avocado on the other.  Add bacon, lettuce, and tomato.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Potato Salad ~ with garden fresh new potatoes, bacon and sour cream

There are hundreds of ways to make potato salad; I couldn’t even begin to guess which is my absolute favorite but this one came out quite tasty.  It would even work well warm.  Based on a loaded baked potato I took some new baby potatoes I found at the farmers market today and gently boiled them and added in all the yummy ingredients.

The only thing I lacked today was green onion so I used a  little Vidalia I had.  The green onion is a better choice I think; plus it would have added a bit of needed color with the green. Delicious either way!

Potato Salad ~ with garden fresh new potatoes, bacon and sour cream

  • about 2 – 2 1/2 pounds new potatoes
  • 3/4  cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup diced onion ~ preferably green onion
  • 5 strips cooked bacon ~ crumbled or diced
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese ~ shredded

Cut potatoes in half or quarters as needed to make them large bite size.  Cover with water and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cook 8 – 10 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse with cool water.  Refrigerate until chilled a bit.  Add remaining ingredients and stir.  Check for seasoning and creaminess.  I ultimately added another 1/4 cup sour cream but test before adding.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Broccoli Cauliflower and Olive Salad

I have never been a huge green olive fan but for some reason this salad is irresistable.  I used martini olives marinated in dry vermouth.  I think this brings out the best flavor; Spanish Queen Martini Olives marinated with Dry Vermouth to be even more precise. It’s definitely a salty salad; but a nice change from the usual picnic salads when planning a cook out.

Broccoli Cauliflower and Olive Salad

  • 2 cups bite size broccoli florets
  • 2 cups bite size cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup quartered olives (about 5 very large martini olives)
  • 1/8 cup olive juice
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs – peeled and sliced
  • 3 strips bacon – cooked and crumbled
  • black pepper

Mix together all ingredients in large bowl; I like to toss in bacon just before serving.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Bacon, Eggs, and Portobello Mushrooms

I saw a picture a few days ago of something baked in a Portobello mushroom cap.  I can’t remember what it was but I thought it was an egg at first glance.  I couldn’t get the idea out of my head so I had to try baking an egg in a mushroom cap for breakfast today.  It didn’t work out as perfectly as I envisioned but was very delicious and the results even looked good; I just couldn’t keep the egg in the mushroom cap so I baked it on the side.

  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 2 medium Portobello caps
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place bacon and whole mushroom caps on baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.

Flip bacon and mushrooms over and bake about 5 more minutes. Move bacon to one side and mushrooms to the middle.  Crack eggs in corner of pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake an additional 5 – 8 minutes until eggs are desired doneness.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Spicy Collard Greens

I learned how to cook tasty collard greens not  too long ago from my gal at work.  She spent some time in Louisiana at one point in her life and learned quite a few tricks to making some great southern dishes. I’d tried collard greens a few times and was never a huge fan of the earthy flavor and the overcooked mush, but back off on the cooking time and add a bit of spice and vinegar and they bring out the best in these greens.

Spicy Collard Greens

  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno diced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Wash collard greens and remove stem ends ~ peel back middle vein if desired.  In large pot add collard greens and quart of water.  Bring to boil; cover and cook 10 minutes.  Cook bacon while collard greens are cooking.

Drain collard greens; return to pot.  Drain bacon and crumble into pan with collard greens.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer 10 addition minutes.

Bakin’ Bacon ~ perfectly baked bacon every time!

We love bacon …. I tell my dog and pretty much everyone who will listen that “the only thing better than bacon is …. more bacon.”

My favorite way to cook bacon is in the oven.  It’s easy, less messy, and oh so yummy.  In fact by baking bacon you can help keep those slices flat and evenly cooked.

We used thick cut applewood smoked bacon on this particular day.  I baked it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Flipping over after about 10 minutes and then again after about 7 or 8 minutes more.  Bacon is fairly forgiving.  I wouldn’t go over 400 degrees when baking and 325 would be the minimum.  But you can adjust the temperature as needed and time accordingly if thicker or thinner sliced.

Give it a try next time you need some bacon cooked.  In fact I have a habit of throwing the bacon in the oven on Sunday mornings before I hop in the shower; if you find it’s taking a little long to cook just bump up the temperature by about 25 degrees at a time and get sizzling.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly