Bacon Cheese Ball……

It’s the season of baking and whipping up lots of holiday treats. You just gotta have a cheese ball of some kind during the holidays, right? I never really stray from my traditional family cheese ball, but this year I thought I would try something different. I have friends who are crazy bacon lovers, so this will be something they will get to enjoy. (you know who you are!)

Who doesn’t like bacon! Oh, and cheese! Holy crap this is a good cheese ball. You can of course be creative and add different things, but I seriously recommend you trying this recipe.

I rolled mine in nuts, but I bet it would be soooooooooo good to roll it in crispy bacon crumbs. I bet my bacon loving friend Carolyn is drooling right about now.

I also added some heat…..chopped serrano peppers. OHHHHHHH, hotsy totsy and yummy.

Get some good crackers, some good wine……you’re all set!


Bacon Cheeseball

2 blocks of softened cream cheese (8 oz blocks)
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
5 or 6 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 tsp Ranch seasoning
3 cups chopped and roasted walnuts (you can use almonds or pecans too)
1 large serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained well) dried cranberries would work well too, but it’s just as good without the fruit

In a large mixing bowl, mix together everything but the nuts. Shape into balls or a log. Carefully roll it in the nuts, covering the entire outside surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours to let all the flavors come together.

Asian Style Boiled Eggs….

Boiled eggs are pretty boring, but I love to have them in the fridge. You can grab one for a little snack, make egg salad and then of course you can make deviled eggs, which I love.

My favorite way to have a boiled egg is in a steaming hot bowl of ramen noodle soup. In my opinion, a ramen bowl isn’t complete without a boiled egg. Especially an egg that has been marinated in soy sauce and chili. I love to eat these eggs as a quick snack. They are so flavorful and satisfying.

Sometimes, I even slice one up and lay the slices on top of a hot bowl of rice, sprinkle on some minced green onion and YUMMMMMMMM. Sometimes the most simple things are the best. Am I right?

So, go boil up some eggs and try these. You’re gonna say YUMMMMMMMMMM.

Soy Sauce Eggs

6 peeled boiled eggs (still warm)
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water

Optional add ins:
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
1 Tblsp chili paste or hot sauce of your choice (optional)
2 green onions, sliced thin

Put the soy sauce and water in a jar. Add any of the optional ingredients in and give it a quick shake. Add the eggs. Turn the jar around to coat all the eggs if the liquid doesn’t quite cover all the eggs. Allow to marinate for at least half an hour. Longer is better, but if you can’t wait, you can always slice an egg and drizzle some marinade over the slices.

That’s it!!! So easy, right?

Gingersnappers……

It isn’t the holiday season until I have my gingersnaps. I absolutely love them. I make them extra spicy and crunchy. These are more crunchy rather than crispy. I also make them little so that I can just pop em into my mouth. These are also delicious with a little orange zest added to the dough.

I can’t believe how many people wrinkle their noses when I mention gingersnaps. What’s not to like?? They go so well with a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee. You can crunch away while you’re watching a Hallmark Christmas movie. Have you noticed how they are always making gingerbread cookies on those movies? One of these days I’m going to make a gingerbread house. Hmmmmm, I think I say that every year.

Do you have a favorite holiday cookie that you just have to make every year?

Well, time to make more cookies. I hope you will give these a try! Crunch away!

Ginger Snappys

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup cool butter, cut in pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg

Combine the flour, baking soda, spices and baking soda and set aside.
Cream the butter until smooth. Add sugars and mix well. Add molasses and mix again. Add the egg. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly.

Heat oven to 345. Roll dough into 1/2″ balls. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, 1″ apart. Slightly flatten each ball. Bake for 12-14 minutes. I bake them for 14 minutes because I like them to be super crunchy. They will crunch up after they are completely cooled. *

*Once your cookies are completely cooled, test the crunch. If they aren’t crunchy enough for you, just turn the oven on to 300 and put the cookies back in for about 7-10 minutes.

Makes approx 70 little cookies.

Cookie Brittle

The holidays are approaching!!  Can you believe it? What a crazy year. So much has happened to so many of us. One thing that helps my stress level, is baking. The problem is, since we are all pretty much indoors and social distancing, I cant really pass out my treats. But there are still a few people that I am fattening up. Hahahaha.

Time to get out all those favorite holiday recipes. We all have our favorites, don’t we? This one is a must for the holidays. Everyone loves this stuff and I gotta tell ya, it is addicting! It makes great little gifts too. Who wouldn’t want to get a gift of this. You can put it in a nice gift can, pretty little bags, a cute little Christmas cookie jar….so many ways.

This cookie brittle is so buttery and rich. It’s crunchy and delicious. You won’t be able to eat just one piece. Last year, I filled an 8×8 gift can  and gave it to a friend. She ate the entire thing in one day. Hahahahahaha. While I wouldn’t recommend that, I can see how she did it. It’s that good.

I usually use semisweet chocolate chips, but you could use m&ms, white chocolate, butterscotch chips, peppermint candies, coconut, different nuts and even dried cherries!

It’s super easy and quick. I hope you will try it! 

The Best Cookie Brittle Evahhhhhhh 

2  sticks of butter (1 cup), melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar (I use 1/2 cup turbinado sugar and 1/2 cup regular sugar) 
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2  cups all purpose flour
1  cup roasted sliced almonds (any nut works great)
1  cup chocolate chips or chopped block chocolate
1/2 cup oats (optional) 
other optional add ins: coconut, dried fruit, toffee bits (brittle won’t be as crispy if you add these, but still delicious)

Heat oven to 340.  
In a big bowl, mix together the cooled melted butter and vanilla.  With a wooden spoon, mix in the sugar, salt and flour. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips. Press the mixture in a thin, even layer in an ungreased baking sheet. It will almost fill a 9×13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes or so. (I bake for 10 minutes and then turn the pan around and bake for another 10 minutes or so). It should be light golden brown. Let it cool in the pan. 
Once cooled completely, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. If you dont store it in a container, it will soften up a bit. 

Now, bake another batch cuz this won’t last long!!!!! 

Best Smoked Salmon Dip ever……

I always buy the little tubs of the soft cream cheese with smoked salmon. While I do love it, I wanted to make my own version. Wow, what a difference. I dont think I could ever buy the little tubs anymore.

I love this stuff and it was quick to put together. It’s good with crackers, pita chips, veggie sticks, crostini. You could even toss it with some hot pasta. I bet that would be great and I think I will have to try that soon.

A little bit of smoked salmon goes a long way, so you don’t have to use too much.

I hope you give it a try.

 

 

Smoked Salmon Dip

1  8oz block softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1  tsp minced shallot (chives or green onion work too)
approx 4 oz smoked salmon (more or less depending on your taste)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
black pepper
1 Tblsp heavy whipping cream (if you want more of a lighter, fluffier mousse type of dip)

Just throw everything in a food processor and give it a whiz until its all soft and creamy.
So simple and so delicious