because what is life without good food?

Posts tagged “Bacon

Crab Artichoke Dip with Asiago & Bacon

Crab Artichoke Dip with Asiago & Bacon ~

My latest creation … please go over to my blog’s new “home” for the recipe!

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda (SOMG!) BLT

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich (SOMG BLT!)

This is such an amazing sandwich. It’s really so simple. But it takes the whole concept of Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato to a new level.  All you have to do is add a little bit of sweet onion and some gouda cheese, get that cheese really good and melty and OMG you will be drowning in heaven when you eat your sandwich. So that’s why it’s a Sooo OMG BLT.  SOMG = Sweet Onion Melted Gouda. How sweet is THAT?

The most necessary thing for this sandwich is a fresh-from-the-garden tomato.  If you don’t have a garden (or a friend or relative who has a garden who will share a tomato), one from the farmer’s market will do in a pinch. If you’re going to use a grocery store tomato, just skip this whole idea. Go make something else. Because to get the true essence of a really great BLT, you need a really good fresh garden tomato.

The sweet onion and the melty gouda cheese elevate the bacon and the heavenly homegrown tomato taste and then the mixed greens come along and top it all off with their beauty and crunch. You really must have at least one of these beautiful sandwiches during tomato season … I have had two so far and I’m SO tempted to make another one … SOMG they are SO good!

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich (Soo OMG BLT)

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich (SoooOMG BLT!)

For each sandwich:

  • 1 nice thick slice of bread (homemade bread works the best … I used my dad’s whole wheat yogurt bread)
  • 3 slices of lower-fat, naturally smoked, thin-sliced bacon
  • Thinly sliced sweet onion
  • Fresh garden tomato slices
  • A few slices of Gouda cheese (I used Dofino Gouda that they sent me … )
  • Mixed greens


  1. Cook the bacon strips to your liking. I like mine a little floppy, but my sisters hate the way I make bacon. My kids love it though. (HA! For once I am validated by my kids.) Use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to soak up the excess fat from the bacon.
  2. Set the bread on a baking sheet covered with cooking spray. Cover the bread with a layer of bacon, then several slices of the sweet onion, then make sure you cover the whole thing with fresh tomato slices. Cover the tomato with slices of gouda cheese.
  3. Bake at 400 for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the cheese is really good and melted and bubbly.
  4. Remove the sandwiches from the oven and carefully transfer each sandwich to a plate and add a good tumble of mixed greens. Then revel in the joy of a purely wonderful sandwich.

Sweet Onion Melted Gouda Bacon Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich (Soo OMG BLT)

I want to thank Dofino cheese for sending me some of their wonderful Gouda cheese and my amazing friends from the BOHO tribe for helping me name this sandwich! It was Uncle Gary from Uncle Gary’s Gourmet Peppers and Pepper Jelly that thought of this name.

This is an #onionlove post.

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Click here to see all the other great #onionlove posts …

This recipe was also shared at Share it SaturdayScrumptious Sunday, and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.

Happiness & a Mushroom Tomato Skillet Frittata

Smoky Mushroom & Tomato Skillet Frittata

Last night my facebook page zoomed past 10,000 “likes” when I wasn’t looking. I was out having a glass of wine with my friend, talking out all the things we needed to talk about, sharing things we probably wouldn’t ever tell anyone else.

How did it zoom by without me so quickly? I think it’s because I’ve been doing an A-Z health challenge on my facebook page. Every day there is a letter, you choose one thing that starts with that letter and share the health benefits of your chosen thing. A was Avocado, B was Basil, C was Cilantro, D was Dill. E was Eggs. F was Flax. Yesterday was G and I chose Garlic. Somewhere along the way I invited my foodie friends to join in and share facts or recipes on my page. That’s when things really got fun. Suddenly I wasn’t talking to myself anymore … everyone was joining in and we had such a spread of beautiful recipes and wonderful conversations going on everywhere.

10,063 likes on facebook

Today is the letter H and because I’m so HAPPY, I’ve asked everyone to share what makes them happy. And I thought I better take a minute to share what makes me happy. Each and every one of you that comment, visit, or like me on facebook or Pinterest or twitter: you make me happy. You are what makes all of the time and effort I put into this blog worthwhile.

What makes me happy?

Snuggling, hugs, curling up with my cat, the many shades of green leaves on the trees, joking with my son, hearing my daughter sing, seeing her dance, visiting my parents, talking with my sisters, playing with my nieces and nephews, going for long walks and hikes in beautiful, natural spaces, a text or visit from a friend, yoga, a genuine smile. Art. Live music. Singing. Beautiful architecture. History and Books. Sunrise on the lake.

Beautiful morning at Big Stone Lake

Thunderstorms and rain, rainbows, blue sky, clouds, flowers, sunshine, seeing a deer or beautiful bird or a bat flying in the sky. Dragonflies and butterflies. Mountains. Plants. ANYTHING purple. Looking at the stars somewhere away from the city where you can see so many more of them. Riding on a boat, canoeing, sailing. Swimming. Camping. Dancing. The sound of waves and the feel of water and sand on my toes. Opening the windows and feeling a slight breeze through my house. Travelling. Meeting new people and seeing new things, trying new foods and seeing the world from a different perspective. Coming home. Breathing freely. Being healthy and so grateful to be alive.

A hot cup of chai on a chilly morning, dinner on the patio, a really good smooth dark chocolate. Having a drawer full of different wonderful cheeses, a bottle of wine and several lovely dark beers in my refrigerator. Picking berries, vegetables, herbs or flowers and eating them fresh. Hot soup and the smell of fresh bread baking on a cool or rainy day. Thai food. Or Mexican or Greek or anything funky and ethnic. Baking cinnamon rolls with my daughter, making up new recipes with my son. A beautiful salad. Little toasts! Pizza. Cold sweet ice cream on a hot day. Cooking. Having a handsome man cook for me and rub my back or my feet. Growing herbs. Foraging. Writing and reading and sharing with all of the wonderful foodies that have graced my life with their presence.

Smoky Mushroom & Tomato Skillet Frittata

Smoky Mushroom Tomato Skillet Frittata

Cheese is one of those things that send me into a happy oblivion. Dofino cheese noticed this and sent me a bunch of cheeses. One of the cheeses they sent me was this smoked havarti which is very creamy and has an intense smoky taste, which blends so well with mushroom, tomato and eggs and a bit of smoky bacon.

  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 1/4  – 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach or swiss chard
  • A small handful of fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme)
  • 2 – 4 eggs (depending on how fluffy you want your frittata … I used 2, but it was a little flat)
  • 1 slice lean bacon, fried crisp, cooled and crumbled or chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, smoked havarti, & asiago, mixed)


  1. In a skillet pan, melt the butter, then add the mushrooms. Sautee for a few minutes, add the tomato & onion. Cover and cook for a few minutes, then uncover and sautee until the onions are soft. Add the spinach and sautee briefly until wilted.
  2. Put the vegies in a bowl, mix with the herbs, and set aside. Clean out the pan. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with a spoonful of water for each egg. Sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning (or just salt) and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Heat the skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour in the eggs and let them cook for just a moment to start setting up. Quickly spread the vegie mixture over the eggs, sprinkle with bacon and top with the shredded cheese. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and let cook till the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and serve immediately in wedges.

Smoky Mushroom & Tomato Skillet Frittata

What makes you happy? I would love to know!

This recipe was shared at Share It SaturdaysScrumptious SundaysRecipe of the WeekKatherine Martinelli’s Tomato Bloghop and Everyday Mom’s Meals.

Bacon Cheddar Spinach Dip

{a guest post for The Black Peppercorn}

Bacon Cheddar Spinach Dip

My friend Steve over at the Black Peppercorn is off on vacation, so I’m helping tend his blog while he’s away!

Steve is a great blogger who has some great recipes and beautiful photography. I’m proud to count him as one of my foodie friends.

So pop over to the Black Peppercorn for the recipe!

Bacon Cheddar Spinach Dip Recipe

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday, and Weekend Potluck.

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip

Calling this a shrimp dip is a little misleading because it’s got SO much more than shrimp in it … there’s bacon, and asparagus, and grilled corn cut off the cob, sweet onion, Havarti, Gorgonzola and cream cheese, greek yogurt, some seasonings of course… and then, to give it a little summer heat, some Sriracha sauce. It’s like a taste of summer in every bite.

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip with Bacon, Asparagus, Corn & Sriracha

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip

  • 1/3 cup roasted asparagus, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup light cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cooked corn (I cut the kernels off a cob we had cooked on the grill, but thawed frozen corn would be fine too)
  • 1/3 cup cooked, chopped shrimp (tails removed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning (if you don’t happen to have any, you can make your own with this recipe)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cooked, chopped lower-fat bacon
  • 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 – 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or more (add more or less according to how spicy you want the dip)


  1. Heat a frying pan up over medium heat till it’s hot, spray with cooking spray, and sautee the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and soft. If the mixture gets dry or starts to “burn”, add a splash of wine, then cook until the liquid from the wine has disappeared.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix the onion/garlic with the rest of the ingredients until it’s all thoroughly mixed. I started with the cream cheese because the heat from the onions will melt the cheese and make it easier to blend with the rest of the ingredients, then added the other things one by one.
  3. When I started cooking, I really meant this as a hot dip, but I ended up eating it cold because it’s SO hot outside … but really more because I was soo hungry by the time I finished it that I didn’t want to wait for it to bake. So hey, if you want, you could put this in an oven-safe baking dish and bake it up till it’s all hot and bubbly … or serve it cold with toasted pita chips, crackers, baked bagel chips or tortilla chips. Or vegies. Vegies always make good dippers.
  4. Garnish with a shrimp and some snipped green onion or chives.
(By the way, thank you Patti and Tara and all my Boho tribe friends for helping me name this one!)

Hotsy Totsy Summer Shrimp Dip with Bacon, Asparagus, Corn & Sriracha

This recipe was shared at Patriotic Potluck, Everyday Mom’s Meals, Scrumptious Sundays, KM’s Seafood Bloghop and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.

It was also featured at Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen’s Seafood Frenzy Friday.

Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelized Onion & Bacon Dip

Yeah, I’m on a dip kick lately. I’ve been feeling kinda down, and I like to munch and dip when I’m sad. My ultimate “comfort” food is potato chips and french onion dip (the kind made with real sour cream), but I have come to realize that eating it just makes me feel worse than before, so I kinda stay away from that store-bought stuff now. Today I tried making my own home-grown version of french onion dip. With bacon. Because bacon makes everything better, right? And the greek yogurt has the same rich texture as sour cream, but it’s good for you, so it makes you feel BETTER after eating it instead of sinking you deeper into depression.

There are a few things that are nagging at me, but I think the biggest one is probably the changes on facebook. Yeah, I know, my life is really easy if all I have to be upset about is the changes on facebook, but you see the social connections I’ve made on facebook are really important to me. I’ve met a lot of foodie friends on facebook (7,264 of them as of this moment) and every single one of them is precious to me. Most facebook users probably aren’t even that aware of the changes or how they impact the pages they “like” on facebook, but what facebook did is cut back the views of our posts unless we pay to “promote” them.  It feels like my fan base that I worked so hard to build was just cut from 7,000 to 700. Ouch.

But the worst part is now when someone tags my page, I can’t see that they tagged me, and vice versa.

We foodie pages used to communicate by tagging each other in our status … we did virtual parties on facebook and the invitations were lists of facebook tags. Everyone would bring a drink or dish … the way we would do this is to go to one of our food photos and tag the person having the party (plus a bunch more pages usually … hey, the more the merrier!). We did “shout-outs” telling our fans about other pages we thought were awesome and you always knew when someone else shared your page so it was easy to say thank you by tagging them back. We shared recipes amongst ourselves and tagged the creator of the recipe. Now, if someone shares my recipe or my page, unless it is directly shared from one of my own posts, I have no way of knowing it. There are no more parties. No more shout-outs. No more thank you’s.

It makes me really sad that I can’t see the posts of my friends unless I take time out to go visit their page. They are my inspiration and joy. Oh, yes, there is an alternative: I can make a “list” of my favorite pages from my personal facebook page, but this has several disadvantages:

  1. I have to leave my page to go there
  2. I can share to my page from my personal page, but it’s cumbersome, tricky and easy to screw up
  3. I can’t comment as my page from my personal page
  4. How the heck am I going to make a list of thousands of people from memory? Okay, not all of my “likers” are facebook pages, but still, there are thousands of them, built up over time. Trying to make a list of all of them is harder than putting together a list of people to invite to your wedding. You’re going to forget someone … and in my case it’s a LOT of someones.

Foodies are a tight-knit group and we are feeling right now like facebook is tearing us apart. I think many of us are turning to Pinterest to fill the gap. At least I can always see my friends’ pins on Pinterest. We have group boards that a bunch of us contribute to, and you can comment and like things just like on facebook.

We’re trying to roll with the punches, but I have to tell you it’s very disheartening. I know this is not personal, facebook is just trying to make some money off of this service they have offered us for free for so long, but can’t they do that without tearing us apart? At least let me know when someone mentioned my page. That’s business networking and analytics 101: you want to know who your referrers are. That’s how you build your network. How can you thank your referrers and help them out in turn if you don’t know who they are?!?

Sorry about the rant, I just needed to get that out … let’s get back to the dip at hand, shall we? It’s a lovely dip with the sweet taste of caramelized onions and the salty, smoky bacon, along with creamy cream cheese and tangy greek yogurt and a few chives for spite (and color). Thinking on it now, I bet some smoked paprika would be nice in this too … I’ll have to try that next time.

Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip

Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip

Inspired by one of my foodie facebook friends: Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup of white wine
  • 2 oz. lowfat cream cheese
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of lowfat mayonnaise (or plain nonfat yogurt)
  • 2 slices of lean bacon, fried till crisp and chopped up
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat your frying pan up to medium heat and swirl around a teaspoon of olive oil in the pan. Add the onions and reduce head to medium, stirring pretty much constantly to keep them from burning. When the onions start to brown, add a bit of the wine and cook some more, stirring the onions till the wine has evaporated, then add a bit more wine and stir and cook some more, and repeat until the onions are brown and sweet and all the wine has evaporated. This might take 20 minutes or so, but it’s worth it, believe me.

Remove the onions from the heat and put in a bowl with the cream cheese and stir. The heat of the onions should melt the cream cheese and make it easier to mix in. Add the rest of the ingredients, reserving a few bacon crumbles and snipped chives to sprinkle on top before serving. If the dip is too thick, add a little plain nonfat yogurt (not greek yogurt, the regular thinner kind) or a teaspoon or two of milk.

Serve with crackers and/or vegetables and/or chips. Whatever you prefer. You’ll need a sturdier chip, though, like a kettle chip, if you want to use chips.

Bacon & Caramelized Onion Dip

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayNewlyweds Recipe LinkyFull Plate ThursdayIt’s a Keeper ThursdayTastetastic Thursday, and Weekend Potluck.

Garlic Ranch Potato Bake with Mushrooms

Garlic Ranch Potato Mushroom Spinach Bake

I was in a potato mood. This was just one of those things that just happened one day. I walked into my kitchen, pulled out things that ought to go with potato, snipped some fresh dill from the rogue dill plants that just volunteered to grow in the pots I brought inside and suddenly I had this crazy potato mushroom spinach bake all hot and ready … it was the perfect potato lunch.

Before you can make this baby, you need to make some of this skinny garlic basil ranch dip … go do it … you won’t be sorry …

Garlic Ranch Potato Mushroom Spinach Bake

Garlic Ranch Potato Bake with Mushrooms

This is for a small bowl of potatoes, just right for one person for lunch, but you could easily scale it up to make a big casserole dish full. I ate it as a meal, but it would make a nice side dish too.

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 potato, sliced thin
  • 3 – 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • Chopped onion
  • Fresh spinach and/or arugula leaves
  • Lowfat garlic basil ranch dip (recipe is here … or I suppose you could substitute another ranch dip if you have some on hand)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • A bit of bacon, cooked till crisp, drained on a clean towel, and crumbled
  • Fresh dill, snipped
  • Green onion, snipped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the potatoes and mushrooms on the pan.
  2. Mix the olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and brush the potatoes and mushrooms lightly with the oil. Sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) and pepper. (If you want you could roast the onions alongside the potatoes and mushrooms as well. I wanted my onions crunchy.)
  3. Roast the potatoes and mushrooms at 400 F for about 10 minutes or until they are tender.
  4. Now take a bowl (or casserole dish if you are making this on a larger scale) and spray it with cooking spray.
  5. Make a layer of potatoes on the bottom, then top with mushrooms, onion, dabs of ranch dip, a bit of cheese, a few bacon crumbles, and dill. Top with some spinach leaves, then start another layer of potatoes.
  6. Repeat the layers until you run out of potato, ending with potato slices on top. You can sprinkle a bit of cheese on top if you like. I was trying to limit the amount of cheese and bacon to keep this dish light and healthy.
  7. Bake for 15 – 30 minutes (depending on the size of your pan), or until the cheese is nice and melted.
  8. Sprinkle with fresh dill and green onion and serve.

Garlic Ranch Potato Mushroom Spinach Bake

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayTastetastic Thursday and Full Plate Thursday.


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