Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Around here, we love Alton Brown. We also had a ton of spinach that needed to be used. Food Network to the rescue. We saw this Alton Brown recipe and had everything on hand. It was a really great salad. Even Cancy, who’s not generally big on vegetables, seemed to like this. I hope you like it too!!!

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
8 ounces young spinach
2 large eggs
8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced

Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the eggs into an electric kettle and cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Turn the kettle on. Once the water comes to a boil, the kettle will turn itself off. Leave the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. Remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 8 pieces and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

Wedge Salad

This is definitely not much of a recipe, but it’s my current favorite salad. You can adjust the toppings to your taste. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Wedge Salad

1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters
Your favorite blue cheese dressing
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, diced small
1/2 Cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 Cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
Balsamic vinegar

Place a quarter of iceberg lettuce on a dish. Pour blue cheese dressing over top. Top with tomatoes, onion, blue cheese, & bacon. Drizzle Balsamic vinegar over top. Delish!

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger

We have been loving this local show called The Austin Daytripper. On the last episode we saw, he went to Bastrop, TX to a place called the Roadhouse. While he was there, they talked about about one of their burgers, called the Jalapeno Cream Cheese burger. That just sounds intriguing to both of us so we knew we had to come with our own version of that.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Burger

1 lb ground beef
salt & pepper
Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp butter
2 good sized jalapenos, sliced
cream cheese
hamburger buns

Combine the beef, salt, pepper, & worcestershire sauce. Make 4 patties. Grill until done.

While the burgers are cooking melt butter in a pan and saute jalapenos until soft.

To put burgers together, place burger on bottom bun, spread with cream cheese, place jalapenos on top, and follow with the top bun. Enjoy!!

Sausage & Roast Vegetable Gnocchi

We were fans of Melissa D’Arabian when she was on the Next Food Network Star contest. Her recipes are always easy to follow, inexpensive, and pretty tasty too. I’ve been roasting vegetables a lot lately for side dishes. This takes that idea and turns into the focus. She used Penne’ pasta in her recipe, I had some spinach gnocchi on hand so I used that instead of pasta.

Sausage & Roast Vegetable Gnocchi

1 sweet onion, cut into wedges
1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, cheeks removed
1/2 pound button mushrooms, stemmed
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, washed and dried
2 sweet or hot Italian sausages, thinly sliced or casings removed
1/4 cup white wine
12 ounces shelf stable gnocchi, cooked according to package instructions
1/2 cup pasta water, reserved
Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, toss all the vegetables, except the tomatoes, with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast, until caramelized, about 30 minutes, turning vegetables halfway through the cooking time. In a small bowl, add the tomatoes and the remaining olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add to the baking sheet, at the halfway point of cooking, to caramelize.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and saute until cooked through. Turn up the heat and deglaze with white wine. Once the vegetables are cooked, cool slightly, then coarsely chop. Add the vegetables and any pan juices to the sausage in the skillet. Toss in the cooked gnocchi, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to moisten. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve in bowls topped with Parmesan.

Pasta Bravo

Super Easy, Really Tasty, and very fast. This is a perfect weeknight meal. This was in a recipe found in my Google Reader from The Piggly Wiggly. Oh my goodness, talk about easy. I edited the recipe slightly, just because we didn’t have any mushrooms on hand so we skipped that step. You can check out the full original recipe here.

Pasta Bravo

8-oz penne pasta
Cooked chicken (something like breaded chicken nuggets)
1 cup alfredo sauce
1 cup marinara sauce
7-oz roasted red peppers, drained well

Boil pasta according to package directions.Cook chicken, according to package directions.

Place the alfredo sauce, marinara sauce, and roasted red peppers into a blender, and mix well. Heat in a pan over medium high heat.

Plate the pasta, top with chicken, and pour the roasted red pepper cream sauce on top.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

This is what happens on a chilly night when you have too many vegetables in your fridge. I had carrots & celery that I needed to use as well as a big red onion. We always have chicken on hand so why not use that too? I wasn’t in the mood for plain chicken soup so this recipe just sort of happened. I’ve got to say, it was one tasty soup. Great for a chilly evening or just whenever you are craving some comfort food.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

1 lg red onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
4 stalks of celery, chopped
3 chicken breasts
4 cups of chicken broth
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 C Fat Free 1/2 & 1/2
Italian Seasoning
Garlic Salt

In a lg stock pan, heat 1 Tbps of butter and 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add vegetables and toss in pan. saute (with the lid on) for about 10 minutes. Add chicken breasts & seasoning to pan and cover with chicken broth. Simmer for about 20 minutes (or until chicken is done)

Take chicken out and chop into bite size pieces, set aside.
Using a slotted spoon, gather vegetables out of broth and set aside.
Pour broth out into a lg bowl or a small pitcher

In the empty pan, add the remain 2 Tbps butter and melt. Add flour and stir constantly. You are creating a roux. :) You’ll start to notice the roux darkening & you’ll smell the flour cooking. After about 3 minutes, add the 1/2 & 1/2 as well as about 2 Cups of the broth. Stir and let cook for a few minutes. Add the vegetables & the chicken. Stir and simmer on low for another 5 minutes. Add in the frozen peas. Stir and let cook another 5 minutes.

I served this over a couple of biscuits in a bowl. We really liked it. I hope you like it too!!

Cheeseburger Soup

This recipe comes from D*Lightful. It is so weird how much this soup smelled just like a cheeseburger. We made this more out of curiosity but it actually turned out to be pretty good. Be Brave, Try it, You’ll like it. :)

Cheeseburger Soup

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 cup onion, diced
½ cup carrot, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon cumin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups 2% milk
2 cups of 2% grated Mexican blend cheese
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 small handful of spring mix lettuce
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef in a large pot over medium heat. Cook until the meat begins to brown, then add the onion, carrot, bell pepper and garlic. Saute about 10 minutes.

Stir in the broth and cumin; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10-12 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes, then add the milk, whisking until smooth, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the milk mixture to the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.

Add cheese, ketchup, mustard, salt, and pepper, stirring until the cheese is melted. Stir in lettuce at the end and serve.