Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

This recipe idea came from my friend Kim and is REALLY simple to make. It has amazing texture and makes a great little appetizer!

Whole Water Chestnuts (Can)
Soy Sauce


I cut the strips of bacon into 4 pieces, each of which can be wrapped around one water chestnut. If they're a little bigger, you can just cut the strip into 3 pieces.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Leave water chestnuts in the can and drizzle them with a coating of soy sauce. If you don't want to use all of the chestnuts you can take some out and stick them in an air tight container and store them in the refrigerator. You want to let the water chestnuts soak in a little layer of the soy sauce for maybe ten minutes... giving them a little toss occasionally so they all get evenly coated.

Take each water chestnut and wrap it in a piece of bacon. I did this by setting it toward the center of the piece of bacon and pulling each corner up around it and securing on top with a toothpick. The bacon should stretch a little to fit.

Place the bacon wrapped water chestnuts on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 450 for approximately 20 minutes. You want to keep an eye on them towards the end and judge whether they're done or not by your desired level of crispiness for the bacon.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cheesy Shrimp Dip

This was inspired by the Cheesy Shrimp Dip that O'Charley's had when I went there quite some time ago. I found the recipe online and altered it just a bit, and it seemed pretty close! It can also be made by leaving the shrimp out, as I did on New Year's Eve, if anyone is not a fan of seafood. It makes a great appetizer or snack to munch on during parties/events!


1 Can small shrimp
6 Ounces shredded mild Cheddar cheese (1 bag)
6 Ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (1 bag)
8 Ounces cream cheese (softened)
1/4 Cup sun dried tomatoes (diced)
1/2 Cup Romano/Asiago/Parmesan cheese mix (can or container)
1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder


Mix all ingredients together. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is by thoroughly washing your hands and just using them to knead the cheeses into the cream cheese, depending on how soft it is.

Spread mix into a casserole dish (If you have any shredded cheese leftover you can sprinkle some on top) and bake at 325 degrees until bubbly, or about 20 minutes. Watch closely towards the end as the cheese on the edges will burn before the middle gets completely bubbly.

I recommend serving with Tortitos or Fritos Scoop chips.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Baked Pizza Spaghetti

This recipe can be made in about a million variations just by doing a pasta combination covered with cheese and thrown into the oven. This one was made kind of based on a pizza spaghetti a co-worker brought in on Black Friday that was SO good I just had to try my own recipe for it. I used a jar of sauce, but in the future when I have more time I think I want to come up with a more customized recipe.


1 Box Spaghetti
1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce of Your Choice
1 Small Can Tomato Sauce
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Sausage
1/4 Cup Diced Onion
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
8oz Shredded Cheese (Italian Mix goes well!)


Boil spaghetti according to directions. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet brown the ground beef and sausage. Once browned, add the diced onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the onions start to become translucent. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of oregano in for a little extra flavor.

(Preheat oven to 425 degrees) Add large jar of spaghetti sauce to the meat and cook for 5-10 minutes until sauce is warmed and starts to bubble.

After straining spaghetti, pour into 9x13in glass baking dish. Cover with meat/sauce mixture and stir to mix up. (This might be easier if you just do it in the pot you boiled the spaghetti in, but I guess I just wanted to make as little of a mess as possible haha). Pour small sauce can over the spaghetti once it has all been mixed together.

Top with pepperoni (or any other "pizza toppings" you might like) and then cover with cheese. Throw in the oven for about ten minutes to start to melt the cheese, and then turn on the broiler and broil for just a few minutes to get the cheese bubbly and starting to turn golden around the edges. Make sure to watch it because the broiler can burn things quickly if you don't keep an eye on it!

Let cool, serve, and enjoy!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was another recipe inspired by How Sweet It Is that made a great addition to the great cookie bake of 2010 and the resulting Christmas cookie platter, but would be delicious all year round. It's also very easy using the cake mix, though you can also find a recipe under the How Sweet Recipe List to make them from scratch! I tweaked the recipe just a little bit from the original.


1 box Red Velvet cake mix

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup chocolate chips

1 Tablespoon water


Preheat oven to 350.

In an electric mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Makes about 24 cookies. (Or maybe 16ish if you're like me and make them huge. I always find that it helps them get crispy on the outside while staying gooey in the middle!)