Fancy BLT with Arugula & Fresh Mozzarella (Minus the L)

If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know how much I love BACON!  I literally love it!  I can eat it all by itself or I can make a sandwich with it.  BLTs are classic sandwiches. I feel like when someone hears you made a BLT for dinner, the immediate response is “Oh that sounds so good!”  It’s just the truth!!  I made this fancy verison of a BLT.  I kicked it up a few notches with the one! Feel free to add more or less of an ingredient. I love arugula so I add a lot and I love bacon so I add a few slices! More bacon the better!

You will want to give it a try. The flavors in the sandwich will be an explosion!

Fancy BLT with Arugula & Fresh Mozzarella (Minus the L)

Ingredients:
Yeilds 2 Sandwiches

4 slices sour dough bread
8 slices, bacon cooked, crispy
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh arugula
4-6 slices fresh mozzarella
1.5 T extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 t Italian Seasonings
1 t salt

Directions: Preheat oven 400.  In a small bowl mix together 1 T extra virgin olive oil and Italian seasoning.  Set aside.  Take the garlic cloves and cut off the top exposing the flesh of the garlic.  Rub the garlic on the sourdough bread, both sides.  Next brush the olive oil mixture on the bread to fully coat on both sides.  Place in the oven for 4-6 minutes until it gets crisp. Then add 2-3 slices of fresh mozzarella to 2 of the pieces of bread.  Heat another 2-3 minutes (optional, this is just to lightly melt the cheese)

In another bowl add the arugula, (more or less if you prefer)  drizzle with remaining half table spoon of olive oil and season with salt. Set aside.

Once the bread is done, remove from the oven and assemble the sandwich.  Add half the arugula mixture to both pieces of bread on top of the fresh mozzarella, next add 2 slices of the tomato and 3-4 slices of bacon.  Top with other slices of bread and cut in half and enjoy!  It’s a beautiful looking sandwich and it taste even better then in looks!

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Bacon & Swiss Cheese Dip

I love bacon. I love Swiss cheese! I got this inspiration for this dip because of the bacon and Swiss cheese quiche I make. This came out so cheesy and delicious. It definitely isn’t a healthy dish, but hey you gotta splurge sometimes right?

Bacon & Swiss Cheese Dip

Ingredients:
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 lb bacon, cooked and sliced
1 small onion, diced
8 oz Swiss cheese, shredded
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1-2 T heavy cream, optional
cooking spray
Crackers or Chips for serving

Directions: Preheat oven 375°. In medium mixing bowl add in 16 oz of cream cheese and smash with a fork. Add in cooked bacon (Note: cook bacon till crispy as it will soften sightly inside the dip). Mix well, add in onion and Swiss cheese. Mix well till fully incorporated. Next season with garlic and onion powder. This is where you could add the heavy cream if you’d like. This will help thin the dip out slightly.

Spray an oven safe baking dish with cooking spray. Add in dip and bake in the oven 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven let sit a few minutes. Serve with chips or crackers.

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Garlic & Herb Boneless Pork Loin

There is nothing better then grabbing a deal at the grocery store.  I don’t know about you, but I constantly feel like I’m grocery shopping.  I get these ideas of something I want to make and no matter how much meat I have in my freezer I have to go out and buy something new.  I’ve never been good at couponing but I’ve been trying to take advange of local deals.  I got a boneless pork loin for so cheap I had to buy 2 of them, right?  I like to wrap up the extra one and put in the freesor for another time.  It’s always good to have a nice roast to make!

So, let me tell you about this pork loin.  I’ve never been a huge pork fan.  I think because I don’t like it with the pink tint, even though I know it’s safe to eat.  I also don’t like overcooked pork.  It’s super easy to overcook it. I bet most people overcook it and don’t even realize it.   My mom really likes pork, she loves pork tenderloin and the pork loin so  I have been making it more often.  I’ve just been switching up the recipes!

This pork loin recipe is one of my favorites.  It’s simple, flavorful and if cooked correctly so moist and tender. And the best part is the crispy top!  I’m a sucker for a crispy skin or crispy fat.

Garlic & Herb Boneless Pork Loin

Ingredients: 
4-5lb boneless pork loin
3 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
1/2 T dried parsley
1/2 T Garlic & Herb Seasoning
2 t onion Powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 half sheet aluminum baking pan (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven 375.  In a small bowl mix together the olive with all spices and garlic, set aside.  Add pork loin to a oven safe baking dish, I use a throw away aluminum baking pan.  Add the pork loin fat side up.  Pork loin usually has a side with more fat, make sure that side is up.  Pat the pork down with a paper towel. (This will help get the crispiness I love)

Next, give that pork loin an olive oil bath. Rub the olive oil mixture into the pork making sure to cover the entire thing, make sure the top is fully covered.  Place in the oven, uncovered for 18-20 minutes per pound. You’re looking for 145-160 on an instant read thermometer. I personally still can’t get behind eating pork where it’s pink, but watch the temperature because you can overcook it quickly.  I like my pork to be glistening white when sliced. Good rule of thumb is to always start with less time as to not overcook the meat.  You can always put it back in the oven.

Once meat reaches your desire temperature remove from the oven and let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.  Slice and serve.

Featured Amazon Favorites (Link Below) : Garlic & Herb Seasoning, aluminum baking pans, instant read thermometers and slicing knife.  Check ’em out!  My Amazon Must Haves

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My Amazon Must Haves

 

 

 

 

Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

I’m always looking to try new food creations and that’s exactly how this came to be.  Yes, it’s another pulled pork recipe.  Who doesn’t like pulled pork?  This can very easily be made with bbq chicken as well.

While I was in culinary school we made polenta often.  I will tell you right now, I haven’t made it in years.  I cheated in this recipe and actually bought an organic polenta I found in a roll at the store.  When I was shopping and came across it, I just had to buy it and give it a try.  Hey, it is organic.  I’m sure it’s not the greatest since it’s in a roll, duh! However, sometimes you just need to give something a try.  It worked out perfectly for what I was wanting to use it for.

This recipe is pretty simple and would be PERFECT for a small dinner party.  I’m not adding my pulled pork recipe but if you need it, check it out in my previous blogs.  This is simply going to be giving directions on how to crisp up this rolled polenta  and assembling.  The flavors in this recipe are amazing. From the creamy ricotta to the heat from the pulled pork and the jalapeño this is one delicious bite of food.

Polenta Bites with Pulled Pork & Ricotta

Ingredients:
Polenta roll, sliced 1/2 inch slices
4 T butter
1 T Olive Oil
3/4 cup ricotta
2 jalapeños, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cups cooked pulled pork

Directions:  Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add in half the butter and olive oil and heat 2 minutes.  Add in sliced polenta and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown.  Next add in the remainder of the butter and oil and flip the polenta and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  You can cook longer to your preferred the polenta cake crispier.  Remove the polenta cake and place on paper towel.

To Assemble:  Add a spoonful of ricotta over the polenta, then top with a spoonful of pulled pork next add the sliced jalapeño and diced onions.  You can add more bbq sauce to the pork if you like it saucier.  Sever and enjoy immediately.

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Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Happy October everyone!  The summer has come to an end and it’s finally my favorite season, fall.  I love the crisp in the air, the sleeping with the windows opened and the warm and cozy comfort dishes.

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking just haven’t gotten the time to get the recipes down and posted. Life got in the way a little. I’ve been dealing with my dog, Coco who has some eye issues so that’s been the most important thing lately.  It’s been a long last several weeks.  In case you didn’t know I’m a huge dog lover.  I have 2, both rescues.  Peanut and Coco.  I can’t say it enough, RESCUE! Please!  🙂

Ok, I got side tracked, back to the food!  I have previously shared my pulled pork recipe.  Take a look at that blog post to get my recipe.  This is just an easy dish that is perfect for leftovers.   This would also be a cool item for a potluck.  All you need is to add the pulled pork (No sauce) to a crockpot, put your toppings in a bowl and everyone could make their own stuffed potatoes. I’ve only ever used sweet potatoes.  It’s perfect with the tanginess of the pulled pork, but I love a good baked potato so I’m sure this would come out just as good! How cool would a stuffed potatoes bar be, am I right folks?

Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked pulled pork
2 large sweet potatoes, cooked
– Favorite BBQ Sauce, to taste
1 jalapeño, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced

Assembling directions: Cut sweet potato in half, don’t go all the way to the ends, (this will help keep the goodness inside) Add in pulled pork, top the meat with BBQ sauce, sliced jalapeños and diced onion and serve.

Note: There is no end to the other toppings you could do. When I make my pulled pork sandwiches I top the pork with a creamy coleslaw (see pulled pork recipe for my coleslaw) That would be delish on top of this stuffed sweet potatoes.

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My Affair With Tostadas!

It’s no surprise that I love tacos. But I have a confession.  I’ve been cheating on tacos with tostadas!  The last year my love for tostadas has grown so much.  I can’t tell you how much I love those crispy flat tortillas!! There have been times I felt like I was posting at least one tostada picture a week on my social media.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites on my blog.  It’s super simple to put together a delicious tostadas dinner.  I figured I’d share some tips!

First you need to start out with a crispy tostada shell.  I’ve only ever seen corn tostadas but if you see flour tostadas give them a go!  You next need to add a delicious protein.  This can be steak, chicken, shrimp or to keep it vegetarian you can add beans or even eggs.  Next is your choice of delicious toppings.  You can add onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream, cheese, cheese sauce, guacamole or salsa. Breakfast tostadas are also a great idea.  Just add some eggs and chorizo, sausage or bacon and your toppings and you have successfully made a breakfast tostada!  Or be like me and just eat a regular tostada for breakfast.  No eggs required!! Ha, Ha!

I try and keep tostadas on hand because they have a long shelf life and it’s a great way to throw together a quick dinner.  Here are 4 of my tostadas below with the ingridents.  My favorites are #3 and #4 just because I love steak!!  Check them out! Leave your favorite in the comments! Each of these recipes will make 2 tostadas and you can obviously use more or less of the toppings to your likings.  Enjoy!

1# Spicy Chicken Tostada

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
1 T diced onion
1 T diced jalapeños
4 oz cooked chicken
1/4 cup cooked refried beans
2 T queso sauce
2 T shredded cheese

Directions: Spread cooked refried beans over tostadas.  Top chicken, onions, jalapeños, shredded cheese and drizzle of queso sauce. Enjoy. 

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#2 Pulled Pork Tostada

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 Oz leftover pulled pork
1/4 cup cooked refried beans
2 T diced onion
2 T salsa
6 slices jalapeños
2 T shredded cheese

Directions: Spread the refried beans over the tostadas.  Top with pork, onions and jalapeños and shredded cheese and drizzle over salsa. 

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#3 Skirt Steak Tostadas

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 oz Skirt Steak, Cooked
1/4 cup guacamole
2 T chopped onion
1 T chopped cilantro
2 T queso fresco
2 T salsa
2 lime squeezes

Directions: Spread out guacamole over tostadas.  Top with skirt steak, onion, and queso fresco, drizzle salsa over tostadas and finish with chopped cilantro and squeeze of lime.

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#4 Filet Mignon Steak Tacos

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 oz  filet mignon, cooked
3 T sour cream
2 T chopped jalapeno
2 T diced onion
2 T cilantro
3 T Chihuahua Cheese

Directions: Spread sour cream over the tostadas and lay out steak and continue with toppings, jalapeno, onion, cheese and then Chihuahua cheese.

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