Bacon Tomato Ranch Pasta Salad

bacon tomato ranch pasta salad done

Soccer season is presenting a real challenge to dinnertime.  We’ve been picnicking on the field while we watch the games.  But sandwiches can get old, especially if you’ve packed one for lunch too.  I created this easy pasta salad to take with us one night.  It’s creamy and flavorful with homemade ranch dressing.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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Homemade Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

baked beans done

Last weekend we had friends over for dinner and I made these baked beans.  They were so good and easy.  I combined ideas from several recipes books, including a church cookbook and the More with Less Cookbook.  The result is a recipe that uses canned beans and cooks in the slow cooker.  I wanted to use the slow cooker because baked beans taste best with a long cooking time, but I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen.

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Tropical Salad

This salad was perfect with the Hawaiian Grilled Chicken.  It’s full of pineapple, green onions, macadamia nuts, bacon…Yum!  I found the recipe on Bethany’s blog, For the Love of Grub.  I made the salad on Saturday, so we could eat it Sunday after church.  I mixed the dressing up, but did not add it until right before serving. [Read more…]

Loaded Baked Potatoes with Homemade Cheese Sauce

Baked potatoes and salad make a great dinner, but when you add homemade cheese sauce, broccoli and bacon it gets even better.  This dinner will warm you up on a cold, winter night.  It’s also frugal and healthy. [Read more…]

Potato Skins

Potato skins done

A while back, I made a pot of Baked Potato Soup.  That recipe calls just for the fluffy middles of the potatoes.  I decided to freeze the skins to use another time.  It worked great.  I froze them in a ziplock bag and then let them thaw on the counter for a while before baking.  There was a bit of frost inside the skins, so I used a spoon to gently scrape it off.

I altered the method used by Simply Recipes to make the potato skins.  Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Baked Potato Dip

baked potato dip done

Before I talk about this recipe, I must apologize for the poor photo.  These short winter days are taking a toll of my photos.  There’s just not enough light at dinner time to take a good picture.  Some of my favorite food bloggers, who have excellent photos on their sites, use special lights or cook so they can take photos during day light.

For better or worse, my process is more natural than that.  I take pics of food as I make and serve it.  If it’s dark outside when the food is done, it’s dark and I just have to deal with it.  The benefit is that the recipes I share are real recipes, coming out of a real kitchen.  The down side is that sometimes the photos aren’t very good.

Now that I’ve apologized for the embarrassingly bad photo, I’ll tell you about the dip, which is oh-so-yummy.  I found the recipe on Tasty Kitchen a few months ago and finally had the opportunity to try it out for a potluck meal.  It was a hit. [Read more…]

Baked Potato Soup

baked potato soup done

My only complaint about this soup is that we only had enough left over for 3 people to have it for lunch the next day.  It was so good, next time I’ll make a bigger batch.

I accidentally altered it a tiny bit from the recipe.  I didn’t even realize that I’d made the mistake until I woke up at 1am and remembered that I hadn’t put the sour cream into the soup.  Honestly, the soup was so good without it, I doubt I’ll ever add sour cream.  (Am I the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about stupid things like sour cream in soup?) [Read more…]

Bacon and Tomato Pasta

bacon and tomato pasta done

I cooked up a bunch of bacon the other night, intending to put it all back in the freezer for another time.  My youngest son was begging to eat it for dinner though.  Since I wasn’t in the mood for breakfast for dinner, I decided to add it to a pasta dish.  We ate every last bit of this.  There were no leftovers at all.  I guess they liked it 🙂 [Read more…]

Bowtie Festival

Bowtie Festival done

I was going for a copy cat version of Johnny Carino’s Bowtie Festival when I created this.  Several months ago, I created Penne Gorgonzola, which came very close to the restaurant dish.  This Bowtie Festival was excellent, but it was not exactly like the restaurant version.  Something was missing, but we couldn’t quite place it.  That said, I will make it again.  How can you go wrong with pasta, parmesan and bacon?  Wonderful stuff. [Read more…]

Gina’s Club Sandwich

Gina's Club Sandwich done whole

I have a sister named Gina.  Gina has a friend named Desiree who has been bothered by the fact that I rarely mention my sister.  So, in honor of Gina (and to put Desiree’s mind at ease) I’m featuring one of Gina’s excellent sandwiches today.  But before I give you the low-down on how to make these, here’s a few things about Gina.

  1. When she was little, Gina had a Mrs. Beasley doll, a Bugs Bunny doll and a J.J. doll with a pull string (Dynomite!)
  2. Her favorite doll was Baby Beans, who was so over-loved that mom had to stuff her with old pantyhose after all the beans fell out.  We also fed Baby Beans a marshmallow through her cracked mouth.  It’s still in there, black from age.
  3. In high school, she always matched her socks to her shirt.  And she had many, many pairs of shoes.
  4. She introduced me to my husband, Jim.
  5. Now she and her husband raise 3 children and a herd of bison.

Now for the Club Sandwiches.  They taste fantastic with hot melted cheese, bacon and seasoned, toasted buns.  Here’s what you’ll need:

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