Crunchy Pea and Bacon Salad

I’m nearly certain this salad is one of those dishes that can’t really be as good for you as the word “salad” might trick you into thinking. For some reason though, it looks good to me. I have no idea why, but I’m saving it for that day when I finally give in and try it. The original is from the Schwan’s website.

IngredientsCrunchy Pea and Bacon Salad

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar
  • 4 cups Green Peas, prepared and chilled
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 6 slices Fully Cooked Bacon Slices, prepared and chopped
  • 1 cup salted peanuts

Directions

  1. Blend mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar to make dressing.
  2. Stir together dressing, peas, onions and cheese.
  3. Serve on a bed of lettuce topped with bacon and peanuts

Variations

  • I’d simplify the recipe by just using 2 or 3 tablespoons of bacon bits.
  • You could like substitute a favorite prepared dressing for the mayonnaise and vinegar here. I’m thinking Ranch would work nicely.

Time Required: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Creamed Corn

I found this recipe on the Kraft site (original here). Obviously it’s an extra creamy version of creamed corn, thanks to the cream cheese. Sounds intriguing, so I wanted to add the recipe to my collection. Besides . . . it’s incredibly easy.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 can (14-3/4 oz.) cream-style corn
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions

Directions

  1. Cook cream cheese and milk in medium saucepan on medium heat until cream cheese is melted, stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in corns; cook 4 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Spoon into serving dish; sprinkle with Cheddar and onions.

Paula Deen’s Broccoli Casserole

Here’s another recipe I discovered during the Food Network Thanksgiving shows a few years ago. During the show where Paula makes this casserole, she says it’s not Thanksgiving unless it’s on the table (original here).

Ingredients

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs.
  4. Mix well with a metal spoon.
  5. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
  6. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Variations

  • We’ve also tried this recipe with Cream of Chicken & Mushroom soup and with Cheddar Cheese soup to vary the taste.
  • Add some chopped chicken or turkey for a main dish.

Micro-way-cool Bacon and Green Beans

When I saw Rachael Ray making this recipe (original here) during one of the Food Network Thanksgiving shows a few years ago, it was a definite “duh” moment. Mom loves beans, potatoes, and bacon. Adding bacon to the Thanksgiving green beans reminded us all of that meal and took the every-day side dish to the next level.

Ingredients

  • 6 slices microwave ready-crisp bacon
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen green beans
  • A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place bacon between paper towels and microwave 60 seconds on high.
  2. Cool bacon and chop or crumble it up.
  3. Place green beans in a bowl and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and microwave green beans on high for 5 minutes, stir and cook 5 minutes more.
  5. Remove wrap and top green beans with crumbled bacon.

Variations

  • We use a similar amount of canned green beans, drained, and reduce the cooking time by half.
  • We usually stir the bacon through the beans to distribute them evenly. That way everyone is sure to get some bacon!

Cranberry Sauce

This home-made cranberry sauce beats the canned version easily. The recipe is from the November 2011 issue of Coastal Living (original here).

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened.
  3. Refrigerate to chill, if desired.

Three-Cheese Mashed Potato Casserole

Everyone here loves cheese, so this recipe from the April 2003 issue of Southern Living (original here) is going to be a sure-fire hit. The note with the recipe says, “The cheese in this mashed potato casserole is really what sets it apart from other casseroles. A blend of cheddar, muenster and cream cheese creates a dish of rich, gooey goodness.”

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Muenster cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  3. Beat potatoes and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients.
  5. Spoon into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish.
  6. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Variations

  • Frozen mashed potatoes may be substituted for the cooked potatoes. Prepare frozen mashed potatoes according to package directions for 4 servings. Proceed with recipe as directed.
  • If you’re working ahead, casserole can be prepared and refrigerated. After spooning in baking dish, cover and chill 8 hours, if desired; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.

Creamy Loaded Mashed Potatoes

With this recipe from Hellman’s (original online), “Steak house standard loaded baked potatoes transform easily into a decadent family-size dish!”

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 6 oz.), divided
  • 1 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 6 slices bacon or turkey bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Spray 2-quart shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. Cover potatoes with water in 4-quart saucepot; bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain and mash.
  5. Stir in 1 cup cheese, Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, sour cream, green onions and 4 strips crumbled bacon.
  6. Turn into prepared baking dish and bake 30 minutes or until bubbling.
  7. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bacon.
  8. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  9. Garnish, if desired, with additional chopped green onions.

Time Required: 1 hour

Servings: 8

Slow-Cooker Tuscan Beans

A recipe from the September 2011 issue of All You (original here). The note with the recipe explains that “At less than 50¢ per serving, this hearty dish will fill you up without emptying your wallet. Complete this meal by serving the beans the Tuscan way, with crusty bread and a green salad.”

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine beans, garlic, sage, 1 tsp. salt and 8 cups water in slow cooker.
  2. Cover; cook on high until beans are tender, about 3 hours and 15 minutes.
  3. Drain mixture; discard garlic and sage.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon into bowls; drizzle each portion with 1 tsp. olive oil.

Simmered Italian Rice

Found this tasty-looking recipe on the September issue of All You. It looks like an upscale version of the dish my brother named “Rice with Too Much Rice.” He was 4 or 5, and thought it was Chicken and Rice Soup with more rice than normal.

This variation from Swanson adds spinach and Parmesan. Can’t wait to try it out with some Italian-marinated chicken breasts or pork loin.

Ingredients

  • Simmered Italian Rice1 ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¾ cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach (or thawed frozen spinach)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat broth and Italian seasoning in 2 qt. saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil.
  2. Stir in rice and spinach.
  3. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Cover and cook 20 min or until rice is tender.
  5. Stir in the cheese.
  6. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Variations

  • A vegetarian version, made with vegetable broth, would be just as tasty.
  • If you’re out of Italian seasoning, substitute 1/3 tsp each of oregano, marjoram, and basil.
  • Saute 1 small onion, diced and a clove of garlic, in some butter till transparent, and add with the rice and spinach.
  • A blend of Romano and Parmesan cheese will work as well.

Time Required: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

Corn Casserole

When I saw Paula Deen make this side dish, I knew it would become a family favorite. Every time I make it, someone remarks, “Your father would have loved this.” He would indeed have gobbled this casserole up and asked for more.
 
Similar to a corn souffle but much less fussy, versions of this recipe have been circulating for at least as long as they’ve been making Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. This particular recipe is adapted from Paula’s Home Cooking, episode “Country Cooking—Southern Sides.”

Ingredients

  • 2 (15 1/4-ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix (recommended: Jiffy)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded Cheddar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Grease 9 by 13-inch casserole dish.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the 3 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter.
  4. Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar.
  5. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and top with remaining Cheddar.
  8. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  9. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

Variations

  • If you’re short on canned corn, thawed frozen corn can be substituted.
  • To add a bit of color, add a cup of sliced carrots with the cans of corn. If you’re using frozen carrots, allow them to thaw beforehand.
  • To make the casserole a main dish, add sliced kielbasa, cubed ham or little smokies. Lightly brown the meat, and allow to cool 5 minutes. Add with the corn and other ingredients. Mix and bake as usual.
  • Like things a little spicier? Substitute Green Giant Mexicorn for the whole kernel corn, and add 1/2 cup of diced jalapenos.

Time Required: 75 mins

Servings: 6–8

Rating: 5 stars (★★★★★)