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

Bacon Quesadillas

Bacon, cheese, and tortillas, that’s all you need for this tasty appetizer from the Kraft website (original here). Bacon Quesadillas are the twentieth of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 4 flour tortillas, 6 inches in diameter
  • 1 cup KRAFT Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheeses
  • ¼ cup OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place tortillas in single layer on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Top half of each tortilla with ¼ each of the remaining ingredients; fold in half.
  4. Press lightly to secure.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until edges are lightly browned.
  6. Cut into wedges with a pizza wheel or knife.

Variations

  • Substitute 1 drained can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles for the green onions.
  • Customize the fillings to fit the tastes of your family. For instance, you can add cooked chicken, black olives, green or red pepper, black beans, or salsa.

Bacon Cheddar Dip

This Taste of Home recipe (original here) is a simple dip with a homemade taste. The note with the recipe explains, “Give this recipe a try if you’re looking for a deliciously different dip to serve with crackers, potato chips or vegetables. Ranch salad dressing adds a little zest.” Bacon Cheddar Dip is the twentieth of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (16 oz) sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 oz) finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
  • 2 to 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • Crackers and/or assorted fresh vegetables

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, cheddar cheese, salad dressing mix and bacon.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Serve with crackers and/or vegetables.

Brown Sugar Smokies

Here’s another of our family recipes, though I think every family has probably tried some version of this delightful indulgence. Brown Sugar Smokies is the sixteenth of my 25 Appetizers of Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 (16 ounce) package Little Smokies
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut each slice of bacon into thirds.
  3. Wrap ⅓ of a strip of bacon around a Little Smokies, securing with a wooden toothpick.
  4. Arrange the bacon-wrapped Smokies on a baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle the sausages with brown sugar.
  6. Bake until bacon is crisp and the brown sugar melted.

Variations

  • Be sure to secure your bacon with wooden toothpicks, as plastic toothpicks may melt in the oven. Metal skewers will work as well.

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!

Slow Cooker Bacon Potato Chowder

This recipe from Campbell’s (original online) is fast and simple. The site explains, “This hearty and flavorful soup is so easy to make…simply mix the ingredients in a slow cooker and let it do the work for you. And to make it even better, stir in Cheddar just before serving and top with a sprinkle of chives.”

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Potato Soup
  • 4 soup cans milk 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into
  • 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Directions

  1. Stir the bacon, onion, soup, milk, black pepper, potatoes and 1/4 cup chives in a 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining chives.

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Why just have hot dogs when you can have cheese-stuffed bacon wrapped hot dogs? A nice change from the norm. There are several recipes online with different versions and different ways of cooking this meal—baking, broiling, deep frying (without the cheese), frying on a griddle, or grilling. Choose whatever works for you.

Ingredients

  • 8 hot dogs (whatever brand you prefer)Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs
  • ½ cup crumbled cheddar
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • Condiments

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Grease a 13 x 9-inch glass pan or a jelly roll pan.
  3. Slice the hot dogs, leaving the last ¼" on both ends and the bottom unsliced.
  4. Stuff the crumbled cheddar into the slit you’ve made in the hot dog.
  5. Wrap with a slice of bacon, overlapping slightly.
  6. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. Switch oven to broil and crisp bacon as desired, about 3 or 4 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool 5 minutes.
  9. Serve in buns, with ketchup, mustard, onions, and other desired condiments.

Variations

  • Instead of crumbled cheddar, slices of cheese, folded into strips can be substituted.
  • The picture shows oversized ¼-lb hot dogs which required 1½ strips of bacon and larger buns. They were actually too large for everyone, but we were using the ingredients we had (hot dogs we had found on sale and frozen).

Time Required: 40 minutes

Servings: 8

Bacon Cheddar Muffins

Cheese. Bacon. What’s not to like with these muffins? Serve them with any meal—breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re great at breakfast with your favorite omelet or alongside a warm comfort food soup or casserole.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits,
          or 8 bacon strips, cooked and broken into bits
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives

Directions

  1. Preheat overn to 375° F.
  2. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper muffin cups.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, milk, oil and egg.
  4. Fold in cheese, bacon, and chives. Be careful not to over-stir.
  5. Fill muffin cups three-fourths full.
  6. Bake at 375° for 20 mins or until golden brown.
  7. Cool for 10 mins.
  8. Remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack.
  9. Refrigerate leftovers. Warm 10-15 seconds in microwave before eating.

Variations

  • Substitute your favorite cheese for a different taste: Mexican cheese blend, Colby-Jack, mild cheddar, etc..
  • Eliminate the bacon and substitute an Italian cheese blend or equal parts Parmesan and Romano. Add 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning with cheese.

Time Required: 45 mins

Servings: 12 muffins