Tag Archives: Cheese

Taco Dip

Taco Dip

I’m so happy that it’s warming up (even if only temporary), being able to go outside without a heavy coat, gloves, and a scarf is such a welcome change!  The recipe I have for you today is perfect for warmer weather as it doesn’t require any cooking.  But, never fear, it’s delicious any time of year, I actually made it for a Super Bowl party when it was still freezing out, and everyone loved it!  This super easy taco dip will take you less than 10 minutes to put together but it has TONS of flavor, from sour cream and taco seasoning to fresh salsa and cheese, you can’t go wrong with this dip!

taco dip

First beat a packet of taco seasoning (or make your own with paprika, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper) with some sour cream and cream cheese.

sour cream, cream cheese, taco dip

Spread the sour cream mixture into a pan and top with fresh salsa (or you can be an over achiever and cut up your own vegetables but let’s be honest, I’m definitely too lazy for that).


Top the salsa with shredded cheese (I used a Mexican 4 cheese blend but any cheese you like will do) and shredded lettuce.

cheese and lettuce

Serve with tortilla chips.

Taco Dip



Taco Dip

Makes 1 – 13 x 9″ square baking dish


16 ounces sour cream

8 ounces cream cheese

1 packet (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning

16 ounces fresh salsa

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

2 cups shredded lettuce

tortilla chips (for serving)

– Beat the sour cream, cream cheese, and taco seasoning until smoothed

– Spread the mixture into a 13 x 9 ” baking dish or cake pan

– Layer salsa on top of the sour cream mixture

– Sprinkle cheese on t0p of the salsa

– Top with the lettuce

– Serve with tortilla chips



Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

I’m back!  After a crazy last few weeks of classes and a great Christmas break I’m bringing you the perfect recipe for the crazy cold weather.  Prepare yourselves for Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese.  Yes folks, it’s as wonderful as it sounds!  A few weeks ago FoodPorn tweeted a photo of Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese so I googled recipes and came across this one from  Of The Hearth.  It kind of reminded me of my nanny’s baked macaroni and cheese which is my absolute all time favorite food ever so I decided to use that recipe as a base, it turned out fantastically!


First cook some bacon and crumble it when it’s cool.  No recipe can be bad if it starts with bacon, that’s a scientific fact.


Then cook some chicken.  After it’s done shred it up.


While your chicken cooks boil some water and cook a box of macaroni according to the directions on the package.  After it cooks drain the macaroni, return it to the pan, and stir in sour cream and ranch seasoning.

macaroni, sour cream, ranch

Then mix in the bacon and chicken.


Put half of the macaroni into a buttered pan and top it with shredded cheese and pepper (you can add salt too if you like but in my opinion the ranch seasoning mix is salty enough).  Repeat with another layer of macaroni and cheese.  Pour some milk over the macaroni.

mac and cheese in pan

Place the pan in the oven and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

browned and bubbly cbrmc

Serve up the deliciousness!!!!!  I kid you not, this mac and cheese is a cheesy, ranch mac and cheese with delectable bits of bacon and chicken, yummmmmmmm!

chicken bacon ranch macaroni and cheese



Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 10-12


6 slices bacon – cooked and crumbled

2 chicken breasts – cooked and shredded

1 box (16 oz.) elbow macaroni

1 cup sour cream

1 packet ranch seasoning mix



24 oz. cheddar cheese – shredded

– Preheat the oven to 350 ºF

– Cook the bacon until slightly crisp, then crumble

– Cook the chicken, let cool, and then shred

– Cooke the macaroni according to box directions, drain and return to pot

– Stir the sour cream and ranch seasoning into the macaroni

– Mix in the crumbled bacon and shredded chicken

– Butter a 13 x 9 baking dish and pour half of the macaroni into the dish

– Top the macaroni with half of the cheese and some pepper

– Repeat the layering with the rest of the macaroni and the cheese

– Put the baking dish in the oven and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbly (about 40 minutes)



BBQ Chicken Pizza with Sauteed Peppers and Onions


Who doesn’t love pizza?  No one, right (at least no sane person…)?  I love making pizzas at home so I can put on whatever toppings I like.  Plus it is super quick and simple to make pizza at home! This past week my friends and I got to together to study for an exam and decided to make BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner (because no study party is complete without food).  I buy refrigerator pizza crust (the Pillsbury kind from the pull apart can) and then top with sauce, cheese, and toppings as suits my mood, for the BBQ chicken pizza we went with BBQ sauce, Mexican shredded cheese, sauteed peppers and onions, and shredded chicken, yummm!


First spread the dough onto a greased baking sheet and top with some olive oil and garlic powder and then toss it in the oven.

pizza dough

Saute some red onions and bell peppers until they’re softened.

sauteed peppers and onions

After a few minutes take out the baked dough and cover it with some BBQ sauce and shredded cheese.

bbq sauce and cheese

Add some chicken.

chicken on pizza

And top with the onions and peppers.

peppers and onions on pizza

Put it back in the oven until the cheese is melty and delicious.

BBQ chicken pizza with sauteed peppers and onions

Serve it up and enjoy!



BBQ Chicken Pizza

Serves 6


pizza dough (I used Pillsbury Artisan Pizza Crust, in the refrigerator aisle)

extra virgin olive oil

garlic powder

1 small red onion – sliced

2 bell peppers – sliced

1 cup BBQ sauce

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese

1 chicken breast – shredded

– Roll the dough out onto a greased baking sheet,  cover with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and bake according to packaged instructions

– Saute the peppers and onion in a tablespoon of olive oil

– After the crust is done spread with the BBQ sauce and top with shredded cheese

– Add the chicken to the pizza and place the peppers and onions on top

– Return to the oven according to package directions and cook until the cheese is melted

– Cut and serve

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

Two of my favorite food genres (yes I describe food in genres) are Mexican food and breakfast food, so Mexican breakfast food is pretty much the perfect food combination in my mind.  A few months ago I had a craving for Mexican breakfast food so I looked around the cupboards and my house to see what I could make.  I came up with these super easy huevos rancheros that turned out to be a delicious combination of slightly crispy tortilla chips, tangy salsa, melty cheese, and hot eggs, they’re now a regular on my breakfast menu!

Huevos Rancheros

I started by making some microwave nachos, I used to make these all the time as an after school snack.  Spread some tortilla chips on a plate, top with salsa and shredded cheese, and pop them in the microwave.  You can use any kind of salsa you want, I like to use jarred southwest salsa since it has black beans in and and the jarred salsa tends to have more juice than fresh salsa.

microwave nachos

Then you fry some eggs to your liking, I usually go with over easy to over medium.  Place the eggs on top of the nachos.

nachos with eggs

Top the eggs with more salsa, then shred some cheese on top, cover with a pan lid and let sit until the cheese melts.

huevos rancheros melted

Serve with guacamole as you like.

Huevos Rancheros

Enjoy a delicious breakfast!

Huevos Rancheros bite




Huevos Rancheros

Serves 2


corn tortilla chips  (about 20)

1 cup southwest salsa

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 eggs

salt & pepper

guacamole (optional for serving – try this recipe)

– Place a layer of tortilla chips (about 10) on a plate, cover with salsa and shredded cheese, microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese is melted, repeat with another plate

– Fry the eggs with a little salt & pepper according to your preference (I like mine over easy to over medium)

– Place 2 eggs on each plate on top of the nachos, top with more salsa and shredded cheese, cover the plate with a pan lid and let the cheese melt

– Top the eggs with guacamole as desired and serve



Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza Bites

I’ve seen various recipes for pizzas using vegetables as a crust floating around pinterest and other random corners of the internet for the past few months and was always intrigued by the idea.  When I visited home a few weeks ago and found some delicious zucchinis and squash I knew I wanted to try making pizza with them, it turned out great!  We made traditional pizzas with tomato sauce and mozzarella and we also tried using pepper jack cheese (which ended up being AMAZINGLY good) as well as some pesto pizzas.

zucchini pizza bites

First slice up some zucchini and squash into 1/4″ thick slices and lay them on a greased baking sheet.  Put them in the oven and bake for a little.

zucchini on baking sheet

Then take them out, cover them with your desired sauce (tomato or pesto), and add cheese.  We also topped ours with some dried Italian spices (basil, oregano, and parsley) and some fresh ground black pepper.

zucchini pre oven

Return them to the oven until the cheese is bubbly and gooey and delicious.


Then serve them up on a plate and enjoy!

pesto zucchini bites


They’re kinda like bagel bites, but healthier.

zucchini bagel bites on plate



Zucchini Pizza Bites

Serves: 4


4 zucchini or squash

1/4 cup tomato sauce or pesto (or some of each)

1/2 cup cheese (we used a mixture of mozzarella and pepper jack)

shredded Parmesan cheese

Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, parsley)

fresh cracked black pepper

– Preheat oven to 375 °F

– Slice the zucchini into 1/4″ thick disks and place on a greased baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes

– Remove from the oven and spoon tomato sauce or pesto over top

– Place cheese on top of sauce

– Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and pepper

– Return to the oven for 15 minutes (or until the cheese is melted)

– Remove from oven and serve

Dutch Oven Breakfast Casserole

Dutch Oven Breakfast Casserole

My dad absolutely loves cooking outdoors, be it on a grill, over a fire, using charcoal with the dutch oven, you name it, he does it.  One of his signature dishes is his breakfast casserole.  He makes it on holidays and every time we go camping.  I LOVE breakfast foods, and this casserole combines potatoes, eggs, bacon (a necessity for any breakfast if you ask me), and cheese, it’s pretty delicious!

in dutch oven

First line your dutch oven with a liner (or parchment paper), line the bottom with bacon, then cut up some potatoes, peppers, and onions.  Throw some more bacon on top for good measure.  The picture below is from about halfway through the cooking process (I was asleep when my dad started this…)

potatoes and bacon

Put the lid on and sit the dutch oven over some coals, making sure the coals aren’t actually touching the bottom (this causes hot spots and uneven cooking), then add more on top.  You’ll need to rotate the dutch oven 90 º and the lid 90 º in the opposite direction every 10-15 minutes.

dutch oven and coals

After about an hour and a half add in some eggs.

add eggsLet the eggs set.

eggs set

Sprinkle on some cheese and cover again for a few minutes until the cheese is melty and delicious.


Look at the gooey goodness!

in dutch oven

Serve it up on a plate along with some sour cream and salsa.

Mountain Man Breakfast


Dutch Oven Breakfast Casserole

Serves 8


8 slices bacon – cut into quarters

4 potatoes – cut into 1″ cubes

2 bell pepper – cut into 1″ cubes

1 large onion – cut into 1″ cubes

salt & pepper

8 eggs

1 cup shredded cheese

salsa (for serving)

sour cream (for serving)
– Prepare coals/embers (you can also make this in the oven, in which case you’ll need to preheat the oven to 325 ºF).

– Place a dutch oven liner in the dutch oven (we use a 12″ dutch oven) and cover the bottom with bacon

– Add in the potatoes, peppers, and onions, and sprinkle with salt and pepper (if you have left over bacon you can put it on top)

 Place the lid on the dutch oven

– Place the dutch oven over coals/embers, making sure the coals are not actually touching the bottom of the dutch oven (this causes hot spots and uneven cooking).  Place more coals/embers on the lid

– Rotate the dutch oven 90º every 10-15 minutes, and then rotate the lid 90º in the opposite direction

– After the potatoes are soft (about 90 minutes depending on your heat) beat the eggs and stir in salt and pepper, then pour them even over top of the potatoes

Cook for about 20 more minutes until the eggs are set

Sprinkle cheese over top and cook for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted

Serve, topping with salsa and sour cream as desired

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

I’ve mentioned before that I have an obsession with pinterest.  If pinning something magically made it appear in your closet/kitchen/backyard I would be one happy girl, but since that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, my roommate and I made these delicious Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins from Half Baked Harvest (check out the blog, it’s awesome!) appear in our kitchen the old fashioned way, by cooking them ourselves.

sweet potato skins

First, cover your chicken with some olive oil, salt & pepper, and bake it in the oven along with some sweet potatoes.  While the chicken and sweet potatoes are baking, wilt some spinach in a pan.  Mix up your sauce by mincing some dried chipotle peppers, a red bell pepper, and garlic, then combine it with olive oil, fresh lime juice, oregano, chili powder, salt & pepper, and fresh cilantro.

chipotle sauce

When the chicken is done shred it and mix it with the wilted spinach and about 3/4 of the sauce.

chicken spinach mixture

After the sweet potatoes are tender cut them in half and scoop our the insides so that there’s a small layer of sweet potato left (enough so the skins don’t collapse).  Then brush some sauce into each skin and return them to the oven.  Your kitchen will smell absolutely amazing at this point, you’re going to wish you could speed up time and eat the finished product!

sweet potato skins with sauce

Spoon the chicken/spinach/sauce mixture into the sweet potato skins and top with some grated sharp cheddar cheese.

skins with chicken

Return them to the oven to melt the cheese.

chicken sweet potato skins

Serve them with some sour cream (because sour cream makes EVERYTHING better).  Soooooo delicious!

chipotle chicken sweet potato skins


Recipe (adapted from Half Baked Harvest)

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

Serves 3


3 medium to large sweet potatoes

1 large (or 2 small) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

olive oil

salt & pepper

2 cups spinach

2 cloves garlic – minced

3 dried chipotle peppers – minced

1 red bell pepper – minced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 whole lime – juice and zest

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro – chopped

5 oz sharp white cheddar cheese – grated

sour cream – optional for serving

– Preheat oven to 400 ºF

– Coat chicken with olive oil and salt and pepper, bake in the oven for 25 minutes (or until done)

– Wash sweet potatoes and place in the oven with the chicken for 50-60 minutes until tender when pricked with a fork

– While the chicken and potatoes cook, wilt the spinach by heating in a skillet

– Combine garlic, chipotle peppers, bell pepper, olive oil, lime, dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and salt & pepper (to taste) in a bowl

– When the chicken has cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes, shred with a fork, and mix with the wilted spinach and about 3/4 of the sauce

– After the sweet potatoes are done, cool for a few minutes, cut in half, scoop out the insides (leaving enough sweet potato flesh so that the skins can stand).  Brush some of the sauce into each skin and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes

 Remove the skins from the oven, fill with the chicken/spinach/sauce mixture, and top with grated cheese.  Return to the oven for about 10 minutes (or until the cheese melts)

Serve, topping with sour cream if desired



Chili and Cornbread

Chili and Cornbread

Need an easy, delicious, hearty meal?  May I suggest chili and cornbread!  I absolutely love chili (mainly as an excuse to eat copious amounts of cheese and sour cream) and it’s super simple to make, especially if you make it in a crock-pot (such a strange word).

chili and cornbread

First brown up come ground beef in a skillet with a small chopped onion and a few cloves of garlic.  When the beef is done drain off the grease and transfer the beef to a crock-pot.  Add in beans, crushed tomatoes with chili, tomato sauce, a jar of salsa, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder and salt and pepper.  Stir it all around and let it cook.  It’s that simple.

Chili in Crock-Pot

Now, for a delicious accompaniment to the chili, what’s better than some cornbread.  You just mix up some corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, milk, and an egg.  Place it in a greased pan and bake it.


After the chili is and cornbread are done serve them up in a bowl with some sour cream, shredded cheese, and jalapeno.  Yum!

chili and cornbread



Crock Pot Chili

Serves 6-8


4 lbs. ground beef

1 medium onion – chopped

3 cloves garlic – minced

15 oz can black beans

15 oz can kidney beans

15 oz can pinto beans

16 oz jar salsa (I use medium, adjust heat based on your preference)

60 oz jar tomato sauce

10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon ancho chili powder

1/2 tablespoon chipotle chili powder

10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles

salt & pepper to taste

sour cream (optional for serving)

shredded cheese (optional for serving)

jalapenos (optional for serving)

Brown beef in a large skillet with the onion and garlic

Drain the grease and place the beef in a crock-pot

– Add the remaining ingredients to the crock-pot and stir

– Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours

Serve garnishing with jalapenos, sour cream, and shredded cheese as desired




Yields: 1 – 9×9″ baking dish


1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

1 cup milk

1 egg

– Preheat oven to 425 °F

– Combine dry ingredients in a bowl

– Combine wet ingredients in a second bowl

– Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just until combined

– Pour into a greased 9×9″ baking dish

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 425 °F