Apple, Gorgonzola, and Bacon …. Salad

So … the bacon caught your attention didn’t it ?? It also slightly distracts you from the word salad. Do not let the fact that this sounds healthy fool you. It’s ridiculously delicious and easy to make. Don’t worry about the dressing either …. because you can make your own if you’d like. I’ll post that recipe here on this post as well. It makes a great summer dinner. You can throw some cubed chicken on this puppy as well 😉

 

Apples-and-Bacon-with-Maple-Vinaigrette

Ingredients: (serves two hungry people)

  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach
  • 8 Slices of Bacon fried till crispy, and then crumbled
  • 3 Medium Red Apples of choice, chopped
  • *optional* 8 to 10 Strawberries
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 3/4 Cup crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, or Feta may be used as well.

Dressing:

  1. 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  2. 4 Teaspoons Golden or White Balsamic Vinegar
  3. 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  4. *optional*  1/2 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard
  5. 2 Tablespoons of Real Maple Syrup …. you can use the others but its sweeter so be prepared
  6. Salt and Pepper to taste
  7. Mix in a small mason jar or anything you have for dressing and shake shake shake …. boom.

Because you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to make a salad , my only instructions will be …. fry that bacon up first and set aside. Mix all the dressing ingredients … shake and refrigerate. Then throw all that good salad stuff together and put as much dressing on as you like. You can always make more ….. and you will because its soooooooo good.

 

Peanut Butter Fudge with Chocolate

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Fudge. Well what can I say ? You either love it or your wrong.

I don’t make it often because I  usually get it on the boardwalk, or in Candy Shops, visiting quaint little towns. I do know that it is just like having a tiny square of butter and sugar heaven in your mouth. I will make it during the holidays however. This way I get to enjoy it and then give most of it away. Best part is … its just so damn easy to make. A lot easier than cookies …. 😉

 

Ingredients :

  • 1 Full Stick Unsalted Butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Pound Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Extra Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 and 1/3 Cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips *optional*

 

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan along with the ground nutmeg. Stir in the brown sugar and milk, removing any lumps, and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes .
  2. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla, then the peanut butter. Stir well.
  3. Put the powdered sugar in a large heatproof mixing bowl. Then, pour the hot peanut butter and sugar mixture on top of the powdered sugar, and beat with a spoon until smooth.
  4. Pour into an 8×8 inch  baking pan, cover the top with parchment, and press down to smooth out the top. Set aside to cool slightly for 10 minutes, then place in the fridge to cool completely.
  5. If you decided you want Chocolate on top (I know I do) I melt the chocolate chips on low until completely smooth. I chop my fudge in little squares and smear just a little chocolate on top. I also sprinkle a little bit of coarse sea salt on top of the chocolate when I have some. But the peanut butter is also pretty darn tasty without all that jazz.

Coconut Curry Mussels

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I enjoy Thai food. I mean who doesn’t ???

This is a mild dish that is not only plenty of delicious fresh mussels, but kinda doubles as a soup too. It has wonderful flavors of smooth subtle coconut milk curry, with hints of ginger, lime, and shallots. Topped off with fresh chopped cilantro …. and served with baguette slices. Heaven in a bowl.

Ingredients : (serves 4 as a meal – 6 to 8 as an appetizer)

  • 2-1/2 lbs of fresh cleaned and de-bearded  mussels
  • 2 Tbsps of Canola oil
  • 3/4 Cup Diced Shallots
  • 2 Tbsps Minced Garlic
  • 2 Diced Red Bell Peppers
  • 1/3 Cup Red Curry Paste
  • 2 Tsps Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 1/8 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Can of Coconut Milk (15oz cans)
  • 2 Tbsps Fresh Lime Juice
  • Cup of Cilantro for chopping and sprinkling just before serving
  • salt to taste if desired
  • Lime Wedges for serving
  • Baguette for the soup left over

 

Directions :

  1. In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, warm the canola oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallots and bell pepper and sauté until the shallots are translucent and the bell pepper is soft, (3 to 4 minutes.)
  2. Add the curry paste, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk,  and lime juice and bring a boil.
  3. Add the mussels to the pan, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pan and steam the mussels until they open, lightly stir occasionally so they cook evenly, 4 to 6 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Season to taste with salt.
  4. To serve, spoon the mussels into  soup bowls, ladle some of the broth over them and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with lime wedges alongside.

 

Browned Butter Bourbon Chocolate Chip and Peacan Cookies

 

 

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Yes…. it’s a mouth full. Just try and say it 5 times fast. I will tell you, the positive side  is once you try these, you’ll never make a plain ole chocolate chip blah cookie again. I”ll admit I was skeptic about the bourbon part,  because I’m not a fan, but I can say bourbon belongs in this cookie. Take them to a holiday party, serve them at your next dinner or hell make some for the next kids birthday party you go to I’m sure the parents need them 🙂

Ingredients: (makes approx. 3 dozen cookies)

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (1 cup)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 full egg and 1 yolk
  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of all- purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • parchment paper – (do not use wax paper)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Once the butter is melted continue cooking, (Do not walk away and let it burn) swirling the pan constantly until the butter has reached a deep amber color. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 350 *
  2. In the large bowl  mix together browned butter and sugar, mixing until smooth.
  3. Add in egg, yolk, bourbon, baking soda and salt mixing until smooth.
  4. Add in flour until just combined. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips and mix well.
  5. Place bowl inside the refrigerator covered for at least 30 min to 1 hour. Remove and stir again.
  6. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and using a measuring tablespoon scoop out dough, roll it into a ball and  drop dough onto prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. If dough gets sticky return bowl to fridge for a few minutes.
  7. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  8. Transfer cookies to a wire rack or slide paper and cookies onto a cool counter top to cool.
  • Tip: when storing cookies always make sure they are completely cooled. If putting in baggies place a paper towel inside to absorb moisture. If storing in a container place a small half piece of white bread inside for freshness and to absorb extra moisture 🙂