Bacon and Avocado Sandwich

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As much as I love cooking, my favorite food has to be sandwiches.  This is one of my favorite sandwiches to make.  It’s easy and I wanted to share for those of you wanting a more exciting sandwich without much work.

Here’s what you need:

-bread of your choice

-3 slices of bacon

-avocado

-mayo

-lemon juice

-salt and pepper

Directions:

Slice the avocado into desired thickness.  Squeeze lemon juice onto avocado slices and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

Cook the bacon to desired crispiness.  Make sure your pan is fully heated before putting the bacon on, it will change the texture.

Toast your bread and spread the mayo.

Put it all together!  You can always add turkey and ham and make it a club sandwich!  (I also like to add cucumber slices too!)

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Italian Crouton and Mozzarella Crusted Shrimp

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I usually prefer my shrimp grilled 9 times out of 10 but the other day I got the bright idea to mix a few techniques together to produce my own version of fried shrimp.  These shrimp are better than restaurant quality and here’s the kicker…I used FROZEN precooked shrimp!  I can’t even imagine the next level of deliciousness that would occur by using raw shrimp.  You can do this recipe with raw or precooked shrimp.  I highly recommend raw, but at the time I only had precooked and it still yielded wonderful results.  If you are using the precooked, frozen kind it makes it much easier for you to make smaller portions if you need to.  That’s one of the reasons I always keep a bag of it in my freezer, they are separated!  On the flip side, if you are lucky enough to have fresh shrimp coming in at a local market, you can literally just ask for a numbered amount shrimp!

These shrimp are insanely crispy and flavorful.  Try them out for yourself! 🙂

Ingredients:

-20 shrimp (peeled to just under the last section of shell, picture below)

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying,  enough to fill skillet 1/2 inch deep

Dry Bowl Ingredients:

-1 cup of Italian Bread Crumbs

-1/2 cup of Crushed Italian Croutons (crush with meat tenderizer in between to dish towels or in a food processor, pea size)

-1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella (any shredded cheese will work)

-Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1 shake)

-1/4 tsp Cajun Seasoning

-1/4 tsp Black Pepper

-3 tbs FRESH chopped Basil Leaves (game changer, dried just isn’t the same)

Wet Bowl Ingredients:

-3 eggs

-Tabasco Sauce (3 squirts)

-3 tbs All Purpose Flour

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Directions:

Heat olive oil in skillet to medium high heat.  Oil must be perfectly hot to fry properly.

Peel the shrimp leaving only the very tip of the tail, the part that looks like a fan.  Rinse shrimp in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Prepare your dry bowl by mixing all the ingredients listed under dry bowl. 🙂

Prepare your wet bowl by whisking eggs and Tabasco, while slowly adding in the flour.

Dip shrimp into egg mixture up to the tail then lay it in the dry mix bowl.  Cover the top of the shrimp with dry mixture and press into the bowl making sure both sides get breaded.

Carefully slip shrimp 5 at a time into the hot oil so that they are laying flat on one side.  Let shrimp fry on the first side for about 2 minutes, then flip each one over using tongs for another 2 minutes.  Your breading should be golden.  Cooking time can vary, so test one out first to be sure.  Place shrimp on paper towels to get rid of excess oil after being fried.

Best served immediately with cocktail sauce.

Armadillo Bread- Cream Cheese and Sausage Stuffed Bread

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Testing out different fillings for stuffed bread is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen.  Armadillo Bread was my most recent success.  It is unbelievably creamy and highly addicting.  This bread will definitely be a regular for game day celebrations!

Armadillo Bread with Cream Cheese and Sausage

  • Servings: 10-20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

-3 Loaves of Frozen Bread Dough, thawed according to package directions

-1 lb ground Breakfast Sausage (I use the Hot kind)

-1 can of Rotel

-2 packages of Cream Cheese

– 1/2 package of Sliced Pepperoni

-1/3 cup Shredded Cheddar (for Garnish)

-Italian Seasoning (for Garnish)

Directions:

  • Thaw the bread dough using the instructions on the package.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Brown the breakfast sausage and let cool/strain on a plate of paper towels
  • In a glass bowl mix the cream cheese, sausage, and can of Rotel and heat in the microwave until melted, stirring every other minute.  This part of the recipe is actually a popular dip!
  • Set cream cheese filling aside to cool.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and carefully stretch out one loaf of bread dough.  Work the dough slowly, if you start pulling aggressively it will rip.  Gravity is your friend when stretching out dough.  Once the dough is stretched to double the size, spoon in 1/3 of the cream cheese filling.  Then lay pepperoni on top of the cream cheese layer.  (1 layer of pepperoni is good, too many causes grease to leak out)
  • Pick up the two edges of the dough and bring together to seal in the filling.  Pinch the seam to make sure there are no holes.  Position loaf seam side up on cookie sheet to make room for the second one.  Seam side up helps to prevent the stuffing from spilling out if seams aren’t fully closed.  Sprinkle some of the cheddar and Italian seasonings on top for a beautiful garnish.
  • Repeat with the other 2 loaves.  Two loaves generally fit on one cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top.  I recommend for your first time, baking just one loaf to start in order to figure out your oven cook time.

*Be careful when consuming, filling is molten hot when fresh out of the oven.

All photos are property of Katy from http://www.redbirdrecipes.com

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Cream cheese and sausage filling oh my!

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Right before it goes into the oven!  

White Cheddar, Ham, and Pepperoni Poppy Seed Crescents

You can't eat just one...

You can’t eat just one…

The word ravenous comes to mind when I think of these delicious breakfast rolls.  Ravenous.  There will be nothing left. If you prepare these for your crew, be it family or coworkers, they will swarm like McDonald’s birds going for that french fry on the ground.  Everything about this recipe is delicious, fast, and easy.  😉  From the flaky buttery crust of the homemade refrigerated store bought crescents, to the smoky ham, to the molten hot white cheddar that oozes out onto your finger tips burning your cuticles as you shovel it all in…ravenous.  Hilarity aside, this is just an alternate version of a piggy in a blanket.  Prep work is simple and so are the ingredients!

Ingredients:

– Large can of Crescent Rolls (the biggest, thickest ones money can buy!!)

– 1 Package of White Cheddar (Aged 12-18 months, I know, I know sounds snooty but it makes a difference)

-1/2 lb Smoked Ham (deli is best, but prepackaged will do, I hear ya out here money savers!)

-Pepperoni, sliced

-1 egg, beaten for egg wash

– Poppy Seeds (these are sold by the spices, don’t give up, they are on the shelf I promise)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to temp. specified on the can of Crescents.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or prepare with cooking spray.  Parchment paper is God’s gift to the kitchen.

Roll out your Crescent dough to expose each triangle.  For each crescent, roll a piece of white cheddar inside a slice of ham and tuck in the edges so the cheese is trapped inside the ham.  Put a 2-3 pepperoni slices on top of the ham.   Place the rolled up ham and cheddar in each crescent and roll up.  Tuck the ends of the crescent dough under to help keep in the juices during the baking process.

Lay each crescent onto the cookie sheet.  Using a pastry brush, brush egg wash on the tops of each crescent.  Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of the egg wash.

Bake as directed on the can of Crescents.

*Warning:  As noted earlier, white cheddar is super runny when it is hot!

An Ode to White Cheddar

Oh white cheddar,

So creamy, so sharp,

Melting and flowing,

Always clogging my heart.

Fulfilling each craving,

Making mac n cheese into art.

Enjoyed with crackers, on toast,

With wine in the park.

So much cholesterol,

We alas, must part.