Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

I started watching Private Practice yesterday, and my only complaint is that I didn’t watch it five years ago when it was actually on air.  For some reason, when I was younger I had a major issue with Addison Montgomery Sheperd.  And by major issue I mean I had a deep-seated-cannot-be-swayed hate for the character.  Probably because I was sixteen and she was getting in the way of my oh-my-gosh-they-just-have-to-get-together-and-make-pretty-babies couple Meredith and Derek.

Yeah, they’re pretty cute.  But still, I had all this pent up Addison aggression which was seriously misplaced.  Because upon my Grey’s Anatomy re-watch (more like my re-re-re-watch) I realized that Addison Montgomery Sheperd is a grade A boss.  She’s opinionated.  She’s outspoken.  She wears kick-ass salmon colored scrubs.

If at any point in my life I get to wear scrubs, I am insisting that they are salmon colored.  She is just the epitome of cool and class, and I think we all could benefit from living our life a little more Addison-like.  Except, you know, don’t cheat on your husband with his best friend.  Even if he does look like McSteamy.  I’m really excited to watch Private Practice now and watch the next Addison chapter unfold.  With Shonda Rhimes at the helm, I know it’ll be pretty eventful.

So, I have a recipe.  What I don’t have is a clever or remotely smooth transition, so I’m just going to jump ahead and pretend this flows.  Which it doesn’t.  Sorry ’bout that.

Bacon wrapped asparagus!  Ah, just the sound of it makes my heart go pitter patter!  I love asparagus.  Like, I don’t even care if it makes your urine smell funky or whatever.  I’ll take a life time of funky smelling urine if it means I get to eat asparagus all the time.  Especially if it’s wrapped in bacon, because we all know that everything (and I mean everything) is better with bacon.

It seems like an almost inappropriate thing to do.  You have this delicious and nutritious (hey, I rhymed!) vegetable and then you wrap fatty bacon around it.  This shouldn’t happen.  This should be wrong, and yet, it is so right.  The moment you bite into the asparagus and the saltiness of the bacon hits your tongue, there can be no question that this is the most right thing in the world.  It’s up there with calling your grandparents and church on Sunday.  So very right.

And, in this case, so very delicious.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients:
 
1 package of bacon
1 bunch of asparagus
Salt/Pepper
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
 
Clean the asparagus, and break the stalks.

Next, wrap half a slice of bacon around the asparagus, leaving the tips and bottom visible. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle salt and pepper.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is cooked and asparagus tender. Serve at room temperature.

Advertisements

Ham and Cheese Poppers

Please do not let the extremely ugly and underexposed picture turn you off of these ham and cheese poppers.  That would be sad, and a travesty to socks-with-sandals-proportions.

These came from a classic moment of me planning on making one thing, changing my mind, and then having to make use of the ingredients I bought.  I was planning on making mini chocolate croissants for a girl’s night, but ended up studying all day instead.  I had thawed the puff pastry, though, and didn’t want to let it go to waste.  Not wanting to make a dessert, I started brainstorming what I could make with the dough.  I had some honey ham from the deli, and started thinking of ham and cheese turnovers.

I’m going to let you in on a secret — these were supposed to be turnovers, but then I got frustrated with trying to fold the dough the right way and ended up just making poppers.  It’s the same thing, really, just less pretty.  I’m going to go ahead and say they’re rustic.  Because that sounds better.

I served these to my roommate and neighbors and they were gone in about ten minutes.  I’ll take that as a success!

Ham and Cheese Poppers

Ingredients

1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed

4 oz slices ham

4 oz gouda cheese, shredded

Directions

Roll out the puff pastry dough into a large rectangle. Slice down the center and cut each side into four triangles.  Put a slice of ham and then shredded cheese in the center of each triangle.  Bunch the edges at the center, making sure to seal the poppers.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.  Serve alongside whole-grain mustard.

Pizza Rolls

I’ve recently discovered the beautiful world of online shopping.  I know most of you are thinking, “Wow Liz, did you just discover electricity and running water, too?”

I concede that I am wwwaaayyyy late to this party.  Like, all the liquor is gone.  The cheese platter’s picked over.  And someone’s already passed out in the bathtub.  But I’m here now, and let me tell you, I’m all over that cheese platter.

It all started with my search for a Comic Con t-shirt.  I wanted something original, which sent me all over the internet.  I discovered Redbubble, Zazzle, and then I met a little site named Etsy.  Holy mostaccoli, that website is like heaven in an internet browser.  It caters to all of my really dorky and kitschy tendencies for generally reasonable prices.  Despite it being a total black hole for productivity (that’s the internet in general, really), I am basically in love.  With the website.  And everything on it.  EVERYTHING.

So, the recipe for today has absolutely nothing to do with online shopping.  And I can’t think of a clever transition, so…

— INSERT CLEVER TRANSITION HERE —

I love making appetizers for parties because it gives me an opportunity to make something I wouldn’t normally make for just myself.  This usually means a lot of cheese.  A lot of calories.  The stuff dreams are made of basically.  This is yet another recipe from the infamous football party.  I promise it’s the last!

I wanted something fun to serve alongside the buffalo chicken dip that wouldn’t take too much effort.  I decided to make everything right before the party (stupid decision in hindsight) so simplicity was key.  I can honestly say that these pizza rolls are one of the easiest appetizers that I’ve made.  For the basic recipe, all you really need is pizza dough, pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese.  The only way this could be easier is if someone made it for you.  Which I totally recommend if you can swing it.

Pizza Rolls

Ingredients:

1 tube pizza dough

1 jar pizza sauce

1 bag mozzarella cheese

1 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp minced garlic

Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll the pizza dough out into a large rectangle and cut into strips.  Cut those strips into six-inch squares.  Spoon two teaspoons of sauce onto each square and add a bit of cheese.  Pull the corners up toward each other and pinch shut.  Make sure they are all sealed well, otherwise they will break open during baking.

Bake for 15 minutes.  After removing from the oven, top with the parmesan cheese and the butter-garlic spread.

Stuff yo’ face.

Source: Eat, Live, Run 

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I’d like to introduce you all to the Buffalo Chicken Dip.

It’s basically the Enrique Iglesias of appetizers.  It’s spicy.  It’s hot.  And I can never, ever get enough.  I served it at a football party that my roommate Sarah and I threw Sunday night.  Sarah’s really into football.  I’m really into making a lot of food and watching people eat it.

What?!  Being a food blogger TOTALLY makes that okay.

There were really two reasons I was excited to have this party.  First, we were supposed to invite our law school crushes and then win them over with our sparkling personalities while I shoved food in their direction.  Second, I was finally going to make buffalo chicken dip.

Admittedly, the first didn’t happen.  Sarah’s crush couldn’t make it and due to my inability to string coherent sentences together around mine, an invitation was never extended.  I DID make buffalo chicken dip, though.  The entire time I was making it, I kept thinking it wouldn’t turn out well.  I mean, chicken and buffalo sauce seems on the right track.  But then cream cheese?  Ranch dressing??  What in the world am I serving people?!  Well, my worries were downright silly.  Chicken, buffalo sauce, cream cheese and ranch dressing TOTALLY go together.  And when piled on top of a tortilla chip?

Even better.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 1/2 lbs chicken

1 12 oz. bottle of Frank’s hot wing sauce

8 0z. ranch dressing (half a bottle)

1 block cream cheese

4 oz sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped celery

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Poach the chicken and shred after letting it cool.  Spread the chicken on the bottom of a 9-inch casserole dish and pour the wing sauce over the chicken.  Mix well.

In a saucepan, heat the ranch sauce and cream cheese, whisking continuously.  You don’t want the cream cheese to clump.  Once combined, pour over the chicken.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling. Let sit for 10 minutes before mixing well.  Serve with celery sticks, carrots or tortilla chips.

Source: Eat, Live, Run 

Gratuitous party picture!  Yay!