Bacon Jalapeño Cheddar Dip

Three words: Bacon. Jalapeño. Cheese. Put them all together. This dip is probably the most amazing and flavorful appetizer I have ever come across, and all of the credit goes to Mike Gardner. Mike has an incredible garden on his property where I can always find fresh basil, roma tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and spicy jalapeños, just to name a few. We made this dip as our appetizer for sushi that night. You can make this dip as spicy as you like by either removing the seeds from the jalapeños or leaving them in. I always like a little spice so we left some seeds in. This dip is super simple to make and basically only calls for three ingredients. You can feel free to use whatever cheese you like, but I’d suggest Trader Joe’s (for those of y’all with access to TJ’s) DIVINE cheddar. Ok, so its not really called divine cheddar, its just what I call it because it really is divine. The true name is Unexpected Cheddar Cheese  and what makes this cheese so amazing is that its a cheddar and parmesan blend. Combined with the spicy jalapeños and bacon gives you the most unexpectedly divine dip. :)

Bacon Jalapeño Cheddar Dip

  • 5-6 strips of bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese
  • 10-15 de-seeded jalapeño peppers (you can add more depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

In a food processor, pulse the sliced peppers (we left a few seeds in to make the dip more hot) until they are finely minced.

In a medium skillet, cook the bacon with a little bit of olive oil on medium heat.

After the bacon is cooked, pat the grease dry on a paper towel and chop finely. Grate the cheese.

Mike’s son, Dakota, watching over us as we cook. Isn’t he the cutest?!

Add the finely chopped peppers into the skillet and cook.

Sprinkle the chopped bacon on top.

Add the grated cheese. Don’t stir the peppers too much. When the cheese is melted the dip is done and ready for dipping! :)

 

Chicken Pesto Sandwiches and Greek Salad

This week for my women’s bible study, our dinner theme was Greek food. Being a quarter Greek, (and proud of it!) I was ecstatic. Mediterranean food is probably one of my favorite cuisines (besides Tex-Mex, obviously). For our Greek fest we made chicken pesto sandwiches and Greek salad. Another gal brought store bought spanakopita and baklava. The one thing I wish I would have made was tzatziki- the creamy yogurt cucumber sauce that goes on any Greek dish. I made it before with lamb souvlaki and you can find that here :). The Greek salad is super simple to make because you don’t need to make it in any specific order. I highly encourage using Kalamata olives (the real stuff) but if you have black or green olives on hand those will work fine too.

Chicken Pesto Sandwiches

  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 slices of Italian bread about 1/2 inch thick
  • 6 slices of Swiss cheese (a slice per every sandwich)
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1 cup pesto

Heat the olive oil in a medium pan and cook the chicken breast halves at medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Chop up the garlic and mix in with the pesto. Prepare the sandwiches by spreading the garlic pesto mixture onto the bread halves and top with sliced Swiss cheese and red onions.

Once the chicken is cooked, place in the middle of the sandwich and grill the sandwich in the pan.

Greek Salad

  • 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3/4 cup of Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Chop up the garlic, tomatoes, onion and cucumber and place in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and oregano. Add in the olives and feta cheese and toss together.