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Roasted Loaded Potatoes

After craving baked potatoes and Mr.Picky refusing to eat them I created a happy medium.  I made roasted loaded potatoes as I am calling them.  Roasted potatoes are one of Mr.Picky’s favorite ways to eat potatoes so I thought why not loaded it up like a baked potato.

Bacon, cheese, and potatoes can this combination even go wrong?  Of course the potatoes were well seasoned and roasted with some fresh garlic.  I will admit I ate two servings with sour cream atop.  The kids loved them “minus the green things”, as my daughter put it.  Although loaded with fat it was a wonderful change to the general roasted potato.

Roasted Loaded Potatoes

Roasted Loaded Potato Bites:

  • 8-10 red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 dry ranch seasoning package
  • 1 cup cheddar or cheese blend, grated
  • 4-6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • sour cream or ranch dressing to top your potatoes

In a large bowl toss together potatoes, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and ranch seasoning until well coated.

Roasted Loaded Potatoes

Spread potatoes on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, flipping at least once.

Once your potatoes are cooked to your liking, just tender or crispy.  Top with 1/2 the cheese, bacon, onions, and the other half of the cheese to hold it in.

Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is nicely melted.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or ranch dressing drizzled atop.

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Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken

So now that I had all this pesto made up I decided to use it left and right.  I got some inspiration from Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken Thighs – Picky Palate.  Due to what I had on hand I changed up the directions but it turned out amazing.  I also was headed to the zoo for the day and needed to throw something in the crock pot quick, frozen chicken and all.

I was planning on attempting to make my homemade gnocchi to serve along with the chicken.  I had everything out and opened my ricotta cheese which had spoiled.  So now that my zucchini was grated and my eggs were cracked I made some zucchini and corn fritters.  Stay tuned for the recipe, it is a childhood favorite of mine.

Back to the chicken it was great.  Flavorful and very moist, it was fork tender falling apart.  Next time I would serve it with mashed potatoes or a buttered pasta.  The next night we were headed out so I fixed some cheese tortellini and chopped the leftover chicken up for the kids.  I found myself stealing bites from my children.

Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken:Pesto Ranch Crock Pot Chicken

  • 4 chicken breast or thighs, I used two of each it was all I had, (thawed or frozen) mine were frozen
  • 1/4 cup healthier ranch dressing or bottled ranch
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3-1/2 cup pesto
  • pepper to taste

 

Place frozen or thawed chicken into slow cooker (crock pot).  Spread a bit of ranch on each piece and then a bit of pesto on each piece.

Grind a bit of pepper on the whole thing.  Carefully add chicken broth so it settle to bottom and doesn’t wash away the toppings on chicken.

 Pesto Ranch Crockpot Chicken

Place on low for 6 hours or high for probably 3-4 hours, after about 6 hours of cooking on low I turned my slow cooker to keep warm until dinner time.

Pesto Ranch Crockpot Chicken

Enjoy!

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Buffalo Turkey Burgers

Blue cheese or ranch dressing atop a turkey buffalo burger, yes please!  Mr.Picky loves spicy food, and loves burgers.  I tried this recipe out a couple of years ago and have continued to put it into dinner rotation.  If you have children it is ok, just don’t dip the burgers in the sauce at the end.  This recipe came out of Rachel Ray 365: No Repeats cookbook.  Mr.Picky prefers to eat these as little sliders on a small french roll.  The burger size depends on what we have to put them on, in the picture we served full size burgers on a crusty bun.

Buffalo Turkey Burger

Buffalo Turkey Burger:

Burger:

  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 package (20 oz.) ground turkey breast
  • 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 Tbs grill seasonings, like Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or chopped
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib with greens, finely chopped

Burger Dip:

Blue Cheese Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small bowl combine sour cream, blue cheese and salt and pepper.  Set aside in fridge while making burgers.  If you do not care for blue cheese, simple use ranch.

Drizzle about a tablespoon of oil in a  mixing bowl and burger ingredients.  Form into patties, depending on size of bun.

Buffalo Turkey BurgerIn a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat cook the burgers for about 6 minutes on each side, again depending size.  Either transfer all burgers to a plate or in a separate pan prepare your buffalo dipping sauce.

Melt butter on low and add the buffalo sauce.  Dip patties in the sauce mixture until coated.

Place burger on bottom bun and top with lettuce and blue cheese dip.

Chopped Salad with BBQ Ranch Dressing

BBQ Ranch Chopped SaladI love me a big salad, and I love a chopped dressed salad even better.  I have made this chopped salad on various occasions.  My inspiration is my favorite salad at a restaurant I love.

We were headed to my sister-in-laws birthday and I was bringing a green salad.   Tired of the normal green salad with different dressings, I made everyone step out of the box and brought this.  It was a success.   Mr.Picky even asked for me to make it again, and I saw many go up for seconds.  We had grilled chicken so I just topped my salad and had that for dinner.

Of course cut this recipe in half for a normal meal or dinner, but this is written to feed 10-12 people.

Chopped Salad with BBQ Ranch Dressing:

  • 2 heads of romaine or iceberg lettuce (not my usual lettuce picks but you really need a good crunchy lettuce)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small jicama, thinly sliced or cubed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 3 boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 large bunch of cilantro, chopped or torn
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cheddar or mexican blend cheese, shredded

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Healthier Ranch recipe, bottle ranch, or packet mixed with mayo and sour cream
  • 3 Tbs BBQ sauce, your favorite
  • 1-2 Tbs milk, if needed to thin dressing

*I have also added black beans and grilled chicken to this salad if we are eating as a main dish.  Some crispy fried onions or crispy fried jalapenos are great on top as a garnish.

Combine all the salad fixings in a large bowl.

Whisk together dressing or put ingredients in a jar and shake, until smooth.

Dress salad just before serving with dressing, add a bit at a time until the salad is coated evenly.

Healthier Ranch



This is my version of a healthier for you ranch.  I have tried lots of recipes for ranch some using all Greek yogurt, and other substitutes out there.  Though when you substitute all the fat out it tastes not so good, and is a little tangy for my liking.  This is a recipe I have found and altered, we have served it to many and they all love it.

My goal for 2013 was to only make homemade salad dressings, I eat a lot of salad and I know better than to use all the dressings which don’t really taste that good and are full of words I don’t know.DSCN0844

 So here it goes, alter seasoning to your own taste.  I put all my ingredients in a pint mason jar, and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.  It keeps in my fridge until the sell by on the milk, if it lasts that long.

Healthier Ranch:

  • 1/3 cup Mayo ( I use olive oil mayo)
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, Plain yogurt, or Cottage Cheese (which I add first to the jar and blend until smooth)
  • 1 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 TBS Lemon Juice
  • 1 sm. handful of parsley leaves
  • 1 sm. bunch of chives or 1 green onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk, half and half, or milk

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