Bacon and Cheese Dip

Well, this was a huge hit on Easter with my family. It almost has that Quiche Lorraine taste. I could have eaten the whole platter. A tip for the Fontina since it’s a soft cheese, put in freezer for 20 minutes so its easier to shred. I didn’t shred yesterday, I just made cubes and it worked out just fine.

1 pound bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled, and divided
 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
 2 cups shredded fontina cheese
 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
 1/2 cup sour cream
 1/2 cup mayonnaise
 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
 1 cup of chopped grape tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 11⁄2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Set aside 1⁄2 cup crumbled bacon. In a large bowl, combine remaining bacon, cream cheese, shredded cheeses, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard. Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes and remaining 1⁄2 cup crumbled bacon over hot dip. 
Serve immediately with toasted bread rounds and crackers.

Dyeing Coconut Flakes

Looking for an easy way to decorate your Easter desserts? 
Try this great coconut coloring tip!

Put the coconut in a Ziploc type of bag.

Dissolve a few drops of food coloring in the teaspoon of water, then pour  colored solution over  1 cup of coconut in the bag.
Seal the bag and shake until all coconut is uniformly colored.

To make dark or lighter add more or less drops of food coloring.

Lasagna for Easter‏

2 boxes of lasagna noodles
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 32 oz. container of ricotta cheese (use can use reg., fat free, or low fat, your choice.)
2 large packages of mozzarella, shredded
1 lb. of ground beef
½ lb. of sausage, your choice of flavor (I remove from casings, but you can just cube)
½ cup of olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 tbs. onion powder
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cups of Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
I don’t boil my uncooked lasagna noodles. I just lay in water for 30 minutes. In large fry pan I add oil and add garlic and onions. Let cook for about 5 minutes, do not let burn. Add in beef and pork and cook until brown. Then add in crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Let simmer for 1 hour, but you can just heat through and it will be fine as well.

In large baking dish add a ladle of sauce in bottom. Start layering lasagna noodles, over lapping just a smidge. Add layer of sauce and cheeses and continue until you  reach top. When you get to the last layer really top with a good amount of the shredded cheese and the parmesan cheese.

Bake for 50 minutes. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and serve with salad and of course with garlic bread.


Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake

2 cups cold heavy cream
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coffee liqueur
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 (8-ounce) packages chocolate chip cookies
Shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, coffee liqueur, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, until it forms firm peaks.
To assemble the cake, arrange chocolate chip cookies flat in an 8-inch spring form pan, covering the bottom as much as possible. (I break some cookies to fill in the spaces.) Spread a fifth of the mocha whipped cream evenly over the cookies. Place another layer of cookies on top, lying flat and touching, followed by another fifth of the cream. Continue layering cookies and cream until there are 5 layers of each, ending with a layer of cream. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate, cut in wedges, and serve cold.


Corned Beef and Cabbage

1 corned beef brisket
1 large head cabbage 8 peppercorns
6 cloves garlic, whole peeled
3 parsnips
2 turnips
2 small cans of carrots or a medium bag of frozen
4 large potatoes, you can also buy these in the can or frozen
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 whole cloves
¼ tsp. Old Bay seasoning (optional)
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. onion powder

Wash brisket.  I cut up into large pieces and jab with the knife a few times.
Place the meat into large pot with garlic and clove. Cover the meat with water. Add bay leaves, Old Bay, pepper, onion powder, carrots, parsnips, turnips, potatoes and sliced celery. Bring to a boil, skim off foam and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 2-3 hours, or until meat is nearly tender.

Drain water and serve.  Its customary to serve with yellow mustard, but I only like brown.

  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Bailey’s Martini

1 oz. Vodka (brand of your choice)
1 ½ oz. Bailey’s Irish cream
Dollop of whipped topping

Shake all ingredients together over ice and pour in martini or margarita glass and top with whipped topping.

  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Irish Soda Bread

1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups flour
2 1/3 teaspoons salt
1 cup of  raisins
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter

In a bowl, combine baking soda, sugar, flour, salt, raisins and cream of tartar. Make a whole  in the center. Add buttermilk and mix lightly and quickly with a fork or your hands.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for one minute. Shape into a circle, about 1 ½ inch thick. Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Make a few X marks across top.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove and brush top with butter. Cool completely before serving.

  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva
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