Apple, Bacon, & Goat Cheese Salad

Nothing beats a really good salad in the summertime. Whether it’s a simple Greek salad with grilled chicken – or something a little fancier like this apple, bacon, and goat cheese salad…they always go over well with our family after spending a day outside in the hot summer sun!

Crispy smokey bacon, crunchy apples, tangy goat cheese, candied walnuts – and the pièce de résistance, a delicious apple butter vinaigrette. I think it may be my new favorite salad dressing!

Musselman's Apple Butter

First off, it acted as an awesome emulsifier – it truly was the perfect consistency for a dressing. It also added wonderful flavor. The sweet and spicy notes in the apple butter really worked well with the salad, and combined with apple cider vinegar – there was definitely a ton of apple flavor going on.

I think the recipe for the dressing would also be an amazing marinade for chicken or pork. Looking forward to trying that soon, will report back! In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful salad.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the good folks at Musselman’s Apple Butter. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Caramelized Onion & Bacon Pizza

We’ve got a big day coming up this Sunday. Not that I care as much where neither of my teams made the cut – but quite a few of my friends are Broncos fans, so we’ll be rooting for them in our house. And, of course I never need an excuse to fill up our table with football-munchie related items.

So when the folks at Musselman’s asked me to share a game day recipe with you guys that featured their delicious apple butter, I couldn’t say no. We’re big fans of apple butter in this house – just by putting it on a simple peanut butter sandwich or toast, or incorporating into a recipe, it’s always a winner. I first got hooked on the stuff after receiving a jar from the husband of one of my best friends who is from Michigan. Their family cooks a huge batch every year and then shares it amongst themselves. It’s rich, fruity, and delicious – without being overly sweet. So, to be able to find a jar of a quality apple butter on the shelf at my local grocery store is wonderful, and like I said – we use it regularly.

So, this pizza. It’s definitely not your typical pizza…but, that’s a welcome change in my book. A crispy crust with a layer of apple butter as the sauce, that’s then topped with plenty of smoky gouda and sharp white cheddar, caramelized onions, and crispy bacon. Then right before serving you top it with a bit of baby arugula for a fresh, spicy kick. It was really delicious, and different. The slightly sweet sauce and onions mingled with the smokiness of the gouda and bacon was an absolutely perfect pairing.

Jon and I both really enjoyed it, and I was kind of shocked that the boys loved it too! I figured where it wasn’t your standard pizza, they wouldn’t be interested – but their little palettes continue to surprise me everyday! If you’re looking for something new to add to your Super Bowl munchie lineup, give this pizza a try!

Musselman’s has also generously offered to host a great giveaway for our readers! A gift package featuring a jar of apple butter with a few recipe cards for some ideas to get you kick-started on what to make with your jar, and also this fabulous Wilton Armetale Grillware Pizza Tray. Which, I can vouch for – has been wonderful. My pizza stone cracked last week (my second Pampered Chef stone to crack in 1 year!) so this couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. It can go up to 1,000 degrees F, so is oven as well as grill safe! I’m looking forward to trying some grilled pizza recipes on this bad boy come spring.

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To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite game day snack is! Contest will run from today through Februrary 2nd at 11:59 PM. Winner will be selected by that nifty Random Number Generator and contacted that Monday morning. Big thanks to Musselman’s for hosting such a great giveaway!

Source: adapted from Fork vs. Spoon via Musselman’s

musselmansgiveaway

Congratulations to Morgan who said that she loves Bbq beef short ribs, buffalo chicken dip and bacon wrapped shrimp on game day. Those are some of my favorites too!

Bacon Pimento Macaroni & CheeseHomemade pimento cheese is one of my very favorite things on this green Earth. I would also say the same for a good homemade macaroni & cheese. So, to combine the two – and then add bacon for good measure, just seemed natural.

I made crab cakes for dinner the other evening, and as I’d mentioned in Monday’s post – I’ve been kind of seafood-ed out lately. So I wanted to do a side dish that was amped up enough to be a meal on it’s own. I kind of threw this together with things I had on hand, and it turned out so unbelievably wonderful. I know it will be one we come back to again and again!

Bacon and Aspargaus PastaWe can’t get enough of the gorgeous stalks of asparagus hitting the stores right now. The other night I had a blank space on our menu plan – and decided to have a “wing it” dinner. You know, one of those “clean out the fridge” kinda nights? This is what ensued, and it turned out to be superbly delicious!

And, it’s a quick one too – which is always a plus. Crisping up the bacon in the pan, then a quick cook of the asparagus in some of the rendered bacon fat (because really, why not?) and finally all tossed with some pasta and cream sauce. The healthiest? Surely not. But, it was probably better for us then the pizza or Chinese take-out we would have called in otherwise!