Ranch Deviled Eggs

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Fab Foodstuff: Ranch Deviled Eggs! Behold the egg. It serves many options from breakfast omelets to afternoon appetizers, light snacks to mealtime casseroles. And who doesn’t love deviled eggs? Talk about versatility. This version implements the tangy creaminess of ranch flavor so popular in salad dressing. Add a garnish of applewood smoked honey ham crumbles for a superb finish. Make a dozen and watch them disappear.

RANCH DEVILED EGGS

Ingredients:

12 eggs

3 teaspoons dry ranch dressing mix

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon minced chives

1/2 pound applewood-smoked honey ham or bacon, crumbled

Instructions:

In a 4-quart pan, place eggs in a single layer. Add enough water to cover eggs. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. To remove eggshell, crack it by tapping gently all over; roll between hands to loosen it. Peel, beginning at the large end. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. Transfer to a platter. Remove yolks. In a medium bowl, mash the egg yolks with a fork. Sprinkle with dry ranch dressing mix. Add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and minced chives. Stir well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg white halves. Garnish with applewood-smoked honey ham crumbles. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. May be prepared a full day in advance.

Oyster Snack Crackers

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Oyster Snack Crackers! When you get that craving for something slightly salty partnered with a crunchy snack, turn to these little gems made from basic oyster crackers. Add seasonings and oil; bake and store in an airtight container. I literally sprinkle them on homemade soups, organic salads, and sometimes the palm of my hand. In a pinch, I’ve crushed them as a coating for baked chicken or fish. It’s all up to you.

OYSTER SNACK CRACKERS

Ingredients:

16-ounce package of oyster crackers

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup olive oil

1 envelope dry ranch dressing mix

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°. Take a one gallon ziplock bag. Pour oyster crackers into bag. In a glass measuring cup, combine butter, olive oil, ranch seasoning mix, dill weed, onion powder, and lemon pepper. Stir well. Pour over crackers. Seal the bag and toss to coat, alternating every 5 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a baking sheet. Form single layer. Bake 10 minutes; toss and bake 10 minutes longer. Do not burn. Let cool and then store in an airtight container. Will keep for weeks.

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter S

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Home Cooking: Sombrero Bread Bowl! OMG, this is the best kept secret! Go to your nearby Bakery and choose a savory artisan bread, small loaf. I chose Rosemary Olive Oil. From there, the biggest challenge is waiting for your mouth-watering seasoned creation to come out of the oven! Repeat after me, “All good things come to those who wait!” You can thank me later.

SOMBRERO BREAD BOWL

Ingredients:

4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese

1/2 cup ranch salad dressing

1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 green onions

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

14.5-ounce round loaf of artisan loaf

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300°. In medium bowl, blend Neufchâtel cheese, ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, red pepper flakes, and bacon until well mixed. Stir in onion snips. Cut off top of bread bowl. Hollow out insides. These may be used for dipping later. Fill center cavity with creamy mixture. Replace top. Wrap entire loaf in foil. Bake for 90 minutes. Peel back foil to expose bread bowl. Bake 30 minutes longer. Serve warm with bread cubes, multi-colored tortilla chips, and green onions. Enjoy!

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter D

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Chow Down: Dill Pickle Bacon Spears! If you’ve ever drooled over the thought of a dill pickle appetizer, be prepared to reward yourself with this amazing recipe you can make at home. For the perfect zing of flavor, choose zesty garlic dill pickle spears. I recommend visiting the butcher department at your favorite grocers to buy a pound of thick sliced hickory-smoked bacon. You only need a half a pound for these appetizers, but trust me, you’ll finish it later on. Not only is the flavor unsurpassed, but the mere texture of thick bacon combined with the garlic pickles is highly addictive. Go ahead, slather them in creamy buttermilk ranch dressing for an unbeatable combination. You’re Welcome!
DILL PICKLE BACON SPEARS 
Ingredients:

12 dill pickle spears, zesty garlic

6 slices thick bacon, cut in half lengthwise 

1/3 cup buttermilk ranch dressing

Chives for garnish 
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange the 12 bacon strips on a wire rack that is placed on a foiled-lined baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool until easy to handle. Wrap each dill pickle spear with one strip of bacon, seam side down. Secure with 1-2 toothpicks. Return dill pickles to wire rack and bake 25-30 minutes longer until bacon is crisp. Remove from oven and arrange on a platter. Pour buttermilk ranch dressing into a dip bowl. Garnish with fresh chives. Serve warm. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter B

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Foodstuff Redefined: Buffalo Chicken Crostini! Take a spicy hot dip, add the buttery texture of avocado, and finish it with the cooling sensation of natural yogurt. Now smile. You’ve just bitten into an appetizer-turned-meal after an exhausting day you’ll soon leave behind. This is how we treat ourselves right. You’re welcome. 
BUFFALO CHICKEN CROSTINI
Ingredients:

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened 

4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature 

3/4 cup ranch dressing 

1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning mix

3/4 cup red hot sauce

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped 

3/4 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 avocado, pitted

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

1-2 green onions, snipped

1 baguette loaf, sliced and toasted
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat Neufchâtel cheese, goat cheese, ranch dressing, ranch dry seasoning, and red hot sauce. Fold in chopped chicken. Spread mixture into a prepared casserole dish. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle extra-sharp cheddar cheese over top. Bake 15 minutes longer. Meanwhile, using a mini chopper, combine avocado, garlic powder, sea salt, and lemon juice. Pulse until mixture is combined but still chunky. Set aside. To assemble crostini, spread creamed avocado over toasted baguette slices. Add a scoop of Buffalo Chicken dip. Dollop with Greek yogurt. Garnish with onion snips. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter V

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Simple Sensations: Veggie Pizza! Now don’t get this confused with your typical pizza parlor favorite. This particular dish is served cold as an appetizer or a side dish. And it’s easy to bake-and-take for cookouts and picnics. One recipe serves 24 easily, giving you enough for that second helping. 
VEGGIE PIZZA 
Ingredients:

2 8-ounce cans of Crescent rolls

2 8-ounce blocks of Neufchâtel cheese

1 cup mayonnaise 

1 package dry Ranch dressing mix

1 cucumber, peeled, cut-up, and seeds removed

1 small head of broccoli florets

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°. Unroll dough and press out onto an ungreased 11 1/2″ x 17″ baking sheet to form a crust. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. In a small bowl, mix Neufchâtel cheese, mayonnaise, and dry Ranch mix until smooth. Spread evenly on cooled crust. Layer cheese mixture with cucumber, broccoli, and carrots. Press lightly. Top with cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Cut into small bars or triangles. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter O

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Simple Sensations: Over-the-Border Spicy Chicken Ranch Soup! That’s a mouthful, to be sure. I start with my classic potato soup recipe and spice things up a bit. As you can imagine, one thing leads to another and within minutes, you’ve got a meal in a bowl. 
OVER-THE-BORDER SPICY CHICKEN RANCH SOUP
Ingredients:

2 cups water

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut up

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 small onion, chopped

1 packet of dry Ranch seasoning mix

2 cups milk

1 cup pre-cooked grilled chicken strips, cut into cubes

1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, and green beans)

4 ounces Velvetta cheese, sliced

Instant potatoes to thicken, if needed

Parmesan cheese, shaved
Instructions:

In a 2-quart pan, add water, potatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, onion, and butter. Bring to boil and cook until tender. Do not drain. Stir in Ranch seasoning mix until blended. Add milk, chicken, vegetables, and cheese. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. To thicken, sprinkle instant potatoes into soup using a tablespoon at a time. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter R

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Ranch Pretzel Twists! You’re thinking snack-city. I know, right? Except this version of baked pretzels is made with one of the healthiest foods around: Chia Seeds! They’re a good source of vitamins and minerals in a balanced diet. With every bite you’ll practically be doing the “Happy Dance”.
RANCH PRETZEL TWISTS
Ingredients:

15-ounce bag of pretzel twists 

1 cup pure vegetable oil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

1 packet Ranch seasoning mix

1 tablespoon chia seeds
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 275°. Empty pretzel twists into a gallon storage zipper bag. Mix thoroughly all the remaining ingredients except chia seeds. Pour over pretzels and close the bag. Toss the bag to evenly coat all pieces until the oil is absorbed. Empty contents onto a baking sheet coated with non-stick spray. Try to form a single layer. Lastly, sprinkle the chia seeds over the pretzels. Bake 10 minutes. Then turn pretzels over and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before storing in sealed container. 

Eating My Way Through the Alphabet; Letter S

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Home Cooking: Sombrero Bread Bowl! OMG, this is the best kept secret! Go to your nearby Bakery and choose a savory artisan bread, small loaf. I chose Rosemary Olive Oil. From there, the biggest challenge is waiting for your mouth-watering seasoned creation to come out of the oven! Repeat after me, “All good things come to those who wait!” You can thank me later. 
SOMBRERO BREAD BOWL
Ingredients:

4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese

1/2 cup ranch salad dressing

1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 green onions

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 14.5-ounce round loaf of artisan loaf
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300°. In medium bowl, blend Neufchâtel cheese, ranch dressing, cheddar cheese, red pepper flakes, and bacon until well mixed. Stir in onion snips. Cut off top of bread bowl. Hollow out insides. These may be used for dipping later. Fill center cavity with creamy mixture. Replace top. Wrap entire loaf in foil. Bake for 90 minutes. Peel back foil to expose bread bowl. Bake 30 minutes longer. Serve warm with bread cubes, multi-colored tortilla chips, and green onions. Enjoy!