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Spicy Ranch Crackers

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This is a twist on seasoned crackers for those that enjoy a spicy kick.  I make a triple batch of seasoned crackers every December to include in my goodie bags with assorted sweets, and this year I made a second spicy batch for those that like things on the spicy side.  They are great on their own as a snack, but as with the seasoned crackers, one of my favorite things to do with these crackers is to sprinkle them on soup as a garnish, especially tomato soup or chili.  And let’s not forget the Super Bowl is coming up, right?  These would be perfect for the heat-lovin’, snack-eatin’ guests at your party.

Spicy Ranch Crackers

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 (12 oz) bags oyster crackers
1 (13.7 oz) box cheese crackers
1 (1 oz) envelope spicy ranch dressing mix
1 (1 oz) envelope ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 cup vegetable oil

Mix crackers in a large bowl. Sprinkle dressing mix and spices over the crackers, then pour oil over it all. Mix until the oil is absorbed. Cover and store overnight for the flavors to develop.

A Veronica’s Cornucopia Original

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Shrimp & Bacon Ranch Pizza


I was scrolling through my blog and came to realize out of the last 12 postings, only two recipes have been for non-sweets.  Sweets are my forte, but I figured a dinner recipe was long over-due, and have I got a doozy for you!

A couple MySpace friends inspired this one.  Through MySpace, I’m connected to a great network of women who love to cook and are so supportive and fun.  Kim, the one responsible for hooking me up with most of my foodie friends, posted a recipe for Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza yesterday that had me drooling over my keyboard.  I’d been wanting to make a pizza that my friend Suzie posted on her blog that had shrimp on it, so I decided to meld the two recipes into one.  So here it is, the final masterpiece.  And it would be just as good with chicken, which I plan to make next.

Shrimp and Bacon Ranch Pizza
I made this in a large 14” pan so if you’re making a smaller pizza, adjust the ingredients accordingly.

Ingredients
Your favorite pizza dough (I used an entire recipe of Wolfgang Puck’s dough)
¾ c ranch dressing, divided (I used homemade—the bomb!)
½ t dill (dried)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
6 oz. frozen cooked salad shrimp, thawed
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used turkey bacon)
½ cup chopped grape tomatoes

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Fit dough onto a pizza pan sprayed with cooking oil and bake for 7 minutes. While it’s baking, stir the dill into the dressing. Remove the crust and set oven temperature to 450 degrees. Spread ½ cup dressing over the crust, then sprinkle the mozzarella over it. No need to wait until the oven has preheated, just pop it in for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. While it’s baking, mix the shrimp with olive oil and garlic until coated.

Remove pizza from oven. Top pizza evenly with shrimp, bacon and tomato, then drizzle the remaining dressing over everything. Return to oven; bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until shrimp is thoroughly heated. Cut & serve warm.

Nutritional Info per 1/8 of recipe (based on the same ingredients I used. You can lighten it up by using less cheese & light mayo in the dressing.): 440 cal, 23g fat, 38g carb, 18g protein.

Recipe inspired by Kim and Suzie

This recipe is entered in the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest. Click on the box to vote! :)

Chicken Ranch Tacos

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This recipe was listed mid-year in the free Betty Crocker calendar I received by mail and was one of the few things that interested me, so I made it right away. It’s simple and very delicious and I will definitely be making it again!

Chicken Ranch Tacos

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 box (4.7 oz) Old El Paso® Stand ‘N Stuff® taco shells (10 shells)
3 cups cut-up deli rotisserie chicken (from 2- to 2 1/2-lb chicken)
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix (or 3 tablespoons homemade)
1/2 cup ranch dressing (2 T of homemade was sufficient for me)
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/4 cup sliced green onions (4 medium), if desired
Old El Paso® Thick ‘n Chunky salsa, if desired
Additional ranch dressing, if desired

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Heat taco shells in oven as directed on box.
2. Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, place chicken. Sprinkle with taco seasoning mix; toss gently to coat. Microwave uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Stir in 1/2 cup dressing.
3. Spoon warm chicken mixture into heated taco shells. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and onions. Drizzle with salsa and additional dressing.

Tips:
Instead of rotisserie chicken, use any diced cooked chicken.
Offer additional taco toppings such as olives and sour cream.

Nutrition Information (will be less if you use less dressing):
1 Serving (2 tacos): Calories 500 (Calories from Fat 290); Total Fat 32g (Saturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 2 1/2g); Cholesterol 105mg; Sodium 1500mg; Total Carbohydrate 23g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 3g); Protein 31g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 15%; Vitamin C 8%; Calcium 15%; Iron 10% Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

makes 5 servings (2 tacos each)
Recipe from Betty Crocker

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

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This dressing is really stinkin’ good.  That’s all I have to say.  Except that after taking this photo, I ate this entire plate of veggies (though I detest cucumbers) and almost all of the dressing.  It’s really good.  Really.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Recipe by Our Best Bites

*note that all spices/herbs listed below are dried. If substituting fresh, use the rule 1 part dry = 3 parts fresh.

1 C mayo
2/3 C buttermilk
1/4 t white vinegar
1 t parsley
1/8 t dill
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
1 1/2 t dried chives
1/8 t black pepper
1/4 t seasoned salt
1/8 t dry mustard

Beat the mayo and buttermilk until smooth, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate at least overnight to allow the flavors to develop.

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