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Author: Kathleen Smith

Crab Rangoon Dip Recipe

Crab Rangoon gets a dunk-able makeover in this amazing dip. All the creamy, cheesy filling chock-full of crab exits the oven bubbling and ready for homemade wonton chips. Dig in!   I love to eat Chinese food – all the complex dishes with unique vegetables and sauces. If I’m completely honest, though, the thing I look forward to the most are all the crispy fried goodies and dipping sauces – egg rolls plump with barbecued pork and cabbage, fried dumplings full of shrimp and scallions, and . . . mmmm . . . Crab Rangoon. The marriage of sweet,...

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Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Recipe

Chicken, bacon, ranch, and pasta? Yes, please! This bubbling beauty is everything you want in a creamy, cheesy casserole and a dazzling dinner dish! One of my favorite restaurant sides (though it makes a great lunch too) is an obscene baked potato, so covered with bacon, and cheese, and ranch dressing you can’t even see the potato any more.   Imagine, if you will, tossing all those creamy, crispy toppings into a casserole dish with perfectly cooked penne and even MORE cheese. That is my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta in all its carbo-licious glory! Chicken bacon ranch recipes are plentiful on the foodie web, including a chicken bacon ranch pasta Facebook has whole pages devoted to and hundreds (thousands?) of chicken bacon ranch pasta Pinterest pins. There are lots of variations as well, and I’ve chosen the best ingredients to make a truly epic dish. My Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta (not to be confused with the chicken bacon ranch pasta salad that’s served cold and missing several of these creamy, cheesy ingredients) has big chunks of chewy pasta, crispy crumbles of salty, smoky bacon, and tender pieces of chicken, all draped in a rich, velvety sauce spiked with the herby, garlicky goodness of our favorite salad dressing, sour cream and cream, plus three types of cheese. Just a little time at the stove top to boil the pasta and...

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Cranberry Salad Recipe

 It’s pretty in pink! Cranberries are king in this fluffy, fruit-filled salad. It’s a colorful companion to any meal with the perfect balance of sweet and tart. I don’t really like suffering through television commercials when my favorite show is on, but I am always fascinated by those farmers standing waist-deep in a bog while plump little cranberries float around them. That wet harvesting process is pretty cool to watch, and it makes those beautiful red berries even more unusual and fun to cook with. Believe it or not, they actually don’t just come in cans suspended in gelatin, and...

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Horseradish Sauce Recipe

Sorry, ranch dressing. This Horseradish Sauce is about to become everyone’s new favorite condiment, complementing everything from beef and pork to veggies and fries with its signature face-tingling flavor. As you probably know, most of our ability to enjoy different flavors doesn’t rely on our capacity to taste food. Somewhere around 90% of what we “taste” is actually coming from our sense of smell. It’s definitely the smell of coffee brewing in the morning that triggers my salivation response (and pulls my reluctant body out of bed), and some foods are pretty assertive in reminding us just how related our sinuses are to the whole eating thing. I’m pretty sure horseradish is at the top of that list. Horseradish, or “sting nose” as it’s called in some parts of the world, is a pungent root that’s grated and mixed with vinegar to be used as a condiment. Although we’ve only been eating it since around the 17th century, horseradish has been around for about 3,000 years and was originally used medicinally for things like rheumatism, tuberculosis, and gout. Some people still swear it’s a great headache remedy if you slather it on your forehead, though I think I’ll stick with something more pharmaceutical. Horseradish is part of the mustard family, which includes cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts, and creates an intense but short-lived heat on your tongue while simultaneously...

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Pesto Chicken Recipe

Behold the power of pesto! Tender chicken breasts tossed in green goodness get topped with tomatoes and melty mozzarella to make a super fast, super flavorful supper with just four ingredients and even fewer dishes! I spend most of my days in the kitchen playing with ingredients and testing recipes, and there are definitely special holidays and occasions when I’m perfectly content letting the creative juices flow for hours and hours. By the time dinner rolls around, though, I’m usually looking for the biggest bang for my buck, the quickest way to get a really tasty meal on the table. Sometimes this means using the ol’ Crockpot to work on dinner while I’m working on something else, but it often means planning meals around “super” seasonings, ingredients I can add to a dish that bring tons of flavor right out of the can or bottle without any extra work on my part. One of my favorites is pesto, a potent kitchen companion that packs a punch with every tablespoon, and it does all the work in my Pesto Chicken to make one a-ma-zing dish. This is basically a 4 ingredient chicken pesto bake with such sophisticated flavors and aromas, you won’t believe it came together so quickly! That’s all thanks to the pesto. The original word for pesto is pestare, which means to pound or crush, since this concoction...

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