Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball

I love make-ahead appetizers. The more I can have done before the day of a party, the better. And if a make-ahead appetizer has cheese and bacon in it… that’s even better! You know, because there is cheese and bacon in it. And then rolled in more bacon and toasted pecans. This Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball is the perfect make-ahead appetizer to make for Super Bowl or to bring over to a friend’s house. It can also be served at room temperature – so it’s easy, cheesy, and delicious!

 

Ingredients:
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
¼ cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
6 oz. cheddar, finely shredded
2 tbsp. green onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp. garlic powder
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper, to season

Take cream cheese out of refrigerator and remove from foil wrappers to allow it to come to room temperature (it will be easier to fold in other ingredients). In a small bowl, combine toasted pecans and 2 slices crumbled bacon for outer coating. In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, 4 slices crumbled bacon, green onions, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper until fully incorporated. Using your hands, form into a ball and roll in bacon and pecan mixture. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving and arrange on platter with crackers. Enjoy!

Blackened Shrimp and Mango Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

The holidays are over and it’s the time of year to plan lighter meals. I love salad, but in order to be a meal they have to be big and hearty. This Blackened Shrimp and Mango Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is fresh, with tons of flavor and is so healthy! Mango and lime make this a go-to recipe during the summer, but it’s perfect any time of year you need a big healthy salad.

 

Blackened Shrimp ingredients:
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. blackening seasoning

Salad ingredients:
1 head romaine lettuce
1 mango, peeled and diced
½ red onion, diced
½ red pepper diced
½ cucumber, diced
2 tbsp. green onion, sliced

Vinaigrette ingredients:
Juice of 1 lime
4 tbsp. honey simple syrup
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, toss together peeled and deveined shrimp with olive oil, lime zest and blackening seasoning. Set aside until ready to grill.

Meanwhile, combine diced mango, red onion, red pepper, cucumber and green onion in a medium bowl. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and pour over diced mango mixture.

Preheat grill pan on medium-low and grill shrimp 2-3 minutes per side until cooked. Place romaine lettuce on a large serving platter, top with mango mixture and cooked shrimp.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!