Swiss, Bacon & Almond Dip

swiss bacon and almond dip

swiss bacon and almond dip

A girl really can’t have too many dip recipes, am I right?

I’m forever needing new variations on appetizers, especially during football season and throughout the holidays.  And, hot dips are perfect to take when we trade houses with a couple of our good friends for game viewing occasions during the fall and winter.  Just pop it out of the oven, throw on some foil, and hit the road.

This particular dip feels a bit “Oktoberfest” to me.  With the mustard and the Swiss, it feels like something you’d want to slather on a brat.

Actually…

You could crush up some of the pretzel chips you’re using for dipping, stir them in, and then slap it on a brat.  Hmmm…

No, I didn’t.  I stuck with the dip.  But, that really does sound good…

Swiss, Bacon & Almond Dip
 
Author:
Makes: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 8 pieces of bacon, chopped
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. whole grain mustard
  • ¼ tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Spread sliced almonds out into an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 4 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until pieces are browned and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, and black pepper until well combined. Stir in the scallions, swiss, and cooked bacon. Gently fold in the toasted almonds, leaving a handful for garnish at the end.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is brown and the dip is bubbling. Garnish with remaining almonds.
  6. Serve with pretzel chips or crackers.

Adapted from Rachael Ray.

Cookies & Almond Cream Ice Cream

cookies-and-almond-cream-ice-cream

cookies-and-almond-cream-ice-creamThe summer of homemade ice cream (!) marches on.  This time, it’s another special request from my husband: cookies and cream.

Last month, we stopped at the Cassis bakery to get dessert after my birthday dinner.  Truthfully, I wanted at least eighteen things I saw in their bakery cases, but ice cream won out in the end.  I had one scoop of blueberry ice cream and one scoop of lemon sorbet.  I’m a sucker for anything lemon, and the sorbet mixed with the rich blueberry was creamy and refreshing.  Scott had cookies and cream, and it was so good that he’s been thinking about it ever since.

I mashed up a bunch of recipe ideas to create this version of cookies and cream.  I used a basic method for a vanilla ice cream base, but I jazzed it up with a method I saw Claire Robinson use to flavor milk for an almond mocha drink.  Between the almond-flavored base, the almond extract, and the roasted almonds mixed in, this recipe is super almond-y (?).  Even so, it doesn’t lose sight of the cookies.

Speaking of those cookies, I sort of went a little over the top on that part.  Have you ever tried Martha’s recipe for homemade Oreos?  They’re completely delicious and really taste like the real thing.  I made them last Christmas with red and green filling, and they were adorable.  I had some of the cookies (minus the cream filling) in the freezer from the last time I made them, so I used them in this ice cream.  DO NOT feel like you need to make cookies for this.  It’s perfectly delicious with Oreos that aren’t insanely made from scratch.  Substitute away.

Cookies & Almond Cream Ice Cream
 
Author:
Makes: 1¼ Quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 cups half and half
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 15 Oreo cookies, homemade or store-bought, broken into pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread sliced almonds out into an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 5 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of the roasted almonds.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the half and half, brown sugar, salt, and remaining ¾ cup roasted almonds over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture is scalded (there will be small bubbles around the outside of the saucepan). Do not boil.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until pale yellow in color, about 2 minutes. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in 1 cup of the warm half and half until totally incorporated into the egg yolk mixture.
  5. Pour egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the half and half. Stirring constantly, cook mixture over medium heat for about ten minutes until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of the spoon.
  6. Pour mixture through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing wrap directly onto the surface of the custard so a skin doesn’t form. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least four hours or overnight.
  7. Pour chilled mixture into the frozen bowl of an ice cream maker and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is at soft serve stage, pour the reserved roasted almonds and cookie pieces into the machine and let mix until combined. Transfer to freezer-safe container and freeze until firm.

Adapted from Cuisinart and inspired by Claire Robinson.