Tag: baked

The Best Baked Ziti – Operation “Abbondanza” by Gordon Ramsay

The Best Baked Ziti – Operation “Abbondanza”


If there’s an Italian-American community near where you live, then there’s a great chance you’re familiar with baked ziti. Done right, it’s a real crowd pleaser, and a wonderful, easier to make alternative to lasagna. Unfortunately, at least in my experience, it’s often done wrong, and by “done wrong,” I mean… to read the rest of Chef John’s article about The Best Baked Ziti recipe, please follow this link to become a member.)

Follow this link to get a complete, printable written recipe for The Best Baked Ziti!

And, as always, enjoy! 


If you want more information about why the blog format has changed, and why we’re now offering complete written recipes, please read all about that here. 


Mini Baked Potatoes — The Skinny Fork by Gordon Ramsay

Mini Baked Potatoes — The Skinny Fork



Everyone loves a loaded baked potatoes, but what if you could make them even better by making them a finger food, portable, and perfect for any side dish or game day appetizer spread? These adorable Mini Baked Potatoes are just that. Plus, being cute and little as a perfect one or two bite snack is great.

Roasted in olive oil and salt before being FULLY loaded with all the staples of a good baked potatoes. They take under an hour to make and most of that is hands-off time while the oven does all the work. As usual, I swapped sour cream for greek yogurt and standard back for a low-sodium center cut version.

Cheesy Baked Vidalia Dip – and how to stay sane :) by Gordon Ramsay

Cheesey dip


If you’re on Pinterest, I’d love it if you could use that button above! Thanks now let’s make some Cheesy Baked Vidalia Dip 🙂

Cheesey dip

I have something on my heart to share with you today but it is a little deep so I’m going to put it at the bottom of the post instead of the top. In it’s place waaaay up here at the beginning is a recipe for a cheesy baked vidalia dip that will have your stomach growling and your tongue wagging!

This stuff is ooey, gooey, cheesy to a whole new level, and the flavorful bites of sweet onion take all of that to new heights. Oh how I love this dip. I could eat it til I was sick off of it, it’s so good.

I first had this at a football party a decade or so ago. I know a lot of people really enjoy watching football and I try to support that by hanging out in the kitchen to leave more room for them around the tv. The hostess had just taken it out of the oven and it was just a bubbling so nicely on top of a folded up dishtowel. I asked her what it was and she immediately started telling me the recipe. I dipped a corn chip into it and decided to keep that bubbly dish company for a little while :).

There are all sorts of recipes with all sorts of ingredients out there for this amazingly delicious dip, but I just streamlined and put together what was needed to make it. In a world that strives to make everything ten times more complicated than it needs to be, I prefer to simplify things whenever possible. Here is my recipe for Cheesy Baked Vidalia Dip in all of it’s four ingredient glory. If you’re gonna watch a little bit of football this weekend or just want something that’s gonna warm your belly, this will do the trick.

 You’ll need: Mayo, Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese, Cream Cheese, and some sweet onions. 

Ideally, Vidalia onions are my go to but they don’t come into season until late spring so just get a sweet yellow onion and you’ll be just fine.

About cheese: Okay, I know the pre-shredded stuff is handy to have and I’m a HUGE fan of it BUT for this recipe to be it’s ooiest and gooiest, you gotta get a block of cheese and shred it yourself at home. Pre-shredded is coated in anti caking agents to prevent it from clumping and that prevents it from melting together completely when you bake it as well. HOWEVER, if you just really don’t want to shred your cheese for this or if you already have pre-shredded on hand and don’t want to spend extra money, go ahead and use it and it’ll be just fine. 

 You only need half of that brick of cream cheese so cut half of it up into little cubes and put into a large mixing bowl. 

Place this in the microwave for 30-45 seconds just to soften it. 

Chop up your onions until you’re tired of chopping up onions.

The ideal here would most likely be finely diced, but can you really see me sticking with it that long? You can use one of those little mini chopper things for this if you want.

This is my cream cheese after 45 seconds in the microwave.

I went to touch it lightly with my finger to see if it was soft and poked a big old hole in it!  Sure was soft 🙂

Toss your onions on top of your cream cheese.

Toss your cheese on top of that.

Put some mayo on top of all of that…

And stir it all up pretty good.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

This is a 1.5 quart baking dish. You can use an 8×8 dish or anything in the general vicinity of that size and it’ll be just fine.

Spoon it all into the dish and bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Oh have mercy! It will look like this.

Lean in to your computer and see if you can smell that. Uh-huh, you know what I am talking about.

And I know you can hear it bubbling… so my goodness you are just gonna have to make this yourself.

 

Cheesey dip

You can serve this with corn chips (I use the scoops kind) or crackers or what the heck, just use a spoon. 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups freshly shredded cheese I use 1.5 cups mild cheddar and 1.5 cups mozzarella but you can use all cheddar if you like
  • 4 ounces cream cheese cubed
  • 2-3 small Vidalia or other sweet yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Instructions

  • Place cubed cream cheese in large mixing bowl and microwave for about thirty seconds, just until soft.

  • Add diced onion, cheeses, and mayo to mixing bowl with cream cheese. Stir to combine.

  • Spoon into greased 1.5 baking dish (8×8 works fine)

  • Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

Serve with corn chips or crackers.

And now for today’s thoughts…

You know, some days it just feels like the world is beating up on us. We’re hit from all sides with complaining, criticism, and negativity being shipped in by the boatloads with countless people at the docks waiting to unload as if it’s crates of gold. People don’t just complain and find fault, they get EXCITED when they find more opportunities to complain and find fault. 

The crazy thing is, it’s really easy for us to end up just like them and not even realize it until we find ourself at the end of a day filled with complaints. You know the thing about complaining though?

At any given point in all of our lives, there are just as many things to be grateful for as there are to complain about. One of the greatest verses applies to this, although it was not the original intent. “Seek and ye shall find.” So basically, what I’m saying here is that if we are finding things to be grateful for, that shows the state of our heart and the decision in our mind of what we want to look for. If someone is finding only things to complain about, that is clearly a result of what they are seeking. While one person may say “Oh, this water doesn’t taste good.” Another looks and says “Oh how wonderful! We have water!” While one looks at a plate of food and says “What a wonderful plate of food! What a bounty, how blessed we are!” another may look and say “There aren’t enough vegetables on that plate. It looks boring.”

While this has always been the way of mankind since the very beginning, it’s multiplied countless times over with our ready access to each other’s thoughts through social media and everything on the internet. Where we used to only have to hear complaining and negativity from those we worked with or interacted with throughout the day, now we add in a few hundred of our nearest and dearest friends, family, coworkers, and facebook pages and our cup runneth over and maketh a pond of debris each and every day.

It gets to be too much for the best of us at times, and certainly does for me.

How do we deal with this constant bombardment?

Here us what helps me stay sane (though at times that’s debatable 😉

  • Facebook has a logout button
  • The tv can turn off
  • Phones can power down

When it feels like negativity is the only thing flowing through the wires, unplug from the connection unplug from the constant connection and find your true connection.

Get outside. Take a walk. Look up at the trees and remember how small it all is in comparison.

I can promise that this will lead to better mental, spiritual, and physical health. It will cause more smiles, decrease angst, and you’ll breathe deeper than you have in years.

Now go make some Cheesy Baked Vidalia Dip – and spread some warmth today!


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