Cheddar Ranch Grits

As much as I love making and devouring mashed potatoes with pot roast and gravy, I love grits even more. The creamy ground corn has more texture and more flavor. At least, in my opinion. Add some cheese (and a little bit of Ranch dressing mix) and well, these cheddar Ranch grits are the perfect tasting side dish and very, very easy to make.
cheddar-ranch-gritsYou can substitute any good melting cheese you want to these cheddar Ranch grits. I like a nice sharp cheddar because I think it goes perfectly with the corn flavors and the Ranch dressing. I think Monterey jack would also work well in this dish. For some kick, go with pepperjack and add a few chopped roasted jalapenos.

Also try my roasted sweet corn grits.

Cheddar Ranch Grits

Course Side
Cuisine American
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup corn grits not instant or quick cook
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup or more, if you want shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing mix the dry stuff, not the dressing in a bottle!

Instructions

  • Bring broth and salt to a boil in a medium pan over high heat.
  • Slowly stir in the grits.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. To prevent the grits from splattering you can place a lid over the top of the pan but do not cover it completely.
  • Add the butter and stir to melt.
  • Add the cheese and Ranch dressing mix and stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve.

Cheddar Pretzel Bites

The reason I made such a big batch of these cheddar pretzel bites isn’t because I needed a huge amount for a family get-together. Sure, I needed some, but not a ton. Nope, I made a big batch because I wanted more for myself. Sorry, but it’s true. I was being selfish, but for a good reason. I love them. Crunchy, a bit buttery, and definitely cheesy.
Cheddar Pretzel BitesYou don’t have to use pretzels to make these cheddar bites. If you prefer, any cracker will do, specially oyster crackers or saltines. Just don’t substitute something that is strongly flavored and might not go well with the cheddar. That would make for a bowl of sadness.

Also check out my balsamic, pizza,and spicy garlic ranch, and Buffalo Ranch pretzel bites! They are all out of this world good too!

Cheddar Pretzel Bites

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 pound
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200 F.
  • Place pretzel bites in large bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the oil and cheddar seasoning.
  • Pour the oil mixture over the pretzels and toss to coat well.
  • Pour pretzels bites out onto a large baking pan and spread out evenly.
  • Bake for 1 hour, tossing every 20 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly before serving.

Broccoli Cheddar Pockets

By golly, these broccoli cheddar pockets do taste just like the pockets you can get out of the freezer section in your grocery store! Actually, they taste even better. That might because there’s extra ooey-gooey extra sharp cheddar cheese inside. Oh, yeah, there’s some healthy broccoli thrown in too. And well, yes, I did add a bit of bacon. How could you not?
Broccoli Cheddar PocketsYou can make a big batch of these broccoli cheddar pockets then freeze them for later. Just pop them into the microwave or oven to reheat (until the cheese melts). Nice and easy!

You can easily make copycats of the other pocket flavors you find in your grocery store’s freezer. Just fill with cooked (the dryer the better!) ingredients and seal!

Broccoli Cheddar Pockets

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped frozen broccoli florets
  • 4-6 slices thick cut bacon cooked, chopped (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese about 5 ounces
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tube Pillsbury® Crusty French bread dough
  • 1 egg
  • Water

Instructions

  • Cook broccoli per package instructions. Drain well.
  • Place broccoli in a large bowl and gently stir in the bacon, cheddar, sour cream and chives.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  • Lightly flour a flat surface.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equally sized pieces and roll out into 6" x 8" rectangles.
  • Divide the broccoli mixture between each piece of dough, placing the ingredients in the center.
  • Fold the 2 shorter sides of the dough over the filling, stretching to cover.
  • Fold the 2 long sides over like a burrito and pinch the edges to seal.
  • Place the pockets seam-side down on the baking sheet.
  • Beat the egg and 1 tablespoon warm water in a small bowl or glass. Brush the pockets with the egg wash.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cheddar Cheese Soup

I’ve never been to Epcot. I really want to go, if for nothing else but the foods from the various places around the world. I might take in a few rides too, but I’m all about the food first. So since I haven’t been there I can’t really say for sure that this cheddar cheese soup is a copycat of the Canadian cheese soup you can get at the Le Cellier Steakhouse. I do know that this soup is crazy good, though. Heavenly good. Creamy. A bit smoky thanks to the bacon. A just a slight kick of heat.
Cheddar Cheese SoupI used the best white cheddar I could find, and although you can go with a cheap brand, I think a quality cheese can really make this dish, while a lesser one can just make it ‘ok’. So splurge on a good cheese and you’ll be glad you did.

Also try my creamy pimento cheese soup.

Cheddar Cheese Soup

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bacon chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion chopped fine
  • 3 ribs celery chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 pound grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup warm beer
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Green onions chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  • Add bacon to a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the red onion, celery, and butter. Sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the flour. Stir, and continue stirring for 4-5 minutes until the flour is cooked over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add milk. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer slowly for 15 minutes.
  • Remove pot from the heat and stir in cheese, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste until the cheese is melted.
  • Stir in warm beer.
  • Serve garnished with chopped green onions if desired.

Ragin’ Cajun Cheddar Ranch Bugles

Bugles snacks don’t need a whole lot of help to be even more addicting than they already are. I decided to kick them up with some spicy Ragin’ Cajun Fixin’s Cajun seasoning, with a hint of cheddar and Ranch. Crazy good. Make a batch of Ragin’ Cajun cheddar ranch Bugles for the next big party at your house. Folks will know you didn’t just put a bowl of bagged snacks. You went the extra mile!

Ragin' Cajun Cheddar Ranch BuglesRemember to always put a few Bugles on the ends of your fingers and make sounds like a witch. You have to. You can’t help it.

Ragin' Cajun Cheddar Ranch Bugles

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine seasonings in a small bowl.
  • Place chips into a large plastic bowl. Spray lightly with oil, gently stirring to get good coverage.
  • While stirring the chips, slowly pour in the seasoning mix.
  • Spread chip mixture out evenly onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Let cool completely before serving

Cheddar Ranch Fritos

My goodness, these chips are addicting. I came up with the idea while pondering what we were going to snack on during today’s Daytona 500 race. I remembered back to the awesome Cheddar Ranch Pork Rind Puffs I made recently, and suddenly it hit me to try the same basic approach on Fritos chips. And thus cheddar ranch Fritos were created!

CheddarRanchFritosAnita said that these chips (and the Southwestern Ranch dip i served with them) were some of the best things I’ve made. Like I said, the chips are mighty addicting. You’ve been warned! They have the perfect mix of cheddar and Ranch with that great corn crunch and flavor.

Oh, and if you’d rather make these with Fritos Scoops, you’ll definitely want to increase the amount of seasoning.

Also check out my grilled stuffed Fritos. Fritos are awesome!

Cheddar Ranch Fritos

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Life's A Tomato

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine seasonings in a small bowl.
  • Place chips into a large plastic bowl. Spray lightly with oil, gently stirring to get good coverage.
  • While stirring the chips, slowly pour in the seasoning mix.
  • Spread chip mixture out evenly onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Let cool completely before serving

Bacon Biscuit Pull-Aparts

When I first saw these bacon biscuit pull-aparts on the Picky Palate, I thought, “These have to be illegal in most states. They look just too good.”. They have everything that is yummy in them: biscuits, cheese and bacon with warmed maple syrup on top. These biscuits are perfect for breakfast, or as a side for dinner.Bacon Biscuit Pull-Aparts

The result is soft, cheesy gooey yummyness. The bacon biscuit pull-aparts were just as good left over as they were the evening I made them.

I love making pull-apart breads. Try my pumpkin version. It’s perfect for fall. Actually, it’d be great for breakfast too!

Bacon Biscuit Pull-Aparts

Use a 8"-9" cast iron skillet for best results. You can use an 8" skillet too, but you'll have to use one less biscuit (trust me on this).
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon or 1/4th of a breakfast sausage roll
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • One tube biscuit dough
  • 6 thin slices fresh mozzarella
  • 1 cup Sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • Real maple syrup warmed (for serving)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cook bacon (or sausage) and let drain on a paper towel.
  • Brush butter around the inside of a 9" cast iron skillet.
  • Place biscuits in skillet. You'll want to pack them in much like dinner rolls.
  • Top with mozzarella, the bacon (or sausage) and cheddar.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve topped with warm maple syrup.

Homemade Cheezit Crackers

Oh wow these homemade Cheezit crackers were great! And what fun to make! This was the perfect project on a very cold winter’s day. What’s better than something that’s fun to make and has the added bonus of being fun to eat?

Homemade Cheezit CrackersThese homemade Cheezit crackers taste just like the ones you buy in the store. Next time, I’m going to add some Creole seasoning to give them some kick! Or, maybe I’ll make my Cheez-It-alianos!

You’ll want to use a pastry wheel when cutting the crackers. I picked one up for cheap off Amazon. It’s a fun little toy!

I also love making homemade gummy bearsJolly Rancher lollipops, and cheese straws!

Homemade Cheezit Crackers

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar shredded (I used Tillamook)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 stick butter softened and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons ice cold water

Instructions

  • Combine the cheeses, garlic powder, butter, and salt in a mixer using the dough paddle. The dough will be very crumbly.
  • Mix in the flour and slowly add in the water (make sure you use very cold water!) until the dough is the consistency of a pie dough.
  • Divide the dough into halves and form into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Place dough on parchment paper or silicon mat and roll out to a 1/8" thickness. Try to make the dough as square as possible. Using a pastry wheel, cut the dough into 1" squares. Poke a hole in the center of each square with a toothpick and transfer to un-greased baking sheets.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown. Remove to cooling racks and sprinkle with additional salt if desired.