Meat Lover’s Pizza Dip

So, I heard there’s a big football game coming up pretty soon. And y’all know me, any excuse to make & eat party food. This pizza dip would be great for a Super Bowl party (or any party), for after school snacking, or you can go crazy and eat it for dinner (which is exactly what my husband did one night recently.) It can be a low-carb alternative to traditional pizza, depending on what you eat it with.

Meat Lovers Pizza Dip

You can also add whatever pizza toppings you like. I made this a ‘Meat Lover’s’ version, full of (turkey) pepperoni, seasoned ground beef, and bacon. Sausage and Canadian Bacon would have been good too.

Meatza Pizza Dip

This is a cheesy, creamy dip, that is good with tortilla chips, corn chips, pita chips, toasted French bread, bread sticks, and the list goes on. I wasn’t a big fan of the pretzels used in the above pic however. They turned a little soft & I didn’t like the texture. Of course, the dip is also good eaten with a spoon!

Pizza Dip

Meat Lover's Pizza Dip

Meat Lover's Pizza Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • 1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce, (or homemade)
  • 1/4-1/2 pound lean ground beef, cooked & crumbled (I added oregano, garlic powder & onion flakes while cooking)
  • Pepperoni (desired amount; turkey pepperoni is less fat/grease); divided
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Bacon pieces (desired amount)
  • Chips/bread/etc for dipping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, oregano, and garlic salt in a medium sized bowl until blended.
  3. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into a 9 inch pie pan.
  4. Top cream cheese with pizza sauce.
  5. Sprinkle ground beef and a few pepperonis on top of sauce.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  7. Remove from oven and top with cheeses, additional pepperoni, and bacon pieces.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and pepperonis are beginning to crisp and brown.
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Recipe adapted from Belle of the Kitchen and my Pizza Casserole

As you can see, the amounts and ingredients are very versatile. Anything you like on pizza will probably work well in this dip. Feel free to add more or less meat, cheese, and spices.

Will you be watching the Super Bowl? Thought about what food you will be serving? That is the most important part, right?
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Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

If you want to make a good meal better, add cream cheese. It makes baked spaghetti creamy and fabulous, turns regular crock-pot beef into something my family will actually eat, and it transformed chicken enchiladas from something my kids wouldn’t touch into a meal they want on a regular basis. I think this would be the perfect meal for Cinco de Mayo! Followed by Margarita Cake for dessert:-)

Unfortunately, my pics are terrible. We have the worst artificial lighting in our house and it was one of those super gray, dreary days when I made these. But, y’all know I’m no fancy pants food blogger. Just keepin’ it real. Hey, at least I didn’t use paper plates.

It’s been pretty well established here how picky my kids are. None of the three will eat enchiladas because of the red sauce. When a friend mentioned she was making chicken enchiladas with a white sauce, I thought ‘hmmm…that just might work’. The girls love Alfredo sauce, so I thought they might give this a try. They also love the white cheese dip you can get a Mexican restaurants. Once they tried these, they loved it and requested I make it on a regular basis. Super picky Mr. Three had a tortilla filled with cheese only, but he liked the sauce too.

Oh yeah, and no “cream of” anything. Just good ol’ fattening ingredients like cream cheese, butter and flour tortillas. I used low-carb tortillas, making these pretty low carb overall, which is good for the diabetic hubby.

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

6-10 flour tortillas (depending on size you choose) I use low-carb
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (crock-pot is great for this)

1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese; divided (reduced fat is ok)

2 cups Mexican Blend or preferred cheese, shredded; divided
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chillies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together your chicken, 3 ounces of the cream cheese (my package was marked, but if yours is not, just a little less than half the brick is fine), and one cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. *I recommend going light on the salt because broth is full of sodium and you may have salt in the butter as well.
  • Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas and roll them up. Place seam side down in prepared baking dish.
  • In a sauce pan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook one minute while stirring. Whisk in broth until smooth, and heat until mixture is thick and bubbly.
  • Add remaining cream cheese and stir until melted.
  • Stir in green chilies. Remove from heat and pour over chicken enchiladas.
  • Top with remaining cheese and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbling around the sides. (If desired, place under broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese…I skipped this part as we were hungry!)
  • Let cool for a few minutes for sauce to thicken.
Recipe adapted from Recipes, Food and Cooking

The Ultimate Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I like carrot cake. That’s not a big deal except I didn’t know I liked carrot cake until I made this one. This carrot cake is amazing. I’m not usually one to toot my own horn, but…oh wait…yes I am. So never mind.

I made this one for my family’s get together last Easter because carrot cake is one of my dad’s favorites, and it is perfect for Easter. Because it has carrots in it. And rabbits like carrots. And the Easter bunny is a rabbit. That’s my logic and I’m sticking to it. Seriously, this cake is fluffy and moist and full of flavor, and can convert people who don’t think they like carrot cake to people who loooove carrot cake. True story.

The cream cheese frosting is the ‘icing on the cake’. Well, literally, it is the icing on the cake. Good to know where that expression comes from. Cream cheese makes everything better it seems. It’s simple and pairs perfect with the sweet flavors of carrots and pineapple and spices that you have going on in the cake. And for those of you who are thinking ‘ewww, who wants carrots in a cake’…(yes, I was once one of those) they are soft and sweet once baked in the cake. It’s not like chowing down on a salad.

Toasting the pecans is optional, but makes it extra delicious. (Of course, the nuts can be left out all together if needed. My son is allergic to nuts, but doesn’t eat anything but chocolate cake, so I knew he wouldn’t be touching this.) I think black walnuts would be a good option as well.

The Ultimate Carrot Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with a half tablespoon white vinegar, let sit for 5 mins)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans (optional) *toasted if desired
1 cup golden raisins (optional) *I used regular raisins because that’s what I had on hand

Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack in center of oven. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lightly coating with cooking spray and lining with parchment paper. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and pineapple together.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.
  • Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until blended together. 
  • Fold in carrots, pecans and raisins (if using) just until mixed in.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and bake approx 30-40 minutes or until done (can check doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean, it’s done)
  • Cool cakes in pan for 15 minutes then, turn onto baking rack to cool completely before frosting. (remove parchment paper) 
  • While cakes are cooling, prepare frosting by mixing cream cheese and butter together until creamy and smooth. Mix in vanilla, then confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting has the desired consistency. 
  • Once cake has cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting. Add pecans to the top and /or sides of cake for decoration if desired. Chill. (This will help the frosting firm up some.)

This recipe is a little more work than my normal recipes, but it’s worth it! Definitely worthy of the Easter table and I will probably be making it again this year. Easter is coming so fast that I am not prepared at all. The weather is not cooperating either, I need Spring temps and sunshine!

And if you are looking for a healthier snack after indulging in this cake and all the kids’ Easter candy, check out my review of these low-carb, low sugar protein bars!

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Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti Casserole

I am generally not a huge fan of baked spaghetti.  It seems like when I have made it in the past, it was always  kind of dry, or ‘paste-y’ if that makes since.  However, when I saw this Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti over at Plain Chicken, I thought I would give it a try.  I am so glad I did!  It was the best baked spaghetti I have ever had!  I was pleasantly surprised, and I will definitely be making this again.  I made just a few changes to the original recipe (in italics).

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti Casserole

12 oz spaghetti *I used Barilla Plus – a higher protein pasta w/a lower glycemic index
1 (28 ounce) jars prepared spaghetti sauce
1 lb lean ground beef *I omitted & added turkey pepperoni instead
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese *I used fat free
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated *I used a little extra 🙂

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

Cook spaghetti according to directions on packet.  Drain and place cooked spaghetti in bowl.  Add cream cheese, Italian Seasoning and minced garlic.  Stir until cream cheese is melted and the spaghetti is thoroughly coated. 

Add pepperoni to spaghetti sauce.

Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan.  Spread a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the dish.  Put spaghetti on top of sauce and top with remaining sauce.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Verdict? The end result is a warm, creamy, cheesy plate of yumminess!  

I’m linking up today with Simple Living and Eating, Just Us Four; Bacon Time with Hungry, Hungry, Hypo; Six Sisters’ Stuff, Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Simply Sweet Home, Rattlebridge Farm, Miss Information, Foodie Friends Friday, Close to Home, Mommy’s Sweet Confessions, Finding Joy in My Kitchen