Lunchbreak: The Cooking Mom makes ribs and fancy baked potatoes

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Amy Hanten

The Cooking Mom


1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 chopped scallions
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 envelope (1 ounce) Ranch Dip mix
3 to 4 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved or seeded, diced tomatoes,
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Pita, Bagel, or Potato Chips or crackers for dipping

Combine cream cheese, sour cream and Ranch Dip mix. Use a mixer to beat well. Spread onto a pretty plate or into a small casserole or glass pie dish. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Sprinkle with lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, scallions and bacon before serving. Serve with chips or crackers for dipping.

Ribs ‘n Beer

1 onion, sliced
2 racks baby back ribs
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
4 Tablespoons rib rub
BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Spread onion slices evenly on a rimmed baking sheet, and place ribs, bone side down, on top. Pour beer over ribs, sprinkle ribs with my Rib Rub. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake 3 hours or until tender. Fire up the grill. Grill ribs over medium heat 10 to 20 minutes or until slightly charred, basting the last few minutes with BBQ sauce.

Fancy Baked Potatoes

4 large baking potatoes
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1/4 cup real bacon bits (optional)
2 chopped scallions (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Scrub the potatoes. Make several slices in the potatoes but don’t cut all the way through, leaving slices attached at the bottom. Place potatoes in a foil lined pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Fan out the potato slices a bit with your hands. Drizzle butter over the potatoes and in between the slices. Sprinkle a little salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese over potatoes and in between the slices. Bake 40 to 55 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If you want to you can load them up with cheddar cheese, bacon and scallions and bake them for another 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. You can also wrap these potatoes in foil and grill them for 30 to 45 minutes or until they’re tender.

Smore’s Cupcakes

1 box (16.5 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
8 ounces mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 Hershey’s chocolate bars, broken into pieces
24 graham cracker pieces

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow crème
1 stick butter, softened
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in muffin cups. In a large bowl use a mixer to beat together first 4 ingredients for a couple minutes. In another bowl mix together 1 cup graham cracker crumbs and 1/3 cup melted butter. Sprinkle a little of the crumb mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Next, sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the crumbs. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin cup. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely before fro-ting with a knife or piping bag. Before serving sprinkle a few of the remaining graham cracker crumbs on top. Then, top each cupcake with a piece of graham cracker and piece of chocolate bar.

For the Frosting:
In large bowl, beat marshmallow creme, butter, vanilla and 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar on low speed until blended. Add more powdered sugar if needed for desired consistency.


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