Day 80: Whipped Feta Dip

Pheeeeewwwwww! What a day. Or week. Or possibly month. Fiscal year end is coming up, and I am sure I’m not the only one who’s had a crazy couple of weeks. Whenever work is crazy busy, it makes it super hard to think of doing anything for dinner other than wine takeout.Whipped Feta Dip | Diamonds & Bacon

Back in the day, I could always tell when my roommate was stressed at the office because she’d come home, kick off her heels, put crackers and cheese on a plate and call it a day. Okay, there was also wine involved, but you get the gist. There are just some nights where you don’t feel like cooking, or eating leftovers (yet again), or spending money on takeout; nothing wrong with that once in awhile.

Whip it real good!
Whip it real good!

This whipped feta dip is kinda perfect for that sort of after work situation. It takes 5 minutes, you can feel like you fixed yourself something delicious, and what could be better than some night cheese? Not much, just ask Liz Lemon.Whipped Feta Dip | Diamonds & Bacon

You could also definitely use it for breakfast on a bagel or toast, or in a wrap as a spread. Of course, this doesn’t make just a single serving and it would also be excellent for a get together. So invite over some friends, throw on some PJs, and have a night cheese party!Whipped Feta Dip | Diamonds & Bacon


Whipped Feta Dip
Servings: 8-10      Total Time: 5 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 oz plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 6 oz feta cheese
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil 

Directions: 

  1. Put cream cheese, feta cheese, and greek yogurt into the food processor with the mixing blade (you could also use a medium bowl and electric hand mixer)
  2. Zest lemon before juicing it, adding zest into the food processor, and add in all remaining ingredients except for the olive oil
  3. Pulse on low until all ingredients are combined
  4. Remove the smaller cover, continue to pulse and drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached – I used about 2 tsp
  5. Eat straight from the bowl with chips, or be slightly more civilized and serve in small ramekin with chips (my votes are for pita, bagel or triscuits)

Day 72: The BEST BBQ Mac & Cheese!

I don’t know about you, but after this past weekend I am so jacked up on America! First, we had the greatest holiday known to man (aka 4th of July), and it’s always fun to blow stuff up and drink outdoors in the name of Freedom. Then that was swiftly followed up by the USNWT’s ass-whooping win over Japan – USA! USA! USA!

So good it's glowing - hallelujah!
So good it’s glowing – hallelujah!

Okay, I’m done for now. But really, it was a wonderfully American weekend that was only made better by all the time I got to spend with my family and all the food I got to eat. We had a potluck at work before the long weekend, and there was soooooo much food. What did I make you ask? This absolutely perfect mac and cheese, of course!

BBQ Mac & Cheese | Diamonds & Bac    BBQ Mac & Cheese | Diamonds & Bacon

Seriously, this may be hands down the absolute best mac and cheese. Even better than Panera or Stouffer’s (no offense, you two). I have been dying to share this recipe because I adore it so much. It’s definitely a departure from my typical quick, easy, healthy(ish) meals, but I looooooooooooove it.

Try not to dive in and eat all of it at this point...
Try not to dive in and eat all of it at this point…

Plus, what could be more American the noodles smothered in cheese, covered in pulled pork, and smothered with even more cheese? I’m drooling just thinking about it.BBQ Mac & Cheese | Diamonds & Bacon


Best Ever BBQ Mac & Cheese
Adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Prep Time: 30 min     Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8-10 (but possibly only 1 if you’re like me)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb prepared pulled pork 
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet & Spicy
  • 1 pound of pasta – choice is yours, I typically use cavatappi/corkscrew 
  • 5 cups three cheese blend – choice is yours again, I used 1 small block New York Sharp White Cheddar, 1 small block Monterey Jack, and one large block of Extra Sharp Cheddar 
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. To prepare the pulled pork, if you don’t have any, it’s easiest to do in the crock pot. Use a 1 to 1-1/2 pound pork butt, rub it in about 4 tbsp of barbecue seasoning, and place in crock pot with  1/4 cup of water. Cook on low for 6 hours, shred, and set aside for later. Nothing too fancy – the sauce will flavor it well.
  2. Boil water large stock pot with a pinch of salt and throw in your pasta and cook it until it’s a dente. 
  3. While the pasta is cooking, shred your cheese. Preshredded cheese does not melt as well because of the preservatives in it that keep the shreds from sticking. 
  4. Drain pasta, put it back into the stock pan and add the heavy cream and cream cheese. Mix until cream cheese melts.
  5. Add the flour and Panko and stir to incorporate.
  6. Add 4 cups of the cheese and stir thoroughly until melted and texture is consistent.
  7. Add in salt, pepper, and ground mustard. I used about 1 tbsp of salt, 2 tbsp of pepper and 1 tbsp ground mustard. 
  8. Pour into a 9×13-inch glass pan that has been coated with oil or butter.
  9. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
  10. While baking heat the pulled pork up and add the BBQ sauce.
  11. Add the warm BBQ pulled pork to the top of the mac and cheese. Then sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top of the pork.
  12. Put back into oven for another 10 minutes.
  13. Enjoy, probably straight from the pan – careful not to burn your tongue!