Friday, 5 April 2013

Bacon, Tomato and Ranch Dip (or Potato Topper)

As mentioned in a previous post, last weekend we had our big Easter celebration.  The whole family was there - all 18 of us ready for some food and frivolity.  Being that it was a balmy +9C and sunny, we had all 10 grandchildren on my parents' front lawn playing before we had our roast beast.  Never ones to miss an opportunity, my sisters and I stupidly/naively decided to get all 10 kids together for some pics.  Capturing some familial memories for posterity. This would be a breeze, right? 


My sisters and I were totally insane and deluded!

We did manage to get a few shots off (and even accomplished a pyramid with all 10 kids) but if you EVER think that photographers have an easy job ... think again.  They must have the combined patience of a Ghandi and Mother Theresa.  I feared that my parents' neighbours thought we were a bunch of banshees as my sisters and I called instructions to the kids:

'Put your right arm over a bit, E. Your OTHER right arm.  No a little bit more.'
'B let your sister stand on your back.  I know her shoes hurt but it'll only be for a minute.'
'Em, put the plastic sword DOWN!' 
'Girls, do we really need your dolls in the picture??'
'D, can you please run and grab your brother, he's running away again.' 

You can picture it, no?  A quiet time capturing cherubs it was not.

Ok so, the photo shoot done and wine finally in the hands of my sisters and I, we had to get food on the table.  The one thing you have to know about my family is that individually the women can put out a mighty delicious spread on time at home.  Together?  We lose all semblance of time management and almost always end up eating later than expected.  With 10 kids, 4 dogs and 8 adults under foot -- who could possibly predict it, right?  Low blood sugar in our 10 spawn = ca-razy mood swings.

Since I knew that we'd ultimately be eating later than normal I had decided to make a dip to bring to keep our blood sugar levels on an even keel and keep us all jovial.

{NOTE: One of my sisters had a similar idea and brought her infamous cheese ball --- hopefully I'll either convince her to guest post here on the blog or get her to share it with me so I can share it with all y'all.  It is divine and didn't stand a chance with our bunch.  It was gone in literally 5 minutes.  Poor Brad didn't even get any.  Ya snooze ya lose, Mister.  With cheeseballs we're like hyenas on a lame gazelle, a piranha on pretty much anything.  Ya, we luuurve our appetizers!}

But I digress ....

Now that I had an idea of what I wanted to make I scoured my pantry and fridge and decided that I had an itch for something bacon-y.  Mmmm, bacon!  By throwing a little bit of this and a little bit of that I came up with this dip.

My, oh MY!!  Was this ever tasty!!  We ate about half of the dip before the bulk of us wandered off to other things so I quickly took the remaining dip and hid it in the fridge ... because I had an idea!  A delicious idea!! 

Along with the prime rib that was on the menu we also had a tonne of potatoes baking too.  What if {stay with me here} .... we put some of this dip ONTO the baked potatoes?!?!  It would be like a smothered baked tater with all the fixin's in one scoop!!  Oh happy day!!  This tater topping was stellar!!

So now we have two uses to gourge ourselves on the taste of Ranch, bacon and green onion!!  Win-win!

So if you have a big gathering and need to calm the wild beasts that dwell within you and yours give this dip a try.  It'll put a smile on your face ... which will hopefully get you through any photo opp with your family.

8oz cream cheese, softened
5 tsp dry Ranch dip powder (I used Club House's 'Ranch Style Salads'n Dips)
1 cup sour cream (I used 14% fat)
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated finely
1/3 cup real bacon bits (I used Walmart's 'Great Value' brand)
2 green onions, chopped
1 Roma tomato - seeded and diced

Garnish (optional) -- extra bacon bits, tomato, grated Cheddar and green onion

Mix all dip ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to allow the flavours to blend.

Serve with crackers, nacho chips or with baby carrots, celery sticks and cucumber slices

NOTE: This dip makes an excellent baked potato topper.  Outstanding!!

Source: The Baking Bookworm

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