Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Bread

This Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull bread is not only delicious, it’s easy to make & highly addictive. Give it a try at your next gathering. I guarantee everyone will love it!


 Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull bread





Ingredients :


1 unsliced loaf of  sourdough bread (round is preferable)
8-12 oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
3 oz, bag Oscar Mayer Real Bacon bits
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp Ranch dressing mix




To Make:


Using a sharp bread knife cut the bread going both directions. Do not cut through the bottom crust. Place slices of cheese in between cuts. Sprinkle bacon bits on bread, making sure to get in between cuts.


Mix together butter and Ranch dressing mix. Pour over bread. Wrap in foil the entire loaf in foil and place on a baking sheet.


Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.



That’s it!   Enjoy!

Easter (Challah) Bread

This wonderful Easter Bread recipe  includes all the ingredients for a rich, special-occasion treat.  With an abundance of dried fruit, nuts, citrus zest, warm spices, eggs, and butter, it’s a beautiful addition to any Easter table …..


easter challah bread




Makes 2 loaves





For the sponge:

1 cup milk, room temperature

1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

1 cup all-purpose flour



For the Dough:

1/4 cup currants

3/4 cup golden raisins

1 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

1/4 cup diced dried apricots or dried mango

1 tablespoon rum

2 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks

12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted, at room temperature

1 tablespoon almond extract

4 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons anise seeds

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

3/4 cup slivered almonds

1 tablespoon milk

Sugar or pearl sugar for topping, optional




To Make:


Add 1 cup milk in a medium bowl, add yeast and let dissolve.  Whisk in 1 cup all-purpose flour.  Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place until doubled in size and very frothy, about 30 minutes. 

Place currants, raisins, cherries, and apricots in a small bowl and cover with hot water.  Leave 10 minutes, then drain.  Return to the bowl and stir in the rum.  Beat 2 eggs and 2 of the yolks.  Add the beaten eggs, melted butter and almond extract to the sponge and stir together.  Stir in the dried fruit (with the rum). 

In a large bowl mix together 4 cups  all-purpose flour, salt, anise seeds, cardamom, orange zest, lemons zest, and almonds.  Pour the sponge mixture over the flour mixture and combine, stirring with a spoon or your hands until it forms a shaggy, slightly sticky mass.  Dust lightly with flour and turn the dough out onto a clean work surface.  Knead for a few minutes until smooth, dusting with a minimal amount of flour if necessary, to make a soft dough.  (If desired, the dough may be refrigerated overnight in a large zippered storage bag.  Bring to room temperature and proceed with the recipe).

Put the dough in a large, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour (or up to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).  Punch down the dough and knead lightly.  Divide the dough in half with a knife or bench cutter and form two loaves; they can be round, braided, or free form.  Place side by side on a large parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a 4-inch space between them (or use 2 smaller baking sheets).  Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, place a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat the oven to 350F.  Make the egg wash by blending together the remaining egg yolk with the 1 tablespoon milk.  Uncover the loaves and brush generously with egg wash.  Sprinkle each loaf with 2 tablespoons sugar (or 1 tablespoon pearl sugar) if desired.  Bake on the middle rack for about 45 minutes or until loaves are a dark, glossy brown.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Meridian Cafe’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese

Happy National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day!

At the Meridian Café in Philadelphia, this  delicious multi-cheese sandwich is served on hearty loaf bread. The crispy bacon is cider-cured, but applewood-smoked is an easier-to-find substitute.



 meridian cafe grilled chees sandwich recipe







8 slices hearty loaf bread

12 slices cider-cured (or applewood-smoked) bacon

½ pound sharp white cheddar cheese

½ pound provolone

½ pound Emmenthaler Swiss cheese

1 avocado, sliced

3 Roma tomatoes, sliced




T0 Make:


Butter one side of each slice of bread, and turn half the slices butter-side-down on a work surface. Fry the bacon slices until crisp to your liking; drain.

Slice the three cheeses and divide between the four slices that are butter-side-down. Top cheese with sliced avocado, tomatoes and 3 slices of bacon. Lightly salt the tomatoes, if you wish. Top with bread slice, butter side up.

Heat a frying pan or griddle. Add the sandwiches, in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, and cook over medium heat until the bread is toasted on the bottom. Carefully turn over, cover (to help melt the cheeses) and cook until other side is toasted, 5 minutes or so. Serve with tomato soup.

Makes 4 sandwiches


Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Even though spring is doing it’s best to break through, New England is still a little chilly…  enough to still look forward to snuggling up inside with a warm cup of this super thick and creamy Chicken Gnocchi soup …





Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6




Ingredients :


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 cup chopped carrots

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups skim milk

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

16 ounce package uncooked gnocchi

12 oz. diced cooked chicken breast

2 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste




To Make:


Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and the carrot crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and garlic and cook another minute, until fragrant.


Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minute. Slowly stir in the milk, chicken broth, and half and half. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes.


Reduce heat to medium-low Stir in the gnocchi and simmer over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup should thicken up quite a bit while the gnocchi is cooking. Stir in the chicken and spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.


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