The Best Cheese Ball

Whether forming this in a ball or a log, this mix is sure to please. It's definitely a crowd favorite here.

Ingredients ;

1 bar of cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheese
1 package dry onion soup mix
2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup finely chopped cashews (optional)

Directions ;
Mix cream cheese, sour cream and onion soup mix until blended. I use an electric hand mixer. Fold in the shredded cheese with a spatula. Shape it into either a ball or log and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate a couple hours, best if overnight. Unwrap log and roll in cashews, firmly press cashews into the ball/log to secure

Bella's Additions ;
Use leek dry soup mix for another variation
Use 1/2 the soup mix for a lighter taste
Breton and Vegetable Crackers are best.. but you can use anything.

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Spicy Chicken/Wings

This recipe can be used for wings, or 'boneless wings' (cut up chicken breast).. or really any small piece of chicken.

You're going to need a deep fryer, or a large sauce pan. (Make sure to have baking soda or a fire extinguisher near by, just in case!)

Ingredients ;

20-24 chicken wings ( or 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut in strips or chunks )
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Franks Buffalo, but it's you're choice!)

Directions ;

Mix together the dry ingredients incl. flour & spices, set aside
Whisk together milk & egg (seperate from the dry mix)
Dip each piece of chicken into the wet mix, then dry.. and repeat, so each piece is 'double dipped'
Refrigerate chicken for at least 20 minutes
Deep fry the chicken in batches, until the outisde is golden brown and juices run clear.. about 6 minutes per batch.

Mix together the hot sauce and butter, either melt the butter first or put the mix in the microwave for a couple seconds.

Once chicken is ready, place the chicken and hot sauce mix in a big bowl (or some kind of container you can shake! - make sure it's securely closed) and mix.

Bella's Additions ;
Serve with ranch dressing.
Make extra hot sauce mixture for the people who like it saucy, or who like to dip
If making the boneless strips/chunks.. serve over rice

*Do not save any left over mixture that came in contact with the raw chicken. Don't want you to be sick! :)

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Stuffed Tomato BLT

These things are so addictive, they'll be a hit at any party, or maybe you just want a batch for yourself.. I won't judge ;)

Ingredients ;
1 pound bacon , cooked & crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman's, it tastes better in the recipe)
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or dried)
24 cherry tomatoes

Here's where it starts getting tricky, but I promise it's worth it. We used the larger tomatoes (in between a cherry & a regular tomato) but it wasn't the same, although easier.

Directions ;

Cook & crumble bacon (I'll put up a post on how to make perfect bacon bits)
In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, bacon, green onions and parsley until well blended. Set aside.
Cu a small slide from the top of each tomato. You can use a melon baller or small (baby) spoon, scoop out the inside of each tomato and discard. Fill each tomato with the bacon mixture, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve chilled

Bella's Additions ;
Cut the bottom of the tomato slightly to make it flat, thus helping it stand up in an air tight container.
Add spices, celery salt, salt & pepper.

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The Secret To A Baked Potato

Baked Potato's are really hit and miss for some. A lot of people I find char them 'till they scrape off ash. Totally not appetizing. I learned a great way to maked baked potato's so they're perfect every time.

You'll need a couple regular potatoes, and a fork. Use your fork to take all your frustrations out on the potato, poking it over and over, about 5 times each side. When all potatoes are poked, put them on a microwave safe plate and pop them in the microwave. About 12 minutes for 4 regular sized potatoes, or until the fork can go in, and you're not struggling to take it out.

Once the potatoes are microwaved, you just need to put them on the BBQ, or in the oven !

Et voila, perfect Baked Potatoes, every time.

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Breakfast Sausage Casserole

I'm a stickler for easy, simple comfort food. Not to mention breakfast food !

I actually haven't gotten around to trying this, but maybe we can all try it together and give our reviews ! It sounds delicious, well.. you could put cheese and tater tots on anything and it'd be delicious.

Ingredients ;

1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage (If you can't find the ground meet, just buy a package of pork breakfast sausage and cut them into 1cm chunks.. make sure it's BREAKFAST sausage, it's leaner, and tastier)
2-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
4 eggs
2 pounds tater tots

Directions ;

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Cook sausage in a skillet until evenly brown, drain the fat. Spread evenly on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. You may spray bottom of dish with a cooking oil spray first (Pam) Spread cheese over sausage.

Put tater tots in the oven for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together eggs and milk. Pour over cheese. Top with semi-cooked tater tots. Bake for 35-45 minutes, and cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Bella's Additions ;
Add green onion, and other vegetables.
Use 'flavored' shredded cheese, like 'tex mex' with the spicier cheeses mixed.
Everything but the tater tots can be made the night before (tatertots will get soggy), so in the morning you just need to warm the tots, throw them in then put the whole thing in the oven.
Use 'egg creations' flavored eggs in the carton.

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Perfectly Crumbled Ground Beef

I hate making ground beef and ending up with giant chunks, and when you do get them broken down they're long and look like little worms. Just a bad sight. My Mom taught me a way to make ground beef that instantly breaks it up. I always thought it was silly and never did it, until those little beef-looking-worms started getting to me.

It's pathetically simple, too !

You have your ground beef in the skillet, right ? Put it in there. Turn your buner on, put hte skillet on it. Good? Now add 1/2 a cup of water. Just plain tap water. Cook your beef like this, and voila.. perfectly crumbled ground beef ! Just have to drain out the water when you're done, of course.

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Wendy's Chili

This, my friends is an authentic Wendy's recipe. Free to you, right here. Tastes EXACTLY like it, I should know, I used to order 4-ish chili's a week I was so addicted. I'm just trying to figure out the hot sauce, I heard different recipes but after trying them, none of them taste proper. So in the meantime, befriend the young lad at Wendy's and ask him for hot sauce for everything you order. Frosty? hot sauce please !

Ingredients ;

2 pounds lean ground beef
29 oz can tomato sauce
29 oz can kidney beans (with liquid)
1 cup diced onion (or 1 medium onion)
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced celery (1 stalk)
1 large can diced tomatos (with liquid)
2 teaspoons cumin powder
3 tablespoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt

If you're not into thick chili, you can add 1 cup of water. I don't usually, but I have a couple times.

Directions ;

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat ; drain fat

Crumble beef if you haven't done so while frying

Throw it all in a 12 quart crockpot on low/medium, stir and leave it 'till you're ready for some great chili. Atleast until it heats thoroughly.

Bella's Additions ;
Serve over rice for some 'mexican flare'.
Sir in a couple tablespoons of sour cream for a 'pink chili', it's also very creamy. I do this in my bowl with 1-3 teaspoons as some family members don't like 'pink chili'.
Add a teaspoon more of black pepper & cumin to make it extra spicy.
Put some on a hotdog for a chili dog. If you put water in the recipe you may have to put some in a strainer (or disposable coffee filter) to drain off the excess liquids.
Serve with buns & butter !

This recipe is great for freezing, and un-thaws perfectly in a pot over the stove or in the microwave.

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Welcome to Bella's Cooking. I'm Bella as you may have guessed, and I cook ! See how that works out ?

I'm a rookie in the kitchen, definitely not a Cat Cora or Bobby Flay by any means, but I sure can catch things on fire like them, I just wish my flames were more.. contained.

This blog is going to fallow my ups and downs with trying new recipes, sharing old ones and other kitchen related topics.

A little about me,

I'm Canadian, eh. I like comfort foods and simple things. I don't like when I can't pronounce my food, or have to go to a specialty store to find a 30$ herb. I can be a picky eater, but that's just me being scared of new things. This blog is going to be fun and spunky, not a 'here's a recipe, make it' type deal. I'll review what I think of the recipe and hope you will too in the comments.

If there's a recipe you'd like me to try & review, or if you have a recipe you'd like me to feature (will link to your blog / page if you have one) drop me an email at Canadianbella99@gmail.com

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