Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Post Brought to You By the Word "No!": Cheesy Bacon and Green Onion Bread

Cheesy Bacon and Green Onion Bread

I usually like to post a recipe no longer than every week.  I am running a couple of days late this week, but I really have a good excuse, and his name is Jack.  

I'm really doing my best not to get everyone mired down in sadness and grief, but to make a long story short, we recently lost our beloved little companion Scruffy.  He was a world class dog, and even though we knew he couldn't live forever, we weren't prepared for the impact that his passing would take on our family.  His absence has left a hole in our hearts big enough to drive a truck through.

Scruffy in happier times

Even though I swore over and over that once we lost Scruff, I was done.  NO MORE DOGS!  PERIOD!  I was going to make the best of a bad situation and enjoy the freedom of being able to come and go without concern for animal welfare.  No more vets, boarding fees, or rushing home to let the dog out.  

I thought I was committed to this, so I really don't understand what came over me.  I have to admit that I was the one that first started looking at shelter dogs online.  Why, I do not know, but I was like a moth to flame.  I couldn't stop myself, and we all know if you play with fire long enough you are going to get get burned.

It was last Saturday when I hit our local shelter's site and there he was.  That face, looking straight at me, begging me to come and see him.  Before I knew what hit me, we were at the shelter signing papers to take him home and I really, honestly don't know why. 

All the warning signs were there.  He's a terrier (that's reason enough to run right there), he completely ignored us during our visit, and he had been surrendered twice before (uh oh), but both Mr. H (who shares equally in this crazy decision) and I just couldn't leave him there.  We couldn't quit thinking about the fact that in his short 4 years, two families had given up on him.  The thought of a third family taking him and bringing him back just broke our hearts. Everyone and everything needs a forever home.

Jack breaking one of the house rules . . . again

On the plus side, this little guy fit some very important criteria.  He doesn't shed, he doesn't bark, he isn't too big to pick up and carry should he become ill (we recently found out how important this one is), he has a very gentle disposition, and the fact that he is just plain adorable made walking away impossible.

So, it has been six days since we brought home our new family member.  He is sweet, funny and energetic, and we love him.  It isn't all lollipops and rainbows by any means.  "No" and "no, no, no, no, no!" seem to be spoken frequently in our house these days.  He picked up some pretty bad habits in lock up and we are doing our best to correct them.  Besides a few little hiccups, we can't imagine why those other two families just didn't work out.  I guess whatever reason we are really lucky that they didn't because his journey brought him here to us.  He will never replace the awesome dog that we lost, but he is certainly making his own mark on our hearts . . .  and our carpeting.

Jack playing in the hose 

Between escorting him outside (he can't be left alone because he is a fence climber), hunting him down inside the house (to cut down on any unpleasant surprises) and just plain cuddling with him, I haven't gotten much of anything done.  The house is a wreck and everyone is hungry, except for Jack. 

Since I really need to show my humans some love, tonight's supper will be a simple salad and a hearty cheesy bread that revs up any dinner.  I thought I'd share it with you because not only is it pretty quick and easy, I also love taking it to parties or serving it as an appetizer with a handful of olives from the Whole Foods olive bar.  So if you need a little something to take to a 4th of July party, I've got you covered.

Cheesy Bacon and Green Onion Bread  

4 tablespoons butter, softened to the point it is almost melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
2 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 large green onions, finely sliced across
4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon (I used some precooked bacon which worked well)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 French style baguette, cut in half lengthwise

Stir butter and garlic together in a small bowl; set aside.

Place cheeses, bacon, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper and the butter and garlic mixture in a medium size bowl' stir until it is completely combined.

Spread half of the cheese mixture evenly on the cut side of each half of the baguette.

Place under a preheated oven broiler and cook until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes or so before cutting into desired piece sizes and serving.

Makes approximately 24 - 2" slices

*Make this recipe vegetarian by just omitting the bacon, but if you do that you might want to spice things up by adding some roasted, peeled and chopped fresh green chiles. 

Looking for a loving companion?  Before searching pet stores or breeders, consider visiting your local shelter or breed rescue societies.  Shelters are full of loving mutts (like our sweet Scruffy) and pure bred dogs (like our adorable Jack), and cats who desperately need a loving home.  Some shelters even have guinea pigs, rats, turtles and lizards for adoption too.  So, be sure to visit your shelter first.

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