Tag Archives: cheese

Sweet & Cheesy Bacon Tots

Today is International Bacon Day!

Or at least, one of them, anyway.

To celebrate both bacon day & the start of college football this weekend, I’m making these delicious sweet & cheesy bacon tots.


I first made these for New Year’s Eve last year & they were such a hit!

Just a little prep & 25 minutes later you’ll be in sweet, crunchy heaven! There’s just something about the combination of brown sugar & bacon that’s hard not to love. Then this recipe adds 2 of my other favorite things – cheese & potatoes.




I better not make these until our friends come over, otherwise there will be none left for them!

Sweet & Cheesy Bacon Tots

Adapted from Damn Delicious 
  • 2 cups frozen tater tots, room temperature
  • 1 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch squares
  • 4 slices bacon, cut in 4
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside.
  2. Lay one tater tot on its side & top with a cheese square. Wrap in a piece of bacon.Repeat with all tater tots. Roll each tater tot in the brown sugar, pressing to coat.
  3. Place tater tots seam side down onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle more brown sugar if necessary. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Want more bacon-containing recipes to celebrate today?

Bacon Waffle Sandwich

Shrimp & Cheese Grits with Bacon

Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Prosciutto Ricotta Pizza

Last week I shared a delicious whole wheat pizza crust recipe. Now I’m finally getting around to sharing what I put on it!



My husband & I first had this delicious combination in Italy. You have not had ricotta cheese until you’ve had it fresh in Italy. It’s been 2 years and I still think about it. Ever since, this has become our favorite pizza combo. Naturally, it was our first choice of toppings for my first homemade pizza crust.

It’s nothing too complicated. You start with the standard pizza sauce & shredded mozzarella & then add prosciutto slices & spoonfuls of ricotta. To make it even more delicious I added black pepper, oregano, and crushed garlic. Pro tip: you don’t have to peel garlic if you’re going to use a garlic press!


I don’t have a pizza stone, so I just baked it on an old cookie sheet in the oven at 500 degrees (that’s as hot as my oven gets) for 12-15 minutes.


I didn’t try this, but for a crispier bake it for less time on the cookie sheet & then put it directly on the rack for the last few minutes.


I will definitely try that tip next time.


Now we don’t have to go out to a fancy Italian place to get this awesome pizza!

Prosciutto Ricotta Pizza


  • pizza dough, rolled out
  • olive oil
  • pizza sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • prosciutto slices
  • ricotta cheese
  • crushed garlic
  • black pepper
  • oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Brush the edge of the pizza crust with olive oil
  2. Spread pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese on the crust. Place pieces of prosciutto spoonfuls of ricotta cheese all over the pizza.Sprinkle crushed garlic, black pepper, and oregano all over.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes using cookie sheet or pizza stone.
  4. Cut, serve & enjoy!

Busy Nights & Shepherd’s Pie

Life is busy. Like, really busy. Time is flying by.

One of the reasons that time seems even more fleeting for me lately is the fact that I don’t like to consider my job as part of my life. When you factor everything in, I am away from home because of work for 50+ hours a week. What do I mean, then? Well, those 50+ hours a week are so that I can have a paycheck to provide for ‘my life’. I don’t love what I do. It’s not totally my job’s fault, though. I realized in college that I am never going to be a career oriented person.

I am a family oriented person. I am a people oriented person. I love being close to my family. I love seeing my friends often. I love being around babies & kids. I love hosting dinners & parties & making food for people. I love going to church & being involved in several different ministries.

Not everyone enjoys all those things. Some people are more introverted & require plenty of chill time to recharge. Some people are extroverted, but not too fond of hosting or cooking. Or, they aren’t fond of children. Some people don’t get along with their families as well as I do. Some people haven’t found a church they call home, or choose not to go to church at all.

Some people love their jobs/careers & get their blood pumping by working really hard to achieve success in their field. I cannot relate. Don’t get me wrong, I am a hard worker. It’s just not something I love.

If I’m being really honest, of course work is a part of my life. I would just rather be doing other things. I know that even people who love their jobs feel like this at times, I just find myself counting the minutes more than most. I look forward to one day being a stay at home mom. That job will be a lot harder than the one I am doing now, but I think it will be a lot more fulfilling to my personality. I’m several years away from that, so for now I suppose I will keep showing up to work Monday-Friday.

Because work takes up so much of my time, I cherish the nights I get to host a meal & hang out with people during the week. Life (including work) gets really busy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t carve out some time for people. The weekend is too short to do everything I want to do & see everyone I want to see.

To feed extra people, I’ve started stocking up on quick/easy ingredients. For example, when pork roast is on sale, I’ll buy one & freeze it until the day my husband & I can share with someone else. I buy meat on BOGO & just freeze them until we use them. I also try to buy certain things in bulk. Ground beef is one of those things.

Y’all might already know that my husband & I are totally beef people. I bought a 2lb pack of ground beef a few weeks ago & just split it to several smaller portions in Tupperware before freezing. So far we’ve made burgers & taco salad with it. Last night, it was shepherd’s pie.

Shepherd’s pie always has plenty of servings, depending on how much you make. Sometimes I make it just for me & hubby; we take the left overs as lunch the next day. This is a recipe that I almost always have ingredients for. It’s perfect for busy nights. There are some recipes that call for lots of prep & fresh ingredients – this is not one of them.

Box mash potatoes + canned (or frozen) veggies = quick & easy dinner. Throw in some ground beef & some cheese & you’re all set.

This one-dish meal is perfect for busy nights, which occur more often than not. It makes weeknight activities all the easier. My brother & my niece came over just in time for dinner. It was great seeing them!

Gotta run – busy, busy! I leave you with this photo collage. I was going to include the recipe, but I realized that I kind of just wing it every time I make this. Don’t get too hung up on recipes. Put whatever kind of corn (I used southwest style) & whatever other veggies (I used canned peas & carrots) you’d like! Season the beef whatever way you want; I always use Worcestershire sauce. Get mashed potatoes whatever way you can – homemade, store bought, instant, leftover, etc! Throw some cheese on top (I used cheddar, but you catch my drift) & broil it until it looks good to you.

Life is too short to get hung up on weeknight dinners. 🙂

Shepherd's Pie - Mrs. Dessert Monster

In The New House Designs

Shrimp & Cheese Grits (with bacon!)

My mother in law recently helped us out big time by grouting the floors in our new house. Method of payment requested: shrimp & grits. I had no problem with this!

It all started during our honeymoon in New Orleans. I had shrimp & grits at least 2 out of the 4 days we were there. The best one was at the Palace Café. They make it with goat cheese! My shrimp & grits doesn’t even compare to theirs.

The first time I ever made shrimp & grits was when my husband & I had our families over to watch our wedding video. We were still thinking about our honeymoon & had a little NOLA inspired gathering. That recipe was a little fattier fancier than this one. It had heavy cream & a ton of butter. Come to think of it, this recipe is just as fatty fancy. It calls for bacon fat & cheddar cheese!

I adapted this recipe from one I saw online, & have made it a few times now. My mother in law loved it!

Shrimp is becoming a staple in our freezer; & grits a staple in our pantry.

Shrimp & Cheese Grits with Bacon - Mrs. Dessert Monster

You gotta love a recipe whose first step is ‘make bacon.’

While my husband was making the bacon, I sprinkled some salt & pepper over the raw shrimp & dredged them in flour. I also minced up some garlic. Then I started making the cheese grits. It’s essentially the recipe from the Quaker Oats Quick Grits package, minus garlic powder & paprika since the shrimp has a lot of garlic & flavor already.

Once hubby was done with the bacon, I threw the garlic into the pan with the bacon drippings (I poured a little out until I had about 2 tbsp. left). This alone made the whole house smell amazing.

After a few minutes, I added the shrimp into the garlic pan.

Shrimp & Cheese Grits with Bacon - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Once the shrimp was cooked, I added lime juice, hot sauce, & water.

Shrimp & Cheese Grits with Bacon - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I made sure to stir it up good so all the bacon goodness left at the bottom of the pan was incorporated. I cooked it for just a few more minutes to let the liquid reduce a bit. Then, once the cheese grits are done the only thing left is to crumble the bacon & plate. I used a slotted spoon to scoop up the shrimp without too much of the liquid. You can drizzle as much or as little as you like on the grits!

Shrimp & Cheese Grits with Bacon - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This is so good, y’all. It’s becoming one of my signature recipes.

Shrimp & Cheese Grits with Bacon

Serves 4


  • 1 lb raw shrimp
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-6 slices of bacon
  • salt & pepper
  • flour
  • 1 cup water
  • hot sauce to taste
  • Juice from 1 lime
  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet, reserving 2 tbsp drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
  2. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour.
  3. Sauté garlic in bacon drippings for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp & sauté until they are cooked throughout.
  5. Add water, lime juice, & hot sauce, & cook for 2-3 minutes until liquid reduces a little, stirring to loosen bacon bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Spoon shrimp & liquid over cheese grits; sprinkle with crumbled bacon.


  • 1 cup quick grits
  • 6-8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 4.5 cups water
  1. Boil water.
  2. Stir in grits slowly.
  3. Cover & reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Cook 12-14 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add cheese. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted.