Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

In Idaho right now the temperature is close to reaching 100 degrees. I know when it starts getting that hot I want something cool, tasty, quick to make and has bacon. This bacon ranch pasta salad is so good that you will absolutely come back for seconds. I mean it has bacon right?

This pasta salad is so flavorful using Life44 ranch seasoning. I am so happy that we have a dry ranch seasoning where I can actually pronounce all the ingredients. Add some bacon, cheese, olives, peas, mayo (Dukes is my favorite), and pasta and you have a great side dish or even main dish.

Use this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad with a tasty cheeseburger, a grilled chicken breast or a perfectly medium rare rib eye. The choice is yours and you really can’t go wrong with any choice. I hope you enjoy this recipe and please make sure you let us know how it turns out. Send me your feedback.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Bacon, Pasta Salad, Ranch
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 16 oz box of medium shell pasta (or your choice) cooked per package directions
  • 16 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices cooked bacon diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Life 44 Ranch Seasoning or another ranch seasoning of your choice
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1 can 2.25 oz sliced black olives
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine the ranch seasoning with the mayo.

  2. Add the cooked pasta to the ranch mayo and fold.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients and combine

  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving

The pasta may absorb some of the ranch mayo (it will) so you may want to add a little more mayo to make it a bit creamier and that is it. It is so simple to make this side dish for those hot summer days.

Thanks for stopping by Life 44.

Click Here to check out all of our other seasonings.

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Za’atar Margherita Flatbread

Za’atar is a Mediterranean spice mixture typically of dried herbs, sumac, sesame seeds and salt. It is great with pita bread and olive oil, meats and especially on vegetables.

This time I wanted to try the Za’atar on a Margherita Flatbread and see how it turned out. How did it turn out you ask? Well after giving the wife and the three teenagers their portions before I could even plate myself a slice they all wanted more. I split my slice for them and went to work on making more. It really was that tasty.

This recipe will go into detail about how to make your very own Za’atar Margherita flatbread, except for one thing. How to make your own Za’atar. I sell my version at a local farmer’s market and online so I don’t want to give away my secrets. You can buy Life 44’s version of Za’atar here, or you can but some at a local speciality market. But I would really like for you to buy ours…LOL. Anyways, let’s get to the recipe.

Za'atar

Za’atar Margherita Flatbread

Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 packet active dry yeast 2 1/4 tsp
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup warm water around 110°
  • 1 tbsp olive oil more will be needed for brushing the flatbread
  • 18 slices tomato
  • 18 slices mozzarella
  • 1 bunch basil chiffonade
  • 1 tbsp Za'atar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced

Instructions

Flatbread

  1. Add yeast, flour, sugar and salt and mix

  2. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 cup of water. Stir to mix. You made need to add more water until the dough forms

  3. Add flour to your surface and knead for about two minutes

  4. Add oil or vegetable spray to a bowl and place dough in bowl. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for one hour.

  5. After an hour cut dough into 6 pieces, cover and allow to rest for a few minutes.

  6. Heat a skillet to medium heat and once heated add olive oil

  7. Flour your surface and roll each piece into a circle or close to a circle until it is about 1/8 inch thick. I mean my circles look more like blobs but that's fine.

  8. Cook each piece of flatbread for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.

  9. Preheat oven to 350°

  10. Brush a little olive oil and then sprinkle some minced garlic and Za'atar on all 6 pieces of flatbread

  11. Add three pieces of mozzarella and place a sliced tomato on top of the cheese for all 6 pieces.

  12. Place flatbread into oven for about 10-12 minutes or until cheese has started to melt

  13. Garnish with basil and try to enjoy a slice before everyone else gets one

This really doesn’t take a lot of time. The most time spent will be enjoying some wine while waiting for the dough to rise. Let us know how yours turned out! Thanks for stopping by Life44.

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Cherry Cobbler

There is nothing better in the world than a campfire, fresh cherries, a dutch oven and your kids enjoying the outdoors. As I have grown older I have learned to really appreciate the moments camping with my family because I know they will become less frequent as they get older. I cherish what moments I have left with them because as they begin adulthood I will see less and less of them. Unless I start using Snapchat, then I can look at them all the damn time. Geez, don’t they have anything else to do?

Dutch Oven Cherry Cobbler is our family’s second favorite camping dessert… right behind s’mores. S’mores are hard to top. For this recipe (and I have a hard time calling this a recipe because it is so easy) I am not going to be doing the cobbler over coals but at home in the oven. I mean we all can’t always just pack up and head to the mountains every week… or could we?

The hardest part with this cherry cobbler is pitting the cherries because I know nobody would buy the canned cherry filling. Right? I mean fresh cherries are so amazing. To help speed up the pitting (because I couldn’t find those teens) I used this cherry pitter and it saved me so much time. I highly recommend it for those who cannot find the teens.

This recipe requires just a handful of ingredients because when camping space can be limited. You just need cherries, yellow cake mix, brown sugar, butter and Sprite. It’s simple quick and easy. I hope you enjoy this simple easy camping dessert.

Cherry Cobbler

Baked Cherry Cobbler

Course Dessert
Keyword Cherry, Cherry Cobbler, Cobbler, Desserts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Rainer Cherries pitted
  • 1 box Yellow Cake mix
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 12 oz Sprite
  • Butter to grease your baking dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  2. Grease a 8×8 baking dish and place cherries in dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the cherries. Sprinkle entire box of yellow cake mix across the top of cherries and brown sugar. Add the Sprite around the baking dish and do not, do not stir. Just leave it alone.

  3. Bake for 40 minutes.

It really is that simple. I love making easy recipes and taking them outdoors. If you are using a dutch oven and cooking this in the great wide open where cell phones don’t work keep the recipe the same, almost. Place about 8 ashed briquettes under your dutch oven spread out. Then spread evenly over the top another 10-12 and let it go. Start looking around the 15 minute mark and just keep an eye on it adjusting the briquettes as needed. It really is that simple.

Thanks for stopping by Life44.

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Balsamic Mushroom Risotto

The Nampa Framers’ Market opened up last week and I just knew we had to go and see what delights these incredible Idaho farmers had for us. I just love going to the local farmers’ market and becoming inspired and this week was no different.

While walking through the market I came across some of the most beautiful mushrooms I have ever seen in my life thanks to Groves Country Mushroom Farm. These things were unbelievable so I knew I had to get them and then I’ll figure out what to do with them. I will say it did not take long to come up with an idea. I haven’t made risotto in a long time for some reason or another and I though what a better way to showcase the incredible taste of these mushrooms.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy but this meatless dish not only filled me up but also satisfied that burning desire for meat. It was incredible and I think it is one of my top three recipes I have ever developed. Just a quick note, don’t be discouraged with the length of time it takes to make this dish. It is well worth the effort.

Balsamic Mushroom Risotto

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy but this meatless dish not only filled me up but also satisfied that burning desire for meat.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Mushroom, Risotto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 16 oz assorted mushrooms roughly chopped and a few set to the side for garnish
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • parsley chopped and used for garnish
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Add 1 tablesppon of butter and olive oil to a pan heated over medium high heat. Once butter is melted add the diced onion and saute for 4 minutes.

  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, garlic and thyme and cook for about 1 minute.

  3. Add the rice and cook for 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and white wine and scrape the bottom of the pans to get all those great little bits of flavor.

  4. Add the broth slowley (about 1/2 a cup at a time) and stir until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Then continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time until the the risotto still has a little bit of firmness and is creamy and thick.

  5. Add the cheese and stir to combine.

  6. Garnish with parsley and a few of the mushrooms you put aside.

Risotto Pan and Spatula

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Thanks for stopping by Life 44 and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as the CEO and I did. Let us know how yours turned out!

Life44 – Live, laugh, love & learn.

Frank-n-Slides Jalapeño Margarita

I recently had the opportunity to compete on a food truck competition show. No, I cannot say what show but if you put two and two together and come up with five you will know what show I am referring to. The biggest point is that I left home for over a month and was unable to post, test or taste new recipes for my readers. So the moment I arrived home guess what I did? I made a drink because after a month of filming and cooking daily I really needed one.

Living in Idaho for the last 15 years has really brought to me an influx of tastes, flavors and recipes that I didn’t really get to taste prior to living in Idaho. Mexican cuisine is supreme around Idaho and you are not going to get any complaints from me. So, I wanted to combine those tastes and flavors into a drink. I love heat. I mean I really love heat… not the heat that is just there to be heat but the heat that compliments the food you are serving.

This drink is the Frank-n-Slides margarita because after being on a food truck for over a month filming and filming and then filming I really needed a drink or four. This drink is the refreshing adult beverage you need after a hard day of cooking. To top it off, you have to try our Habanero Mango Rub on the rim. That added spice makes it amazing!

Frank-n-Slides Jalapeño Margarita

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword Drinks, Margarita

Ingredients

Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño cut in half and seeds removed

Margarita

  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup tequila

Instructions

Simple syrup

  1. Add sugar and water and bring to a boil. Once sugar has dissolved remove from heat and seep jalapeño and cilantro for 10 minutes.

Putting the Frank-n-Slides Margarita Together

  1. Add 1/4 cup simple syrup to 1/4 cup of tequila. Shake and mix.

Shepherd’s Pie

Today I stopped by my local grocery store to pick up dishwasher soap. As I was walking by the meat area I noticed some ground lamb which was on sale and then my bald head got to thinking.  Did I leave the Jeep running? After 30 seconds in a dull haze, I realized that I have never ever made true shepherd’s pie using ground lamb. So as the late great Larry the Cable Guy once said “Get r done”.

Shepherd’s Pie

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Comfort Food, Groud Lamb, Ground Beef, Shepherds Pie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Author Craig Smith

Ingredients

  • 4 Medium Potatoes Peeled & Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Onion Diced
  • 3 Carrots Peeled & Diced
  • 3 Button Mushrooms Chopped
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Ground Lamb Or Ground Beef
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine
  • 4 Dashes Tabasco
  • 1/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 tbs Butter
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Cup Sharp Cheddar

Instructions

Mashed Potatoes

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil, add potatoes, cook until fork tender. Drain potatoes. Whip or Mash together with butter, cream, salt & pepper.

Lamb/Vegetable Mixture

  1. Heat 1 tbs of olive oil. Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add ground lamb, garlic, and carrots. Sauté an additional 5-7 minutes. Add mushrooms, peas, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Continue cooking until lamb is thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat. It all comes together.

Combine and Bake

  1. You can either use individual ramekin dishes, a pie pan, or a casserole dish. Layer the dish with the lamb/vegetable mixture on the bottom, mashed potatoes next, and top with your choice of shredded cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 350. After 15 minutes set to broil until cheese is toasted.

As always, the point of this blog is…be you. I love sneaking vegetables into everything I cook…hence add the mushrooms sooner than I normally would. But Landon still asked about them. I lied and said they were onions.

Lamb has nowhere the fat as ground beef so if you have to add some beef broth and corn starch, go for it. Thanks for stopping by Life44 and let me know how your Shepherd’s Pie turns out.

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4 Delicious Instant Pot Deviled Egg Recipes

Easter will soon be upon us and we all will be left with what to do with 100 colored hard boiled eggs. Yes, you can make egg sandwiches or throw them at your teenagers but how about another idea? Deviled eggs done four different ways. Why four ways you ask? Well, because I didn’t have enough eggs to do them five or six different ways.

I really love using an Instant Pot for something like hard boiling eggs. It really does take the guess work and timing of making the perfect hard boiled eggs and that leaves you with time to come up with unique ways to devil them.

The four ways I choose to make my deviled eggs was a classic version, avocado deviled eggs, Sriracha deviled eggs and jalapeño bacon deviled eggs. If you cannot tell I really like my heat.

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Eggs, Instant Pot, Keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 6-12 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Water

Instructions

  1. Add water to the Instant Pot and place the metal trivet inside. 

  2. Place the eggs on top of the trivet and seal the Instant Pot. 

  3. Press the manual button and set the timer for 5 minutes. Wait for the cooking process to finish and then wait another 5 minutes. After the five minutes are up vent the Instant Pot and allow the steam to escape. Be carful during this and don’t stick your face over the valve. I learned that the hard way. 

  4. Remove the eggs from the Instant Potand place in an ice water bath for five minutes.

Well now that we have hard boiled our eggs lets get to making them even better.

Bacon Jalapeño Deviled Eggs

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Classic Deviled Eggs

Please feel free to play around with these recipes and let me know how you changed them and how they turned out. Thanks for stopping by Life44… live, laugh, love & learn.

Help support our site! As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Jalapeño Bacon Deviled Eggs

I really love using an instant pot for something like hard boiling eggs. It really does take the guess work and timing of making the perfect hard boiled eggs and that leaves you with time to come up with unique ways to devil them.

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Eggs, Instant Pot, Keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 6-12 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Water

Instructions

  1. Add water to the Instant Pot and place the metal trivet inside. 

  2. Place the eggs on top of the trivet and seal the Instant Pot. 

  3. Press the manual button and set the timer for 5 minutes. Wait for the cooking process to finish and then wait another 5 minutes. After the five minutes are up vent the Instant Pot and allow the steam to escape. Be carful during this and don’t stick your face over the valve. I learned that the hard way. 

  4. Remove the eggs from the Instant Potand place in an ice water bath for five minutes.

Jalapeño Bacon Deviled Eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Easter Side Dish, Instant Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs hard boiled
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 slices bacon cooked and crumbled half for mixture and half for garnish
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 jalapeno diced half for mixture and half for garnish

Instructions

  1. Sliced peeled hard boil egg and slice in half and remove the yolks. Place the yolks in a mixing bowl and mash.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients (other than ones listed as garnish) into the mashed yolks. Mix well.
  3. Place the mixture into a Ziplock back and cut the corner of a the bag with scissors. Pipe the mixture into the egg yolks.
  4. Sprinkle the eggs with the garnish

Help support our site! As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

I really love using an instant pot for something like hard boiling eggs. It really does take the guess work and timing of making the perfect hard boiled eggs and that leaves you with time to come up with unique ways to devil them.

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Eggs, Instant Pot, Keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 6-12 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Water

Instructions

  1. Add water to the Instant Pot and place the metal trivet inside. 

  2. Place the eggs on top of the trivet and seal the Instant Pot. 

  3. Press the manual button and set the timer for 5 minutes. Wait for the cooking process to finish and then wait another 5 minutes. After the five minutes are up vent the Instant Pot and allow the steam to escape. Be carful during this and don’t stick your face over the valve. I learned that the hard way. 

  4. Remove the eggs from the Instant Potand place in an ice water bath for five minutes.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Instant Pot, Siriracha
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs hard boiled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1/8 tsp salt & pepper
  • chives for garnish

Instructions

  1. Sliced peeled hard boil egg and slice in half and remove the yolks. Place the yolks in a mixing bowl and mash.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients (other than ones listed as garnish) into the mashed yolks. Mix well.
  3. Place the mixture into a Ziplock back and cut the corner of a the bag with scissors. Pipe the mixture into the egg yolks.
  4. Sprinkle the eggs with the garnish

Help support our site! As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Classic Deviled Eggs

I really love using an instant pot for something like hard boiling eggs. It really does take the guess work and timing of making the perfect hard boiled eggs and that leaves you with time to come up with unique ways to devil them.

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Eggs, Instant Pot, Keto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 6-12 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Water

Instructions

  1. Add water to the Instant Pot and place the metal trivet inside. 

  2. Place the eggs on top of the trivet and seal the Instant Pot. 

  3. Press the manual button and set the timer for 5 minutes. Wait for the cooking process to finish and then wait another 5 minutes. After the five minutes are up vent the Instant Pot and allow the steam to escape. Be carful during this and don’t stick your face over the valve. I learned that the hard way. 

  4. Remove the eggs from the Instant Potand place in an ice water bath for five minutes.

Classic deviled eggs

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Deviled Eggs, Instant Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

Classic deviled eggs

  • 6 eggs hard boiled
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp salt & pepper
  • chives for garnish
  • smoked paprika for garnish

Instructions

  1. Sliced peeled hard boil egg and slice in half and remove the yolks. Place the yolks in a mixing bowl and mash.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients (other than ones listed as garnish) into the mashed yolks. Mix well.
  3. Place the mixture into a Ziplock back and cut the corner of a the bag with scissors. Pipe the mixture into the egg yolks.
  4. Sprinkle the eggs with the garnish

Help support our site! As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

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