Blackberry Mountain
Well my birthday is coming up so I will be going out to eat with friends and family to celebrate BUT sometimes it's nice to stay home and save a little money.  One of our favorite restaurants is Outback Steakhouse and that is not a cheap option so I have tried a few menu items at home.  My favorite is Alice Springs Chicken and it is a recipe that is fairly easy to duplicate...enjoy and spend your saved money on a bottle of wine or a pack of beer to share with friends!

chicken breasts
seasoning of your choice (Outback using honey mustard, I use herbs and garlic)
cheese of your choice (I use cheddar)
mushrooms (lots)
bacon (2 or 3 pieces per chicken piece)

Prepare your bacon in a cast iron pan (or your choice of pan) and put it to the side.  Do not overcook because you will cook again.

Cook chicken in bacon grease with seasonings until done all the way through.

Lay chicken on an oven safe pan and heat oven to 400 so that cheeses will melt. 

Layer chicken, mushrooms, bacon and cheese for each piece.  Put in oven until the cheese melts to your liking.  ENJOY!

Spinach Artichoke Dip has become a favorite of mine and we often travel to Applebee's for this tasty dish.  While experimenting this weekend I wanted to try something new and decided to look for this recipe.  It just so happened the the very magazine I was reading, Mary Jane's Farm, had a recipe in the back.  This recipe is mostly like the one in the magazine but I added more cream cheese.  I honestly didn't measure any of it...I just decided how much I wanted of each item.  We ate it cold on crackers and that was mouth watering.  Then we ate it spread on pizza crust, melted with mozzarella cheese on top...also delicious!

1 block of cream cheese
3 or 4 cups of spinach
1 clove of garlic- chopped fine
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 can/jar of artichoke hearts (non-marinated)

Mix all of the above ingredients.  You can serve cool or you can warm in the oven or microwave with cheese on top.  Enjoy!