This week's column is dedicated to Paula — a real champion.

Bacon Cheese Spread

1 package (12 ounces) bacon strips, chopped

1/2 cup chopped pecans

4 cups (1 pound) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups mayonnaise

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped sweet red pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Assorted crackers

Cook bacon until crisp. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the next 6 ingredients. Stir in bacon. Serve with crackers.

Banana Beignet Bites

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

oil for frying

In a small bowl, mix sugars and cinnamon until blended. In a large bowl, whisk the first 5 beignet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk egg, bananas, milk and 2 tablespoons oil until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. In electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375 degrees. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry about 45-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Roll the warm beignets in sugar mixture.

Pina Colada Biscuits

2-1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple tidbits, well drained

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In large bowl, whisk biscuit mix and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, whisk milk, egg and vanilla; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened. Stir in remaining ingredients. Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead gently 8-10 times. Pat or roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness; cut with a floured 2 1/2 in biscuit cutter. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Chocolate Peanut Treats

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs and butter. Stir in sugar and peanut butter. Press into a greased 8-inch square pan. In a microwave or double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer. Chill 30 minutes; cut into squares. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes longer. Store in the refrigerator.

Our thought for the week: "No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent," — Abraham Lincoln