Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Hungry Games (and Elvis Pie)

Superbowl is this weekend.  (Like you don't already know.)  I'm already planning my bacon appetizers to bring with me this weekend.  I'm thinking 2, possibly 3 different items. It will be something new.  It will be something different.  It will have Bacon!  (Sometimes I think that is why I get invited, cause they know I'll bring the bacon.  Smart!)

Did you know that they are predicting a Bacon and Velveeta Shortages for the Superbowl this year?  Well, if Jon Stewart reported it, it has to be a National concern!  Check out The Hungry Games.

This sounds gross.  I can ensure you that it is totally the opposite of gross.  It was gone quickly...

Elvis Pie (Peanut Butter Cream, Bananas and Bacon)

Peanut Butter Pastry Cream
3 T cornstarch
1 ½ cups milk
5 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter

In a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch; then stir them into the egg until smooth. When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing so that you do not cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don’ t curdle or scorch on the bottom. When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter until it is completely blended in. Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled before using.

Remaining Ingredients:
1/2 jar marshmallow fluff
6 slices bacon, cooked/chopped
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced thin
1 baked pie shell (or cookie/graham cracker crust)

To Assemble Your Pie:
Lay slices of peeled ripe banana across the bottom of the pie, sprinkle ½ of the bacon over the banana and cover with ½ of the peanut butter filling.  Repeat and top with fluff, remaining bacon and shaved chocolate before serving.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bacon Brunch and Tactical Bacon (Crescent Bacon-Cheese Tartlets & Bacon Hash Brown Casserole)

I found this online, while searching for what else... Bacon.  I'm not sure what appeals to me about it.  I mean, bacon in a can doesn't really do it for me.  But I do like that it's handy, portable, and perfect for the Zombie Apocalypse.  Check out this add for Tactical Bacon.

Whether you like football or not, it's a great reason to eat Bacon.  Playoffs are no exception.  While the true Bacon Football day is the Super Bowl, and still 2 weeks away, it was still a great time to get together with friends for a dinner brunch.  They had eggs and you know I had bacon.  Here's 2 recipes that I didn't bring home leftovers for.

Crescent Bacon-Cheese Tartlets

1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon
1 tablespoon chopped green onion (1 medium)
1 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper (1/2 Red bell pepper)
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 375°F.

If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough into 1 large rectangle on work surface. Press into 12x9-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal.

Cut dough into 12 squares. Gently press squares into 12 ungreased mini muffin cups, shaping edges to form rims 1/4 inch high. Spoon cheese evenly into dough-lined cups. Top each with bacon, peppers and onion. In small bowl, beat egg and milk with wire whisk or fork until blended. Spoon slightly less than 1 tablespoon mixture into each cup.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown and filling is set. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups.

Bacon Hash Brown Casserole

6 bacon slices
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (32-ounce) package frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup fat-free sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cooking spray


Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, and crumble. Discard drippings in pan. Add 1 cup onion and garlic to pan; cook for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the potatoes; cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine crumbled bacon, ¼ cup cheese, green onions, sour cream, salt, pepper, and soup in a large bowl. Add potato mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Bake casserole, covered, at 350ยบ for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cheese begins to brown.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ringing in the New Year with the Count of Monte Cristo (Bacon Monte Cristos)

First full week of the new year has passed.  My resolutions to eat better and work out more were thrown off by a super fun sinus cold.  But I still managed to have bacon even while sick.  (Seriously, if you are not cooking bacon in the oven, you are missing out on how easy it is to have the meat candy.  Even if you can do little more than move from one room to another, sniffling and mumbling about the injustices of being sick.)  Yesterday I did one batch of bacon that made awesome sandwiches and used the leftover for some delicious grits this morning.  Grits with American cheese, shredded Gruyere cheese, bacon, butter and a little seasoning with bacon salt.  Divineness in a bowl!

Now, I've heard of Monte Cristo's before, but I'm still wondering how it got its name.  Food historians agree that the Monte Cristo descended from the croque monsieur, a French-bistro standard.  But no one seems sure how or even if it relates to The Count of Monte Cristo, the 1844 novel by Alexandre Dumas.

This Monte Cristo is made with ham, cheese, a bit of mustard, and mayonnaise, then it’s dipped in egg, and cooked just like french toast, but we are adding Bacon. (Say whaaat?!?) Yep, no joke. It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it? Let's take a walk on the wild side with this, shall we?

Bacon Monte Cristo Sandwich

2 eggs
pinch of salt and pepper
4 slices sturdy white bread (or white bread of preference)
6 slices of cooked bacon
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ pound thick sliced baked ham
½ ounce, weight shredded Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Place uncooked bacon on a broiler pan or cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet and bake until bacon is crispy.  About 20 minutes.   

Beat eggs in a shallow dish (large enough to fit a sandwich) along with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Assemble sandwiches, with mustard, mayonnaise, ham, cheese, salt and pepper to personal preference. Slightly compress sandwich.

Over medium heat melt butter in skillet.

Dip and coat each sandwich in beaten egg, and place in skillet. Cook sandwiches 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned to liking and cheese has melted.

Makes 2 sandwiches.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bring on the Bacon in 2014!

It was a fantastic Christmas for Bacon this year!  The markets are saturated with miscellaneous Bacon novelty.  Sure, this bacon consumption is no doubt contributing the growing waste-bands of the nation, but hey, unless you learn to balance your good and bad fats and get moving off the couch (...just say "No!" when Netflix asks if you want to continue on to the next episode) then it will continue on its downward spiral into obesity and heart disease.  A little heavy for the new year, right?  I plan on enjoying the ride, and compensating with less red meat, and more fish.  More veggies and more Yoga.  (I must say teaching 2 classes a week has helped keep the bacon weight off, plus its low-impact, slow moving.  What more could you ask for in a work out?)

Whatever your goals are, I think that we can all agree that this is one we can keep this year.

I have some awesome friends and family members.  It was a Bacon-filled Christmas, indeed!

Drones have stirred up some controversy lately and their infringement on our liberties, but if they could deliver bacon, would you change your stance on this issue?  Check out this Youtube video of the Bacon Drone.

I received a Whoopie Pie maker for Christmas this year.  Man, EasyBake Oven's sure have come a long way.  I never had one growing up, but I felt like a kid using this tricked-out waffle iron.  Here's the end result.  Maple Bacon Whoopie Pies with blue frosting.  It's all I had.

Maple Bacon Whoopie Pies
1 box Fudge Brownie Mix
1/3 cup Pure Vegetable Oil
2 large eggs

for frosting:
1 container Vanilla Flavored Frosting
3/4 cup marshmallow creme
3 tablespoons finely diced cooked bacon
1/2 teaspoon maple extract


HEAT oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

COMBINE brownie mix, oil and eggs in medium bowl. Beat 30 to 40 strokes. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  (Or into your Whoopie Pie Maker and cook according to your pie maker directions)   

BAKE 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

BEAT frosting and marshmallow creme in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir bacon and maple extract into filling. Place half of pies flat side up. Spoon 2 tablespoons filling in center of each pie. Top with remaining pies, rounded side up. Press gently to spread filling.