Sunday, March 30, 2014

Now your breadmeat shines with deliciousness! (Peanut Butter & Bacon Banana Chocolate Chip Bread)

Bacon Product Fails of the Week:

1) Bacon Lip Balm - Sure, the potential could be catastrophic, all we need is products that weren't meant for consumption, to be consumed in mass bacon-flavored quantities.  Luckily this product fell short.  It think it's the most disgusting thing I have ever had on my lips.  Ever.

2) SqueezBacon- The only bacon product I have absolutely no intention of testing.  I can't do it.  Somethings should not come in squeezable form.  I'll let you come to your own conclusion on that one.  I did happen to find this awesomely fantastic Swedish commercial for SqueezBaconNow your breadmeat shines with deliciousness!

I have come to the conclusion that I buy bananas to watch die a slow death on my kitchen counter.  I only like green bananas.  I've liked them for as long as I can remember.  In high school, my friends and I decided to come up with and follow random holidays.  Bubble-Wrap Appreciation day, Thomas Crapper Day, National Sea Monkey Day....the list goes on.  The one that I wanted most was Firm Banana Appreciation Day.  There's something about the slightly sweet taste that I just prefer.  So, I eat bananas while their in the green, and watch them die a slow death.  I ended their week-long torture by mashing them to bits...adding bacon, peanut butter and chocolate chips.  How can you go wrong?

Peanut Butter & Bacon Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

2-3 overripe bananas
1 stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
3-6 strips of crispy bacon

Turn on oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and immediately place bacon on a broiling pan or cooling rack over a cookie sheet and bake until bacon is done and crispy.  Approx 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a paper towel-lined plate.  Crumble and set aside.

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar together, then add brown sugar and incorporate. In a seperate bowl, whisk egg and add slowly to the butter mixture. Fold in flour and baking soda. 

In another bowl mash bananas and then mix in peanut butter.  Once mixed, add the banana peanut butter mixture to bread dough. Mix on medium speed.  After everything is mixed add chocolate chips, and crumbled bacon. Pour dough into nonstick bread pans. Bake for one hour, then cool.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Has Bacon Finally Sold Out? (Ribs with Bacon BBQ Sauce)

I'm all for adding bacon to just about everything, but bacon consumerism has exploded in the past few years, which leads me to wonder, when have we gone too far?  Check out this product line expansion from Clorox.  (I have my concerns about the "urine-activated sizzle sound.")  Come to find out, it's just an April Fools Joke, backed by Clorox. 

The weather here, while spring on the calendar has not been so spring in temperature lately.  That has curtailed my homemade bacon making.  I've had about enough so, I bought 3 slabs of pork belly at my local public market, and I've started the 12-day curing process.  In 2 weeks time I'll have the freshest bacon in all the land.  Or, at least Upstate New York.

What could possibly make slow-cooked ribs better?  How about a little bacon in the BBQ Sauce?

Ribs with Bacon Barbeque Sauce
2-4 pounds pork spareribs or country style ribs
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 can of your favorite beer
4-6 slices of bacon, cooked, chopped fine

Turn on  oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and immediately place bacon on a broiling pan or cooling rack over a cookie sheet and bake until bacon is done and crispy.  Approx 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a paper towel-lined plate.  Crumble and set aside.

In a bowl, combine BBQ sauce and crumbled bacon, set aside.. Split ribs down the center between the bones.

Heat a large lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sear until browned. Place ribs in a single layer in a baking pan or casserole dish. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs, reserve remainder.

Bake ribs in preheated oven for 3 hours. Turn and baste meat every twenty minutes with remaining sauce, using all sauce by two hours. Continue turning and basting ribs using sauce in the pan during the last hour of baking.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Apply Bacon Liberally (Bacon Breakfast Pizza)

I see this shirt as "Apply Bacon Liberty"....must do as shirt says.

In honor of St. Patrick's day, my friend Jan and I went out this weekend for a traditional Irish Breakfast.  Along with a nice Magners Cider we feasted on eggs, tomatoes, baked beans, blood sausage, Irish soda bread and bacon.  Alas though, the bacon, was American, not Irish.  The Irish use the loin cut, back behind the ribs, which ends up being more like our northern neighbors, the Canadians.  The first time I had it, we had been in Pasedena and found a local Irish Pub that served a traditional breakfast.  The Irish bacon they served, was amazing; simply better than most other bacon.  I haven't been able to find a decent Irish bacon since.

 "You don't know what you've got, til it's gone"...truer words were never spoken.  I'm talking about the delicious bacon breakfast pizza that my last office cafeteria made.  They recently moved my department at work to another building, one without a cafeteria.  It's been 2 whole weeks since I've had their delectibly-full-of-bacon breakfast pizza.  You couldn't bite into it without massive amounts of bacon falling off.  It was epic.  I miss it.  I was having bacon breakfast pizza withdrawal.  It's like craving Chinese or KFC.  I can usually talk myself out of it for a few days, but sooner or later you must succumb to it's siren calls.  So here's my take on breakfast pizza.  I ran out of flour yesterday, but I did have Crescent Dough in the fridge.  It was light and flaky, and I'm hoping for leftovers for tomorrow's breakfast!

Bacon Breakfast Pizza
1 package of Crescent Roll Dough
6 slices of bacon
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Turn on  oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and immediately place bacon on a broiling pan or cooling rack over a cookie sheet and bake until bacon is done and crispy.  Approx 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a paper towel-lined plate.  Crumble and set aside.

Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper in bowl until blended.  Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Pour in egg mixture. As eggs begin to set, gently pull the eggs across the pan with an inverted turner, forming large soft curds.  Sprinkle in Parmesan Cheese.  Continue cooking - pulling, lifting and folding eggs - until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains. Do not stir constantly.  Remove from heat.

Lining a new cookie sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil, unroll crescent dough until you have one large rectangle, sealing the perforated edges so you have one sheet of dough.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded cheddar cheese over the crescent dough.  Top with scrambled eggs, bacon pieces, and finish with the remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake pizza at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until edges of the dough are turning golden in color.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Great Bacon Awakening (Jack Daniels Cupcakes with Chocolate Caramel Frosting topped with Bacon)

Oscar Mayer has been hard at work, and you better prepare yourself for an awakening.  A Bacon Awakening that is...check out their newest product that they are currently beta-testing...The Bacon Alarm Clock Ap 

I'm a huge fan of Whiskey.  Especially Jack Daniels Green label.  (If you're looking for me to be more tasteful and tender, marinate me in whiskey.)  So when a friend posted this recipe on facebook, I immediately knew all I would have to do was to add bacon.  I hope that you try these out.  They are incredibly tasty.

Jack Daniels Whiskey Cupcakes with Chocolate Caramel Frosting topped with Bacon

6 slices of Bacon
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 can of prepared frosting (I chose Chocolate Caramel)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.  Line slices of bacon on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 17-20 minutes.  Place bacon strips on top of paper towels to drain.  Chop finely and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, coffee, whiskey, buttermilk and oil. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Spoon the mixture into prepared cupcake wrappers.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes until the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  Frost and top with chopped bacon!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Running for the (Bacon) Cure (And Bacon, Apple & Onion Stuffing in a Bacon Bowl)

Imagine being lied to as a child, and told that due to your family's predisposition to high cholesterol, your mother chose to tell you that you were allergic to Bacon.  Now.  Take that anger to which now fuels your desire for revenge, and focus it on how it would feel to taste bacon for the very first time again.  Check last week's episode of How I Met Your Mother.  And if that isn't enough for you, and you want more, check out this deleted scene I stumbled across.  (I wish all my doctor's appointments ended this way!)

Ok, some of you run.  For fun even, not because you are being chased by anything.  If you're like me, and prefer to get your cardio in other ways, would you be persuaded to run for bacon?  That's what Atlanta is doing this year on March 22, 2014, and Chicago on June 7, 2014.  Run for the Cure- The delicious brown sugar maple cure! (And St. Jude's Children's Hospital)  So if you're looking for your next 5K, and are in those areas, check it out.

It was time to test out the impulse buy. And of course I'm a sucker for  "As Seen on TV"....After careful testing, I have concluded this of the The Perfect Bacon Bowl is a win.  All future bowls need to be made of bacon, from here on out!

Bacon, Apple & Onion Stuffing in a Bacon Bowl
4 slices of Bacon
1 medium apple
1 White onion
1 package of stove-top stuffing

Roughly chop bacon and in a large saucepan, over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy.  Drain all but 1 teaspoon of bacon grease from the pan and remove bacon and set aside on a paper towel to  drain away excess grease.

Chop onion and apple into a small dice, add to 1 teaspoon of reserved bacon grease and cook until onion is translucent and apple is soft, roughly 6-8 minutes.  Remove onion and apple from pan and set aside.

Prepare stuffing as package directions state.  Fluff with a fork once stuffing is completed, and then add in the apple and onion, and sprinkle with reserved bacon.

How to make multiple bacon bowls:

Muffin tin
Aluminum foil
Rimmed baking sheet
3-4 strips of uncooked bacon per bowl

Place the muffin tin upside down on the baking sheet (be sure to choose a baking sheet that is larger than the tin to catch drippings. Cover the muffin tin cups with foil. Wrap each cup with strips of bacon, by either layering them across, wrapping them around the tins or weaving them, as instructed in the microwave bacon bowl directions. Bake at 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Once the bacon and pans have cooled, turn the muffin tin right side up to release the cups.