Monday, June 30, 2014

Burning Down the House with Bacon! (Bacon Shortcake with Strawberries)

And this week in weird bacon news....A woman uses bacon in an arson attempt.  Yup.  Seriously, I can't make this stuff up.  Check out the news here.

Welcome to Summer, where it's 85 degrees with 95% humidity.  No one wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen.  Least of all, Me.  I melt.  Seriously.  There's no un-godly reason it should be this hot.  This is an east and relatively quick dessert.  Pick up your favorite fruit, like Strawberries and go to town with this Bacon Shortcake!

Bacon Shortcake with Strawberries
6 slices of bacon

1 pint strawberry, washed and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup Bisquick
2 tablespoons sugar 
1/3 cup milk
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.  Place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet.  Place bacon on cooling rack.  Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until desired crispiness.  Remove from the oven and cool.  Once completely cooled, chop the bacon and set aside.  Change oven temp to 425°F.

Slice strawberries and mix with 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside.

Mix the Bisquick, 2 tablespoons sugar, milk and chopped bacon together in a bowl with a fork.  Do not over mix.

Drop onto a cookies sheet in four equal-sized cakes.

Bake at 425°F for 10-12 minutes, until lightly brown.

Split each cake in half, and spoon strawberry slices into the middle. Top with a few more strawberries and a drizzle of the strawberry and juices, followed by whipped cream.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Change is Good. Bacon is Better. (Bad Boy Billy's Bacon Pulled-Pork Potatoes)

I swear to god my cat Mojo looks just like this when begging for bacon in my house...looks like all I'll need now is a Bacon Rug...

I love it when I get posts on facebook regarding new bacon products...this week's winner is Ass Kickin Bacon Ketchup.  Giddy up! (Thanks Matt).

As an ultimate bacon consumer I think it's my mission to find these products and share them with you.  Mahatma Ghandi once said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."  I've had that as my personal email tagline for years actually, and thinking about it, I'd wish to see the world happy.  One of the things that makes me happiest is Bacon.  So, I'll change the world to happy, one piece of bacon at a time.

Once again, I make it to Saturday, with no idea what I'll be making for this week's blog.  A good friend Billy, stopped by yesterday morning, and was telling me all about these loaded salt potatoes that he threw on the grill with bacon and cheese and ranch and even pulled pork.  They sounded fantastic, and we were headed to the local public market to get some fresh produce, so this recipe was born.  It's a take on Billy's potatoes, and they were fantastic!

Bad Boy Billy's Bacon Pulled-Pork Potatoes
1 lb salt potatoes
3/4 cup salt
6 slices of bacon
1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese
1/4 stick of butter, chopped
5-6 lb. pork shoulder/pork butt
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

For Pulled Pork:
You'll want to start your Pork about 6-8 hours (on low) or 4-6 hours (on high) prior to your potatoes.  I prefer the crock pot method.  Place onion on the bottom of your slow cooker. Place pork shoulder, trimmed of any obvious excess fat, into slow cooker on top of onions.   Pour half of the sauce over the pork and cover.  Set remaining sauce aside.

Cook over low heat for about 8 hours (on low) or 4-5 hours (on high).  Remove pork to a large bowl and shred with two forks. Transfer meat back into slow cooker and cook for a few more minutes, until meat has soaked up the sauce. Pulled pork can be held on the “warm” setting in the slow cooker for serving.

For Bacon:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet.  Place bacon on cooling rack.  Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until desired crispiness.  Remove from the oven and cool.  Once completely cooled, chop the bacon and set aside.

For Potatoes:
Wash the potatoes and set aside. Fill a large pot with water; stir in salt until it no longer dissolves and settles on the bottom. Place potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain. Cool slightly.

To assemble this bad boy, you'll take the potatoes and spread them out on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  With a potato masher, smash the potatoes.  Top with butter.  Sprinkle most of the shredded cheese on top and then top with bacon.  Place in a warm oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Serve the pulled pork on top of the potatoes and top with remaining shredded cheese. 


Monday, June 16, 2014

I Believe in the Bacon Fairy (Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Frosting with Candied Bacon)

I have no funny bacon anecdotes this week.  I must be losing my touch...or just preocupied with all of the other things going on around me.  Either way, I suckered you into reading another post about Bacon.  1 for Libby. 

For Father's Day this year, my husband wanted his Rochester-Favorite, Garbage Plate for his Father's day meal.  That got me out of cooking.  I couldn't let him down though and not make something with Bacon in it....This is a semi-homemade cupcake recipe.  Use a box.  Go ahead and cheat!  I doctor stuff all the time.  Sometimes, you just don't have to do it all the hard way.

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Frosting with Candied Bacon
1 box of chocolate cake mix (I used Devil's Food cake)
1 1/2 cups cold coffee
6 slices of bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 container of cream frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a cooling rack over a cookie sheet.  In a bowl, combine the brown sugar and the cinnamon.  Place bacon on cooling rack and sprinkle with brown sugar/cinnamon .  Turn bacon over and sprinkle on the other side.  Save 1/3 of the sugar mixture for the frosting, and set aside.  Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.  (Keep an eye on the bacon as the brown sugar can burn if left unattended.)  Remove from the oven and cool.  Once completely cooled, slice the bacon in to small slivers or slices.  Set aside.

Make the cake batter according to the package directions.  When it asks for water, substitute coffee for the water.  I used small cupcakes, the mini size.  Whatever size cupcakes you are using, line the muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.  Spray nonstick spray in each paper.  Pour in batter into cupcake liners and fill about 3/4 of the way full.  

For 12-24 large cupcakes, cook 18 - 20 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  
For 24-48 mini cupcakes, cook 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cupcakes cool before frosting.

Make Frosting!  Open your packaged frosting and in a medium size bowl, slowly blend in reserved brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Frost the cupcakes and top with sliced candied bacon!


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Prescription Bacon and Bacon Dryer Sheets (Herbed Chicken and Tomatoes with Bacon)

This has been a crazy week.  Long hours at work, and not enough hours at home.  I'm tired, and cranky.  But you know what?... Bacon helps with that!  Bacon is a natural mood enhancer that helps encourage positive mental states. The umami, or savory taste in bacon is an addictive substance that can have a neurological effect on the brain.  A piece of bacon can help enhance mood and reduce stress levels within a short period of time.  I guess I just haven't had enough bacon this week...

Want your laundry to smell like Bacon?  Mine usually smells like bacon BEFORE I wash it... Sure it's a gag gift, but the joke's on them, I'd actually give it a whirl...Check it out here.

This weeks' recipe I found in a magazine devoted to Bacon, but a las, the recipe didn't have bacon in it...what's a girl to do?  Add Bacon, of course.

Herbed Chicken with Tomatoes and Bacon
4-6 slices of Bacon

or Milk

For the 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. 

Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain well. Meanwhile, mix seasonings in shallow dish. Reserve 2 teaspoons. Stir 2 tablespoons of the flour into remaining seasoning mixture in dish. Coat chicken in seasoned flour. Discard any remaining seasoned flour. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken in batches; cook 2 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Add additional 1 tablespoon oil as needed. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. 

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Add tomatoes, stock and reserved seasoning mixture; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in half-and –half or milk. Return chicken to skillet and add crumbled bacon; cook until heated through. Serve with pasta.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bubba Bacon & Bacon Sprinkles (Oreo, Peanut Butter and Bacon Brownie Cupcakes)

I was watching "Forest Gump" last week and I got to thinking...I'm Bubba.  Much like Bubba loved himself some shrimp, I couldn't think of living without Bacon.  I must sound like a broken record to my friends and family, but I love the meat candy so much and it is so versatile.  I can make anything with bacon.  Bacon Brownies, Bacon Bread, Bacon Bourbon, Bacon Pizza, Bacon Eggrolls, Bacon Monkey Bread, Bacon Cookies, Bacon Shrimp, Bacon Meatballs, Bacon Pancakes...the list will keep going...

My AWESOME friend Jan found this sign for me on her last vacation.  It will be the first sign in my dream - a bacon business.  Love it!  Thanks again Jan!

What's missing from the Ice Cream topping market?  Are you thinking Bacon Sprinkles?!?  Well, this little Dutch Company was, and can you blame them?  They have a little kickstarter campaign, check them

This week's recipe came as a suggestion made by a family member...something along the lines of "....I bet you can add Bacon to these..." Challenge Accepted Scott.

Oreo, Peanut Butter and Bacon Brownie Cupcakes

1 box brownie mix, 8×8 inch size
24 Oreo Cookies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 slices of bacon, cooked, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bacon on a broiler pan, or cooling rack over a cookie sheet and cook bacon 15-25 minutes or until desired crispiness.  Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.  Quarter each slice of bacon.

Line a 12 muffin cup baker with paper liners.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. For each cupcake cup spread 1 teaspoon of peanut butter over 2 Oreo cookies.  Place a slice of bacon on top of one of the oreos and then stack the other oreo on top of the bacon. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of brownie batter over each stacked oreos and let it run down the sides of the cookies.  Bake brownies for 18 to 20 minutes, until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely then serve.

Makes 12 servings