Posts Tagged ‘recipes


Baconalia Review: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Great Lakes Porter

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Great Lakes Porter

Bacon and chocolate chip cookies with a nice, rich porter. ..sounds like dessert to my face!  I’m currently in the midst of planning a bacon party that (at this point) will focus entirely on baked goods.  For whatever reason, I’m actually trying the recipes ahead of time this round.  Perhaps I am growing up and becoming more responsible or perhaps I just really like to bake and post cookies to friends.  Regardless of the present and the future, these cookies were the first cookies of my bacon cookie past.  These cookies predate my whole “Baconalia” concept and I got the recipe from a friend, rather than from the internet.  Seriously.   The first time I made these cookies I was completely unaware of the internet’s boundless infatuation with bacon.

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Crock Pot Bread Pudding – Round Two


A couple of weeks ago, I made a sweet bread pudding in my mid-sized crockpot.  One of my friends (Suzy) was aghast that I didn’t include raisins.  I tried to explain to her that I did not include them because I don’t much like raisins in my baked goods* and I do like chocolate in my baked goods and, well, since I was the one making the baked good, I GOT MY WAY.

Some people just have very little sense.  Those same people also don’t always want to hear it.

Continue reading ‘Crock Pot Bread Pudding – Round Two’


Crock Pot Bread Pudding, Recipe and Ramble

These are leftovers, because I forgot to snap a picture during the original eating

The following is part recipe and part confession.  The recipe part is super easy and yields delicious bread pudding.  The confession aspect is more complicated…see, it turns out I am a total nana.  Technically, I’m only nana-like, but if I started a promiscuous line or lived back in, say, Tudor England, I’m technically old enough to be an actual nana.  Like, the sort of nana with grandchildren – the real sort.  In actuality, I have two houseplants (one dead) and neither child nor grandchild.  Scattered throughout this process were moments akin to what a grandmother might do, for which I (cringingly) awarded myself “nana points.”

I’m not exactly sure what compelled me to make bread pudding, but the need was strong.  I’m not even a huge fan of bread pudding and I lack any emotional attachment to it.  Growing up, we rarely had it as my mother classified it as soggy, old bread.  That is a true statement, except you then cook – or crock – the soggy, old bread.  Conveniently, I had a little over one-third of a baguette left over from earlier in the week.  Completely stale, bread pudding or bread crumbs were probably the only practical purposes for it.  If you are keeping track, that’s two nana points: one for bread pudding and one for salvaging old bread.

Continue reading ‘Crock Pot Bread Pudding, Recipe and Ramble’


Hot Chocolate

Yum.  I a convert of making my own hot chocolate.  My friend SB recently blogged about how “it’s basically as easy/quick, yet much tastier” to make one’s own hot chocolate.  I’ll agree with her on the second point, but not the first.  However, while it is significantly more involved and time consuming to make cocoa from scratch, it’s still super easy and super fast…and super worth it.

As per my usual, I didn’t actually measure anything.  Thus, I can’t comment on her exact recipe.  I CAN (and will!) say that it is a great guide.  I really liked the kick from the cinnamon; it was NOT too much.   Try it.  You’ll love us both.  Recipe is here . 

This would probably work well in a crockpot, for a larger group or thirsty/cold friends.  I would probably melt the chocolate in a saucepan, for faster results.  It would require an extra pan, but I think that is worth it to avoid melting chocolate in a crock.

Warning: This is super rich and makes Swiss Miss look/taste/smell like dirty water.

Warning #2: NO RUM FOR KIDS.


How I Bake

I am one of those freaks who enjoys both cooking and baking; I also enjoy both eating and sharing my results.  I made pumpkin whoopie pies last night, for a pumpkin carving party I attended tonight.   I mostly followed the recipe for the cookie/cake part, but could not find marscopone cheese for the filling.  Instead of stressing, I reminded myself that I have my own baking protocol anyway, so things like ingredients and recipes aren’t really relevant – except for the parts where I try to pretend that they are vital.  While I do sometimes completely wing things (more in cooking) and other times actually follow a recipe like it’s some sort of sacred ritual (again, more in cooking), I generally follow these steps:

1.) Make a plan, which involves finding a recipe (or two) at some point.  The birth of the plan could be from seeing a recipe on a website, a product in a store, or inspiration from a specific ingredient/concept.

2.) Take inventory of the ingredients needed for said recipe.  Potentially reevaluate the aforementioned recipe OR make a trip to the store…possibly stores.

3.) Get my business all set out and ready.  I don’t necessarily get all of my ingredients out at once (although sometimes I do) but I do like to know what’s going to happen before it needs to happen.  For example, if I am going to need softened butter at some point, I’ll put it out early.  I wait on nobutter; butter waits on ME.

4.) Begin the recipe, with fastidious attention to detail and directions.  Measure twice, pour once – etc, etc.

5.) Get bored with measuring.  Doubt the recipe.  Is 1t of cinnamon REALLY enough?  And why were ginger and allspice not invited to the party?  I’m not sure about Ina G, but I don’t snub MY spice cabinet. 

6.) Decide I definitely know better than any “recipe” and go all willy-nilly.  While going willy-nilly, refrain from writing any amendments down for future use.  To really prevent any reproduction and keep each creation “one of a kind,” I also often avoid measuring, instead using the highly scientific method of “dump and taste.”   “Dump and taste” is a bit like “guess and check” except with greater and earlier commitment.

7.) Bake it…or something.  Basically, get it to a state where contamination or food poisoning is unlikely.

8.) Eat and enjoy!

The moral of the story is that while I might not know better than recipes (insufficient data) I definitely know WELL ENOUGH.   And those pumpkin whoopie pies?  GONE.  Gone in a good way.


Bacon Yields Free (Admission to Buy Overpriced) Beer

I love hosting Baconalia parties, but the prepwork leaves a bit to be desired – predominately because it pretty much all takes place immediately before the party.  In addition to that being annoying and kinda stressful, it leaves me and my kitchen greasy and gross.   (Aside: I’m not sure which I’m more bothered by people seeing greasy and gross.)  Anyway!  I’ve been playing around a bit with bacon baked goods.   Last week I made some bacon-fat ginger snaps; the recipe and photos will eventually follow.   The positive and negative of this is that I end up with a fair amount of bacon-based baked goods.  When I know how much bacon fat is in each cookie (it’s around 1t) it is less-than-appealing to gorge on a dozen in one sitting.  That dozen cookies contains 1/4c of bacon fat.  At present my blood pressure and cholesterol are fantastic; I’d like to keep that way at least until I hit 35.

Continue reading ‘Bacon Yields Free (Admission to Buy Overpriced) Beer’


Baconalia Review: Praline Bacon with Goose Island Nightstalker Beer

Praline Bacon with Goose Island Nightstalker Beer


There’s a shirt out there that proclaims “Bacon is Meat Candy.”  I do not have this shirt, but I do have a recipe for meat candy.  This is it.  Oh my gosh.  This.  Is.  It.  I matched dessert beer with my meat candy and my sweet tooth was sated.    

Praline bacon is wicked easy to make.  It has three ingredients: pecans, brown sugar, and bacon.  While I use a lot of Hormel Black Label bacon, I wanted my bacon to be at least as thick as its candy coating, so opted for sturdier bacon.  I went with the thick cut applewood smoked bacon from my local Trader Joe’s.  The applewood smoked aspect is pretty subtle – especially with the coating – but adds a nuance of, “huh, something about this is extra good.”  Using thicker bacon also made this easier to handle.  Praline bacon CAN be prepared ahead of time and is somewhat shelf stable, although it is best warm.  (Shelf-stable claim based on the fact that mailed some to a friend and he did not get sick after consuming it.)    

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