Friday, February 28, 2014

day 5 of bacon week.. bacon wrapped green bean bundles..

 
welcome to our last day of bacon week..!! i am ending on a delicious simple note.. these are so easy.. yet so flavorful.. i could not stop eating them.. i recently hosted a bacon themed dinner party.. and decided to share most of the recipes in one week.. i hope you enjoy some of the recipes..
 
for more recipes from bacon week check them out here..
day 3.. bacon, apple, blue cheese canapés and savory mushroom and bacon bread pudding
 

bacon wrapped green bean bundles

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 10-15 minutes
servings: 4-6
ingredients:

1.5 lbs. fresh green beans, ends trimmed {i did not trim my ends but should have}
8 bacon strips {cut in half}
olive oil
black pepper
directions:

pre heat oven to 400 degrees (f).. place trimmed green beans in a zip lock bag.. place in microwave oven and zap for 4 minutes.. allow to cool.. once cool divide beans into 16 equal parts {about 6 beans each}.. bundle the beans together and wrap each grouping with 1/2 of a slice of bacon.. leaving the tips exposed...  drizzle the bundles with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.  roast the bundles for 10-15 minutes, or until the green bean ends and the bacon slices are slightly crisp...


enjoy and get cook'n!!


day 4 of bacon week.. throwback thursday.. cheesy scalloped potatoes but with bacon..

 
 
 
  today's throwback thursday isn't too far back.. it's more of a toss back.. i posted my moms amazing cheesy scalloped potatoes.. a few weeks ago... but what could make cheesy creamy potatoes any better??? umm bacon!! so today's throwback thursday and day 4 of bacon week is cheesy bacon scalloped potatoes..
 
for more recipes from bacon check them out here..
 

cheesy bacon scalloped potatoes

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 60-75 minutes
servings: 6-8

ingredients:

2 lbs. potatoes, {red, yukon gold, or russet} washed and scrubbed
1 tblsp. butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
approx. 2 cups cream {or milk or half n half}
approx. 1/4 cup flour
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled divided into 1/4 {here is a super easy way to make oven bacon}
2 cups shredded cheese {whatever cheese floats your boat is the cheese you should use.. }
salt and pepper
chopped parsley or chives for garnish {optional and i opted to forget..}

directions:

pre heat oven to 350 degrees (f).. butter a large casserole dish.. using a mandolin or slicer, if you have one, slice your potatoes 1/4 inch thick.. {if you don't have one just slice them up pretty thin with a sharp knife, it's what i did for years} layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish.. sprinkle with onions, salt, pepper, cream, flour, 1/4 of the bacon and then a 1/3 of the cheese.. repeat twice more and end with the cheese {then sprinkle a little bacon on top}.. cover dish with foil {secret to not have your cheese not stick, is to spray your foil with a pam before covering your dish} bake for 40 minutes.. remove the foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes.. check after 20 you want it bubbly and hot.. when done remove from oven, slice, garnish and serve immediately.
 

enjoy and get cook'n!!!

day 3 of bacon week.. take my word for it wednesday.. you can't have to much bacon... bacon, bluecheese apple canapes and savory bacon bread pudding..





i've been so behind in posting the recipes for the bacon week.. augh.. it's busy at work and then trying to get everything done at the house.. so please accept my apologies..
so far for bacon week i've posted how to make homemade bacon and bacon wrapped pork tenderloin filets with mustard~garlic butter.. the following recipes rounded out the appetizer portion of the dinner as well as the side dish.. we also had bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos for another appetizer and a beer, bacon, chocolate pecan tart for dessert..

the fun little tasty apps were inspired by this recipe here.. pete and i were watching some cooking show and we saw them and he suggested i make them for christmas eve one year i think 2010.. i didn't like the way they had assembled the original recipe so i changed mine up a bit and the result is a yummy little treat..


i served spicy bloody marys with spicy bacon and used bacon vodka {that recipe coming soon}


 the weekend before my bacon themed dinner party i had had a new years eve bbq.. {your thinking bbq on new years eve what the heck?? well in vegas the weather was so great we could in fact have an outdoor bbq where i wore a tank top, capris and sandals..how crazy is that} any way i had a few bags of hamburger buns and hot dogs buns i wanted to use up so i opted for a savory bacon bread pudding for the bacon party.. and my oh my was it delicious.. i had never made a savory bread pudding and this one was great..  

candied bacon, blue cheese and apple canapés

prep time: 15-20 minutes
cooking time: 7-10 minutes
servings: 40 bite size pieces

ingredients:

1 box pilsbury pie crusts, room temperature
1 egg
1 tblsp. water
sea salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 slices of bacon
1-2 granny smith apple, diced {depending on size}
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

directions:

heat oven to 400 degrees {f}.. line a baking sheet with foil.. unroll pie crusts and using a 2 1/4 inch round cookie cutter, cut 20 rounds from each crust, rerolling dough if necessary.. place on cookie sheet; prick each round twice with fork.. in a small bowl, whisk egg and 1 tblsp. water.. brush each round with egg mixture.. sprinkle with a little sea salt on each.. bake 7-10 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp.. remove from oven and allow to cool... line another baking sheet with  foil.. in a small bowl combine brown sugar and cayenne.. place bacon on baking sheet and sprinkle each side the brown sugar mixture {i did this same thing when making the spicy bacon for the blood mary just omitted the brown sugar} put in oven for 10-15 minutes or until sugar is hot and bubbly and bacon slightly crisp.. remove from oven and allow to cool.. once cool crumble/chop up.. divide crumbled bacon in 1/2.. in a medium bowl mix softened cream cheese, diced apples, blue cheese and 1/2 of the crumbled bacon.. spoon mixture on each round/cracker and sprinkle with remaining crumbled bacon.. they are so yummy and the sweet and spicy bacon with the crisp tart apple and blue cheese just is lovely with the creamy cream cheese.. great little appetizer..


savory mushroom and bacon bread pudding {recipe inspired here}

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: {approx.} 1 hour 30 minutes
servings: 6

ingredients:

2 tblsp. butter
1 pound bacon, diced in lardons
1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
1.4 lbs. sliced mushrooms
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
3 cups half and half
5 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 cups day old bread, torn into chunks

directions:

preheat oven to 350 degrees {f}.. grease an 8 inch square baking dish with 1 tblsp. of butter and set aside...in a large sauté pan over medium high heat cook bacon until crisp.. remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate.. in same pan add 1 tblsp. of butter and melt then add mushrooms, garlic and shallots... sauté for 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and browned.. to the same pan over medium high heat add the wine/chicken broth to deglaze the pan getting up all those brown bits as you stir.. remove from heat and add bacon (reserving a small handful for garnish}.. season with salt and pepper.. in a large mixing bowl whisk eggs, half and half and a 3/4 cup of cheese, salt and pepper.. add bread cubes and toss to coat.. let mixture stand from 30 minutes... add mushroom mixture and transfer to prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon.. {you can at this point cover and keep in the fridge until ready to cook up to 24 hours} once ready to bake cook for 40-60 minutes until bubbly and brown and the center has puffed up.. remove from oven and serve warm.. {the recipe called for drizzling with warm sage butter.. i don't care for the taste of sage.. my dad, when i was growing up was a hunter, thankfully he outgrew that hobby, he he, anyway he would make venison steaks, sausage, etc... and as a child i had to at least try everything that was made, i didn't have to like it or keep eating it, but brownies bites, as my mom called them where required. Anyway one steak or sausage no clue which, came from a deer from northern nevada where they graze on sage brush... now i know sage brush is not the actual sage herb but they taste and smell alike.. anyway i hated what i was eating and since then every time i smell sage i think of that meat.. blah yuck.. icky poo ha ha so no sage in our house} a drizzle of another type of butter might have been just equally good but i didn't think of it.. ha either way you should try this recipe it's yummy..

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

week of bacon.. day 2.. homemade maple wood smoked bacon

 
yikes this was supposed to post tuesday.. sorry..
 
for our bacon themed party.. which i mentioned when i posted this recipe for bacon wrapped pork tenderloin filet topped with a mustard~garlic butter and also when i posted this beer, bacon, chocolate pecan tart.. we decided to make our own bacon.. it was delicious.. salty... peppery.. simply lovely.. worth the effort.. would i do it every weekend for bacon? no..but for a special occasion yes..
 
 
we got a 4 lbs pork belly at whole foods..
 
 
i covered it in a dry cure of salt, sugar and pepper and it sat in the fridge for 10 days..
 
 
we cranked up the smoker and cooked it over maple wood..
 

 it smelled and looked amazing..

 
after 2.5 hours it was just about ready..



homemade maple wood smoked bacon

prep time: 10 days and 10 minutes
cooking time: 2.5- 3 hours
servings: 4 lbs. of bacon

ingredients:

4 lbs. of center cut pork belly, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
3 tblsp. salt
1 tblsp. pepper (we like it peppery)

directions:

in a small mixing bowl combine sugar, salt and pepper.. then slather the rub all over the pork belly and put in an air tight container and place in the fridge for 10 days...lay it flat and every day message the liquids that form inside the bag into the meat and flip it over.. after 10 days it should be firm to the touch all over..  when ready to smoke remove from fridge and soak in water for 1 hour rubbing to remove excess cure.. pat dry.. now get your smoker ready according to it's directions {or however you regularly smoke meats} we used maple wood and hickory.. add your pork belly when smoker is ready and smoke for approx. 2.5 hours.. check the internal temperature what your looking for 150 degrees {f} internally.. if not done cook another 1/2-1 hour.. remove from smoker when done and let sit.. once it's cooled i put it in a zip lock and put in the fridge until ready to use later that evening.. {it can remain in the fridge for about 2 weeks} when ready to cook slice and cook like any other bacon.. {i would not eat it until cooking/frying in a pan like regular bacon} it's so freaking good.. is it cost effective and cheaper do this way?? no.. but is it fun and now i can say i made homemade bacon.. yes!! :)



enjoy and get cook'n!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

week of bacon.. 1st recipe.. bacon wrapped pork tenderloin filets with mustard~garlic butter

 
 

i recently had a dinner party where the main guest was bacon.. everything had bacon in it or on it.. ha ha :) and it was a glorious dinner.. i mentioned the bacon party when I posted this beer, bacon, chocolate pecan tart, which as i am sure you can imagine was out of this world..  today's post was inspired by this recipe here ... i was trying to decide on a main course for the dinner when I ran across this recipe.. it was simple.. elegant.. hearty and i could use my new outdoor kitchen.. win win.. it came out so flavorful and the mustard garlic butter on top was so decadent but ohh so worth it..


 i will tell you a secret.. shhhh.. but for the dinner i used over 5 lbs of store bought bacon and made 4lbs of my own bacon.. now granted there was 10 or so people so it's not all that crazy.. a little crazy but not over the top crazy.. i will feature all the recipes from that dinner this week.. so come back it's a week of bacon!!


it could not be more simpler.. you cut a medallion off your tenderloin, wrap it in bacon, secure with a toothpick, salt and pepper and grill.. 



bacon-wrapped pork medallions with garlic mustard butter

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20-30 minutes
servings: 8

ingredients:

2 pork tenderloins {aprox. 1 lb. to 1 1/4 lbs. each}
16 slices of bacon
wooden picks
salt and pepper
garlic mustard butter {recipe to follow}

directions:

slice tenderloin into 16 medallions, i cut mine the width of the bacon.. wrap each medallion with bacon and secure with a tooth pick.. salt and pepper both sides of each medallion.. preheat your outdoor grill on high heat.. right before cooking drop down to medium heat, add your medallions and close cover.. cook on each side approx. 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.. remove from grill and add a pat of the mustard garlic butter to each fillet and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes before serving.. the butter will be melting and creates this incredible sauce.. be sure to serve it with some homemade crusty bread to sop up that luscious sauce..



mustard~garlic butter

prep time: 5 minutes
servings: 1/2 cup

ingredients:

1 stick of butter, room temperature
4 tsps. dijon mustard
2 cloves of minced garlic

directions:

in a small bowl, stir together ingredients until mixed well.. wrap in plastic wrap and shape into a log.. chill while pork is cooking.. when ready to serve cut into 16 pats and add to the pork before serving..

enjoy and get cook'n!!!

Friday, February 21, 2014

big beef friday!! beer braised then grilled kissed beef ribs and short ribs

 
since we have moved into our house 12 years ago, every year right after the first we take on a winter/spring project.. we have since moving in painted the house inside and out, added slabs of concrete to extend our patio and add a front porch area, changed all the windows, doors, flooring, baseboard, door knobs, light switches, complete all new kitchen and even a new roof.. the project or shall i say projects this time around were to remove the flooring {gawd awful carpet} from our master bedroom and shell's old room {sniff sniff since she moved out} and replace it with tile... the new extra bedroom got the same tile we have running through out the house but the master got a new tile we found, it looks like cherry wood flooring.. it's awesome... we moved our antique "full" bedroom furniture {yes we've been sleeping on a full bed for 25 years.. crazy huh} to the now named "guest" bedroom, added a chandelier for the lights, threw up some nice drapes and viola shell's crazy purple and black room is now a cute little bed and breakfasty type room.. for our bedroom we got a king bed.. it's huge ha.. i actually have to kinda climb in it it's very tall.. but it's gorgeous and i love it, the room is still in the process of being put back together but so far so good.. one of the other projects we completed was the wall under our kitchen bar.. it was painted and always dirty.. either from kids knees {ever get a new pair of indigo jeans and your legs and everything the jeans touch turned blue?? yeah well that happened more times then i can think on this poor wall} kick marks and who else knows what the kids did to this poor wall.. so for years i wanted to cover it.. i had in my mind what i wanted but couldn't find it.. i wanted some kind of brick look but bricks were to thick.. and then we found thinner ones but they were to rough.. then we found this thin faux sheet and it was to cheezy.. then we were walking through the tile isle at lowes looking for grout for our bedroom and we found tile that looked like laid brick.. it was awesome so we got it and it looks fabulous.. then the BIG project is our backyard.. i, with total trepidation gave jake my grill.. *sigh* it was hard but i got an outdoor kitchen.. *yippee skipee* i've wanted one for years and it's so pretty.. i can't wait to share with you the final result when it's all done.. we've decided to add a built in fire pit and brick/paver type seating area off the outdoor kitchen.. so you can say we've been busy since january 1..but all good things.. {pictures of renovations to come}
 
 
we've had gorgeous weather in my hometown and since i have this new amazing outdoor kitchen why not use it.. so the first thing pete wanted to cook on it was beef ribs.. i am like huh.. he said i want beef ribs.. so i made beer braised beef ribs and short ribs and they turned out amazing.. {i have used the words gorgeous, amazing and awesome way to much in the post.. i think i should invest in a thesaurus.. he he} anyway they were pretty darn good.. fall off the bone tender.. slightly charred..sweet and tangy.. in a word scrumdillicious...


i slow cooked them in the oven then just kissed them with the grill to get a slight char on them..
 
i had left over short ribs so i made bbq short rib pizza.. holy cow was it good.. i really really really wanted an outdoor pizza oven {and some day might still get} but it was such a extravagant expense that didn't seem practical so i got a bbq bull pizza stone that has it's own temperature gage and is the size of the grill grate and it so far has worked out great.. it gets to be about 700 degrees and cooks a pizza in 4 or so minutes.. love love..


beer braised then grilled kissed beef ribs and short ribs

prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 28 hours {i let my ribs sit over night}
servings: 8-10

ingredients:

5 lbs. beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat and cut into individual ribs
5 lbs. beef back ribs, membrane removed and i cut them to where they were almost individual but still connected
bone suck'in rub {i got it for christmas i usually make my own but this was very good too}
2 bottles of wheat beer {i used blue moon}
sweet n spicy bbq sauce {i love sweet baby rays and until i make one i like better i guess i will keep using it.. he he}

directions:

rub your ribs generously with the rub and place in ziplock bags and put in the fridge over night.. when ready to cook preheat oven to 250 (f).. put them on a broiler type pan {you don't want them cooking in the liquid you want them over the liquid so they basically steamed in the beer} pour the bottles of beer in the container you have the ribs over .. cover with foil and slow cook for 2-3 hours.. {you want them tender but not so they are falling apart, they won't cook on the grill very well that way he he} remove ribs from dish and place on a lined cookie sheet.. slather with your bbq sauce on your ribs and cook on your medium grill 10-14 minutes per side.. making sure to brush more sauce on when you turn them over.. they are already basically cooked your just slightly charring them and caramelizing the bbq sauce.. remove from grill and serve with cheesy scalloped potatoes .. yum yum delish!!!

enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

throwback thursday.. camping chili and breakfast potatoes

we went camping again this year to dumont dunes and as usual had a wonderful time and enjoyed some delicious food.. today's throwback thursday are the recipes i posted last year from our dumont trip..



spicy turkey chili
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 45 - 60 minutes {depending on how much time you have}
servings:  6-8

ingredients:
2 lbs ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
1 {16 oz} can chili ready or mexican style diced tomatoes
1 {16} can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
1 {16 oz} can of kidney beans
1 {16 oz} can of pinto beans {or black beans}
2 tblsp. of "hot" taco seasoning {my recipe below} a package of taco seasoning is fine too use too
olive oil

toppings: {optional}

shredded cheese
diced onions
diced pickled jalapenos
chopped cilantro
tobasco
light sour cream
crushed fritos
directions:

a few turns around your large pot with the olive oil.. heat over a medium high and place turkey in pot and cook until evenly brown and crumbly.. add tomato paste.. stir around and incorporate into meat.. about 2-3 minutes..  add taco seasoning.. cook for about 2 -3 minutes.. add tomatoes and beans (don't drain them) bring to a boil.. reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-60 minutes stirring often so it doesn't burn.. i then top with diced onions, shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, jalapenos and tobasco. {for camping we brought flour tortillas and fritos.. it was so good}

taco seasoning
 
prep time: 5

ingredients:
1 tbsp. chili powder (i use mexican hot)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. chipolte chili powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. smokey spanish paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. course sea salt
directions:

combine and keep in a mason jar so its always ready for whenever you need it..


 
camping breakfast potatoes

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30-45 minutes
servings: 4

ingredients:

 canola oil
4-5 russet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 small white onion, diced
1 bell pepper, any color, cored, seeded and diced
1 tblsp. italian seasoning
salt and pepper
directions:

wash and pat dry your potatoes, cut into chunks.. in a cast iron skillet heat two~three twirls around the pan with oil over medium heat until hot.. add potatoes, onion and bell pepper.. crank heat up to medium high.. add seasoning.. {salt, pepper and italian seasoning} and stir around to make sure everything is covered in your oil .. leave alone covered and without stirring for about 5minutes.. then remove cover and stir and cook uncovered for additional 5 minutes.. you want the underside to start to brown.. then stir around and continue to do so until potatoes are tender and starting to get to the level of browning you like.. reduce heat.. then when the rest of breakfast is done.. serve immediately... i served then with my cheesy  scrambled eggs.. {what is funny that post for the scrambled eggs is the second recipe i ever posted on this blog.. i guess i should up date it.. ha} some spicy mexican sausage and we made breakfast bowls.. potatoes, eggs then sausage and cover with cheese and sour cream.. yumm...



enjoy and get cook'n!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

throwback thursday.. spicy fried chicken and waffles..



it's throwback thursday and today i thought i would pull from the archives one of my favorites.. every year for my dad's b day i give him the choice of anything he wants i will make him for dinner.. and every year he picks southern fried chickenmashed potatoes, corn, buttermilk sour~cream pepper biscuits and my grandmommy's miracle whip cake with fudge frosting.. and this year will be no different i am sure.. his b day is coming up so i will see what surprises i can come up with.. last years surprise was waffles.. along with all of the above i made waffles to serve with the spicy fried chicken.. it was so good.. a once a year indulgence..



spicy fried chicken

for the fried chicken i used my recipe which i posted here.. it's the way i have been making it for years and i haven't changed any of it.. accept maybe adding an extra dash or two of cayenne in the flour.. but other than that nothing.. same recipe.. simple tried and true..

waffles

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 3-5 minutes
servings: 8

ingredients:

 4 cups ap unbleached flour
3 tblsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 cups low fat buttermilk
1 cup melted butter
3 large eggs
directions:
in a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.. in a medium mixing bowl whisk together, butter, eggs and buttermilk.. add to flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.. don't over mix.. heat your waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.. i spray mine on the first waffle with pam but then don't spray again.. my waffle iron is about 20 years old so it's pretty well seasoned and non sticky ha ..pour batter onto iron. {this depends on the size of your waffle iron as to how much} cook until crisp and golden brown.. 3-5 minutes.. remove to a plate and serve immediately so they don't get soggy.. we slathered our waffles with honey butter, grabbed the chicken of our choice and then drizzled with spicy honey syrup.. {recipe for the butter and syrup below}it was quite delish.. if i do say so myself..


spicy honey syrup {i use the same "sauce" i use for my chicken wings and i love to dip my pizza in it}
ingredients:

1/4 cup of honey
2 tsp. {or more} of cayenne
directions:
in a small microwave safe bowl combine the 2 and zap in the microwave for about 20 seconds right before ready to serve so it's easily drizzlable {good golly is that a word..}

honey butter {we used this on our biscuits and our waffles}
ingredients:

4 tbslp. butter, room temperature
3 tblsp. orange blossom honey
directions:

whisk until well combined... {it's great on warm flour tortillas, toast and even pancakes}

enjoy and get cook'n!!