These are super fast to make and party ready in under 45 minutes.
My mother, lately, has taken to telling me when she and Dad have been out somewhere and eaten something with bacon. One of her recent texts said she’d just consumed some pre-dinner morsel wrapped in bacon, and that I must start working on appetizers. Can’t argue with that. So I cruised the grocery store looking for inspiration.
I came across it in a package of smoked salmon that, for my local grocery store, actually looked pretty good, plus the price per pound was under the lottery winning amounts they were charging for previously frozen, raw, farm-raised Atlantic salmon. The smoked salmon, which too had been farm raised, got an extra point from me for being a Wisconsin-raised product (buy local, stay local, blah, blah, blah). Once home, I rifled through the refrigerator and came up with this: Read more →
A little pasta, a couple vegetables, stock, milk, and bacon–dinner is served.
Scallions, stock, garlic, and bacon form the foundation for this easy dish.
It’s 7:30 on Friday evening, a time that means waking hours are slipping away for this Bacon Maven, an early riser. I’m two Scotches in, contemplating a final small draught, when hunger pangs strike. I swish the last of my second cocktail, mostly just melted ice, and my stomach growls. I know that if I don’t nosh something, I’ll have a restless, sleepless night and a grumpy morning. My usual, bachelorette fix for this kind of craving is a grilled cheese sandwich or some eggs over refried beans and rice, a little hot sauce and pico de gallo thrown into make the huevos less breakfasty. But I’m out of sandwich bread and I’m not in the mood for premature cluck. I paw through the refrigerator, looking for a quick fix.
I uncover a recently bought container of three-cheese tortellini, spy a plastic box of cherry tomatoes, a couple zucchini, a carton of chicken stock and my glass jar of whole milk. Out they come, and I set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Normally I’d have pulled a package of some sort of sausage out of the freezer, given it a quick defrost, and put that in, but I just didn’t want to deal with the microwave defrost where the middle is always frozen and the ends are half cooked, and I wasn’t up to a grease-spattered stovetop. I was thinking I was going to be “good” and go all veggie (note I did not say “vegetarian”—blech! patootey! pfft! and perish the thought). Then, just as I’m looking for my preferred knife for slicing the zucchini, I spy the plate of leftover bacon.
The Bacon Maven has leftover bacon? WTH? Read more →
Pork with bacon–twice the pig, twice the pleasure.
Digging through the freezer the other day, looking for four cowboy steak-thick pork chops I thought were on my “Pork/Bacon” shelf, I found only four regular every day pork chops. They were okay, nothing special. Not thin enough to be cheap-seat pork, not really thick enough to stuff with anything. What to do, what to do. Then I remembered the bottle of Crown Maple I’d spied at the liquor store and couldn’t resist. When I saw the bottle, I was thinking that pork chops should be at the top of the list for some sort of drunken combination, the pork the one to be intoxicated, not necessarily the cook (though that’s certainly a possibility). Alas, the Bacon Maven’s soberness (at least at the time she was staring at the hundred bottles of spices on her walls and in her pantry), managed to whip up something that brought on warm thoughts of an Indian spice market, sultry aromas wafting through the air, their exotic combinations waiting for fruition. Whether through good skill or good luck, that is indeed what she came up with. Here’s what you’ll need: Read more →
T’ain’t your grandmas, nor your mama’s mac-’n'-cheese. It’s much, much better–and much more grown up.
Mac-’n'-cheese is probably in the top three of my favorite comfort foods. I remember the little blue Kraft box of my youth that came with a can of gooey Velveeta cheese, and, in my adult life, I’ve often turned to Stouffer’s to mend a heart broken by a guy (some women cry through ice cream and raw cookie dough, I do it through pasta and cheese). A couple years ago, I stumbled upon a cookbook devoted to only mac-’n’-cheese—and I can nearly go bankrupt experimenting with cheeses. Talk about taking it to a level as far from the little blue Kraft box as one can get.
Still, sometimes I crave a childhood food. Such a desire struck me the other day; I wanted mac-’n-’cheese with hotdogs. Seriously, it was like I was a five-year-old who couldn’t be placated with anything else. Then a friend on Facebook sent me a post of a mac-’n’-cheese pie (from the blog OhBiteIt.com, if you want to see the original), with a latticed bacon top “crust.” Oh. Oh my. I immediately set to work, altering it to make this a Bacon Maven creation. Here’s what you’ll need. Read more →
When she one day becomes King of the World—yes, the Bacon Maven is all woman, but remember, the King has all the power—she will outlaw the foul fowl substance known as “turkey bacon.” Bacon comes from pigs. We have seen gourmet bacon made from ducks, which will be allowed because c’mon, it’s duck! And we have also seen beef bacon which we’re on the fence about. But “turkey bacon?” Worthless stuff, a vile creation of the soy-guzzling, granola-munching, gluten-free, I-want-to-be-a-vegan-but-I’m-not-brave-enough crowd. To utter the word “bacon” following the word “turkey” is sacrilege. It will not be tolerated.