Where’s the Bacon???

It was at my house this weekend….three different ways. Follow along while I share three great recipes made using bacon in three unique ways.  My house had some of the most fragrant smells coming forth!

 You will have to forgive the lack of pictures – I was too busy cooking bacon!

I made this for a granddaughter who is obsessed with bacon.  She loves bacon in every way possible so I sent this to her Sunday afternoon to try.  She will let me know if this is a keeper. Her brothers, who picked this up along with something else, said that it was good…real good.  I called her mother and said to hide it so she would get some when she got off of work.  Granddaughter would be mad if it gets gone before she gets home.  It surely smelled good while baking.

 

Roasted Bacon Pecans

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 slices bacon, chopped (bacon is not pre-cooked)

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread pecans in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan.  Drizzle with butter.  Sprinkle bacon pieces evenly over the pecans.   Bake, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until the bacon is done.

 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sugar and salt.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the pecans and bacon as soon as they come out of the oven.  Let cool completely in pan over a wire rack.  Serve at room temperature.

 

These next two recipes I made for our Sunday School breakfast.  They like these and I will be making these roll-ups again.  I have made the bacon before and knew it would be a good change of pace to take alongside of the rollups.

 

Crispy Brown Sugar Bacon

1 pound hickory smoked bacon slices

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

 

Cut bacon slices in half.  Combine sugar and pepper in a shallow dish.   Dredge bacon in sugar mixture, shaking off excess.  Twist each bacon slice, if desired.  Place bacon in a single layer on a lightly greased baking rack in an aluminum foil lined baking pan.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crisp. 

 

Cheesy Bacon Pecan Spirals

2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (1-pound) package hickory-smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup finely chopped pecans

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

two packages of crescent rolls

 

In a medium bowl, combine grated cheeses and cream cheese; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.   Add bacon, pecans and red pepper.   Beat at medium speed until well combined.  Divide mixture in half.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one package of crescent rolls, pressing seams together, into a rectangle.   Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture over the dough evenly covering the dough.   Roll up in a spiral, jelly-roll style, and smoothing seam closed. Repeat with other package of crescent rolls and cheese mixture.  Slice in to ½ inch spirals (or can be refrigerated overnight and sliced and baked the next day) and bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes or until light golden brown.  

 

 

 

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Who won???

Boy have i had fun this month with the Christmas in July winners!  I just wish I could have entered to win because I have wanted everything I have given away!   Please let me know how you are enjoying these items and how these items are working if this applies!  

Which brings me to the pizza baking Breville machine, our last giveaway!  Did you win?  

Winner one………first drawn by random.org…….

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#5 – John Hann!   Come make us some pizzas, John!   And come get your new pizza machine!

And random.org selected as the second winner………

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# 12…..ryno….who the heck has a name like ……ryno????? What was their parents thinking??????? Surely that’s a nickname or a login name!!!!!! hahaha Anyway I shall get Mr. Ryno their pizza machine!

(And yes, I counted right…..the second post by alafamdoc was not counted…. only one entry per person on this one…but there will be future giveaways where you will be allowed two… or more..entries! Stay tuned!)

Congratulations and hope the winners enjoy making pizzas for their whole families!

Recipes to come, and random giveaways throughout the rest of the year so stay tuned!  

Thanks, all!

La Pizza (Pizza, in Italian)

Ahhhh…..to stroll down the streets of Florence, Italy, and find the most perfect pizza – Florence locals and tourists say it is at Gusta Pizza, located at Via Maggio, 46R, 50110, Florence Italy.  If you are ever there, look up Francisco, the owner and tell him I said hi!  And send me a Margherita Pizza with that famous half soft mozzarella cheese.  I know it must be good, made with all fresh ingredients, and anything with fresh basil, olive oil, fresh tomatoes, and wonderful crust can’t be bad.   

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Since it doesn’t look like I will be going to Florence anytime soon (or if you are, I would love to stow away in your luggage and tag along…..get it…tag….along…..put your luggage tag on your luggage….never mind) you can certainly make your favorite pizza on the last “Christmas in July give-a-way” which is from Williams-Sonoma (by the way- they have a TREMENDOUS sale going on right now- check them out….tables, and tables of great kitchen stuff…too many to mention and when they have a sale, boys howdy do they have a sale…but visit the store if you are close to one) ….this wonderful, great, Breville Crispy Crust Pizza baker! 

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No more heating up your oven….let this pre-heat the pizza stone…and make your favorite pizza.   I wish I had been able to stay longer at the Williams-Sonoma store-they were just fixing to make a couple and serve to their customers (I’m a regular, you know) but I couldn’t…back to work.  Just look at all its features:

  • Countertop pizza maker gives you professional brick-oven results, right in your own kitchen.
  • Dual heating elements on the top and bottom of the oven heat the ceramic pizza stone up to 660°F, replicating the cooking environment of a brick oven.
  • Built-in 12″ diam. baking stone conducts and retains heat evenly to guarantee crisp, golden crusts.
  • Settings for Thin, Medium and Thick crusts automatically adjust cooking time and temperature to ensure uniformly baked pizzas—no matter how generous the toppings.
  • A special Keep Warm setting holds your fresh-baked pizza at the ideal serving temperature—and keeps the baking stone hot between pizzas.
  • Use the viewing window to monitor baking without opening the lid and losing heat.
  • Bake pizzas up to 11″ diam.
  • A Williams-Sonoma exclusive.

It’ll make you whistle Dixie……even if you can’t whistle!

To win one of the two I am giving away, just tell me this…..what would be the first kind of pizza you will want to make if you win one?   Pepperoni?  Veggie Pizza?   BBQ!  Or are you making your own up?  Get wild!  Create your very own flavors.  Leave a comment and remember you have until Friday morning, July 26th, 6:00 am, Central time,  to reply with your answer.   Two winners will be selected and posted later Friday morning the 26th

Grazie, all that read these posts! I appreciate all of you!

The best Fudgy Cookies and Cream Cake ever

I made this cake for an auction this weekend….it almost didn’t make it there…. I was going to tell them I dropped it and keep it myself but it was for a good cause so I just couldn’t be that sneaky!   I will make it again and this one will stay with me.  My house smelled like this fudgy, chocolatey, goodness all weekend.  Oh, my…… make this.   It may look like a bunch of ingredients, but it’s really not, and it’s so stinkin’ good.  (I did taste test the layers because you shave the cake layers to make them level …yea!  Taste pieces!) 

I did find, however, on the icing portion, next time I will only add 2 Tbsp of the water to begin with and then a little more if needed.   I added the full 4 Tbsp as the recipe calls for… it makes the icing like a creamy buttercream fluffiness but in the original picture the frosting looked more like a ganache …. I think my icing spreader is too small maybe to get it completely smooth so maybe I just need to get one of those large icing spreaders and it would be fine because I placed it in the fridge afterwards and it firmed up the icing like it should.  Live and learn…. that means shopping at the kitchen store for me. woohoo!

Anyway, here’s a picture of it (not my picture because I left my picture at home) so you can see the inside of this luciousness.

 

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And here’s the handy-dandy recipe……

Fudgy Cookies and Cream Cake

  • Cake:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups heavy cream, COLD
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 15 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Fudge frosting:
  • 2 sticks butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 TBS hot water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tops of cake spring back when lightly touched in the center. Let cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely on wire racks. Once cakes are room temperature, wrap and chill (preferably overnight).
  4. Prepare filling:
  5. Place the metal bowl of your mixer, along with whisk attachment, in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and add heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat on high until you have whipped cream that forms stiff peaks (keep an eye on it….it can turn to butter if you let it go too long). Fold in crushed cookies.
  6. Level your chilled cakes, then split each layer in half. Fill each layer generously with cookies and cream filling. If possible, stick in the freezer for about an hour, so the filling will firm up and not make it difficult to frost.
  7. Prepare frosting: In the bowl of your mixer, beat butter and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer on low, add powdered sugar and cocoa powder slowly until just barely mixed in. Add water and beat on high speed for about 2 minutes. Frost cake and serve.

 

Spending time for….

Someone will be having fun spending some gift cards!

Winner of the first gift card for $100 to Sur La Table is..

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JKL!  I wonder who will be spending this for you! (sorry for the sideways picture – I took the picture the same way I always do but for some way it went sideways and I have no idea how to turn it!

And congrats to the second winner of a $75 gift card .at Sur La Table….

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#4 – Chris ……have fun! (and another sideways picture)  (Help…..!)

 

Finally the third winner of the other $75 gift card also at Sur La Table is….

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#6…Tracy  (how weird is that? I took the pictures all the same way on my phone – two turned a different way and this one didn’t….. oh well)

Have fun spending!  .

GIFT CARDS AND COOKING

If you receive a gift card for a gift, how soon do you spend yours?  Are you a “gift card hoarder” and hold on to it as long as you can? Or do you wait for a sale at that store to get the mostest out of the card?  Or do you head straight to the place and spend all that moolah card?  

You will have that chance to decide if you are one of 3 lucky winners!  And you don’t even have to run to the store unless you want to make a trip to Birmingham (if you live close to me and in Alabama where mine is) or have one close by you to Sur La Table where I love to graze (here’s their link – http://www.surlatable.com/) .   They have neat stuff.  They have neat sales.  I once got a kitchen towel for one of the kiddos (she asked me to while I was there) on sale for near nothing.  And the Birmingham office has the nicest people.  I am in their system.  They know me by name.  This could get ugly on the pocketbook!

Today for the next “Christmas in July” give-a-ways, and because we just finished our Kuzins Kamp that hubby and I do with our grandkids (well some, as we told the 4 older ones they were, well, too old to go this year – one is still upset with us) I am giving away 3 (yes, three) gift cards to three lucky winners for each of you to shop at Sur La Table.   One is for $100 and two are for $75.  This means no shipping on your order! Can I hear a woohoo???!!!!  Any order at Sur La Table over $59 is free shipping.

To be in the drawing for one of the three gift cards, just shout out how long is it going to take you to spend your gift card if you win!  As soon as you win?  Maybe a week or two?  Waiting on a good sale? 

Winners will be selected and posted on Friday morning, July 19th

Happy cooking!

Ranch Green Beans

My peeps loved these green beans, a recipe I found on the web floating around.  They said the recipe makes the green beans taste like fresh green beans that had been simmering all day.  Give them a try.  I don’t think you will be disappointed.  And you just might get those in your family who won’t eat their veggies to actually do so!  Hubby likes some chopped onion added to his while they are cooking.  I usually sauté the onions first until the onions are translucent as these beans don’t cook long. 

 

Ranch Style Green Beans

28 oz can green beans, drained

½ cup chicken broth

1 packet ranch dressing mix

¼ cup bacon pieces

 

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat for 10 minutes.

 

Panini winner…

Congrats to……

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#16!  Margaret McGuire…. Hey Margaret….I will get your neat new panini press to you…let me know how you like it.   New recipes to come and more give-a-ways for “Christmas in July! Thanks to all for playing along and for following.

Do you Panini?

I love paninis.  We have Panini Lunches at work.  We bring different fillings and go to town!  I recently had a meeting and served breakfast panini’s and the attendees loved them as well as the working staff.  My favorite that morning was the peanut butter and banana panini.  You can let your imagination fly on these things. 

Because it is too hot to put anything in the oven, because was a monsoon where I was this past weekend, I am giving away the neatest kind of a panini contraption I recently came across.

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 I want one. I wonder if it is legal to enter your own contest!!!  Anyway, I love the bright color, (it would go great in my kitchen and who cares if it matches or not) I love that it is cast iron enamel because you know this baby will grill and crust the outside like there’s no tomorrow, and I love that the press fits the WHOLE pan which means there are no edges of the sandwiches left out!  

If you want to be entered to win this cutie pie, just leave a reply and tell me what kind of panini would you create?  You have until Thursday morning at 8:00 am to reply.  As much as we need the rain, I hope it slows down soon! 

Just in Time for Grilling Season

With the 4th of July weekend here, and cookouts in full force, you will surely want to give this rub a try.  It is a great all-purpose barbecue rub that tastes wonderful on ribs, chicken, pork, beef, veggies….burgers….well, just about anything you want to put it on.  Make some and keep it handy.  And find what you like it best on.  I made this up and gave it to the girls in the office for Christmas – makes a great present for any occasion.

 

Barbecue rub

Makes 2 cups

 

1 cup chili powder

3 Tablespoons paprika

3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

2 Tablespoons coarse salt

2 Tablespoons garlic powder

1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

2 Tesapoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper( or less, to taste)

 

Place all ingredients in a large bowl;  whisk to combine.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

Great on Chicken, Ribs, brisket, pork tenderloin, shrimp,

And if you like to grill vegetables, this is great – just large chop your favorite vegetables (such as mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, squash, bell pepper, zucchini), drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with rub, toss and grill on skewers or in grill pan – and enjoy!