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Tenth Day of Christmas Gift

One word about today’s gift from the kitchen. Bacon!

Almond, Chocolate, and Bacon Toffee to be exact. Yes, BACON in toffee!

It’s not something new. I didn’t dream it up. In fact, I’ve spoken of it before. I even made bacon peanut brittle just over a year ago. This year, I’ve decided to give the toffee a go at it.

You and your very lucky, and soon to be grateful, gift recipients will love it! Just be certain to chop your crispy cooked bacon fine … into little bitty pieces. I left mine a bit to big and although I still love that batch of toffee, it is better chopped more fine, as I discovered on my second batch.

On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me:

Tins of Bacon Toffee
Rum Glazed Eggnog Bread
Fennel Cured Salmon
Spicy Guinness Mustard
Two Jars of Mustard
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Homemade Kahlua Liqueur
Lemon-Sugar Hand Scrub
Cranberry Citrus Vodka
and a bottle of Tomato Dust

Silvered almonds are used in the recipe. You can find untoasted silvered almond and toasted slivered almonds at Trader Joe’s. You will need toasted almonds.

To toast the untoasted almonds; place nuts on a dry baking sheet and into a 350 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times until nicely browned. That’s it, now you have toasted slivered almonds and you are ready to make your delicious toffee.

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December 9, 2012   1 Comment

a quick holiday appetizer

Today, it’s another of the recipes from Saturday’s Christmas Craft Party, stuffed mushrooms. What’s not to like? Bacon. Cheese. Mushrooms. Pepper Jelly. It’s all good! This would be perfect to bring to a holiday party.

But, before I get to it, I have to share with you just how clever my friend, Sheila is and how she “constructed” a second long table for our crowd in her craft room.

See this table? It’s really drywall set atop two sawhorses. Next, she cut up two twin bed-skirts and used them as the table skirt. Finally, Sheila used her Kitchen Papers Flourish Paper Table Wrap to cover the top. So resourceful and so darn pretty!

OK, on to the recipe!

Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Mushrooms

15 to 18 slices bacon, cut in half
12-ounces (1  1/2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup diced green onions
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pepper jelly
30 to 36 fresh medium to large crimini or white mushrooms, stems removed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place a rack atop one of the baking sheets.

Place the bacon pieces, in a single layer, on the prepared baking sheet without the rack. Partially cook the bacon in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the mushrooms.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, green onions, cheddar cheese, and jelly.

Use a small spoon to stuff the mushroom caps with the cheese mixture, really pack it in there.

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December 7, 2012   1 Comment

pumpkin class nibbles

These bacon and olive based appetizers aren’t the prettiest plate on the table but with their hint of curry, they are sure to be the most popular!

Many thanks to Barbara Fenzl, who demonstrated this recipe in her classes last month at Les Gourmettes. She agreed to let me to share them with you.

Bonus  –  They are so Easy-Breezy!

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November 7, 2012   1 Comment

appetizer for 6 or “dinner” for 2

Not only did Sheila and I enjoy our Vootbeer Cocktails on Friday night, we also scarfed down some salty spicy-sweet little snacks … ummm … as our dinner.  Hey, we’re on a vacation shopping trip – do not judge!

Additionally, this is a “do as I say, not as I do” sort of recipe. We didn’t have any foil, or a rack, so the photos don’t exactly match the instructions. I had to make do with what was available in Sheila’s adorable drool-worthy cottage kitchen.

The kitchen is actually very well equipped, as Sheila is a fabulous cook, but things are sometimes just a bit smaller than I am used to. If you have foil and a rack, which I’m sure you do, then follow the directions and you will be set!

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October 15, 2012   1 Comment

lunch imitating art

More than 2 1/2 years ago I made a bold confession to you – I love Campbell’s Tomato Soup more than homemade tomato soup. Just image my joy and excitement when I saw on Facebook that, for a very limited time, Target was carrying Andy Warhol inspired Campbell’s Tomato Soup cans.

I LOVE those cans, the original art which you can check out HERE and the cans sold at Target. I drove from store to store to store to find all four colors of the cans. Below you can see what I was able to round up.

Warhol created his first Campbell’s art in 1962. It consisted of 32 separate canvases of 32 different Campbell’s soup varieties.

The “extreme” colored cans didn’t come around until 1965. Warhol claimed to have eaten Campbell’s soup for lunch, nearly daily, for 20 years.

No, I’m not going to give you the “recipe” for making Campbell’s Tomato Soup, you’ll find that on the back of the can (I use milk – not water) … how about a grilled cheese sandwich to accompany your soup?


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September 20, 2012   5 Comments

shrimp sausage pasta

Back in early June, I told you how I was going to join a CSA.  Well, I did, and I was able to pick up a box of fresh Crooked Sky Farm produce every Thursday morning for the past eight weeks. What fun it was to be surprised by the bounty I received.

For the last four weeks of the eight, there was fresh corn. Corn is one vegetable we never get tired of. This is one of the many “easy-breezy” dishes I created to use up all that corn. Of course, many a night, it was plain old corn on the cob, always a wonderful summer-time treat!

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August 12, 2012   3 Comments

pop pop

This is the final entry of my quick and easy party food ideas for the week… and it may be the easiest of them all. Only four ingredients that take only minutes to assemble and bake.

Get the kids to help and put them together, assembly-line style, and you’ll be chowing down on these puppies in less than 20 minutes. 

Tip: I always keep cooked bacon pieces in my freezer. Anytime a recipe calls for bacon that is chopped and cooked crisp, I will cook up a full pound, use what I need, and place the rest in a freezer-ziplock bag. Then when you need a small amount, such as for these poppers, you just pull out what is needed.  Perfect for a quick omelet any morning of the week too.

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July 18, 2012   2 Comments

1962 advertisement

This is a 1962 advertisement for Aunt Jemima pancake batter.

It reads:

“Just about the best breakfast that ever greeted a hungry family! And it’s as easy as this:  Mix up Aunt Jemima batter according to package directions. Place cooked bacon strips on griddle and pour batter over each strip.  Bake ‘em golden brown on both sides. Couldn’t be easier – couldn’t taste better!  How about Aunt Jemima Bacon Strip Pancake at your house tomorrow?”

We made these in our breakfast themed class this week and they were as popular today as I imagine they were 50 years ago!

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May 31, 2012   3 Comments

day 2 – take your lunch to work

Before I get to today’s brown bag recipe, I would like to apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced with this site yesterday. The bad news is that it was down between about 2:00 and 5:00 pm as people (including me) received an error message stating that there was not enough bandwidth. What is bandwidth, you ask?  I have absolutely no idea. I even looked it up and read THIS, and I still don’t fully understand. So I emailed my super-duper tech guy. He kindly added more bandwidth to my site and I was back in business.

The good news – running out of my allotted amount of monthly  bandwidth before the month is up (even if it is on the last day of the month) means my viewership is growing and that excites me very much indeed.  And that is thanks to all of you! I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart! xoxo

Today’s brown bag lunch recipe is a jazzed up version of an all-time favorite, the BLT.  This is the BELT, and the E is for the egg that is added in. Only problem is, when I made this for Dave and myself the other night… yeah… I forgot the lettuce. So the pictures reflect a BET instead of a BELT. No matter, it was delicious even without the lettuce!

Since the sandwich includes hard cooked eggs, a bagel seemed like a natural choice for the bread. I made one each way, the first with a toasted bagel and the other with toasted multi-grain bread. I preferred the bagel and Dave preferred the bread. You choose for yourself, or just make them both ways and enjoy a half of each. Then share the rest with a favorite co-worker. Trust me, that person will be your friend for life after they’ve filled their growling tummy with your tasty generosity!

If you want to make only one sandwich, boil 2 eggs instead of three. Only mash 1/2 of one of the eggs for the spread and slice the remaining 1 1/2 for the sandwich. Cut the amount of all of the remaining ingredients by half.

Lastly, as long as you’re frying up bacon, fry extra. It freezes great and then you won’t have to make a mess the next time you’re craving this sandwich… oh, and you will be craving it!

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May 1, 2012   4 Comments

have a heart

I’ve shared with you my new found love of Pinterest. That is where I found the idea for these adorable pearl cherry tomato hearts. If you and your loved one are going out for Valentines and leaving the kids at home, what a wonderful salad this would be to serve to your beloved children.  Or… just as a casual any night of the week with an extra special loving touch.

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February 9, 2012   2 Comments