Friday, September 21, 2012

Get ready - It's Bacon JAM!

OK, I made this last year, and gave away a few half pint jars as holiday gifts. I also took 1 or 2 to different parties, where I'd volunteered to bring an appetizer. I think you either love it or hate it.  I, personally love it, but one of my besties said she and her hubby just didn't get it. Well, different strokes for different folks! ;-)

This is the first blog that I'm going through and posting pics from different stages of readiness. Hopefully, if you decide to make this, you'll be able to gauge your jam from the pics posted here! :D

If you do decide to make it, you can eat the whole jar with cream cheese and Ritz crackers (I have!) Or, it is perfect on an fried egg sandwich (makes it taste gourmet) and also wonderful smeared on a burger. Use your imagination while trying to decide how to serve/devour this!

I started with a recipe from my friend at, Lori Mama, who has been to Virginia Beach and visited with my family. She posted this recipe for Bacon Jam, which I made (and fell in love with) last fall. When working on this for my holiday gifts, I googled and found Martha Stewart's recipe too. You can find it here: Slow Cooker Bacon Jam This version appealed to me, as it used a slow cooker (1.5 quart is PERFECT for this recipe. Here's a link to the one I use: party slow cooker) and it required no 'tending' (i.e. adding the extra water every 30 minutes or so...) But of course, I've combined the best of both and am going to share it with you now!

Alli's Bacon Jam
1 1/2 lb. center cut bacon (for more flavor, you may use applewood - I have)
1 smallish sweet onion (vidalia, walla walla, maui sweets, etc.), diced finely
3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed through the press
3/4 c. brewed coffee (use what's in your pot)
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. sriracha (I just give a good squirt)
fresh ground black pepper

~Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces (easier to do if partially frozen) and cook in a frying pan until golden and beginning to get crispy (approx. 20 minutes.)
*I have also done this step in the oven, cooking at 400º for about 16  minutes, turning once and cutting into small pieces with shears, while bacon is still hot. Don't forget to reserve a tbsp. of bacon fat for 'sweating' the onion and garlic.
~ Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, and add onion and garlic to pan with 1 tbsp. of bacon fat, letting them cook 'til translucent - took me about 4 minutes.
~Add next 7 ingredients to skillet, scraping up brown pieces as you go, reducing the liquid just a bit.
~Return bacon to pan, making sure everything is well mixed.

~Transfer mixture to small slow cooker, set on medium. Stir every 30 minutes or so, for 6 hours. I remove the lid for the last hour or so.

~Let mixture cool a little, then pour into a food processor, pulsing a few times, until you reach a good consistency. It should still be a little 'chunky', not whirred to a puree. (I reserve 1 cup til the last couple of 'pulses', to retain texture.)

~You may now divide the mixture into jars (3 8 oz. jars) and refrigerate. This will last approximately 4 weeks, so just eat it UP!! Serve with cream cheese on butter crackers, or alone on a baguette slice. Smear on your next burger or hook up your next eggs benedict, as a surprise!

Be sure to share with your friends - they'll thank you! :D AND, leave me a comment if you make this, letting me know how it turned out for you or how you served it!

Thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cheesy Goats!

Do you like to make easy recipes that are impressive in both presentation and taste? Isn't that what we're all looking for? I think so. I ran across this idea on Pinterest and went looking for a recipe. I found one, with an amusing title, here: Cheesy Goats - Pancetta Crisps with Goat Cheese and Pear. These are fabulous eye AND palate 'candy.' The sweet/sour pear flavor underscored by the crispy, salty pancetta with the tang of the goat cheese makes for a lovely mouth feeling! A little honey and a grinding of pepper finish this one off in grand fashion! Go make some now - (to taste test, before your next party) you KNOW you want to...

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Killarney Fudge Pie - rich and decadent!

Morning! I know this is early, but I want you to have time to make this pie TODAY! Your family will thank you, as will any unsuspecting strangers that you try to foist a piece on, just to get it out of your house! Goes together lickety-split and you can garnish it however you'd like. I've been exploring salt with chocolates, so I sprinkled it with a little Cyprus sea salt. It is a lovely foil for the sweet, rich chocolate pie! Just go ahead and make one today! You know you want to... Here is the recipe -->> Killarney Fudge Pie!

Thanks for stopping by - it is appreciated! :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Spanish Burgers

Alrighty then! These burgers really kicked my normal burgers 'up a notch!' I found the recipe HERE! My friend, GailAnn, up to her usual tasty tricks! Just take your square of cheese, wrap it up envelope/parcel fashion, and stick a toothpick in to hold together, while frying the bundle. Then, bury the bundle in your burger and grill! Soooo good! (Thank you, I may have another - really soon!)
Melty cheese - salty ham - OMGosh, it was de-lish! Make one this weekend - you know you want to...

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 20, 2012

TGIF! - Lava Flows for everyone!

It's like a heatwave, burning in my heart.... (credit: Martha and the Vandellas)
It has been hot, Hot, HOT and a refreshing beverage is exactly what you need at the end of a steamy (100º +, with heat index) day. Here is what you should be making this evening - a Lava Flow! Very interesting! I've made this drink a few times and you can make it too!

Here's how:
Lava Flow (makes 2)
4 oz. your fave rum (use coconut, if you like)
8 oz. pina colada mix
8 strawberries + sugar to macerate
Ice for the blender

Cut up your strawberries into small pieces and add sugar, to taste. Allow to macerate for a couple of hours, in the fridge. Mix rum and pina colada mix with ice in the blender. Divide strawberries (and juice) into 2 glasses and fill with your pina colada. It makes a very striking cocktail and is tasty AND refreshing!

Hard to go wrong with this drink. If you make your pina coladas from scratch (pineapple juice and Coco Lopez) you can certainly use that to mix these up! I was just trying to make it EASY!

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

French Yogurt Cake

OK, so I ran away from really, we went on vacation, WITH NO INTERNET OR SIGNAL FOR MY PHONE! Wow, that was an eye-opening experience (and a little annoying, as I had planned to publish a couple of posts from the lake) and made me appreciate 'home'!

I baked a cake yesterday, as the temperature has dropped 20 degrees, and I could stand the heat in the kitchen! I found this recipe in my May issue of Bon Appetit. You can view it here -->> French Yogurt Cake. Apparently, this is one of the first recipes a young French chef is taught to make in the kitchen. It is simple enough to make with your child, allowing them to help with the 'lemon/sugar infusion', measuring ingredients and of course, sampling your finished product! This could also be snacked on for breakfast, in a pinch.

As always, thanks for dropping by...


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Spiced Pecans

Hey there! I know, I know....I've been a slacker! But, between having unexpected (and delightful) company the other day, and preparing for vacation, I've been a little, hope you can forgive me. These pecans should make you my friend all over again! Perfect for gift-giving  and I've already done the research for ya - now, you just have to make them...And don't make only 1/2 the recipe, like I did...(what a mistake); go ahead and throw your lot in and make the 2's worth it! The recipe that I used (Spiced Pecans) recommended a higher temperature than I use when toasting nuts - after many years of experience, I decided to reduce the temperature to something that I was comfortable with...nothing like burning your expensive pecans. SO, if you make this recipe, I suggest baking these at 275º, for about 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. And, by all means, follow YOUR nose AND your instincts! Don't burn your pecans!
As always, thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bacon Cheese Ball

WOW! This cheese ball is different enough to warrant a nod from me! Not your same old cheese ball for sure. I did roll mine in the pecans, as opposed to adding them right in with everything else. Bacon Cheese Ball will be perfect to make for your next party. The addition of the strawberry jam puts this over the top! If you're partial to these ingredients, you will love this rendition!
If you get a chance to try this, I promise, you won't be sorry! As always, thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lemon Cream Pie Martini

Oh, my! I found that my friend, gailanng, who posts fabulous recipes at, had posted this one recently, and I just had to make it! I did not have the brands she specified, but I made due with my brands (<--read: ON HAND) just fine! Lemon Cream Pie Martini is wonderfully cool going down on a hot afternoon! You should make one; I dare ya! :D

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Comfort Food for my Sick Honey!

Hey there! Here's post #2 and apparently, it's sandwich week! Hubby has been home for the last 2 days, sick with bronchitis and an ear infection, so this was more for him than for me, but great, nonetheless...I was looking for the pinnacle in comfort food and what should I find but this: Ultimate Grilled Cheese - Gotta Try It! So, who am I to refuse? I made a couple of adjustments/ substitutions: I used the new (original flavor) Philly Cooking Creme in place of the cream cheese. I also butter toasted both sides of the bread (to help prevent sogginess) and I sprinkled a little freshly grated parmesan into the pan, to 'crust' the outsides of the sandwich. De-LISH! This will be perfect on a cold, wintery day, but it fit the bill for a sick honey TODAY!

Don't forget this one when you need a little 'extra' comfort! Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Croque Monsieur for Father's Day

Well, here it is - my first post. I've been debating starting a blog, and there are so many people who do, and do it well, and do FOOD well, that I've been intimidated. Well, no more - today, I am strong. Tomorrow, that may be a different story! So for lunch, I chose to make a Croque Monsieur for my hubby. Recipe found here: credited to David Myers. Turned out fabulously!

So, maybe I CAN do this! I'm gonna give a it a whirl, anyway! Thanks for stopping by and have a great Father's Day!