February 10th, 2009

broccoli casserole

broccoli 2

i know what you’re thinking: what is broccoli doing here? this is a baking blog! and more often than that, it’s a bacon blog! i know, i know, it’s a little jarring – and even i had some trepidation after our last look at casseroles, but you’ll just have to trust me. why? well, because this broccoli casserole is full of delicious things and topped with crumbled and toasted ritz crackers.

broccoli casserole 1

got your attention, didn’t i? this casserole has made an appearance at nearly every family function for the past 5 or 6 years, since my sister-in-law first made it and blew us all away with how delicious it was. it’s a great way to get something green on your plate, especially if you aren’t a big fan of veggies. oddly enough, i love vegetables, but given the choice between raw broccoli and an indulgent cheesy broccoli casserole, i’m going with the casserole. it pretty much defeats the purpose of eating vegetables in the first place, but i think i can live with that.

broccoli 1

as far as preparation, the dish is pretty much idiot-proof. pour a bunch of ingredients in a casserole dish, top with crumbled crackers and a drizzle of melted butter, and bake. serve to friends you love, or just grab a fork and dig in. isn’t it nice to see how we’ve streamlined and simplified the casserole process since its heydays?

broccoli casserole 2

continue reading and get the recipe »

February 9th, 2009

and the winner is…

wow! you guys blew me away with your entries! a ton of you commented, but there can be only one winner, and using a random number generator, that winner was chosen. congratulations…


i’ll be emailing you today so you can get your hands on a brand new cookbook. on top of winning, jan left one of my favorite comments:

“This was clearly the 60s going with a circular decorative motif. Remember peace, love and joy?

3. Representing PEACE: tomato aspic with cream of chicken layer on a bed of lettuce, proving that we can all live in peace no matter what we’re made of…especially if we’re able to overlook those sharp black things on the sides.

2. Representing LOVE: Delightful satsuma pie; a citrisy blend of fresh juice with sections of fruit and almonds on top of a delicate layer of sour cream. Who doesn’t love citris?

3. Representing JOY: An old stand-by favorite of chili beans and biscuits in a savory sauce. The joys of one-pot cooking.”

by the way, you can read jan’s cooking exploits at http://www.atinylittleripple.blogspot.com.

so what were those mystery dishes? find out (and get the recipes!) below:

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February 4th, 2009

bacon chocolate chip cookies and candied bacon

bacon choc chip cookies 3

i have a (possibly  irrational) fear that the bacon trend may be waning. with the advent of bacon salt, bacolicio.us and any number of bacon blogs, a once underground community of bacon lovers is on the verge of going mainstream. just last week, the new york times published an article on the bacon explosion, a giant roll of bacon wrapped in sausage wrapped yet again in bacon. the times even recognized the absurdity of publishing the bacon explosion piece alongside another article about nyc’s war on salt.

bacon and brown sugar

this leaves me a little worried that the bacon overload could go the way of pirates, ninjas, robots, monkeys and zombies, concepts that have just been driven into the ground, particularly by the internet masses. i’m holding that  bacon stays timeless and untouchable, which explains why i decided to make a recipe that combined candied bacon with chocolate chip cookies.

candied bacon 3

enough about my bacon fears, let’s get to the recipe. i was inspired to make candied bacon by david lebovitz, who combined it with ice cream. i also found several recipes for bacon chocolate chip cookies, but they used ordinary bacon. i wanted to take the decadence of candied bacon and insert it into the sweetness of a cookie. dare i? i dared.

bacon chocolate chip cookie dough

the candied bacon by itself was overwhelmingly delicious, so much so that i could only eat a bite at a time without my taste buds exploding with joy. i chopped up the bacon into tiny pieces and mixed it in with ordinary chocolate chip cookie batter (the tollhouse recipe of course). before i put them in the oven, i worried that the bacon would overtake the taste of the cookie and simply be too much to handle. luckily, i was completely wrong.

candied bacon 4

in fact, what results is a very subtle bacon flavor that teams up with the chocolate chips to elevate the cookies – sweet and salty never disappoints. you might want to canvas your friends before making a full batch of these though. no matter how i explained the process, i got the same incredulous looks from everyone i told and couldn’t get even one person to try a single cookie. apparently, candied meat cookies are still ahead of their time, which means i have some work to do. maybe this bacon trend isn’t on its way out quite yet.

bacon choc chip cookies 4

continue reading and get the recipe »

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