Corn and Bacon Chowder

WIN_20160812_220110In my neck of the woods, sweet corn is in season. Hooray! The problem is, the season for fresh sweet corn seems to last about 5 minutes (OK, maybe 2 or 3 weeks) and then it’s all gone.  😦  Corn and Bacon Chowder freezes well, and is a great recipe for preserving the awesome flavor of fresh sweet corn to enjoy all winter long. I make BIG batches of this soup, based upon a recipe found in an old Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, to stock my freezer. The recipe below makes a smaller quantity, but can be easily doubled. Let’s get started!

Ingredients (Makes 8 servings)

8 ears of corn (or 4 cups corn kernels) Continue reading

Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind

WIN_20160420_175431Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind is an old school recipe which hails back to the Great Depression, when nothing was wasted. Depression era cooks were creative, not because it was chic but because it was necessary. Children love the sweet, tangy taste of these pickles right from the jar. Grown-ups love them as bacon wrapped party snacks, broiled and enjoyed while hot. However you enjoy them, I can guarantee that once you’ve sampled Sweet Pickled Watermelon Rind, you’ll never look at a whole watermelon quite the same way again!

WIN_20160418_191438Ingredients (Makes about 4 pint jars)

Rind from one large watermelon

1/2 cup salt

6 cups cold water Continue reading

Bacon Wrapped… Watermelon?

WIN_20150327_185630Yes. If you are unfamiliar with the marvel of sweet pickled watermelon rind, I highly recommend you pick up a jar and try some today!

Watermelon Rind Pickles (16 oz Jar)

WIN_20150503_111724If you’re more of a do-it-yourself’er than an online shopper, feel free to message me for a recipe. Making sweet pickled watermelon rind takes some time, but is worth it if you enjoy this delicacy as much as I do.

Either way, once you have your sweet pickled watermelon rind, making bacon WIN_20150503_113227wrapped appetizers is a SNAP. All you need is a jar of pickled watermelon rind, a pound of sliced bacon, and toothpicks.

First, cut each strip of bacon in half, into two short strips.

Second, wrap each short bacon strip around a piece of pickled watermelon rind, and WIN_20150503_115432secure with a toothpick.

Third, place bacon wrapped pieces on a baking sheet with shallow sides. I recommend lining the baking sheet with foil, for easy clean-up!

Fourth, bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Watch carefully so that your bacon wrapped watermelon doesn’t burn!

I can practically guarantee that your party guests will not only find these appetizers delicious, but they’ll make a great conversation starter as well!  Enjoy.  🙂

Smoked Salmon BLT Salad

WIN_20150420_142745Cold and crisp meals can be delightful, particularly in summertime. This hearty salad makes a filling, high protein lunch. Add a cup of gazpacho and a fruity dessert, and you’ve got a complete dinner packed full of vitamins. What could be better?

WIN_20150420_142238Ingredients (Makes 2 main dish salads)

1 head of Romaine lettuce, washed

1 large, ripe tomato, chopped

2 slices of bacon, diced

8 ounces of smoked salmon, broken into bite size chunksWIN_20150420_140847

1 cup of light sour cream

1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix

Directions

Step 1) Fry bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

WIN_20150420_141047Step 2) Tear Romaine lettuce into bite size pieces and spread over two serving plates. Top with chopped tomato.

Step 3) Stir taco seasoning mix into light sour cream and blend until well combined. Scoop mixture into a plastic sandwich bag, and cut off one corner of the bag to create a small opening. Squeeze mixture through WIN_20150420_142130the small opening in this “homemade pastry bag” to make a decorative zig-zag of dressing over each salad plate.

Step 4) Top each salad with smoked salmon and crispy bacon. Serve immediately.

 

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Legs

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This recipe is stone simple – I mean simple as in “if you can make a frozen pizza, you can handle this!”  There are no strange ingredients, making this dish a real crowd pleaser even in a finicky crowd. When chicken legs or “drumsticks” are on sale for 99 cents per pound, this recipe is also very economical.  Add a starch like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese, along with the vegetable of your choice, for a complete meal. Leftovers freeze well, so go ahead and make a few extra!

Ingredients (Makes 12 chicken legs, or about 6 servings)

12 chicken legs

6 strips of bacon, cut in half

1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)

1 tablespoon brown sugar (or use honey as a Paleo alternative)

WIN_20150123_174457Directions

Step 1) Grease a baking pan with the raw bacon.

Step 2) Wrap a half slice of bacon around the meaty part of each chicken leg.  It’s OK to stretch the bacon a little if needed; make sure the bacon ends meet underneath the WIN_20150123_175636chicken leg on the pan.

Step 3) Bake in a preheated, 375 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Step 4) Mix together the soy sauce and brown sugar.  After the chicken has baked for 35 minutes, remove chicken from the oven and turn your oven up to 400 degrees.

WIN_20150123_190326Step 5) Baste the tops of each bacon wrapped chicken leg with the soy sauce/brown sugar mixture. Return chicken legs to the oven for a final 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Eat like the French (Or, “How to get a whole bunch of vitamins with your bacon!”)

 

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Escargot utensils in a French bistro

We’re enjoying a two ingredient, three minute nutritional powerhouse today.  For less than 100 calories and 3 grams of fat, we’ll get more than a full day’s worth of Vitamin K and Vitamin A.  We’ll also get over one-third of the Vitamin C we need today, along with a healthy dose of fiber and a few grams of protein.  And, there’s bacon.  Ready? All you need is a slice of bacon, and the leafy tops from a bunch of beets.

Don’t make that face.

Would the French make you eat something terrible?

Of course not.

Seriously, greens are just about the most nutritious thing you can eat today, and beet greens are particularly good for you.  Beet greens are also spectacularly delicious when stirred into crisped bacon.  I say “stirred into” because that’s really all we’re doing.  Greens are thin and cook in a snap in just a smidge of hot bacon fat.  Before anyone raises their eyebrows, no, I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about the bacon fat, given the greens they are adorning.  Let’s get started!

PS – We’ll use the beets themselves next time.  Don’t make that face.  You’ll like it!

WIN_20140913_152717Ingredients (serves 1 or 2)

1 slice of bacon

Leafy tops from one bunch of beets (about 3 beets)

Directions

Step 1) Dice bacon and saute in a hot pan for 2 minutes or until lightly crisp.

Step 2) Slice beet greens into 1 inch strips and add to pan. Remove from heat and stir for 1 minute.  Serve.  Really, that’s it.  The salt in the bacon itself is enough for me, but feel free to season as desired.  Now, eat your vegetables bacon!

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