Category: bacon

Bacon bourbon.

Bacon fat-infused Maker's Mark bourbon.

A couple of years ago, you wouldn’t have thought I’d be interested in doing much of anything with whiskeys or bourbons. Bacon… well, let’s be honest. Bacon is the ONE reason I couldn’t be 100% vegetarian. I have managed to keep most meat products out of my mouth most of the time. The two weaknesses I have? Chicken and bacon. I don’t know why. Maybe because they’re delicious.

Anyway, I have a lot of bourbon here to work with. You think you understand that statement but until you’ve seen a photo of the amount of bourbon Jay has, or seen it in person, you don’t really understand.

And the only one I really like? Maker’s Mark.

Bacon fat infused bourbon.

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Pseudo-Dutch potato salad.

It just so happens, I am part Dutch. Not Pennsylvania Dutch, just Dutch. From the Netherlands. Land of the wooden shoes. I’m many things actually- but yes, Dutch is one of them. However I’m not a big fan of potato salad (Dutch or otherwise). I come from a family who LOVES all kinds of mayonnaise-dressed carbohydrate salads; macaroni, potato, etc. And coleslaw too. I did not inherit the love.

But ’tis the season to have barbecues, picnics and eat outside in general. And those usually include a type of salad; be it made with lettuces & greens or potatoes, macaroni or eggs.

Pseudo-Dutch potato salad.

I used farm fresh eggs from Queens County Farm. Obviously, any eggs will do. But just in case you were wondering where I got the blue egg, that should explain it. *wink*

A few of the farm eggs were on the small side, so I made an extra few. If you’re using regular store-bought large eggs, use only 5. For me, the farm fresh unpasteurized eggs seem to boil quicker, maybe because they’re sizes are so varied its hard to figure out the exact timing for boiling a bunch but I always end up with a bit of a darker circle around the yolk when using them. It’s harmless (it’s just ferrous sulfide) so it doesn’t bother me.

Easy pseudo-Dutch potato salad with hardboiled eggs, pickles & optional bacon.

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Bacon fat brownies up in ya grill.

You know, last week’s recipe was light, tangy, crisp & springy. This one is definitely not. You probably read this title & thought “Seriously?” Well, yes, actually. It’s 100% serious. Quite serious.

When is bacon fat something to be taken lightly? Never.

Brownies made with bacon fat!

If you’re like me, you save your bacon fat. Every time I make bacon, I save the fat in a jar & when it’s cool… I pop that baby in the fridge & save it for later. It has so many possibilities! Add it to a skillet or pan before making cornbread, make pancakes in it, make candles with it, pop some popcorn in it, make grilled cheese in it, etc. It’s a magical substance that imparts a bacon-y flavor & scent into whatever you use it for. Of course, if you bake your bacon in the oven (or microwave it *cringe*) you won’t get as much of this magic, so if you’re looking for a lot of fat then just do it the old school way: in a skillet on your stovetop!

And NO TURKEY BACON. None of that fake stuff. You need real bacon. I know that seems self-explanatory but you never know.

Bacon fat brownies!

I know I said they weren’t light, but they’re not obscenely heavy either.

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My new favorite thing: Snackle Mouth!

A few weeks ago, my friend & fellow blogger Xenia told me about Snackle Mouth. I had seen the pictures of it on her blog, and read her reviews of it, and I was intrigued. First off, I loved the packaging. Coolest granola packaging ever, for sure. And anytime you have bacon in anything, you win me over. So the fact they make a Bacon Maple granola? Insane. In a good way.

Snackle Mouth is a brand spankin’ new company:

Snackle Mouth® was given wings by one of the Founder’s, John Raptis. “Rapits” (his call name by virtue of the fact that there are 3 guys named “John” in the business) was really the main man. As a reformed real estate developer, he crafted a healthy, tasty, and simple granola nut snack with a high degree of clumpability. We define clumpability like so: a phenomenal flavor cluster, embodying superior taste, and made from the most simple natural and organic ingredients on the planet.

Raptis hit the lab to produce a snack with those basic snack components in mind. From his own kitchen he watched his son and friends constantly forage for food and he developed a recipe to make a snack that Moms would approve of for their children, thus, Snackle Mouth® was born.

So they may be new, but they’re pretty awesome, and they’ve got a lot going for them:

  • Combine All Natural and Organic Ingredients
  • Mix in the Best Nuts We Could Find
  • NO Refined Sugar, NO Trans-Fats, Low Glycemic
  • Cool new name, Snackle Mouth®
  • Most Fun Package Design on the Planet
  • End Result, Great Tasting Granola Nut Clusters

They’re made with naturally yummy things like fruit juice, organic dried fruit & nuts, brown rice syrup, oat bran and organic blue agave. So when James from Snackle Mouth offered to send me these goodies… you can imagine how excited I was. And am. I received a box with three varieties: the almond pecan maple, the almond berry and the peanut cranberry. See, I wasn’t lying about the awesome packaging.

After sampling each kind, I knew what I’d do first. It was really warm and kind of sticky out, so I decided to wait for a slightly cooler day to make something really awesome. In the meantime, I continued sampling.

But really… I wanted more than to just snack on it. I wanted a unique Snackle Mouth creation. So on a slightly cooler, much more overcast day, I came up with this.

And this, my friends is the pièce de résistance: a granola nut coffee cake– it’s the same principle as a coffee cake with a streusel crumb on top, except in my version there’s no streusel, just granola nut clusters. To be precise, Snackle Mouth Almond Pecan Maple granola nut clusters. Genius, right? I thought so. Except it was a little too dark. The inside stayed very moist and delicious, but the granola got a bit too caramelized. Which might have been a nice effect, especially had I been using the Bacon Maple granola. But I wasn’t, and I wanted something a little lighter and more… summery?

And it was good, trust me. Like I said, the first time the top did get a little dark, meaning the granola got a little dark too, but it didn’t deter anyone from eating it. It was still quite delicious nonetheless, and it was all gobbled up (pretty damn fast actually). But I went back to the drawing board, being the perfectionist that I am, & I came up with a revamped & better version. And that version used Almond Berry Snackle Mouth as the topping, and a cup of fresh blueberries were added into the batter before baking. It paired excellently with the berry variety of Snackle Mouth, since it’s made with blueberry juice. I made that for my father for Father’s Day (he’s a blueberry freak) and talk about a huge hit! He seriously loved it. On this one, I also smashed the granola with a hammer before using it for the topping. It came out much better, since it was in smaller pieces, obviously. You live, you learn. I had never made a coffee cake with a granola nut topping before!

So the first version was just an experiment. But the second version? Ohhh, the second version… it came out fantastical.

And now you get to reap the benefits of my trials & tribulations. Here’s the recipe for the best coffee cake ever.



  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus two tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or the berry of your choice)
  • 1 box Almond Berry Snackle Mouth granola nut clusters (or the flavor of your choice)


  1. Preheat oven to 300° F and grease an 8″-inch square baking pan. Smash the granola with a hammer until it breaks into slightly smaller pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a larger bowl, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add egg, and beat until combined. Add vanilla extract to the milk in a glass measuring cup and alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the creamed butter mixture three times, starting with and ending with the flour.
  3. Mix the berries in gently, until thoroughly combined.
  4. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Smooth it as evenly as possible, tapping the pan on the counter a few times if necessary. Sprinkle the granola on top, until the cake is pretty well covered.
  5. Bake 50-70 minutes (depending on your oven and what kind of pan you use: glass or metal), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool. Serve while slightly warm or at room temperature.

Perfection. My mother pronounced it the best coffee cake she ever had, and said it reminded her of one she used to eat as a child.

If you’re more health-conscious, try it using whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour). You could also use an agave sweetener instead of sugar, or applesauce instead of the egg. There’s tons of room to mess around with this recipe. Not to mention that if you use the Peanut Cranberry Snackle Mouth, you can use a cup of fresh cranberries in the batter, and it’d be absolutely amazing. 100% adaptable to any combination. The cake is baked at a lower temperature in a very slow oven to keep the granola in good shape; it’ll start to burn long before the cake is done, otherwise. And burnt granola isn’t what you want. If you aren’t using the granola, if you’re using regular streusel or making it plain, you could bake it at 350° F for 35-40 minutes with no problem. And I have to say, this is a really unique way to do a streusel without the hassle of making a streusel. Especially if you’re like me & your streusel-making is hit or miss. It’s fail proof and delicious, and it travels well. Great for picnics or to bring somewhere for a party or cook-out.

It’s very moist, with a perfect crumb… but it’s also a very dense cake; so just be aware that if you think you can eat that big slice, you probably can’t.

Trust me. I could barely get through one normal sized slice!

This isn’t the last you’ll see of Snackle Mouth around here. That’s all I’m sayin’… just keep your eyes peeled, if you catch my drift.

Thank you, Snackle Mouth, for letting me play with your food! Now everybody go buy some. You won’t be sorry. And of course, let’s not forget social media! Follow @SnackleMouth on Twitter and become a Snackle Mouth fan on Facebook, too!

Happy 30th birthday Jay!

Yesterday was Jay’s 30th birthday. I can’t really believe it, ’cause I remember meeting him shortly after his 19th birthday, and it doesn’t seem that long ago. But it is! Now we’re boring & old; me with my baking and him with his death metal band touring all over the U.S. Hey- wait a second. That makes only one of us sound boring! Damn it. Anyway… this is the 9th birthday of his I’ll be celebrating with him, and I wanted to make it special-er than normal. Like I said, it is his 30th!

I decided to make a few different things for him, this being a pretty big birthday. And since he loves anything involving chocolate & peanut butter, I made this awesomely easy chocolate peanut butter fudge from the Food Network magazine. He isn’t a fudge fan by any means, but I knew I couldn’t go wrong with a PB/chocolate combo. I also made him some cupcakes (of course). I asked him about 4 times what kind he wanted, and each time I got a different answer. He said chocolate stout cupcakes, then he said chocolate cheesecake cupcakes, then he said a Guinness/chocolate stout cupcake again, and the fourth time he got overwhelmed and said he didn’t know. Pfft. In all fairness, I did ask about a month in advance. Well I asked a fifth time and this time I got an answer: Maple Irish Whiskey-frosted white velvet butter cupcakes, topped with crumbled bacon. Oh yes.

These aren’t a new concept for me. I’ve actually made them two other times in the past 2 months; both for St. Patrick’s Day & then later on that month for our friend Melanie’s 30th birthday. However neither of those times were they topped with bacon, and I didn’t use a white velvet cupcake recipe for ’em, just plain vanilla. But in all honesty, this frosting is so amazing that it’s worth repeating & making over & over again. Add bacon it just takes it over the top. Jameson & bacon, together with maple in a cupcake? Insanity. And very manly, now that I think about it. Jameson & bacon could practically be a men’s cologne. And Jay loves his Jameson. Jack too, but really, Jameson is way better.

The funny thing is, that in past years I’ve ordered supplies, namely toppers, with plenty of time to spare & yet still didn’t get them in time. So I had these toppers waiting here for almost 2 years, begging to be used. I thought it’d be funny to get some camouflage liners and combine ’em with the fish toppers for his cupcakes. Jay loves fishing, and there’s a sort of ongoing joke about his camo BDU’s he used to wear a lot, so the two things together make almost a perfect “Jay cupcake.” If you add some mini-death metal CD’s & mini-handcuffs, it’d be really perfect. I cannot for the life of me remember where I bought the toppers, but I will say that the Etsy shop littlemonsterhugs (which is awesome!) saved my ass by being the only shop to have the camo liners in stock as of a week & a half ago, and then on top of that, getting them to me in plenty of time when I ordered them late! Thank cupcakes for littlemonsterhugs! I’ll definitely be a returning customer. And the best part is they didn’t lose their color after baking- they stayed just as bright. LOVE THEM.

Alright, so those are pretty fucking awesome. I smelled like bacon & whiskey for a half hour after making them, I finally just had to shower again, haha. The recipes for the cupcakes and frosting are linked to up there in that paragraph. And here are some photos of the delicious fudge. That recipe to follow.



  • Unsalted butter, softened, for brushing
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips


  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, pressing it into the corners and up the sides; leave an overhang on 2 sides. Brush the foil with butter.
  2. Combine 3/4 cup condensed milk, the chocolate chips, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Combine the remaining condensed milk, the peanut butter chips, and the last pinch salt in a separate saucepan. Put both pans over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chips are melted & smooth.
  3. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan, leaving spaces in between the spoonfuls. Spoon the peanut mixture in between the gaps. Brush an 8-inch square parchment paper with butter and lay it directly on top of the fudge; press to flatten evenly & fill-in the gaps. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes. Lift the foil to remove the fudge from the pan and cut into 1-inch squares. Store up to 1-week in an airtight container.

You may notice that my fudge isn’t necessarily “two-tone.” That’s because the supermarket I went to didn’t have peanut butter chips (*gasp* I know!), they only had these two mixes from Nestle.

So I figured, it’s technically the same thing. It made it easier because I just made it all in one saucepan as opposed to two. But it didn’t have a two-tone or swirled effect. *shrugs* It was to die for, and tasted like chocolate-peanut butter, so there! Basically, in all honesty, it was the same. It comes out fantastic this way, so if you don’t have peanut butter chips on hand either, these will work.

So my best friend turned 30. I really can’t believe it; I remember his silly ass at 19 calling me ‘whitehead’ because of my white bandanna & how I wanted to kick his ass. But he turned out to be the best thing to ever cross my path. We’ve been through a lot, both together & separately, over these past 11 years, and most especially during the almost 8 that we’ve been “a couple.” When I say he’s my best friend, I’m not exaggerating by any means. In him I have a confidante, a fellow “foodie” (that is a terrible word), someone who can help me fix almost anything- computers, plumbing, construction, ANYTHING… and most importantly someone whose personality fits so perfectly with mine it’s like we were made for one another. I love you, Jay, happy birthday. Now finish eating the cupcakes & fudge so we can go back to Angelo’s for dinner & Chip Shop for dessert.

Cheesy, kinda Irish & loaded with alcohol.

No, not me. This recipe.

This is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day recipe, and I’ve been dying to try it for so long. I like making macaroni & cheese in the fall & winter, and I’ve been putting off making this because I wanted to make it for this holiday. So it’s been waiting for this moment for 3 years. Literally. Since I saw it on the Food Network‘s Ultimate Recipe Showdown, I’ve had it printed out and waiting (that and the French Onion Soup Mac & Cheese I’ve been promising to make for Jay). The problem with me is that when I have beer in the house, I drink it, so it rarely ends up in the food. I love beer, especially stouts & lagers. What can I say, I’m mostly Irish, part German, & part Polish (among other things) – all of which are known for having hollow legs.

Speaking of ‘Black & Tans’, they aren’t an Irish concept. As a matter of fact, like most watered-down so-called “Irish” traditions, they’re rarely consumed in Ireland.

Black and Tan is a drink made from a blend of pale ale, usually Bass Pale Ale, and a dark beer such as a stout or porter, most often Guinness. Sometimes a pale lager is used instead of ale; this is usually called a half and half. Contrary to popular belief, however, Black and Tan as a mixture of two beers is not a drink commonly consumed in Ireland. Indeed, the drink has image problems in parts of Ireland and elsewhere due to the association with the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force which was sent into Ireland in the early 1920s and nicknamed the Black and Tans.[1][2]

Far be it from me to insult anyone (like Ben & Jerry’s apparently did) by making a dish with such a name. But I didn’t invent it, or create it. I just made the recipe. Don’t shoot the messenger.

This recipe is easy, despite having lots of ingredients & steps. It doesn’t even bake in the oven, so it takes less time than most mac-n-cheese recipes. For someone like me who hates corned beef & cabbage, the traditional St. Pat’s dinner, it would be the perfect meal to make on the 17th.



  • 6 cups water
  • 24 ounces lager beer
  • 16 ounces rustic shaped pasta (I used decidedly un-Irish mini-rigatoni)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 5 tablespoons lightly salted quality Irish butter
  • 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup stout beer
  • 3 ounces shredded smoked Gruyere
  • 8 ounces shredded Irish Cheddar
  • ½ cup bread crumbs, Japanese panko, or fresh country white
  • ½ cup crisp cooked apple wood or maple bacon crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves or several sage leaves for garnish (OPTIONAL)


  1. Place water and lager beer into a 4 ½ quart or larger saucepan over high heat and bring to boil, add pasta and cook until just al dente. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile in 3 quart saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the milk, half-and-half, and evaporated milk just to a boil, keep hot. In a 4 quart saucepan, over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and stir in flour until it begins to color slightly, whisk in hot milk, mustard, salt, cayenne, and stout, and bring to a strong simmer. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheeses until melted. Place pasta into serving dish and pour the cheese sauce over the pasta.
  3. Place remaining butter in a large saute pan over medium heat and stir in bread crumbs, stir until golden brown, stir in bacon crumbles. Spread mixture over top of macaroni. Garnish with cilantro or sage leaves.

Okay so I used Harp lager and Guinness stout for this recipe, but any stout and any lager will do, as long as they aren’t flavored with anything fancy. No chocolate stouts. Just plain old Guinness and Harp are excellent; good, hearty, Irish alcohols. I recommend good quality beer for this- don’t use PBR or Natural Ice or something, please. I’d also recommend buying or making some black & tans to drink with it. Although you can definitely taste the beer in the recipe itself, it’s more fun that way.

I have to say this recipe was amazing. The bacon was a great addition to macaroni & cheese that I’d never done before, despite being the macaroni & cheese queen. And you don’t taste the cayenne- it is not overwhelming. So don’t be afraid to use it. If you can’t find Irish butter or Irish cheddar, you can use regular salted butter and regular sharp cheddar cheese. I made my panko crumbs extra crispy along with the bacon, ’cause that’s how I like it. The bacon, of course, isn’t 100% necessary. But I’d use it if I were you.

Arwyn, my little black Irish imp, wanted to say hi. Hi!

For Thanksgiving, why not get baked.

By baked I mean bake something- in this instance, donuts. When I bought my donut pan it came with a recipe that sounded really delicious: spiced cake donuts with glaze. Doesn’t that sound good? I thought they’d be great to have on Thanksgiving. Of course, I can’t let people down, I did make cupcakes as well.

Here are the pretty cupcakes (french toast with maple buttercream and crumbled bacon topping, in case you’re wondering; and if you want the recipes, they’re down at the bottom).

And here are the donuts!


First get:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons HOT water

Then do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease the donut pan.
  2. In a large  bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in milk, eggs, vanilla and shortening. Beat together until well blended.
  3. Fill each donut cup approximately ¾ full. bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until donuts spring back when touched. Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
  4. To make glaze, blend confectioners sugar and hot water in a small bowl. Dip donuts in the glaze when slightly cooled.

Again, like I said with the chocolate donuts, the best way of filling the donut pan is with a disposable pastry bag, or plastic sandwich bag. Just fill with batter and snip off the tip, then fill the pan. I recommend Crisco shortening, it tastes way better than other brands.

If you’re looking for a few last minute turkey day baking ideas, take a look at my “Best of” Thanksgiving post. Otherwise, here are the recipes for the cupcakes & buttercream.


Get together:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and then cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • ½ cup milk

Then you:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking pan with paper liners.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Make sure the butter is cool or you’ll have scrambled eggs.
  4. Whisk in maple extract and then alternate between whisking in flour mixture and milk. Make three additions of flour mix and two of milk. Beat until smooth.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched.
  6. Cool the cupcakes on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.

The maple buttercream is just a basic confectioner’s sugar frosting flavored maple. I used maple extract, but you could probably just use maple syrup or maple syrup plus extract, that works too. For the topping, I fried up some bacon and then let it cool. Then I crumbled it/cut it into small pieces (getting rid of the fat) and just placed it on top of the frosting. It’s pretty much amazing; it tastes like breakfast in a cupcake. Don’t use bacon bits for this, please. That’s gross. If you’re gonna do it- go for it. No short cuts. I recommend an Applewood or maple bacon.

Happy White-People-Take-Advantage-of-American-Indians Day.