Archive | September, 2012

Foodie News: The Aporkalypse is Coming!!!!

26 Sep

The National Pig Association in Britain is warning of a global shortage of bacon and other delicious pork products. This is due to the drought in the US and Canada that has caused the cost of feed to skyrocket. Yes, the aporkalypse is coming!!!!!

So what should you do as a concerned citizen to prepare? Well, you have a few options:

  • Go to Costco and pull a Ron Swanson and say, “Give me all of the bacon you have. No, I don’t think you understand me… ALL of the bacon!”
  • Buy a few pigs and start keeping them in your backyard. Those who live in townhouses or suburban subdivisions might want to consider getting micropigs. (Just like Honey Boo Boo!)
  • Slowly wean yourself off of bacon pork and substitute beef bacon. Yes, I know this is drastic, but desperate times require desperate measures. That being said, NEVER resort to chicken or turkey bacon.
  • Order a few BLT’s from Tony’s in Birch Run, Michigan. There’s enough bacon in them (a full pound per sandwich) that you’d have your fill of bacon for at least a month.

Let’s hope this terrible situation is over soon. In the meantime, enjoy your bacon.

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Just for Fun: An Ode to Bacon

20 Sep

Because I love bacon, and I also love the show Parks & Recreation, I present to you Nick Offerman (otherwise known as meat-a-tarian and all around awesome guy Ron Swanson) doing bacon-based slam poetry. Enjoy.

 

 

Recipe: Pork Wrapped Pork

18 Sep

Pork tenderloins were on sale at the grocery store – a three pack for around $10 – so into the cart they went. I usually turn pork tenderloins into an Italian roast pork called porketta but I was feeling like trying something new so I went looking for options.

A friend suggested this recipe for bacon wrapped tenderloin. It had bacon and it seemed so easy that I actually had Mr. Bacon handle cooking duties. Everything with bacon has to be good, right?

Well, this was really good. Insanely good in fact. Probably because he wrapped the tenderloin with 10 strips of bacon, when the original calls for three. He also omitted the olive oil by mistake but given that it’s wrapped in bacon, I don’t think it needs it.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin



1 pork tenderloin
10 strips of bacon
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix the spices in a ziplock freezer bag and throw the tenderloin in. Shake and press into the meat. Wrap liberally with bacon, securing it with toothpicks. Place in a 9×13 pan an roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10  minutes before slicing.

Try to resist the urge to eat the entire tenderloin between two people. Seriously. We thought about it but decided that would be ill advised.

Recipe: Baked Apple Spice Donuts

16 Sep

When I was in New York last weekend there were boxes of apple cider sugar coated donuts lining the entry way. I managed to resist them at the time, but with spiced dessert recipes everywhere on Pinterest, resistance became futile. Then I saw this Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes recipe from Feastie and I knew I had to give them a try. I tweaked a few things, and opted to make them in my handy dandy donut pans so I could experience them in their full donut-y splendor.

I delivered one downstairs to Mr. Bacon when it was fresh from the oven and he yelled back upstairs, “Oh my god these are good!” I consider that a success.

Apple Spice Donuts


2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup apple butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup apple juice (or apple cider if you have it)
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp canola oil

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix well. Add the wet to the dry and stir just until combined; a few small lumps are OK.

Spray your donut pans with non-stick spray and transfer the batter into a large ziplock bag. Cut the tip off and pipe the batter into the wells of the donut pan (it’s too messy to try to scoop it). Make sure not to overfill or you’ll lose the ‘holes’ and you’ll wind up with mini bunt cakes.

Bake for approximately 9 minutes at 400 degrees.

When they’re done let them sit and cool for a minute then paint each one very lightly with melted butter before tossing in a bag of cinnamon and sugar.

Eat right away, or let them cool on a wire rack before storing. It’s best not to cover them too tightly so they don’t develop condensation.

Recipe: Tortilla Soup

16 Sep

School’s back in. The weather is cooling off. Trees are starting to turn. It’s feeling fall-ish and therefore time to make some soup.

Sadly soup is one of the things that Mr. Bacon finds offensive. Something about it being ‘not real food’. I can appreciate why he feels commercial soups that are 90% flavourless broth are not ‘real food’ but when I make soup, it’s usually so thick and chock full of tasty things that it definitely (to steal a slogan from Chunky Soup) eats like a meal.

This recipe is no exception. Given to me by a friend, the first time I tried it, I knew I would love it before the recipe was even finished. The rich, warm spicy smell that comes out of the pot automatically gets my tastebuds dancing. Like a lot of things I make, this recipe freezes really well and is a great option for a brown bag lunch.

Tortilla Soup


3 tbsp cooking oil
1 bag of tortilla chips
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (you can substitute chili powder, but the chipotle adds a hint of smoky flavour)
small pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth (6 cups)
3 cups crushed tomatoes (1 28 oz can)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 3/4 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 can corn niblets (Mexicorn if you can find it)
1 can black or kidney beans, rinsed
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 pound cheddar, grated
Lime wedges, cilantro leaves and tortillas for garnish

Cook the chicken – either roast it in the oven with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper (about 15-20 minutes at 400F), or in a pan. Or take a lesson in laziness from me, and use the meat from a pre-cooked grocery store BBQ chicken.

In a large heavy pot heat the oil, add the onion, garlic and spices – cook while stirring for 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro leaves and about 2-3 good handfuls of tortilla chips. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes; remove the bay leaves.

Break out your immersion blender and whizz the soup base until it’s smooth. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, puree the soup in batches in your blender. Don’t fill it too full!) Then add the chicken, corn and beans then bring to a simmer and cook until done – about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the avocado (or leave it out all together if you’re not an avocado fan like me).

Serve the soup by placing a small handful of slightly crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl. Top with the soup, shredded cheese, and cilantro. Add a generous squeeze of lime to the top – the lime really makes the dish!

Food Finds: Trip to Ogdensburg

10 Sep

I made another pilgrimage to the USA over the weekend. A friend and I made the short jaunt down the 416 to Ogdensburg which is just on the other side of Prescott, ON. If you haven’t made it down yet, the savings in groceries, gas and online shopping shipping costs is well worth the drive. Plus, every time I’m down I find a few foodie things to share.

Getting Lunch in the ‘Burg
On a random message board I had seen a recommendation for a Chinese food restaurant called A1 Buffet King which is located in strip mall on Canton Street. I had seen it on my last trip but didn’t look too closely because I needed to save room for the bacon sundae from Burger King. Given that fast food is basically the only option around, even a ‘so so’ Chinese buffet sounded better, especially since the random message board guy had declared it ‘a great deal’. Wow, was he ever right!

On a Saturday just after noon, there were only a handful of tables full but everything on the buffet was hot and fresh. We soon found out why – they also do a brisk business in take out as well.

A-1 has the usual suspects – General Tso’s (nice balance of sweet and hot), chicken balls with sweet & sour sauce (fresh not frozen) and stir fried veggies – as well as some different stuff like chicken in a Thai peanut sauce. The shrimp in butter sauce was beautiful – big juicy shrimp and perfectly cooked. They also had the staple of American Chinese buffets – ‘biscuit donuts’ – basically Pillsbury biscuit dough deep fried and coated in butter and white sugar. They sound terrible but wow they’re good. And to top it all off – they had a soft serve ice cream machine. With sprinkles!

When your bill for two people looks like this at the end, especially when you’re so full you’re considering a nap in the car after, you really can’t go wrong. Yep, it’s $6.99 per person for lunch, Monday-Saturday. I defy you to find anything like that in Ottawa.

Is a Pepsi By Any Other Name, Just as Sweet?
Price Chopper had Pepsi products on sale 4 cases of 12 for $10 so I stocked up. I took a risk and tried a case of a new Pepsi iteration – Pepsi Next. Intended to be a happy middle ground between full-sugar regular Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, it has a blend of corn syrup and faux sweeteners and clocks in at half the calories of a can of ‘high test’ Pepsi.

What did it taste like? Well, it tasted like half a regular Pepsi and half of a diet Pepsi in a single can. For those that are trying to cut calories but just can’t stomach diet pop it’s a decent option. Unfortunately, it still had a hint of that gross chemical aftertaste you get with calorie free pop. Nice try Pepsi, but you haven’t found the holy grail here.

Are You Friggin’ Kidding Me?
If you think that Canadian dollar stores have some odd things in the food aisles, check out what we found at the Dollar Tree. Yes, that’s off-brand Hamburger Helper endorsed by ‘comedian’ Larry The Cable Guy. I had to buy it for its novelty alone because I don’t think I could ever bring myself to actually consume it. Sorry Larry, I don’t ‘gotta try it’.