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Recipe: Cheater Mille Feuilles

30 Jul

This is an old family recipe. It actually comes from my Great Aunt who originally served us this dessert during a visit to her house in the early 80s. At that time, Mille Feuilles (or Thousand Leaves or Vanilla Slice for you Englishmen) wasn’t super popular. Now you can pick up a chunk at Costco for a reasonable price. I can confirm the Costco version isn’t as good as this.

Traditional Mille Feuilles uses puff pastry whereas this shortcut version uses graham crackers. I prefer it with graham crackers because I find the puff pastry gets chewy and basically makes the filling squish out everywhere as soon as you try to cut it. Not a good scene.

On top of being super delicious and pretty impressive looking for the effort, this is a great summer dessert because you can make it ahead (in fact it’s always better the second day) and it’s no bake. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Cheater Mille Feuilles

Cheater Mille Feuilles | baconavecbacon.com

1 package graham crackers
1 large vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (I’ve used chocolate as well with good results)
250 ml (small carton) whipping cream
1 cup (plus 4 tablespoons) icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter (softened)
2 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

Cook the pudding according to the package instructions. I do mine in the microwave. Line a 9×9 glass dish with graham crackers. They need to lay flat so nip some of the corners off if need be. Cover the crackers with the cooked pudding and leave this layer to cool in the fridge.

Once decently set, whip the cream until fluffy, adding a few tablespoons of icing sugar to sweeten. Spread carefully overtop of the pudding layer and then top with another layer of graham crackers. They don’t have to reach exactly to the edge so don’t worry about that.

Pop it back in the fridge while you mix up the icing.

In a small bowl mix the butter and the cup of icing sugar with a few tablespoons of milk – just enough for the mixture to reach a spreadable consistency. Spread carefully over top of the graham cracker layer.

Melt the chocolate and drizzle over top of the icing. To make the traditional ‘zig zag’ pattern, create four lines of chocolate and then take a knife and drag it through the chocolate, alternating directions every inch or so.

Keep refrigerated until you’re ready to eat.

Recipe: Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

14 Jul

Since my last outing with the ice cream machine went so incredibly well, I decided to make a second batch. Mr. Bacon’s favourite is mint chocolate chip so I decided to kick it up a notch and use chopped Andes mints instead of plain chocolate chips. I based my version on this recipe from Chew Out Loud.

The result got a rousing thumbs up so I hope you like it too.

Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Andes Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream | baconavecbacon.com

1 cup 1% milk, chilled
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream (35%), chilled
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
2 drops green food colouring (optional)
15-20 Andes Mint chocolates, chopped

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar until the sugar has totally dissolved. Stir in the cream, peppermint and food colouring. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to freeze the batch. When finished, fold in the chocolate and place it into the freezer to firm up.

 

Recipe: Summer Shortcut Roast Chicken

10 Jul

If you’ve been following along with the blog, you’ve probably noticed a pattern. I’m kind of a lazy cook. I don’t like to make things that have multiple steps, or take a lot of time. I’m always on the hunt for a shortcut that doesn’t sacrifice quality or flavour. I’ve finally found a way to do that for whole chickens. (Which incidentally are on sale at Freshco this week.)

This is more of a method than a recipe, but it’s a winner through and through.

Summer Shortcut Roast Chicken

Summer Shortcut Roast Chicken | baconavecbacon.com

1 ‘fryer’ sized whole chicken
Seasoning of your choice – I used Club House BBQ Chicken Spice to try to approximate the rotisserie style grocery store chickens

Summer Shortcut Roast Chicken | baconavecbacon.comWash and dry your chicken. Season well. Get out your crock pot and a roll of tinfoil. Crumple 4-5 sheets of tinfoil into baseball sized balls and place them in the bottom of the crock pot. Place your chicken on top and cook on high for approximately 5 hours.

If you use a crock pot with a timer, you can set it in the morning and it’ll stay on ‘warm’ until you get home from work.

Most crock pot chicken recipes end there. However, a chicken with crispy skin is just so much better. So here’s the trick: fire up the BBQ.

Place the chicken on the upper rack with a disposable tinfoil pan underneath to catch drips. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the skin is crispy and the chicken has reached 160 degrees in the breast and 180 degrees in the thigh. This is a perfect opportunity to roast some vegetables as a side dish.

Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Recipe: Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream

4 Jul

Mr. Bacon was nice enough to gift me with an ice cream maker for my birthday. Immediately I started scouring Pinterest for ice cream recipes to test out. When I found this cheesecake version from Add a Pinch I knew I had found the perfect recipe for my new machine’s maiden voyage.

However, instead of sullying it with cherry pie filling, I wanted to infuse it with another taste of summer: fresh picked strawberries from Beckwith Berries. (Picking is still good at the farm if you’re looking for something to do this weekend!)

The result is probably my favourite recipe all year. This stuff is frozen gold. Enjoy!

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Cream

StrawberrySwirlCheeseCakeIceCream

2 cups heavy whipping cream (35%)
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 block cream cheese, cut into large pieces
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
1 cup strawberry sauce

In a large saucepan on medium high heat, combine the cream, milk sugar and cream cheese. Use a whisk to stir the mixture continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the cream cheese has combined with the cream and milk. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and salt. Chill in an airtight container overnight.

The next day, add the mixture to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make the ice cream. Remove the batch from the machine while the ice cream is still the consistency of soft serve. Scoop it back into your airtight container and before placing it into freezer to fully harden, gently fold in 1 cup of strawberry sauce. Don’t overmix or you won’t get the swirl effect.

 

Recipe: Best Ever Steak Marinade

18 May

It’s FINALLY summer which means it’s time to break out the BBQ. All winter long, one of the summer treats I crave the most is a nice grilled steak.

While there’s nothing wrong with a nice rib eye seasoned with some Montreal Steak spice and grilled to medium rare, Mr. Bacon prefers steak with a bit of a flavour kick so we wind up making steaks with this marinade more often. I use top sirloin steaks. They often go on sale in a ‘club pack’ of two for around $12-$14. That’s a lot of decently tender beef for the price so keep an eye out!

Best Ever Steak Marinade

Best Ever Steak Marinade | baconavecbacon.com

3/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 cups tomato juice (I buy the small six pack of cans so I always have tomato juice handy without having to open a giant can)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Pour all of the ingredients into a large ziplock bag. Throw the steak in and prick it with a fork to let the marinade seep into the meat. Seal the bag up and marinate for 24 hours or overnight.

Grill the steak basting with the reserved marinade.

Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe: Baked French Toast With Strawberry Sauce

11 May

Spring has sprung and I’m starting to crave all of the fresh flavours of summer. One of my favourites is this lovely strawberry sauce that my mom used to make when we were camping. You can also make this with fresh strawberries but I find the frozen ones work just as good.

Baked French Toast with Strawberry Sauce | baconavecbacon.com

Strawberry Sauce

1 bag frozen strawberries (whole or sliced)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup juice (apple is good)

In a large glass bowl, defrost the strawberries for a few minutes in the microwave. They should be slightly soft but not fully defrosted. When ready throw them into a blender or food processor with the sugar. Create slurry from the juice and the cornstarch and throw that in as well. Blend until smooth.

Place the mixture back into your big glass bowl and microwave on high for approximately 6-8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

The sauce can be reheated (you may need to thin with a little more juice) and kept in the fridge for a week or so. Try it on pancakes, ice cream or other desserts.

 

Baked French Toast
1/2 loaf of bread
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Rip the bread into bite sized pieces and arrange in a greased 8×8 or 9×9 dish. Beat the remaining ingredients and pour over top of the bread. Cover and store overnight in the fridge.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle the top with a bit more sugar and a pinch of cinnamon if you’d like. Bake uncovered for about 60 minutes and serve warm.

Recipe: Greek Spiced Rack of Lamb

6 Apr

Rack of lamb is one of those cuts of meat that isn’t cheap, but it’s pricey for good reason. It’s tender, flavourful, quick cooking and looks incredibly impressive when cut into chops after roasting. Serve this as a main course for a dinner party, or when cut into individual ‘meat lollypops’ and served with a mint yogurt dipping sauce, it would also make a great appetizer.

Greek Spiced Rack of Lamb

Greek Seasoned Rack of Lamb | baconavecbacon.com

1 rack of lamb, frenched
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons Cavender’s greek seasoning blend
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and dry the rack of lamb. Slice the garlic in two and rub the meat well with the garlic pieces. If you’d like, you can slice the garlic thinly, cut a few slits in the meat and stuff them with garlic. Next sprinkle the Greek seasoning liberally over all of the meat, back and front and rub into the meat.

In an oven safe frying pan, heat a few teaspoons of oil on medium high. When it’s hot, add the meat and sear on all sides until a nice brown crust forms. When all sides have been seared, place the pan into the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes or until the lamb reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees (for medium rare).

Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.