Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bacon 2.0 - Bacon that is..... Well, Better than Bacon

Another idea that I came across and WOW...  you can improve bacon.  Who knew??  Lightly sweet, a touch smokey with a bit of bite.

I usually cook my bacon in the oven anyway.  It's carefree and easy to clean.  When I saw this I just had to give it a try.

Place bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with chipotle powder and the sprinkle with brown sugar.  You can adjust to your tastes..


Now...  grab the ends of a piece of bacon and twist in opposite directions until it is rolled like in the image below.  Thinner strips work the best for this and the flavour gets trapped in the bacon tube.


Bake at 400F until desired crispness.  If the bacon is not crispy it will not hold the tube shape.

Sizzle...  can you hear it? can you smell the bacon?

And serve....  So good.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Tomato Sauce and Homemade Ketchup

Pictures from Sunday September 9, 2012

Three bushels, sunrise and clear skies


 Gorgeous and now clean too...

 Made in Italy, hot glued, hooked up and ready to go...



Secret Spice Mix for the Ketchup

They have been cooked down so that they go through the grinder more easily.

Mostly automated....  Go!

 One for ketchup, one for sauce.

Ketchup, with spice bags.  Love the colour.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

An August Evening

Garlic Grilled Vegetables

Using lots of EVOO and some olive oil from roasting garlic I grilled a fresh selection of vegetables.  When I took them off the grill I drizzled fresh lemon over them and let them sit to come to room temp.

Yes, that is radicchio.    

I was making chocolate covered strawberries...

      ....and I had lots of figs...  so I dipped them in chocolate too.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Watermelon Sangria Keg

I admit, this was not my original idea, but it was so much fun to make and share with guests that I had to share it.  I will include the recipe at the end of the post.

I wasn’t sure that it would even work so I wasn’t too concerned that the seedless watermelon seemed small.  I was wrong.  I had plenty as this wasn’t the main drink for the evening but just a welcome drink.

I washed the outside and then cut off the bottom so that the watermelon will stand.  One thing to be aware of is that if you cut too much off you may scrape through watermelon when you hollow it out...  you can always cut off more but  you can’t add back what you cut off.

Then I cut off the top.

I cut around the flesh to make it easier but I found that this was not necessary.  Scoop the flesh out into a large mesh strainer over a bowl.  Be careful when you get to the bottom you do not want to break through.  Keep checking... When you are done pour the liquid that forms in the bottom of the watermelon in with the strainer.  I had to do this a few times.



Now this is the toughest part.  Some of the instructions that I came across suggested putting the flesh in a blender but I didn't want the liquid to be too thick and despite the fact that this was a seedless watermelon there were still a few small seeds in there. 

Use a large metal spoon to stir the flesh through the strainer.  You will get lots of juice.  This will take some time.  I did it for about ten minutes.  You'll know to stop when the effort of stirring doesn't produce much juice.


I found a spigot at a wine making store.  Fifty cents!!!

I pressed it hard against the lower end to make a mark for cutting.  Carefully I cut through the skin only and removed it.  I was concerned about leakage so after I removed the skin I cut the hole or tunnel through the shell (much easier than carving a pumpkin) to make a hole for the spigot.  I was careful to make sure that the hole was not wider inside than the spigot so that it would fit very tightly.

Then I squeezed the spigot in.  I needed two hands to do that and forgot to take a picture.

Test it...   
 Put some water in it and let it sit for a few minutes....  Success!

I also hollowed out the top and cut a vent.

I mixed the Sangria (recipe below) and put it in the fridge in a separate pitcher to cool as there was more Sangria than would fit in the watermelon.  I put the watermelon in the fridge also so that it would act like a thermos and keep the Sangria cool.

I placed the melon in a shallow bowl just to be on the safe side.  There was nothing to worry about though.

Fit for consumption!! 

Equipment you'll need

Large mesh sieve
Large steel spoon
Chef's knife
Large Bowl
Pitcher - if you want to cool the beverage separately


All the juice from a watermelon (instructions above)
1 bottle             dry white wine
2/3 cup             vodka
1/2 cup             Cointreau or other triple sec
up to 1/2 c        Simple Syrup made with some lemon peel*

Add all ingredients in a large pitcher.  Chill for 4 hours or overnight.

*Simple syrup is made by measuring equal amounts of sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Take saucepan off the heat.  For use in this recipe add lemon peel immediately after removing the saucepan from heat. Let cool completely.  Before using and remove lemon peel.