Bacon Everywhere on Everything

Well, as if my great desire to eat bacon wasn’t bad enough, my dear sister just sent me a new cookbook (one of those mini pamphlets at the grocery store counter) simply entitled BACON. It is by Taste of Home magazine and really is a nice compilation of recipe cards all starring bacon.

We have bacon for breakfast, appetizers, lunch/dinner, side dishes and even DESSERT. The dessert recipes looked a little strange like Bacon Baklava (the Macedonians and Greeks are flipping out right now) and Chocolate Covered Bacon which really did not look too appealing even for chocolate girls.

Well, of course I tried a few and they were pretty good so I had to share.

First, I made an appetizer. I changed the recipe a bit as it was too cheesy, so here is my version:

Bacon Rounds

1c. mayonnaise
1 tbs. grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. garlic powder (they also included celery seed which added nothing to the flavor)
1c. shredded cheddar cheese (they used 2 cups but it was too gooey for me)
4 green onions thinly sliced
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 baguette, sliced into 48 rounds.

The original recipe also added chopped peanuts but again, not so great.

In a large bowl combine first 6 ingredients. Mix well and add cheese, bacon and onions. Lightly brush olive oil on the bottoms of the bread. Oil side down, place on cookie sheet and top with spread. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm. I have made these twice and the recipe does well if you cut it in half since it does make a lot. Enjoy!

Bacon Chicken Roll Ups

After the appetizer try, the next day I went after an entrée and this one was good. Seriously, this one begins with 12 bacon strips, how can you go wrong?

12 bacon strips (partially cook in frying pan but do not let get crisp or there will be no rolling)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see, there is one thing healthy about this recipe) 8 oz. softened cream cheese mixed with ½ tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Flatten chicken to 1/8 inch thickness. Spread cream cheese down the center (I used about 2 tbs. for each breast) and roll up from long side, tucking in ends. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap two bacon strips around each breast and secure with toothpicks.

Place in greased 13x9 inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. These are pretty and good and I served them with glazed carrots!

The original recipe says to put sliced onions on top of the cream cheese, but who wants an onion stuck in the middle of a delicious chicken recipe? I also added the garlic powder to flavor up the cream cheese a bit.

My next try will be Bacon-Pecan Stuffed Mushrooms!


Dinner for You or for Guests

I am an avid watcher of The Food Network and the show "The Next Food Network Star". Last year’s winner, Melissa D’Arabian, is a home cook who specializes in economical dinners – but that is not why I watch her show. She just plain has good recipes. Tonight I made one of her best. I only tinkered with it a bit and I know you will love it. I will go through it step-by-step so you can prepare it for guests without making you or them crazy.

Skirt Steak with Carmelized Onions and Ginger Honey Carrots

The carrots are not her recipe but I thought they were a good changeup from potatoes or another starch.

Here is the plan:

To carmelize the onions, you need one large red onion (I like them better than white onions) cut in very skinny slices. In a medium skillet, melt 2 tsb. butter and 1 tsb. olive oil. Add onions and put on very low heat until they brown and carmelized. This will take a long time, like 15-20 minutes. When they are nice and brown, set aside.

Meanwhile, peel and cut into small sticks about 3 or 4 large carrots. Put in a pan and bring to a boil. Boil carrots for 8 minutes. In another medium fry pan place 2 tsb. butter, 3 tsb. honey and ½ tsp. ginger. As the carrots boil, toward the end of the 8 minutes slowly melt the butter and honey in the pan along with the ginger.

In another, large frying pan, melt 2 tsb. butter and 1 tsb. olive oil. When really smoking hot, add the skirt steaks. (By now the onions are carmelized and the carrots are almost finished cooking the 8 minutes). Add the skirt steaks – you have already trimmed the visible fat. These cook really quickly, about 2 ½ minutes each side. When you put the steaks on, drain the carrots and add them to the honey ginger mixture and toss to coat. They need about 5 minutes for all the delicious flavors to meld together.

Now, take the skirt steaks of the flame to rest and let’s deglaze the onions. I know it is a lot to juggle – skirt steaks on the cutting board, carrots in the glaze and NOW I need you to deglaze the onions. To the onions add 3 tsb. white wine and 3 tsb. sherry. Just use a rubber scraper and get up all the nice bits.

NOW we are ready! Steaks are rested and ready to be sliced, the carrots are glazed and the onions are super pretty and carmelized. We have a winner of a dinner!! Try this tonight. I think you will love it!


Sunday Snax

Last weekend, the LPGA golf tournament was held right here in upstate NY. My husband and several of his friends attended last Sunday and the guys came back to our house for some delicious snacks and to watch some MORE golf on TV. Here is what I served:

Becky's Sunday Snax Menu

Shrimp cocktail with spicy cocktail sauce
Mrs. Murphy’s cream cheese and beef dip
Hamburger sliders with all the trimmings
Marinated chicken on skewers

Here are two of the recipes:

Marinated Chicken on Skewers

Marinade: Combine together ½ c. soy sauce, ½ c. oil, 2 green onions, chopped, 1 tbs. brown sugar, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 tsp. vinegar.

Cut two or three chicken breasts into strips. Marinate the chicken for 45 minutes to 4 hours, depending on how much time you have. Thread meat on small skewers.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange skewers on foil lined baking sheet (if you don’t line the sheet, be prepared for a big mess later) and bake for 10 minutes. Flip skewers and baste with reserved marinade. Bake about 5 more minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

This recipe is one of my favorites, I also serve it as a dinner dish with chunks of chicken breast and pineapple slices.

Mini Burger Sliders

Combine 1 lb. of 80/20 ground beef and 1 lb. of 90/10 ground beef so you get some nice flavor from the fat while still keeping it leanish. This amount of meet will make a lot of sliders so you can cut it in half if you’d like. Add 1 tsb. olive oil and 1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese, pepper and seasoning salt. Form into 12 golf ball sized rounds. Flatten slightly. Grill (indoors or out) or just fry in a pan until cooked through. Serve on toasted slider buns (available at so many grocery stores now) with pickle slices, mustard and catsup and tiny thin slices of tomato and onion. I also will use a special mayo I make with lemon juice, parsley and a bit of garlic salt for a different twist. Top with bun half and serve!!


Becky is a Baba!!

Yes, the best thing ever has happened – my son and his wife had our first grandchild on Tuesday, June 1. Little Jackson Daniel West arrived 3 ½ weeks early but he was perfect and healthy and of course that IS the best news there is!

Mike and I were able to travel to California to meet Baby J only a few days after his arrival and we got to help take care of him when he arrived home from the hospital. He was a teensy baby at first, something with which I had no experience as my two babies were each over 8 lbs. We had to wake him to feed him and of course, like every newborn, a few sips of a bottle and back to sleep he would go! It was comically challenging trying to wake him and keep him awake, but we all did it!

I actually told Andy and Stephanie a story about how I used to wake Andy up when he would fall asleep at inopportune times. Thirty two years ago, I had a good friend who had a baby just a few months older than Andy and in the afternoons, we would often get together to have some fun while the babies napped. Anyway, Andy would often fall asleep in the car on the 8 minute commute to my friend’s house. That meant when we got there he would be wide awake and refuse to nap. So, on more than one occasion in the winter when he would fall asleep, I would pull the car over and get snow off the windshield and gently pat it on his face to wake him. It would really work – he would be awake for the rest of the drive, then nap at Renee’s house.

Well, I guess I should’ve never told the story since Andy was horrified but hey, it worked/ I told them to use cool water on a washcloth and gently wash the baby’s face and that woke up Baby J every time. So frankly, what’s the difference, I say?

Here are some photos of our new grandson for you to enjoy!


100 Days and Counting

This summer has really been hectic, so I haven't been able to blog the last few weeks. I am getting back in the swing of things and have a bunch of new entries coming your way. Here is the first of many:

I have a dear friend in St. Louis and she has been trying to sell her condo/townhome for more than a year. To date, they have shown it more than 100 times and since she has a wonderful sense of humor, together we came up with our top ten reasons it really stinks to have your home on the market for such a long time. Hope they tickle you too.


1. Every time it is shown, that is one day you CANNOT MAKE BACON. I know this may seem trivial to some of you, but COME ON, over 100 days with no bacon. But you don’t want the smell in the house – it’s just bad news.

2. When you finally can come home after the showing, you have to wonder what bathroom the clients used-I know they go to the bathroom because we have moved so much and Mike has used the bathroom in a lot of places. Then you have to clean all the bathrooms again.

3. Over 100 times you have to clean your kitchen floor. Any of you that know me, know my strengths lie in other areas and I am happy to say my friend in St. Louis is a lot like me.

4. Over 100 times you are inconvenienced since it really seems like the realtor wants to show the house the exact minute you are due home from work and that means you have to find something else to do with yourself.

5. You have to make the bed EVERYDAY no matter what.

6. You can never turn down a showing since it might be THE ONE.

7. It doesn’t matter how many open houses they have or how good the thing smells you put in the crockpot, it still isn’t selling the house.

8. You are cranky all the time.

9. Burying St. Joseph in the backyard simple doesn’t help, I don’t care how many times people tell you to do it. Upside down, right side up, it is a plastic statue you paid $15 for and frankly, St. Joseph has a lot of great qualities but selling your house isn’t one of them.