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Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

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Oh, I know I don’t need to tell you how much we love a good pizza…I’ve blogged about it so many times before (here and here and here and here).

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Pizza is our Friday night ritual. The biggest dinner decision we make on Fridays is whether we are going out for a pie (Speaking of going out, I’m so happy to report that we have finally found our “go to” pizza place after 9 months of searching! And, its about 4 minutes from our home! I promise to bring along David’s new iPhone next time we go so I can snap a few photos and then properly share with you it’s loveliness and simple style.) or whether we are staying in to make one. If we stay home, Jack gets to have his Friday pizza AND movie night, which has become a huge hit! He is completely enamored with the screen and is loving Toy Story and Thomas the Train the most, as of late. He has about an hour of screen time each week (mostly from incidental sports watching with us), so this is a BIG night for him and a fun way to kick off the weekend!

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I hope that our Friday night pizza tradition will be one of Jack’s family food memories when he gets all big and grown up. I love family rituals and routines that create memories, but, and I’m sure to no one’s surprise, I am particularly in love with memories shaped by food. It seems that a lot of people have memories of Saturday morning family breakfasts complete with delicious breakfast breads or waffles, eggs, and crispy bacon, but we are not quite at the stage of life when this routine makes sense for our family. Jack is not a lingerer nor is he particularly patient…he wants breakfast soon after waking up and as soon as he takes his last bite of the meal, he’s ready to get down and get busy playing. This makes that required time of prepping and cleaning that bookmark the yummy breakfast a time of frustration for all of us! The long, relaxing breakfast becomes something instead that hijacks our morning leaving us all more frustrated (and fuller) then before we started.

So, while we are a few years off from that food ritual, I wonder what food memories we’re creating now for our little. I’m hoping he will look back and remember our house always having fresh, seasonal, and plentiful produce and jars of homemade granola. I hope his palette is spoiled for life by my instance on homemade chocolate chip cookies and homemade ice cream rather than store bought varieties. I hope he will speak of our “Sunday morning out for breakfast ritual” with fond memories and knowledge that it allowed him to explore different restaurants, different tastes, and new parts of the city. And, I, of course, hope that Friday pizza nights will bring a smile to his face for years to come.

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Here’s our latest homemade pizza recipe. They’ve been quite tasty lately, I must say.

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1 package store bought pizza dough (we buy ours from Trader Joe’s and usually get the herb dough)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of your favorite marinara sauce (we don’t like ours too saucy, so one jar will make 2 weeks of pizzas for us plus leave a bit behind for another meal)
3 slices bacon
About 6 large mushrooms, sliced in quarters lengthwise
1/2 cup Kalamata olives,sliced in half
Few sprigs of fesh thyme

Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface or counter and let sit for about 20 minutes. I always cook my pizza on a pizza stone, so I work directly on this.

While the dough is coming to room temperature, cook your bacon in a skillet until crispy. Drain and set aside. And, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Coat your hands with a bit of olive oil and press the dough down with your hands and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough from the centre out to the edges until you have the desired shape and thickness. Also use your fingertips to press and stretch the dough.

Par bake you dough to make the perfect pizza dough consistency by putting it in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Once dough is pre-cooked a bit, spread marinara sauce evenly over crust. Scatter sliced mushrooms and olives, crumble bacon slices, and sprinkle fresh thyme leaves evenly over dough. Cover with mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until dough starts to brown and cheese is bubbling.

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I am a purist when it comes to Brussels sprouts. I like them cleaned, trimmed, and roasted at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes so that their outside skins turn brown and crispy, but the inside stays firm, not a mushy paste. And, I love them. I think I could eat them nearly every day without tiring of their taste.

When I read recipes for Brussels sprouts, my interest is piqued yet I can never surrender my bounty away from my go-to roasting method, afraid I will be disappointed with the result. But, when I saw a recipe that required only a few minutes of cooking AND the use of bacon, I thought now’s the time to loosen up and to try something new.

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I am so, so happy that I did. This is one of those recipes that make you feel like you are eating something completely indulgent and then you remember it’s your vegetable side dish! The bacon creates this delicious base flavor, the lime brightens the dish, and the Brussels sprouts cook into a lovely hash that stays a bit crunchy, adding a great texture to the dish.

You should really try this. I would love to know what you think…

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STOVE TOP BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON AND AVOCADO
adapted slightly from in the little red house

1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 slices bacon
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, sliced into 1/8ths
a pinch of Cayenne pepper

While you are slicing your Brussels sprouts into quarters- lengthwise- so they shred apart, cook the bacon until crispy in a large skillet.
Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
Keeping the bacon drippings in the skillet, add your shredded Brussels sprouts, minced garlic, and Cayenne pepper.
Cook for just a few minutes over medium heat, until Brussels sprouts start to get tender.
Mix in lime juice and crumble bacon into the skillet.
Move the Brussels sprouts hash over to the side of the pan, and add the avocado slices–just to quickly warm each side. You don’t really want to stir them around into the sprouts or they will mash right in.
When they are heated through, serve and enjoy!

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If you know me well or are a long-time reader here, you know that I love traditions. A new tradition that we have started is having a BLT weekend brunch. Ever since Jack joined our family, I haven’t been a big fan of making a big breakfast…I hate the fact that it seems to rob us of our whole morning, not to mention the whining boy who can’t figure out why he’s hungry AND why his mama is “ignoring” him. It makes for a frustrating start to the day and, frankly, I have not found any waffles or pancakes that are worth it. I do love those breakfast foods, however, which is why we enjoy going out for breakfast or why we have breakfast for dinner quite often.

With the breakfast BLT tradition, I’ve found a way to cook a big breakfast without feeling like I’m cleaning up syrup until nap time. We start the morning with fruit…lots of fruit…and an activity- a walk, a football game (games are early out on this coast!), playing in the backyard. Then, around 10, I fry up a skillet of bacon, pop some slices of bakery bread into the toaster oven, slice some tomatoes to toss with lettuce and a lemony vinaigrette, and then cook eggs. It’s the perfect meal for a late breakfast and early lunch and we all love it!

Typically, we have our eggs fried or scrambled, but I’ve spent weeks craving poached eggs…I’m not sure exactly where the craving came from, but I think it has to do with the fact that poached eggs have been popping up all over the blog world lately. The reason I spent weeks craving them? Well, to be perfectly honest, I’ve never made them before and I was scared. I devoured poached egg recipes looking for the one that could best explain the process, the one that made me feel the most empowered, the one that could calm my fears.

As I tend to do, I pieced several different recipes together and…bam! I got a poached egg! I cooked three and they each turned out to be a perfect egg pillow. Next time, I will cook them about 3 minutes shorter so that when I pile them on top of my crispy sour dough bread I can bust open their yolks and watch their yellow ooze over the bread, dripping over onto the bacon and salad greens.

Poached eggs:
This recipe will make up to 4 eggs…don’t crowd the water with more than 4 eggs, or the temperature will drop and they won’t cook correctly.
And, I’ve already adjusted the cooking time in the recipe to give you perfectly runny eggs, if you want yours well done, let them cook for about 6 minutes.

Crack each egg into an individual small bowl or ramekin.

Fill a large, wide saucepan about 4 inches from the top with water, then add 2 tablespoons of white rice vinegar and a pinch of salt. Bring the water and vinegar to a rolling boil, then turn off the heat. Immediately add the eggs ton the hot water, making sure there is about 2 inches between each one (if not, cook the eggs in batches, bringing the water back to to a boil before adding new eggs). Cover with a tight lid, and let the eggs sit until the whites are cooked and the yolks are runny, 3 to 3 ½ min.

Gently, fish the eggs out of the pan with a wide slotted spoon and shake excess water off. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and serve right away.

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