Monthly Archives: November 2013

Give Thanks For Bacon and Include it in Your Thanksgiving Meal!

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It’s that time again! Time to stuff your faces and be thankful for all that you have! And what better way to do that than to add your favorite food additive – BACON! Even if you have diet restrictions this year, you can always substitute the bacon in recipes with soy, duck, beef, duck, or turkey bacon. I feel turkey bacon is actually the most appropriate bacon to use for Thanksgiving anyway.

I searched around again this year for recipes offered by others on the internet and a couple by me and my husband. I chose some I felt were easy to make and some that simply had a unique twist that intrigued me. If you create any fun recipes this Thanksgiving, please send them my way @ baconnerd@yahoo.com.

YOUR TURKEY / APPETIZERS/SNACKS / BREADS & SPREAD / SIDES / DESSERTS

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey with Pear Cider Gravy Recipe

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing

Smoky Paprika-Bacon Roasted Turkey

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APPETIZERS/SNACKS:

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Bacon Wrapped Stuffing

Bacon Wrapped Smokies with Brown Sugar and Butter

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

Skinny Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Bacon Appetizer Crescents



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BREADS & SPEAD:

Bacon Spread

Cheddar, Bacon, and Fresh Chive Biscuits

Bacon Beer Cornbread

Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread

Bacon Sweet Potato Cornbread

Bacon-Onion Pan Rolls Recipe



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SIDES:

Beer Brussel Sprouts With Bacon and Onions

Bread Stuffing with Pears, Bacon and Caramelized Onions

Pumpkin With White Beans and Bacon

Spinach and Bacon Sautee

Confetti Corn with Bacon

Bourbon Bacon Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple

Maple Bacon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash



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DESSERTS:

Bacon Peach Pie

Pecan and Bacon Bundt Cake

Dulce De Leche and Bacon Magic Bars

Maple Bacon Blondies

Mini Maple Bacon Upside Down Cakes

Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Scones

Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie

Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow and Bacon Bark



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**** Also check out last years post, “Be Thankful For Bacon and Include it in Your Thanksgiving!” for additional recipes.




– Elle.

Looking for Bacon Holiday Treats?? Try Baconery!

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First let me tell you about Baconery. It’s a bakery located in New York City that creates bacon treats that would make your toes curl. They take the basic bacon delights you’ve probably tried before and somehow make them so much more. Improvements to these dishes are done with talent. They perfect ingredients, presentation, and simplicity.

Baconery's To-Go Menu

Baconery’s To-Go Menu

They have much to choose from if you are lucky enough to live near by or happen to be visiting the city. On their menu, they include a mouth-watering list of baked goods, chocolates, candies, snacks, sandwiches (savory and sweet), beverages, and even bacon merchandise. But don’t be sad if you can’t find yourself near by, they ship! I live in Florida and received an assortment of goodies. They arrived within a couple days – wrapped, freshly made, and exploding with flavor.

I was nice enough to share my goodies with my husband, Ric and we want to share our experience:

Packaging:

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Our treats were sent in one box, where they used brown crinkle cut packing filler – totally awesome bacon relation! Inside our box, we found our mini pie and other baked goods were sealed in air tight packaging. And our bacon soap was wrapped individually with white paper and brown/white stripped string. I was pretty amazed at the detail put into keeping the bacon theme, even with packing. I’m not sure if I am over-thinking it, but it definitely got bonus points from me. I always pay attention to detail and make note.

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Product Size:

I was pretty happy about the size of the baked goods. They were normal size, but that was a point to make because I have received treats that were have the size and the same price. You will get more than you expect for the price you pay. For bacon fans, we used Mr. Bacon to show the size of the baked goods.



Maple Bacon Blondie:

At first smell, I thought of a thick, fresh baked cookie. The blondie was spongy and moist. On first bite, you could taste saltiness of the bacon and then the vanilla and brown sugar arrive creating a wonderful mixture of flavors. You could taste every ingredient in the mix and it all worked so well together. It was like eating a piece of heavy yellow cake with the sweetness of brown sugar and heavenly kick of bacon.

Ric said, “I don’t want to finish. The smell is so wonderful. I want to wear it like a necklace.”



Bacon Brownie:

It was delicious cake brownie with yummy gooey pockets of chocolate and bacon. You could tell with every bite that real cocoa was used. It was very sweet – but a glass of milk would help out with that.

Ric said, ” It was very smoky and would be better with more sweetness. I think it would go best with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.”



Red Velvet Bacon Brownie:

It was a delightful spongy, moist cake. I’ve always loved red velvet cake. The hint of cocoa, the cream cheese icing… But there was no icing here. But don’t worry, they fixed the problem perfectly. They added white chocolate chunks in the mix. As you eat the cake, you get small pieces of the white chocolate that are the perfect substitution for the icing. And with the saltiness of the bacon, it just made things so much more better.

Ric said, ” It was super sweet and super salty – the perfect amount of both. You have no idea of the amount of bacon until you break into it.”



Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Cookie:

I’m not a big fan of peanut butter cookies. I just want to be up front about that. For a moment before trying the cookie, I actually thought to myself that I would just have Ric do a review on his own. But I put my negativity aside and dove in. I was surprised! It didn’t really taste like that usual peanut butter cookie. I’m sure most peanut butter fans would still love it, but it offered something different. The saltiness of the bacon, the dark chocolate, and chucks of peanut butter worked so well together… but Ric said it best…..

Ric said, “It’s like a Butterfinger with Bacon! But the dark chocolate seemed to mask the bacon.”



Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookie:

Don’t roll your eyes. I know, everyone has done a bacon chocolate chip cookie. But this well? It’s important that the simpler ones get done just right too. They loaded this buttery cookie up with bacon and lots of gooey chocolate chips. The cookie was one to enjoy with some vanilla ice cream.

Ric said, “It was super sweet, has a wonderful flavor and you can taste a sweet bacon flavor in it.”



White Chocolate Macadamia Bacon Cookie:

And now on to my favorite cookie. White Chocolate Chip Macadamia has been my favorite for years. So, when I discovered Baconery made one with bacon, I went a little crazy. I was so excited to get this one in the mail. It was moist and a little crumbly. The bacon was a wonderful addition to this sweet and nutty cookie favorite. This cookie is positively a dunker.

Ric said, “The cookie was airy, full of nuts and bacon. Just fabulous.”



Oatmeal Cranberry Bacon Cookie:

It was very sweet, a little tart with the cranberry and hint of saltiness with bacon. I did feel that the sweetness overpowered the bacon in this particular cookie. You could tell there was chucks of bacon but the flavor didn’t blend as well for me. I loved the cookie overall but hoped for more bacon flavor.

Ric said, “Very sweet. I loved the use of real fruit but it may have overpowered the bacon. It was more sweet than salty. I missed the bacon flavor.”



Bacon Pecan Pie:

OMG. My favorite pie! You first look at the mini pie and see whole pecans covering the top. And around the pecans and underneath are big chucks of chewy, smoky bacon. The filling was creamy, buttery and oh so sweet. The thin, light and flaky buttery crust under it all just absorbed all the flavors of the pie. Every bite made my mouth water. Make sure you have a glass of milk on hand.

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Bacon Soap:

I was genuinely surprised. I usually hate bacon soap. Any time I ever had the chance to try someone’s bacon soap, it always smelled like a dirty gym sock that some kid left in their locker for a year. And when you go to use it, your hand would reek for hours until you scrubbed it out with something else.

But not with this bacon soap! I did get a bit of a funky smell, but it smelled more smoky than dirty. The soap lathered up rather nice and left a clean, soft feeling on my skin. And as for the after-smell, my hands just smelled clean with a very faint smoky scent.

As for bacon soaps, I would rarely use it as an every day soap. But with this concoction, I would put it on my list of gift ideas and also as a necessity for Bacon Day use!

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I also did a review comparing their Bacon Salt with J & D’s Bacon Salt. Baconery destroyed their competition with their simple and flavorful ingredients. Check out the comparison: “Product Review: Let’s Compare Bacon Salt”.


If you’re looking for something to fill the gap on your Thanksgiving dessert table or a way to check off a bacon lover on your Holiday gift list, make sure to keep Baconery in mind. They can help you put an amazing twist on your holidays. There is a variety to chose from and they even have dog biscuits for your furry pal!

The best part of this bakery is how fresh everything tastes and how much bacon they pack into every recipe. They put thought into every recipe and make everything a unique and satisfying experience for your taste buds. Everything tastes exactly as you would hope and you’re left with a full belly that you’re proud of.


Check them out:

LOCATION:
911 Columbus Avenue, New York, New York
(104 & 105th)

HOURS:
9:00am – 9:00pm



– Elle.

Review: Beer and Bacon Festival 2013 in Altamonte Springs, FL

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The Beer and Bacon Festival in Altamonte Springs, Florida was held on November 2, 2013. The event was advertised as an event offering unlimited craft beer samples with a purchased wristband. And there would be food vendors with bacon delights to offer for various prices. Unlimited Beer + Bacon + Within Walking Distance + Time With Loved Ones = Duh, We’re Going. My husband Ric and I were lucky to have family join us: My brother Jimmy, sister in law Robin, and nieces Cameron and Morgan.



MY PREPARATION:
As usual, I made sure to do my nails up with the correct colors and decorated my ring nail with a bacon design. I also made sure to wear my bacon shirt I altered for the last bacon festival.

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PROS OF THE FESTIVAL:

* Loved where the event was set up. Near the water for a nice view, lots of steps to sit and relax, and the music set back next to the water at the bottom of the stairs. Having the music set up away from the event allowed them to play loudly and cover the whole event. Someone actually thought it out and I appreciate the detail in that.
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* When we checked in, I had my tickets on my phone through the Eventbrite app. When we got to the check in table, the woman said she wasn’t set up to scan in tickets from phones yet. I immediately though back to the last bacon festival and wanted to roll my eyes. But she quickly said she was just going to take a picture of the tickets’ QR Code with her phone and just check us in later. Just that little bit of quick problem solving already made this experience better than my entry to the Festival of Bacon in Orlando.

* There was a great set up that included plenty of places to stand or sit while trying delish goodies…. leaving plenty of space for people to move around.
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* There booths for beer and bacon were evenly set up. If you were to start at one end and just go down the path, you would always have something new to try. I list all the selections on a previous blog entry: “Beer and Bacon Festival in Altamonte Springs, FL”

* They had two booths set up where you could purchase full glasses of beer, soda, water and other non-alcoholic beverages. You didn’t have to purchase the beer sampling wristband to enjoy yourself at this event. Anyone could show up and enjoy as much or little as they wanted.

* The length of the event was reasonable. They took into account the type of event they had and was realistic. There was going to be unlimited beer with your wristband and the lines moved quickly. There was only so much one can do back and forth. No games to interact with. So, why have it go for 8 hours? 4 hours was plenty!

* The festival opened at 3 PM, but beer samples started at 4 PM. I felt this was a really smart move. It allowed people to show up for bacon treats that either were not going to be drinking or at least wanted a head start on trying them out before the crowd showed up for beer samples.

* There were not too many vendors not related to the actual event theme. I saw only a handful. The ratio was good.

* Miller’s Ale House definitely brought the competition even though there wasn’t an actual contest. But they won in my books. They had cheap eats, huge quantities and a menu selection that was perfect for this type of event. Please check out my separate review for them: “Review: Miller’s Ale House – Altamonte”

* 4 Rivers was there and as always they were a hit! We already knew their food is amazing (that’s why Ric and I had them cater our wedding!) so we didn’t try their food at the festival. I was going to try the Chicken Biscuit with Bacon and Maple Drizzle they had listed on the festival’s website, but they weren’t serving it at the festival. That was a downer. But Robin said she had not tried their Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos, so she did and she loved them! I was always amazed that such a simple combination could be so good. The smoky flavor of the bacon covers the heat of the jalapeno just right.
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* It was a nice surprise to find Casillero del Diablo at the festival! It’s a cheaper wine Ric and I have been enjoying at home recently and were glad to partake in some samples while at the festival.

* Having MJ Frias Cigars at the festival was pretty smart! Unlimited beer and a nice cigar? Now that’s a relaxing Saturday!

* I was so cute to see kids and even some grown ups getting a caricature done! It was a simple and fun addition. It added to the festival feel!

* There was a wonderful view of the sunset at the end of the event.
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* Anheuser-Busch’s local beer distributer Wayne Densch Inc offered free taxi rides home for those who may have enjoyed a little too much at the festival.
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CONS OF THE FESTIVAL:

* I was hoping for more fun bacon-related interactions. Fun booths with games or bacon themed crafts.

* I found some of the food vendors to be a bit pricey for what they were offering. Mostly for the fact that I knew the quality was not going to be good because they were either pre-cooked dishes or thrown together. I passed up on a lot of the food even based on the quantity I saw others were receiving for the higher priced goodies… not impressed and I wasn’t going to waste my money at the festival. I found myself more interested in the beer samples I already purchased with my wristband than trying to waste more money on food I was already raising an eyebrow at just by a visual review.

* I wanted more photo opportunities. I’m a sucker for Instagram and photo sharing….I’m a girl with a camera phone and a blog, it’s what I do. Ric and I only got pictures with the cut out pig they had. And that was located next to the speakers down by the DJs. I had to wait until there was a song on with less beat so I could stand near it long enough without making my ears bleed. And yes, I’m sure they had it there for a reason.

Ric and the Big Pig.

Ric and the Big Pig.


Me and the Big Pig

Me and the Big Pig

* It was odd to see the PowerHoopz booth. I don’t want to talk about staying in shape while I pour unlimited beer down my throat and shove bacon in my mouth.

* Whole Foods Market brought Vegan Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies to the event. Yes they were only $1 for a big cookie, but why vegan bacon?? It was a beer and bacon festival, no one was expecting you to cater to the vegans.

* The Hammered Lamb couldn’t even pull off a grilled cheese. We didn’t even both with the rest of the menu. Check out the full review: “Review: The Hammered Lamb”



WHAT I WOULD CHANGE:

* I would fill the vendor list with only beer and bacon related products/services. Forget the laser correction for your eyes, but cigar definitely fit in.

* Offer more of a selection of quick, simple, cheaper food selections. Those are the ones that are rarely disappointing at a festival. An argument could be made that something different should be tried. I agree, but be wise when making decisions on the food selections for an event. Take the type of event that is at hand. Ale House offered simple selections, but something different also with the Watermelon and Bacon Salad. This wasn’t a food truck event, this was a beer festival with food to buy.

* I would have loved more interactive booths. Things to do is always fun.



MY SUMMARY REVIEW:

I was pretty darn impressed with the event. I may have listed some disappointments that made it seem as though I was picking it apart, but nothing is perfect and well… I had to list something. I really did have a great time hanging out with my husband and family at the festival. I saw this event as a “Beer Fest” that simply offered bacon vendors to buy from. And seeing the event in this way made it one of the best festivals I have been to. It was well organized and offered exactly what they advertised. They were upfront about parking, time, food offered, and prices. You may think I am being a little dramatic, but please keep in mind – I recently went to a Bacon Festival that was unorganized and falsely advertised. It was nice to go to an event that gave you exactly what they said. I’m really hoping it returns next year. I hope to indulge in more bacon treats next time.

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– Elle.