Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Ho Hum(mus) Valentine’s Day

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Today has been interesting. I had to run some errands this morning to get ready for a shoot tomorrow, after which I had three clients and some shopping.

When I buy strange combinations of items, I always wonder what the checkout person is making up about me. Today my purchase consisted of a shiny red blender, a day planner, a shiny red neglige, two pairs of panties (shiny and red!), six boxes of chocolates, and two bottles of nail polish (one of which was shiny. And red). I was clearly planning a really interesting night.

Or something. I painted my nails (satiny, shiny red) and then took to the blender (perhaps not an ideal order… should have pulled out the day planner first!) and made a batch of homemade hummus. My friend Heather, who writes a great food column, makes the most delicious hummus and I’ve been dying to give it a shot. I still don’t have a food processor, but the blender did a pretty good job of faking it.

Combine 2 cans of garbanzo beans, the juice of one lemon, and minced garlic (I used four or five cloves, but if you’re not a garlic fanatic like me, two is the normal dose) and blend until smooth. You might have to spot-test your mix. Mine looked pretty creamy but had chunks of ninja bean hidden under the placid surface. Once your beans are blended, gradually mix in olive oil and spices to taste. One recipe I found suggested 1/3 of a cup of oil but I don’t think I used quite that much. As for spices, salt is a good place to start, and you can get creative from there. I used a Mediterranean blend for my first batch, but I think in the future I’ll try something a bit spicier.

Hummus is delicious and not quite as bad for you as many dips (don’t get me wrong: it’s full of oil, which is fine in moderation, but not great in quantity), but it’s often $5 or $6 for a little tub. This costs about $1 per cup to make and is very easy.

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Baconfest!

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This weekend was the Super Bowl and also a good friend’s birthday. In honor of both, we had Baconfest. All things pig and pig-derived. A few of the fun things I brought to the party:

Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs

Hard boil a dozen eggs. Allow to cool, peel, and slice.
Combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup of ranch dressing, and 6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled into little bits. Smaller is better!
Spoon yolk-ranch-bacon combination into a pastry bag or gallon storage bag with a corner snipped
Touch the tip into the bottom of the indent of an egg and gently squeeze the bag, lifting up as the cup fills. My friend Heather gave me this tip and it made it SO much easier!

I made some extra bacon-ranch by stirring cooked bacon into simple ranch dressing and left it out on the table for dipping veggies. Yum!

Bacon Crescents

Combine 8oz (1 package) of softened cream cheese with 4 slices of bacon, cooked well and crumbled into little bits.
Roll out a package of crescent rolls and cut each triangle in half.
Place a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture on the wide end of each triangle and roll up.
Bake for 8 minutes (or until golden brown) at 375

These were DELICIOUS, and I’m thinking they’ll be awesome at brunch with other flavors mixed into the cream cheese. I think next time I make these I’ll mix the cream cheese with fruit jam or maybe even peanut butter.

Bacon Cookies

I adapted this recipe from BaconToday.com.

Jeff had made a couple batches of Cayenne-Candied Bacon and had a ton of brown sugar left over. He didn’t want to throw out perfectly good sugar, but he didn’t want to save it since he’d been dredging raw bacon through it. So we found the bacontoday.com recipe and figured we’d give it a shot with a few adjustments.

Follow directions for candying about a pound of bacon, saving the drippings. About 1/4 of a cup of bacon grease is plenty. We ended up with less, which was fine, but you won’t want more.
Melt a cup of butter and add it to the bacon drippings. Let them cool.
Mix in 2 cups brown sugar and 2 eggs, beaten. Add 1/4 cup honey, 1tsp salt, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Set aside 4-5 slices of candied bacon and break or chop the rest into little pieces and mix into the dough.
Mix in 3 cups of flour a little at a time. As with any recipe, add flour gradually to ensure that you don’t get lumps.
Cut the pieces of bacon you set aside into 1″ squares.

Roll dough into balls and press a bacon square into the top of each. Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes at 350. Makes 2 dozen.