Oven Bacon, Fried Bacon- (I don’t care how the bacon is cooked, as long as it isn’t boiled bacon, I’m in!)

I had a couple pounds of bacon to make this morning for the extended family and thought I’d try cooking it in the oven like I’ve heard about… “Less Mess! Cooks more evenly!” the cooking sites all swear. I’m dubious.

So, here’s the set-up:

Half the bacon on the baking sheet, half in the cast iron skillet…

Here is all that bacon again, just because. Y’know. Bacon!

The Salt Ewok knows when you’ve overcooked the bacon. For shame.
About 15- 20 minutes later, and it’s looking good (as bacon always does).

All done! Looks pretty good… but when has bacon not looked good, amiright?

OK- seriously… 

We did like the super ease of cooking the bacon in the oven- no turning, no hovering. But the clean up is just as bad- a messy baking pan and a rack to clean.

However (bottom line)-

It was great, either way. Because it’s BACON.

The oven baked bacon was less crisp than the pan fried. This would be great for BLT sandwiches, no?

If you prefer crispy, rendered strips, stick with the pan. Don’t have time to fuss with babysitting your fatty, smoky, favorite strips of yumminess? Use the oven.

Want the recipe? As per The All-Knowing Alton Brown, click here for his directions (start the pan in a cold oven, 400 for 15-20 minutes).

All this bacon did go into breakfast burritos… I did share it. Grudgingly.




Today I Made a New Friend

Photo cred to my dad. Props, dad!

His name is Porter, and he can be your friend, too. He is frequently found at Division 23 Brewing. He will probably be your friend, too, if you have popcorn in your hand!

I didn’t have any new beers on this visit, but my mom did. Should we count that as my New Thing O’ The Day? Mom doesn’t like beer, and I don’t know if anyone has ever gotten her to try beers before…


Pan Dulce, Grande Style: Is It Really Better?

Pan Dulce- grande y pequeño

Earlier this week I went shopping at Pancho Villa’s Market with a friend who knew her way around the Mexican grocery store better than I did. She shared a great tip- if you like pan dulce, try the larger version sold as “Concha Grande,” that look like a monster Pan Dulce. Dee Dee says that she thinks that the larger loaves are more moist than the little rolls.

Going for a dunk…

We tried our big loaf o’ Pan Dulce this morning at breakfast with our chorizo burritos. We all agreed with Dee Dee… Yum! It was great dipped in coffee and nice on its own. Down right delicious like the little rolls, but the smaller Pan Dulces are definitely a bit more dry.

Haven’t had Pan Dulce before? Try them for breakfast or a snack. Look for them in most Mexican grocery stores with bakeries.


What to Do When the Turkey Baster is Basted…

Pan left from this view and you can see how many empty growlers are on the kitchen table…

How do you get your Thanksgiving Turkey safely from the roasting pan to the carving board? Your crispy, tender, perfectly cooked bird is at risk of taking a spectacular dive onto the kitchen floor- it’s probably twenty pounds of hot, slippery yumminess.

And what if the head Turkey Chef is cooked? And all the other family Sous Chefs are probably equally toasted by this time in the family’s day, too.

You think ahead and equip your kitchen with the equivalent of a Turkey Gaff, that’s what you do!

This bird was perfect, by the way… way to go, Chef!

This Good Grips Poultry Lifter is a good idea, way better than the two wooden spoons that we have traditionally shoved unceremoniously into either end of the bird… ouch! We hardly knew him, after all, how rude! But seriously, anyone with grip issues (arthritis, strength, etc…) will appreciate the big, rubber, ball-shaped grip at one end and the fork-y hooks,  general physics, and gravity proved that this design is way better than two flimsy spoons.

I should thank the family for letting me throw them under the bus in the name of humor (“Artistic License,” is just another way of exaggerating for the sake of a good laugh, really).

Trader Joe’s Steak and Ale Pies


Want a pot pie but also a dinner that doesn’t taste like frozen convenience food? Get these: Trader Joe’s Steak and Ale Pies- two per box.

Ready for the freezer…

I was expecting just a beef flavored pot pie. Nope. Buttery crust and pieces of steak, as advertised on the box, and vegetables in a tasty sauce… only the potatoes were kind of meh. In their defense, potatoes are usually going to suffer if frozen, and… I kinda had these pies in my freezer for maybe six months. You know what? They come individually shrink-wrapped in plastic, so, no freezer burnt flavor!

This is good stuff, people, I’ll be buying these again. Especially when Im sick of cooking for the holidays!