Summer, Potato Salad, and Bacon

If you’re anything like me, the moment the weather even hints at spring, when it’s raining three-quarters of the time and only the bravest and most stalwart crocuses dare show their faces, I’ve already fired up the barbecue. While I love to bake (bacon cupcakes, of course), and there is much to be said for the zen-like serenity that only comes from gently caramelizing onions in a saute pan (for a bacon and goat cheese tart), there is something elemental about barbecuing that gets me in touch with my inner Caveman. There is no denying than any meat (including bacon) that passes through fire on its way to my mouth infinitely more delicious. Not to mention that standing in front of an open flame, wielding tongs and soaking up the warm weather, is possibly one of the most quintessentially summery activities that exists. Just thinking about getting my BBQ on puts me in a good mood.

Now, this might just be a personal think, but I just can’t have a proper barbecue without potato salad. This classic side-dish is just as necessary to the barbecue feast as the sauce, the flames and the bacon-wrapped chicken breasts I am about to grill. This dish brings me right back to my childhood every time. To this day, I still have dreams about my mom’s potato salad, creamy and smooth with just a hint of dill.

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Greek-Style Quinoa Salad Recipe

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    (35 votes, average: 4.06 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Easy
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 15 mins

I’ve spoken previously about the wonders of quinoa when I made my Vegan Curried Quinoa Stuffed Peppers… with Bacon. It truly is a superfood. It’s great for summer because it tastes just as good cold as it does warm. This makes it easy to make so many different delicious salads incorporating one of the best foods you can put into your body. Super-salad indeed. Here’s just one idea – a greek style salad with lots of veggies, some feta, a simple Greek dressing and bacon, of course. Get creative here! Quinoa is a slightly nutty blank canvas to work with. Possibilities are endless.

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Pancakes and Bacon

Bacon is an incredibly versatile food, and so it ends up being used in a huge variety of ways and in a vast amount of different types of dishes. Bacon is equally at home topping a healthful salad as is it candied and perched delightfully atop a sparkling, sugary cupcake. Bacon is as perfect wrapped around the delicate scallop as is it sauteed with vegetables, adding depth of flavour and richness to a stew.

With so many different ways to use bacon, it can be easy to get caught up in it’s flexibility and just keep trying more and more new things. But, at the end of the day, I can’t think of anything more delicious, anything more perfect, than bacon for breakfast.

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The Portobelissimo Bacon Sandwich Recipe

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    (15 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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    Easy
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    Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 10 mins

To me, there’s nothing better than fresh tomatoes right out of the garden. I could literally eat them like apples! Now, unfortunately, it’s not quite tomato season, so it takes a little bit of effort to make those tomatoes taste optimal. I start with a little bit of basil. Basil and tomatoes are a match made in heaven. Add a beautiful grilled Portobello cap, some gorgeous, fresh tasting mozzarella and… I think you can guess what I’m going to say next… BACON! Toast that on some lovely Italian bread and you’ve got a beautifully summery sandwich, if I do say so myself.

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Baconize Your Car

For many of us, our cars become a second home. If you have to commute to work every day, you might end up spending more time in your car that you’d like. While driving from place to place can be stressful in traffic, that time can also be soothing. The summer I had a job that had me driving all over the city gave me time in my beat-up little hatchback that I really value now. I had the time and space entirely by myself, to think, to work things out and to sing along to the radio at the top of my lungs. This got me thinking about the relationships that people have with their cars, and how they can become such an important part of our lives. And hey, if you need to get around anyway, you might as travel in style, with bacon!

Here are some fantastic ways that you can up the bacon factor in your primary mode of transportation, whether you drive a brand new flashy car or a battered and much-loved used model.

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Bacon and Lobster Cakes with Bacon Aioli Recipe

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    (18 votes, average: 3.11 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Medium
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 20 mins.

Yes, I’m on a seafood kick lately. Bacon and most things from the ocean go fantastically together. It makes me wonder if pigs are actually remarkably good swimmers and just don’t want to show it. I wanted to do a crab cake recipe, but I thought I’d do it one better. How ‘bout a LOBSTER cake! The grocery store near me has fresh lobster and they’ll cook in-store right for you! So convenient. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Here it is, a wonderfully fresh lobster cake – with REAL lobster!

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Four-Legged Bacon Lovers

We admit that the Republic of Bacon can be a bit human-centric in its coverage. We generally take a look at the bacon products and bacon events that appeal most to the homo sapiens (yes I had to wikipedia the real name for humans)  in our audience. That said. We are also deeply aware of the fact that many other species think bacon is equally delicious. My cat, for example, will perch as close to me as she can on the arm of the couch, looking as lovely as she possibly can, whenever I am eating bacon in the hope that I will just have to give her a little piece. We’ve also written in the past about bacon events that specifically celebrate our four-legged friends. But we thought it way high time that we again turned our editorial eye to the wonderful relationship between bacon and out pets.

Dogs adore bacon. They tend to go absolutely crazy for it. In fact, there are several products marketed for dogs whose entire premise is based on the fact that they look and/or taste like bacon. To further celebrate the love that the canines on our lives display for bacon, here are a few of our favourite dog-oriented bacon products.

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Bacon Love Friday: Best Bacon Twitter Feeds

We all love reading blogs about bacon. It must come as no surprise to hear that I spend a good chunk of my free time scouring the web looking for well-written and engaging posts about bacon. Whether I am looking for bacon recipes, bacon facts, or some fun novelty posts about everyone’s favourite food, blogs are often my primary sources of research.

But there’s a lot more bacon content out there than can be contained on traditional blogging platforms. More and more bacon fans are reaching out on social media to share their bacon knowledge and interact with each other. Twitter, in particular, is rapidly becoming a hub of the online bacon community. Not only do a number of great bloggers use Twitter to keep keep followers and fans updated about new content, they often have brilliant quips and snippets to share throughout the day.

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Calamari with Shrimp, Mango and Bacon Salsa Recipe

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    (13 votes, average: 3.46 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Easy
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 20 mins

I haven’t really experimented a lot with fish and bacon here at the Republic of Bacon. I think it’s time to dive in and really explore. Sure I’ve done some bacon-crusted salmon and steamed some mussels in a beautiful tomato-bacon broth. Of course we can’t forget the two ways I prepared bacon wrapped scallops. There’s so much more out there, though. Two of my absolute favourite, shrimp and calamari (or squid) haven’t been touched! So let’s use them both in a wonderfully summery and fresh dish. I pan fried the calamari here, but you could very well grill it, too!

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Making Bacon: Oven Vs. Skillet

If I asked you to close your eyes right now and picture someone preparing bacon, what would you imagine? For the vast majority of you, I bet that you are seeing in your mind’s eye someone heating a skillet and laying the streaky bacon strips in the pan, the fat bubbling and the sweet fat crisping up while you watch. I’m sorry, was that your stomach growling or mine?

Though this might be the most common conception of hoe bacon is made, there is another, equally delicious method for making bacon: baking it in the oven. While less popular, and less deeply ingrained on the average bacon-lover’s consciousness, this method is just as effective as sizzling bacon up in a pan.

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