Bacon Love Friday: Bacon Snacks

There’d no denying it any more, bacon-lovers: we are deep into Autumn now. Lemonade has been replaced with hot chocolate and cozy sweaters and scarves are worn daily. Weekends that were previously spent outside, jogging in the park or browsing a farmer’s market, are much more likely to be spent inside. Now that I can see my breath every time I go out, I am much more likely to spend my Saturdays curled up in bed with a good book and a cup of tea, and my Sundays in front of the television in my jammies, watching a Battlestar Galactica marathon. I will most likely be snacking on this cinnamon bun recipe.

Cooling weather doesn’t just mean that we’re changing the way that we spend our time, but we also change the way that we eat. More time indoors means we tend to cook fewer large meals, and instead snack or graze throughout the day. When I settle down to watch a bunch of horror movies on a gloomy November afternoon, having some salty and delicious snack food is a must. And what makes any snack, especially the salty and delicious kind, even better? Bacon, of course!

Here are some amazing bacon-based snack foods that are just perfect for dark Autumn afternoons.

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Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Rolls Recipe

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    (11 votes, average: 3.18 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Easy
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: None!

This recipe is inspired by Chef Gordon Ramsay. I’ve gained a lot of respect for that man over the last little while. He is a lot more than American television makes him out to be. He is not a malicious, crazy nut-job. He’s just a man that is super passionate about food – beautiful, gorgeous, delicious food – and wants nothing more than for people to respect the ingredients for the beautiful, gorgeous, delicious elements that they are. And, of course, always add bacon.

I am pretty confident he would enjoy my clam chowder recipe and he would LOVE my omelette recipe.

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Decorating with Bacon

The home of a bacon-lover is immediately recognizable. It is doubtlessly warm and friendly, with the unmistakeable and mouth-watering scent of bacon lingering in the air. Maybe a few crispy rashers are even draining on some paper towels as you walk in, or some bacon banana bread are bubbling away in the oven. A bacon lover’s home is always welcoming, a place where you want to relax and stay a while (and hopefully be treated to a snack or a meal!).

But what if you want to take your bacon love to the next level? What if you want to make your home more immediately recognizable as the residence of a bacon fan, and not just by the tempting smell and the well fed occupants? What if you want to bring bacon into the very decor of your home?

Lucky for you, there are tons of options to help you take on the great home bacon-ification project. Here are just a few examples of home decor based on this most beloved foodstuff.

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Bacon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

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    (15 votes, average: 2.87 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Easy
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 60 Minutes

I’ve said it before; I’m not a huge sweet eater. But I’m a sucker for banana bread. Why? Well, it’s not super sweet. Plus it’s healthy, right? It’s got bananas and… well… bananas… OH and its bread! Okay, maybe it’s not the quinoa of desserts but it sure is mighty delicious. Now this recipe comes from the warm kitchen of my roommate’s mother. This lovely lady handed over her secret family recipe and allowed me to share it with the world. Plus, she let me add bacon to it. She’s awesome.

I still highly recommend trying my beer bread recipe, ONLY  for game days. Otherwise, I would stick with this awesome banana bread recipe.

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Bacon Love Friday: Cooking With Sin

If there’s something that we love here at the Republic of Bacon, it is sinfully indulgent recipes that feature bacon. We admire creativity is all forms, but especially those that work through the medium of bacon. It should come as no surprise, then, that we are are absolutely in love with Carla Johnson‘s new cookbook, Cooking With Sin. Every recipe in this decedent compendium is as delicious as it is naughty. I was able to meet Carla in person [Editor's note: You get our and socialize? I thought you blogged all day.] Super friendly person, she is very warm and welcoming. Yes, I was a bit nervous meeting her. Cooking with Sin became a finalist in the Best Books 2011 USA Aawards!

For this week’s edition of Bacon Love Friday, we thought we would showcase some of our favourite bacon-centred recipes from this mouthwatering collection. Rev up your kitchens!

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Upscale Pigs in a Blanket

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    (18 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Medium
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    Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins

Have you ever been to one of those fancy-shmancy cocktail parties where everyone is dressed to impress, martinis are being sipped, and tiny little finger-sized appetizers are being passed? Well, even if you haven’t, imagine the party foul that would occur if you served frozen, pre-made appetizers. Noses would be upturned and you’d be shunned from ever throwing an upscale bash again.

Now imagine you classed it up a little bit and made some FANCY, homemade pigs in a blanket. No processed, filler-loaded hot dogs, but quality meats. I chose to use some Italian Sausage meat, but these would work just as well with any one of Maple Leaf’s quality sausage or hot dog products. I got this idea from a fellow blogger whose aunt would make these. I changed the flavour palette, but loved the idea of the Dijon and mango chutney dipping sauce. I include a recipe for that here, too. On a side note all of my parties include potato skins, spinach dip, and sushi appetizers.

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Caring For Your Bacon

If you read this blog, chances are you love bacon. I mean, you probably really love bacon. You refer to yourself as a bacon aficionado with a genuine sense of pride. Your friends buy you bacon-themed gifts your special occasions and your fridge is never without a pack or two of the delicious, sweet, salty object of your affections.

As a true bacon-lover, we have no doubt that you want to care for your bacon properly. Taking the time to store your bacon correctly means always enjoying your bacon at its freshest and most delicious (not to mention healthiest). To help you keep your bacon in tip-top shape and and scrumptious as possible, here are some valuable pieces of information on the proper care and storage of your bacon.

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Bacon Leftovers – Sometimes It Just Happens

When I started to write this post, I originally conceived of it as a list of potential uses for leftover bacon. Then I came to my senses: there is no such thing as leftover bacon. There is bacon that is freshly cooked for a specific purpose; there is potentially leftover bacon, sitting out seductively on a paper towel to drain like a sunbather stretched out coyly on a blanket; and there is bacon that has been eaten. I have never cooked a pack of bacon and had any left at the end of the day, even if I was alone. I am not sure of admitting that makes me ashamed or proud.

Okay, so bacon leftovers don’t actually exist. However, plenty of other foods do get left behind Uneaten pasta or stir-fry usually ends up languishing in the fridge, forgotten and unloved, until it is eventually rediscovered and thrown away just before it gains sentience.

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Bacon and Pizza

While bacon is perfectly sublime all on its own – the experience of biting into a perfectly crispy rasher of bacon is simply beyond compare – there is no question that bacon is one of the most versatile foods out there when it comes to novel combinations. Bacon is suited equally well as a breakfast or dinner food, and works brilliantly as an appetizer, main course, or dessert. No matter where it is found, bacon has an alluring, distinctive taste that nonetheless has the ability to blend well with other flavours rather than overwhelm. When bacon is used as an accent or garnish, it always improves the dish in question. No wonder cooks love using bacon so much!

For all of these reasons, bacon is an absolutely ideal pizza topping. Pizza in the quintessential takeout food, and bacon adds flavour and depth to any dish that it is added to, so naturally this is a match made in heaven. There is great debate, however, about what exactly the best way to get a heaping amount of bacon onto a pizza is. Luckily, we here at the Republic of Bacon are willing to risk life and limb to make sure that you have the most accurate bacon information out there. So, we have tested out some theories, and here are the results!

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Peanut Butter and Bacon Bread Pudding

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    (13 votes, average: 3.46 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Easy
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 45 Minutes

I’m not a huge dessert guy. I’d much prefer a sandwich – a BLT perhaps – over something sweet after dinner. That being said, although there are others like me, we tend to be the rare ones. People just go crazy for dessert. So to cater to the “normal” people, here is something to go crazy over.

When I DO have a dessert, especially something cake oriented, it has to be moist in order to be delicious. Nothing worse than a dried out, doughy hot mess. I guarantee you that this bread pudding will be moist and uber delicious.

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