Improve Side Dishes by Wrapping them in Bacon!

Let us consider, for a moment, the humble side dish. When I was growing up, side dishes were often something of an afterthought. My very busy mom, who worked full time, always made sure we were well-fed and had great meals, but it was clear that a lot of her energy got used up on the main dish of the evening. Soggy peas, ordinary mashed potatoes or simple steamed broccoli were the most frequent accompaniments to dinner, and were almost always neglected in favour of whatever delicious main dish she had provided (her bacon-wrapped chicken breasts were always my favourite).

Now that I am all grown up and cooking for myself, I have come to have a whole new appreciation for side-dishes, especially now that I know they can be just as tasty as a main course. In particular, I fave found that inventively adding bacon to some of the side dish staples I knew as a kid takes them from merely okay to stupendously delicious. So, I thought I would dedicate a blog post to some of my favourite bacon-wrapped side dishes, brimming with just as much flavour as any main course.

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Baconized Granola Recipe

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    (6 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Easy
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins

Up until last week, I thought granola was just a thing. You know, like almonds, or walnuts, or oats. Just a thing, not something you make. Boy was I wrong. It’s a toasted combination of things like oats, walnuts and almonds. Granola is delicious and very good for you – great for breakfast or even a filling snack. It’s filled with whole grains, unsaturated oils, lots of protein and a little bit of sweetness. Let’s add a little more protein with some bacon!

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Bacon Love Friday: Peanut Butter, Jelly and Bacon

This may sound a little unorthodox, but: I love peanut butter, jelly and bacon sandwiches. Don’t judge me. I blame my dad, really. He was a master at making my brother and I the strangest sandwiches. Peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles was one of his specialties, as was white bread with simple butter and sugar (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it). But unquestionably my favourite of the crazy sandwiches he’d whip up for us kids when my mom was away on business was the peanut butter bacon and jelly sandwich. The crisp saltiness of the bacon played against the sweet jelly and thick, sticky peanut butter perfectly.

I always thought I was the only person on the planet (other than my immediate family) who enjoyed a nice PB, J & B now and again, but thanks to the wonder of the internet, I’ve learned my tastes aren’t that weird after all. It turns out that peanut butter and bacon are a match made in heaven, and places these ingredients together in a sandwich is only one great way to combine them.

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Bacon Voted Britain’s Favourite Food

I can’t imagine that it is very surprising to hear that bacon is my favourite food. Oh, there is certainly some stiff competition for the number one edible place in my heart. I love cheese in all forms to a truly ridiculous degree, and my adoration of fettuccine Alfredo is well-documented. I really enjoy baking too, and whether it is a fresh loaf of bread or a still-steaming piece of home made pie, anything that comes out of my oven is always supremely satisfying and delicious. But when push comes to shove, and I need to name the food that I love above all others, it just has to be bacon. Smoky and salty and crispy, it’s the one thing that always tops my list, that I’ll never get sick of, that will always leave me craving more.

Therefore, I am extremely pleased but similarly not surprised that Great Britain recently voted bacon their favourite food. The Top 100 Food Index is one of the most comprehensive surveys of British tastes ever taken, and bacon positively topped the charts. In fact, one on ten British survey-takers indicated that bacon was their absolute favourite food.

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The Stratford, Ontario Bacon and Ale Trail

Ah, Stratford, ON. Home of a world-renowned Shakespeare festival, fantastic restaurants and B&Bs, and some of the boldest swans in all of Canada. (Seriously, these swans are nuts. One tried to take an entire bagel right out of my hand and then hissed when I pulled away.) Stratford is a wonderful place to spend a weekend with a friend or partner, seeing some classical theatre, walking by the beautiful river, and patronizing one of the many fine pubs and restaurants that fill the small community. It makes for a truly wonderful little getaway, and is a great way to do something out of the ordinary in a picturesque and low-stress environment.

Stratford is home to a lot more that brilliant shows and quaint hotels, however. The bustling small town also has some wonderful tours and activities – even one specially designed for bacon lovers! So if you happen to have some time before taking in the evenings entertainment at one of the town’s many theatres, be sure to stop by the Stratford Tourism Alliance and get some information about the fantastic Bacon & Ale Trail!

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Baconized Tuna Salad Sandwich Recipe

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    (5 votes, average: 3.60 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Easy
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep: 15 mins Cook: 10 mins

My mother is the queen of making tuna salad. There’s something about the love she puts into mixing whatever magical ingredients she throws into that salad, because it tastes way better than when I try my pathetic attempt at replicating it. One of her secret ingredients is dill! She’ll either use fresh dill, if she has it on hand, or a wonderful dill dressing that she makes. So because I was so spoiled, tuna salad sandwiches quickly became one of my favourite things to have for lunch. This is for my mommy! WITH BACON!

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The Happiness Bacon Brings Us

We spend a lot of time here at the Republic of Bacon contemplating all the various aspects of bacon. We research, test and taste all kinds of wonderful bacon-based recipes. We keep a sharp eye out for any pop culture mentions of bacon. We strive to bring you the scoop on all the hottest bacon news, while also laving room for introspection, to make sure we fully appreciate this magical meat that has so captures out hearts and taste buds. It’s important to leave room to examine the more intellectual, even emotional sides of bacon, to make sure we are taking the time to sit back and smell what’s sizzling in the pan.

Because, at the end of the day, we’re here for the love. We’re hear because we think that bacon is just the bee’s knees, the sugar in our coffee, one of the tasty things that makes being a person worthwhile. Yes folks, the simple fact is that bacon makes us happy. It puts a spring in our step and a grin on our face. It gives us the energy to get through the day with its protein content, and keep us satisfied with its deliciousness. Bacon love is a pure and true love, and we bacon lovers need to take the time to celebrate it.

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Bacon Love Friday: Prepare for the Apocalypse

While we’re certainly not advocating that you go outside with a sandwich board and start screaming “The end is nigh!” at people walking past you on the street, every once in a while is sure seems like the present moment is awfully close to the apocalypse. Between the rising temperatures all around the world, earthquakes that destroy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of delicious delicious cheese (sniff), and pizza being considered a vegetable, sometimes it can seem like the world as we know it is on the way out. Rather than succumb to fear and paralysis, curling into a ball and waiting for the end to come, we at the Republic of Bacon advocate facing a potential apocalypse head on. If the world is going to end, we bacon lovers need to be prepared.


Whether zombies, aliens or good, old-fashioned nuclear war finally do us in, some of us are bound to make it to a post-apocalyptic party. Let’s face it, bacon lovers are resourceful and smart, and have so much to live for, that we’re sure to be the ones battling roaches and mutants for what’s left of the planet. And so, for today’s Bacon Love Friday, here are some crucial skills and tactics that you can employ to continue to enjoy bacon even after the world ends.

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Baconized Jerk Shrimp Recipe

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    (5 votes, average: 2.40 out of 5)
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  • Difficulty:
    Easy
  • Preparation Time:
    Prep Time: 10 mins. Cook Time: 15 mins.

Last week, Natalie bacon wrote a fantastic article about the wonders of the bacon and shrimp tango. She mentioned a few ways in which one could make this magical combination happened. Bacon wrapped shrimp, shrimp BLTs, bacon and shrimp salad; these were just some of the combinations that she stewed up, but I thought I’d go with something a little bit different. How about we take it to the island, kick it up a few notches at blast your pallet with some Jerk Shrimp. I love spicy stuff, and this has the potential to be kind of ridiculous!

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Bacon will be Sizzling at the CNE

There are few things more celebratory, for summer, and that is fair food. Whether it’s something deep-fried and covered in sugar or deep-fried and served on a stick, you know that it is going to be indulgent and delicious. Every year, I eat very virtuously for a few weeks just to prepare myself to throw it all away and spend a few days wandering around various fair grounds, interspersing rides on the Ferris wheel or bumper cars with trips to the concession stand for elephant ears, corn dogs or deep friend macaroni and cheese. And, of course, whenever one of those snack tents offer something with bacon, the results are even more exciting and delicious.

 

 

Bacon Comes to the CNE

One of the biggest fairs for the city dwellers of Toronto and the surrounding communities in the Canadian National Exhibition, which takes place on the huge exhibition grounds down by the city’ waterfront every single year. The fair has been running for 133 years now, and regularly attracts 1.3 million visitors.

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