Monthly Archives: April 2014

Chocolate Dipped Bacon

Standard
Chocolate Dipped Bacon

So, friends at work talked me into making this….I thought they were joking, but no, it is actually a real thing. I think these days, anything with bacon will catch on! Last year, I made bacon and chocolate chip cookies, and they were pretty good, so why not try?
Here is the recipe for the cookies, just in case you wanted to try…
Brown butter and bacon chocolate chip cookies
So, my friend told me that when he tried this before, the bacon was on a stick. So, I cooked a few pieces, then tried to put it on the stick when it was still warm, and let me tell you that wasn’t as easy as it might sound. The bacon either crumbled off, or I burned my fingers trying to get it on the stick before it cooled. And, it didn’t look to appetizing either.

20140419-094307.jpg
So, then I thought that it might be a better idea to put the bacon on the stick BEFORE it cooks! (duh.) I used some short bbq skewers I found at the dollar store, rolled up my sleeves and got a little greasy.

20140419-094449.jpg

20140419-094504.jpg

20140419-094527.jpg
I cooked them in the oven at 375 degrees. I checked it every five minutes, it took about 15 minutes. Look how well it worked!

20140419-094720.jpg

20140419-094740.jpg
(I almost forgot, I covered the bacon with a couple sheets of paper towel to save my oven) I dabbed off the excess grease with a paper towel and let them cool a little on a few sheets of paper towel.
Then, I melted some chocolate, and dipped the bacon so it covered about 3/4 of the bacon. Then I laid them out on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper to cool in the fridge.

20140419-095111.jpg

20140419-095128.jpg

20140419-095146.jpg
So, my final verdict is mixed… I’m torn between thinking they were pretty good or they were pretty gross. I will say that they were a unique conversation starter. They would be great to bring to a party or pot luck. I don’t think I would make them for a snack for the family though. But, that being said, there were a few people who really liked them…so who am I to judge?
Try them and let me know what you think? Also, I couldn’t decide whether they should be served at room temperature, or cold…maybe they should be eaten while they are still warm…
Anyways, enjoy!

20140419-095643.jpg

20140419-095701.jpg

Advertisements

Time for my Easter Eggs!

Standard

Every year, I post one of my favourite recipes ever! How to make Easter eggs.
I love this recipe because I think it tastes better than the Cadbury Easter Cream Eggs, and I love it because I know all the ingredients. Not that I am saying that this is healthy by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I can pronounce all of the ingredients. It makes a huge batch of eggs.

You need:
10 cups of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of butter
1 can of Eaglebrand condensed milk
1/4 tsp of salt

20140415-192910.jpg
As you can see, I melted the butter before starting, it is a whole lot easier to mix that way! This is a really tough recipe….. dump all of the ingredients together in a big bowl and mix.
Those of you who know me know that measuring is not really my thing… When I am cooking, I estimate A LOT. So for this reason sometimes my recipes don’t always turn out exactly the same each time I make them. So when I was “measuring” the icing sugar yesterday, I guess I added a little too much because the mixture was a little crumbly.

20140415-193448.jpg
No problem. I added about a teaspoon of milk at a time until it looked like this:

20140415-194127.jpg
When everything is thoroughly mixed together, it should all stick together, and you should be able to knead it like a dough. If it ends up too sticky, just add more icing sugar.
To make the yolks, break off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the mixture, and add yellow colouring by kneading it in. This year I tried using a colour in paste form, however, liquid food colouring works fine too, you might just have to add some more icing sugar if it gets too wet or sticky.

20140415-194427.jpg
Mix in the food colouring until it is a solid colour.

20140415-194726.jpg
This part is where the kids come in handy. Every year, their job is to roll the yolks. Tonight, I had Sam as my assistant. I recommend rolling a few yolks at a time, rather than rolling them all out at once because they do tend to dry out, and they start crumbling.
I like to make smaller eggs because these are so rich. Besides, if I make them a third of the size that means I can eat three rather than one! That makes sense right?? I would say the best size to roll the yolks is the size of one of your fingernails, or a bit bigger then a pea.

20140415-195145.jpg
To make the egg whites, Roll the white “dough” into balls, I would say about three times larger than the yolks.

20140415-195405.jpg
Then flatten the white ball, and wrap it around the yellow yolk ball.

20140415-195451.jpg

20140415-195510.jpg
Then roll it into the palm of your hands to make it into an egg shape.

20140415-195604.jpg
Repeat these steps over and over about a hundred times. (Seriously, this batch made almost a hundred…this photo is only showing about half of the eggs!) I line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to put the eggs on to cool in the fridge. I would recommend the parchment paper because I have had them stick to the cookie sheet before, and trust me, it is really frustrating to have them stick.

20140415-204542.jpg
Then on my double broiler (the fancy name for my pyrex bowl on top of a saucepan), I melted some milk chocolate bunnies.

20140415-212115.jpg
And dipped each egg in the chocolate. I have tried a few different techniques here, but whatever utensils you use, be sure that the eggs are cold. When the eggs start to warm up, they start to melt and they are really difficult to dip. So, divide the batch into three or four, and keep the rest in the fridge.

20140415-215140.jpg
Then, I melted some dark chocolate by putting it in a sandwich bag, then in hot water and I squeezed out a few designs on top of the eggs. This part is total unnecessary, but makes them look real pretty!

20140416-220003.jpg

20140416-220011.jpg
Every year, I decorate them a little differently. One year I used different coloured chocolate…

20140416-220422.jpg
They look great served in the decorative cupcake liners you buy at Bulk Barn, or the dollar store. I usually put them on a little easter plate, and add some grass.

20140416-221239.jpg

20140416-221309.jpg
Or, check out these adorable little mini take out boxes I found at the dollar store. I used thm last Easter as place settings.

20140416-221438.jpg

20140416-221607.jpg
Enjoy, and Happy Easter!!!

Crock Pot Breakfast

Standard

Sorry, I accidentally posted my draft of this post! Here is the full version (ending and all!)

To make a long story short, in my quest to be an organized, well-prepared, in control mother (Ok, in my quest to look like one from the outside) I have been trying to make our routines go a little more smoothly, and our morning routine can always use a little “tweaking”.

So when I saw this crockpot recipe for apple and cinnamon oatmeal, I thought it would be perfect. Especially because John has been sick this week, and I have been on my own in the mornings. What could be better than waking up to the smell of apple cinnamon oatmeal?

Sounds delicious, right? Let me stop you here, and tell you to read to the end of the post before you follow my directions, because apparently I did something wrong! My oatmeal did not look like the pictures online!!!

This was the recipe I followed:
Overnight Apple Cinnamon Crock Pot Oatmeal
Here is the picture of what it looks like:

20140413-094713.jpg
So, before bed, the kids and I put the following ingredients in the crockpot:
2-3 apples, peeled and chopped
2 cups of oatmeal
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp of brown sugar
Then we poured on top (without mixing)
2 cups of milk
1 cup of water

20140413-094921.jpg

20140413-094938.jpg

20140413-094952.jpg

When we woke up in the morning, the house smelled wonderful, but here is what the breakfast looked like:

20140413-101749.jpg

20140413-101756.jpg

20140413-101802.jpg

I have to be honest, it was pretty gross! It was so overcooked that even the apples were like apple sauce! Needless to say, it wasn’t the smooth, easy morning I had envisioned! The oats were so cooked on to the sides of my crockpot, that I had to use a razorblade scraper to scrape it off the sides, even after days of soaking!

Here is where I think I went wrong. I have narrowed it down to a couple things. I think I might have used quick cooking oats, so that might be why they were so overcooked. And, I think it cooked for way too long. I think if I woke up at 4:00 am and made it then, it would be perfect by 7:00, when we would be ready to eat it.

Maybe I will try making it on a weekend, so I can watch it cook and unplug it before it gets too overdone.

Anyways, I normally say enjoy, but this time I will say good luck and hope it works out better for you! Let me know if you have any suggestions, or success stories, because in theory, this is such a great idea!!

Cat Poop Cake

Standard
Cat Poop Cake

It was my treat day at work last week, so my treat partner and I decided to go with an April fools theme. I will post again some of the other foods we served. But this dish was definitely an attention getter!
I have to say this is by far one of the best cakes I have ever made. And, I have made a lot of cakes over the years (i even iced my own wedding cake the morning we got married….I know, I know) Anyways, I LOVE this cake! The best part is that it was really easy to make and making fake chocolate poo doesn’t require a whole lot of time or talent.
When I looked on Pinterest, I found many different versions to choose from!
I have included a link to one, just so I don’t get all the credit for such a gross idea! But, I did change it up and simplified it a little. After all, making a cake look like a kitty litter box, shouldn’t be overly complicated, right?
Litter Box Cake Link

20140404-191052.jpg
So, I started by making a normal cake from a regular old cake mix. I baked it right in an aluminum cake pan from the dollar store, just like a real kitty litter box.

20140404-191425.jpg
After the cake cooled, I iced it using a container of Vanilla Icing from the grocery store. The great part is that you don’t have to be careful at all when icing it because you are covering the entire top in crumbs anyways. I just used icing so the crumbs had something to stick to. I used vanilla oreos. I just crushed them by hand, but it probably would have been a lot faster in the food processor.

20140405-154430.jpg

20140405-154443.jpg
Then, to make the poop, I used pieces of Rice Krispie squares. I molded them into poop shapes in my hands, then dipped them in melted chocolate. Like I said before, this doesn’t require a lot of talent. When you think about it , poo isn’t perfect, it comes in all different shapes and sizes, so anything goes!

20140405-155119.jpg

20140405-155134.jpg

20140405-155155.jpg
The kids were totally grossed out! They looked totally realistic! Then, I started thinking that maybe I should make a variety of poop, so I broke up some of the Rice Krispie pieces, and mixed them with the chocolate to use up the last little bit of melted chocolate in the bowl.

20140405-155508.jpg

20140405-155519.jpg
All that was left to do was to wait until the poop cooled, then put it on the cake. I bought a scoop from the dollar store that totally looked like a scoop you would use in the litter box.
I LOVED this cake! I just have to find a good enough occasion to make it again!

20140405-160209.jpg

20140405-160234.jpg

20140405-160257.jpg