Bacon Macarons Are The Bomb-Diggity

Written by Lillian Tram on June 16th, 2016

 

Ok, I’ve got a new obsession.

 

Remember how, in the last few years, all sorts of restaurants and chefs and food chains started putting bacon in, well, everything? And we all enjoyed bacon in our sundaes, and bacon on every sandwich, and bacon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Pretty darn cool, right?

 

Well this is going to top it!

 

Check out these awesome candied bacon macarons that I recently found!

 

They say that America is a melting pot of all cultures and peoples, and, uh, I guess our food is a melting pot of all sorts of unique combinations, too, because this is a new one for me!

 

Just when you thought bacon couldn’t be put in any more combinations with other foods, life finds a way! And just when you thought macarons couldn’t get any tastier (because, let’s be honest, they were good to begin with), life finds a way!

 

I just can’t wait to see what they put bacon on next. Maybe there should be a contest. Hmm…

 

 

If you’re curious, the macaron started in France about two hundred years ago, when Catherine de Medici’s Italian pastry chef’s started playing around in the kitchen after she married France’s King Henry II.

 

The macaron we all know and love today evolved in the early 1900s in Paris as a patisserie called Laduree, where a famous French chef named Pierre Desfontaines created the idea of two discs filled with butter cream (and now, bacon!).

 

Not surprisingly, because it’s delicious, the macaron quickly made its way to America and I’d say we are all a little better for it.

 

 

Around the world, macarons are also really popular in Switzerland, Korea, and Japan, as these countries adopted them and incorporated some of their own unique food and cultural ideas.

 

So, anyways, back to bacon: what’s the coolest food that you have seen involving a new twist that includes bacon? I’m always on the look out for more bacon-wrapped whatever, and you know I’m interested to hear what you’ve found in your neck of the woods.

Bacon Flavored Diet Coke

Written by Lillian Tram on April 14th, 2016

 

Something deliciously interesting came to my attention today while I was having my typical morning breakfast, and I realized that something has been missing from my life these last few years. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, so I continued on with the rest of my day in a lull while pondering about what it could be. Was it those little piglet slippers I saw at the mall last night that I didn’t buy? Was it the strange man on the bus who looked like he had a tail sticking out from under his suit?

 

Then it hit me! Bacon flavored diet coke. That’s right, bacon flavored diet coke. Let me say it one more time for those of you who are staring at your screens dumbfounded, not realizing what you just heard me say: bacon flavored diet Coke! I don’t know if the on-going battled between Pepsi and Coke has hit a desperate turn, or if a rouge scientist at the Coke factory had a revolutionary idea that he thought would transform the world, but I HAVE to find some of this bacon flavored diet Coke!

 

Are the rumors true? Is Coke really so brave as to release a bacon flavor that could potentially put them in a position to rule the world of flavored soda beverages? Let’s see what the spokesman for Coke had to say today in an exclusive interview with our staff.

 

Me: “Are the rumors really true, will you be releasing a Coke brand with a bacon flavor this summer?”

 

Reply: “Oink, oinkye, oink oinkyes”

 

I don’t know if you caught it in there, but I definitely heard the word yes somewhere in there. However…upon further extensive examination, our research department has concluded that the so-called spokesperson from Coke was in fact a prank call by the 12-year old and Coke doesn’t plan on releasing a bacon flavored diet Coke anytime in the near future. My apologies to anyone who has had their hearts broken by this article and the Photoshop expert who has been deceitful to all of us. It looks like we will have to wait patiently for the release of the diet Pepsi Nacho Cheese flavored soda in May of 2017.

 

 

You can wipe the tears now! With a little searching, I have discovered that indeed there are some “bacon flavored” sodas on the market for those of you who just cannot get enough of that delicious mouth watering bacon. The soda was created to not only taste like bacon, but to actually taste good enough to drink! It is an interesting mixture of sugar and bacon. Therefore, the next time you decide to barbeque or roast something, do not forget to pick up some “Bacon Soda” and really get those taste buds moving. This has got me wondering, what kind of bacon-flavored products have you tried or would like to see available to satisfy your bacon cravings?

Swine by Design: Popular Pig Breeds Available Today

Written by Lillian Tram on March 29th, 2016

Today, there are over one hundred breeds of the domesticated pig. The Oxford Sandy and Black, the Berkshire, and the American Yorkshire, are all popular pig breeds, just to name a few. Which type of pigs are your favorite? Do you know how to tell your swine apart?

 

 Have a Swine Time Telling Pigs Apart

 Pig Breeds, Types of Pigs, Swine

 

Now that keeping swine as pets has become a popular past time, the desire to have a small breed for the sole purpose of keeping it inside of the house has sparked more interest into designing (breeding) a pig breed to possess these desirable characteristics.

 

While some people would prefer a short, mid-sized pink pig, others would rather keep an even shorter, tiny black pig. Oh and then there’s the pot-bellied pigs… well, they seem to be a favorite pig breed for indoor pets.

 

Not only are these pig breeds different by color and shape, but they also differ by disposition. Some are sweet and loving while others may be quite a bit more pushy and demanding.

 

Not All Designer Pigs are Pets 

swine pig breeds types of pigs designer pigs

 

Some small swine are just collections, not to be a pet but also not to be dinner some day either! If you could design a type of pig, what would it look like? A cute soft haired potbelly? Would it be pink or spotted? Long or short snout? What about the ears?

 

There sure are a lot to features to think about when you want your pig to be a certain color, shape and temperament. Choosing a pig should be determined not only by your desires but also your environment.

 

For example, a small house would be better suited for a small pig.

 

Types of Pigs: Favorite Swine Features

 

swine, designer pigs, types of pigs, pig breeds, pig types

 

As you can see, not only are the colors or markings different on swine, the size and shapes are too!  A long time ago, some pig breeders or swine enthusiasts could tell instantly the breed just by the pig’s colors or shape.

 

However, now that the breeding and cross breeding techniques have become so abundant, it gets harder to tell one from another – especially with similar swine breeds. There is a huge market for pigs and thanks to the internet, the swine market is growing faster every day.

 

The great benefit of buying and selling pure bred pigs on the internet is you can quickly search for the perfect swine for your needs or wants, and can have many to choose from without traveling from farm to farm with a stock trailer.

 

The National Swine Registry

There is a National Swine Registry and a National Junior Swine Registry that host several swine related shows and events each year. The National Junior Swine Association is the largest organization for livestock among the youth. They have regional and national shows, scholarship programs, conferences, and swine exhibition opportunities.

 

The main goals of these organizations are to promote the education and values of keeping pure genetic swine breeds. Since the year 2000, the Junior Swine Registry has over twelve thousand members.

Ever Heard of a Pig Pickin’ Cake? Here’s the Recipe!

Written by Lillian Tram on March 18th, 2016

Living in southeast Missouri, this would be called a not-so-typical typical Mandarin Orange Cake, but in other areas of the United States this delicious dessert is known as something quite different. In the Carolinas, and a few other Eastern states, this would be called a Pig Pickin’ Cake.
 

What On Earth is a Pig Pickin’ Cake?

 
Orange Layer Cake, Mandarin Orange Cake, Pig Pickin Cake
 
You aren’t the first person to ask that question and it’s a safe bet that you won’t be the last, either. The name of this cake dates back to an unknown time (all I know is it was a long time ago!) when it was popular to roast a pig while holding a barbeque, especially in North and South Carolina.
 
The whole pig is roasted, choosing from any number of roasting methods including barrels, grills and the ground, until the meat is practically falling off of the bone. What doesn’t fall from the bone is pulled – which is where the first pulled pork originated from – yum!
 
I don’t have to tell you about all of the delicious barbeque side dishes that can easily be found at any Southern barbeque; they were all laid out to go with this delicious pulled pork! I’m sure there was no shortage of baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, macaroni salad and…
 

desserts! Like this delicious pig pickin’ cake!

 
You can look up the old recipes for this yummy pig pickin’ cake and find it underneath many other names as well. Bell’s Best alone lists this cake under three: Pea Pickin’ Cake, Pig Pickin’ Cake and Mandarin Orange Cake …and there are plenty more! Some more names this cake has earned include the following:
 
Pig Cake, Pig Pickin’ Good Cake, Pig Lickin’ Cake, Pig Eatin’ Cake, Pineapple Cake, Orange Pineapple Layer Cake, Pineapple Orange Cake, Celestial Snow Cake, Summer Cake, Sunshine Cake, Okoboji Sunrise, Better than Sex Cake or as Paula Deen says… Not Better Than Sex Cake. I’m sure we can find even more if we try.
 

The Yummy Pig Inspired Cake Recipe

 
Upon hearing the name Mandarin Orange Cake, some people will mistakenly expect an orange cake but this recipe was never intended to be such. While there is mandarin oranges in the batter, these are meant to provide moisture and tenderness …but a distinctive orange flavor? Not so much. Most will love this recipe but a few may call it bland, and be disappointed at the cake’s lack of complexity.
 
Just as many others have likely done, you can easily alter the recipe to suit your personal taste. This is how the Pig Pickin’ Cake has so many variations, I’m sure. Some options to consider include adding orange juice to the mix, tossing in some orange extract or zest, putting more orange and less pineapple flavor in the frosting, or maybe folding in some softened cream cheese.
 
Too many changes though, and you’ll be making something completely different… like Orange Chiffon Cake. Another great recipe but not the cake for pickin’ pigs, right?  Oh and by the way, traditionally the Pig Pickin’ Cake is made in layers – anywhere from two to four will do quite nicely! Anyway, here is the recipe:
 

Recipe: Mandarin Orange Pig Pickin’ Cake

 
 MaNdarin orange cake, pig pickin cake
 
Yield: Approximately 12 slices
 
Cake Ingredients:
 
1 box of butter style yellow cake mix (I recommend Duncan Hines Butter Recipe)
1/3 cup of vegetable or canola oil
3 large eggs
1 (11 or 15 ounce) can of mandarin oranges, undrained
 
Frosting Ingredients:
 
1 (4-1/2 serving size) package of instant vanilla pudding
1 (20 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (16 ounce) carton of whipped topping (like Cool Whip)
Sprig of fresh mint, for garnish, optional
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. Flour the pans or line them with parchment paper and set aside.
 
Add together the cake mix, oil and eggs using the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on low speed just until blended.
 
Reserving a couple of the oranges for garnish, add the remaining oranges with their juice and blend on low before increasing to medium speed for about two minutes.
 
Divide the batter evenly into three prepared cake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test.
 
Allow cake to cool in the round pans for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a cake rack to finish cooling.
 
Blend together instant pudding and crushed pineapple before setting aside for five minutes.
 
Gently fold in the whipped topping and spread in between each of the layers. Then frost the sides and top.
 
Garnish the top of the cake with a mint sprig and the orange segments you reserved.
 
Cover and refrigerate until serving. After serving, store leftover cake in the refrigerator.
 

Changing This Recipe? Consider Coconut

 
Without a doubt, your family will love this recipe – and the name! If you decide to alter the recipe a bit, consider the addition of coconut, either as an ingredient (I recommend about 1/2 cup to the batter and 1/2 cup to the frosting) or a garnish
 
…and don’t forget the cherries. They’ll look amazing with the coconut!
 
 

Turn Leftover Ham and Beans into Fried Bean Cakes

Written by Lillian Tram on March 9th, 2016

Everyone knows that beans are a great source of protein. Toss some ham into the pot and whip up some tasty jalapeno cornbread for a delicious and affordable meal. The next night, you might be able to pass these yummy beans off as a side dish with steak or chops.

If by the third day, you’ve still got ham and beans in the pot, do you toss them out or repurpose them again? Well, I guess that would depend upon how many people you’re feeding and how much cash is in your grocery budget.

What to Do with Leftover Ham and Beans?

 

ham and brown beans, ham recipe

Last week, I cooked a delicious bone-in ham for the family and they were delighted. I’d have to say it was quite yummy, especially thanks to the pineapple and brown sugar glaze. When everyone was finished, I put the leftovers away.

One Ziploc bag held the leftover ham pieces and chunks, while the other held a big ole ham bone. I put them both in the freezer until just the right time for a big ole pot of brown beans and ham.

Saturday, I used the ham pieces and chunks after soaking some pinto beans. They were so good, especially with the jalapeno corn bread I whipped up. (I made muffins this time – kids loved them, thought they were cupcakes until they took a sizeable bite!)

So the family scarfed them down and the leftover beans were tucked away in the fridge for another meal.

ham and brown beans, bean cakes, recipe

Sunday, those yummy beans became a side dish to some yummy skillet braised ribs and cabbage (see pic above – they were awesome …and fall apart tender!) and again, the family ate them without complaint. Now, it is day number three and I have to find a way to stretch April’s food budget as far as I can – and get rid of these beans!

Recipe for Fried Pinto Bean Cakes

 

ham and brown beans, bean cakes recipe

So, tonight I am making fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, and I found a nifty how-to video on YouTube to help me get those beans past my family one more night. (Wish me luck!) You can see the video here or I will walk you through the steps, below.

(The recipe in the video only requires one ingredient: self-rising flour. I was pretty sure my family would want something with a little more flavor so I opted for a different recipe, below.)

Again, super easy and all you really need is a few ingredients, which is great for pinching pennies. Well, and those leftover beans.

Leftover Fried Bean Cakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups seasoned pinto beans, drained

Combine all of the ingredients, except the beans. Add the beans last and stir lightly, just until combined. A seasoned cast iron skillet is recommended but any non-stick skillet will do the trick. Add a small amount of bacon fat and heat skillet on medium high heat.

ham and brown beans, bean cakes, recipe

Pour the bean cake batter into the skillet and cook about a minute or so per side. (Pretend like you’re making small pancakes) Mine were about the size of a large biscuit. Just like a pancake, the batter will bubble and rise. Don’t mash it and don’t mess with it. Allow the cake to get a nice golden brown before turning; repeat.

ham and brown beans, bean cakes, recipe

These turned out to be quite yummy and it turns out, they are good with whatever condiments your family prefers. If you aren’t making gravy, ketchup hot sauce and syrup are all great runners up.

Unfortunately, even after all these menu changes, there’s still a little bit of beans in the pot. I guess the doggy finally gets to eat some leftover ham and beans. Or I could try another recipe I found, which promises to be great with salsa and sour cream.

What Do Pigs Eat?

Written by Lillian Tram on February 27th, 2016

Have you ever wondered what a pig eats, or how much it would cost to feed a pig? Well, keep reading and you will find out all about the pig’s favorite foods and just how much money you can save by feeding your animal with the food you already have …food that you would normally waste.
 
 

Food and Nutritional Needs of a Pig

 
 

what do pigs eat?

 
 
Pigs are, well, pigs! They eat pretty much everything that they can find to eat and lots of it.  Whether they are free to roam the fields or are confined to a pen, pigs still need a variety of foods for a healthy life. Foods like leftover fruits and veggies, fresh, outdated or soured milk …oh they absolutely love milk! Grains and nuts are also needed to balance the needs in a pig’s diet as well, and it’s very important to make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink. Just like humans, pigs need water.
 
 
As humans, people have a lot of leftover food from nearly every meal that is stored in the refrigerator, but a lot of times these dishes and desserts are never eaten. What better way to keep from wasting all of that food than to save it for a pig! They do get so much pleasure from the tasty treats that we find not so tasty! So as you can see, keeping and feeding a pig can be very cost efficient!
 
 
All of the prep scraps are great too.  Potato and apple peelings, apple cores, banana peels, any fruit or vegetable peeling or unused cuts are perfect to add to the scrap bucket; that’s right, a scrap bucket! You should choose one that has a tight fitting lid. Usually, a plastic three or five gallon bucket with a handle and well-sealing lid works best. After each emptying of the bucket, it can be easily rinsed out and used again.
 
 

How Many Pigs Are You Feeding?

 
 

what to feed pigs

 
 
If you are raising a single pig without having a farm, then you should probably buy a grain mix and add your household scraps to that for a great diet. However, if you have a farm and are raising several pigs, your animals will be even happier and healthier if you throw in some grass hay/alfalfa.
 
 
If you have a garden, the pigs can easily cultivate for you when the harvest is finished by eating all of the roots from previous crops. This also loosens the soil which makes it easier to prepare the land for your next planting session, and allows the pigs use their natural instincts to root. Most certainly, rooting is something that pigs all love to do. This is the best natural weed removal also. What more could a farmer want?
 
 

The Life of a Pig is Grand!

 
 

happy pig

 
 
“Yep, fellas, the grass IS greener on the other side!” “Let’s call it a day, I am stuffed.” “We can start the next field tomorrow.” Can you imagine the snorts and grunts pigs make while eating turned into conversations like yours and mine? Ah, the life of a pig! Eat, sleep,eat, and mud baths!
 
 

What more can a pig want?

 

 

Spend Your Day Off on a Pig Farm

Written by Lillian Tram on February 17th, 2016

Have you ever been on a pig farm?  When you think about a farm, what animals come to mind that you would see and enjoy?  You probably see chickens, pigs, and of course cows.  Okay, you may not see the pigs, but you could surely smell them.  The reason you don’t see any pigs when visiting a farm is because the pig pens are usually built away from the rest of the farm so the not so pleasant smell won’t bother anyone. A pig has a very distinct odor and if you ever get close to a pig pen you will understand why!
 
 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to raise a pig as a pet?

 
 

momma sow with babies piglets on a farm

 
 
It has been said that pigs are very clean animals when kept as a pet and out of the mud. The television shows ‘Green Acres’  and the movie ‘Charlotte’s Web’  are what most people envision when they consider what it might be like to raise a pig as a pet.  Arnold, the pig from Green Acres, was smarter than most of the people of the town! He didn’t make any mess and wasn’t stinky.   With Charlotte’s Web,  who could not fall in love with the cuteness of that innocent and lonely little piglet named Wilbur. Even in a farm setting, Wilbur, the runt of the litter, was clean and sweet. He may not have been intended to be a pet, but thanks to Charlotte that is just what Wilbur became.
 
 

Have you ever wondered why pigs wallow in muddy and mucky water?

 
 

pigs need mud to stay cool, no sweat glands

 
 
Pigs do not have enough sweat glands and they do not have much hair, so the mud and water help with three important problems that may occur.  The water helps cool the pigs because without sweat glands they are unable to cool themselves and the soothing mud acts as a natural sun block for the skin since the hair is so sparingly, it also protects them from biting or annoying insects.  When mud is not available, you may see pigs rooting up the soil. That is because the deeper the soil, the cooler it feels. Having a little kiddie pool in your yard filled with fresh water would be a wonderful treat for your little pink bundle of joy and it may keep your yard from being rooted as well.
 
 
Raising a pig as a pet can be hard work especially if the pig is not house trained. Really young pigs have to be on a diet that will keep them from getting runny stools. That kind of mess would not be pretty nor smell very good, let alone make a pig feel all that great. Once a diet is established, then you may be well on your way to a great experience with your pet.A good diet is one of the first steps to keeping the foul odor away at potty times.  Always check with your vet about a diet that is right for your pig.
 
 

Did you know that you can train your pig to walk with a leash and learn what the word no means?

 
 

pet piglet

 
 
Pigs are very intellegent and can retain everything they learn. They can learn to open gates or doors with the help of the mechanics to do so at thier abilitly to reach them. Pigs are like a child, they can be very sneaky and will get into things for entertainment. You should be prepared to spend a lot of time interacting with your little piggy to keep him happy and healthy. They love to socialize and you may even want to get a second pig to help with the constant attention that they require. Keep in mind that pigs breed easily so you may want to get the same sex companion or if the opposite sex is what you choose you may want to have one of them spayed or neutered.
 
 

Have you ever seen a pig’s foot up close?

 
 

Pig Hooves up Close

 
 
Did you know that a pig has four toes on each foot and the two back toes on each foot do not touch the ground when they walk? The back toes are used for balance and the toes are actually hooves just like a horse and they have to have them filed and clipped occasionally or it can cause ankle problems for them.
 
 

Enjoying Pigs On the Farm

 
 

farm life with pigs, cows, horses and more

 
 
If you ever get to enjoy a day on the farm, this is a great opportunity to find out several things you never knew about pigs. If you decide to take a piglet to keep as a pet, make sure you understand the responsibility that comes with this, and have the time to properly train, feed and care for your new little animal. If you are leasing your home or have a roommate, you’ll also want to ensure that a pet pig will be greeted with a warm welcome.
 
 
 

New Event Idea for Rodeos: Piggyback on Pigs

Written by Lillian Tram on February 9th, 2016

Have you ever wondered why people say piggyback when they do not ride a pig? Nor do you ever see anything being packed on the back of a pig. When you envision a large pig, the scene will usually include a muddy pig pen. You might also entertain images of a seemingly lazy pig enjoying a day in the mud, or snorting at the ground because there’s a tasty treat below the surface. If you’ve been around pig pens in the past, you might also remember the pungent aroma which is often overwhelmingly disgusting.
 
 

Piggyback: an Extortion of the English Language

 

piggybacking, piggyback and piggy back riding

 
The word piggyback doesn’t make sense, right? Who would want to carry anything on the back of a nasty and stinky pig? So where did this particular English terminology originate from? Piggyback was actually born by a slip of the tongue, creating the word we commonly use today. It was common practice to use one’s own back, or the back of an animal such as a horse, donkey or mule, to carry a person, package or other heavy load.
 
 

So where does a pig fit into all of this?

 

piggybacking a broken down truck

 
Think of all the words used today that are twisted and changed to carry new meanings. People today are especially bad about it. Here are some examples. Just for fun, see if you can guess the term.

  • Promiscuous female versus garden tool?
  • Physically ill versus super awesome?
  • Broken vase versus street drugs?
  • Carbonated soda versus illegal substance?
  • Mechanic’s tool versus unclean woman?
  • Baby bed versus cool hangout?
  • Supernatural creature versus unlikable online user?
  • Small body of running water versus file delivery?
  • Popular bottom feeding fish versus unattractive internet dater?

The list goes on and on (oh, and you can find answers to the above questions at the end of this blog post) It is therefore no surprise that the term piggyback has an evolved meaning as well.
 
 

History of Piggybacking

 

man packing a heavy load on mule's back

 
In earlier times, people would use the term ‘pick a pack’ when man or beast needed to carry a heavy load. Over the years, the term was slowly changed to ‘pick a back’ which kind of makes sense, right?
 
Still more time passed and the term piggyback was shortened to today’s popular word, piggyback, as it rolled off the tongue easier. People found the term to be less of a mouthful, or easier to say, and the term stuck. Now, everyone associates the word piggyback with someone carrying something on their back.
 
 

Would You Consider Pig Riding?

 
Could you imagine someone actually riding a pig? You may be thinking that riding pigs sounds like a fun sport for young children. It would no doubt be very entertaining to watch the little ones being bounced up and down very quickly on the back of a speeding piggy! Surely, the size of the human would have to be paired with an appropriately sized pig so that the pig would not be in any pain or discomfort. The pigs would also need to be very tame for safety reasons.  Since pigs do not buck like horses, and they do not try to throw off their riders like bulls, it seems like a fun idea to host a pig riding race.
 
 

Pig Races? Yes, Pigs are Quick!

 

Pigs are fast, racing pigs piggyback

 
Now, keep in mind that pig racing could be a very smelly sport, and perhaps not for everyone, but it would certainly draw large crowds. This is the kind of event you might find at a rodeo or a county fair, where unique entertainment is in high demand. During most rodeos in the Midwest, officiates often play rock music during bull rides and other events. The sound is typically upbeat with a lot of bass, such as ACDC’s ‘Bad to the Bone’ and Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’.
 
Could you imagine one of these songs playing while you were on a piggyback ride? How about Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘That Smell’? Now that would be a kicker to get those pigs moving! This thought may leave you to wonder why pig riding has never become an event for rodeo fans to enjoy. If the sport hasn’t been developed, could it be because of the smell and the mess?
 
 

Who’s in Charge of Pig Related Requests?

 

Cowboys love Rodeos Piggyback Riding

 
If the smelly mess is the only reason pig riding is not popular today, why not use only the pigs which were raised in a clean environment? Clearly, pigs are trainable or there wouldn’t be so many kept as indoor and outdoor pets. Therefore, it seems plausible to have pig trainers domesticate these pigs so they would be tame and docile enough for somewhat organized racing.
 
Of course, not so organized pig racing sounds like even more fun! Not only would this be highly entertaining for rodeo fans across the U.S., this could also open a plethora of new opportunities for breeders and animal trainers too. Would you attend something as unique and unusual as pig races, or flock to a rodeo advertising such a unique venue?
 
By the way, here are the answers to the above mentioned questions, in order.

  • Ho
  • Sick
  • Crack
  • Coke
  • Ratchet
  • Crib
  • Troll
  • Stream
  • Catfish

If you can think of other common words that have evolved with entirely new meanings, leave a comment to share them on the blog!
 
 

Pig Horoscope for 2016: Check Out Your Year!

Written by Lillian Tram on January 31st, 2016

The founder of My Pig Me Up was born in the Year of the Pig, as was I …and probably a lot of you also! This must surely mean that we are a special group of people, right?

 

Comment please if you were born in the Year of the Pig, specifically these years: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, or 2007. The next year for the pig comes in 2019 and then 2031.

 

Predictions for the Year of the Pig

 

Chinese Zodiac Year of the Pig 2016 Predictions

 

The Pig Horoscope 2016 predicts that you will handle 2016 with a confident manner, and enjoy more liberty than you will know what to do with. Challenges that come at you this year are sure to be met with independence and optimism. You will also be flexible in your approach and should seek the cooperation of others.

 

The Chinese 2016 Horoscope urges you to build new and powerful social relationships who those will support you in your quest for personal development. The stars will be in position for you to work harder this year and accept the help of others. However, Boars, you should not find yourself in a hurry for commitment to their requirements. Keep your own priorities front and center instead.

 

By the end of July, you will have had numerous chance to help other people. While some may try to use you for their personal gain, you will recognize their motives.

 

Pig Horoscope, An Overview of 2016

 

If you are excited to know what is ahead for the Boar in 2016, here is an overview which discusses love, work, finances, health, family and travel or other adventures. Below this interesting chart are the top 2016 predictions for this year’s pig (Boar).

 

 

Love and Relationship Predictions for 2016

The Chinese horoscope for the pig predicts a pleasant emotional environment from the beginning of the year and throughout 2016. Your personal life will be one of happiness and contentment if you do not make hasty decisions.

 

The single Boar will be able to charm and woo the opposite sex with very little effort, and new relationships will come quite easily. Passion soars for the pig in 2016, especially for those in committed relationships, who will find no trouble satisfying carnal desires.

 

Married Boars should consider planning their pregnancies and/or expanding their families this year. Single pigs are expected to find love in the month of May but not close to home; expect to travel for love.

 

In September and November of 2016, you can expect new opportunities for love in areas local to your home, most likely resulting in marriage or committed relationships. Those who are already in relationships should reassess and recommit during this time of the year.

 

 

Career Chinese Horoscope Predictions 2016 

If you were born in the year of the Pig, 2016 is a great year for professional objectives and accomplishments, until September when productivity drops only a bit. You will enjoy positive relationships with co-workers and superiors as well as customers and clients.

 

Teamwork spells success in 2016 and the rewards are plenty. You have a green light in 2016 for new ventures and marketing projects, and self-confidence will grow with your success. New clients and customers abound in your business this year.

 

A word of warning though, about new friends and contacts in the months of September and November of 2016.

 

 

Pig Horoscope 2016 Financial Predictions

The 2016 Chinese horoscope for Boar regarding financial predictions suggest that you will probably make some luxury or unnecessary purchases that might upset your finances in the first few months, before summer.

 

Try to cap any unnecessary spending and save some money while spoiling those you love with time instead of money. From July until December, you should focus on additional work or investments.

 

Any extra money made this year should be saved or invested, or placed in long term securities. Purchase a complete 2016 Zodiac guide for clear details.

 
2016 Health Predictions for the Pig

Upon viewing the Chinese astrology 2016 for the Pig forecasts, it becomes clear that your health will be excellent from the beginning of the year through September. Enjoy confidence and good health and if you exercise, increased stamina and reduced anxiety.

 

Get plenty of rest and sleep well to maintain this good health and shape because, in the winter, your vitality will become reduced and more relaxation will be required to thwart a nervous breakdown. Expect delicate health in December of 2016.

 

Pigs, take care of your body with frequent exercise, a healthy diet and sufficient rest. Winter 2016 is a great time to travel to a spa or holistic destination for a quick rejuvenation of mind, body and soul.

 

Chinese Zodiac 2016 Forecast For Pig’s Family

2016 is the Year of the Fire Monkey which means that pigs will want to indulge in decorating their homes, based on Feng Shui methods for prosperity.

 

The 2016 Feng Shui Yearly Forecast & Horoscope for pigs suggest this will be a difficult year in numerous aspects but there will likely be some unexpected money.

 

In Conclusion, the Pig horoscope predictions promise that 2016 is the perfect time to dream about ambitions and begin planning ways to achieve them.

Anita Krajnc: Plight of Compassion for Thirsty Pigs

Written by Lillian Tram on January 21st, 2016

If you have been seeing the hashtag #StandWithAnita on your favorite social media networks, but do not know the story behind the cause, here’s the scoop and why one compassionate gesture could land this lady in jail for up to ten years.

 

This is the real deal according to news headlines. If I don’t say that, you may think this is one of those satirical writing hoaxs like often shared on Facebook.

 

Compassion for Pigs Lands Activist in Deep Water

© Stephane Mahe

 

Canadian animal rights activist and Toronto resident Anita Krajnc, 48, is the founder of an organization called Toronto Pig Save, whose motto is “to bear witness [to the] suffering of animals in transport and at slaughterhouses”. She was charged with criminal mischief in a preliminary hearing, held after giving some fresh drinking water to some hot thirsty pigs on the way to the slaughter house, back in June of 2015.

 

The animals were loaded into a livestock truck when Krajnc tried to give the pigs a drink, which led to an altercation with the truck’s driver, who was waiting with his truck outside the Fearman’s Pork Inc. slaughter house in Burlington.

 

There is a video of the event circulating on YouTube and Facebook. You can also find it here.

 

In the video, Krajnc is seen shouting at the driver and is quoted, saying: “Jesus said, ‘If they are thirsty, give them water.’”

 

The driver can be heard responding with: “You know what? These are not humans, you dumb frickin’ broad.” He then threatens to call 911.

 

woman activist gives pigs water, facing jail sentence, crime of compassion

Owner of Pigs Speaks Up, Defends His Driver

 

At some point, the truck driver threatens Krajnc, “You do it again, and I’ll slap it out of your hands.” Instead of making good on his threat, the driver returns to his truck, leaving without further incident.

 

If you are wondering what the owner had to say about the way his driver behaved, Ontario pig farmer Eric Van Boekel couldn’t get to the police station fast enough, filing a police report the next day after the incident occurred.

 

Defending himself vehemently, Boekel assures the public that his pigs are always treated in accordance with the national standards/regulations.

 

But Krajnc believes that, for Canada, those animal standards and regulations are “behind the rest of the Western world”. Outside the courthouse in Milton after the pre-trial held on Nov. 4th, Krajnc is reported, saying:

 

“Everyone knows that compassion is not a crime. In fact, I did nothing wrong when I gave water to thirsty pigs; many of you have given water to thirsty pigs, and we’ll continue to do that.”

 

Anita Krajnc pigs water crime of compassion legal issues pig animal rights activist

Anita Krajnc Rebuttal: Compassion is not a Crime

 

When Krajnc answered the door of her home on September 9th, a police officer handed her a summons, claiming she is guilty of criminal mischief …for giving water to the pigs that were loaded inside that truck.

 

Anita was worried about how members of her organization, Toronto Pig Save (TPS), might respond to these charges. Instead of being intimidated by the threat of legal problems, more than 100 people stood with her at Fearman’s Pork Inc. on September 24th to distribute water.

 

The most recent court appearance was December 15 but the legal proceedings are far from over. In August of 2016, the court proper will hear this case again. In a Toronto Pig Save’s press release, these words are written, “Canada has the worst transportation regulations in the Western World, worse than Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, and the United States.”

 

 

Anita is quoted in a Facebook post, saying: “Compassion isn’t criminal! Offering water to a thirsty pig is an act of compassion. It is not only a right, but a duty we all share. Causing the pigs to suffer in the first place is what is wrong. I face these criminal charges with dignity, knowing that truth and justice are on my side.”

 

Members of TPS continue to support Anita in her plight of compassion, and even larger numbers are expected to turn out for her next court appearance in August.

 

 

Pork Inspired Recipes to Make and Share

Written by Lillian Tram on January 16th, 2016

Wow. Can you believe the weather we are having? When’s winter gonna get here?!
 
 
I’ve been on strike since the Christmas baking frenzy ended, using only the rangetop portion of my stove to cook, but the month of January is half gone and that means I am once again getting the urge to bake. Cookies. It’s all I can think about.
 
 
But I only like the soft kinds. Enter the Maple Bacon Bourbon and Pecan Cookie… it’s delightful and I am in love. Definitely think you oughta bookmark this page for next Christmas because you’re gonna want to make these cookies again – and soon!
 
 
maple bacon bourbon pecan cookies pork recipes recipe delicious easy simple
 
 

Maple Bacon Bourbon and Pecan Cookie Recipe

 
 
Ingredients:
 
 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
 
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
 
2 eggs
 
1 teaspoon of maple extract
 
2 tablespoons of your favorite bourbon
 
2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
 
1 teaspoon of salt – optional
 
1 teaspoon of baking soda
 
2 cups of pecan pieces
 
½ cup of crispy bacon pieces or approximately 8 ounces
 
 
Directions:
 
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper or silpats.
 
In a standing mixer bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.
 
Add the eggs and combine well; next, add the maple extract and bourbon and combine very well.
 
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until dough is sticky.
 
Fold in the pecan pieces and bacon and mix the batter well.
 
Scoop cookie dough by spoonfuls onto prepared sheet pans and bake for approximately 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
 
Cool on cookie racks and store in airtight containers, such as Tupperware or Rubbermaid.
 
 
Preparation time: 10 minutes
 
 
Cooking time: 12 minutes
 
 
 

And another pork recipe for you….

 
 
There’s no such thing as leftover cookies at my house (what an oxymoron, right?) but let’s just pretend for a moment that, hypothetically, you have enough to make the recipe below.
 
 
pork recipe recipes bacon tenderloin sliders delicious easy simple
 
 

Cookie Crusted Pork Tenderloin Sliders Recipe

 
 
Ingredients:
 
 
Cookies, made according to recipe above
 
1 cup breadcrumbs
 
1/3 cup prepared brown mustard
 
Salt and pepper
 
One 3-pound pork tenderloin, cut in half lengthwise
 
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
 
24 slider buns
 
Optional:
 
Mayonnaise
 
Sliced onions
 
Lettuce
 
 
Directions:
 
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees  and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
 
Break the cookies into large chunks. Next, combine cookies and breadcrumbs together and pulse in food processor until crumbly. Remove two cups of the crumbs and place on a separate baking sheet.
 
In a small bowl, stir together the mustard and a dash of the salt and pepper. Coat tenderloins with mustard mixture and roll in cookie crumbs mixture. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
 
Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in the tenderloin registers about 155 degrees F, which should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Remove tenderloin from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
 
To serve, thinly slice the tenderloin crosswise and place on bottom buns with 1 or 2 teaspoons of cranberry sauce on the underside. Top the sliced pork with mayonnaise, onions and lettuce, if you like.
 
Then cover with the bun top and serve warmed, or room temperature.
 
 
Preparation time: 20 minutes
 
 
Cooking time: 30-32 minutes
 
 

Enjoy these recipes! More to come very soon (smile!).

 
 

Grits and Greens Recipes with Yummy Bacon!

Written by Lillian Tram on January 12th, 2016

While I should have shared these recipes earlier so you could enjoy them on New Year’s Day, it’s not too late to cook these bacon inspired recipes up for the family. The first recipe is a Grits and Greens Casserole which was adapted from a Trisha Yearwood recipe, and can easily please a small crowd.
 
 

Bacon Recipes for the New Year

 
 

#1 – Grits and Greens Casserole

 
 
bacon recipe recipes grits and greens directions how to make
 
 

Serves 10

 

Ingredients:

 
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups half-and-half
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups old fashioned grits
6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 finely chopped medium Vidalia sweet onion
One 16-ounce package frozen collard greens, thawed
1 3/4 (6 oz.) cups grated Parmesan
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
 
 

Directions:

 
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In a large pot, combine the half-and-half and 6 cups of the chicken stock; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, stir in grits and return to a boil.
 
Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture has slightly thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Use a whisk to break up any lumps that have formed.
 
In another large saucepan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until just turning crispy, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon and allow to drain on a paper towel.
 
Using the same saucepan, add onions to the leftover bacon drippings and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add collard greens and the remaining 2 cups chicken stock and cook until tender, another 10 minutes. Drain the collards and onions in a colander.
 
Once the grits are cooked, add Parmesan, butter, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the Monterey jack. Stir until the butter has melted and all the ingredients are well combined. Add the drained collards mixture and stir.
 
Transfer the grits mixture to the prepared baking dish and top with the crumbled bacon and the remaining 1/2 cup Monterey jack. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15 minutes.
 
 
The second recipe has a name I love: Good for the Soul Green Beans. Both recipes are sure to soothe your taste buds and give your crew something to talk about for some time!
 
 

 #2 – Good for the Soul Green Beans

 
 

bacon recipe recipes how to directions good for the soul green beans

 
 

Serves 6 to 8

 

Ingredients:

 
4 or 5 cups of green beans, fresh & trimmed
1/4 lb. Jimmy Dean sage sausage, cooked
1/4 lb. smoked hog jowl, chopped
1/2 cups pearl onions
1 Tbsp. garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
Sea salt to taste
 
 

Directions:

 
Sauté hog jowl and sausage in a heated pot for three minutes. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
 
Next, add enough water to cover the meat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Don’t rush: this step seasons the water!
 
Add green beans, onions, pepper and salt to the pot and just enough water to again cover the green beans.
 
Simmer this soul food for an additional hour or so before serving to develop the flavor.
 

Tour of #Bacon Inspired Top Blogs about Bacon

Written by Lillian Tram on January 7th, 2016

The internet seems to have given everyone a voice, a platform to discuss their many likes, dislikes and even grievances. In the year 2015 …oops, I meant 2016, there are entire blogs dedicated to the love of – c’mon people, you know the answer to this one …BACON! If you know all about this love affair with bacon, these top bacon blogs are sure to be on your list of favorite websites and, if you are merely flirting with the magic wonders of bacon, these number one bacon blogs will show you the many ways to celebrate and enjoy life with this piggy inspired goodness.
 
 

Top Blogs about Bacon

 
 

Yes, there are many talented individuals who consider themselves “foodies” and have dedicated their lives to writing about yummy delicious (wimpy or crunchy) flavorful slices of bacon using dedicated blogs online. Somehow, this doesn’t seem a bit eccentric or unusual …wonder why?  Inserting my innocent smile here…

 
 

bacon inspired blogs top blogs about bacon pigs hot topics

 
 

If you get a warm sensation in your heart followed by a rumbly in your tummy when you hear the word ‘bacon’, you are not alone. In fact, more than two million consume bacon everyday and because of these lucky people, numerous blog posts, Facebook posts and Twitter tweets are born. For those who write and are dedicated to bacon inspired blogs, these individuals have found a way to not only enjoy every scrumptious bacon morsel but to celebrate this love and share this remarkable flavor with their followers.  In no particular order, here is an up-to-date list of the top blogs featuring a love of all things bacon.

 
 

#1 – Bacon Today

 
 
top blogs about bacon, bacon inspired Bacon Today online source
 
 
Bacon Today is considered to be one of the best bacon blogs online due to the fact this website is an excellent resource for all things bacon. Bacon Today attests that it was “founded on the simple principle that a world of bacony goodness exists out there for all to discover and enjoy.” If you love the delicious flavor of this no-longer-just-for breakfast food, consider bookmarking Bacon Today to help us keep a close eye on this top bacon blog. Birds of a feather eat bacon together… or something like that.
 
 

#2 – The Daily Bacon

 
 
top bacon blog, bacon inspired blogs, online resource the daily bacon
 
 
With a newsy title like ‘The Daily Bacon‘ and a tagline that boasts of ‘yummy yummy bacon and other stuff’, they certainly have captured our undivided attention! Still, this is not the first time The Daily Bacon has been named to a top ten bacon blog list, coming in at number six on a list compiled by All Womens Talk. This online blog is the bacon child of Michael Baird, who is admittedly obsessed with all things bacon. He is quoted as saying, “I LOVE BACON! I am not ashamed at all to tell you that I can easily eat a pound at one breakfast sitting. How did this love affair start? I honestly don’t recall…but I can tell you that once that sweet meat hits my tongue and that fat starts to melt in my mouth…well I’m in culinary heaven!” Michael, we know how you feel and we love your top bacon blog!
 
 

#3 – Royal Bacon Society

 
 
top blogs about bacon best bacon inspired blogs online resource news about pork
 
 
Coming in at number seven on another list of top bacon blogs, the Royal Bacon Society snags readers and bacon enthusiasts from the first page view, thanks to a delicious looking header featuring… you guessed it, bacon! Not only will you find oodles and oodles of excellent bacon recipes but you will also find all sorts of humorous and entertaining titles with this porky goodness as the star of the show. Whether you love looking at pictures or want to buy a truckload of cool bacon inspired goods, this top bacon blog is a cool place to start! Love the pet pics in bacon costumes found here!
 
 

#4 – Mr Bacon Pants

 
 
bacon blog, top blogs about bacon, pork
 
 
Seriously, that name though! We have written numerous times about pig related topics that led to the mentioning of this top bacon blog. Mr. Bacon Pants hopes to provide keen insight on bacon, beer, and everything else while celebrating a hip new love of bacon. Hmm…bacon and beer together? No wonder this is considered to be a top bacon blog! Sadly, this bacon inspired blog doesn’t seem to be posting new topics very often but the available content is excellent and well worth navigating to their page. However, you can still reach out to the writers on their podcast, Bacon Live.
 
 

#5 – Republic of Bacon

 
 
top blogs about bacon, bacon inspired blogs, online news pork
 
 
Doesn’t that name sound so amazing? Makes me wish I’d thought of it! Republic of Bacon says it best here: “Bacon is the vegetable for the Gods, and here at the Republic of Bacon we recognize that the love for bacon runs deep in all of us. We aim to be the source of all that is bacon, bringing you the latest bacon recipes, video, pictures and humour.” Well, you don’t make it to the top ten blogs about bacon without taking your goals seriously so congrats, Republic of Bacon for your many submissions and  contributions to the love of all things bacon! This bacon blog is an excellent place to seek out bacon recipes and enjoy some pig inspired humor.
 
 

#6 – Skulls and Bacon

 
 
top blogs about bacon, bacon inspired blogs
 
 
Sounds a little dark and dangerous, right? Well, perhaps not as dangerous as eating a couple pounds of bacon all by yourself (No, I have never done that… okay, maybe once and it was by accident. Don’t judge.) Skulls and Bacon is a top bacon blog that breaks away from the normal, combining the love of two non-related items …or are they? You will enjoy the cool and unusual bacon and skull inspired products posted from all over the internet. Some of these items will make you wish you had a fat bank account while others will leave you scratching your head and saying, ‘what the..’ Either way, you are truly going to love reading the articles on Skulls and Bacon.
 
 

#7 – The Bacon Show

 
 
If you love bacon and enjoy cooking, The Bacon Show should be forever bookmarked on your computer or smartphone, and you’re gonna want to sign up for updates. Why? The Bacon Show is a top bacon blog because these writers promise to deliver “one bacon recipe per day… FOREVER. Now, that is a commitment to bacon that everyone should be able to appreciate! Even if you don’t particularly love bacon the way we do, The Bacon Show is an excellent source for foodies everywhere. Check out this blog the next time you need a mouth-watering recipe containing uber delicious and oh so salty and satisfying bacon!
 
 

#8 – Bacon Unwrapped

 
 
top blogs about bacon, bacon inspired blogs
 
 
Visit the top bacon blog called Bacon Unwrapped to enjoy some pig inspired humor and hilarious puns, along with great bacon recipes and events. This blog was started by Heather Lauer in June of 2005, the author of Bacon: A Love Story –  A Salty Survey of Everybody’s Favorite Meat. While parts of being a bacon blogger and best selling bacon writer seems odd at times, Lauer admits, “my adventures with bacon have been the source of much amusement, some incredible meals, and – best of all – many new friendships.” Check out this top bacon blog the next time you’re surfing the net.
 
 

#9 – Theories of Bacon

 
 
If you want a steady source of interesting blog posts about bacon, here is another site that’s worthy of your attention. Theories of Bacon is a great source for bacon infused recipes and other cool topics and best of all, NO ads. Just lots of little piggy inspired tidbits to entertain your mind and please the palate.
 
 

#10 – Lords of Bacon

 
 
Bacon inspired blog, top blogs about bacon
 
 
Lords of Bacon gives a new spin to the topic of bacon when compared to other top bacon blogs by offering reviews of bacon and bacon inspired products for those of us who would love nothing else than to be surrounded by this delightful pork product. This blog hasn’t updated in some time, but there is still plenty of information to be enjoyed and we have high hopes that these writers will be back to work soon.
 
 

Celebrate Top Blogs about Bacon with My Pig Me Up

 
 

bacon blog, top blogs about bacon

 
 
This super-de-duper list of top bacon blogs wouldn’t be complete without one more added to the list… and I am sure that you can guess which one I am talking about! Started by Lillian Tram as a resource to build awareness and recruit volunteers, My Pig Me Up was designed to bring sunshine and rainbows into the lives of others …not literally, of course. It is our hopes that the My Pig Me Up blog will be used as a tool for spreading love and goodwill. If you would like to volunteer or join our team, check out our Volunteer Page. As Lillian says, “Together, we can bring piggy-pink happiness to those who really need it! Explore MyPigMeUp today and get your oink on!”
 
 

bacon blog, top blogs about bacon

 
 

 Do you have a top bacon blog to share with us?

 
 

Please send a message or leave a link for review in our comments section.

 
 

New Year’s Eve: Goodbye 2015

Written by Lillian Tram on December 31st, 2015

drink pigFeeling Pig-tastic on New Year’s Eve 2015!

 
 
Wow, another year has come and went. Tonight is the last day of 2015; the thought of this seems so surreal. It is my hopes that you laughed often, loved much and accomplished many good things this year. As 2015 comes to an end, may you be surrounded by good friends and the sounds of laughter and merriment. celebrating in a safe manner with designated drivers and people who have your best interest at heart.
 
 

New Year’s Eve Drink Recipes

 
 

drink recipe pig

 
 
As you celebrate, I am sure you will be trying new drinks so I have a few to share with you here. Before I began my career as a writer, I worked as a bartender and managed a night club for nearly twelve years. Here are some of my favorite (spiked) punch recipes from those days, and a couple of new ones for you to try as well. So that our article stays in the theme of all things pink with corkscrew tails, I am including some very intoxicating images for you to enjoy.
 
 

drunk pig

 
 

May the New Year usher in many great things to you and yours!

 
 

Holiday Citrus Punch

(a good excuse to break out the punch bowl)
 
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
2 cups bottled pear nectar
4 cups orange juice
2 cups chilled club soda
1 cup Bacardi light rum
Orange slices for  garnish
 
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
Set a fine mesh sieve over a large punch bowl. Pour 2 cups of bottled pear nectar and 4 cups of orange juice removed from blood oranges or regular juice oranges through the sieve. Before serving, stir in 2 cups of chilled club soda and 1 cup of Bacardi light rum. Let orange slices float in punch bowl. Pour into glasses over ice and garnish with additional orange slices.
 
 

Image by Dreamstime


 
 

Pomegranate Champagne Punch Recipe

(Another great punch bowl recipe)
 
 
INGREDIENTS
 
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup pear nectar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier orange-flavored liqueur
1 bottle (750 ml) Champagne
 
 
DIRECTIONS
 
In a large pitcher, combine pomegranate juice, pear nectar and the Grand Marnier orange-flavored liqueur. Slowly add the Champagne. Serve over ice. You can also substitute the Champagne for other sparkling white wines for delectable and festive libations.
 
 

 
 

Apple Cider, Cranberry and Ginger Holiday Punch

Bring out your favorite holiday glassware!
 
 
INGREDIENTS
 
1/3 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh apple cider
2/3 cup chilled ginger beer
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 ounces (1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons) gin
 
 
DIRECTIONS
 
Muddle cranberries with sugar in a pitcher. Add the apple cider, ginger beer, lemon juice and gin. Divide among four glasses and serve chilled or over ice.
 
 
new year
 
 

 HAVE FUN ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

 
 

SEE YOU IN 2016!!!!

 
 

Black Eyed Peas with Ham Hocks and Collard Greens Recipe

Written by Lillian Tram on December 31st, 2015

It’s the first day of the New Year (Happy New Year, by the way!) and some important decisions must be made regarding the first meal of 2016, especially if you live in the south. There are certain traditions we southerners adhere to for the promise of good health and fortune in the year to come, such as eating hog jowl, greens (symbolizing money) and yes – even black-eyed peas for luck.

new years day

Black-Eyed Peas With Ham Hocks

and Collard Greens

Cooking this New Year’s Day southern feast takes about two hours and yields enough for a moderately sized family to chow down on, especially if you add other traditional holiday dishes such as the fried hog jowl. Your black eyed peas are believed to bring good luck to those who eat them on New Year’s day and adding greens to the meal is supposed to increase the luck they bring. 

Simmer the black eyed peas and collards with onion and a big meaty ham hock or other options such as salt pork, bacon, pig feet, hog jowl and ham bones, will leave your black-eyed peas perfectly seasoned, southern style. If you love a little bit of spice for your New Year’s Day meal, include a bit of hot pepper and spices.

ham hocks

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds black-eyed peas, soaked overnight if possible
2 pounds smoked ham hock, meaty ham bone or slab bacon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large onion, peeled and stuck with 2 cloves
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 pounds collard greens, cut in 1-inch ribbons (about 8 cups)
1 bunch scallions, cleaned and chopped, for garnish

Directions:

Drain the peas and put them in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add ham hocks or bone and cover with 10 cups of water and turn the heat to high. Add salt, onion stuck with cloves, one bay leaf, black pepper and allspice.

Bring to a boil before reducing heat to a gentle simmer. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until peas are tender.

Throughout the cooking process, you will need to add water as necessary, always keeping the liquid level about one inch above the surface, stirring with wooden spoon occasionally.

Turn off the heat and check the broth for salt and adjust seasoning. The mixture should be fairly brothy. With a pair of tongs, remove the ham hock, ham bone, bacon or whatever you are using for seasoning. Chop this meat and skin into rough pieces and set aside.

Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil, heating until the oil is wavy. Add garlic and red pepper to season and let sizzle but be careful not to  brown.

Add the collard greens and stir to coat. Season with salt and add one cup of water, stirring to help wilt the greens. Add the chopped ham and reduce the heat to medium before covering with the lid slightly ajar.

Cook until the greens are soft, which takes about 20 minutes. Taste and season until perfectly suited for your taste buds.

To serve, put greens and meat in low soup bowls or plates with a decent edge, then ladle over the hot black-eyed peas. Optionally, you can sprinkle the top with scallions and serve this New Year’s Day recipe with cornbread.

new years day

Merry Christmas from My Pig Me Up!

Written by Lillian Tram on December 25th, 2015

Today, Lillian and the gang from My Pig Me Up would like to wish you and yours…

A Very Merry Christmas

It is our hopes that your Christmas is merry and bright,

surrounded by the friends and family you love most.

To show our thanks, we are sharing some adorable holiday pig pictures with you,

our readers and faithful followers.

Just when you think pigs simply cannot be any cuter,

you see an adorable photo like this one.

I believe it might be safe to say

these two pigs are probably one of the cutest things you’ve seen all season

…but wait, there’s one more!

Awww. Isn’t that sweet?

Makes me wish Santa was bringing me one of these little porkers.

May you sleep well on Christmas tonight

with a full tummy and visions of sugarplums

(or bacon, if you’re like me) dancing in your dreams.

God bless you this Christmas and throughout the year that remains.

 

Pork Tenderloin with Festive Cranberry Sauce

Written by Lillian Tram on December 21st, 2015

Coming from a large family and raising one myself, I adore pork loin recipes. Not only are they an affordable choice at the grocery store, a pork loin also feeds a large group of people and you still end up with leftovers. The last time I  cooked a pork loin, I used the recipe posted here on the My Pig Me Up blog. I was able to grind it up with my Ninja (best invention – ever!) and make pork barbeque infused with delicious peppers. It was a real hit with everyone!
 
 

Pork Tenderloin Recipe for Christmas Dinner

 

Make a Pork Tenderloin with Festive Chipotle Cranberry Sauce!

 
 

 
 

 Ingredients for this Pork Recipe:

 
1 tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. ground dry mustard
1 lb. pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. honey
Just 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely minced from the can
1 c. whole cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ c. brown sugar
 
 

Recipe Directions:

 
Preheat oven to 375°. Mix garlic salt and dry mustard in small bowl and rub evenly over the pork tenderloin.
 
 
Line a roasting pan with foil and place the pork tenderloin on a rack coated with cooking spray, and place in the roasting pan.
 
 
Roast pork tenderloin in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
 
 
Mix olive oil and honey in small bowl. After 30 minutes of cooking, brush the oil and honey mixture over the pork and cook for another 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
 
 
Meanwhile, combine chipotle peppers, cranberries, minced garlic, lemon juice, and brown sugar in a small heavy bottomed pot.
 
 
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.
 
 
Slice the pork tenderloin and serve with pan juices and cranberry-chipotle sauce on the side.
 
 
If you aren’t sure about the Chipotle flavor for your family, there are other options such as this cranberry sauce recipe infused with (are you ready for this?) BACON! The inclusion of this delectable bacon flavor may convince even the most pickiest of palates to try your alternative cranberry concoction.
 
 

Bacon and Fried Onion Cranberry Sauce Recipe

 
 
Alternatively, if you want a bacon infused festive sauce, I found one for those of you who are not fans of the traditional cranberry sauces. You can watch the video here for a step by step how-to or follow the directions below.
 
 
Recipe Ingredients:
 
1 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup orange juice

12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries

1 large or 2 small apples, peeled, cored and diced

1/2 cup sugar

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

 

Directions:
 
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is slightly crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes.
 
 
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside, leaving the saucepan and bacon fat over the heat.
 
 
Carefully add onion and cook until it has been lightly fried, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to the plate with the bacon.
 
 
Dispose of the fat in the pan, but don’t scrape the pan. You want to use any of those browned bits that are left on the bottom.
 
 
Return the pan to the stove. When the pan is hot, carefully add the orange juice and bring to a simmer while using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to scrap the bits free from the bottom of the pan.
 
 
Add the cranberries, apple and sugar, then bring to a simmer. Cook until the cranberries pop and the juice thickens, about 6 minutes.
 
 
Return the bacon and onions to the pan, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Cool before serving.
 
 
 

Finding Pig-spiration on Google

Written by Lillian Tram on December 16th, 2015

As a writer for the My Pig Me Up blog, I often rely on random pig-spiration when looking for new and unusual topics. No matter how much I love cute little pigs or delicious bacon and pork, sometimes it can be difficult thinking of something new and fun to share with you, our loyal readers and fellow bacon enthusiasts. When an idea doesn’t come to me immediately, there’s only one thing left to do… Google it.
 
 

 
 

Crazy Bacon

Google Search

 
 

Not just Google though …Google images is my first stop. I pick a word or two relating to pigs such as bacon, pork, pink pig, or something else that’s similar to the topic I hope to write about and see what happens when I click ‘search’. It’s an entertaining process to say the least. So… now you know my secret. Don’t tell anyone.

 
 

Just for fun, I am going to type the words “crazy bacon” in my Google search bar and show you all the coolest pics and share-worthy stories I find. This is going to be one of the most random (and hopefully entertaining) articles I have written for My Pig Me Up. Okay …are you ready? Let’s start our Google search.

 
 

Crazy Bacon Act #1 – A Starry Night

 
 

It does resemble Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece but this one is completely original and one of a kind …and a lot greasier than its inspired piece. This is completely cool though. This is far beyond anything I could have dreamed of doing with raw bacon – kudos to the artist. I’m impressed. I’d like to see the art gallery …bet they have some more delicious exhibits. Too cool… might have never seen a bacon masterpiece if it hadn’t been for my random search.

 
 

 
 

Crazy Bacon Act #2 – Diet Coke with Bacon

 
 

 
 

Oh my goodness… if you’re like me, you are asking yourself if it’s even possible this is a real product. It kind of seems like an oxymoron just because it’s a diet cola. Everyone knows bacon is delicious but it’s not exactly diet food, at least not with any of the diets I have tried to follow. I found this so perplexing that I did some research and found out the image is a fake. The can was photo-shopped and the word bacon was actually lemon when it left the Coca-Cola plant. There is a such thing as bacon soda though. I have never tried it – have you?

 
 

  Crazy Bacon Act #3 – Bacon Inspired Camping Recipe

 
 
This one isn’t wild and crazy but it sure is cool …especially to those of us who grew up watching mom or dad cook in a cast iron dutch oven like the one shown below. This is a really cool baked beans recipe being put together on an open campfire. This image and article titled 20 Genius Campfire Recipes not only looks delicious but it’s also very interesting. If you try this recipe, or have already made a similar version, please let us know. You know we love bacon!
 
 

 
 

Crazy Bacon Act #4 – Baby Bacon Formula

 
 

 
 
Surely not…. this one simply cannot be real. Or can it? I followed the link to Pinterest where I found a board called ‘Crazy Bacon Stuff‘ but when I clicked on the image, it took me to yet another website. I landed on an article called Top 10 Strangest Bacon Products but there were actually eleven pictures of crazy bacon products.
 
 

Crazy Bacon Act #5 – Bacon Toothpaste

 
 
Are you having fun yet because I am completely entertained. I love reading about bacon almost as much as I like eating it. This product is another one that makes me want to scratch my head in confusion but hey, if it chases away those cavities, what can I say? Seriously now, I have a question… would you honestly buy and try bacon flavored toothpaste? I think it might confuse the kids and doubt it would last long in my house.
 
 

 
 

Crazy Bacon Act #6 – A Baconator …or Bacon Gun

 
 
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I hope that proves to be true here as well since all I have is the picture but no story to go along. I followed the link to an open forumwhere bacon loving individuals were discussing the magical world of bacon but still no back story. Feel free to make up one if you have a good imagination and share it with us here. Still, I found this image to be completely entertaining and definitely crazy.
 
 

Crazy Bacon Act #7 – Bacon Inspired Tattoo

 
 
Umm… sure this tattoo is a little eccentric but with today’s modern love affair with bacon, this isn’t too far-fetched or crazy. The tattoo reads “I love” on one foot and “bacon” on the other. Now I am no financial guru but had I been her advisor, I would have suggested a $20 pedicure before getting a tattoo …and when do you suppose was the last time this gal washed those tootsies? Y’eesh.
 
 

 
 

Crazy Bacon Act #9- Bacon Scented Deodorant

 
 
Oh wow. Bacon deodorant… whoever dreamed this one up loves bacon as much as we do! The real question here is would you buy this and even more importantly, would you actually use it? I’m not so sure I would but this would be one crazy gag gift for someone in your life. Perhaps a stocking stuffer for Christmas?
 
 

 
 

Crazy Bacon Act #10 – Bacon Flavored Mouthwash

 
 
This is another item which doubtfully exists but if it does, go Scope! Bacon flavored mouthwash is living on the edge for sure! So, that means a bacon loving individual could easily have a morning regimen that puts bacon front and center: bacon flavored toothpaste, body wash, lip balm, mouthwash, deodorant and more…
 
 
Conclusion
 
 
I hoped you enjoy learning how some of our feature articles begin and look forward to many more interesting articles and tidbits. Keep watching the blog and if you haven’t yet, find us on Facebook and give us a shout out. We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Yummy Homemade Eggnog with Bacon

Written by Lillian Tram on December 11th, 2015

Eggnog. It’s one of the most delightful offerings of the holiday season and sadly, when January arrives, the eggnog disappears from all the grocery store coolers. Every year I hope that someone will decide this holiday nog will somehow be deemed appropriate for all seasons and remain available. Disappointed because that never happens, I was forced to go without this cold and spicy protein rich concoction for another year …until I figured out how to make my own.
 
 

Eggnog and Bacon?

 
As bacon claims its new found fame, this delicious meat can now be found in just about everything, even cocktails. When I heard there was an bacon and eggnog concoction, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised. Excited maybe …but not surprised. Are you? While you might think eggnog to be a difficult recipe to make, it’s really not. It may put a tiny dent in your grocery budget but hey! With the added bonus of bacon, this could almost be considered a meal (smile).
 
 

 
 

Eggnog Recipe with Bacon

 
The ingredient list is short which makes my wallet happy.
 
8 eggs, separated
2/3 cup maple syrup
3 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups bourbon
16 strips crisply cooked bacon
 
 
Directions:
 
Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on low speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and, watching carefully, beat until they are about the consistency of shaving cream, about 90 seconds. Reduce speed to medium. With mixer running, add half of maple syrup and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer whites to a large bowl. Do not wash bowl.
 
 
Add egg yolks and remaining syrup to now-empty stand mixer bowl and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow and ribbony, shutting off machine and scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as necessary, about 2 minutes total. Add milk, cream, and alcohol and mix on low speed to combine.
 
 
Using a rubber spatula or handheld whisk, fold the whipped whites into the egg yolk/milk mixture until completely incorporated. Serve by ladling into special glassware or mugs and garnishing with a bacon strip.
 
 

Special Glassware for Homemade Eggnog

If you have special glassware sitting in a china cabinet, now is the time of year to get some enjoyment from a set such as this one. Or remember the old Tom & Jerry sets?


 
 
This homemade eggnog recipe takes ten minutes to mix and serve. The yield is about two quarts, which has the potential to make about ten people really happy …or just me.  Yum! Please let me know how your eggnog turns out, and may you have a wonderful holiday season.
 
 

World’s Oldest Woman Swears By Bacon

Written by Lillian Tram on December 6th, 2015

There is a very slim chance that your personal trainer or nutritionist will tell you to be sure and include bacon as part of a balanced healthy diet. However, that is exactly what the world’s oldest woman, Susannah Jones, is saying.
 

World’s Oldest Woman Swears by Bacon

 
Susannah Mushatt Jones, 116, was named by the Guinness World Records as the ‘World’s Oldest Woman’ in July. With a daily breakfast routine that consists of eggs, bacon and grits, Jones proudly displays a kitchen sign that reads, “Bacon makes everything better.” That, she believes, along with “lots of sleep” has positively contributed to her long and happy life. According to her, “I never drink or smoke. I surround myself with love and positive energy. That’s the key to long life and happiness.”
 

Meet the World’s Oldest Living Person, Susannah Mushatt Jones

 
The fact that Jones eats bacon every day came as quite a surprise to many, especially considering the World Health Organization’s recent claim that cancer can be caused by processed meats. While Jones claims that “lots of sleep” is the reason for her longevity, her family claims that her generosity to others and love of family are the real reasons.
 
World Oldest Person Susannah Mushatt Jones
 
Born on July 6, 1899, near Montgomery, Virginia in a small farm town, she was one of 11 children born to a cotton sharecropper and his wife Mary Mushatt. After attending a school for black girls, she graduated in 1922 and picked crops full time for her family.
 
In 1923, Jones left Virginia for New Jersey and work as a nanny, before eventually making her way to New York. There, she worked for wealthy families as a live-in child care provider and housekeeper for about $7 per week. While her original dream had been to become a teacher, and she had even been accepted into the Tuskegee Institute’s Teacher’s Program, her family had been unable to afford the tuition to send her.
 
Susannah Jones’ niece, Lois Judge, told the Daily Record that, “She adored kids.” Even though Jones was only married for a few years and never had any children. Adored by her 100 nieces and nephews as “T”, Jones was an active member of her local “tenant patrol team” for more than 30 years and received tribute from the New York Housing Authority and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. It was NY Mayor Bloomberg who wished Jones, “good health and great happiness.”
 

 
Jones believes that, in addition to her love of bacon, her lack of vices is one of the greatest contributing factors to her longevity. Although she is now hard of hearing and blind, she only needs 2 medications per day and is not bed ridden. Whether or not it is due to her pension for bacon, Jones has now outlived the Guinness World Records’ oldest woman, Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who passed away at a ripe old age of 122 years and 164 days.
 

#Bacon Hashtag on Twitter

Written by Lillian Tram on December 2nd, 2015

If you haven’t read part one of our journey to find bacon inspired communities and the famous #bacon hashtag online, you may want to put it in reverse and visit this page first: #bacon on Facebook. As for the rest of you, follow me as we begin a tour of our favorite hashtag (#bacon, as if you didn’t already know) on the Twitter community.
 
Twitter didn’t seem very interesting to me at first, but after a second look I know I misjudged this online social media platform. After taking a second look at how Twitter works, I was actually very impressed. If you haven’t made a profile there yet, you really should and after reading this article, you will probably find the motivation to start tweeting like the rest.
 

#bacon for Twitter Followers

 

 
On Twitter, there is a plethora of profiles dedicated to the love of all things bacon, and one of the cool things about Twitter is you know every time #bacon is on the news! Here are some top tweeters to follow if you want your Twitter account to be submerged in memes, articles, images, news stories and links about bacon.
 
Situated in Baltimore, Maryland, is the Bacon Ministry, spreading the message of bacon evangelism. The profile is by @SpamSpam, the Bacon Bishop of Baltimore, on behalf of the Ministry of Bacon, spreading the gospel of all things bacon. You need to join the other 6K+ followers to see these tweets but with a name like that, you know they’re gonna be great!
 
#bacon hashtag
 
The name Bacon Today may sound familiar if you read my first article featuring the #bacon hashtag. Rest assured, this crew is hamming it up on Twitter too (pun intended)! If you are going to be on Twitter, you should totally follow Bacon Today to keep up with bacon news. They have over 7000 followers and post a wide variety of tweets you’re sure to find interesting.  Remember that post about bacon strip ornaments? Check it out.
 

 
With a staggering 36.000+ followers, All Bacon delivers exactly that, in the form of information, stories, images and humor. #Bacon is the focus of this Twitter profile and there’s no denying their agenda …sharing the love and awe of all things bacon. Their slogan? All Bacon, all the time! Sounds like my kinda people!
 

@All Bacon


 
Another great act to follow on Twitter is called Bacon Unwrapped, founded by none other than Heather Lauer. If that name sounds familiar to you, it should! Lauer is the author of a book I posted about earlier in the month called Bacon: A Love Story. (See it here.) She says bacon is the best meat ever, and is proud to have been a bacon eater since the 1970s, and a bacon blogger since 2005. To date, she has almost 3000 followers on Twitter and if there’s a food with bacon in it, you can pretty much bet that Heather knows about it or has tried it. See below.
 

bacon unwrapped

 
Dear Bacon is a rising star in the Twitter world with just a few followers and a strong passion for bacon, using the #bacon hashtag liberally while sharing jokes, memes and photographs. I would say it is safe to expect big things from Dear Bacon and the Dear Bacon dot com website.
 

Next on the list is Mr. Baconpants, a Twitter user from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who blogs mostly about bacon and beer. It’s also home to Bacon LIVE, which he introduces as the worlds ONLY podcast about bacon. He has almost two thousand followers so it’s safe to say Mr. Baconpants is kind of a big deal on Twitter. Oh yeah, and apparently he can cook too!

 
 #bacon hashtag
 
Next on our list of Twitter users is Bacon Scouts. These guys have a slightly different back story …and a darn good job. Established in July of 2013, Bacon Scouts have one important goal and it involves bacon. Are you ready for their job description? To search for, test, and sell the most incredible bacon from across America… I could totally do that!
 

#bacon scouts

 

These bacon inspired individuals are just a few of the many people you can socialize with if you amble over to Twitter and search using the #bacon hashtag. First on your list of people to visit should be the My Pig Me Up dedicated (and adorably pink!) Twitter profile featuring our very own VIP, Lillian Tram. She’s a big deal around here…

 

 

Thanks for reading Part Two of our spotlight on the #bacon hashtag and the various online communities where you can converse with complete strangers about bacon, restoring your faith in the world one crunchy crispy salty bite at a time.

 

Coming soon…. Part Three

 

#Bacon Inspired Blogs

 

You’re Awesome and Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Lillian Tram on November 26th, 2015

At least once or twice in your life, you’ve probably shook your head and mumbled the words, ‘Life sure is crazy’. If you have, it’s most likely because our worlds are so unpredictable and …yeah, crazy. The people you meet and the places you end up will all occur based on your interests, or the things you are most passionate about – such as pigs, for instance.
 
In a world of more than 7.3 billion people and more than two billion internet users, I am both thrilled and in awe of the dedication to something so loved: pigs! And for those who love pigs and have aligned their interests to assimilate here on the My Pig Me Up blog, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

A Portly Thank You to Our Followers!

 

 

May You Have a Pig-Tastic Thanksgiving Holiday with those you love most!

 

Here is a cute Thanksgiving poem for you, followers and fellow bacon lovers, to enjoy.

 

 It’s me again, Lord

Thanking you for another year

And for the people that I hold dear…

 

I’m thankful for so many things

I’m not sure where to start

But Lord, you know what’s in my heart…

 

I’m grateful for the pantry

With plenty of things to eat

My freezer’s filled with bacon, my favorite kind of meat…

 

I thank you for so much more

Like talents you’ve bestowed on me

With these skills, My Pig Me Up is a success, you see…

 

Lord, there’s one more thing I ask

All the year’s bacon that’s passed my lips

Please don’t let that delicious goodness land on my hips…

 

Thanksgiving comes but once a year

But I’m more thankful each and every day

Because you, dear Father, hear me when I pray…

 

Others might think my prayers are silly

But I know You love me just the same

Bless them all, Lord, in Jesus’ name.

 

Written by Kerri Ponder

 

Look for the #Bacon Hashtag!

Written by Lillian Tram on November 20th, 2015

Part One – Bacon and Facebook

 
Those of us who love bacon are quite passionate about this delicious food group. Yes, in my mind bacon is a stand alone food group and I am sure there are others who agree!  After all, there are whole blogs, books and even Facebook groups dedicated to glorious bacon. There’s no reason for you to sit there, staring at the computer while you admire bacon all by your lonesome.
 

Finally, the world understands #bacon

 

#bacon hashtag

 
In this article, you will find a generous list of places bacon lovers can now assimilate and share stories, tips and advice surrounding their love of this previously unappreciated meaty goodness on Facebook. I’m sure you noticed the hashtag I’ve placed in front of the word bacon, above. (No, it’s really not a pound sign anymore.) Most of you are probably familiar with what a hashtag is but to be sure, I will explain it now.
 
Hashtags are used as a type of labeling process to help users find specific content on social media sites. What does this mean to you? Well, if you’re a #bacon fanatic, you can find all your new best buddies with the greatest of ease. (Smile)  No, seriously. There are millions of people who adore bacon as much as you… or almost as much. After all, you’re reading an entire article about bacon on a blog about bacon founded by a young lady born in the year of the pig …it’s safe to say you’ve got it bad for bacon.
 

#bacon on Facebook

 
So, first off let’s start by saying there’s help out there if the bacon addiction takes over your life and you start to feel like you’re drowning in bacon grease. Bacon Eater’s Anonymous is an online community founded on Facebook for the sole purpose of coming together and sharing their passion for bacon.
 
Next on my Facebook search for the most amazing communities with bacon as the star of the show is Bacon Revolution. On the Facebook page, founders share bacon memes and recipes as well as other bacon inspired communications. The page offers a promise that you can be a part of the epic revolution – Viva La Bacon!!
 
Bacon Today is another online community and their Facebook gathering is currently at a staggering 56,924 people and that number is still growing! You’ll find all sorts of interesting things to read such as today’s post on making bacon strip ornaments – what?! Oh goodness! Anyway, there’s no shortage of people ready to talk about all things bacon!
 
Sit up in your chair now and stop drooling on the keyboard. There’s another Facebook page for those who just cannot get enough bacon – ever! Visit Baconaholics to meet some of your own kind and enjoy partaking in conversation surrounding your greatest passion. I stopped in for a visit today myself and when I finish here, I’m heading back to check out a recipe collection they posted: Best Bacon and Pumpkin Recipes …sounds yummy! (If I find some good ones, I’ll be sure to share!)
 
How often do you say I love bacon? Well, if those words pass your lips as much as the delicious pig inspired man candy (aka bacon), you should check out the Facebook page named I Love Bacon and kick it with more that 12,000 other bacon lovers. They’re currently designing a bacon t-shirt for the group and you can help choose the best design. Sounds fun, huh!
 
Bacon is Awesome, right? I know I already said that… but this time it’s the name of a popular bacon themed Facebook group. Bacon is Awesome has more than 11K people and the number is climbing quickly. Bacon lovers are serious about their addiction and they aren’t ashamed to show their affection for this delectable breakfast food …not that they only eat bacon for breakfast. (We all know better than that.)
 
Are you enjoying your trip around the world? The World of Bacon, that is. I stopped by just this morning and found an adorable meme with Marty McFly and Doc (you recognize the names, right?) If you’re perusing Facebook on our bacon journey, I am sure you will see it and know exactly who I’m talkin’ about. I even shared the meme for our peeps to see and enjoy.
 
I like helping others find success in their endeavors almost as much as I like bacon. This next Facebook site is an up-and-coming bacon inspired online community with only 172 member to date, but with a name like Happy Bacon, you know they’re destined for greatness. I clicked the LIKE button so now that number is 173 – whoa! See? I told you they’re not gonna stay small for long!
 
Born in 1971 (year of the pig …yep yep), I am a sucker for 80′s tunes so the next community celebrating their love of bacon instantly caught my eye. Don’t Go Bacon My Heart (I couldn’t if I tried) is another small community of about 170 members but with a catchy name like that and such a popular food as their inspiration, this crew is sure to gain in numbers very quickly.
 
This next one is a group rather than a dedicated page so you will have to click the button that says “join group” if you want to be a part of the social circle called I Heart Bacon. I have already made my request to join so soon they’ll have 96 super dee duper awesome members! I have no idea what’s beyond those online doors but I will be sure to let you know – just keep watching our blog because the bacony madness never ends here!
 
For those of you who haven’t signed up for Facebook, I know you’re already filling out the online form for a profile to call your very own, thanks to all these great bacon inspired groups. Once you find Facebook and are ready to roam around, we hope you will stop and sit for a spell with us at the My Pig Me Up dedicated Facebook page.
 

Next stop on our #bacon hashtag tour, Twitter

 

To Be Continued

 
 
and I know you have those Elton John lyrics stuck in your head now…. heh heh heh
 
You’re welcome for that.

 

 

Bacon Soup Recipes to Love

Written by Lillian Tram on November 16th, 2015

Bacon and soup – what a wonderful winter combination! I am sharing two of my favorite bacon soup recipes with you now …before it gets terribly cold outside! If you have never tasted bacon soup, you will find that this is comfort food at its finest, guaranteed to warm your soul and satisfy those taste buds.
 
bacon soup recipes
 

Bacon Soup Recipes to Keep and Share

 
First on the list of favorites is a recipe I found a couple of years ago at a blog called Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and boy is this bacon soup delish! You won’t get over how creamy and cheesy this recipe is! The bacon and cheese come together like a young couple who cannot keep their hands off of one another. Coming from a large family and having six children of my own, one of the things I like about this recipe (aside from the inclusion of bacon!) is that this soup contains 10+ cups of vegetables! Now, that’s gotta be healthy! Knowing there’s so many vegetables packed in every bowlful, there’s a lot less shame in consuming all that yummy bacon and cheese.
 
The blog writer describes this recipe “Like classic broccoli cheese soup on steroids” and she’s right! The flavor takes me back to when I was younger, back when my family served that tried and true broccoli chicken and rice casserole recipe every Thanksgiving. (Our family stuck to the traditional turkey and dressing with cranberry sauce but that was about it. We certainly marched to the beat of a different drum and that’s okay because when it comes to food, you gotta do what feels right …and his soup? Well, it feels better than alright. Just see for yourself.
 

#1 – Loaded Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Soup

 
While I could tell you to substitute delish pork bacon for the lower sodium and lower calorie turkey bacon, I simply refuse to do that. Put that bacon grease to work making the white sauce wow and leave out the butter. For a thicker heartier soup, use two heads of broccoli but if you prefer thinner soups, use only one head of broccoli, diced small of course as mentioned in the recipe below. You can also add broth in the final stage to thin this soup down a bit.
 

Ingredients:

 
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup peeled and chopped carrots, diced small
1 cup chopped celery, diced small
3 cups peeled and chopped potatoes, diced small
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4-5 cups broccoli crowns, diced small (about 2 heads of broccoli)
4-6 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 16 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried mustard
 

Directions:

 
In a large saucepan, combine the chicken broth, carrots, celery, potatoes and onion. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to get tender.
 
Add the chopped broccoli. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. The pan is going to be very full of vegetables (don’t let any picky eaters see the pot!) and it might seem more like stew than soup but I promise it all comes together later on, when you add the cheese mixture.
 
In a separate saucepan, saute the bacon until golden and crispy before removing the bacon and placing on a paper towel lined plate. Drain the grease and wipe out saucepan.
 
Melt the butter using the same saucepan you cooked the bacon over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden, stirring constantly.
 
Gradually whisk in milk and cook until the mixture is bubbling and slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the cheddar cheese, one handful at a time, adding another handful after the cheese melts each time. Season with salt, pepper and dry mustard.
 
Slowly add the cheese sauce to the hot broth and vegetables, stirring to combine well. Add the reserved bacon and add additional salt and pepper to taste. I always add a little Tony’s Creole Seasoning but that’s because my family is hooked.
 
 

bacon in the soup

 

 I have been playing with this recipe for just over a year, when I first found it on a cooking blog called The Wicked Noodle. Catchy name right? I love the name almost as much as I adore this bacon soup recipe! Maybe this recipe is just a little bit healthier too, since the red potatoes aren’t peeled. Is there nutrients in a potato peel? I gotta remember to look that up later.

 

One of the best features of this soup recipe is the amounts of cheese… and I am not ashamed to say that I always (yes, always – it’s gone on so long now I can actually say it’s part of my cheese addiction) add even more cheese than what the recipe calls for. I did mention that this soup has bacon in it too, right? Just kidding… sorta. I’m a sucker for anything with bacon in it but I also love jalapeno and I will put them in almost anything. Thankfully, my family loves it when I get my spicy on in the kitchen and hopefully yours will love this recipe as much as we do.

 

Bacon Soup Recipe #2 – Loaded Potato Soup

 

Ingredients:

 
1/2 pound bacon, sliced into large pieces
1/2 medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 32-ounce container low-sodium chicken broth (4 cups)
3 pounds red potatoes, quartered or halved depending on size
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups whole milk
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
 

Toppings:

shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, crumbled bacon, minced fresh jalapeno and a drizzle of adobo sauce.
 

Instructions:

 
Heat a stock pot over med-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp.
 
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Leave the bacon grease in the pot.
 
Reduce heat to medium and add onions. Cook onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
 
Sprinkle flour over onions and cook, stirring constantly for about a one minute  as this removes the raw flour taste.
 
Slowly pour in the chicken stock, whisking constantly until smooth and well-blended with the flour.
 
Add potatoes and bring to a boil; next, simmer until potatoes are very soft, about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
 
Using a potato masher or similar kitchen tool, crush potatoes to thicken soup, leaving some chunks but allowing some to level out into the soup.
 
Stir in the cheese until it is melted and the soup is smooth.
 
Add milk, bring soup back to a simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until very hot.
 
Ladle soup into bowls and add one or all of the toppings listed above, based on your preferences. Dig in!
 
 

7 More Must Have Bacon Books to Read

Written by Lillian Tram on November 12th, 2015

It is no longer a surprise that everyone eats – and loves – bacon, right? So why wouldn’t we love to own books about bacon? Even though we all know how to use bacon in our diet, there is definitely enough place for some more interesting recipes that we could try from time to time.
 

7 More!

 

bacon books

Must Have Books about Bacon

 
So here you can see a list containing some of the most interesting books about bacon, which you would definitely love owning in your cook books’ collection. This is the second list of books so be sure to read the first blog on bacon books too – find it by clicking here!
 

Fifty Shades of Bacon by Benjamin Myhre and Ashley Myhre

Available in paperback and kindle edition, this book is definitely on the top list of books about bacon. Its title is even more appealing for readers, as it takes us all thinking about another best-selling book, don’t you think? As suggested in its title, the book contains 50 recipes that contain bacon.
 

101 Things to do with Bacon, by Eliza Cross

You can own this book in spiral-bound edition or kindle edition. This book contains delicious recipes that use bacon. Improve your home’s menu with innovative recipes for sandwiches, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts that use bacon as one of their ingredients.
 

Bacon Nation by Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama

 
This book is available in paperback and kindle editions. The book comprises 125 irresistible recipes based on everyone’s favorite ingredient – bacon! The two authors created this book for those who share their love for bacon and they consider that this ingredient is able of turning an ordinary dish into a fabulous one.
 

Bacon 24/7: Recipes for Curing, Smoking, and Eating, by Theresa Gilliam

This hardcover cookbook comes with delicious recipes that are fit for any time of the day. According to its author, there is no wrong time for eating bacon. We totally agree with this statement, don’t we?
 

The Big Book of Bacon: Savory Flirtations, Dalliances, and Indulgences with the Underbelly of the Pig, by Jennifer L. S. Pearsall.

Another book that shows bacon can do miracles with any other ingredient in this world. The recipes contained in this book range from breakfast, lunch, appetizers, to dinner and even desserts.
 

Bacon Cookbook: 150 Easy Bacon Recipes, by Bonnie Scott

This book contains a collection of more than 150 recipes containing bacon. There are also 20 dessert recipes using bacon as an ingredient. The recipes feature bacon either as their main ingredient, or as a flavor enhancer. In addition to the simple recipes found in this cookbook, it also contains helpful advice and tips.
 

Bacon: A Love Story, by Heather Lauer

This book contains recipes, fun facts and a history of the much-adored meat that is bacon. Filled with information, this book is a must-have for everyone who considers bacon as one of the most important and delicious foods in the world.
 

And there are probably more…

 
These are only a few titles that are out there in bookstores and online stores. However, there are many other interesting books that you can find related to bacon.