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.
 
 
 
widestass.com

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