Would You Try a Bacon Cupcake?

Written by Lillian Tram on May 22nd, 2014

At Last, A Cupcake for Bacon Lovers!

 

Bacon Cupcakes

 

This is an amazing way to celebrate the love of bacon!  Shown here is a Maple Bacon Cupcake, topped with icing and lean delicious bacon crumbles. While it may seem odd to pair sugary sweet icing and cake with salty bacon, the two flavors seem to complement each other quite well. This particular cupcake combination can be found in many small cupcakerias and bakeries across the US.

 

Below is the recipe for delicious maple flavored cupcakes.  As you make these wonderful cupcakes, maple syrup can be used to create some impressive recipes. Maple syrup is probably most often used in cookie recipes so be sure to consider this the next time you need some easy finger foods.  For this recipe, choose either Grade A or Grade B maple syrup (Grade B will yield a slightly stronger flavor). Please do not substitute regular pancake syrup for real maple syrup – it will be a disappointment.

 

Maple Cupcake Recipe

 

3 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsps of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of real butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsps of real vanilla extract
2/3 cup of buttermilk
2/3 cup of real maple syrup

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and gather your ingredients.
 

Line muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.  A nice chocolate or tan color will look wonderful.
 

Using a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the first three ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.
 

In a second, larger mixing bowl, cream together the real butter and brown sugar until light. Dark brown sugar will give your cupcakes a stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar.
 

Beat in the four large eggs, one at a time. Follow with real vanilla extract.
 

Stir in the buttermilk and your real maple syrup.
 

Gradually you should blend in the flour mixture, stirring just until the batter is combined well.
 

Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin of cupcake liners. Fill approximately half way for perfectly shaped cupcakes.
 

Bake cupcakes for approximately 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a middle cupcake comes out clean.
 

Set cupcakes out of warm muffin pans and onto a wire rack to cool before frosting. Do not leave them in the pan to cool.
 

Yield: 24 regular cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes
 
 

Choose Your Favorite Icing

 

Once your cupcakes have cooled, it is time to make some icing. Check out the following icing recipes where you can choose from a Buttercream that is Maple flavored or a Vanilla Chai Buttercream icing which will also complement the flavor of this cupcake. Choosing the Maple flavored icing will result in a stronger, more authentic flavor. It is recommended to choose whichever will please your palate. 

 

Maple Buttercream


 

1 cup of real butter, room temperature
4 tbsps of maple syrup, room temperature
4-6 tbsps of milk, room temperature
4-6 cups of powdered confectioners’ sugar

 

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine butter, maple syrup, milk and 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth.
 

Add the remaining amount of sugar in gradually until frosting becomes thick enough to spread without effort. (You may not need all of the sugar.)
 

If the icing is too dry, add some additional milk – a little at a time – until icing reaches the desired consistency.
 

Spread or pipe the icing onto cooled cupcakes.
 

 

If You Prefer a Vanilla Flavored Icing…

 

This is a wonderful Vanilla Chai Buttercream icing recipe that can easily be piped or spread onto the cupcakes. The flavor is absolutely sinful and the frosting has tiny flecks which will add to the character and appearance of this magnificent, delicious cupcake.  This recipe will make four cups. For impressively iced cupcakes with peaks that are piped on, you may need to double the recipe.

 

 Vanilla Chai Buttercream Icing Recipe

 

 Bacon Cupcake Icing

 

1/2 cup of half and half

2 black tea bags

2 cups of butter at room temperature

8 cups of powdered confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp of Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp of Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp of Ground Cardamon

1/2 tsp of Ground Cloves

4 tsps of real Vanilla Extract

 

Measure the half and half into a microwave safe mixing bowl and heat for 50 seconds.
 

Remove bowl from the microwave and place the two tea bags in the half and half to steep.
 

Mix the real butter for one minute with an electric mixer on medium speed.
 

Add the following ingredients: powdered sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and vanilla extract.
 

Mix on low speed until the powdered sugar is mixed into the butter; then, increase mixer speed to medium and add the tea flavored half and half (discard the tea bags).
 

If icing is not at the desired consistency, add more powder sugar – a little at a time – until the desired consistency is reached.
 

Use immediately or store for up to one month in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
 

 

Pretty Please with Bacon on Top 

 

making bacon cupcakes

 
 
Are you ready to make some candied bacon for your delicious garnish?  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  All you will need is some good quality brown sugar cured shoulder bacon , one cup of dark brown sugar, and 6 tbsp of real maple syrup.
 

Line your baking sheet by spreading parchment paper out to lay the bacon out. Mix the real maple syrup and dark brown sugar together. Brush this sweet mixture onto both sides of the bacon.
 

Bake the bacon in the oven, basting every few minutes with the brown sugar and maple syrup mixture. Be sure to flip bacon over several times to reapply the sweet mix.
 

After your cupcakes have been iced, strategically place prepared candy bacon crumbles on top of your delicious maple cupcakes. Take some pictures because you are going to want to show these delicious treats off. 

 

 

National Chip and Dip Day plus Recipe!

Written by Lillian Tram on March 23rd, 2014

Today is Sunday, March 23rd – Happy Chip and Dip Day! 



Celebrate this All American Snack today!


Do you know why chips and dip became a popular snack in America? During the Great Depression, many people who entertained frequently had to give up the luxury of maids and cooks. Because of its simplicity and easy preparation, this became the go-to for party snacking among middle class families.


Whoever coined this holiday loves food as much as I do. The best way to celebrate National Chip and Dip Day  is with something related to pigs, right? I’m thinking bacon!  And, I have the perfect recipe in mind! It’s a piggy-licious  dip recipe to serve with your favorite chips – or better yet, make some tasty homemade chips instead! And of course we will call it…


Pig and Dip Recipe



For the Pig aka Homemade Chips: 

2 large russet potatoes, cleaned – sliced into rounds, skin on

16 ounces (4 cups) shredded Colby, cheddar or your favorite cheese blend

12 slices of bacon, cooked – chopped into small pieces

1/3 cup finely chopped chives or green onions, optional

Nonstick cooking spray

Salt, optional


Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees.

Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil then spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Lay the dry potato rounds on the foil and spray them with cooking spray also.

Sprinkle each round with cheese and bacon pieces.

Bake eight to ten minutes or until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven to sprinkle with parsley and salt.

Transfer the cheesy chips to a cooling rack and allow to cool for five to seven minutes.

Serve with tasty dip, recipe below.

For the Dip:

2 Tablespoons of Ranch Dressing

6 Generous Tablespoons of sour cream

1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

 Combine all of these ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until time National Chip and Dip Day …or anytime you are craving the flavor of Pig and Dip! This appetizer recipe easily serves a family of four quite nicely.



Life is hectic. If you don’t have time to make your own homemade chips, grab a bag or two from the local supermarket or gas station to celebrate National Chip and Dip Day. There are so many delicious choices to eat with this tasty dip recipe!


What is your favorite brand and flavor?




Spice Up Taco Night with Bacon Taco Shells

Written by Lillian Tram on November 11th, 2013


 

Taco night is always a favorite dinner ritual for many families, and is a quick and easy meal solution that everybody can enjoy.  While surfing the net, we found a spectacular way to have taco night with a twist that any pork-lover is sure to appreciate – with bacon taco shells.  Having your taco shell made completely out of crispy, delicious bacon strips a unique way to have your tacos and integrate your love for bacon simultaneously!

 

There are a few ways to successfully craft a bacon taco shell; however the method shared on Dude Foods yields a nicely defined taco shell that’s actually shaped like the traditional shells.  The shell consists of a simple technique where approximately 10 to 12 pieces of bacon are overlapped using a “weave” style technique.

 

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Easy Mu Shu Pork Wraps (Some assembly required)

Written by Cookin Bill on August 6th, 2013


 
I’m sure that if you have visited a Chinese restaurant, you have seen Moo Shu Pork or Mu Shu Pork on the menu. I would call it the original stir-fry wrap. It is meat (specifically pork), scrambled eggs, and vegetables rolled up in a mandarin style pancake.
 
This traditional Chinese dish was introduced to America in the 1960’s and has been a staple ever since. The origin of the words Mu Shu or Moo Shu is a descriptive term for the Sweet Osmanthus, an ornamental tree that produces small and fragrant yellow and white blossoms. The blossoms look like the scambled eggs used in the recipe.
 
The traditional mu shu was served on a Mandarin pancake, but many North American Chinese restaurants now substitute Mexican style flour tortillas as the wrap. And so am I.
 
One of the other ingredients used in a mu shu pork wrap was day lily buds.Those are pretty hard to come by. We are substituting sliced cabbage. I bought a pack of cole-slaw ingredients to use in this recipe. Chinese restaurants also use sliced cabbage in this recipe. Read more »

California PLT

Written by Cookin Bill on July 29th, 2013

This is a simple recipe that I made up from watching several cooking programs on the Food Channel and PBS. Full disclosure, I watch them all the time to get cooking information and ideas. The famous chef, Jacque Pepin assembled a PLT on his PBS program with aioli as a spread on the bread. On her cooking program, The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten assembled a BLT with avocado. However, I will use avocado guacamole in this recipe.

 

You ask yourself what is the P in the PLT. It’s prosciutto, of course. Prosciutto is a thinly sliced, dry-cured ham from Italy. It’s also called Parma ham. When prosciutto is served uncooked it is called prosciutto crudo. Prosciutto that has been cooked is called prosciutto cotto. I will be using prosciutto cotto in this recipe. When cooked, the prosciutto tastes a lot like country ham. Delicious! Read more »

Cote de Porc Normand

Written by Cookin Bill on March 1st, 2013

 

Most people have heard of the region of Normandy in France. In history, it is well known for the D-Day invasion in World War II. However, many people do not realize that Normandy is rich in gastronomical history and has many wonderful food products from the region.

 

The former duchy of Normandy is administratively divided into two parts. Upper Normandy and Lower Normandy are the two regions. Upper Normandy is primarily an industrial area and is gastronomically tied to the sea because it faces the English Channel. Lower Normandy is inland and is primarily an agricultural area famous for its farms and orchards. Read more »

Arista al Ramerino

Written by Cookin Bill on February 21st, 2013

 

Mmm…Roasted pork loin with rosemary sounds good doesn’t it? The Italians call it Arista al Ramerino. That sounds complicated and sexy, huh? Actually, this is a very simple recipe. All you need is a pork loin, some butcher’s twine, garlic, and rosemary. All of which you can pick up at the supermarket. Oh, and of course an oven.

 

Roasting poultry or meat dates back to pre-historic times, when cavemen discovered that by putting meat on a stick and holding it over a fire made it easier to eat and it tasted better. To roast any meat, you must cook it in dry heat, either over a live fire or in an oven.

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Schnitzel . . . Gesundheit

Written by Cookin Bill on February 11th, 2013

When you hear the word schnitzel, you want to say gesundheit. Well at least I do! Actually schnitzel is an Austrian-German word to describe a thinly sliced cutlet of meat that has been breaded and then sautéed.

 

Breaded meat cutlets have been sautéed in oil and/or butter throughout the world. It is prevalent in every country in Europe, common in the Middle East, and even done in Africa. The side dishes vary, according to the country. Read more »

The Best Bacon Bouquet You Can Make

Written by Lillian Tram on February 2nd, 2013

 

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, believe it or not, but don’t worry, fellas! If you’ve got a girlfriend (and if she’s anything like me!), chances are she wants two things for the special day: a set of nice, beautiful roses, and something tasty to eat. Well… what if I told you that there was a way that you could give her both of those things at once? And no, I’m not talking about having her eat the roses, silly…

 

I’m of course talking about a BACON BOUQUET! That’s right – a bouquet of what looks like roses, but instead of being actual flowers and plants, well, it’s bacon! What’s not to love about that?

 

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Sweet and Spicy Thai Basil Pork Stir Fry

Written by Cookin Bill on January 25th, 2013

 

The other day, in the middle of a cold winter, I was wondering what would be comfort food from elsewhere in the world. Not your usual meat and potatoes from Europe, but something from, say, Asia. I specifically thought of something I usually like to make and treat myself that comes from Thailand. That was sweet and spicy Thai basil pork stir fry.

 

Stir frying meats and vegetables is a basic cooking technique from all over Asia, but the ingredients I use in this recipe are indigenous to Thailand. I love the way Thais use fish sauce, chili paste, curry, coconut milk, basil, cilantro, peanuts, and lime in so many of their dishes. The, what I call sweet heat, in their dishes tantalize the tongue and often clear your sinuses. And I love it. Read more »

Carnitas

Written by Cookin Bill on January 16th, 2013

 

When you’ve gone to your favorite Mexican restaurant and ordered the usual #2 dinner combo, did you ever think about looking around the menu for another selection? One selection available in many Mexican restaurants is carnitas.

 

Carnitas means “little meats” in Spanish. They are bite-sized pieces of meat, usually pork, that have been grilled or fried and then braised in a spicy broth. The meat used comes from sliced or cubed Boston butt or picnic ham. The cuts of meat are heavily seasoned before being fried or grilled. The seasoning often used are chili powder, garlic, cumin, onion, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, marjoram, thyme, and/or bay leaf. Read more »

Braised Pork Chops

Written by Cookin Bill on January 8th, 2013

A PIG IN A POT, mmmm good!

 

Boneless pork chops braised in a crockpot is actually what I’m talking about.

 

The slow cooking of meat has been around since the Stone Age. Cave men realized that by slow cooking meat and fibrous roots they became tender and were easier to eat. The heat broke down the collagen in the muscle to tenderize the meat. Of course, being cavemen and not Alton Brown, they didn’t understand the science behind this.

 

Later cooks and chefs realized that by first searing the meat and then slow cooking it in a liquid tenderized the meat and added more flavor. The flavor depended on the spices and the liquid used for the braising.

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Making Quick and Easy German Potato Salad

Written by Cookin Bill on January 1st, 2013


How do you make quick and easy German potato salad? First be desperate for a side dish and have the necessary ingredients in your refrigerator and cupboard. Well that’s what happened to me. I was going to write a blog recipe on a roasted pork loin. Unfortunately, my oven went on the blink. Fortunately, the cooktop worked. Therefore, we have this recipe for German potato salad instead of roast pork.

 

Potatoes (kartoffels in German) have an interesting history in Europe. They were brought to Europe from South America by the Spanish because they were thought to be truffles. The word kartoffel comes from the Italian word tartufolo meaning truffle.

 

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Makin’ Mini Quiches

Written by Cookin Bill on December 24th, 2012

 

During this holiday season, you may need to make a fancy appetizer to bring to a party. A mini-quiche is the perfect appetizer. Just about everyone has tried quiche at one time or another. A quiche is described as an open-faced pastry crust dish filled with custard with meat, cheese, or vegetables.You may wonder from where did such a fancy dish come.

 

While the word quiche comes from the French “kueche” meaning cake, the German word “kuchen” also means cake. Some have argued that quiche originated in Germany. The custard used in quiche actually comes from England. English recipe books The Form of Cury, Custardes of flessh and Crustade written in the 14th and 15th century included recipes for custard.

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Makin’ Bacon Jam

Written by Cookin Bill on December 5th, 2012


 

Did you ever wonder about the difference between jelly, jam, preserves, and marmalade? While they all look somewhat similar in their jars on the grocery store shelfs, you may notice a subtle difference between them. This blog will actually let you know the difference and give you the recipe for a great “change of pace” jam. It also makes a great Christmas gift for your friends.

 

Jellies, jams, preserves, and marmalade are all made from crushed fruit.The definition of a jelly is a condiment made from fruit juice suspended in a pectin-based substance.

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So Easy It’s Cheatin’ Brunswick Stew

Written by Cookin Bill on December 2nd, 2012

 

Brunswick stew has been a staple of the Southern diet for well over a century. Most Brunswick stew recipes include various kinds of meat and include vegetables such as tomatoes, corn, lima/butter beans, okra, and potatoes. The stew is thick and hearty. As the old saying goes,” If it’s not stew, it’s soup.”

 

The claims of who invented the stew are from all over the South and another come from as far away as Germany. Folks from Brunswick County, Virginia claim that the chef of a state legislator invented the stew as far back as 1828. In Brunswick, Georgia there is a stockpot in front of the Brunswick/St. Simons Visitors center that states it was used to make the first Brunswick stew on July 2, 1898. The Virginia version uses chicken and rabbit (or whatever game they could shoot) as its meat source. It is tomato based, but it is thin and watery and has a less smoky flavor to it. The Georgia version also is tomato-based and uses pork as its primary meat source. It is also thicker than the Virginia stew and has a smokier flavor.

 

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Basic Southern-Style “Q” Sauce

Written by Cookin Bill on November 25th, 2012

In this blog, there is a recipe for a basic Southern-style barbeque sauce.

 

The history of barbeque sauce can be traced back as far as 239 BCE in China. Master Chef I Yin wrote that a sauce for meats should be harmoniously balanced between sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and pungent. Every country in Asia used that harmonious balance for sauces for meats with ingredients indigenous to their region. Many modern Asian sauces use ketchup and corn syrup as part of their base.

 

Smoking meat was used by chefs in Europe to preserve meat and add flavor. Chefs in the Middle Ages use butter and vinegar to baste roasting or smoked meats. They often add herbs and spices to the butter.

 

The history of barbecue sauce in America has no specifically defined time line. It is said that Christopher Columbus brought a sauce back to Europe from Hispaniola (The Dominican Republic and Haiti) in the 15th century. Barbecoa was the term use for smoked meat by the Arawak natives in the Caribbean. They used the spices peppers, and other herbs to flavor their smoked meats.

 

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How to Make Delicious Pulled Pork

Written by Cookin Bill on November 18th, 2012

 

My name is Cookin’ Bill and this is my first blog about something I really love to do. That is cooking, of course. One of my favorite foods is pork. So, today, I’m going show you an easy way to make pulled pork.

 

I’m sure you have had pulled pork sandwiches and have an image of rednecks standing around a smoker on their decks all day and night with a beer can permanently attached to their hand, waiting for this Southern delicacy to come out ready to eat.( Now there is nothing wrong with that method of cooking pork, especially if you need an excuse to drink beer all day.)

 

However, I think I have a better method for making pulled pork. I first use a crockpot to cook the pork, before I pull it and smoke it. The great thing about a crockpot is they’re relatively inexpensive (you can purchase one for as little as $20.00) and they’re very versatile.

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Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloins

Written by Lillian Tram on December 1st, 2011

 

Today I decided to make pork tenderloins after having a conversation with my mom. I found a simple 30 minute recipe by Rachael Ray online. While the recipe is simple (there are only seven ingredients), the combination of garlic (which I love in my cooking) and balsamic vinegar complements the pork nicely. It’s a quick and easy recipe and it’ll be one of my go-to dishes in the future. Try it and tell me what you think.

 

Get the recipe here.
widestass.com

Vietnamese Pork Chops

Written by Lillian Tram on October 24th, 2011

 

You ever get one of those dishes that just makes your mouth water whenever you think about it?  Today, I’ve been craving Vietnamese pork chops.  Here’s a great recipe I found of grilled lemongrass pork chops, so you can start salivating over it too.  The tang of the fish sauce and lemongrass, a little bit of sugar, and juicy pork chops make a perfect combination.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

 

Recipe Yields 2 Entree Portions

  • 1 lb (4 thin slices) center-cut loin pork chops, bone in
  • Vietnamese fish sauce to taste
  • Fine sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Bird’s eye chili, seeded & minced
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions

Marinate pork chops with ingredients for at least a couple hours. These chops are best grilled over hot charcoal, but a really hot oven broiler or pan will do in a squeeze. Serve them with hot jasmine rice, a fried egg, sliced tomato and sweet pepper. Garnish rice and chops with fried scallion and drizzle generously with dipping sauce right before eating.

 

Recipe found at http://www.pho411.ca/pork-chops/