I thought bacon birthday cake would be appropriate for RipleyPickles’ day of birth. You may want to consider drizzling one of the Chef’s sauces over it as well for extra nummy-ness….
Here is a recipe for Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting, feel free to use your own chocolate cake or cupcake recipe with it. Happy Birthday!! -ts
2 strips bacon, cooked crispy
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
about 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon honey
- Beat the butter and cream cheese for the frosting
- Add the honey, and gradually add in the confectioner’s sugar until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Crumble one of the bacon strips and beat it into the frosting
- Spread frosting on cake or cupcakes. Crumble the remaining bacon strip, and sprinkle on top
Because they’re adorable, that’s why.
Other than as side dishes on some high-falutin* Cooking Channel shows, I had no experience with baby carrots until I bought them on my last trip to the Whitton Farms stand at the Memphis Farmers Market 2 weeks ago. Obviously, I had to purchase them because I purchase anything tiny or orange (Go Vols!), but I was delighted to find out that they are not only cute as crap but really freaking tasty too.
The Chef gave these a good olive oil and herb bath and roasted them until they were like little bite-sized candies. Cooking them at this high temp makes every bit of them soft, right down to their little green hats.
Serve these up alongside the Zucchini Crudo and the Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette and you have an embarrassment of farm-fresh riches. Whitton Farms, you’ve done right by us once again.
3 bunches of baby carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tbsp chopped herbs (sage and rosemary are great choices and they make the house smell amazing)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Toss carrot with oil, then salt and pepper, then herbs.
- Roast for 20 minutes.
- Eat with your hands. So much more fun that way.
*Many thanks to Carly whose blog came up first when I googled “What does the word falutin’ mean?” It does my heart good to know that the pressing Google issues I face are being taken care of by people who I already know.
This is not a picture of the actual boat, but it gives you the gist. Pic coming post haste.
Whenever I mention this to The Chef, he looks slightly befuddled and a little grossed out (I think the term “boat” evokes images of cruise ships and buffet lines or something). In my ever-present quest to prove him wrong, I am making him breakfast for dinner tonight, and this is on the menu.
Big D has been making this for years, and it is always quickly devoured. My dad actually once delivered one to my cousin’s house, and her husband (who is kept on a tight-but-healthy regimen) answered the door. He ate the whole thing by himself as though it were an actual 1-person sized sandwich. That is hilariously fat to the adorable power.
1 package hot sausage
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 package mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Mexican cheese, shredded
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 loaf bakery bread, not sliced
hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Remove most of the bread from the inside of the loaf, leaving an inch or so around the outside (the crust and a little bit of bread cushion is the main event here, so as long as you leave those, you’re golden).
- Cook sausage, onion, pepper and mushrooms. Drain.
- Return to skillet and add Worcestershire, mustard and seasoning. Add cheese and mix. (This is yet another recipe like Big D’s Breakfast Casserole where the more you experiment, the better it gets. Different kinds of cheese, spices and veggies are super fun in here. Live a little.)
- Stuff “boat” with sausage mixture, cover with foil and bake just until crusty and heated through (20 minutes).
- Slice and scarf. And drop a slice by my cousin’s house.
Sidenote: If you have any leftover filling, it’s stupid good on chips, perhaps even mixed with a little cream cheese for dipping. I know, I KNOW, cream cheese/dip fixation. Work out your own issues first before you come at me, OK? You’re not my real dad anyway.
As I spent my Easter Sunday watching 12 hours of deliciously ridiculous docudrama programming about William & Kate (thanks Lifetime!), I started thinking that we needed a recipe for some dainty finger food for those of you who are planning Royal Wedding Watch Parties.
So I started discussing options with Carol, the resident guru of all things Will-and-Kate, and guess what? I hate English food. Or what I think is English food. Cucumber sandwiches, scones, crumpets, that nasty banana flan People magazine is pushing as Wills’ favorite dessert. All of it sounds like a big gray pile of Yick to me.
So we’re going rogue here. Or we’re going Big D, rather, with a recipe from the brunch mistress herself, Dot Akin. These are perfect little packets of fat-and-happy, and I can think of nothing better to snack on while you try to cope with the fact that you’re not becoming a princess and this is not the most special day of your life. Cinnamon and sugar do quite a bit to take the sting out of being a commoner. Cheerio!
1 loaf of Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Bread
8 oz cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sugar
few tbsp cinnamon
1 stick butter
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Cut crust off bread and roll out with rolling pin until very thin.
- Mix cream cheese, egg yolk and sugar.
- Spread mixture on bread. Roll up and cut in half.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon (however much you fancy) together.
- Melt butter. Dip each bite in melted butter and then into cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
These can be made a few days in advance or frozen. You know, in case you’re going to have some dignitaries in town to entertain. Whatevs.
If you have never had the pleasure of anything Boar’s Head, I must suggest you get your butt up to (preferably the new awesome) Kroger (by the Racquet Club) and purchase something immediately. All of their stuff is good, but their Horseradish Cheddar is simply to die.
It makes a great sandwich, but the Thanksgiving I decided to unnecessarily carbo-load my family with 3 different kinds of mac n cheese, it also made for a great cheese sauce. You could actually even add bacon to this and make it the main attraction. Nobody’d be mad. Just sayin’.
1 box spiral pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cream
1.5 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 block Boar’s Head Horseradish Cheddar, shredded
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
Cavendar’s to taste
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a saute pan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and stir constantly until it makes a blonde roux.
- Add cream. Cook until it reaches a simmer, whisking constantly.
- Add milk. Bring to a simmer.
- Add cheddar cheese and mix until melted.
- Toss pasta in sauce, add tomatoes and place in a baking dish.
- Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 25 minutes.
While no one is grading me on keeping up with the posts to this
blog during my time of extreme grad-school-related mental distress, I do not want to anger The Tanya
lest she dump this blog for a newer, younger, sexier version. And then all you people would be left with is basic American appetizers. And soup.
So, in an effort to show Nads I have not abandoned this blog for another
, consider this is an appetizer appeaser. I have not had this recipe yet, but The Chef drools when he talks about it, so it’s gotta be a winner. And if Bonnie’s artichoke dip
is any indication, it is. Observe:
1 can green beans, long
1 pkg bacon
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Drain green beans.
- Cut bacon slices in half.
- Wrap a bundle of green beans in the bacon and place them seam-side down in a glass dish.
- Drizzle dressing over the bundles.
- Cook for 30-45 min or until very crispy.
Rolfes used to make this all the time in college, and it’s a hot, easy, always-devoured dip that doesn’t miss. I like to throw in a little cayenne pepper to keep things spicy, but it’s just as good old school.
2 cans of artichoke hearts
1 cup mayo
1 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Drain artichoke hearts. Coarsely chop.
- Mix all ingredients. Put in a baking dish and top with a little extra parm.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with frito scoops or assorted crackers, and get your hands out of the way. I’ve seen people become violent over this at many a Nashville Supper Club. And to that I say “Well done, ladies!” Miss Hutchison would be so proud, may she rest.
This is a recipe I remember fondly from my childhood. I’ve re-purposed it many times over the past few years for brunches, bachelorette parties, pre-Steeplechase breakfasts – it has been a staple at every one because it is very easy and very good. In fact, I recall Rusty-Dusty in particular asking me 3 or 4 times if I “really actually made this, like seriously?” when he had some because he apparently thought me incapable of doing anything domestic. Preesh.
1 package hot sausage, cooked and crumbled
8 slices white bread (any bread you have on hand will work)
1 pkg Mexican shredded cheese (2 cups)
1 dozen eggs
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
salt & pepper or Cavender’s/Tony’s
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a lightly greased baking dish with bread slices.
- Beat eggs. Season with Cavendar’s and hot sauce. Add cheese, sausage and Rotel tomatoes and mix. (You can do this the night before if you want.)
- Pour over bread and bake for 30 minutes or until center of casserole bounces back when touched lightly. Cut into squares and serve.
I often use this recipe as a base for experimentation, so feel free to swap out the sausage for ham or chicken, add veggies such as mushrooms or jalapenos, or dress it up with an Italian cheese blend. Just don’t leave out the eggs. That tends to make for a very dry situation.
I am a huge fan of yellow/mayo-y/creamy southern style potato salad. My all time favorite used to be the kind that WP gets from the grocery in Horseshoe, but all that changed after eating Chef John’s mom’s potato salad. This recipe lives up to its name. I don’t know if I can make potato salad any other way now. Feel free to go wild and add cheese or jalapenos. -ts
Chef John says: I love sides. Personally, I think they’re the best part of the meal, especially if we be talkin BBQ. Nothing is better than getting a side that is so damn good that you completely forget about everything else on the plate. My Mama made this for a big dinner several years ago and every time she cooks I beg and plead for her to make it. I’ve had the pleasure of eating this many times but every time I take that first bite I let out some sort of animalistic noise and my eyes rollback in my head… I can’t help it. If you want a simple description, imagine a fully loaded baked potato disguising itself as potato salad.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds small red potatoes, diced
1/2 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 to 10 cooked crisp bacon slices, crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 cup prepared Ranch dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
- Place oil in a 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan; add potatoes and the next 4 ingredients, tossing to coat. Arrange potato mixture in a single layer.
- Bake at 425° for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Toss together potatoes, bacon, green onions, and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.
*If you like your potatoes crispier, bake about 10 minutes longer, stirring once.
Despite The Chef’s well-documented aversion to desserts, he speaks very highly of this one. Also, “crumb cake” is actually a German specialty called “Streuselkuchen,” and that’s just plain fun to say.
1 cup of milk or buttermilk
2 whole eggs and 1 yolk
1 1/3 cup oil
3 cups of pastry flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
2 cups of sugar
1 tablespoon of molasses
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean
7 oz butter (softened 1/2 inch cubes)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- For the batter, mix milk, eggs, and oil. Add dry ingredients. Do not over-mix.* Pour into cake pan.
- For the topping, mix dry ingredients together and add butter to form crumbs.*
- Sprinkle on top of batter.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let the cake cool completely and top with powdered sugar.
*Chef says the two biggest mistakes you can make are over-mixing and making the crumbs too dry, so consider yourself warned.