Insomniac Cafe (No Longer Stinky’s)

Stinkys-bacon

Come by, he said. Bring me your bacon, he said. I’ll cook it all, he said. And he did.

Rob, is the the owner and genius behind Stinky’s Chili, or as it’s known now, Insomniac Cafe. The menu…exists in theory, but Rob is willing to pretty much make whatever you want as long as he has the ingredients. The cafe also boasts a oil-less fryer. Which, of course, means he can make most of the unhealthy foods you love without frying them.

So what did we do? We brought him bacon. You know, to make it in a healthy way. Really, this was the goal of this bacon fest – but as anyone with a little baking experience and a ton of bacon fat on hand, you can’t resist a savory, sweet desert at times.

All together, we ‘fried’ up 4 varieties of bacon, including fresh cut slab bacon and pre-packaged. Of course the slab tasted the best, but really, does any bacon taste bad?!

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To add to the bacon bliss, he decided to whip up a batch of brownies. Of course, the consensus was “More bacon!” so instead of just butter, we added the fat from before into the batter, and topped with even more bacon.

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The end result was a moist bite of chocolate and bacon heaven. It was so good, yet so bad that he dubbed it a heart attack brownie. We’re still having palpitations of them.

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One of the other great things is that Rob plans a lot of special events. At the time of the visit, there was a contest to make, create and name your own sandwich. We decided that the ‘Whiskey Bacon’ would be a triple shot of meat: ham, bacon and hot dog. Add in some garlic powder, onions and cheese and your mouth will be the happiest place on earth!

Stinky’s Chili (now Insomniac Cafe)

346 Adams, Scranton, PA
Insomniac Cafe  – Facebook

Typically the Cafe hosts something fun for First Friday as well, which is always a great time in Scranton (or so we’re constantly reminded by other Whiskey Bacon Traveling Circus members).

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The post Insomniac Cafe (No Longer Stinky’s) appeared first on Whiskey Bacon.

Originally posted 2013-12-09 05:30:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Baked Bacon & Crab Rangoons

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Who doesn’t love these tasty dumplings filled with cream cheese and crab meat? No really, who? Because you have severe taste issues that should be thoroughly examined!

Looking at the best way to make these, I stumbled across the idea of baking them. So much easier than frying and you don’t have to worry about perfectly sealing them! A quick and easy appetizer and no mess of a frying pan and oil. And I guess it’s a wee bit healthier… though there is the heavenly addition of bacon. 

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Not only do we add bacon, but we kicked it up a bit with snappy siracha mayo, lemon zest and juice, and of course, garlic. And while your local Chinese restaurant may skimp and get the imitation crab…do yourself a favor and get the real thing. There’s not much to the recipe, so why not treat yourself. Go on, you deserve it!

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The end result is a creamy and almost delicate treat. You get the the smokey earthiness of the garlic and bacon paired with the light and fresh flavor of the lemon, crab and basil, all finished with just a hint of heat from the sriracha mayo.

These baked bacon & crab rangoons will have you forsaking your local Chinese hangout they are so good. Heck, you don’t even need a sauce for them. Yeah, they are that awesome!

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Baked Bacon & Crab Rangoonsby Whiskey Beard

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12-24

Ingredients:6 oz can lump crab meat, drained4 oz cream cheese, softened2 strips extra thick cut bacon4 cloves garlic1 lemon1/4 cup sriracha mayo1 tbsp black pepper1 tsp salt12-24 wonton wrappers
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350. Chop extra thick cut bacon into bits and fry until crispy. While bacon is cooking, chop garlic and set cream cheese out to soften. When bacon is done, drain on a paper towel. In a bowl, add crab, cream cheese, garlic, bacon, salt and pepper. Zest lemon peel into bowl and then add the juice of the lemon. Mix all ingredients together. Spray your muffin pan to coat. Depending on the size rangoons you want, either use a 12 or 24 muffin pan. Line each muffin hole with wonton wrappers. Then add 1 tbsp of mixture to the 12 muffin pan or 1/2 tbsp to the 24 muffin pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Mixture should be heated through and the ends of the wontons browned.

The post Baked Bacon & Crab Rangoons appeared first on Whiskey Bacon.

Originally posted 2014-03-03 19:26:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Cheddar Bacon Drop Biscuits

bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuitsI will admit it…I love bread, probably a little too much. The problem is I don’t have the patience to actually make bread. Or the patience for most baking, really. So I’m constantly looking for quick breads and biscuits that I can make with pretty standard items. This has lead me to a love of drop biscuits. Tasty, airy, quick and addictive.

We have a basic drop biscuit recipe that’s a great breakfast side, but not too long ago I wanted a dinner biscuit and couldn’t get the Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits out of my head. So I began searching recipes and playing around and eventually came up with these savory cheesy delights. This recipe is adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod.

bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-garlic bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-baconWhat makes these for me is the thick bacon and chunks of garlic. Each bite tastes like the ultimate comfort food. Salty, savory goodness.

bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-butter bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-cheese bacon-cheddar-drop-biscuits-panOne of the big keys to getting these biscuits right is the cold butter. The butter will melt while cooking and leave buttery pockets throughout each biscuit.  NOMMMMMM! Add in the gooeyness of the cheese… all …that …cheese. For the best result, used shredded and cubed cheese. It’ll be cheesy throughout, but you’ll also get nice chunks of cheddar as well, which makes them even better the next day.

These drop biscuits are so simple and wildly delicious that they’ll become a staple at the dinner table after the first batch.

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Cheddar Bacon Drop BiscuotsCheddar Bacon Drop Biscuots by Whiskey Beard

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 7-8

Ingredients:1 1/2 cup flour1 tsp baking powder1 tsp sugar1/4 tsp baking soda6 cloves garlic, chopped3 strips extra thick bacon4 tbsp cold butter, cubed3/4 cup sour cream1/2 cup cheese, cubed and/or shredded2 tbsp water2 tbsp olive oilpinch of salt
Instructions:
Preaheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook bacon strips till crispy and crumbly, being careful not to burn them. When done, remove to paper towel to dry. Reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl. Add cold butter cubes and using fingertips combine with dry mixture until clumpy. Chop bacon and garlic into large chunks and add to mixture, then add cheese. Add sour cream and mix well. Slowly add water until mix becomes sticky ball. The ball should stick to its self and be a tad hard to separate. Using your hands coat baking sheet with olive oil. Now use oily fingers to separate your dough into 7-8 biscuits and place on sheet. Drizzle each with reserved bacon fat. Cook for 12-15 minutes. When done, remove from sheet and serve hot.

The post Cheddar Bacon Drop Biscuits appeared first on Whiskey Bacon.

Originally posted 2014-02-24 18:38:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Brown Barn Cafe: Good Local Food

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Homemade lemonade, chocolate pudding, and jarlsberg grilled cheeses, are just some of our favorites of this literally overpassed restaurant. When you walk into the barny exterior, you’ll first enter a foyer, then the adjacent chocolate shop (also highly recommended) to finally find the bright red walls of Brown Barn Cafe.

Home to a weekly changing lunch menu, an easy favorite is the half sandwich, half soup or salad combo.  We suggest a salad and BLT or grilled cheese. (In case you were asking.) The BLT’s at Brown Barn Cafe are a favorite of Guss the Lush, with seedless cucumbers in rosemary. Just the right balance of bacon, lettuce and tomato. Toasted just right, all of the bread options are delicious, though wheat is the favorite of Guss the Lush. They also have a rocking way of making everything taste better. Even the salads. This one Whiskey Baconer is a self proclaimed salad hater. There’s something about paying for a pile of lettuce that makes you want to have a realllllyyyy good one when you’re out, and Brown Barn never disappoints with the lunch menu.

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The chefs and staff at Brown Barn Cafe really make the visit even better, and we’re not just saying that because we know them. We know them because of how great they treated everyone at the table and how fun it always is to go for lunch.

Pros: An ever changing menu, you know you’ll always get great tasting, fresh ingredients. The atmosphere is open, friendly and has the comfort of a friend’s home, with an open kitchen where you can see the food being prepared. Service is great,  friendly and cool. Lunch is a great price. Desserts are also homemade by the talented Ah!SomeChocolates staff.

Cons: Limited parking means you’ll have to park across the street during busy hours. Service then slows a bit understandably. Dinner is definitely more on the pricier side, but a different experience entirely.

Brown Barn Cafe

100 E. Overbrook Rd., Shavertown, PA
Brown Barn Cafe Website – Check for weekly lunch and dinner options!
Brown Barn Cafe – Facebook

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Stuffed apricots – cream cheese, cashews and fresh mint.

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It’s really hard to turn down steak. Even more so when it’s a NY strip steak with red onion marmalade. While the steak was a little fattier than preferred  it was still cooked to perfection and the marmalade was amazing. It’s rare that a steak should ever have anything on it, but in this instance, it was more than acceptable!

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One of the great things about the return of summer is fresh strawberries and rhubarb. This strawberry and rhubarb crumble did not disappoint. The fruit was mixed just right and played well off each other. It didn’t have an overpowering added sweetness, it all came from the fruit itself. The crumble was done well, but the show stopper was the homemade whipped cream. None of us are big fans of whipped cream – but we would have taken a tub of this to go! If you stop in and see this on the menu, don’t think, just order.brown barn cafe lunch mash up

The post Brown Barn Cafe: Good Local Food appeared first on Whiskey Bacon.

Originally posted 2013-06-14 04:30:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Broccoli and Kale Soup

Broccoli-Kale-Soup2I’m a big fan of thick and creamy soups. In trying to eat a little healthier (have to do something to balance out the amounts of whiskey and bacon we consume!) I find that that combo leads to potatoes and/or cream being added to the soup. No ma gusta. Broccoli-Kale-Soup1Then the idea hit…beans. Loads of good stuff and nowhere near as heavy. Thanks to my CSA box from Fertile Grounds, I had tons of veggies to choose from when deciding what kind of soup to make. Given that my fridge and freezer were full of kale, it made the most sense. The broccoli though… that was a matter of ‘use it before it goes bad’. I admit, I’m a carnivore, most vegetables and I don’t see eye to eye. But I didn’t want the broccoli to go bad and I do want some green stuff in my body, so I figured why the hell not. Broccoli-Kale-Soup3

I was pleasantly surprised. It took a few batches to get the texture and flavor right…and I didn’t complain about eating those many batches. Seasoning is a big key. The salt, garlic and lemon combo give it a bright savory taste. The broccoli and beans make it nice and creamy, without the starch or cream. I like mine thicker, but you could add more water to thin the soup out. Also, the power of your blender/hand wand/liquefying device will determine the consistency. While mine isn’t the strongest, I’m actually ok with having a few bits of the kale and broccoli in there to help the texture. Regardless, as a king of the meats, I can tell you that anyone from vegans to your local T-Rex will enjoy this soup!
Broccoli and Kale Soupby WhiskeyBeard

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients:1 vidalia onion 7 garlic cloves1 can great northern beans5 cups kale6 cups broccoli1 cup vegetable broth2 cups water2 tbsp salt2 tbsp pepper1 tbsp olive oiljuice of 1 lemon
Instructions:
Roughly chop onion and garlic. In a medium to large pot on medium heat, add oil and heat until it shimmers. Then add onions, pepper and 1 tbsp salt. Cook until onions soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir often make sure garlic doesn't burn. Add stock and water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. While water comes to temperature, remove stem from kale and roughly chop it and the broccoli. Drain and rinse beans as well. Once pot comes to a boil, add beans and cook for 4 -5 minutes. Now, add broccoli first and then kale last so it's on top. This will allow it to steam, not boil. Cover with lid. Check pot every 2 minutes and cook no longer than 10 minutes. You want the kale to steam and brighten in color. Be careful not to cook too long, 8-10 minutes max. Overcooking will discolor kale and broccoli. When done, using either hand wand or blender, puree the mixture. If using a blender, do in batches and add back to pot when done. When fully pureed, add remaining salt (or more if you like) and lemon juice.

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Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Crispy-smashed-potatoes5Traveling and eating are two of our favorite things.  When they can happen at the same time…BOOM goes the dynamite! This spring/summer was a heavy travel season for me and it proved delicious. Of all the things I tried, one stuck with me because of it’s simplicity and tastiness. Tender yet crispy, the smashed potatoes changed breakfast for the rest of the summer. Where did I have these tasty taters…of all places, the Minneapolis Airport. Crispy-smashed-potatoes1

Realistically, it’s just a boiled potato smashed flat and fried. But with that simple preparation you get something fun and exciting. Boiling, then smashing the potatoes gives them that nice velvety texture we love from mashed potatoes. But then the quick frying of them adds the crispy crunchiness of hash browns or homestyle potatoes. Who in the hell doesn’t want that in their mouth?!Crispy-smashed-potatoes2 Crispy-smashed-potatoes3

The only real way to mess these up is to not boil the potatoes long enough or use one that’s too large (as seen above). If you’re lucky enough to have a CSA around you like we do or a local farmers market, small new potatoes work the best. So long as they’re about the same size and on the smaller side though, any variety will do. Simple, tasty and quick. A new way to serve an old favorite!Crispy-smashed-potatoes4

Crispy Smashed Potatoesby Whiskey Beard

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 2

Ingredients:6 small new potatoes1/3 cup salt1/4 cup olive oil2 tbsp grated cheese1/2 tbsp salt1/2 tbsp pepper5 basil leaves
Instructions:
In a medium-sized pot, add enough water to cover potatoes and salt and set to high. Wash and scrub potatoes. Once salt is dissolved, add potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, finely chop basil and place in small bowl. Mix grated cheese, salt, and pepper into the basil. Place to the side. Once potatoes are done, move to colander and run under cold water until cool to touch. Using a sturdy measuring cup, press down on each potato and smash to even thickness, 1/4 -1/2 inch. Heat oil on a large pan over medium heat. Once oil begins to shimmer, add the smashed potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towel. Plate and serve with basil/cheese mixture on top.

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Summer Scape Salsa

Summer_Scape_Salsa_8Things we love about summer: Sun, Patio Drinking, Drive-Ins, Patio Drinking and Garlic Scapes. Garlic, in general, is a fave, but scapes are a magical summer treat. They come from the green tops of garlic (think scallions to an onion) and have a great mild garlic flavor that goes delish in almost any dish.

Summer_Scape_Salsa_2This salsa gets a garlickly-tastic kick and a nice crunch along with the other fresh veggies for an even better texture. It’s almost like having roasted garlic without having to turn the stove on…which is a blessing in the summer heat!
Summer_Scape_Salsa_1Summer_Scape_Salsa_4 Summer_Scape_Salsa_5 Summer_Scape_Salsa_6If you’re looking for a fresh and unique dish for your outdoor summer soire’s this is the one. Hit up your local farmer’s market for this not-so-secret ingredient and be glad you did!

[Editor’s note: We realize if you’re pretty hip to the CSA scene, you already know about the wonders that spiral from scapes. However, hipsters, yes we’re talking to you, be kind. Scapes are cool – so don’t knock our post because we’re over 30, drunk, and still in love with scapes.]
Summer Scape Salsaby Whiskey Beard

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients:1 pt cherry tomatoes4 scapes3 scallions1 onion1/4 bunch cilantro2 limes, juiced2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1/2 tbsp saltsalt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
Chop scapes into small enough pieces to fit in your food processor. Add scapes, lime juice, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 tbsp salt to processor and puree. Set to the side. Quarter cherry tomatoes, chop scallion and onion and add to a large bowl and mix well. Add the scape mixture, chop cilantro and add to bowl. Mix well. Add remaining EVOO, stir and taste. If salt and pepper are needed, add. Set in fridge for at least 15 minutes to marry flavors.

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