Bacon Puff Cookie Stars: Cookies for Kids Cancer

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When OXO offered some kitchen cookie freebies, the literal first thought I had was, “Can I make bacon cookies?” Kids love cookies. It’s perfect logic in a crispy bacon brain. So that, on top of the charity bonus, made it a great big yes to another OXO post. In addition to giving 10 cents from select items sold to the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer cause, OXO is donating $100  for each blog post dedicated to the cause in September. OXO Good Cookies will be donating up to $100,000 to the cause, so we’re hoping to make them shell out in the name of awesome causes everywhere!

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Please note, we were not paid for this post, but continue to want to be drunken BFFs with OXO in the same way you do with that nice person who’s always introducing you to new drinks and buying the more than enough rounds of shots. You know that guy in the bar who just wants to be liked, and loves to be nice to everyone. We all know that guy. OXO is just introducing us to new kitchen gadgets and charities. But not shots. Yet?

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We got a mess of goodies to try out in the name of Cookies for Kid’s Cancer. The spatula made me feel like a silicone goddess. No really. I’ve never had a fancy spatula before and it was more fun to toss bacon cookies around on it than your typical cookie.

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The never lose the 1/8 spoon cause they’re all magically tied together set of measuring cups is handy to the max. The best thing about this is actually that you can use additional support to gently tap and cover the pastry with cinnamon.

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The key to these bacon cookies where two things. The stainless steel cookie cutters – and really thick bacon. I mean wide like my butt on Thanksgiving. To make sure your cookies are perfect, you can even measure your bacon to make sure if fits the cookie cutter, but you can also overlap bacon slices in the cutter. Once baked, it’ll all go beautifully together.

I can’t wait to try out the cutters on other non-cookie items. The holidays are going to look adorable guys. (Please note, the hearts were hard to overlap due to shape, but still pretty awesome.)oxo bacon cookies cutters-6

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Bacon Puff CookiesBacon Puff Cookies by NoBakeLeniBacon cookies so sweet and easy you can make them drunk. Or with kids. Be a star, with bacon cookie stars!

Prep Time: 154 hours

Yield: 15-20 mini star shaped cookies (more if you cut out plain rectangles)

Ingredients:Two puff pastry sheets (frozen)6-8 thick cut bacon slices (raw)1/8 cup of cinnamon1/2 cup brown sugar1/4 cup white sugar
Instructions:
Preheat oven. Pull puff pastry out of freezer to thaw. (Should be good by the time you’re ready for it.) Mix your cinnamon, sugar and sugar mixtures. (Feel free to make more later is so desired). Place bacon strips on wire rack in a baking sheet. Sprinkle some of your mixture over the bacon. Once oven is ready, bake that bacon. Flip, sprinkle more cinnamon sugar and bake until well done. Remove bacon from oven, and let cool on rack. Sprinkle mixture over one pastry sheet. Layer bacon over sheet and top with second sheet. Using a stainless steel cookie cutter press firmly and completely down. Pull the cookie out, and place on baking pan. Bake until slightly golden. Serve after chilling slightly, or entirely cool.

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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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