Bacon Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are good as hell. I spent a lifetime trying to master eating them without spitting out the shell. Good for the tastebuds, bad for the anus. A trade off I am willing to make.

So... take that logic and apply it to bigs sizzlin' bacon sunflower seeds and compete your digestive cycle with a sense of pride.

Better with Bacon – Bean and Bacon Fiesta Dip

Oh man…this looks good…I could see myself sitting down and dipping tortilla chips in this until every bite was gone (cause I am a disgusting man).


It’s a Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe by Madeleine Bergquist of Syracuse, NY.  See the recipe after the jump…Ingredients:

8 slices bacon* 1 (16 ounce) can Refried Beans 1 (4.5 ounce) can  Chopped Green Chiles, drained 1 cup  Frozen Corn 1 (15 ounce) can Black Beans, drained, rinsed 1 (16 ounce) jar  Thick ‘n Chunky Salsa 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend Sour cream (optional) Corn tortilla chips (optional)


Cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towel. Set 2 slices of bacon aside; crumble remaining 6 slices. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) microwavable dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix refried beans, green chiles and crumbled bacon. Spread mixture evenly in sprayed dish. Sprinkle frozen corn and black beans evenly over refried bean mixture. Pour salsa over top. Sprinkle cheese over salsa. Crumble remaining 2 slices of bacon; sprinkle over cheese. Microwave on High for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and mixture is thoroughly heated. Garnish with spoonfuls of sour cream. Serve warm dip with tortilla chips.

Originally posted 2009-08-11 12:00:37.

Related Stories:June 17, 2014 Thankin’ for Bacon – Appetizer #2…May 9, 2014 Better with Bacon – Baked Bacon Blue Cheese Dip

Koji Horchata

There has been a lot written lately about how food has become more photogenic than delicious. While I do not dispute food becoming more photographed and photograph-able, I think when someone says care for flavor and texture is losing out to beauty they are picking nits. There are examples where it is true, but there have always been examples of beautiful dishes which taste like nothing, or worse. My opinion is because of the volume of exposure to the creative process, it is more likely we, as public, are being exposed to more of the creative process, and more of the editing process, than in the past when whatever little we saw, was refined and edited to the nth degree. There is a ton of demand for the exposure to that process and then encouragement to make the experiments available to the public. Herein lies the conflict, the photos and exposure are free marketing and far more far-reaching than word of mouth reports of a delicious roasted chicken or a soulful bowl of beans.

With that said, after I made a quart of this koji horchata, I tasted it. Clearly this was a drink which sounded better than it tasted. The idea of it was exciting, koji made things delicious – miso, sake, shio koji, etc — , but was this better than horchata? Clearly not. It was interesting. It had a broader spectrum of flavors than horchata. L mentioned a subtle blue cheesiness, I found it to be really floral and sweeter than horchata would ordinarily be. Was it a drink which is totally crave-able in the summer heat? No. It was not the Ramones, it was Primus.

I went back and forth on whether to drink the rest and where I ended up was instead of ending the process, I continued it. I made regular horchata. Then I made blends of the koji and standard horchata to see if I could tip the balance into deliciousness.  I wanted to try a 50/50 version, so I felt compelled to start with three variations (25/75, 50/50, and 75/25) then triangulate the ratio from there. After drinking all three, I liked the lower concentration of the koji horchata. I kept tasting the standard, then adding some to the koji/standard mixture until I got what I felt juuuuuust better than the standard. After doing my calculations, I got a 7:1 ratio of standard to koji horchata made my favorite cup (I love math, thank goodness, this is the world’s most delicious story problem). This begs the question, “Why bother?”

I ask that question more than you could know, but answer comes down to “I did not know, but I wanted to know. And now I know.” Is a 7:1 koji horchata worth making? I don’t know. Are you curious? I am sure someone is. Then for them it is worth it. They will likely Instagram it. Then Ozersky or the other guys will probably use it as an example of how we don”t make simple food anymore. I will undoubtedly read that article while eating a chicken leg quarter grilled over charcoal with a tinfoil pouch of carrots and cabbage sitting alongside it or on the way home from eating Mark Mendez’s beans. And when I read it, I’ll think of how much volume of access has increased by demand and be glad. I like seeing your pretty plate. I know where to get delicious brown food. It is out there just the same as it ever was.

PS. The recipe for koji horchata is the same as your favorite horchata with koji inoculated rice in place of regular rice. If you want to use my ratio, just add 7 parts mold-free rice with 1 part koji instead of using a kitchen scale to blend both drinks.

Bacon Tea?!?

Yes, bacon flavored tea…this one is scaring me a little and I am not one who is easily scared…


So I was this close to picking this up until I read this:

Ingredients: Tea, immitation bacon bits, natural flavors.


First, immitation (sic) bacon bits?  No thank you.

Second, natural flavors? I’m guessing that is only maple essence.  The only natural flavoring from bacon comes from bacon fat and I really don’t think they steeped the leaves in pig grease…

So yeah for the idea, boo for execution.

Not buying this, but feel free if you feel so inclined.  If you do, tell me about it…


Originally posted 2009-12-08 19:00:26.

Related Stories:May 23, 2013 Behold the Magnetic Power of Bacon…October 21, 2009 Everything Old is New Again…


yields 4-6 servings

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
16 strips bacon

Preheat grill according to manufacturer`s instructions for cooking by direct and indirect heat. If using charcoal grill, place coals on one side of grill, not covering entire charcoal bed. Thighs will be cooked over direct heat first and finally by indirect heat, opposite the heat source. Rinse thighs, pat dry and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place maple syrup in shallow dish. Add mustard and yogurt and stir to combine. Dip thighs in syrup mixture, lightly roll up and wrap each with two strips of bacon to enclose. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if necessary. If bacon strips are long, one strip per thigh may be sufficient. Lightly coat grill with oil or cooking spray. Place thighs on preheated grill 4 to 6-inches above direct heat and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Move thighs to indirect heat side of grill and continue to cook with lid closed, about 10 to 12 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning. Test thighs for doneness. Temperature should reach 160 degrees F. on meat thermometer. Return to direct heat to crisp bacon, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and place on serving platter. Remove toothpicks and serve.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Mary, One Perfect Bite, July 13, 2009 | via Alex DeSantis, Pilgrim's Pride Chicken