Sunday, September 30, 2012


Were you enticed to read this post because of the title? Good then I did my job correctly.

C'mon who does not love bacon? Aside from vegetarians not many people. There is no way I can sit here and tell you how to make bacon healthy. If you want to lie to yourself, go ahead, I do it all the time. If you want to reduce the amount of grease on the bacon, this is the way to do it. I wont tell anyone if you decide to make the bacon, just invite me over and we can call it a wash.

Don't burn your bacon again, Bacon!

What you need:
- 1 lb package of bacon
- Shallow baking sheet
- aluminum foil and paper towels
- wire rack for pan (optional- to decrease the grease content)

Don't preheat the oven!! You want the oven to be cold when you put it in (It helps with the crispiness and the bacon won't shrivel). Line a baking sheet with foil and a set a wire rack on the pan so the bacon does not sit in the fat. Place bacon slices in a single layer on the rack, and bake at 400 degrees for 17-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer bacon to another pan or dish with lined paper towels to absorb any remaining fat.



It's funny that I called this don't burn your bacon again, bacon, because I set off so many fire alarms with this recipe! I briefly mentioned this in my BLT recipe post, but here is the full story. My new stove/oven has a vent that lets out heat and smoke as I cook things which causes my entire apartment to fill with smoke. We have 5, yes 5, smoke alarms in our two bedroom apartment, which all went off at the same time. As Damian faned them off and opened windows, we could actually hear a beeping from the apartment above us. So I guess I have hit my record of setting off smoke  alarms, that record being 6. I dare you to beat that, actually I take that back I don't want to be responsible for your house catching on fire. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Somersby Cider Launch Party.

Thanks Kitty for the idea to attend this event!

On Thursday night I went out with a few friends to the Somersby Cider Launch Party at CRAVE Restaurant in downtown, Minneapolis. It was on the rooftop, which was pretty cool in itself! The night included a DJ, live music by Wiping Out Thousands, and art by Rudy Fig. Please don't ask who any of those people are, I really have no idea. Why did we go? FREE DRINKS and fun apps! Upon arrival each person received two drink tickets for free cider and there were lots of delicious appetizers to try. Damian was able to snag four tickets, if your wondering the answer is yes I will let my boyfriend flirt with strange men for hard apple cider, so we enjoyed the beautiful night with an extra drink each. This stuff is good, so good I wish I were being paid to say that. My first reaction was that it tastes similar to an apple juice, yum! If your not a huge fan of hard ciders, I suggest trying this one, it does not have that tangy flavors that the others do. The boys were not as crazy about it and would have probably preferred gin but it ended up being a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures from the event. 

When I went to find extra photos from their website I came across these two of Kitty and Grundy, your famous!

Source for the top 5 photos: HERE

Friday, September 28, 2012

BLT's with Caramelized Onions

Ever plan on making a meal, get home, and realize that you are missing a major ingredient?

So I was planning on making these BLT's with the bacon we had in the freezer. I started cooking and chopping up the indgredients to form the sandwich and I realized I didn't have lettuce. Who makes a BLT without one of the only three ingredients in the name? Apparently, I do. I guess the sandwiches were BOT's. That really does not sounds as good... I am still adjusting to my new kitchen (that I absolutely love) and I am having some difficulties with the smoke alarms. Lets just say, I had the smoke alarm from the unit above us going off! YEAH, we are wonderful neighbors. It was a kitchen disaster but the food turned out well and I tried to take pictures through all of the smoke, so forgive me if they are terrible.  Oh, and I want to make a special shout out to my Mom, her birthday was on Thursday, Happy Birthday Mom!

BLT's with Caramelized Onion's BOT's

What you need:
- 1 lb bacon (I baked it! Recipe to come)
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 3 pieces of lettuce, broken into pieces 
- 2 sweet yellow onions, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Bread of choice

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute onions for 20-30 minutes. When onions become soft and crunchy add balsamic vinegar and saute for another 2-3 minutes. In a separate pan cook bacon according to directions. Toast bread of choice and comprise sandwich with bacon, lettuce (if you have it!), tomatoes, and onions.

*** I baked the bacon instead of making it in a skillet to help reduce fat content***

The balsamic vinegar in the onions gave the sandwich a great flavor, so much so that neither of us put mayo on it!

I served these with some roasted zucchini and carrots. Since I would not dare to leave you with just a recipe for BLT's, this is a great way to roast veggies with little work on your part.

Roasted Zucchini and Carrots

What you need:
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 small zucchini
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- salt and pepper
- your choice of seasoning, Choose from: Paprika, cumin, cayenne, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, sage, or a premixed spice blend. (I used cayenne and garlic powder)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut your vegetables into sticks, making sure they are even in thickness. Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminum foil and a light layer of olive oil (1/2 Tablespoon). Season veggies with the rest of the olive oil and herbs/spices. Place the veggies on the lined tray and roast, tossing halfway through for about 20 minutes. 

Sorry for the super dark photos- we were really rushed out of the door for an event! 

Stay tuned for how I made my bacon a healthier option!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good Earth.

How can you say no to going out to eat?

I had planned to make dinner last night but when I arrived home from work, I was notified we were invited to go out! I had never been to Good Earth before so I thought this would be a great opportunity to check it out. We were celebrating a family friend of Damian's going away to Utah for an internship. I looked up the menu before hand and really had an urge for the Greek salad with hummus and tabbouleh. I think I am really missing Shish Cafe since we now live in Minneapolis. The meal was good, not my FAVORITE place, but definitely satisfying and had a lot of healthy menu options. So here is what we ordered:

I ordered the Mediterranean Greek salad which included: 
Herb tabbouleh, tahini yogurt, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, wedge of romaine and crumbled feta cheese, drizzled with Greek vinaigrette, served with toasted flat bread. 

I also ordered a cup of the acorn squash soup which was huge! 

The soup was a seasonal dish and is one of my favorite things about fall!

There were yummy bread choices for dipping!

Damian had the Thai Chicken "Chian Mai" Noodle which was really great and had a nice spice to it.
Wok-seared chicken breast with noodles, garlic, ginger, cucumbers, and a spicy coconut-curry sauce

I think it ended up being a great meal and I would recommend this restaurant to others!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Intimate Gatherings.

Last night was such a treat for me! 

A few weeks ago Carly and Brian decided that they were going to make Damian and I dinner as a thank you  for cooking for them. It became a reality last night! I thought it would be hard to let go of the kitchen reigns, especially in my own home, but surprisingly I was delighted. They planned and prepared a beautiful and delicious meal including desert! (This is rare in my house, we don't have a lot of desert, mostly popcorn) I was able to relax a little when I came home from work and enjoy a glass of wine, or two, with some great friends. 

Does that not look amazing?! Grilled Pork Chops and Bacon wrapped green beans!

I can not take credit for any of this! Brian "man-ed" the grill while Carly prepared the side dish and desert. Carly was generous enough to provide the recipe to share with you all for these green beans. The pictures do not do these justice, they were amazing! 

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans 

What you need:
- 1 lb green beans
- 1/2 lb cured bacon
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Fresh ground black pepper for tasting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap 6-8 green beans in a slice of bacon. In a small bowl combine honey, butter, and garlic. Brush over wrapped green beans and bake for 30 minutes covered and then an additional 10 minutes uncovered. Top with black pepper.

*** For the last 5 minutes, we broiled the pan on low in order to make the bacon a bit crispier***

(Photo above courtesy of Carly)

They sliced perfectly!

Check out those awesome grill marks!

And for desert? Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake a la Carly-- So delicious. For recipe click Here.

And the photo shoot began... 

It was hard to decide which picture of the chefs was the best so I just posted all of them!

Thanks again for an amazing dinner, I can't wait until next time! Yes, I just invited myself to a next time...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wedding Fun.

What a beautiful weekend for a wedding!

This past weekend my mom and John married after being together for 12 years! The wedding was absolutely  beautiful and it was so great to see family and friends. On Friday, Damian and I drove to La Crosse to arrive in time for the rehearsal and dinner. After the rehearsal we headed to Pogreba Restaurant for dinner. The meal was delicious and served tapas style (unfortunately I forgot to take photos). After dinner we relaxed and enjoyed the company of family and friends from New York. 

The tables formed a large square with this in the center.

Patty, Uncle Wayne, Danielle, Tori Madison, Audra, and I at the rehearsal dinner.

The wedding began at 11am at Saint James church in La Crosse, WI. After a beautiful ceremony and photo session we went downtown for the reception at Piggy's Restaurant. The meal was delicious, the speeches were warm and touching, and the music was great.

My brother and I walking down the isle.

The flower girl, Tori Madison

My mom and Uncle Ron.

Me, Jarrod, and Danielle at the reception.

Damian, Jarrod, and I.

Damian and I at the reception. 

There were a lot of fun details to be mentioned! The tables were placed with centerpieces, handpicked apples, creative place cards, and gold coins engraved with names and the wedding date.

This was the purse that my mom carried (it had her something blue on it!)

The meal was fantastic! It included: an assortment of appetizers, salad, yellow squash soup, ham and a pork loin, roasted fall veggies, garlic mashed potatoes, cookies, and of course wedding cake.

Check out the beautiful bride! Too bad this photo does not show the amazing beading  on this dress!

After the reception we went out for drinks and appetizers. (Damian, Patty, and I at The Freight House)

Jarrod's Martini, I thought this ended up being a cool picture!

On Sunday, all those who were still in town, went on a brunch boat trip on the La Crosse Queen. It was a perfect relaxing end to the weekend!

It was truly a great celebration full of family, friends, and great food! Thanks to everyone who made it such a special day!