Bacon Jam: The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Bacon Jam 1I feel like I should start this post with an apology.

After all of the Thanksgiving festivities I should be posting something healthy – like a lentil soup or something. The last thing you probably want to be tempted with after Thanksgiving is this Bacon Jam..but I just couldn’t help myself.

You see, as a food blogger, I spend lots of time scouring the internets looking at all of the wonderful things other awesome food bloggers are posting about. And every once and a while I run across something that I simply can’t stop obsessing about. The last time it was homemade butter mints. This time it was bacon jam.

The first time I saw it I didn’t really dwell on it. I just thought “hmm…weird” and kept on moving. But then it just kind stuck in my brain. What on earth would bacon jam taste like? How would it work? And then I kept going back and staring the ingredients…

-bacon (obvi)

– coffee

-brown sugar

– garlic

– caramelized onions

….hoo boy. Those are some of my favorite things. And they get all cooked together till they get all jammy and stuff. Then spread on a fresh baguette? Who can blame me for obsessing a little.

So I started rationalizing. After all, this really would make the perfect Christmas gift! And it would be massively irresponsible of me to give said Christmas gift without testing it first to see if it was actually good….right? RIGHT??

Bacon Jame 2

So I threw caution to the wind, embraced the impending threat of thunder thighs, and spent yesterday afternoon standing over my dutch oven watching bacon, onions, coffee, and brown sugar caramelize into rich, jammy goodness.

And….wow…just wow.

I spread it on the aforementioned baguette and proceeded to have my mind blown.

It. was. amazing.

Bacon Jam 3

This bacon jam could be the answer to everything. Troubles at work? Bacon jam. Final exams? Bacon jam. Spouse that continues to leave his socks right NEXT to the hamper??? (ahem..) Yep. Bacon jam.

It is THE perfect gift to give to someone special in your life. Unless they are a vegan. Or are on any type of diet that isn’t Atkins.

I should warn you…..

“With great power comes great responsibility”. This jar of bacon jam should not be opened unless you are being supervised by friends. Because you will eat the whole jar. By yourself. Please consume bacon jam responsibly.

Bacon Jam 4

Bacon Jam

adapted from Martha Stewart

1 lb. bacon

2 onions, thinly sliced

4 Tbs. garlic

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cups very strong coffee

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. black pepper

1. Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces. Add to a dutch oven over medium high heat and cook until the bacon pieces are browned. Remove the bacon and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Drain all but 1 Tbsp. of the bacon grease and discard. (I always save some in the refrigerator for cooking with. That stuff is like gold!)

2. Add the onions and garlic to the 1 Tbsp. of bacon grease left in the dutch oven and turn the heat dow to medium. Cook until the onions are tender.

3. Add the coffee, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and black pepper to the onions and garlic. Bring the heat back up to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about two minutes and then turn the heat down to medium low. Add your bacon back to the pot.

4. Let the whole mixture simmer gently until the liquids are syrup and the onions are nice and carmelized. It should be very thick. If it looks like it’s starting to burn you can add in some water to keep it going.

5. When it looks about done, remove from heat and let it cool a tiny bit. When it’s just warm, place the mixture in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple times until the bacon is VERY finely chopped. (Some recipes called for pulsing it longer..so it resembled more of a ‘spread’ but I like having it more rustic with nice chunks of bacon).

6. Spread on a baguette and try not to eat the whole batch…..

Enjoy!

Homemade English Muffins

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Did you have an awesome Thanksgiving? I most definitely did! Steve and I were thrilled to host both of our families for Thanksgiving at our home this year and since Steve and I both come from families who love eating as much as we do, food abounded in epic proportions.

After indulging in more than my share of Thanksgiving goodness I had the urge to make something a little more basic this week. I was thrilled to come across this recipe for Homemade English Muffins on the Tasty Kitchen blog and thought I would give them a go.

English Muffins Rising

If you’re anything like me, then the only English muffins you’ve come in contact with are the prepackaged kind you buy in the grocery store. Not bad…but definitely not something to get all excited about. These on the other hand….well, I wouldn’t be sharing them here unless they were out-of-this-world good…which they were.

Homemade English Muffins 1

These bad boys just reinforced my belief that absolutely everything is better when you make it from scratch.

Well, almost everything. When I was little I had a fairly unhealthy relationship with Kraft macaroni and cheese. But I got help.

Homemade English Muffins 2

Here’s the recipe!

Homemade English Muffins

from The Tasty Kitchen 

1 cup Milk

3 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 cup Warm Water

¼ ounces, weight Yeast

¼ cups Cornmeal

5 cups Flour

1 teaspoon Salt

1. Heat the milk butter, and honey in a small saucepan until butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool until it is lukewarm. (Make sure it isn’t too hot!! )

2. Pour the water (should also be lukewarm) into a bowl and sprinkle with yeast. Set the bowl aside for about 10 minutes until the yeast has dissolved and looks frothy.

3. Line baking sheets with waxed paper and sprinkle with a generous amount of cornmeal.

4.Pour the milk mixture into the yeast mixture and gently mix. Add 3 cups flour and combine until smooth. Beat in remaining flour and salt until the dough is no longer sticky. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and dust with flour. Flour hands and knead dough for 3-4 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes.

6. Roll out dough with rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into circles (I used a the lid of a mason jar and it worked just fine). Transfer muffins to prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover with a dry, lightweight towel and let rise until doubled in height, 35-45 minutes.

7. When muffins have risen, heat a skillet over medium heat. Carefully lift muffins from the pan and place on the ungreased skillet. Cook about 10 minutes on each side, using a spatula to flip them. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before splitting (with a fork) and toasting them.

 

Enjoy!!

Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies

Peanut Butter and Nutella Cookies art

Nutella makes me think of college. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that college life…playing Texas Hold ‘Em until 4 in the morning at the local coffee shop, spending entire Saturdays in my pajamas having a Grey’s Anatomy marathon with my girls, the countless hours of practicing for juries, recitals, and concerts (which […]

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