Friday, January 23, 2009

Everythings Better with Bacon (or Pork)

Parker's BBQ 3
Originally uploaded by dwightsghost

I'm playing hooky. It's nearly noon, I was up late updating the blog layout and I'm not done. And yet I can't get the darn thought of bacon out of my head. You think working from home would be easy but I've really decided that it's what I have to do when I'm not working on other food related projects. Sad but true and now it back to bacon. Again.
I was just in North Carolina after the holidays to visit family and it's all about the pork products and I didn't get enough. I don't know how that can even be possible but man I'm missing my pork.
I've never been back east in the middle of the winter. There's just not enough room for all the family in any one person's home at that time of year but here we were, about 35 of us at any one given time for the most part, at my Aunt's place eating.
For breakfast, ham biscuits! Not the passable ones you get from Hardee's but real ham biscuits. With the biscuits made from scratch, or Atkinson's biscuit mix with ham (or sausage) from Nahunta. Barbecue, chicken livers and hush puppies from Parker's with these awesome fresh yeast rolls that May Dolan brought over for us. They were still warm when I hid them after snatching one and someone brought over a spiral sliced ham, it was good. Now, that doesn't mean there wasn't the requisite fried chicken but compared to the pork it wasn't touched and it was good too.
So now I'm home in finally rainy Northern California and I'm missing all things pork related which means I'm going to have to make something with bacon. How about some Pig Candy! Thank you Jill Conner Browne!

Pig Candy


# Bacon (several strips)
# Brown Sugar (enough to coat strips of bacon)


1. Coat uncooked bacon in some dark brown sugar.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Recipe from The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner, by Jill Conner Browne copyright Copyright 2003, Three Rivers Press publishing.

Oooo, and I'm going to be re-reading this book, it's hilarious!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Well after months of family stress with the terminal illness and unexpected and untimely loss of my beloved Aunt I've been finally able to take a breath and work at getting back on track. The holidays were a blur, there was nearly no baking or really any celebratory cooking done by or for my family. And because of it things seemed kinda non existent, like thing s were missed.
So, I spent today blog surfing on and off and am entirely worn out after all the reading that I did. But not too worn out to make some cookies!!!
We'd been craving brownies here at the house but we seemed to be out of brownie mix. (Gasp!) Also I decided that who really needs that many brownies in a house when there is no one close by to share with. So instead I decided to make Baker's Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies with a few small changes because I really didn't have my usual stash of chocolate in the house.

Baker's Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies (with some slight changes ala me!)

5 oz Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chopped
3 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate
3/4 C. firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/4 C. Butter softened
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 C. Walnuts Chopped
3/4 C. Chopped Chocolate (on in my case mini chips)

Melt Chocolate in a large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes. Stir chocolate till it's melted and smooth. Add sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Add flour and baking powder. Mix in Walnuts and Chopped Chocolate.

Drop Scant 1/4 cupfuls of dough onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 13-14 minutes or until cookies look puffed and feel set to the touch.
Cool 1 minute on baking sheet before removing them to a rack to cool.
Makes 18 or so cookies.

Ok, here's what I've found.
#1 No skimping on the additions. The original recipe calls for 2 cups walnuts and 8 ounces coarsely chopped chocolate. I think that this helps the cookies retain the shape and not spread quite so flat due to the amount of goodies the dough has to surround.

#2 I think if you let the batter sit for a few minutes it firms up just a little making the dough mound more than spread too.

These are really like ultra fudgey brownies with lots of chunks and man are they tasty! Now off to do the dishes.

Next up the weekly Tuesday's with Dorie project...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A - Z Reading List

Reading List Update

Well, we're almost to October and I've been really busy but still managing to read, work just gets in the way of things some times. Below is an updated list of what's been read so far this year. I'm sure I'm missing things but I have a pile of books functioning as a bedside table in my room. I need to go through that and see what I've read vs what's still to come...I haven't updated my "book reports" yet
but I'll get around to it sometime.

Happy New Year!

For the new year my crazy cousin Nicole thinks we should undertake a mammoth challenge this year by reading 26 books, one for each letter of the alphabet. Who am I to disagree with her, so I'm going to post what I'm reading/read. This will be updated with additions and a book review when I'm done. So far 1 down 25 to go....

1. Acheron
2. Bakewise
3. Carolina Moon
4. Dream Warrior
5. Eclipse
6. Field Guide to Men - Sweet Potato Queen's
7. Gunslinger
8. Hidden Riches
9. I
10. Judas Strain
11. K
12. Last Oracle
13. Magic
14. N
15. One Silent Night
16. P
17. Q
18. R
19. Skeleton Crew
21. U
22. Vision in White
23. What's Age Got To Do With It?
24. X
25. Y
26. Z