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Just when you thought you couldn't love bacon any more than you already do, here are 101 ways to enjoy this delicious meaty treat.

101 Ways To Love Bacon

By | Appetizers + Nibbles, Baking + Desserts, Breakfast + Brunch, Chicken, Easy Dinners, Entertaining, Food Gifts, Homemade Gifts, Main Dish, Sandwiches, Side Dishes, Snacks | 2 Comments

Oh, bacon! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! No really, let’s count them. Just when you thought you couldn’t love bacon any more than you already do, here are 101 ways to enjoy this delicious meaty treat. HINT: It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

Bacon is meat candy. Admit it, you think so too!
It’s one of the most versatile foods–used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even desserts. I mean, that really covers it. These days no one blinks if you mention bacon on a cake, in a cocktail or a fancy chocolate bar. You can serve bacon wrapped in bacon on top of bacon and people wouldn’t question it.

This stat puts it all into perspective (not really, but I think it’s funny) “In general, 62 percent of people prefer bacon over sausage on breakfast sandwiches. But among those who feel more confident in dressy clothes than in comfortable clothes, 74 percent prefer bacon on breakfast sandwiches.”  From correlated.com.

In honor of this ever-popular, delicious food, I’ve collected 101 ways to cook it, use it, eat it and celebrate it. This was done purely out of love–for you, and for bacon. To help you navigate the list, it’s broken into categories. However, categories or not, I urge you to start from the top and enjoy all the way to the bottom!

 

How to Cook Bacon

The first rule of bacon is knowing how to cook it. You’re no longer limited to the ol’ frying pan when it comes to cooking bacon. My personal favorite method is to bake it in the oven, but you can’t go wrong with any of these options.

1. How to Bake Bacon in the Oven

2. How to Cook Bacon in the Microwave

3. How to Cook Bacon in a Waffle Iron (and 13 other ways)

Waffle Iron Bacon

4. How to Batch Cook and Freeze Bacon

5. How to Make Heart Bacon

 

Breakfast Dishes

Ok, ok, I couldn’t help but include some breakfast recipes. But these aren’t your typical bacon and eggs dishes. These take bacon for breakfast to the next level.

6. Bacon Pancake Dippers

7. Maple Bacon Pancakes

Maple Bacon Pancakes

8. Bacon Stuffed Waffle

9. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Quesadilla

10. Nutella and Bacon Stuffed French Toast

Bacon Stuffed French Toast

11. Apple Bacon Breakfast Burrito

 

Main Dishes

Bacon, it’s what’s for dinner. These dishes are sure crowd pleasers, and offer some new ways to highlight the flavors of bacon in your main course.

12. Spicy Maple-Bacon Drumsticks

Spicy Maple-Bacon Drumsticks

13. Macaroni and Cheese Pie with Bacon Lattice

14. Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken

15. Bacon Weave BLT (video)

16. Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatballs

17. Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers

18. BBQ Onion Meatball Balls

19. Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken Sandwich

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken Sandwich

20. Bacon Explosion

21. Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Brats

22. Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

23. Feta Chicken Breasts

24. Bacon Wrapped Grilled Cheese (video)

25. Bacon Wrapped Turkey with Chipotle and Orange Rub

26. Bacon Pretzel Grilled Cheese

27. Donut Bacon Cheeseburger

Donut Bacon Cheeseburger

28. Bacon Mac and Cheese Taco

 

Side Dishes and snacks

If it’s a snack or side dish you’re looking for, then bacon is the answer. After all, what pairs better with a bacon main course than more bacon?

29. Cheese and Bacon Muffins

30. Caramelized Onion and Bacon Mashed Potatoes

31. Wrapped Bacon Breadsticks

32. Bacon Granola

Bacon Granola

33. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

34. Bacon-Wrapped Corn on the Cob

35. Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites

Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites

36. Coca-Cola Soaked Bacon

37. Bacon and Brussels Sprout Spears

38. Maple Bacon Pretzel Rods

39. Bacon and Guacamole Fat Bombs

Bacon and Guacamole Fat Bombs

40. Bacon Cream Cheese Bites

41. Bacon Ranch Pepper Jack Pull Apart Bread

42. Bacon Wrapped Avocados

43. Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

44. Bourbon Bacon Jam

45. Bacon-Wrapped Cheesy Stuffed Jalapeños

Bacon-Wrapped Cheesy Stuffed Jalapeños

46. Candied Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple with Honey-Sriracha Sauce

47. Candied Bacon Baked Brie

48. Bacon Wrapped Cheese Fries

49. Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

50. Smoked Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

51. Easy Cheesy Bacon Biscuit Pull-Aparts

52. Bacon on a Stick

53. Maple Bacon Bourbon Popcorn

54. Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

55. Sweet and Savory Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry Twist

Sweet and Savory Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Puff Pastry Twist

56. Campfire Bacon

57. Bacon Mozzarella Sticks

HINT: These would be amazing using these tasty mozzarella sticks from Farm Rich Snacks

58. Bacon Potato Skewers

59. Chicken Bacon Ranch Bombs

60. Deep Fried Doritos Crusted Bacon

61. Baked Beans in a Bacon Cup

Baked Beans in a Bacon Cup

62. Bacon Wrapped Parmesan Cracker Bites

63. BBQ Volcano Potatoes

64. Bacon Brown Sugar Smokies

65. Loaded Mashed Potato Balls

 Loaded Mashed Potato Balls

66. Easy Glazed Bacon Crackers

67. Bacon Wrapped Dates

68. Apricot Thyme Glazed Bacon Sticks

69. Crispy Deep Fried Bacon

 

Desserts

Bacon has a sweet and savory quality to it that makes it a perfect choice to use in desserts. These unusual pairings will have everyone asking for more.

70. Candied Maple Bacon Donut

71. Bacon Cannoli

Bacon Cannoli

72. Bacon Doughnuts

73. Maple Bacon Fudge

74. Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich

Bacon Ice Cream Sandwich

75. Sweet Bacon Monkey Bread

76. Vosges Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar

77. Bacon Toffee

78. Bacon Pralines

79. Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

80. Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

 Bacon Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

81. Pancakes ‘n’ Bacon Cookies

82. Brown Sugar Bacon Twists

83. Bacon and Whiskey Caramel Marshmallow Toffee

84. Beer Candied Bacon Strips

85. Maple Glazed Bacon Skewers with Chocolate

86. Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

87. Maple Bacon Donuts

88. Bacon Weave Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes with Bacon Compote

89. Sweet Bacon Monkey Bread

90. Bacon Crack

 Bacon Crack

 

Drinks

This just goes to show that bacon really does go with everything.

91. Peppered Bacon Bloody Mary

Peppered Bacon Bloody Mary

92. Maple Bacon Old Fashioned Cocktail

93. Chocolate Bacon Shot Glasses

Chocolate Bacon Shot Glasses

 

Bacon Things

Whether you’re looking for home decor, fashion, or a gift for the bacon lover in your life, here are a few fun bacon finds.

94. There is No “We” in Bacon Printable

There is No "We" in Bacon Printable

95. Don’t Go Bacon My Heart Mug . . . I Couldn’t if I Fried.

96. Baconnaise

97. Bacon Tape

98. J&D’s Bacon Salt

99. Twinkie Chan’s Crochet Goodies – Bacon and Eggs Scarf Pattern

Bacon and Eggs Scarf

 

Vegetarian Options

For any vegetarians out there, please accept my condolences, and this recipe for something akin to bacon.

100. Tofu Bacon

 

Dog Treats

Even dogs love bacon, and now you can feel good about feeding it to them.

101. Peanut Butter and Bacon Dog Treats

Also produced by Melanie Donahoo. This post may include affiliate and sponsor links. For more information please see my disclosure agreement.

Make A Better Burger

By | Beef, Easy Dinners, Main Dish, Sandwiches, Uncategorized | No Comments

When it comes to your signature, juicy burgers, you may not think you can make a better burger. Think again!

Let’s talk mushrooms, blended with your meat, making them more delicious, nutritious and sustainable. It’s your new secret for grilling season, and I can say– really tasty–from first hand experience!

This week I attended the kickoff event for the second annual James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project, a partnership with the Mushroom Council. Chefs from around the country participate in creating the most amazing blended burgers. The project is open to all chefs and last year nearly 250 restaurants joined in creating takes on this culinary concept.

Make A Better Burger

Hugh Acheson’s Cremini-Lamb Burger with Charred Scallions, Boursin, Pickles and Tomato on a Potato Roll at the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project launch event on March 28, 2016 at the James Beard House. Photo credit: Ken Goodman.

If you think about it, mushrooms are a perfect addition to homemade burgers. They have a meaty texture themselves, add moisture and earthy flavor. Cooked mushrooms also have an umami quality, that fifth basic taste chefs often talk about described as a ‘pleasant savory taste.’

The addition of vegetables to ground beef is not new. Meatloaf is often loaded with savory blends of onions, celery and carrots. They add loads of flavor, moisture, and great texture that you’re familiar with in meatloaf. Many a smart mom has used this trick to sneak veggies onto their kids plates, hiding everything from zucchini to spinach in ground meat.

Mixing meat with vegetables is a great way to stretch your grocery dollar, since veggies are cheaper than quality meat. Mushrooms also add vitamin D to your diet and help boost your immune functions. Try a variety of mushrooms in your burgers, from meaty portabellos to shiitake and button mushrooms.

James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project

Hugh Acheson, James Beard Foundation Award Winning Chef and Author at the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project launch event on March 28, 2016 at the James Beard House. Photo credit: Ken Goodman.

The competition opened this week at the James Beard Foundation in New York City. I was happy to be able to attend and taste chef Hugh Acheson’s take on a mushroom-blended burger. He mixed cremini mushrooms with ground lamb and topped it with Boursin cheese to make the most delicious meal.

I’ve included his recipe below. Try it out, and be inspired to try your own blended burger creations. You can be involved by helping your favorite chef win an opportunity to cook their blended burger and the historic James Beard House. Just go here to cast your vote.

Cremini-Lamb Burger with Charred Scallions, Boursin, Pickles and Tomato

Cremini-Lamb Burger with Charred Scallions, Boursin, Pickles and Tomato

Recipe courtesy of the James Beard Foundation and chef Hugh Acheson.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 16 crinkle cut dill pickles
  • 1 5-oz container Boursin cheese
  • 4 potato buns

Instructions

  1. Add 3 tbsp butter to a large saute pan and place over medium-high heat. When the butter bubbles add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, mushrooms and fresh thyme. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Season with 1/2 tsp salt. Transfer the mushroom mixture from pan to a large bowl and let cool.
  2. Clean the pan with paper towel and place over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the scallions to the pan and char them for 4 minutes on each side. Remove the scallions, chop into 1/2 inch pieces and add them to the mushroom mixture.
  3. Place the ground lamb in a large bowl and season with remaining salt. Add the cooled mushroom mixture and mix well to thoroughly incorporate all components. Divide the mixture into 4 equal balls and form into patties about 5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
  4. Spread the remaining 1 tbsp butter on each bun and toast in a pan over medium heat until each side is a nice buttery brown. Remove and cool while burgers cook.
  5. On a hot grill cook the burgers for 3 minutes per side. When they're done, rest the burgers off the heat for 3 minutes. Top each bun with a burger, some Boursin then a slice of tomato and pickles.
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Hugh Acheson, James Beard Foundation Award Winning Chef and Author

Hugh Acheson, James Beard Foundation Award Winning Chef and Author at the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project launch event on March 28, 2016 at the James Beard House. Photo credit: Ken Goodman.

Recipe and photos courtesy of The Blended Burger Project.

Chicken and Gouda Melt Sandwich

By | Chicken, Easy Dinners, Grilling + BBQ, Main Dish, Meat + Poultry, Sandwiches, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Juicy grilled chicken and peppery arugula salad make for a tasty open-faced sandwich. As sandwiches go, I like mine with cheese, melted cheese. It just makes them better!

Chicken and Gouda Melt Sandwich

This sammy is a glorious combination of chicken, Gouda (there’s the cheese!) and a green salad. As much as I like cheese on a sandwich, I also like open-faced sanwiches. It feels very dinnery to eat (because you have the option of using a knife and fork), and you can get a heck-of-a-lot more piled on that one slice of bread.

You can buy grilled chicken in the prepared food section of your deli counter if you want a super fast dinner.

I actually used a panini maker, or countertop grill for the chicken. A grill pan like this one here, is also a great alternative to an outdoor grill during these winter months. I really like this grill pan because it doesn’t have a tall edge. I can use it for chicken, burgers and even kabobs because it doesn’t have the rim of a typical skillet. It’s cast iron, so follow directions for treating and cleaning it!

Also, if your bakery has a raisin walnut loaf–whooo-eeee that makes this sandwich good! I get in trouble when I buy this bread. I could eat the entire thing. Thus I create breakfast, lunch and dinner options using it! I love the crunch of nuts and savory-sweet burst from the raisins. A cranberry pecan loaf works too. Any type of fruit and nut combo your bakery might have will work.

Chicken and Gouda Melt

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 melts

Calories per serving: 495

Fat per serving: 14.5 g

Chicken and Gouda Melt

Save prep time and buy grilled chicken at the supermarket. Just warm it in the oven before you make the sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • 4 small (4 to 5 oz each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup apricot preserves
  • 4 slices crusty whole-grain bread or raisin-nut bread
  • 6 oz gouda, sliced
  • 4 cups (3 oz) arugula
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil; grill on grill pan or grill press until completely cooked, 5 to 6 min.
  2. Heat oven to 375°F. For the dressing stir together mustard, vinegar and preserves; season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside. Toast bread in toaster or oven. On a baking sheet, arrange cheese on toast and place one piece of chicken on top. Cook in oven until cheese begins to melt, about 4 min.
  3. Combine arugula and onion and toss with some of the dressing. Place sandwiches on plates, top with salad and drizzle generously with remaining dressing.
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If you like this recipe, you’ll also want to try my Spinach Melts and Toasts With Sweet Potato Spread.

This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure statement.

Recipe Tara Bench and Vanessa Seder
Photography Rita Maas
Prop Styling Tiziana Agnello
Food Styling Anne Disrude

Spinach Melts

By | Easy Dinners, Sandwiches, Side Dishes, Uncategorized, Vegetables, Vegetarian | One Comment

Frozen spinach is an underutilized ingredient in my opinion. It is awesome in pastas, smoothies and soups for sure. To use it in egg dishes or here with melted cheese however, you need to squeeze all of the excess water out of it. Yes it’s a bit waterlogged from being cooked then flash frozen, but when the water is removed it claims even more places on the menu!

I buy it and put it right in the fridge to thaw for a day or so. It’s ready for me to squeeze, with love of course, and use.

 

Spinach Melts

Recipe:

Spinach Melts
Make this family style on a loaf of French bread split in half. Great served alongside homemade soup!
Serves 4

1 10-oz pkg frozen spinach
1 ½ cups grated Comte or Fontina Cheese
French baguette

Thaw spinach and squeeze out water until spinach is quite dry. Crumble into a bowl and mix with cheese. Split half a French baguette and toast under a broiler. Pile spinach mixture evenly over toasted halves and broil until melted. Cut in half.

Bacon Chicken Sandwich

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken Sandwich

By | Bacon, Chicken, Easy Dinners, Grilling + BBQ, Main Dish, Pork, Sandwiches, Summertime Favorites, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken Sandwich

A slightly spicy and sweet pepper jelly is the secret to this ultimate chicken sandwich. Well…and the bacon!
Pounding the chicken thin before grilling makes it the perfect thickness for stacking…with bacon. No slicing and mess required.
Make sure you assemble these quickly, as cooked bacon laying around doesn’t last long. (wink)

 

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken Sandwich

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

These easy sandwiches mix a little salty bacon with sweet and spicy pepper jelly for the perfect combination.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, cut in half horizontally
  • Garlic salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 slices Havarti cheese
  • 8 slices country white bread, toasted
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp pepper jelly
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • 2 cups baby arugula

Instructions

  1. Heat grill, or grill pan to medium high. Pound chicken to create thin cutlets about ¼ inch thick. Season with garlic salt and pepper and grill until cooked through, 4 to 6 min. Place one cheese slice on top of each cutlet to melt.
  2. To make each sandwich, spread one piece of toast with mayonnaise and one piece with a generous layer of pepper jelly. Fill with chicken, bacon and arugula.
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Recipe by Tara Bench, original published in Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept/12. Photo credit Peden + Munk. Food Stylist Paul Grimes