Awesome Pizza (Not that i’m biased or anything…)

This week’s recipe for 75 Awesome Recipes comes from http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/bacon-and-barbecue-chicken-pizza/. I’ve made this recipe a few times already and naturally have several deviations already. If you want something “a little faster”, try Rachel’s original recipe as YMMV.

To start out, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, cover cookie sheet(s) with aluminum foil (to aid in clean up), fit the cookie sheet(s) with cooling racks, and apply a single layer of bacon to the racks. Cook for four hours.

(Realistically, you just need 3 – 4 cooked pieces of bacon for the recipe and can cook it any way you like. Make sure to cook enough bacon so you’ll have the 3 – 4 pieces of bacon after casual snacking [i might have made 1/2 a pound…]. If you don’t use this method, cook the bacon before the chicken so you can cook the chicken in the bacon fat. But seriously, everyone should try slow cooking bacon at least once…)

After your entire domicile smells like bacon, approximately 2 1/2 hours, start making your dough. Take a cup of ~110 degree water, add sufficient yeast to do the job, and a bit of sugar. Let it hang out in a warm place for a bit until the yeast wake up.

Add 2 1/2 cups of flour, a bit of salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil to a mixing bowl. Mixing slowly, add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture just as slowly, until a non-sticky ball is formed (may need to add more flour).

Move the dough ball to a lightly oiled bowl and set in a warm place until it doubles in size (such as near the oven cooking the odoriferous bacon…).

Cook a chicken breast in a bit of olive oil (unless you’re being a namby pamby and quick cooking the bacon, in which case, cook it in the bacon rending). When the chicken is fully cooked and still warm, stick it in a mixing bowl and shred with a hand mixer. Then toss with 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce (i used Sweet Baby Ray’s). Crumble/chop the 3-4 pieces of bacon (and snack on the rest). Chop 1/2 a medium onion.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet/pizza pan/cooking stone/whatever and apply dough. Make dough fit cooking instrument as well as possible. Apply another 1/3 of BBQ sauce to pizza dough. Sprinkle shredded BBQ chicken, crumbled/chopped bacon, and chopped onion over pizza. Spread about 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese over pizza. Brush crust with olive oil.

Bake for about 13 ± 2 minutes. Slice and masticate.

The next time i do this, i’ll probably add pineapple (because… i’m one of *those* people…).

Post: 5 of 75

Recipes Remaining: 70. Already 6.66 (repeating of course) % done.

Schedule: Squeaked this one in, so still lucky 13 weeks (behind…).

Really Good Appetizer… just in time for the Super Bowl

Today’s recipe for 75 Awesome Recipes hails from http://www.foodfaithfitness.com/sweet-n-sour-bacon-wrapped-pineapple/. Really, the best thing i can say about this recipe is the finished product *almost* lasted 10 minutes… with myself as the only masticator…

Per Taylor (whom this recipe was taken from) :

Ingredients
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 Tbsps Brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Reduced-sugar Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup Chili sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar free grape jelly
  • 2 Tbsps Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh garlic, minced
  • For the pineapple:
  • 5 strips of turkey bacon
  • 1/2 of a 20 oz tin of pineapple chunks, drained (about 30 chunks)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sauce pan on high heat, combine all the sauce ingredients.
  3. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Once the sauce begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium and let the sauce simmer until it begins to thicken, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. While the sauce simmers, slice each piece of bacon in half and then each half into 3. This would make each strip of bacon equal 6 strips.
  6. Dry the pineapple chunks between two pieces of paper towel and wrap each with one bacon strip, securing with a toothpick.
  7. Spread the pineapple chunks out onto the prepared baking tray, and pour the sauce evenly over top.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the sauce is sticky and thick and the bacon is fully cooked.
  9. Devour!

Deviations i took liberty of:

“Chili sauce” was sriracha because… it’s what i had…

Ketchup was Hunt’s 100% Natural (because… close enough).

Used a full 8 oz can of chunked pineapple (was around 18 pieces of pineapple)

Since there was extra bacon, some of the pineapple was double wrapped…

And by bacon, i mean it was pig bacon.

Outside of these deviations, the recipe was (surprisingly) followed.

Post: 4 of 75

Recipes Remaining: 71….

Schedule: Lucky number 13 behind… might just stay here for good luck…

Guinness Pretzels? Yes, Please!

This lovely recipe turns out some pretty amazing soft pretzels (http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/soft-guinness-pretzels-with-sea-salt/) which have amazed several people and even won over anti-pretzel heathens.

Step one: make the yeast happy. Get 3/4 cup warm water and 2 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast (aka 1 package) then add a tablespoon of table sugar. Let the yeast hang out, warm up, feast on the sugar and bloom (about five, ten minutes).

Step two: make the dough. While the yeast is getting happy, add four cups of flour and two teaspoons salt to a mixing bowl. In another container (to add to batter later), add 3/4 cup Guinness and two tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter. Start drinking the rest of the Guinness. With the mixer on low, slowly add the happy yeast to the flour/salt in the mixing bowl, followed by the Guinness/butter mix (also slowly). If necessary, add more flour (a bit at a time) until the dough is no longer sticky and manageable.

Step three: hurry up and wait. Shape the dough into a ball, stick it in a greased bowl (i use Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and flip it so the ball is covered. Cover with a dishcloth, set it in a warm place and wait until it doubles, about an hour (or two hours if “mother dearest” is bogarting the kitchen…).

Step four: rolling boil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and put a pot with eight cups of water to boiling on stove. Add 1/3 cup of baking soda to the pot of water. Then, with excessive savagery, rip the ball evenly in two pieces. Do the the same thing with each piece… then do it again… At this point, you should have eight pieces of dough roughly the same size. Roll these bad boys out so they’re two feet long. One at a time take each two foot rope and make it look like an u “U”. Cross the two parallel lines of the “U” over, then move the crossed part down until the ends of the “U” touch the bottom of the “U”. (Looks like a pretzel, right? If not, try again with the directions in the recipe linked above.) After you have eight pieces of dough that look like pretzels, add them to the boiling water for about thirty seconds (should be floating by the time it’s done). After you drop the next pretzel in, give the just-boiled pretzel a nice egg was and apply a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.

Step five: let ’em burn. Stick the pretzels on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 13 ± 1 minutes.

Step six: masticate. That’s it. Possibly consider letting them cool down a little. Possibly eat them with a pint of Guinness. Possibly dip them in (L[T])Sgt Jess’s Bastardized Buffalo Chicken Dip (gonna have to try that one…)

Post: 3 of 75

Recipes Remaining: Most of them

Schedule: 14 weeks behind… again… (but at least we’re out of the tree…)

Not a Winner (still chicken dinner)

So i’ve tried, and tried, then tried again, but this recipe for Beer Battered Chicken (http://diethood.com/beer-battered-yogurt-fried-chicken/) is just not working for me. I’ve tried adding extra spices, switched up the beers, but it just hasn’t turned out right.

Because apparently, i can’t fry food to save my life.

Don’t get me wrong, the chicken comes out overcooked and nearly black on the exterior, with a juicy, almost undercooked inside. However, the taste gives hints of promise. Therefore, if you’re an individual who actually can fry food, you may want to give this recipe a shot because YMMV.

On my end, since i’m only on post two (should be sixteen…) i’ll cut my losses and maybe take another wag at this recipe after getting caught up (and maybe try baking instead of frying?).

Post: 2 of 75

Recipes Remaining: 73…

Schedule: -14 weeks… just as planned…

Oh Right, This Thing/OMG, Bacon Crack!

So, i’ve actually made three of the Bacon/Beer Challenge (http://www.thefrugalfoodiemama.com/2014/06/75-man-worthy-bacon-beer-recipes.html#more) recipes so far (well, this one makes four…) but never actually posted them…

Fortunately, this recipe is good enough for a couple guinea pigs to declare “OMG, these are so good! I need the recipe! Give it to me!!” (or something like that). So under the implied threat of death and/or dismemberment, here’s the recipe found on http://www.wineandglue.com/2013/04/chocolate-covered-bacon-toffee-aka.html:

Cook 12 slices of bacon (deviation: original calls for 10, but i could cram 12 in, so i did) on a wire rack on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil (easier clean up). Cook at 400 degrees until appropriate level of crispiness is achieved (think i did 12 minutes… gonna aim for 20 next time). Chop up. Drain bacon fat in container for later use (but not today). Stage along with a cup of sliced almonds by stove.

Using a medium saucepan and candy thermometer,  combine 2 cups of butter with same amount of sugar with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Heat on medium heat until it hits 285 degrees stirring periodically. It started boiling about 205 and may take its time at 250 (and i might have turned the temp up a bit out of impatience… probably…). When it hits 285 degrees, remove heat, add bacon and almonds, and stir until combined. Working quickly, pour it into a prepared container (e.g. 13 x 9 lined with foil). Stick it in the fridge for two hours, then move it to the freezer. Proceed to forget about it overnight…

When you remember it, remove it from freezer and break it apart. Stick back in freezer and melt ~3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate as directed by packaging. Grab a couple chunks from freezer, cover in chocolate, and set on wax paper. (If you leave it out, it might get soggy and crumble.) Repeat until you run out of the bacon/almond/toffee mixture.

Store in a fridge until mastication time comes around.

Happy?

Post: 1 of 75

Recipes Remaining: All but one of ‘em

Schedule: Dude, find a time machine… you’re 9 weeks behind…

Challenge: Accepted

Last week while being “totally productive” by surfing the Internet by playing “Linkception”*, i stumbled across a page with a “little” list of recipes that use bacon and/or beer (http://www.thefrugalfoodiemama.com/2014/06/75-man-worthy-bacon-beer-recipes.html#more). Since this immediately looked to be a worthwhile endeavor and challenges seem to be all the rage, i thought to myself “You know what? I’m going to make every last one of those recipes… but i’ll be SMART about it.”

By “SMART”, naturally, i mean that these are not the healthiest recipes, so i’ll pace myself and aim to do one a week on average. Also, “SMART” as i’ve been informed (once… or maybe forty-seven and a half times…) is an acronym that stands for… something… and should be used as a guide for making obtainable goals. Therefore, using this, my goal is:

Specific: Cook/bake every recipe on the list located on the previously mentioned website

Measurable: One recipe will be crafted every week on average. This will give the flexibility to work ahead (or, far more likely, play catch-up) to handle conflicts such as PT tests, vacations, et cetera. To aid measurement, stats will be posted at bottom of page (see bottom of post).

Achievable: Just have to make one recipe a week. (Sure this includes picking recipe, obtaining supplies, actually cooking, sampling, and finding guinea pigs to finish it off)

Relevant: This is a goal involving beer and bacon. ‘Nuf said.

Timely: This will start… today and continue until… Saturday, 12 March 2016. Clearly this will be more of a marathon than… well, a marathon.

So, this should be fun.

* Where you click a link, then another, then another, et cetera, until a link is found that is the inception of a recipe idea (A.K.A “That recipe looks amazing… and i think i can do that…”)

Post: 0 of 75

Recipes Remaining: All of ’em

Schedule: “Week 0” was supposed to be last week, so… BEHIND 1 WEEK

Pie Day – Let Them Eat Cake

Yesterday was pie day, so being the ornery git that i am, and in the tradition of Cake vs Pie, a cake was made. Originally, it was going to be the “Incredibly Easy Toffee Cheesecake”, however there was some accusations that poor cheesecake was actually considered a pie. Seeking to stave off these wild accusations resulted in a quick Wikipedia check. There, it was discovered that it was invented by the Greeks who considered it to be cake (victory!). Of the two types cheesecake the Greeks had, the one that more closely resembles what is eaten today is known as placenta which… indicated any victory would be Pyrrhic at best. A real, undeniable cake was needed.

Cue the Crockpot Chocolate Lava Cake (originally seen on http://www.iamthatlady.com/the-best-crockpot-chooclate-lava-cake-recipe/, but the recipe at http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-chocolate-lava-cake/4f08a6d7-da83-4aff-b2ee-611d19024f04 was actually used this time).

It’s fairly simple, make the Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix as directed substituting the water with milk (and further substituting 1/4 cup of milk with Kahlua is definitely recommended). Stick in crockpot. Mix chocolate Jell-O as directed and layer on top of cake. Layer 12 oz bag of (Tollhouse) milk chocolate chips on top. It did say not to mix, but i made the mistake of preparing it at home, then driving to work. Not saying the roads in Maryland are bad, but it was mixed more than it should have been by the time we arrived at work (didn’t affect end result, so…). Heat on low for ~2.5 to 3 hours (depending on how many people lift the lid to check on the “beans”).

The end result was pretty tasty and was an olfactory explosion. Despite being 3 rooms away, it could be smelled upon entering the building. The smell easily overpowered all of the wimpy pies (and there were a lot of them). When all was said and done, there was an excess amount of lava, so having graham crackers or some kind of cookie for dipping may be in order for next time.

Oh, and guess who found their password…

Second Iteration (and working on a recipe that “requires” the consumption of a gallon of wine [not that i’m complaining…])

So, in what appears to be becoming a tradition, I am trying to slow cook bacon for the first time. After the first 15 minutes, my kitchen smelled like bacon. And now, after an hour and a half, my entire domicile is infused with the scent of bacon (and it’s making me ravenous). However, this is not what i want to talk about tonight.

Not to imply there is a procrastinator present or anything, but this last Wednesday, i whipped up a couple loaves of beer bread (which will receive a couple posts dedicated to it at a later date) along with a bastardized version of a bastardized version of a coworker’s buffalo chicken dip. Said coworker brought their version of the buffalo chicken dip to flight function and it was found to be AMAZING. When inquired, coworker was kind enough to write down most of the ingredient list and verbalized cooking instructions. Naturally, by the time i got around to recreating this masterpiece, i had forgotten half the directions and, thusly, random quantities were thrown into a crock pot and there was much hoping for the best. Since that… “incident”, clarification was sought and received from said coworker. So, with the entire recipe and clarification on hand, along with the wrong type of and still-frozen chicken, on Wednesday morning, the thought was “meh, fuck it”. Now, without naming names and without further ado:

Jess’s Buffalo Chicken Dip (Bastardized by Chef Sarge [Second Iteration])

Ingredients:
20 oz ± 2 oz chicken breast
12 oz bottle Frank’s Spicy Hot
16 oz cream cheese
4 cups mexican cheese mix
~1/4 – 1/2 cup ranch dressing

Directions:

Pull out cheeses so they can reach room temperature. Add Frank’s Spicy Hot to saucepan. Cook chicken in Spicy Hot until 165 degrees. Vigorously shred chicken (and in the process, break a fork…*). Add chicken, spicy hot, and “squirt” of ranch to container and mix together with broken fork (used a ziploc container w/ lid to take it to work). Combine chicken/spicy/ranch with cheeses in ~3 quart crock pot set to low and mix ingredients together. Cook on low ~2.5 hours stirring periodically until cheeses are melted and  everything’s combined. Set crock pot to warm and serve with chips. (I recommend those scoop-chip-thingies personally.)

* Mental Note: Buy more solid forks and/or silverware.

First! (Look, it was that or “Hello World!”)

As i’m sitting here typing this up, i’m also attempting to cook with chorizo for the third time. Incidentally, it is expected to become the third chorizo failure. Fortunately, that’s not the point of this post (and at this rate, never will be the point). The point of this post is a recent mother suggested a blog to document my cooking shenanigans and i figured, “eh, what’s the worst that could happen?”*. So, here we are…

I envision this blog will allow me to share my culinary wisdom *snicker* and ignorance, random recipes that were discovered, and serve as a cooking journal to help with my CRS. A word of warning: if you’re a health fanatic or absolutely abhor alcohol, you may want to leave now. Anyways, in order to start this off right, “Tinklee’s Apple Pie Moonshine”:

As first discovered on the All Recipes app (also can be found at http://www.allthecooks.com/tinklees-apple-pie-moonshine.html) this recipe sounds like a winner. Sadly, this one needs to age for ~2 months, so it’ll be a bit before a verdict can be offered (and you need to wait a couple hours during step 2… kinda like what i’m doing right now…). So without further ado:

Ingredients:

½ gallon · pasteurized apple juice
½ gallon · apple cider
1 ½ cup · granulated sugar
½ cup · dark brown sugar
4 stick · cinnamon
1 can · sliced apples (in fruit juice)
2 cup · 190proof everclear/puregrain/ or moonshine (used everclear)
¼ cup · fireball

Combine the apple stuff, sugars, and cinnamon. Bring to boil. Let simmer (covered) for 30 mins. Remove from heat and cool on own for 4 – 6 hours (patience is over-rated). Add alcohol and can (use a coffee filter or something and add an apple slice to each can). Let it age (aka, hurry up and wait).

Oh, and i was right about the chorizo.

* Realistically, the odds of a zombie apocalypse are low enough that this is worth the risk.