Bacon Jam

This bacon jam recipe creates a spread that’s smoky, salty, a little spicy, and good on literally anything.  Wait…yup, anything.
Bacon Jam

Let’s be honest.  Bacon is awesome.  Breakfast?  Doesn’t even need explanation.  Lunch?  How about a BLT?  And dinner?  I’ll take extra bacon on my cheeseburger please.  The real question is how to fit more bacon into every day.  I bring you: bacon jam.

Trust me, the photographs do not do this one justice.  It’s tough to capture the delicious nature of something that’s basically just…well…brown…but I promise it tastes like happiness.

This recipe takes a bit of time, but it’s worth it.  You get a spicy, savory spread that is great on crackers, eggs, sandwiches, biscuits, biscuit sandwiches, or pretty much anything else.  To be honest, I feel like jam is a bit misleading.  There’s no sugar added, and it’s not sweet at all.  You can adjust the spiciness by playing with the number of chipotle peppers you add.  Two is about right for me, but my tolerance for heat is not particularly high. (more…)

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites are crispy, crunchy, juicy bites of chicken, perfect to serve with your favorite dip.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

Hey folks, happy super bowl week!

That’s a thing right? No?  Well it is in our house. Especially this year with the Broncos back in it!

We support an interesting mix of teams in this household. I’m a lifelong 49ers fan. I haven’t lived in the Bay Area since I was five years old, but early habits die hard. Now that we live in Houston, I also root for the Texans–not only because it’s the current home team, but also because JJ Watt is both lovable and insane.  And finally Ross, a Denver native, has convinced me to cheer for the Broncos as well.  Out of all those teams, the Broncos were the most watchable this year–and in fact, things turned out pretty well for them, eh?  That AFC championship game?  ERMAHGERD.  Hopefully the Super Bowl is not a disappointing end to the season.  But either way, it’s our last chance to watch football for a few months, so let’s make the most of it.  With beer and snacks!

We’re going to share some reeeeeally tasty snack recipes this week on the blog, and these pretzel crusted chicken bites are a great way to kick things off.  Even better than regular old fried chicken!  And that’s a high standard.  But it’s true, and here’s why. For a party, you want to have bites you can make in advance, so you’re not trying to cook and entertain and watch the game all at once.  That’s just tricky.  And if you make or buy regular fried chicken ahead of time, it cools off and loses its crispiness.  But roll that chicken in a coating of crushed pretzel, and as it turns out, it keeps its crunch for a couple hours at room temperature.  Make it ahead and actually enjoy your own party!  Genius!
Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

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Salmon with Honey Mustard Mint Sauce

Serve some fresh salmon with an unexpected honey mustard mint sauce – yes mint! – and let your taste buds rejoice.Salmon with Honey Mustard Mint SauceSometimes I feel like my kitchen is a high school, and the ingredients are much-put-upon stereotypical students.  Quinoa and kale are the nerds everyone loves to copy, but no one reeeeeally gets excited about their company.  Salted caramel is the hot cheerleader who kinda peaked as a sophomore, but still gets plenty of attention her senior year.  Bacon is the class clown, getting along with everyone.

In this world, mint is a pleasant girl, good friends with chocolate and loose tea, but otherwise a bit of a loner.  Even though all agree she brings something nice to the table, her extracurriculars are limited.  Some, not knowing her full charms, would even shamefully lump her with that weirdo, gum.  (He’s always underfoot and sticks around too long.)

NO!  This is wrong.  Mint deserves more!  Mint, break that mold and bust those clichés!  Flirt with a savory dish and leave those mouths hanging open in wonder.

Which is all to say that you probably expect a recipe for a honey mustard mint sauce to be very very bad – It’s unheard of! They don’t hang out!—but one taste will adjust your views.  Be open to this new world.   Welcome dear mint into your entrees.

Salmon with Honey Mustard Mint Sauce

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Rocky Mountain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Chip Cookies are a long-time favorite in our house!  And no wonder – they’re chewy, moist, chocolate chip cookie perfection.Rocky Mountain Chocolate Chip CookiesI shouldn’t be sharing this recipe with you.  It significantly reduces my chances for utter domination of cookie competitions.  These are, hands down, the best chocolate chip cookies ever.  I don’t care what your mom, or grandmother, or fairy godmother taught you to bake, these are better.  They are moist, chewy, and above all, delicious.

I know we were trying to share healthy recipes with you in January, as so many folks are attempting to reset their nutrition.  But we’re sure you’ve done such a good job that you need a treat.  A reward.  A light at the end of the tunnel. These cookies are all that and so much more.

I can’t even begin to estimate how many of these cookies I’ve eaten in my lifetime.  Pretty sure it would require scientific notation.  And this may be the first recipe I can recall having some involvement in.  And by “involvement”, I mean snitching…er…”quality control.”  I remember getting to sample at each stage, with my favorite step being right after the addition of the dry ingredients.  It was so sweet and creamy and I could not get enough of it.  My mom would burn through one or two hand mixers a year primarily because of the number of cookies she had to make to keep up with the family’s voracious appetite.  It was a welcome relief when she got her stand mixer.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce

A fresh, delicious take on the classic meatball – and they can go straight from the freezer to your oven.Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce Not only are these meatballs delicious, but I think they can be served in a variety of settings.  Casual weekday dinner?  Whip up a quick stir-fried rice to accompany them.  Want to dress it up a little?  Serve them with some sautéed baby bok choy.  Just got off a 14 hour flight that was the final leg of 24 hours of travel?  These will go straight from the freezer to the oven while you get the rice cooker going and grab a shower.

This recipe is a definite favorite among my immediate family.  I mean, I like spaghetti and meatballs as much as the next guy, but sometimes you want something a little different.  The Asian flavor from the sesame oil and soy sauce provide that, and I really like the inclusion of the water chestnuts for the crunch they provide.  I had never heard of water chestnuts, and when I first tasted them out of the can, I was rather underwhelmed.  Quite frankly, they are almost flavorless.  But that’s not what they are there for.  They provide a bit of crispness that I really enjoy, and that you wouldn’t necessarily expect in a meatball.Asian Meatballs with Sesame Lime Dipping Sauce

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