Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

My wife has been out of town for a little bit taking care of her mother. This has left me to mostly fend for myself at home. Fortunately, our youngest daughter, Kate, is currently living at home and has helped me to avoid going back to my old ways of hot dogs, pork and beans and eating out of the pan I cook in. She has also turned me on to Game of Thrones.

Anyway, she made these once before, but I didn’t really get a chance to try them. They are quick and easy to prepare, which is great. It’s not much of a recipe since she doesn’t measure anything. At least when I prepare things without measuring I have some general idea of the amounts or proportions. Since I have no clue here, I’ll just lay out the ingredients and leave to each of you to figure out what amounts work for you.

Ingredients:

  • Petite Brussels Sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Bacon
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Microwave some bacon.
  2. Put olive oil in a pan and add Brussels Sprouts.
  3. Break up the bacon into small pieces and add to the pan.
  4. Add a small amount on garlic.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Saute for a few minute until Brussels Sprouts are done.

Kate suggests microwaving the bacon for two reasons. First, the paper towels that you use above and below the bacon will help draw out the grease so they are a little healthier. Second, it help to make them a bit more crisp and uniform so you can easily break them up into small pieces.

Brussels Sprouts w/Bacon

They were pretty good. The only thing I noticed was that some pieces seemed to have more garlic than others. I will probably leave out the garlic when I make these myself. I’m also thinking of adding some chili powder to give them some kick. I’m sure there is a lot that could be done with them. Any ideas?

Kraft Fresh Take Cheddar Jack & Bacon Chicken

Cheddar Jack & Bacon Chicken - Kraft

Linda recently picked up several Kraft Fresh Take chicken seasonings. The Cheddar Jack & Bacon was the first one we tried. The whole concept is kind of interesting. It comes with a large seasoning bag that is sealed at the top and has a seal between the two sides. One side contained the cheddar jack cheese bits and the other had the bacon bits. One side also contains bread crumbs, but I can’t remember which. Anyway, you open the seal between the two sides and mix it up. Then add your chicken and mix it up.

Cheddar Jack & Bacon Chicken - Ready to BakeOnce the chicken has been seasoned, you bake it at 375 for approximately 28-30 minutes (assuming boneless chicken, which is what I used). At first I thought it would be a good idea to turn the chicken halfway through the cooking time, but it really isn’t necessary and definitely affects how it looks. If you don’t turn them they come out much better looking. Either way they still come out fully cooked.

Cheddar Jack & Bacon Chicken - ServedAbove is one of the better looking pieces. It comes out with a little bit of a crispy texture, but not entirely. It’s a little hard to describe. The combination of chicken, cheese, and bacon was new to me, but it was really quite good. We picked up a few more varieties to try as well.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to make something other than that same old boring chicken, then I’d give this a try. It meets with this fussy eater’s approval and I’m sure your fussy eaters will enjoy it too.

Football Food Frenzy

In our house, football means one thing – big playoff parties with lots of food. When the kids were in High School, we would invite each of the kids friends over and some of the parents we knew and throw a great big feast. As the kids have grown, we have at times missed our tradition. This year we didn’t. We did it and in a big way – including two TVs to make it easier to watch from anywhere in the room. With 17 people watching, that helped a lot.

Double the Football - Double the Fun

Linda and I started cooking the night before since some things keep pretty well. We made up a bunch of rice and shredded Colby Jack cheese. This morning we cut up the chicken and seasoned a bunch of it for my famous chicken tenders. We also sauteed a bunch for several tins of chicken fried rice. Linda scrambled at least 18 eggs, maybe more for that dish.

The shredded cheese was for cheese fries. We shredded at least 4 pounds of cheese and cooked up around 3 pounds of bacon. We picked up a big bag of fries at BJ’s Wholesale Club and cooked the whole thing. Linda layers fries first, then bacon, then cheese and then repeats for a second time. We bake them for about 10 minutes at 425. We made 3 tins of them because they go fast.

Football Feast 1

I’ve always been a fan of Nathan’s Lil Smokies. Sometime we’ll make them with baked beans. This time we made them with Jack Daniel’s Original Recipe BBQ sauce. We put them in a crock pot on low heat for about an hour before people arrived.

Football Feast 2

Our son and his girlfriend brought over a lasagna. Although I didn’t have any people said it was really good. One of our son’s friends brought some pulled pork and green bean casserole. He also brought rolls and corn bread. Our daughter brought over guacamole and tostitos. All in all, it was a great spread.

Football Feast 3

One of our daughters friends brought over some desserts. The first was a small chocolate cake drops with either peanut butter or Oreo toppings. The Oreo was good, but the peanut butter ones were awesome. They also brought something call Hello Dolly that consisted of a later of graham cracker on the bottom with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, chopped walnut and condensed milk. I’m not a fan of walnut so I haven’t tried it yet, but we did set some aside so I will shortly.

Football Feast 4

It was a great time of food and friends. The dogs were pretty well behaved too. Except for my Patriots losing, it was a great night.

Breakfast Burrito

 

 

Some weekends we hardly have more than a cup of coffee and some toast for breakfast. Others we have a bit more of a hearty breakfast and skip lunch. One of the weekends prior to Christmas, I opted for something different. Instead of doing cinnamon roll waffles, pancakes, or hard fried eggs, I decided to make a breakfast burrito. To be honest this was partially because we had a bunch of tortilla shells left over and I didn’t want them to go to waste.

Linda cooked up bacon for both of us and some scrambled eggs for me. I broke up the bacon and added some cheddar cheese to the eggs in the tortilla shell. Notice that I leave a little more empty towards the bottom of the shell as well as to the left.

Colonie-20121217-00105

I fold up the bottom and then roll it to the left so everything is fully contained inside and nothing can fall out the bottom. Make sure not to put too much stuff inside or it can be very difficult to roll without breaking the tortilla shell.

Colonie-20121217-00106It’s a quick and easy way to make a little more of your breakfast.  You can add sausage and hash browns if you’d like. We just had bacon handy. Not only does this change this up a bit from the ordinary breakfast, it’s also more portable if you’re on the go.

 

Adirondack Balloon Festival

Nothing says fall has arrived like the changing of the leaves – except for my wife’s pot roast and the Adirondack Balloon Festival. It’s pretty much a yearly tradition with us and we were fortunate enough to get two of our kids to go with us this year. We get up well before dawn to make an hour drive up to the sunrise launch. The first year we went, we were quite surprised that they let you get right up close and personal with the balloons. In past years, we even helped spread out one of the balloons. The picture up inside the balloon was not taken with zoom. I really was right behind the basket.

Little by little the balloons start popping up like popcorn against the sunrise. It’s really an impressive sight. They launch around 100 balloons by 8:00. The sky is filled with balloons rather quickly and then just as quickly, the wind carries them away.

There are generally two highlights that get the crowd’s attention. The first is flames. People just love it when they fire up the burners. Some of the crews even light them up before the balloon has even been spread out just to excite the crowd (and possibly test systems too, I’m sure). The best flames can be seen once the balloons are upright. Against the early morning sky, they look so majestic lit up from the inside.

The second crowd pleaser is the custom balloons. Most of the balloons are the standard shape, but look around a little and you can see somewhat goofy looking balloons with strange faces. Sometimes, they don’t even look like balloons at all. This year marked the 40th anniversary of the balloon festival. To commemorate the event they had a giant birthday cake balloon. They probably could have done a better job picking out a place to set up though. The cake looked like it was in danger of being eaten by a large dinosaur.

After the launch, we head to The Silo, a restaurant and gift shop nearby to get breakfast. The place is an old renovated barn complete with silo, its namesake. They make a great breakfast up there. Most of us ordered The Big Country which consists of 3 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon, home fries, toast, and 2 pancakes.

It’s a great hearty breakfast that’s really hits the spot. I ate everything but the home fries. It’s a great way to wrap up a really awe inspiring morning. Even with the stop for a large breakfast, we still get home between 10:30 and 11:00.

If they have a balloon festival near you, I would really recommend that you check it out. If it’s the Adirondack Balloon Festival, make sure you stop in at The Silo afterwards for breakfast – you won’t regret it.

Another Plain Holiday

Well, another holiday meal has come and gone and it was yet another plain one. I had a couple of bacon cheeseburgers. I don’t eat potato salad or pasta salad. I was hoping to make something more, but we were out by the pool and lost track of time and decided to just make something simple so we could enjoy our time.

It was just my wife and I and she loves the pool. Our dog, Mugsy, a Pitt Bull/Mastiff mix doesn’t care for it at all. We did mange to get her in a couple of times, but she is never happy about it. A long day out by the pool now has all of us a bit exhausted. We are just chilling inside now watching Transformers on TV. We love action flicks. In fact, our first date 15 years ago was watching Con Air and The Rock.

I think we are probably too tired to even bother with fireworks. We may just go relax in the pool and then slip into bed early. I have a feeling that all of us will sleep quite soundly tonight.

Bacon Makes It Better

I mentioned a couple of times how I like my burgers plain. I just got back from dinner out at a place called Legends and realized I don’t always order my burger plain with nothing but cheese. Sometimes I will get it with bacon.

I don’t know how I could have forgotten that “Bacon makes it better” is practically a motto in my family. Well, some of them would argue that it’s “Butter makes it better”. Either one will do in the right situation. For burgers, bacon makes them better.

Anyway, I stand corrected. I don’t always order a plain cheeseburger. I also like a plain bacon cheeseburger.

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