Bacon Wrapped Scallops

There aren’t enough foods wrapped in bacon. I can sense when scallops wrapped in bacon are a passed appetizer near me. It is like radar. I work the cocktail hour scouting what waiter has them near by.
bacon_scallops_plate_590_390

I decided I should make some myself. I think the challenge was really to get the bacon crisp and not to overcook the scallops.

Ingredients:

3-4 sea scallops per person
½ strip of bacon per scallop
toothpicks
1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil

Directions:

Rinse scallops and trim any connective tissue.
Pat dry. Again, pat any excess water off.
bacon_scallops_dry_590_390
Wrap each half strip of bacon around each scallop and secure with a toothpick, through the center. Or try using 2 to make an X to get it going. Generously salt and pepper both sides.
bacon_scallops_prepped_590_390
Melt butter and oil in a hot skillet.
Place scallops in, bacon side down.
bacon_scallops_cooking_590_390
Don’t overcrowd the pan so you can rotate the scallops, crisping the bacon on each side.
At the 4th rotation, pan fry both top and bottom.

These were tricky. I made sure to (account for and) pull out each before serving. The bacon held well. If anything, they weren’t quite as crisp as I would have liked. I think the scallop maintained its integrity.
bacon_scallops_plate_590_390
Four scallops per person was too much. They were huge! I served them with some roasted broccoli and parmesan risotto.

I have lots of meals and a whole vacation recap ahead. I’ve been under the weather and I’m trying to vacay detox while still getting prepped for the holidays. Bear with me! I’m shooting for Monday ;)

Bacon, Butternut Squash and Gouda Pizza

I had an idea for a fall inspired pizza once I saw a good lookin’ pizza on Flying On Jess Fuel. Her pizza had bacon, gouda, apples, and caramelized onions. How delicious does that sound?! I also saw an awesome one on We Are Not Marta with pumpkin crust topped with prosciutto and brussels sprouts. I had a few fall flavors I thought would be good and it seemed like it’d be an ideal use for some butternut squash I had roasted. Bing, bam, boom.
fall_pizza_plate_590_390

Ingredients:

pizza dough
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup shredded mozzarella
½ roasted butternut squash
1 cup sliced gouda
4 strips of thick cut bacon

Directions:

Preheat the oven (and pizza stone if using one) to 400-degrees.
While oven is heating, fry bacon until almost cooked (it keeps cooking when on top the pizza).
fall_pizza_bacon_590_390
Pre-bake the pizza dough for about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle mozzarella, thyme, and nutmeg on top after removing from the oven.
Spread the mashed butternut squash onto the dough.
fall_pizza_layer_590_390
Top with sliced gouda.
fall_pizza_cheese_590_390Finish with bacon.
Bake 20-30 minutes until melted and crisp.
fall_pizza_tobake_590_390

I liked it. I think the gouda is nicely nutty and the quash layer provides a great moisture layer. I liked the crisp bacon in contrast to the soft squash.
fall_pizza_slices_590_390

It was good. This fall pizza was a nice combo of flavors I’m glad I didn’t go bananas topping it with everything I thought might go. Sometimes I go pizza-topping-overboard. I can’t help it!

Psssst: get ready! I have a new series launching later this week. Stay tuned!

Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese

The ingredients say it all. Bacon, check. Ranch, check. Mac & cheese, check. Ohh my deliciousness. This mac and cheese was awesome. It is orange and amazing. Whip it up and enjoy between trick or treaters!

The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

6 strips of thick cut bacon
1 box jumbo shells
¼ cup butter
⅔ cup flour
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz shredded cheddar melting blend
1 packet ranch dressing mix

Directions:

Boil pasta according to box.
Fry bacon until crisp, then chop into pieces.
Melt butter over medium and add the flour to the melted butter.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese
Stir butter-flour paste mix for about 5 minutes. The roux needs to cook through so there isn’t any flour flavor.
Slowly add the cream while whisking to get any lumps out.
Slowly add the cheese until melted before adding the ranch mix.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese
Mix cheese sauce and pasta.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Ranch Mac & CheeseAdd the bacon last before into ramekins or baking dish so it doesn’t get too broken up.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese
Top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes at 375-degrees.

This was amazing. I loved the flavor. I used ¾ of a pound of pasta and I think it was too little. There was plenty of cheese sauce and tons of ranch flavor. It was almost too much.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese
I’ll definitely make this again. I wanted a fall pasta dish that wasn’t just thrown together when I didn’t know what else would be for dinner. I think this fit the bill. It isn’t light by any means. It was heavy, warm, and comforting. I thought it was good for a crisp October night!

Portland Maine’s Holy Donuts

I can’t even describe how lovely our Portland, ME weekend was. Well, I’m nothing if not wordy so I’ll try. I fell in love. I’m in love with Mr. J and we LOVED celebrating our one year anniversary in Maine for the weekend. It was beautiful and the Old Port is just too cute. Why didn’t I know about this before?!?! It was so great to wander, eat, shop, gaze at light houses, and not run around like crazy tourists.

Check out Mr. J’s Portland pics here.

My mum suggested we check out The Holy Donut. What. A. Find. I didn’t know I liked donuts that much until I went here.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Donut

They make these amazing homemade potato donuts in incredible flavors (think sweet potato ginger, or pomegranate, or dark chocolate peanut butter glazed, or dark chocolate sea salt). Before you bail. Don’t think you’re “not into donuts” if you’re only thinking spongy sogged donuts of the legendary Dunkin. I’m not into those. I’m all about these Holy Donuts. Amazing. Life changing!
Portland Maine Holy Donut
I don’t know if I want to admit how many we got…let’s call it a sampler.

Portland Maine Holy Donut

I eased my way in falling hard core for the dark chocolate seasalt. The special of the day was apple with cider glaze. Ohh my fall-goodness.
Portland Maine Holy Donut

This one was created for me and was hands down my favorite: bacon and cheddar donut. I was surprised that it was a filled donut. None of their others are filled but this one is warm and oozing salty bacon and melty cheddar inside a sweet donut. It is like a monte cristo. Mr. J didn’t love it as much. Muhahahaha. All the more for me!
Portland Maine Holy Donut

The building was charming with some outside seating. Early Sunday morning folks made their way here to eat outside with the pup or on a leather couch with a newspaper. Nobody else seemed to have quite the spread we had, but hey, we were on vacation! The staff were great and enthusiastic. It reminded me of the family owned and run candy business I grew up working at. Although that business wasn’t my family, there was care in every item sold and consumed.
The Three Bite Rule - Portland Donuts

Now, to continue the important matters. Coffee. I ordered an ice coffee and then they filled my cup with coffee ice cubes. Love it!
Portland Maine Holy Donut

 

I have a bunch more amazing meals to share too, so pull on your fat pants and get ready!

Bacon Jam Becomes BLT Pizza

I had all this bacon jam and didn’t know what to do with it.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam

Well, that’s a lie. I could eat it out of the jar.

I just wanted to highlight its amazingness. So I created this BLT pizza. I won’t win any photographic awards with this one, but man, this was great pizza.

Ingredients:

pizza dough
8 oz shredded mozzarella
4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 medium – large tomato, sliced
¼ cup bacon jam (recipe found here)
2 cups spinach or greens of your choice
1- 2 tbs ranch dressing (or dressing of choice)

Directions:

Spread pizza dough out onto a pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake for 10-20 minutes at 400-degrees to get it preliminarily crispy.
Top with shredded mozzarella then tomato slices, then fresh mozzarella. Add dollops of bacon jam.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Pizza
Bake for 20 minutes at 400-degrees.
Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes (cheese needs to solidify before you cut).The Three Bite Rule - BLT Pizza
Mix the greens with some salad dressing of choice.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Pizza
Top slices with lettuce and dressing.

I only had a little basil so I threw that on. If lettuce on your pizza isn’t your thing, throw on more fresh basil.

This was so cheesy. The bacon jam has a sticky brown sugary flavor so I thought the tang of the dressing was perfect. I used spinach but any greens would do, and spinach could have easily been cooked onto the pizza. I like the warm vs. cool and alternating textures.
The Three Bite Rule - BLT Pizza

It was a great use of the bacon jam. That stuff is just. so. good.

I have one more use to drag out my love for bacon jam. Stay tuned!

Bacon Jam

Two words. BACON JAM.

Yes, I jumped on the band-wagon and now I’m pretty much the band-leader. Love at first sight. Why didn’t I know I needed to be able to spread bacon. I’ve seen recipes all over and just needed long enough to whip it up.

I adapted Closet Cooking’s recipe to fit my tastes to avoid it being too spicy and added some red wine…because why not?!

Ingredients:

1 ½ -2 pounds of bacon
1 large (or 2 small) onions, sliced
1 tbs garlic, chopped
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 cup coffee
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup red wine
1 pinch red pepper flakes

Directions:

Crisp bacon in shifts, removing when crispy at medium high heat.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam
Leave a tablespoon of bacon drippings to sauté the onions. When they start to get translucent, add the garlic.
Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, then add the coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and wine. Add in the bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam
Reduce the temperature to low and cook covered for an hour.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam
When cooled slightly and syrupy, process in a food processor until crumbled and spreadable.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam
Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

This stuff is seriously addictive. As in, it might disappear if you have a spoon too close to the jar.

Sis wasn’t a fan, but Mr. J liked it. It has some big time flavor.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam

Picture it: I made it late one afternoon on a Sunday. It was a beautiful day and sis came over for dinner. We grilled some cheese burgers and spread some bacon jam on them. Then I took one magical bite and time stood still. It was that good.

Ohh yeah, we ate some potato salad and a corn and tomato salad, but all I cared about were vehicles to be able to eat more bacon jam.

Hash Brown Crust Bfast Pizza

Wayyy back when, I was making breakfast pizza I was also thinking what else I could do with breakfast pizza. There’s nothing cheaper or easier than bfast. I always have eggs and bacon around so poof! It became pizza topped with “fried” egg. I was wondering about scrambled egg too. My mind then went to crispy hash browns. I know, you don’t want to know where my food-brain goes.

What if the hash brown cakes were the CRUST. I’m a genius. Or this might exist somewhere. I’m not sure. All I know is that I’ve never seen it on a menu and I’ve been to quite a few diners and breakfast spots and I’ve never seen this. Come on people!
The Three Bite Rule - Bfast Pizza

Mr. A recreated the egg one and tweeted it to me. Love it! It got my butt in gear to adapt it for another method.
bfast pizza

Ingredients:

½ bag shredded potato hash browns
1/3 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz shredded cheddar
4 slices of bacon
3 eggs, scrambled

Directions:

Mix shredded potatoes and soup together.
Then spread it out onto a pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400-degrees.
The Three Bite Rule - Bfast Pizza
Cook bacon while crust is crisping.
When the potato has formed a crispy crust, top with cheddar and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Bfast Pizza
Cook the scrambled egg (in the pan you cooked the bacon in for some extra bacon flavor!)
Cook the crust until the cheese melts into a delicious melty layer.
The Three Bite Rule - Bfast Pizza
Remove and top with scrambled egg and bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Bfast Pizza

This was definitely a good pizza! I would have liked the crust to crisp a bit more but I really feared I’d burn the edges. I would recommend being mindful of the thickness. I could have spread it out then squished the edges back in to form the edge/barrier. It also might work better to make individual ones! Smaller ones could be pan fried if potatoes, eggs, and bacon isn’t too much for you to manage at the same time.

If you’re cooking for a crowd or for kids it might be fun to make individual ones that people can top as they like. I’ll make it again, and maybe I’ll even pan-fry the potato cakes…oooo!
The Three Bite Rule - Bfast Pizza

It isn’t a dinner that produces leftovers for lunch the next day. That’s usually a considering factor in my meal planning but hash brown cakes with cheese and bacon would still be good even if the eggs don’t reheat well!

A biscuit crust would be good if hash browns aren’t your thing either! I’d love it as potato crust, topped with cheese, and bacon and finished with a poached egg the very last second. Yum!

Which is your idea of a great start to the day?
The Three Bite Rule - Bfast Pizzaeggpizza_baked_290_200

Cookies and Cream Popcorn

I love making funky popcorns. I have actually made one since this bacon caramel corn
popcorn_bowl_590_390
and this Cranberry Pecan Caramel Corn
caramelcorn_cooling_590_390
but it wasn’t quite up to snuff so I didn’t blog it. It was birthday popcorn and it needs a bit of tweaking. I thought of cookies n’ cream popcorn for Ms. L’s bday. It was super easy (and turned out super sweet).

Ingredients:

2 cups air popped popcorn
1 cup white chocolate chips
12 oreos
2 tbs butter

Directions:

Pop the popcorn and crush the oreos (they don’t have to be uniformly crushed)
oreo popcorn
In a double boiler, melt the chips and butter. Stirring regularly.
oreo_popcorn_wet_590_390
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix popcorn and crushed oreos together.
oreo popcorn
Add melted white chocolate mixture together with the popcorn and oreos.
oreo popcorn close up
Spread onto parchment paper or silicone lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.
oreo popcorn baked

It was super sweet. Maybe too sweet? I’m not a white chocolate person so that could have something to do with it as well. Next up is some-sort of savory popcorn. Hmmm. I’ll have to get on that one ;)

Bacon Wrapped Burgers

I was really excited for my menu for Mr. J’s birthday. My guy loooves a good burger so I thought about a bacon wrapped burger. I guess Birthday Burgers are a tradition now since I made stuffed burgers for his birthday last year.

I googled and saw a few that put bacon around the edge. That’s not good enough. I was thinking of weaving it to make a little bacon wrapping.
bacon_burger_cooked_590_390
It seemed like it would cook ok, it just might need to be secured with toothpicks (I recommend counting them to be sure they all come out). We strategized that getting the bacon crisped on the first side might help keep it all together before flipping.

Ingredients
2 burgers
strips of bacon (4-6 strips per burger)

Directions
Lay 3 strips of bacon and interlace 3 other strips in the opposite direction to form an L.
bacon_burger_weaved_590_390
Place burger on the bacon intersection. Fold the flaps over and weave them together.
bacon_burger_assembled_590_390Mr. J’s was a beef burger. I did ground pork. Though I didn’t eat Mr. J’s burger, I have to say I think the 4 strips of bacon is plenty (versus the 6 on his).

I served it with a cucumber ribbon salad. It was plain greek yogurt, dill, garlic, and pepper.
bacon_burger_sauce_590_390

I sliced the cucumber with a mandolin but was afraid to make them too thin. I figured not slicing my hand off was a good birthday present too.
bacon_burger_cukes_590_390

The burgers were reallllly good. I topped mine with swiss and Mr. J’s with American cheese. I think it was a fun meal.
bacon_burger_cut_590_390

Now what kind of burger am I going to make for his bday next year??