Sunday, June 30, 2013

Baked Bacon

I hate making bacon.  It splatters when you pan fry it and it never really gets crispy when you nuke it.  Enter baking.  Now the only down side to this is the length of time it takes which is usually about 20-30 minutes.  So if you're making it to eat at the moment, not you best method.  I make a batch for the week so I'm usually doing and cooking other things at the same time anyway.
Start with a rack on a foil lined baking sheet.  Trust me on the foil part.
Place the bacon as close as possible but don't overlap.


 I bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  I also like this method because the bacon stays flat which is perfect for a BLT.

 Now you have nice crispy bacon for all your bacon needs.

See all that grease in the pan?  If you're so inclined, you can drain it off and save it for whatever you do with bacon grease.  If you're like me and sadly trying to avoid tasty, bad for you things, stick the whole pan in the fridge and roll up and toss the foil after the grease has hardened.  Just make sure you crumple the foil kind of like a little package so if the grease melts you wont have a mess in the trash bag.
So there you have it, baked bacon!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tortilla Roll-ups or Pinwheels

I had a function at work where we were to bring in finger foods.  I was feeling lazy so I looked for something easy that didn't need to be kept warm.  I see these all the time on Pinterest in various varieties.  I looked at many ideas and really just threw 2 different kinds together.  I used the same base for both which was cream cheese and ranch dressing powder.

For the BLT version, I just diced tomatoes and cooked bacon and mixed in the cream cheese mixture.  Then I spread it out on a whole wheat burrito sized tortilla.

Then I covered it with romaine lettuce.

Then rolled it up tight in plastic wrap.

The next morning I cut them into slices.  

This is the turkey and provolone version I did with the same cream cheese mixture.  They looked much prettier, but both tasted good.
This will be my go-to for me now if I have to make something quick.  There are so many variations you could do.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Money Doesn't Equal Happiness... But It Does Pay Bills

I have a hard time saving money.  I'm one of those people that when I see something I want, I get it.  I'm also not proud of my credit card balances.  I'm working on those.  On top of it all, I want to move from where I am in Ga to somewhere in NC.  That will take money.  I have a goal of Fall 2015 for my move. 
I saw something on Pinterest one day that intrigued me.  Every week for a year you add money to a jar and after a year you have $1378.00.  The plan has you start out with week 1 putting 1$ in and going from there.  Others have said, pick your week/amount (as seen on my jar) and put in the most that you can every week and cross of that week/amount.  If you're having a bad week, do a lower amount and cross it off.  If your doing pretty good at the time, do a higher amount and cross it off.
I found the idea here.  I'm definitely going the route of depositing the most I can per week and crossing it out.  I didn't print the sheet used on the site but just hand wrote my own.  You can see I have 24 marked out.  That was week 1.  This was started a few weeks ago so I have a few more marked out.
I think this is a really good plan.  I think you could customize it for kids to learn to save money.  Alter it to way lower amounts and set a goal for a toy or game they want.
Happy saving!

Monday, June 10, 2013

One Of Those Days

Do you ever just have one of those days?  One where at some point you just think, really? 
Anyone that lives in the South knows the weather can change in an instance.  I had some nice pork chops marinating all day.  The sun is out and I set up the grill and get my charcoal going.  Then I hear thunder.  I'm thinking, well, it's far off I'll be able to do my grilling and be done before it rolls in. In a matter of minutes the weather goes from sunny and dry to dark and wet.
I quickly blow out my charcoal and throw a trash bag over the grill to hopefully save it for another time. 
You're probably thinking, what's the point in this story.  Well, there really is none, just a vent really.  Thanks for listening.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Microvave Potato Chips

A few months ago I saw a pin on Pinterest for microwave potato chips.  There are actually a few, so if you want to see them just search.  Anyway, I tried them and they were ok.  Using a mandolin speeds things up as far as slicing.  The only thing is, it's time consuming to do 1 plate of chips at a time.  They also took way longer to actually get crispy.  I never did it again.
Then, at work, someone brought in a Pampered Chef catalogue.  I glanced through it just to look.  Then, I saw their microwave chip makers.  Long story short, I got them.
The nice thing is, there's 2 that you can stack so nuking goes way quicker.  The only thing I didn't like was that the recommended 3 minute time was way too short.  This just may have been because my microwave is a bit older and maybe not as powerful. 
Not shown, but I also did sweet potatoes which took a little less time than the white potatoes and were really good.  Next time I might sprinkle a little cinnamon on them.

I think I used Yukon golds.  I was thinking cooking time might be lower with Russet or another lower moisture potato.  These are out on paper towels and lightly salted with sea salt.  Also patted on top with another paper towel layer.

First layer.

Two layers in the microwave.

 This is after about 3 minutes which is what the instructions say is the max.  As you can see, they're just a little translucent.

This is after 7 or 8 minutes.  You can see how they're browning a little, but it doesn't affect the flavor.  At this point, they're nice and crispy.  Now I'm not going to try and lead you to believe these taste like store bought bagged chips.  In fact, if you're a dip lover, these would be a  perfect alternative for dipping.  A lot better for you than greasy chips.

Of course Calli needed to get in on the action...

and munched away.

I also did some apple slices.

They didn't end up crispy, but would still be a good snack with some cinnamon sprinkled on them.