You had me at Bacon!

I don’t eat much meat but there is one type of meat I have a hard time giving up. Bacon! There is something about that crispy, saltiness that just tastes good in almost any dish or by itself. Bacon is simply perfect for any meal at any time of day. Bacon, egg, mushroom and cheese omelette for breakfast, a crunchy BLT sandwich for lunch or bacon wrapped scallops for dinner!

Tonight I am making my version of a BLT for dinner. My recipe is simple. There are only 5 ingredients. But these five ingredients need to be the best of the best. The bacon is the single most important ingredient, so for your health and for taste buy vegetarian fed pork with no antibiotics, no nitrates or certified organic. You can find several great options at Whole Foods. The second ingredient is one soft avocado. Give your avocado a good squeeze and make sure it has a little give but doesn’t squish in your hands. The next ingredient is San Marzano tomatoes. Disregard this suggestion if you live in New Jersey (there is something special about a NJ tomato) or if you have tomatoes from your garden. I unfortunately don’t have any tomatoes growing in my garden and San Marzano are the only tomatoes I have found with any flavor in them. The fourth ingredient is Dukes Mayonnaise. If you live in the South you will understand. If not go with your favorite. Finally the bread. A local bakery is always a good choice but tonight I am going with one of my favorite store bought breads Ezekiel Organic bread. It’s a nutty bread with a slightly sweet taste and the perfect compliment to the salty bacon.

Blt ingredients

Lets get cooking! Start with the bacon. It should be cooked in the oven on a baking sheet (350 degrees for 10-15) or in a frying pan on low so it doesn’t burn. Slow and low is the way to go. Repeat do not put bacon in the microwave. It dries up all the delicious bacon fat and half the flavor is gone. You can always pat the bacon with a paper towel to remove excess grease.

Blt in the works

Next slice your avocados and tomatoes thin so you can properly layer your sandwich. Toast the Ezekiel bread and then slather generously with mayonnaise. Your ready now to layer it up and enjoy! Please note this is a splurge dinner for when you want to indulge. Everyone should one night a week! I can hardly wait to bite into this Bacon, Avocado and Tomato sandwich.  I can only hope there is some leftover bacon for a breakfast omelet too!

Blt finished

What is your favorite meal with bacon? Please share in the comments below.

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I am a gourmet griller

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My sister asked me what I made for dinner the other night.  When I told her she was shocked. She said your bathrooms must be dirty because there is no way you could have time to cook a meal like that.  My bathrooms are far from spotless but they don’t look like a gas station bathroom either.  My secret is the grill.

I have always loved grilling especially in the spring weather.  But winter or summer you will see me standing over my Charbroil gas grill.  I adore the taste of anything and everything with a little char. Plus I love the cleanup.  Next to nothing.  My kind of meal!

This week I made a healthy and scrumptious menu of Grilled Haddock with Grilled Sweet Potato Fries and Artichokes.  Is your mouth watering?  Mine is!  The meal was very simple to make too.  This is what gourmet is all about.

To prepare this meal start by slicing your organic sweet potatoes and artichokes in half and par boil them (15-20 minutes depending on their size).  They should be soft but not mushy. Grab your haddock (with skin) and salt and pepper it. Then go preheat that glorious invention, the Charbroil grill.  Take your sweet potatoes and artichokes out of the boiling water.  Slice the sweet potatoes into large fries. Place them on a tray with your artichokes and drizzle the group with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Shazam your grill is preheated!  Now, if your grill allows for three heat settings the following will be a breeze. Throw the chokes heart side down on high heat and put the sweet potatoes next to them on a medium heat. After about 7 minutes throw on the fish, skin side down on the other side of your Charbroil grill on low heat.  Hopefully you have a Charbroil grill as big as mine so this part is easy:)  No crowding! About 7 more minutes you will have a complete gourmet healthy meal.  Spritz your artichokes and haddock with a lovely lemon wedge and plate it up.

For a little more indulgence melt a few pats of butter in a small dish for dipping those succulent leaves.  Or throw together a little honey, mustard and mayo for a tangy honey mustard dipping sauce for those sweet potato fries.  I wish there were leftovers!  The fish was moist and melted in my mouth.  The artichokes made me feel like I was dining at a fancy restaurant.  And how could I forget those sweet potatoes?  They were so sweet that this girl didn’t need desert.  Grilling food is the perfect way to infuse flavor without the calories or the work!  Hmm… What to grill tonight?

Chocolate recycling

Chocolate mousse

I am a self-professed chocolate snob.  I enjoy one piece of heaven every night after dinner.  If I am purchasing chocolate for myself, a high cacao content is very important to me.  Since I am only having one piece I want that one piece to be full of rich flavor. But I always seem to have a supply of extra chocolate around the house from Christmas to Valentines Day because of course you should never look a gift horse in the mouth.

So with this plethora of chocolate taking space up in my cabinet I came up with this deliciously simple 5 ingredient chocolate mousse recipe.  You don’t need the most expensive wine to cook with and the same principle applies to chocolate.  Grab your leftover chocolate from Valentine’s Day and get ready to make some amazing chocolate mousse.

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup organic butter
  • 1 1/4 cups organic heavy cream
  • 140 grams of any chocolate
  • A few drops of vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup sugar  or less (depends on the type of chocolate and sweet tooth)
  1.  While the chocolate mixture is melting whip the cream with sugar to taste and vanilla to very soft peaks on the highest setting with a hand mixer or a kitchenaid. 
  2. Let chocolate cool until it’s about room temperature and fold into whipped cream.  Spoon into 4 martini glasses and chill in fridge for about 30 minutes.  Top with a sprig of mint for color, rasberries or some sea salt.

Enjoy your recycled chocolate as it takes on a whole new flavor! Do you recycle chocolate in your house?  What is your favorite chocolate recipe?

How I snagged my husband

The key to my husband’s heart is food.  Not any food mind you.  He is a bit of a foodie so he seeks amazing taste and fresh ingredients!  Granted, I didn’t know this when we were dating but my mom passed down a recipe that I loved as a kid and well I never met a man who didn’t love it either (unless he was a vegetarian:)  This recipe was actually from a children’s cookbook so it’s simple too!

I debated sharing this secret but then I thought why not?  It worked for me and my mother! Single or married this will wow your significant other and is guaranteed to warm you up on a cold day and at least get you a foot massage!  Ready?  Here you go!  Enjoy and I hope it brings many foot massages, engagement rings or makes happy children in your life!

Victoria’s Meatballs:
SAUCE:
1 tbsp. organic butter
1 organic green pepper, chopped
1 organic onion, chopped
1 can organic chicken with rice soup
 1 can organic tomato soup 
1 can water
MEATBALLS:
1 lb. grass fed ground beef
1 organic egg
2 slices bread, torn into pieces
1/4 c.organic milk
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. dried onion or 1 sm. onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. dried garlic
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
SAUCE: Melt butter in skillet. Add green pepper and onion. Cook until tender. Stir in chicken with rice soup, tomato soup and water. Heat to boiling. Then turn down heat and simmer sauce, stirring occasionally. While the sauce cooks, make the meatballs.MEATBALLS: Beat egg in bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Shape meat into balls about the size of ping-pong balls. Drop balls into simmering sauce and cook slowly about 1 hour, or until sauce has thickened. 

Comment and let me know if it worked for you!