Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

Savory, light, and crispy ham and cheese pinwheels are a perfect appetizer or quick lunch idea!

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’m on a huge bring-my-lunch-to-work kick lately and I’m always looking for ideas on quick, portable meals that won’t break the bank or leave me longing for takeout.

While these ham and cheese pinwheels are perfect as appetizers, they actually make for the perfect lunch too! And they’re dead simple to make- god bless frozen puff pastry!
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Bacon Tasting at Tim Horton’s + My Favorite Way to Make Bacon

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

Ahh, the perks of being a food blogger. Sure, I’ve received products to review, hosted giveaways, and met some amazing food blogger friends throughout my 2+ years blogging here, but I gotta say, being invited to a BACON TASTING PARTY has got to be up there in my top 10 food blogging experiences.

That’s right, a Bacon. Tasting. Party!!

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

Tim Horton’s (which holds a very fond place in my heart from my years spent in Canada) was generous enough to invite me and a few other food bloggers to their new location on Houston St. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for an event celebrating their new, thick-cut, Hickory, double-smoked bacon. And let me tell you, get all your thoughts of sad little fast-food chain bacon strips out of your mind. This stuff is not only something I consider very much edible (and I do NOT eat at fast food chains often), but it’s actually delicious!

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

They had an awesome setup in the store- beautiful staging, with a gorgeous wooden table laden with flowers, fabrics and of course, bacon paraphernalia. Apologies in advance, but all I had on hand with me at the event was my iPhone, which hopefully explains away some of the picture quality issues here!

We got to sample a bunch of different items, including their breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese on maple bread, a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato, their delicious BLT, and the piece de resistance: a maple bacon donut! This is apparently a secret item on their menu- but if you go to the counter, you can ask them to make one special for you. Shhh… you didn’t hear it from me!

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

I will admit I was very skeptical of the whole bacon from a donut shop idea… but Karen Gold, Manager of Product Development for Breakfast and Lunch over at Tim Horton’s explained how the process to revamp their bacon line took eight months of sampling, trying new flavors, and working with suppliers. I repeat, eight months of trying bacon for the sake of your job. Rough life, huh?!

But just look at that bacon! It’s meaty, and chewy, it’s thick cut… and it’s flavorful. Another awesome thing they did for us was bring in a “sensory expert” who explained to us the three components of flavor: taste, aromatics, and chemical feeling factors. I did not expect a science lesson, but it was really interesting understanding how all of those aspects factor into our brain understanding the flavor of a particular food. In the case of bacon, it combines so many different tastes… salty, sweet, and umami- the fifth (and my favorite) taste!

Overall this was an awesome event, and I really appreciate the invite from the Tim Horton’s team. Wait, did I mention there were bacon-covered Timbits (donut holes)? Because there were. So many of them. So many delicious bacon-covered Timbits. These are NOT on the menu, secret or otherwise… but they were AWESOME!

Tim Horton's Bacon Tasting Event 3/14/13

 

Since I just showed you so much bacon awesomeness, I wanted to share with you my favorite way to prepare perfectly crispy, delicious bacon strips. I first saw Alex Guarnaschelli cook bacon this way on her show Alex’s Day Off, and it’s the only way I make my bacon now. Don’t get turned off by adding water to the bacon while it’s frying- it actually leads to exteremely crispy yet chewy strips.

5.0 from 1 reviews

My Favorite Way to Make Bacon
 
Cook time

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon
  • ½ cup water

Instructions
  1. In a medium skillet, lay out the bacon strips, then add the water.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer and allow all of the water to reduce and cook until the bacon strips are nice and crispy.

Thanks again to Tim Horton’s for the invite to this great event. Check out more photos on my Flickr page… and here’s hoping your weekend is filled with bacon :)

Happy Eating :-)
mally

PS. I was not compensated in any way for attending this event or writing this post. I sincerely enjoyed the event and product and wanted to share with you all!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Slow Cooker Carnitas

I love my slow cooker. It takes a lot of the work out of cooking, and makes things taste good and your home smell amazing. If you don’t have one, I sincerely encourage getting one as soon as you possibly can- they’re relatively inexpensive and so worth it. You can make fantastic dishes like chicken tortilla soup, or these unreal carnitas tacos. And with winter coming, it’s a great investment.

Mmmmmmm… carnitas. Slow roasted pork, cooked under low heat for hours until it’s falling apart and filled with flavor. Say it with me… total. noms.

OK, so maybe this is my 3rd taco post in 3 months. Maybe I have a bit of a problem. But I can’t help it. They are just TOO GOOD!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

What makes these carnitas really special is broiling the meat after it’s been shredded. This makes it crispy while maintaining the scrumptious moist and pulled texture of the braised pork.

I mean, seriously. If this isn’t food porn, I’m not sure what is.

Slow Cooker Carnitas

5.0 from 1 reviews

Slow Cooker Carnitas
 
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Total time

 

Serves: 8

Ingredients
  • 5 lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup salsa verde
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, cut in half then cut into quarters
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • corn tortillas
For garnish:
  • 3-4 radishes, sliced into matchsticks
  • cilantro
  • limes, cut into wedges
  • salsa verde
  • diced fresh jalapenos

Instructions
  1. Place pork chunks, salt, salsa verde, garlic, onion, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes into the bowl of a slow-cooker and toss to coat the pork in all the seasonings. Cook for 7 hours on low or 3 hours on high.
  2. When the pork is done cooking, remove pieces with a slotted spoon to an oven-safe baking dish and shred with two forks into smaller pieces. Move an oven rack on the top slot closest to the broiler, and turn on the broiler. Bake/broil the meat for 5-7 minutes, until the top starts to crisp up. While meat is broiling, heat up your corn tortillas in the toaster oven over low heat. When done, remove from oven and let cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Now comes the fun part: Make your tacos! I scooped a nice couple spoonfuls of carnitas in a tortilla with salsa verde, sliced radishes, diced jalapenos, cilantro and a squirt of lime juice on top- but feel free to substitute with your favorite toppings! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Carnitas

This recipe is PERFECT for a football game day. Get everything cooking in the morning, and by kickoff, you’re ready with a super delicious meal that serves a crowd.

I myself may or may not have eaten 4 of these tacos. In one sitting. Whatever. You heard it here first- #tacolife!

Happy Eating :-)
mally

Dash Family Style Pork Chops with Onions

Pork Chops with Onions

I am so excited to share this recipe with you all today. This is one of my absolute favorite recipes from home, and I can’t help eating it without thinking of my mom, dad and I sitting around our dining room table, eating supper and sharing stories.

Some of my fondest memories of growing up are those of daily weekday dinners- a great way to end any school or work day with those that you love. Having a time to gather for dinner with all the family is one of the traditions I hope to continue with my own eventual family. [Read more...]

Pear and Bacon Galette

Pear and Bacon Galette

I think I may have just reinvented breakfast with the following recipe. Not to zest my own lemon or anything, but this is a tasty melange of savory and sweet that I am pretty proud of.

This galette derives its power from two key players. I’ve recently discovered how much I like pears, whom I used to pass over in favor of more pungent fruits like nectarines, apples, and peaches. Red d’Anjou pears recently arrived as a fresh fruit surprise courtesy of FreshDirect, and their lightly tart sweetness works perfectly with the crisp saltiness of the second star of this dish and holder of my heart and dreams: Bacon. [Read more...]