Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!

Isn’t it the greatest addition to any meal?

If you think about it you could have bacon with every meal.  Bacon and eggs for breakfast; bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwiches for lunch and a juicy bacon cheeseburger for dinner. Yummmy!

While we don’t actually have bacon 3 meals a day, we do have it once a week.  Every Sunday is “breakfast for dinner” night, as my 4 year old calls it.  Whether we have pancakes, eggs or french toast, it is ALWAYS accompanied by bacon.   However as much as we love to eat it, bacon is not my favorite thing to cook.  I’m not a big fan of standing in front of the stove for what seems like hours on end, flipping bacon and having it splatter hot grease all over my hands, the stove, the  floor, my face.

A few Sunday’s ago, I remembered seeing something  about baking bacon while watching Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals.  So I did a quick search and found a rerun of the show I watched.   Below is my own personal adaptation of her recipe but you can watch it here to get it directly from her.  She also gives you a few other cooking methods for bacon, but this is by far my favorite.

Here’s what you will need for perfectly baked bacon every time.

~ 1lb fresh bacon

~ slotted broiler pan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line bottom pan with foil.  Place bacon on slotted broiler pan slightly touching but not overlapping.  Bake for 20 minutes.  I rotate my pan halfway through just to be sure it bakes evenly.  Most of the fat drips to the bottom pan but I transfer it to a paper towel lined plate to remove any remaining grease.  Carefully remove foil, discard and you’re done!  It is seriously the best bacon EVER.  The second best part of baking it (because the first is actually eating it!) is that it allows me to make whatever else I need to without having to worry about burning the bacon!

Aaaaand speaking of….isn’t the smell of burnt bacon grease the worst!  Especially when it lingers in the house for days on end… this is actually the real reason why I decided to write this post.   About an hour after eating our deliciously baked bacon, my house still reeked..   I made some sort of comment and my husband responded the way he always does when he doesn’t know the right answer…

“You should google it.”

So I did.

Most people where obnoxious, responding with “why on earth would you want to remove the smell of bacon in  your house?”  or “cooked bacon is the most wonderful scent”.   Not hours after cooking and eating it, c’mon people!    Then someone wrote to “boil a cinnamon stick”.  I just so happened to have some left over from the apple cider recipe I made during the Christmas season.  It couldn’t hurt to try.  I filled a pot half way with water, broke up two cinnamon sticks and popped it on the stove.  Within minutes the bacon smell was gone and my house smelled wonderful.  Who knew!!

And who knew I could write an entire post about bacon!  HA!

Hot Apple Cider

There is nothing better on a cold, snowy  rainy night  than a nice hot mug of apple cider.  (We don’t get snow here in southern California 😦 )  I searched online but couldn’t find a recipe that I loved.  They were either too sweet, not sweet enough or just not  cider-y enough.  So I played around with some ingredients and made up my own.   It’s super easy and the perfect addition to this holiday season.

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon Allspice

1/4 teaspoon Cloves

2 3inch Cinnamon Sticks, halved

Caramel sauce (optional)

Whipped cream (optional)

Spiced Rum (optional)

64 oz apple cider or apple juice ( I prefer the cider)

Stir all ingredients into a large stock pot and heat just until simmering.  Do not boil.  Turn off heat and let the spices steep for at least 20 minutes.  Strain spices and pour into mugs.  If you’d like to add a little more decadence, add a drizzle of caramel sauce and top with whipped cream.   If you want to make an adult version, add 1 oz of spiced rum.  Either way, it is absolutely delicious!   Now go cozy up on the couch and ENJOY!