Category Archives: Snacks

Bacon Crackers: Best Delivery System Ever!


Recently I came across a bacon recipe online HERE that I absolutely HAD to try!

Bacon is one of the reasons I am not vegetarian. *wink*

I have made this recipe a couple times now and enough people have asked me for the recipe that I have decided to write out what I do to make them on here, along with additional suggestions based on my experience.

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First up, you need a wire rack of some kind.  You are going to have “drip-age” and it’s better to have it drip away from the crackers 😉
I used two cooling racks placed on top of a cookie sheet which I lined with foil.  Allowed for easy clean up!

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Next, you need crackers.  I have used Toppables and they stand up quite well to the bacon and the baking.

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Although they have this interested way of curling up! 🙂

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Place the crackers on the wire rack and then prep your bacon.  Cut it into squares that fit on top of each cracker avoiding any oversized pieces that hang over the edges.

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NOTE #1: I have made these with cheaper bacon from the grocery store, as well as with high quality naturally fed bacon from a local meat counter.  The cheaper bacon worked out better.  It was saltier and you need that salt to cut through the sweet you are about to add.  Also, thinner cut bacon is better.

Third, sprinkle each piece of bacon with a good amount of brown sugar.

Fourth, sprinkle each piece with a BIT of cayenne pepper.

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Bake them for 10 minutes, turn them and bake for another 10 minutes.  I found I needed another 5-10 minutes beyond that so you will want to watch them after the first 20 minutes (Total baking time: 20-30 minutes)

Note #2: They don’t seem to keep well, although this may be due to the type of crackers that I used.  I found that they were somewhat soggy on the following day.  So, best eaten soon after creation! 🙂

 


Kale Chips (Avoiding the Doritos craving!)


I tend to read a lot of books on nutrition and the food industry.  The more I read, the more manipulated I feel by our big box stores and shopping malls.

More recently, however, I became suspicious of myself and how my body manipulates ME to do what IT wants, rather than the other way around.  Sure, this is a result of outside influence, but in the end, it is MY body and it will damn well do what I tell it to!

Within reason, of course. 😉

So, yeah, Dopamine, that little chemical in our brains that is responsible for many things, including happiness, pleasure and reward. When we are rewarded in any way, our brains release dopamine. As we get rewarded over and over again for something, we learn deep in our dopamine saturated brains that we should keep doing whatever it is, and it’s hard to unlearn those  behaviors.  (This is obviously a simplified explanation…there’s much more that could be said)

I recently read that Dopamine is also released when we simply *think* about those learned rewards…in my case, Zesty Cheese Doritos! You know those evenings where you suddenly get a craving and you are willing to go out and truck through thigh high snow, uphill, both ways to satisfy it?

….

Admit it!  I’m not the only one here!

….

Yeah…dopamine has taken over.  (I can’t remember where I read this now…but when I find the article, I will update this entry)

So, upon reading that, I thought-….Well, actually I didn’t think.  First I had an amazing craving for chips since I had thought about them constantly while reading the article…..THEN I thought, “Wait a minute, my dopamine levels are spiking…I’m craving those chips because I know how good that first bite will be…and I’m damn well NOT going to indulge!”

My dopamine receptors were NOT going to take me for a walk!

Instead, I brainstormed snack options.  I scavenged the kitchen, looking for ideas and came across a wilted bunch of kale.  Many friends had told me that kale chips are great, but I had never had the opportunity to try them, so I decided to investigate the kale possibilities.

First off, I want to stress that wilted kale works out brilliantly as chips!  It’s a perfect way to use up the greens that you aren’t likely to put into your salad.

Secondly, my friends weren’t lying…kale chips are AWESOME!

Preparing the kale

Preparing the kale

 

Spices and kale added to a bag and shake it up!

Spices and kale added to a bag and shake it up!

 

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

 

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven

I removed the leaves from the larger stems to start and ripped them up.  Size didn’t really matter all that much…bite-sized pieces are good, possibly even a little larger since they shrink a bit as they cook.

The flavouring is left up to your imagination!  If you google kale chips, you find everything from plain salt to cheesy…so you can spice them up however you please.

I used:

  • sesame oil
  • salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic powder
  • sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 350

Create one layer on a baking sheet and bake until crispy.  I kept checking mine as they baked and they took 10-15 minutes.

The end product was an awesome unique kind of chip.  Delicate, thin…almost melt in your mouth…and the cayenne gave them a little bit of bite. Delicious!

As good as Doritos…in a completely different way.

And one day, I’ll convince my dopamine obsessed brain of that too! 😉


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