Tag Archives: cheese

Bacon Wednesday: Pull-Apart Bacon Cheese Bread

Pull-Apart Bacon Cheese BreadWe have volunteers in the warehouse today so naturally we had to offer them some sustenance since it’s about 42 degrees below zero out there. Nothing says lovin’ like some bacon cheese bread. It has no redeeming nutritional value unless you count the flecks of onion and green pepper. I say let’s count them.

Pull-Apart Bacon Cheese Bread

12 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/3 cup diced red onion

1/3 cup diced green pepper

1 16 1/3-ounce can buttermilk biscuits

4 tablespoons melted butter

½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan and fry the onions and peppers until they are soft and beginning to brown.

Cut the biscuits into quarters and put them in a bowl, along with the bacon, onions and peppers.

Add the melted butter and combine thoroughly. Add the cheese.

Put the bread mixture into a greased 9-inch bundt pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Bacon Wednesday: Grilled horseradish Cheddar, apple and bacon sandwiches

Cheddar Horseradish, Apple, Bacon Sandwich

Here is your moment of zen.

This week for Bacon Wednesday, I prepared grilled horseradish Cheddar, apple and bacon sandwiches for Chicks Kim and Betsy. Of course, Kim is the adventurous eater and loves a little heat in her food. But I suspected Betsy would balk at the thought of horseradish so I also bought some butterkase, which is a mild, creamy cheese sold at my beloved Publix.

So if you like to walk on the wild side, here’s the assembly: Two pieces of Pepperidge Farm Pumpernickel, a shmear of Durkee Famous Sauce,  two slices of horseradish Cheddar, thinly sliced tart apple (like a Granny Smith), 3 strips crisp bacon and one slice butterkase. Grill in real butter. Don’t eat the rest of the day and wear a surgical mask to any meetings you have to attend after lunch.

Bacon Wednesday: Bacon, egg (and cheese) sandwiches

Catherine’s perfect bacon, egg and cheese sandwich

It is Bacon Wednesday once again at CRC World Headquarters and today the three chicks enjoyed the classic bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. However, we couldn’t help but notice that we all fixed them a different way.

Betsy’s sandwich complete with the heel of the bread loaf

I go with what I think of as the classic: Buttered toast, three strips of bacon, fried egg with a still runny yolk, a slice of Velveeta. Betsy is one of only two people I know of who will willingly eat the heel of a loaf of bread as part of her sandwich. She eschews the cheese. Just bacon and egg, with the bread fried in a little leftover bacon grease.

And Kim goes in a completely different direction. Bread not toasted. Mayonnaise. Egg, bacon and cheese. I am pretty sure all this comes down to childhood preferences. The first time most of us had a classic breakfast sandwich was when our parents fixed it for us. And we still love it just the same way.

By the way, to make this relevant to the nonprofit world, this week we have found homes for six beautiful cubicles a bank donated. They’ve gone to live with Nations Ministries, which serves Nashville’s refugee community, for new offices they’re opening. We did this on an empty stomach, by the way.

Bacon Wednesday: Roasted tomato and bacon tart

The Chicks have had a bountiful harvest of tomatoes from the community garden at CRC World Headquarters this year. Chick One is the gardener. Chick Two is the consumer since she proudly states that “I don’t stick my hands in dirt on purpose.” That’s O.K. I find gardening – particularly in a small, controllable patch of dirt – very relaxing. And satisfying in an industrial area where vegetation is sparse.

The other day, I was leaving CRC and stopped to check if the front door was locked. There was a car in the parking lot and a woman sitting in it just staring at the tomato plants. I worried that I’d forgotten an appointment and approached her window. “Sorry,” she said. “I don’t know you. I have a meeting somewhere else in a half an hour and I just like looking at your garden.”

So since we have so many tomatoes I’m looking for different ways to use them and the roasted tomato and bacon tart just popped into my head. If you don’t want to make your own crust, you can use store bought. Really the tomatoes and bacon are the stars.

Roasted tomato and bacon tart

For the tomatoes:

6 medium tomatoes

1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half, cutting off the tops and bottoms so the tomatoes sit flat in a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.

Roast for 3-4 hours until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to brown.

For the crust:

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick well-chilled Crisco baking stick

3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water

Blend the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the Crisco into 1/2 –inch cubes and add to the bowl. Pulse until the Crisco is approximately the size of peas. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and pulse four or five times. If there is still unincorporated flour, add water a tablespoon at a time until you can pinch the dough and it holds together.

Form into a disk on plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

To roll out, place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the disk and roll the dough until it is large enough to fit in the tart pan with the dough slightly overlapping the top of the pan.

Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool while you make the filling.

Filling:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¾ cup Swiss cheese, grated

9 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup whole milk

2 eggs

Salt and pepper

Paint the bottom of the crust with the mustard. Top with cheese and make a single layer with the bacon. Top with roasted tomatoes.

Whisk together the cream, milk and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes until it reaches ¾ of the way up the crust (you will probably have more mixture than you need).

Bake the tart at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Bacon Wednesday: Bacon Mac and Cheese

The Chicks held a party a few weeks ago to thank our wonderful Oyster Easter committee for all the hard work they do to make our biggest annual fundraiser a success. Attendance was very good because we served them Kim’s Bacon Mac and Cheese!

Bacon Mac and Cheese. So wrong, but so very, very right. There is no virtue in it. It’s just sinful. Which is why everyone enjoyed it thoroughly. At the end of the party there was, maybe, a serving or two left. We ate it the next day out by the dock door and I can report that it reheats beautifully.

Bacon Mac and Cheese

1 3/4 cups elbow cooked macaroni

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups whole milk

2 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Stir in flour and whisk for about two minutes. Add milk and continue stirring until sauce thickens. Add 1 cup cheese, macaroni and bacon. Transfer to a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

 

Fixing our broken warehouse

I am offering one of my rare simul-blogs tonight, writing the same blog post on the south in my mouth and two chicks in a warehouse. It is because my worlds intersected today. And, at the end of the day, I needed green noodles.

I am in FEMA land. It is not a bad place. Just mysterious. The folks from FEMA are trying to help me fix my broken warehouse. They are really trying hard and are nice about it. Lessons learned from Katrina? I don’t know, but in Nashville FEMA is very much a friend. A candidate for governor ran some television ads proudly proclaiming that he would give Washington the boot if elected while displaying a garish cowboy boot with the state seal of Tennessee on it. He’s not doing so well in the polls right now.

So FEMA has questions. Questions I had not considered. I turn in a bill for remediation, the clearing out of the House of Toxic Poo. How many cubic yards were cleared out? I don’t know. There were bulldozers. I do remember that. Where did all the debris go? Hell? I don’t know. I find the answers. It turns out they are there if you know where to look.

Inventory. What was in the building? When I left the Friday afternoon before the flood, I failed to take inventory. I did not take notes. What is equipment and what is contents? What is the difference, I wonder? I call my FEMA project specialist 14 times in one hour. Is shelving contents or equipment? Equipment. Is copy paper equipment or contents? Contents.

There are many more questions. I spend from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. amassing paperwork. I feel strangely comforted by the government. They want to help, but they want to follow the rules. As a taxpayer, I appreciate that. As a flood victim, I want a gin and tonic.

So tonight, I make my comfort food. I make green noodles. They are simple. Not like my life right now. They are easy. Also, not like my life right now although I consider the people who lost their homes and feel like an insignificant fool. I am not sleeping on an air mattress in a shed in the backyard while my house grows mold by the minute. Shame on me.

Green noodles. Nothing more than eight ounces of thin spaghetti cooked al dente and mixed with a seven-ounce container of pre-made pesto. Top with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese. If you are truly weary, please eat it out of the pot. I had enough energy left to put it on a plate.

I did have good news today. We found a temporary warehouse for furniture. Yea, furniture. Hopefully, when that poor woman sleeping on the air mattress comes back to her house she will have a sofa and a table and a few chairs. Yea, furniture. I talked to a woman who is part of a consortium of nonprofits getting new books for school children who lost theirs in the flood. She has no place to store the abundant donations she’s been offered. We just got a second warehouse, I tell her. Bring us your books. We can work together.

I learned a lot today. I learned how to hold a tape measure with my big toe while retracing the lost rooms at the CRC warehouse for FEMA. They will pay to put things back as they were. If only you could remember how they were. I learned the difference between equipment and content. I learned that my multi-tasking skills are fairly awesome, balancing as I did copying a multitude of papers with arranging a furniture delivery from North Carolina.

And at the end of the day, I ate green noodles. Warm. Cheesy. Simple. Easy.