Waiter, there's Bacon in my Popcorn!

There are cultures on this fine earth that believe the pig is an unclean animal and should not be consumed.  I don't know if they're right or wrong, but I do know that they're missing out.  Of all the meats, pork has an amazing ability to transform into wondrous things... prosciutto, carnitas, ham, sausages, and, of course, bacon.

Bacon has magical powers.  This is no secret.  It was the power of bacon that compelled me back to being omnivorous after a dozen years as a vegetarian.  As the saying, and the t-shirt goes, "Bacon makes everything better".

I guess it's no surprise, then, that when brainstorming ideas for an appetizer/desert to bring with me to Paul and Lori's recent Soup Night, I turned to bacon.  Actually, in this case, the bacon was a happy accident.  I'd decided that I wanted to make some sort of gourmet flavored popcorn to share with my foodie friends on the inspiration of Roots Restaurant.  So I set to googling "gourmet popcorn recipes"...  Eventually, I came upon this.


And so the Nueske's bacon came out of the freezer (because no Milwaukee kitchen is complete without a stash on-hand), the bourbon supply was re-upped, and Bourbon Bacon Popcorn was made.

And then eaten.

All of it.

The Power of Bacon compelled me.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Corn (adapted from sarahsprague.com)

5 quarts fresh plain popcorn
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 lb bacon (applewood-smoked is awesome) - fried crispy and chopped into bits
1 cup butter (for extra bacon-y goodness, replace up to half the butter with an equal amount of bacon drippings)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 teas. sea salt
1/2 teas. baking soda
6 oz. bourbon 

Preheat your oven to 250º.
Melt butter over medium heat.  Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt and then stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, add baking soda and bourbon. Once fully incorporated, stir in bacon and pecans
Divide mixed popcorn between 2 lightly-greased 9x13 or jelly roll pans.  Pour caramel evenly over corn.  Mix to coat. (Use a greased rubber spatula to keep from going crazy.)  Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 - 15 minutes.
Remove caramel corn from oven, spread on parchment or wax paper to cool.  Break into pieces.  When completely cool, store in airtight container. Store in refrigerator -- there's meat in there!


A Lesson in Blogging

To my Faithful Readers:  (all 5 of you)

I never really figured that anyone outside of my friends and family would care much about or read my meanderings here on the blog.  I never had a particularly grandiose vision.  Nor did I imagine that I'd somehow become a "professional blogger" due to my efforts here.  I simply wanted a place to share some random musings from my life.

Because I never figured anyone would care, I made the blog public and left commenting open to anyone.  In recent days, however, someone has taken to posting some unkind words here.  Therefore, I've decided to begin moderating all comments before they're posted.

I generally try to abide by the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" rule.  I hope for others to do the same.  At the same time, I do enjoy a spirited debate.  Wanna disagree with me?  Great!  Let's Discuss!  ...of course, in order to have a conversation of well reasoned arguments, we need to know who each other are....



Dirt Cheap Decor

Confession:  I watch a lot of HGTV.  Probably more than is healthy.  One of the things that always makes me laugh/be jealous is when they show the "5 months after moving into our first home" shots, and everything looks professionally decorated and staged.  Let's be honest, buying your first house pretty much decimates your bank accounts.  (Especially when you have unexpected demolition and mold remediation projects pop up!)

Needless to say, my decorating budget has been pretty skimpy for the new house.  (Personally, as much as part of me wishes that I had a home that could be featured on Design*Sponge, I enjoy the journey of homeownership.)

I've been staring at this blank wall in my living room for more than nine months.

Kindof depressing, right?

Thanks to a recent visit from Emily, my partner-in-crafting-crime, in idea was spouted:

Instead of shelling out a couple hundred bucks for a large-scale art piece, or enough frames for a proper photo-collage, why not make a stretched fabric canvas to bring in a pop of color and pattern?  Brilliant.

The breakdown:
2 pieces of 1x2" moulding and a package of L-brackets = $5
1 yard of upholstery fabric (with 40% coupon, of course!) = $12
An hour and a half's worth of time (spread out over 2 weeks, because I'm lazy) = free

I had a couple of tin ceiling tiles that I had picked up at Hobby Lobby many moons ago (on sale of course!), and moved a few other things around....


No more depressing college-y living room wall!

And yes, those books on the bottom of the bookshelf are Time Life Series home repair books.  Copyright 1983.  Courtesy of my dad.


Quick Tuesday Eye Candy/Inspiration

I just saw this via twitter, and had to share:
originally here
It speaks the truth we all tend to forget, no?

Thanks to @MidwestPhoto for sharing and inspiring my afternoon!