The Saturday before Labor Day is International Bacon Day! Is there a better way to celebrate the fruits of our labor than by eating bacon?!…I don’t think so my friends. These Bacon Cheddar Buns are made with the softest bread recipe EVER and rolled with the most delicious Bacon Cheddar spread. After eating these buns my son gave me possibly the greatest compliment I’ve ever received, he said these buns taste like “PURE LIFE” …now, I don’t know exactly what that means but I’m pretty sure it’s the highest praise he’s ever given to any food item. We’ve taken to calling these “Life Buns”
I have been asked to make these buns once a week. You can refrigerate them for 2-3 days after baking (they won’t last that long but theoretically you could ) they reheat in the microwave in under a minute or in the oven for 5-8 minutes. Great for breakfast or in a lunchbox as well.
For 15 of these buns start with half of the SOFTEST BREAD RECIPE EVER and let the dough rise for an hour. Make a loaf of bread or some rolls with the rest of the dough…or double the Bacon Cheddar spread recipe and make more buns. I used my recipe for homemade cured and smoked bacon but you can use bacon from the grocery store.
Then make this recipe for Bacon Cheddar Spread/Dip
8 ounces bacon
1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoon grated raw onion
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
Chop the bacon into ¼ inch pieces. Place bacon into a cold pan, place over medium heat and cook until the bacon is crisp. Remove cooked bacon and let cool, reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon fat.
Shred cheddar cheese in a food processor, add all the other ingredients to the processor and process until well blended and spreadable, about 45 seconds.
Bacon Cheddar Buns Recipe
Divide the dough into 15 sections. Roll a section into an oval about 5 by 2 inches and spread with Bacon Cheddar Spread and roll it up. Repeat with the remaining dough sections. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let rise for an hour. Brush with milk or egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes. Place a sheet of foil over if they’re getting too dark. Let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Need even MORE BACON? Check out these posts by my blogger buddies the #BACONMAFIA but let me warn you I will not be held responsible when you drool on your screen.
This Crab Mac & Cheese with a Bacon Crust by EatLaughCreate.com is to DIE for Click here for the recipe
And then there’s this Bacon, Spinach and Chicken Skillet Pizza by ChewsyLovers.com YUM! Click here for the recipe
I want to eat this Turkey Club with Old Bay Mayo for lunch today! Click here for the EatStylePlay.com recipe
This BLT Pasta recipe is perfect for a week night meal Click here for the recipe from thegivinschronicles.com
From MissFoodieFab.com these Brown Sugar Bacon Cinnamon Rolls will make you faint, get up and faint again! Get the recipe
FoodLoveTog.com hit it out of the park with Shrimp with Cheddar and Bacon Polenta Get the recipe
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I’ve got the secret to unbelievably soft homemade bread. If you’ve ever had bread from a Japanese bakery, you know what I mean. It’s velvety in texture and a little sweet, it really is incredible. So here’s the secret…TangZhong a cooked mixture of flour and water is the simple secret to pillow soft bread. Adding TangZhong is a simple step that will change your bread baking game for the better. This recipe makes quite a lot of dough so I usually make a loaf, some rolls and some filled buns. The bread freezes well after baking so you can wrap it well in foil and enjoy it later.
First make the TangZhong and let it cool to room temperature, you can make it a day in advance and store it in the fridge.
1/3 cup flour
1 ¼ cup milk (whole, 2% or skim will all work)
Stir all ingredients together in a sauce pan, whisk until smooth. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 140 °, this should take about 3-5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before use. When finished the tangzhong should be the consistency of pancake batter.
SOFTEST BREAD RECIPE EVER
5-5 ½ cups ap flour
¾ cup sugar
½ cup powdered milk
2 envelopes (about 4 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
All the TangZhong from the recipe above
¾ cup warm (not hot) milk-about 100-110 Degrees
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) soft butter, plus a bit extra to butter a bowl, the pan and your hand
Start with 5 cups of flour, add the additional ½ cup of flour if your dough has not formed a ball. Combine all ingredients except butter and knead in mixer for about 3 minutes on low. Slowly add soft butter about a tablespoon at a time. Knead for an additional 10 minutes.
Butter a large bowl and butter your hand as well. With your buttered hand, transfer dough to buttered bowl and cover with buttered plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Punch the dough down and divide dough into 3 sections for 3 loaves of bread or divide into 36 sections or smaller for dinner rolls.
For Loaves of Bread
Butter 3- 8 ½ inch loaf pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. On a clean counter press a section of dough out into a square about 8 inches. Roll the dough into a tube and place the dough into the loaf pan. Repeat with the other sections of dough.
Let the dough rise for another hour. Brush the tops of the loaves with milk or egg wash. Bake loaves for about 30-35 minutes at 350° Let cool for 5 minutes in a pan, then remove the bread from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Divide dough into 36 rounds and place on a baking tray. Let the dough rise for another hour. Brush the tops with milk or egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then remove rolls to a rack to finish cooling
The Taste of Atlanta is a food festival that’s worth the trip (according to Oprah… and me) and its coming soon. October 24-26 to be exact. Over 90 restaurants are expected to participate in this year’s Tech Square events; There will be live cooking demos, an Iron Chef Kids competition, a silent auction benefiting Cooking Matters and TONS more good stuff. During the silent auction last year we bid on a video game truck to come to the house for a party and won. We got it for much less than the going rate and helped a good cause in the process.
The pictures in this post are from Taste of Atlanta 2013. The line up of restaurants may change from year to year but you’re bound to find more than a few tasty treats to enjoy.
If you’re on a budget, start looking around for contests and giveaways for this event early and enter to win; I won Tickets from Miss Foodie Fab last year so it was a cost effective, fun day out with the family. Its also cheaper to purchase tickets online in advance than it is to purchase them at the gate the day of. For event pricing or to purchase tickets to Taste of Atlanta visit this link. You receive “taste coupons” with your paid entry fee and you exchange these for food. You can purchase additional taste coupons during the event.
The food at Taste of Atlanta varies from the Southern style and barbecue which you might expect, to more exotic stuff like Morcilla, the blood sausage in the risotto arancini from The Spence. The Taste of Atlanta is a great opportunity to try a little taste of something new without committing to a full entree.
Wear comfortable shoes and get there early to get the most out of the festival. This is a good event for kids with the Family Food Zone but it can get very crowded so keep the kiddies close to you and have a plan in case you get separated. Kids 13 and under enter the festival for free with a paid adult, but you need to purchase “taste coupons” in order for them to sample food.
Most of all have fun and wear stretchy pants.
Zeal Modern Eatery is a good restaurant in an area with quite a few really good restaurants. Zeal Owner/General Manager Scott Sawant invited the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society, of which I am a member, to dine for free at his cozy East Cobb eatery in exchange for our honest opinions. Scott is gracious host and hands on manager whose passion for service was evident. In general there are a few kinks to work out in this 8 month old spot but it has a lot of promise.
We started our evening with super fresh oysters in honor of National Oyster Day. The starters here are the stars of the show for sure. The Tandori Chicken and Lamb Skewers were a big hit at the table. The Charcuterie, with meats from Heywood’s Provisions, ( I’m going to have to give them a visit, they’ve got some good stuff) was fantastic and the Fried Green Tomatoes with Fig Goat Cheese were popular among the foodie bloggers as well.
For the entrees I had a perfectly cooked, if a bit under-seasoned, grilled pork chop. One of my table mates ordered the NY Strip and was very happy with it. Another ordered the Tenderloin topped with blue cheese and was equally as happy. One diner in our group had a chicken breast that was a bit dry. Zeal’s owner, Scott, seemed genuinely interested in our constructive criticism so I have very high hopes for this restaurant.
And then for dessert
Zeal Modern Eatery is worth a second look, I’ll be back to see how they progress and to give the pork chop another try.
High bacon prices nationwide are making headlines. The spike in prices can be attributed to the PEDv virus (more info on that here) that has killed a huge number of piglets, as well as drought conditions in some pork producing states.
One way to reduce the cost of bacon is to learn how to cure and smoke your own bacon, you will not be sorry.
And after you make your own bacon you can put it on everything…like these fried oysters>here’s a link to the recipe
or put some bacon on your popcorn>Here’s the recipe
Make a great appetizer with bacon and potatoes for your next party. Here’s the recipe for Bacon and Kale Potato Cakes
BACON, SPAGHETTI AND GREENS
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 Pound of Thick sliced bacon
2 cloves of minced garlic
8 ounces kale
8 ounces steamed broccoli
8 ounces spinach
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Cut bacon into 1/4 inch pieces and saute over medium heat to render the fat. Remove the bacon and reserve until the end of the recipe.
Over low heat add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add kale and saute until wilted. Add broccoli and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted. Toss in the spaghetti and serve with Parmesan and red pepper flakes.
Here’s a brief recap of our trip to S.C. this Summer.
Then onto dinner at Craftsman Kitchen and Tap House-12 Cumberland St. This was our first visit, we’ll definitely be beck. Their squid fries are “to DIE!”
After a bit of a break we went for dessert at Ye Ole Fashioned
Check your fruit bowl, folks-there has been a HUGE RECALL of fruits including peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots — apricot-plum hybrids — packaged between June 1 through July 12 by Wawona Packing Co. due to potential contamination with LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES (view the actual recall notice here). This is a voluntary recall, so far there have been no reported illnesses. Some of the stores that received recalled fruit were Costco, BJ’s, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Walmart and possibly others. If you have any of the recalled fruit throw it out or contact the store of purchase, you may be entitled to a refund.
I heard about the recall on the news and was also alerted to the recall on my receipt from my last trip to Kroger (a very useful by-product of having the Kroger Plus Card tracking program)
Even if there is no recall its always a good idea to wash your fruit.
Simple fruit and vegetable wash recipe;
3 parts water to 1 part distilled vinegar
So 3 cups of water to 1 cup of vinegar or 6 cups of water to 2 cups of vinegar. I suggest using a large bowl to wash your fruit instead of your sink so you can use the proper measurement of water to vinegar. A sink is so large that you may not get the proper water to vinegar ratio to be effective.
Agitate the fruit in the vinegar and water solution (a little friction helps get the fruit clean) rinse and dry the fruit. Even fruit that gets peeled or cut should be washed before eating. If you cut an unwashed cantaloupe, for example, your knife can drag bacteria from the skin to the interior of the fruit. For large fruit you may want to put the vegetable wash in a spray bottle.