Monthly Archives: August 2012

Recipe: Chocolate Bacon Truffles

What is it about men and bacon? I’ve seldom met a guy whose ears didn’t perk up at the words “buffet breakfast” for the sole possibility that bacon might be involved. Not that I’m a hater of the crispy, fatty goodness either — I certainly indulge in a slice or two (or four) from time to time!

It was the boyfriend’s birthday last week, but I’d already given him his gift a few weeks before since he really needed a new bag for work. I subscribe to the belief that it is a complete and utter tragedy to not have something sugary to consume on your birthday, so I started searching for a great recipe to treat him with. As much as I would have loved making him a cake, it’s just not practical to make an entire cake when it’s just the two of us in the apartment (aka I would have eaten it all). When I came across this recipe for chocolate bacon truffles on Pinterest, I knew I had it. My bacon and chocolate loving boyfriend was going to be so thrilled.

Bacon bits going into the whipped filling

Of course, I had to buy pig-shaped candy molds to make these in, because it makes them that much cooler. The flavor in these is incredible, considering how little filling can fit in each mold (less than 1/4 tsp),  but that may have something to do with the bacon grease in the whipped filling. Maybe.

Wee piggies filled with bacon-y goodness!

When you bite into one of these little guys, you get a hit of porky, fatty flavor followed by the smooth dark chocolate and then crunchy bits of bacon. I’m pretty sure that this is where the phrase, “if this is wrong, then I don’t want to be right,” came from!



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Practice Makes Plaits

I’d consider myself a woman of a fair amount of talent, but one thing you won’t find on my resume is hair styling. Frankly, I’m terrible at it. Pulling my hair into a ponytail is a relative success as far as I’m concerned.

It’s not that I wouldn’t love to be able to whip my hair (hah) up into a chignon or a braided bun — I just lack the refined motor skills to do it.

When I was a kid, even pulling my hair up into a ponytail was a challenge. The other girls at school could twist theirs up into a bun on the playground without looking in a mirror while I was resigned to accept whatever my mom had done with my hair that morning. Frustrated, I voiced my concern to her and she told me the only way I was going to get better was to practice. Now there’s an idea.

So, just as I sat in front of the mirror as a kid practicing ponytails, here I am far past the age of 8 attempting to French braid my hair over and over until it resembles something socially acceptable enough to leave the house with. Call me a slow learner, but practice does make perfect, after all!

Maybe someday I’ll be able to pull off one of these styles that I found on Pinterest (are you following me, by the way?)!

Images 1, 2, and 3 via Pinterest

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Something Old, Something New {Friday}

Ok, so I definitely didn’t start off this weekly feature on the right foot, since I promptly ignored it for two weeks after I started it. Let’s give this another go…

{Something Old}

New York is still hot as hell these days, but I whipped up an old favorite meal as a raindance-like plea for Fall to arrive: roasted butternut squash and chickpeas over quinoa, topped with crumbles of goat cheese! It’s a really simple and quick recipe, and totally worth turning on the oven for.

{Something New}

I took my first trip out to the Hamptons last weekend with a good friend who rented a place out there for the summer. We spent most of the weekend relaxing and leafing through September issues of magazines (and making shopping lists, naturally), and of course eating. It was amazing to see the enormous mansions that line the road to the beach — some of them have hedges so high and driveways so long that you can barely even see the house! The weekend felt so much longer than usual because there was really nothing that we had to do and nowhere we had to be. That’s the perfect weekend in my eyes!

Have a great weekend!

Top photo by bionicgrrrl via Flickr

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Recipe: Pain d’Epi

I love baking (obviously), but something I’ve never quite been able to get right is bread. Everything always goes according to plan — flour, yeast, warm water, and a whirl with the bread hook in the Kitchen Aid mixer. But then after it bakes and teases me from the oven with that delicious gluten-filled fresh bread scent, I always end up with a loaf so crusty on top that there isn’t much more to it than, well, crust. For some reason, it’s always missing that soft, airy center that (let’s face it) makes bread worthwhile.

Last weekend, I decided to try a recipe that I saw on The Cooking Channel for Pain d’Epi, a baguette-like loaf of bread that’s artfully twisted into the shape of a wheat stalk. I did two things differently than I usually do: I kneaded the dough by hand for 10 minutes instead of using the Kitchen Aid, and I spritzed the inside of my heated oven with water before popping the bread in. Both of these steps were suggestions from the recipe, and they were both spot-on. I have a feeling that my previous attempts at bread may have been thwarted by over-kneading by the machine and perhaps a lack of moisture while the bread cooked. I was even surprised to find that kneading the dough by hand was nicely therapeutic!

The end result was a pretty impressive looking loaf of bread with the soft center I’d hoped for. A bonus of making bread in this “wheat” shape (which is SO easy to do, by the way) is that it’s pre-portioned for people to tear off a piece and enjoy!

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