Category: cooking + baking

DIY :: making bacon

DIY: bacon making 1Last year, Robert and I took a DIY workshop at Save On Meats learning how to make our own bacon, sausage, and pancetta. The bacon and sausage was delicious and since we were inbetween homes, we didn’t have a place to cure the pancetta properly and decided to just turn it into more bacon. I can’t believe it has taken us this long to create a second batch! Once you try to home cure your own bacon, I promise that you will never buy that generic supermarket kind ever again.

adapted from Save On Meats Makes 2 1/4 lbs of bacon.

DIY: bacon making 2
Ingredients:
2 1/2 lb skin on pork belly
2 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp caraway seed
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 finely chopped garlic clove
Maple syrup * optional

You will need:
parchment paper
one large ziplock bag
cookie sheet / metal tray
sharp knife

DIY: bacon making 3Trim the pork belly to square off its edges.

DIY: bacon making 4Rinse the pork, pat it dry with paper towels, and transfer it to a large sheet of parchment paper.

DIY: bacon making 8Optional: Rub the pork with maple syrup with extra flavour.

DIY: bacon making 5Measure and blend all of the seasonings in a spice grinder.

DIY: bacon making 6Combine the ground spices and garlic in a small bowl.

DIY: bacon making 7Rub seasonings all over the pork and place everything into a large ziplock bag. Shake the bag to distribute the seasonings and then place in the refrigerator for 7 days on a metal tray. Flip the bag every other day as some brine may accumulate as the salt draws water from the pork.

The bacon should firm up over the week. After 7 days, remove bacon from the ziplock and wash off the spices under cold running water. Pat bacon dry with paper towels. Heat oven to 200F and roast until meat is lightly browned and a measures 150F at the center (approx 2 hours).

Transfer bacon to a cutting board and slice off the skin. Let the bacon cool at room temperature. Once cooled, refrigerate until completely chilled and enjoy! Bacon should be good for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 3 months, but you’ll likely enjoy it WAY before the expiry date!

make :: lemon spritzer

Even though the leaves are changing colours and there is a nip in the air, I am hanging on to summer for as long as I can. I picked up a bag of lemons from the local store the other day and instead of making lemonade, I decided to juice them into a container. When I’m ready, I pour 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice into a cup and fill the rest of it with sparkling water.

The perfect thirst quencher!

baking powder biscuits

I’m not normally a biscuit (not the cookie!) type of person, but lately I have been craving a batch of these baking powder biscuits! I found this recipe over on Post Grad Hair Cut and have made a few batches over the past few years, so I knew it was a keeper!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
Preheat oven to 450F. Mix everything together and place in small balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I got 11 biscuits out of this recipe). Bake for 12 minutes.
Let cool and enjoy with jam and / or butter. Yum!

** recipe reposted with permission :: post grad hair cutbestautolenders.com

{ chocolate } chocolate chip cookies

I had completely forgotten about these chocolate chocolate chip cookies until we made a batch of coffee ice cream (more on that later!) the other day and I figured that this would be a perfect accompaniment! These cookies are super rich and decadent and perfect for the chocolate lover!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 squares of semi sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Makes about 9 cookies.

  • Mix flour, brown sugar, sugar, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Melt chocolate and butter on the stove or microwave.
  • Stir in vanilla and flour mixture into the chocolate and butter.
  • Add egg and mix.
  • Add chocolate chips.
  • Make 9 balls and bake for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

cook :: homemade sour cream


My (successful) attempt to make yogurt has inspired me to try a few other dairy products, like homemade sour cream. Why I hadn’t started making my own dairy products already is beyond me; it may seem a bit intimidating at first, but it is extremely easy.

Just like its name, sour cream is the result of letting cream sour naturally. Store-bought sour cream often contains rennet, gelatine, artificial flavours, sodium citrate and added salt. By making your own, you not only guarantee freshness, but you also have complete control of what you’re putting into it. The result is the perfect finish to dips, potatoes, perogies and all of your other favourite dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of light cream (half and half) at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of buttermilk at room temperature

* For low-fat sour cream: Subsitute above ingredients for 2 tbsp skim milk, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese.

* For vegan sour cream: Subsitute above ingredients for 4oz (115g) soft tofu (dry), 4oz (115g) firm tofu (dry), 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp soy sauce.

Tools:

  • 1 Small Bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon

Step one:
Mix all of the ingredients together.

Step two:
Tightly cover and let sit in a warm place for 24 hours. I used the oven and knowing me, I also left a note on the oven door to make sure that I didn’t forget and turn on the oven!

Step three:
After 24 hours, take the bowl out of the oven and refridgerate until cold.

If you are making the low-fat or vegan version of this sour cream recipe, blend until smooth and chill for 24 hours.

Homemade sour cream is good for one month in an air-tight container stored in the refrigerator. Makes one cup.

inspired by the fantastic book The Home Creamery by Kathy Farrel-Kingsley

originally published on Granville Online – June 02, 2010