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Taking Chance

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Well, tonight Sean had a gig & what's the fun in cooking for just me? So, I just ate a bowl of cereal—really good cereal, though. Publix had buy one get one free on their Post cereals; so yesterday I bought four boxes of much fancier cereal than we normally eat. I digress. Since I wasn't in the kitchen cooking, I decided to watch TV. With Sean gone, I could pick whatever my heart desired to watch! I had DVR'd a couple of movies that I knew he wasn't interested in & was waiting for the perfect time to watch them—I don't watch very much television & when I do it is usually one of our “regular” shows such as Lost, Samantha Who, or The Office. Tonight I chose to watch “Taking Chance” starring Kevin Bacon.

“Taking Chance” was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Click here for a brief description of what the movie's about. (They do a much better job at summarizing it—I'd write a novel just trying to explain it!) I am not really vocal about politics and this movie wasn't either. It wasn't really pro or anti-war. What it did was really remind me that each week people lose their lives for something they believe in, for our country, if you will. Whether you agree with the war or not is irrelevant. What matters is that there are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, and children experiencing great loss all around us; and I for one, have become so numb to hearing about it on television that I have lost sight of that.

This movie was incredibly poignant to me. If you haven't seen “Taking Chance” I highly recommend it. It isn't light & happy, but it's real & it's happening every day.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
8:42 PM


For the love of bacon

Monday, June 29, 2009

I love bacon...the crispness, the saltiness, the smokiness, the wonderfulness! However, I choose not to eat meat any longer & that means bacon, too. In the summertime one of my favorite things to eat is BLT sandwiches--I mean, I eat them year-round, but they are especially tasty in the hot summer months--Sunday afternoons with a BLT & fresh corn-on-the-cob, it doesn't get much better than that! I used to purchase a meatless bacon & cook it in the microwave & add to my sandwiches. But that is expensive & is processed. But then I discovered homemade bacon bits at justthefood.com; thank you, thank you, thank you, Joni Marie! Here is the recipe. I don't add the optional food coloring & instead of cooking in a skillet I bake them in the oven at 375-400 degrees on a well oiled cookie sheet & stir them every 15 minutes until desired crispness. I should add, they tend to get quite dark in order to get them really crunchy.

First I made some bacon bits to add to the BLT burger recipe on her site; they were great. Then I started getting all sorts of ideas on how to use them; aside from the obvious idea to add them to every single sandwich I ever make. I cooked brunch for my husband's family one day & made bacon cheese (nutritional yeast) grits as part of the menu. My sister-in-law's new husband, who isn't used to eating our vegan fares, loved the grits so much he wanted the recipe! (This photo is not the best of the grits, but it's all I've got.)

Next, it occurred to me that I could go back to making this potato salad that I used to make many years ago that was unbelievable, but also unbelievably unhealthy. It was layers of new potatoes (you may know these as red potatoes), chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, homemade ranch (I use the term "homemade" loosely in this reference, what I actually mean is mayo & sour cream mixed with the envelope of ranch seasoning), and of course, BACON! Yummalicious! So, I veganized this by making my own vegan ranch (for the record, I do not like the type of vegan mayo I can purchase in the area where I live, but once I jazzed it up into a ranch, I could actually eat it), I left out the cheese & added tons of my new love--fakin' bacon bits! It was to die for! Sometimes, when I think dishes are great, but then wonder if it's just because I am so used to eating healthy, I invite over Bala, my friend's husband who will eat anything & give me his honest opinion about it. This is just what I did with the potato salad--he asked for seconds & if I remember correctly, thirds, too! It was definitely a hit!

Then I got to thinking about a dish that some people, particularly women, love--broccoli salad. I have never been a huge fan, but I wondered how it would turn out veganized. My version consisted of broccoli, dried cranberries, finely diced red onion, sunflower seeds, vegan mayo & the star of the show--fakin' bacon bits! We ate this, but again, we are not lovers of this salad. However, it was good, especially for the broccoli salad crowd.

One night I made stuffed poblano peppers & at the last minute decided to sprinkle them with...you guessed it, fakin' bacon bits! I love these things!

For anyone who loved bacon in their past life, this recipe is so easy & yummalicious--you must try it! I make a double batch & keep them in an air-tight container on my counter--easy access at all times! If you try Joni Marie's recipe for these bacon bits & come up with more exciting ways to use them, please let me know so I can try them, too!

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
1:35 PM