Monday, September 10, 2012

Autumn For Real

Technically speaking, it's still summer for another week and a half, but around here autumn starts when the kids are back in school and opening weekend arrives for the football season.  This was SB on Thursday for the first day of school.

And yesterday we trekked to the new Meadowlands stadium to catch the season opening game between the Jets and the Bills.  My longtime readers know that we're diehard Bills fans, and WD is a lunatic Jets fan.  It killed me to create his Jets themed bedroom, but he is my baby, no matter how big.

One of WD's gifts for his 16th birthday was a couple of tickets to the season opener.  He elected to bring a friend that he's known since kindergarten and the 2 of them had a blast on the long road trip, playing games in the car, tossing the ball around in the parking lot, and of course enjoying the game.

We met up with some friends who only had to drive across from Manhattan to tailgate before the game.  The  Jets green clad boys were the minority in our group, but there was very little blue in a sea of green once we got into the stadium.

While some people tailgate with an rv and pro style smoker, all you really need is a couple of coolers, a propane campstove, a table to put your food on, and good friends.
Speaking of autumn, nothing says autumn like fresh pressed Cider Mill cider.

Speaking of food, my theme for this weekend's tailgate was bacon.  I've shared my recipe for Drunken Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Brats before, but I also made Bacon & Cheddar Potato Skins, and Sausage & Bacon stuffed mushrooms.

For dessert, I brought along some of the Chocolate Dipped Bacon that I shared last week, as well as football shaped brownies(recipe post coming soon.)

It was a beautiful day for a game, I only wish my team had played better.  There was far too much of this for my taste.
QB swallowed up by unblocked defenders, ball thrown nowhere near receivers, RB on the ground.

But as far as birthday gifts go, WD's team trouncing mine on a gorgeous end of summer day, couldn't have been planned better.  And after the game was over we were treated to a flyover.

It's time to clear away the summer decor(spring, really, we were gone so much this summer that I never got a chance to decorate,) and pull out the Autumn decor I created last year as well as craft some new items.

Thanks for popping in and welcoming autumn with me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Bacon

I know some of you are thinking, "What?! Bacon & Chocolate - Ewww," but trust me when I say it's all sorts of wonderful.  Salty & sweet, chewy & crunchy.  I promised, I'd be back to regular posting once summer was over, and I figured that my first post back ought to be the kind of delicious craziness that comes from random flights of fancy in my kitchen.  This summer of travel has meant very little time for crafting, but we do have to eat, even when living out of suitcases.  This quick and easy treat gets a big thumbs up from my boys.

There isn't much to the recipe.  It's basically dipping cooked bacon into chocolate.  What could be easier?  Recently I've been cooking bacon in the oven.  It's a simple, easy clean method for perfect bacon every time.    Lay out the bacon in a single layer on a foil lined jelly roll pan.  I cut the bacon slices into 1/4ths for the candy, but leave it whole for breakfast.

Place into a cold oven, then turn the oven on to 425.  Don't open the door while it's cooking.  After 17-18 minutes the bacon will be perfectly done.

Remove the cooked bacon to paper towels to drain.

Meanwhile, melt 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave.  One of my favorite things about my microwave drawer is that you can stir items from the open top without ever having to touch the hot bowl.

Dip the bits of cooked and drained bacon into the melted chocolate and lay on waxed paper to harden.  I use chopsticks for the dipping, but you could use a fork, too.

After the chocolate hardens completely, I store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Thanks for popping in and cooking with me.