Posts Tagged ‘Bacon’

oldsalties

Photo from Ovenly.
Click on the pic to go there.

Product Information:

Named best bakery in NYC by Time Out New York in 2013, this creative kitchen explores culinary traditions with a twist. These ‘Old Salties’ are the perfect beer nut to snack on during the game; they’re roasted in bacon fat, tossed with Worcestershire sauce and coated in Old Bay Seasoning.

I received a pouch of Old Salties Peanuts in my November Knoshbox.

Tea Suggestion:

These peanuts are very zesty and you’ll want to have a tall glass of iced tea nearby when you start munching on them.   Might I suggest some yummy Butter Beer flavored Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas?  The sweetness of the tea contrasts nicely with the spice of the peanuts.

What I Think:

I’ve been wanting to try these well-spiced peanuts for a while now.  I don’t recall off-hand where it was I had heard about them, I think it may have been in one of the Foodzie boxes that I didn’t receive (remember the last few months of Foodzie when we could choose our box?  My mind keeps going back to the “Brooklyn” box that I turned down in lieu of receiving the Earth Day Box.  (I could be wrong, but, I think these were featured in the Brooklyn Box.)  It was this product that was luring me toward choosing the Brooklyn Box but ultimately, some of the Earth Day Box products seemed more enticing.

And what was it about these nuts that attracted me?  Well, the BACON part.  The shelled peanuts are first roasted on bacon fat, and then they’re flavored with Worcestershire sauce and Old Bay seasoning.  Old Bay seasoning is one spice that is usually in my cupboard because I love the way it flavors fish, and I also love sprinkling it over my freshly popped popcorn.

There is a generous amount of Old Bay seasoning on these peanuts!  I can taste the pepper and the paprika – these are very strong, well-pronounced flavors.  I can also taste the Worcestershire sauce.  I’m wishing that I could taste more evidence of the bacon fat roasting though.  These are very salty, and if I pop a few of them in my mouth at the same time and sort of let the seasoning move around on my palate, I can taste the bacon-y notes, but, the bacon lover in me wants more bacon!

My Final Thoughts:

Really tasty.  Ovenly does NOT skimp on the spice here.  The spice is strong and bold and it’s got one heck of a kick to it … it leaves my mouth tingling from the spice.  I’m glad I’ve got this iced tea!

I love tomatoes.  I call them my favorite “fruit” … not so much because they are technically a fruit but because my favorite vegetable is carrots, and I would have a difficult time choosing between the two if they were both deemed vegetables.

???????????????????????????????This summer, my big Costco discovery was these Symphony tomatoes (I’ve also seen a smaller “symphony” package in Chuck’s Produce, which suggests to me that you might be able to find them elsewhere as well.)  They are an eye catching array of colorful cherry sized tomatoes – with colors such as chocolate brown, white (which looks like a “greenish” white), green, orange, and the familiar red.  Most of the tomatoes are roundish in shape, but some are “Roma” tomato shape.

To make my tomato salad, I start with a colander full of these tomatoes with all the blossoms removed and the tomatoes washed thoroughly.  Then I cut them.  Most of the round tomatoes I cut in half, but some of the larger round tomatoes I cut into fourths … basically, I cut the tomatoes into bite size pieces.

???????????????????????????????Then I season with Kosher salt and ground pepper.  If I happen to have it on hand, I will substitute the Kosher salt with a gourmet salt from Woody’s Gourmet.  (My personal favorite is the Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Sea Salt)

Then I reach for my bottle of Smoky Bacon flavored Grapeseed Oil from Wildtree.  This is the MAGIC product in this salad, because it adds such a delightful flavor.  The bacon flavor is not an overpowering flavor, and I might like this even better if the bacon flavor was more pronounced (Bacon is a lot like chocolate in that more bacon = better.)  The bacon is best tasted when you taste the oil on it’s own, but, I still taste the bacon flavor when I make this tomato salad, and  love the way the smoky bacon and tomato flavors meld.

Note:  If you really want to focus on the bacon flavors, I suggest seasoning with plain Kosher salt rather than the gourmet stuff, as the extra seasoning in the gourmet sea salts tend to distract my palate.

grapeseedoil

Photo from Wildtree
Click on the pic to go there.

I have fallen in love with Grapeseed Oil because I love the taste.  I used to be very devoted to olive oil, but, I like grapeseed oil even better, and I love the Wildtree brand (and not just because one of my dear friends sells the stuff!)   The taste of the grapeseed oil is not as heavy as the olive oil, and I find this especially desirable on a salad like my tomato salad where I want to taste the tomato.

I drizzle the grapeseed oil over the seasoned tomatoes, and then I follow that with a drizzle of vinegar.  I tried this salad first using this Champagne Mimosa Vinegar from Chapparal Gardens – LOVED it – but now I use balsamic vinegar and that is good too.  The Champagne vinegar is better … but it is also kind of pricey, Then again, so is a good balsamic vinegar, but since I always have balsamic vinegar on hand … well, you get the idea, right?

After I’ve seasoned and dressed the tomatoes, I toss the tomatoes well in the mixture to make sure that all the tomatoes get some vinegar and oil and seasoning on them.  And then I eat it.  YUM!

???????????????????????????????Yeah, I told you it’s easy.  So, if it’s a little too easy for you and my recipe is leaving you asking why I bothered to write this post … let me add this:  Tomatoes are very good for you!  They are an excellent source of antioxidants and help lower cholesterol.  They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, A, K and potassium.  And they’re practically calorie free!  Now, the dressing on this salad isn’t calorie or fat free, of course, but, I suggest go sparingly with the vinegar and oil anyway and let the tomatoes be the star of the show.

You can find more yummy grapeseed oil recipes on my friend Jennifer’s blog!

petitamusejanWell … actually, it arrived a couple of days ago.  It had been mis-routed, the postal carrier delivered it to the wrong house … fortunately, I have honest neighbors and they brought me the box. 

If you’re interested in receiving a box of gourmet samples delivered to your door every month, learn more here.

This month’s box brought me samples of four different products:  a pouch of Original Granola from Oat Cuisine, two items from La Vigne Organics – Dried Persimmon Slices and Kumquat Fruit Leather, and a Porky Pop from Black Pig Bacon.  (As in a bacon lollipop!  Yes!)

I’ve previously reviewed the Kumquat Fruit Leather, so I won’t review that one again, but I did enjoy it so I’m looking forward to enjoying it again.  As for the rest of these goodies, I can’t wait to get started!

In my last article about the Baconery Sampler Pack, I talked about the cookies that were in the sampler pack.  Now, I’m going to talk about the “Rest” … the other items that were in the sampler pack:  The  Bacon Brownie, the Maple Bacon Blondie, and the Bacon Marshmallow Bars.

baconery

Click on the logo to go to baconery.com

What I Think:

Of these three remaining goodies in the Baconery Sampler Pack, my favorite of the three is definitely the maple bacon blondie, and I can’t tell you how much it pains me – as a chocoholic – to say that.   It almost feels blasphemous.  But, somehow, this dense treat captured the flavor of the bacon perfectly.  I could taste the maple and the salty bacon.  This blondie makes the whole sampler pack worthwhile!  If I ever DO become a repeat customer of the Baconery, the Maple Bacon Blondie is the first thing going into my cart!

The Bacon Brownie was more chocolate-y fudge Brownie than it was bacon.  Every other bite or so, I’d discover some bacon, and it added a chewy texture and certainly some bacon-y taste to the bite, but again, I find myself wanting more from something called “Bacon Brownie.”  Even though I’d get some of that chewy texture, I didn’t get a strong bacon flavor along with it.  I do really like it when I find the bacon, and I love the flavor it adds to the brownie.  I’m just wishing there was more of the bacon flavor.

On the plus side, these brownies are fairly decent sized – they look as though they baked in their own, small individual pan and I like that because it means more of those slightly crispy edges.  The brownies are nice and fudge-y in the middle, but not the dense, moist kind of fudge-y… more like a moist, fudge-y cake-like brownie.  The same is true of the blondies, these were baked in the same, small, individual pan.

The marshmallow treats were more of a chocolate-y marshmallow treat, and less of a bacon-y one.  Sure, it was delicious, but, I think that the flavor of the bacon got a little lost amid the flavor of the marshmallow and the rice cereal and the chocolate.  These three flavors reigned which left very little room for the bacon flavor to shine through.  Again, a tasty treat, but this isn’t going to be one that I’d be willing to pay the hefty price of shipping that Baconery charges to get more.

My Final Thoughts:

I think that my experiences with the ‘rest’ of the Sampler Pack were better than with the cookies, if for no other reason than the fact that these treats tasted fresher than the cookies did, and I absolutely loved the Maple Bacon Blondie.  My favorite treat of them all, and probably redeemed the Sampler Pack somewhat to me.  Next time (if there is a next time!) I will forgo the Sampler all together in favor of a six pack of the blondies.  And I must admit, I am a wee bit tempted by the Bacon Pecan Pie.  Does that sound amazing or what?

baconery

click on the logo to go to the Baconery.com

You can learn more about the Baconery on their website.

What I Think:

Back in the Spring/Early Summer, Google Offers had a special for the Baconery.  I LOVE bacon (if there is one meat that keeps me from going back to vegetarianism, it is probably bacon, followed very closely by crab and steak), so, it didn’t take much for me to decide that I need to purchase the offer.  I didn’t order right away, though, because based on what I was reading on the website, shipping was higher in the summer months due to the heat.  So, I decided to wait until the weather cooled down, although I can’t say that the shipping charges decreased, because the shipping charges were still quite hefty.

One look at the items available, and I was a little overwhelmed as to what to choose.  How does one who loves both bacon and chocolate choose between Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies and Bacon Brownies and Chocolate and Bacon covered Pretzels?  So, I chose the Sampler pack which didn’t have everything that I wanted to try – mostly because I wanted to try everything! – but it had a good variety of many of the things that appealed to me.

Some issues that I had immediately with the sampler pack was the inconsistency between the two sampler packages that I ordered.  I had ordered two since my husband expressed an interest in the sweets with bacon as well, so I thought, I’d order two so that we wouldn’t be fighting over the brownies or marshmallow treats.  One sampler pack had six cookies:  three Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bacon cookies, and three Chocolate Chip Bacon cookies.  The other sampler pack had only three cookies in it, One of each of the cookies:  an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bacon cookie, a Chocolate Chip Bacon cookie and a Chocolate Reese Pieces Bacon cookie.

Which leads me to another issue … if you’re going to make substitutions (or short the sampler packs all together), I think that you should at least contact the customer to let them know so that they might have the option to suggest something else that appeals to them instead.  I would have rather traded in the one extra of the two cookies for one of the chocolate and bacon covered pretzel rods, for example.

The Cookies

So for this first part of the Baconery Sampler Pack review, I’m going to review the cookies.  The first cookie that I tried was the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookie, and I have to admit that I was dissatisfied with this cookie.  The oatmeal and chocolate chip part of it was tasty, but there wasn’t enough bacon in my opinion, and I think that this cookie could have been vastly improved with some maple flavor.  And as difficult as it is for me to say, it could have also been better without the chocolate (gasp!)  Yes… I said it.  With the strong flavors of oatmeal and chocolate going on in the cookie, I found that the flavor of the bacon was just a little lost, and since this is a cookie from the Baconery … I think that bacon should be a more prominent flavor.

The Chocolate Reese Pieces Bacon Cookie was tasty … and although the cookie LOOKED very chocolate-y, it didn’t have a rich, chocolate-y fudge flavor.  I did taste the bacon, and I liked the way the bacon and the peanut butter candies complimented each other… I think I might have wanted more chocolate flavor, but more chocolate flavor might have overwhelmed the flavor of the bacon … and then I’d be complaining about that … so I’ll just say, it was good.  Not something I’d want to buy again, but I enjoyed the one cookie of this variety that I received in my two sampler packages.

The Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookie is really good. I could TASTE the bacon in these cookies, unlike the oatmeal cookies.  There was a fair amount of bacon in the cookie, too, so I was getting a bite of salty, crispy-chewy bacon in every bite of cookie.

The only thing that I think could have made the chocolate chip cookies better is if the cookies tasted fresh.  Now, I’m sure that the products were shipped very fresh, but, having to wait about a week while it traveled from its origination point to its destination, the cookie ended up being just a wee bit stale.  Having worked at Mrs. Fields back when Mrs. Fields still ran the company and we still mixed the dough in big mixers in the back … I learned this little trick:  store cookies with a slice of white bread.  This keeps ’em soft and fresh.  I’d also recommend shipping cookies separately from the other items in the sampler pack.

In fact, I must admit I was a bit dismayed by the packaging of it all.  The sampler pack was packed in one large, sealed mylar bag which was not resealable – which is fine – but, each item was loose in the mylar bag, which wasn’t fine in my opinion.  I think that with the price that is being paid for these goodies, that individual wrapping isn’t too much to ask for.  If you’ve got to reduce the wrapping (and I’m all for reducing as it’s better for the environment), then at least wrap the brownies separate from the cookies, which are also separate from the marshmallow treats.  I don’t think it showcases the products in the best way to have them in a great big bag like this.  If you wrapped your cookies separately, it would have been easy to slip a slice of white bread in the bag to keep the cookies nice and soft.

My Final Thoughts:

Overall, I think that while this review reads a little negative, I have enjoyed the cookies, but I can’t say that I enjoyed them enough to ever buy them again.  They were tasty, and I’m glad I got to taste them, and they’re alright for a novelty item, but, they’re certainly not good enough for me to become a repeat customer.  And I really disliked the inconsistency.  I feel like my package was thrown together without much care or consideration for what was going inside.  I think that if more care were taken to package these items, and to alert me of substitutions and shortages so that I could have made possible requests for those substitutions (or perhaps offered a refund for the shortage!) I would have been a much happier customer and would have probably been a repeat customer.  As it is though, I won’t be shopping with this company again.

This month, my Knoshbox arrived on what turned out to be a very bad day for me.  As I was walking down to the mailbox to check the mail, I rolled my ankle and sprained it.  Painful!  And I mention this because there was no mail in the box – the mail carrier had not yet arrived – and because this box was delivered in a medium flat rate box the mail carrier had to bring it up to the door anyway.  My disastrous trip to the mailbox was completely unnecessary.  How fate laughs at me.

A scan of the theme card in this month’s box. I didn’t get a photo of the box and its contents before I started munching on the Bacon Peanut Brittles. By the time I got home from the hospital, I was on painkillers and had totally forgotten to snap a picture before I began munching! Sorry!

But… let that not lead you to think that this month’s box is also disastrous – far from it!  This may just be the best Knoshbox ever!  It contained only four items, but, one of these items is so beyond exciting!  A full-sized container of Pumpkin Sauce from Skillet Street Food!  OH yeah!  I’ve been wanting to try this since trying their Bacon Jam.

Also in this month’s box was a full-size package of granola as well as a Toasted Orchard Bar, both from Nate’s Naturals, and a full-size package of Bacon Peanut Brittles from the Redhead, NYC.  I’ve already sampled the Bacon Peanut Brittles, and they are amazing… so perhaps I might share this package with my husband.  Maybe.

Then again …

Anyway, this is a very exciting box, and I’m so happy that I have the opportunity to try these products.  Also included in the box is the theme card (this month’s theme is “Autumn Harvest”) which told of the inspiration behind the four selections.  The only thing that I’m missing this month is the little handwritten note on the back of the card.  It’s a small thing, but, I like that special touch.  It makes me feel like I am getting a gift from a friend that was packaged with care rather than an assembly line packaged box.  Knoshbox, if you’re reading this … I like the handwritten note.  It was a nice little touch.

As you can see by my little note under the scan of this month’s theme card, I have already started diving in to the yummy goodies in this month’s box!

Product Description:

Bacon. Jam. Need we say more? Josh Henderson simmers sweet onions, balsamic vinegar and, you guessed it, bacon, and then purees it down to a chunky, salty-sweet and irresistible condiment. This spread is good on absolutely everything: stuffed in pork chops, baked in tartlettes, mixed in spinach dip… you get the idea.

Learn more about Skillet Street Food here.

What I Think:

As I mentioned in my article about my Bacon and Bourbon Tasting Box, there were a couple of items in this box that made the decision about which box to choose an easy one.  This is one of those products.  I’ve had this stuff on my mental wish list for months now (actually, it’s probably closer to a year).

So without all the gushing about whether or not it lived up to my expectations (it did), and how much I love this bacon spread (and I do), let me just try to be as objective as I can.  It’s not easy, because I do love this stuff and it has definitely lived up to any and all expectations I had of it.

Upon opening the jar, I was a little surprised by what I saw.  I don’t know exactly what I expected to see, but, this stuff is NOT pretty.  In all honesty, it looks … well, it looks a little like something someone might feed to a dog.  Not really visually appealing. It looks as though this product had been processed in a food processor, and just by looking at it, you can’t really see any evidence that there is bacon and onions in this, because it looks like a well-processed meat product.

Fortunately, it tastes good enough that I can look beyond it’s appearance and appreciate its flavor.

It tastes like smoky bacon, and I can also taste the sweetness from the onions as well as the sweet and slightly sour note from the balsamic vinegar.  (And really, that is what made me want to try this.  Not just the bacon, but that it was a combination of onions, bacon and balsamic vinegar.  Three of my favorite ingredients in one container?  YUM!)  The flavor is rich and sweet and smoky and just flat-out delicious.

I have eaten this on several occasions now, having tried it on burgers, on fried eggs, and even stirred into macaroni and cheese.  And it is so good.

My Final Thoughts:

While it’s not much to look at, it tastes remarkably good.  If you’re a bacon lover, you’ve gotta try this stuff!  As for a tea pairing:  well, I happen to like this with a good roasted Oolong like Zealong Dark from Tula Teas.