Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let's start with breakfast!

It’s potluck day at work!  Since said occasion was to take place at 7:00 AM, I opted to create a couple of breakfast items.  This may seem natural, but previous crack-of-dawn potluck parties have included items such meatballs, cupcakes, and bean dip. Breakfast of champions, right?  (Admittedly, I consumed all of the above!) As this is my first entry, documenting first-meal-of-the-day food seemed appropriate... so here it is....


Chocolate Banana “Bon Bons”



This recipe suits so many occasions (breakfast treat, pool party, afternoon pick-me-up, weeknight dessert, etc.) I made extra to keep in the freezer (for up to three months).  Chocolate is an indulgence, and the good stuff can really dress up the mundane.  Feel good about yourself... you're eating fruit, after all!

What you need:
Four bananas (at the “ripeness” of your preference... I prefer riper)
1 tbs. canola oil
2 cups dark chocolate chips
2 cups of crumbled toppings (I used granola and crushed shortbread cookies)

How you do it:
In a double boiler*, melt chocolate and oil, then remove from heat, and let cool for about ten minutes.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.  Spray with non-stick spray.  Peel and cut bananas into thick coins.  (I like to slice into chunks the same length as the diameter, to create a more circular or “bon-bon-like” shape.)  




Using a fork, dip bananas into melted chocolate and allow excess to drizzle off.  Drop banana into topping, and sprinkle additional topping on top.  Lay dipped bananas on baking sheet.  Freeze until firm, about three hours. The final product tastes like ice cream.  “Bon” appetite!



The granola topping added nice breakfast-appropriate crunch...  Perhaps cereal topping next time?

Looks like ice cream


*double boiler = this is a gentler way of heating and melting using steam from water.  Fill saucepan about half full with water.  Bring to a boil.  Set a heat-safe mixing bowl over the water.  It shouldn't touch the water itself, but become warm due to heat from steam.  This will allow you to do wonderful things, like liquefy chocolate without scalding!

Brown Sugar Bourbon Bacon

It's a surprising combination of sweet, smoky, and savory flavors.





Brown Sugar Bourbon Bacon


1/2 lb. thick cut bacon
1 cup packed brown sugar (I use dark brown... up to you)
2 tbs. dijon mustard
a splash (1 tsp.) of Kentucky Bourbon (leave out, if you prefer)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment (essential for clean-up!), and set a cooling rack on top.  Combine brown sugar, mustard, bourbon, salt and pepper in a large zip-top bag, shake to mix.  Throw bacon in the zip top bag, and shake/rub to coat.  Lay bacon strips on rack.  Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

The flavor is an even balance of sweet, savory, and smoky sensations.  Leftovers?  These went in a hurry, but if you have any left, toss into a spinach salad with blue cheese.