Posts Tagged by bacon

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Almonds, Cranberries & Feta

Brussels Sprouts-IG

The other night I was looking for a way to make the brussels sprouts I had into more of a “meal.”  Honestly I hadn’t gone shopping in a while so I was working with what I had leftover in the fridge.  I was having a craving for my favorite roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, but it needed something.  Then I found I had these:


Dried cranberries, almonds and feta cheese.  The perfect salty-sweet-crunchy combo!  The awesome thing about this recipe…it’s the PERFECT compliment to all of those holiday meals coming up!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Almonds, Cranberries and Feta
Serves 2
A delicious salty-sweet-crunchy version of roasted brussels sprouts!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  2. 20-30 brussels sprouts, halved or quartered
  3. Fresh ground pepper
  4. 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  6. 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Dice the bacon and cook in a small pan over medium heat for around 10 minutes until lightly browned but not cooked fully.
  3. Depending on the size, half or quarter the brussels sprouts and place on a sheet pan with fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Pour bacon along with the bacon fat over the brussels sprouts and toss to combine.
  5. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes or until browned.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with almonds, cranberries and feta.
  7. Enjoy!
RAD Living
This recipe is quick, easy, and absolutely delicious!  I’m pretty sure you could even get the most avid brussels sprouts hater to like these.  Enjoy!

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Walrus and Carpenter: A Pork Lover’s Dream Come True

No need to travel through the looking glass to visit The Walrus and the Carpenter, a quick trip to Bridgeport, CT brings you there and it will surely have a much better outcome. Walrus and Carpenter, a smokehouse and gastropub, offers wood-smoked meats, seasonal plates, unique cocktails and craft beers…and dare I say one of the BEST meals I’ve had in quite sometime?  


From the second I walked in the door, I knew I was in for a treat.  The smell was AMAZING! Just imagine the best smoky, meaty smell and then multiply that by 1,000.  I was excited for what was about to happen!  The wait for a table was about 45 minutes, but luckily I found 2 seats at the bar so we grabbed those.  The restaurant has a kind of rustic, industrial feel to it.  Exposed brick, unfinished wood, chalkboards, metal pipes…simple and casual.  The clientele was an interesting mix of hipsters, Fairfield elite, young couples and older families.  Basically everyone can appreciate some good eats!

We started with some cocktails…I’m a sucker for a good hand-crafted cocktail.  I went with the Pirate Ninja, which is dark rum, maraschino liqueur and a few other things I forget, but it was delicious.


Deciding what to get was the hardest part, everything on the menu sounded great. Staying true to the name of the restaurant, of course the menu features oysters both raw and fried, but we passed on those.  I’m not a big oyster fan.  However, the Smoked Pork Tacos jumped out at me right away.  The bartender said that the tacos were fairly large and that it would be a good starter to share.  Sold!


He wasn’t kidding.  These were large, 9 inch tacos that were stuffed with tender smoked pork, shredded cabbage, onions and cilantro.  The pork was incredibly moist and dripped all over the plate.  What a great start to this meal…I will take 10 of these to go please. YUM!  

It was time for another cocktail and this time I decided to try the Gingers Have No Souls.  I was surprising myself with ordering a second rum drink since I am not a big rum drinker. This was a lighter rum, muddled ginger, lime juice and bitters strained and served up. Definitely my favorite of the 2 drinks.  This was less sweet and had a nice kick from the ginger.


Entrees were a tough choice.  I really wanted to try the BBQ but the Scallops and Pork Belly were calling out to me.  Ok, when does pork belly not call out to me??  B decided he was going to get the Pit Smoked Pork Shoulder, so I was set.  I could have ALL the things!


This dish was insane.  Perfectly seared scallops with probably the best pork belly I’ve ever had (and I’ve had a lot!).  It was so tender and the fat just melted away in your mouth.  It was glazed in maple which gave it a nice sweetness.  Both were served over marscapone grits that were rich, creamy and just decadent.    

B’s pork shoulder was also out of control.  Again the pork was incredibly tender with a nice peppercorn flavor and it came with a wonderful Carolina vinegar sauce.  The cornbread lasted like that one piece had an entire stick of butter in it.  It was good, but maybe a little rich for my taste.  B of course had to order some fries and like the rest of the meal, some of the best fries we’ve ever had.  Each one was perfectly crispy…not a soggy fry in the bunch.  


Somehow we managed to save room for dessert.  Once I saw the Bacon Chipwich with Salted Caramel Gelato, I was done.  How do you pass that up?  B wasn’t sold on the idea (crazy I know!) and just went for some gelato, chocolate and banana.  


Since he is a chocoholic, I was shocked when he said he didn’t like the chocolate gelato. He said the texture was weird, but the banana was good.  Interesting.  I didn’t have any room to try that because my Bacon Chipwich was GIANT!  Look at the size of this thing!


The chocolate chip cookies were the size of salad plates and topped with a TON of crispy bacon.  There had to be 2-3 scoops of insanely delicious salted caramel gelato in between the 2 cookies.  I was in shock.  Needless to say I did not finish this monster but I gave it my best shot.  Next time we will surely be sharing since B loved the gelato as well.  The cookies were good, but dare I say a bit too much bacon.  Blasphemy, I know.

These photos just don’t do the food justice.  The lighting was dim and I really didn’t want to be obnoxious at a crowded bar with my flash, well except for the chipwich because that thing deserves some light.  Just head on down to Bridgeport and experience it for yourself…hey you might even find me firmly rooted in a bar stool with some sort of pork product dripping down my chin.

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A $330,000 Burger??

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I saw this LOVELY story about a $330,000 burger on the Today Show. Have you heard about this??  No?  Well, it’s lab-grown meat.  Yes that’s right…test tube meat.  Well more like petri dish meat, but you get the point.  A researcher from the Netherlands, Mark Post, has spent $330,000 and 5 years growing meat in a lab from the stem cells of cattle and a cocktail of chemicals.  Sounds appetizing right?  Well I’m a bit grossed out skeptical…

I was a vegetarian for 8 years of my life and I have to admit that there are times that I still struggle with the idea of eating animals.  But my health greatly suffered from being a vegetarian because I wasn’t getting the right nutrients (I was not a smart vegetarian by any means!) so I went back to eating meat.  And I must admit, I love the taste of it!  How can you not LOVE bacon?!  It would make sense to me that I would like a product like this because no animals are actually harmed in the making of it.  Stem cells can be extracted from a live cow through a biopsy. But the more I look at that photo of the “meat” in a petri dish, the more it grosses me out!

Post sees this as a solution to what could become a global food crisis in the world.  Cattle attribute to about 25% of the greenhouse gasses that are emitted into our atmosphere and the cost of raising commercial cattle is increasing as the cost of grains rise.  By eliminating the need to raise billions of animals for meat, the food they eat can become available for human consumption, in turn lowering the prices.  This meat also will use considerably less energy to produce. Interesting concept.  However, it is estimated that is will take at least a decade to perfect this lab-grown meat and make it commercially available.  

While environmentally this looks like it will be a large improvement over the giant factory farms that exist today, what impact will this have on the global economy?  Cattle farming is a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone, so a man-made product like this could have the potential of crippling a large sector of the economy and putting many people out of work.  Which benefit is greater?

So today, this new lab-grown meat was taste-tested for the first time.  While the meat is grown from cattle stem cells, it grows in a “broth of chemicals” and is then engineered into strips that resemble animal muscle.  The “meat” is then mixed with a combination of beet juice, saffron, caramel, breadcrumbs and other additives to get the color and texture as close to real meat as possible.  Well all of those things are making my gag reflex work over time…blech!

The brave testers who tried the pan-seared burger this morning described the flavor as intense and that “it wasn’t unpleasant.”  Hmmm…not unpleasant isn’t making me want to run out and try it. One thing I didn’t think of was how the texture would change due to the absence of fat in the burger. Fat is what makes a burger juicy and sinfully delicious, so once you omit that you have a denser product. One taster described it as an “animal-protein cake.”  Another oh so appetizing description.

Scientists admit that there is still a lot of work to be done to improve both taste and texture of the product, so I’m sure it will be quite some time until any of us have the opportunity to taste one…if you dare.  I think they need to stop showing that photo of it in a petri dish…maybe then it will be a little more appealing.  Oh and add some bacon to that sucker…just as long as that’s not grown in a lab too!         

Here is the coverage from the Today Show this morning:

How do you feel about this test tube meat?  Would you try it?

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Sources:  ‘Intense Flavor’: The $330,00 hamburger that was built in a lab hits the spot; Lab-grown meat is here – but will vegetarians eat it?