Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Love Bacon! Bacon Baskets That Is.

With Valentine's fast approaching, I thought this would be a good week for me to blog about something I LOVE. Bacon. Bacon baskets that is.

A few months ago I posted that Pinterest is my new best friend. While visiting Pinterest one day, it lead me to a website with an article called '22 Things You are Doing Wrong'.  There were some very interesting ideas and concepts on how to do things differently.  One such idea was what my family has come to call Bacon Baskets.   The concept behind this keen idea is that when you are making a clubhouse sandwich, prepare the bacon the following way and the bacon will stay in one piece and you will not have all the pieces all falling apart from the sandwich.  This sounded like a neat idea and I thought I would have to try it sometime. 

Backtracking a bit...Christmas this year was going to be a little different and exciting at our house because it was the first Christmas in 20 years that my girls were able to be with me on Christmas day for the entire day.  Normally they spend Christmas eve and Christmas morning with me, then they go and spend the rest of the day with their dad.  Christmas mornings were always rushed what with trying to get all the gifts opened, everyone showered, dressed up, quickly fed and out the door by noon.  This year everyone was excited at the concept of being able to take our time that day and lounge in our pajamas until 4pm if we wanted to before heading to my mom's for dinner.   And it also meant our first relaxing morning to enjoy a nice brunch. 

Emails floated back and forth for awhile trying to decide what to have for brunch and so finally I sent one email that said, 'Everyone pick your top 3 breakfast choices and I'll create a menu from there'.   The responses came back as such: 

Bonnie: Hashbrown casserole, bacon, bacon, and maybe some more bacon.  Fruit.
Niki: Hashbrown casserole, hashbrown casserole, hashbrown casserole, bacon, maybe some fruit.
Shawn: Hashbrown casserole, bacon, fruit.
Holly: Hashbrown casserole, hashbrown casserole, hashbrown casserole, bacon, bacon.
Matt:  Unable to attend (awwwwww)
Paige: Hashbrown casserole, hashbrown casserole, bacon, bacon, bacon.
Brandon  He'll eat anything, but he'd like hashbrown casserole, hashbrown casserole, bacon, bacon and bacon

Clearly you can see that: 
A: we all love hashbrown casserole. 
B: we all love bacon. 
C: only Shawn can count. 

So when I read all the comments, I knew that I had to buy bacon and lots of it. Now what I loved about this breakfast was that I could make the casserole ahead of time, pop it in the oven to heat and walk away.  So how was I going to cook that much bacon for everyone and serve it all hot at the same time.  And then it hit me.  Bacon Baskets. 

So on Christmas Eve I said to Holly, let's weave the bacon now and we won't have to do it in the morning and then all we have to do is pop it in the oven.  We lined the largest cookie sheets we had with tin foil in a way that there would be no leakage of bacon grease onto the cookie sheet.  We wove the bacon pieces onto the sheets and covered it with saran wrap.  Then we stacked all the sheets on top of one another - covered well with saran and popped them in the fridge for the night.  

It was so relaxing to go to bed and know that everything was taken care of and an easy morning to look forward to.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures of brunch with the bacon weaves, casserole, fruits, fruit dip and cinnamon buns.  Bummer.  But needless to say, brunch was great, the bacon baskets were a HIT and the family time was priceless!!

So the next time I made bacon weaves I decided to take some pictures to give you an idea. 
I start with my favourite brand, and I cut the bacon in half.
Lay three strips of the cut bacon pieces beside
each other on the tray vertically.
Then begin to horizontally weave three more pieces of bacon.

Lift the middle piece of bacon, lay the next piece of bacon on top of the two outer pieces.
Lift the outside pieces, lay the next piece of bacon on top of the middle piece etc.
Continue. You will have used three pieces vertically and three pieces horizontally.
Because the cookie sheet was very large, I made sure to create a sealed seam for an easier clean up.  Be sure not to use a rack, just allow the bacon to cook in its grease.This will ensure even baking and wonderfully crispy bacon!!
Backtracking again...My daughter and son-in-law took me to Bronners this past fall and if you haven't heard of it before, it is a Christmas store where you can find just about any ornament you can imagine. (I say just about because unfortunately, they did NOT have any Cross Stitch ornaments. Disappointing!!)  

Almost immediately upon arrival in the store, Niki found this ornament and after laughing right out loud she said, "OMG, I want to buy this for Sarah!"

We got a good chuckle out of this very odd Christmas ornament, however I have decided I"m not going to go back to buy it.  Besides the fact that it is ... well simply put... it's 'fugly' - it doesn't have a bacon basket on it.  It simply will not do. 

p.s.  It's family day this weekend; I think I should go buy some bacon.... 


Tammy B said...

Isn't Bronners wonderful! hubby took me there this summer loved it!! I did notice they were missing our favorite hobby though out of the millions of ornaments :(

Sarah Beth said...

I grew up only 20min from frankenmuth where bronners is. Isn't it the neatest Christmas store ever! I've been there so many times over the years. I now live in Indiana instead of Michigan.

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