Friday, November 28, 2014

Candied Bacon Pecan Pie

Are you all stuffed with Thanksgiving left-overs? Suffering through turkey and cranberry hang-overs? We are too... but, not of the turkey and cranberry variety. Since my two older kids are at their dad's for Thanksgiving, and since we only have a picky toddler to feed besides ourselves, and since I'm 38 weeks pregnant and the thought of having to cook a huge dinner for just the 3 of us... we decided to change it up around here. Lobster is always good for a special meal for two (or 2 1/2 as the case may be). We went with this decadent lobster mac and cheese recipe. Best decision EVER. And, I took the time to make a couple of pies for dessert: pumpkin (of course), and this little gem of my husband's creation... candied bacon pecan pie!

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a recipe on Pinterest for candied bacon. My husband, lover of ALL things bacon, insisted I give it a go. So, I did. That sweet and salty combo. The perfectly caramelized crust on the bacon. HEAVEN. And somehow, between consuming every last bite of it, my husband had the brilliant idea of adding it to my Aunt Betty's infamous pecan pie recipe.

I've since had several people ask for the recipe. So, I figured it was high time I shared it. Here we go...

Start off by candying the bacon. I am rather partial to the thick-cut apple cinnamon bacon that we always buy from Whole Foods. We purchase it by the pound. And, truthfully, you'll only need about 4 pieces out of that pound. But, let's be honest... if you want to HAVE 4 pieces LEFT for the pie... you had better candy that whole pound! Because, if your husband is anything like mine, he will "sample" his way through the rest of it! Start by pre-heating your oven to 350. Meanwhile, mix together 1/2 C packed brown sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Sprinkle on a shallow plate, and dredge both sides of bacon through sugar mixture, making sure it is well-coated.

Place bacon on a slotted baking sheet, and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Start checking after 10 minutes, and keep an eye on the bacon. You will want a nice, caramelized crust. But, you also want the bacon on the soft, non-crispy side as it will cook more once you add it to the pie. 

Once bacon has cooled, chop it up. With 4 pieces of the thick-cut bacon, you should end up with one heaping cup full. 

Set bacon aside, turn up heat on oven to 375, and start assembling my Aunt Betty's pecan pie. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs. To the mixing bowl, add 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 6 Tbs melted butter, 1 C dark corn syrup, and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix until combined. 

I love that handmade cookbook peeking in up there. It was a Christmas gift from my mother a few years back, and it is packed with old family recipes. A true treasure! Anyhow... carefully fold in 1 1/4 C whole pecans.

Pour into a 9" unbaked pie shell. I wish I could say that the pie crust was of my own doing. But, that 38 weeks pregnant thing... yeah. I can barely stand up at this point. So, this year, homemade pie crust was just a bridge too far for this girl! Bake the pie for 20 minutes. 
Remove pie from the oven, and sprinkle the candied bacon over the top. 
Put the pie back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Your pie should be cooled, and ready to be devoured in a couple of hours! 
We adored my Aunt Betty, and this pie is the perfect way to remember her each holiday season. And, I would like to think that she would enjoy our twist on her old family favorite!

RIP Aunt Betty.

Candied Bacon Pecan Pie

4 strips thick-cut apple cinnamon bacon (or any other thick-cut variety)
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
(1) 9" pie crust, uncooked
3 eggs
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbs butter, melted
1 C dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C pecan halves

Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle onto a shallow plate. Dredge both sides of bacon in sugar mixture, making sure it is well-coated. Place bacon on slotted baking dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Start checking at 10 minutes. You want bacon to have a nice caramelized crust, but cooked soft (not crispy) as it will continue to cook when added to the pie. Remove bacon from oven; let cool. Once cooled, chop bacon; set aside. Raise oven temperature to 375. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs. To the eggs, add sugar, salt, melted butter, corn syrup, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Gently fold in pecan halves. Pour into pie shell, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle chopped bacon over the top of pie. Return to oven, and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove pie from oven, and let cool for approximately 2 hours. ENJOY!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Testing, Testing... 123...

Moves, babies, family stuff... over the last four years, there have been a lot of events that have side-lined me from blogging, crafting, and doing all of the things that I used to so enjoy. I've gone back, and forth with re-designing my blog. Are blogs even relevant anymore? Sometimes it seems like all of the social media platforms available nowadays (Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook... the list goes on), have made blogging an obsolete form of expression. But, as for me... I miss it! I have made so many great friends through blogging over the years, and it is a great way to network with other crafters who enjoy the same hobbies that you do. So, here's to getting back on this horse, and seeing where it takes me this time!

In the spirit of re-inventing my crafty self... I have applied for the Doodlebug Design 2015 DT! I have always loved their bright, playful products... and their glitter! Because, let's face it... no project is complete without a little sparkle! So, when I saw on Facebook that they were looking for new DT members for 2015, I figured there was no time like the present to dust off my scrapbooking supplies, and get to work!

They require 1-2 layouts...

I just love their "Frosty Friends" winter line! Teal has always been my FAVORITE color, and purple compliments it so well. 

Their "Friendly Forest" collection has such bright, beautiful colors... and OWLS! Owls are my absolute favorite, and I love to collect them! This was the perfect product line to use with my photo of the kids in their owl costumes from last Halloween.

We also needed to submit either a mini-book or an altered project. While I love mini-books, altered projects have always been my paper craft of choice. I love the flexibility they allow in my creative process. So many possibilities! Like using Doodlebug's line of craft supply storage in conjunction with their "Santa Express" line to create this quick, fun little snow globe...

And, last but not least... we needed to submit 1-2 cards. I've never considered cards to be my specialty. But, I'm pretty satisfied with how this one turned out...

So, I have written out my e-mail, detailed my scrapbooking resume, compiled all of my social media platforms, and hit "send." My projects are on their way to the inbox of the powers that be at Doodlebug. Now begins the waiting game. I secretly really missed this part of working in the scrapbooking industry... waiting on DT's to be selected. And, no matter if I make it or not... it felt good to push around some paper and glue again. It definitely renewed my love for the hobby!

*A quick shout-out to the gal that re-designed my blog, Rebekah, the owner of Le Charmed Boutique. She does absolutely amazing work, and it was such a pleasure doing business with her. She's great with communication, and speedy turn-around time! So, if you're in the market for a blog re-design... check her out!*

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