Team Bacon – Week 1

Taken with my iPhone4

2, 4, 6, 8 – who do we appreciate? I-iiiit’s Bacon!  Go Team Bacon!

So I’m off carbs for a little while.  I gained some weight over the holidays (more on that later), and I need to get my cravings under control.  I’m not sure how healthy it would be long term, but since there’s no way I’m giving up pasta forever, I’m not too worried about that.   I do plan on throwing in a cheat day here and there.

I’ve done both Atkins and South Beach in the past.  They both worked wonders the first time and a little less every time after that.  Yes, I’ve been on a diet most of my adult life.  I am seriously fighting genetics here.  I know that I feel so much better when I restrict the carbs.  My mood is more even, my skin glows and my nails grow like crazy.  But not the first week.  It takes a little while for my body to settle in, and that first week can be nasty.  I get very crabby.  My digestive system rebels in every way it can.  I’m tired.  The upside?  I’ve lost 4 pounds!  Yay!

Happy New Year!

Oh, I wish I could order in some Chinese tonight to celebrate.  But, alas, Chinese food is tough to low carb.

Happy Year of the Dragon, anyway!!!

I’ve been collecting fortunes from cookies for years and years.  Maybe I’ll share one now and then.  Here’s one that happens to be lying on the floor under my computer (don’t judge)

If your cookie is in 3 pieces, the answer is no.

Hot Legs (Who’s that knocking’ on my door?)

Bonus points if you know what the heck I’m talking about…

Anyfootballsnackfood – there was a giant package of chicken drumsticks in my fridge, and I was hungry.  And the playoffs were on.  Hot legs!

Enough to share

I originally intended to deep fry these, but it just seemed like too much work.  I’m tired from shoveling snow and sledding with the dog and trudging 2 miles through knee-high snow to Dunkin Donuts (uphill both ways).  Baking sounds good.

Line those little legs up on a cookie sheet or two lined with parchment paper.  Aren’t they cute?

Naked Drumsticks

Salt & pepper them.  I used Hawaiian black salt.  Mostly because I just bought it at Eataly last week and really wanted to use it.

Salty legs

Bake at 375° until they are cooked to your likeness.  I can’t stand any undercooking in my chicken so I left them in there for about an hour.  Your experience may vary.  A poultry thermometer is handy to make sure they are done.

When they are safely done, leave them in the oven to keep warm and make the sauce.  Since I’m being low carb these days, I started with about a third of a cup of reduced sugar ketchup.

Still tastes good

Add to that one stick of melted butter.  Yes, butter.  I’ve heard that fake butter/margarine won’t work as well because it breaks down differently…

Butter. Ketchup. Nice.

Whisk that up and start adding your favorite hot sauce.  I like Frank’s Red Hot.  It doesn’t have that weird rotten egg smell that another popular brand has.  I’m sure some of you will want to use something with more heat.

Red Hot

I use about a quarter cup of hot sauce, but this is really where you need to taste as you go.

Saucy

When you get the hot/sweet ratio right, toss in those drumsticks and coat them well.

Lookin' Good

Make sure they are well coated on all sides…

Chop up some celery, pour out some blue cheese dressing, grab the beverage of your choice and you’re ready for game time!

Who needs wings when you've got legs?

Hot Legs

  • 12-18 chicken drumsticks
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/3 cup ketchup (I used reduced sugar)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (or to taste)

Place salt & peppered drumsticks on baking sheet(s) lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 375° until poultry thermometer indicates they are done.  In a large bowl, mix melted butter and ketchup.  Add in hot sauce a little at a time until sauce reaches desired hotness.  Toss warm drumsticks a couple at a time to coat and transfer to a bowl or platter with rounded edges (so the sauce doesn’t run everywhere – it’s what sauce does).  Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.

I love ya honey!          (Whatever happened to Rod Stewart?)

Bratwurst Pie

Eating very few carbs is fun, but it’s not the easiest thing in the world.  You need a good, solid go-to dish that travels well, can be used as a snack or a meal, and is easy to make in large quantities.  For me, that’s Bratwurst Pie.  Oh, how I love bratwurst.

 

This started out as sausage pie at some point, but I like to make a lot of it and the bulk sausage they sell at my local Sam’s Club has carbs.  But… the bratwurst doesn’t.  Score!  There aren’t too many ingredients: eggs, cream, onion, cheese, salt & pepper, and, of course, brats.

Brat Pie Fixins

Start by chopping up your onion and squeezing the brats out of their casings.  Cook these up together, crumbling the brats as you go, and drain.

Chopping onions makes me happy. It also makes me cry. Go figure.
Naked Bratwurst

When that’s done, put into a lasagna/baking dish and mix in the cheese.  Different cheeses make slightly different pies, so use what you like.  Today I grated some Red Leicester (an Irish cheddar) and mixed it with bagged Mexican mix.  There is Havarti in the picture, but I decided not to use it and keep to the cheddars.  A mix of Swiss and Gruyère is also really good.  Play around with whatever you have/like.  Mozzarella and Havarti would probably be good.

Grated Red Leicester

While all that cheesy brat goodness sits there waiting, mix up the eggs and cream and salt & pepper in a bowl.  Pour this as evenly as you can over the meat and cheese.

Eggs and Cream

Shake the dish a little and the creamy stuff will fill in the gaps.  Now pop that in a 350° oven and find something to take your mind off of it for 40 minutes or so.

Ready for the heat

Be careful when you take the dish out of the oven, there tends to be a little bubbling oil around the edges.

Hey – I said it was low carb – NOT low fat!  🙂

Oh so good...

And that’s that!

Word to the wise – start with a small portion.  It’s wicked good, but very rich.

Bratwurst Pie

  • 2 lbs of bratwurst (about half of the package pictured)
  • 8-10 oz grated cheese of your choice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp salt and slightly less pepper)

Remove the bratwurst from its casing and brown in a large skillet along with the chopped onion.  Drain.  Spread into a baking pan large enough to hold the meat and egg mixture.  Mix in the cheese.  In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and cream until combined, add in seasonings and pour over meat and cheese.  Bake for about 40 minutes at 350°.

I think I’m going to add in broccoli and mushrooms next time I make this.

Sooooo good!