Whenever the weekend rolls around, you have two options: sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day or be super-productive. Even though we’re all about lounging around and eating great food — especially when it is themed around camping-movie marathons or pairs perfectly with summer jams — you can use your downtime for a fun kitchen adventure instead.
Whether it’s churning up homemade ice cream for a backyard bash or starting the process for homemade bacon, there’s a cooking project fit for you. Check out six ideas below, ranked from easy-breezy to crazy-hard (but so worth it).
Easy-Breezy: Homemade Ice Cream
Once you master an easy ice cream flavor base, you can add any flavors that you want. Chocolate, strawberry, balsamic cherry — you name it! The ice cream maker does most of the work for you.
Continue Reading 6 Kitchen Adventure Weekend Projects, from Ice Cream to Homemade Bacon
Instead of the standards found in typical seven-layer bars, swap in some unexpected salty ingredients for the perfect balance of flavor all in one scrumptious little square. This recipe for Dude Food Magic Bars uses crushed pretzels for the crust, then layers crisp bacon crumbles, dark chocolate, peanut butter chips and crushed potato chips. Pour a creamy, salted caramel sauce over the layers and bake the bars until golden brown and bubbly. If you can stand the suspense, wait until the bars are cool, cut into squares, and then top them off with a sprinkle of crushed potato chips for a crunchy, salty finish. And don’t be shy — you can get creative with other ingredients like nuts or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a customized version of this decadent and dude-a-licious dessert.
For more wildly wonderful recipes, take a look at some of Cooking Channel’s favorite salty-sweet snacks:
A couple years ago, all the food blogs were aflame about making your own bacon. It was awesome, they said. You should try it, they said. It’s insanely easy and pays off in spades, they said. Very rarely do you ever hear an endorsement that roundly and completely glowing. What’d I do in response? I ignored it entirely. Didn’t make any bacon.
And frankly, now I’m feeling pretty dumb. Because I made bacon, and you know what? It’s awesome. You should try it. It’s insanely easy and it pays off in spades.
I started with a simple salt-sugar-pink salt cure. (Pink salt is curing salt – it gives bacon its characteristic color and flavor. You’ll want to mail-order this, or get some from a local spice shop.) The pork we generally get here in the Kitchens comes in astonishingly lean, and this belly was no exception. I was a little hesitant, but cured it anyway. A week later, I had what more or less amounted to Canadian bacon. Great, but not actual bacon (unless you’re Canadian).
Continue Reading Super Food Nerds: How to Make Your Own Bacon
If it’s bacon-wrapped, bacon fried or bacon-infused, then chances are it was at this year’s Baconfest in Chicago. Ardent bacon lovers attended Baconfest, a tasting event featuring dishes that star the most fashionable culinary ingredient, bacon. Chefs around the country created small plates and bacon-based cocktails and brews, while artisan bacon-makers and “bacontrepreneurs” sampled and sold their products.
Baconfest proved that there really is no wrong way to get your pork fix. Take a look at the newest culinary creations to get hit with some smoky seduction:
Continue Reading Baconfest: The 10 Sweetest Things to do With Bacon
Viral video virtuosos Rhett & Link (of “T-shirt War” stardom) have teamed up with Denny’s for their latest production Bacon Makes Everything Better. The video hits all the marks of a viral smash for the schadenfreude- and bacon-prone masses. In it, “The Bacon Diva” sings R&B narration of YouTube “fail” videos such as a kid jumping off a metal swing only to get hit moments later by the swaying seat and the ridicule of his peers. The victim then gets some condolence with the chorus “bacon makes everything better.” You can watch more (and find an offer for free bacon) on the restaurant’s site.
Thank goodness it’s bulky sweater season: Nick of DudeFoods.com has come up with a button-popping recipe for Beer and Bacon Battered Deep Fried Doritos.
We’re all about combining foods we love like Chili Mac ‘n Cheese and Chicken Caesar Salad Pasta, but this takes the idea of a food mash-up to a whole new level. My mouth is watering, but my pants are getting tighter just from looking at this image.
The process sounds fairly simple. According to the dude at DudeFoods, all you need to do is:
- Mix equal parts flour and beer
- Toss in some diced bacon pieces
- Dip the Doritos into your batter
- Deep fry in hot oil until crispy
We suggest a 5th step: Call your Cardiologist and make an appointment.
Make these, enjoy, then check out Pinterest for ugly holiday sweaters to cover your new food baby.
Click here for more comfort food recipes.
Also, it would be a shame to miss this Nacho Doritos Casserole recipe.
If making ice cream at home wasn’t a family tradition growing up (like it was for Cooking Channel editor Kirsten Vala), making the good stuff yourself might seem like the tallest of tasks. But like any other goodie we’ve grown accustomed to ordering from over the counter, making the frozen treat at home is far simpler than most are apt to assume.
Well aware of this, Natasha Case from Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches (recently featured on Cooking Channel’s food-truck show Eat St.) took it a step further. Back in the fall of 2008 she began not only making ice cream, but baking cookies out of co-founder Frey Estrellar’s kitchen, too. Three years later, their irresistible ice cream sandwiches can now be found in Los Angeles where it all began, as well as Austin, New York City, and even the Hamptons.
It being National Ice Cream Month and all, we caught up with Natasha, who was kind enough to share two ice cream sandwich tips, and one of Coolhaus’ most popular recipes.
Continue Reading Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches for the Bacon Lover
Cooking Channel fans have certainly been cooking up a storm. With so many holidays lately — Easter, Passover, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day — food people have never had more reason to get into their kitchens.
This latest photo — a Spinach Quiche with Bacon Salad, shared with us by Steve Cole on the Cooking Channel Facebook wall — has our mouths watering for a serious afternoon snack.
Steve, will you share the recipe with us? Pretty please?!
If you want to share your photos with us, do it right here!
Continue Reading Pix Potluck: Spinach Quiche with Bacon Salad
Eat your Brussels sprouts. Yes, please!
Brussels sprouts, once the most dreaded vegetable of children and adults alike, are officially trendy. I’m a fan, and proudly not a bandwagon one — there was never a time in my life when I didn’t adore these sweet and nutty baby cabbages. During the fall and winter, when they’re at their prime, I cook them constantly and order them as soon as I spot them on a menu.
Continue Reading Winter Obsession: Brussels Sprouts