Back to Basics: Perfect Oven Bacon

{part one}

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One thing I noticed while blogging before is that I felt as if I had to come up with extremely unique recipes.  However, I realized more often than not I find myself researching general cooking tips and tricks.  By perfecting the basics, I then add to my recipe making it more unique.  Therefore, I decided to start to compile a list of my basic recipes.  Over the next few months, I am going to share recipes that I have spent many a time trying to get the perfect cooking method.

First up on the basics is many people’s favorite:  Bacon.

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I’ve fried, microwaved, broiled you name it to figure out the best way to produce a crispy piece of bacon.  I think I finally have the perfect method:  baking.  It is calling BAKE-ON, right?  Not FRY-ON.  This produces a perfectly crisp piece of bacon, prevents from getting a bacon grease burn, and your house won’t smell like bacon for days.

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It is also VERY important to buy quality bacon for the perfect piece.  Bacon is definitely not a Kroger brand item.  I mean come on, you are eating a delicious, fatty, 90 calories per slice piece of deliciousness, you might as well go big.  So no being stingy here.  Buy the good stuff, whether it is behind the meat counter or the Black Label for Hormel.  Inspect your bacon package too before tossing it into your cart.  Make sure it isn’t all white and fatty.  Now you want a good deal of the white, but definitely more meat part.

This method is fool-proof for the perfect piece of bacon.  If you like your bacon a little less crispy, just adjust the cook time.  Remember the bacon will continue to cook when you take it out of the oven, especially if you don’t immediately blot the grease.  On a scale of 1-10 how much are your craving bacon??

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Perfect Crispy oven bacon

 

Prep Time:  1 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 15-18 minutes   |||   Servings: 4  |||   Difficulty: Low

Ingredients:
BACON

Directions:
1.  Remove bacon from packaging and blot with a paper towel to remove any present moisture.

2.  Place on a baking sheet, do not overcrowd.

3.  Put the baking sheets in the oven and turn on to 400 degrees.  This is very important!  Do not preheat the oven.  The oven will heat while slowly baking the bacon.

4.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through the baking time.

5.  Remove from oven once just nearly crisp and place on a piece of paper towel.

6.  Blot with paper towel removing the excess grease.

Serve & enjoy :)

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Raspberry Pistachio Muffins

{sweet.salty.crunchy}

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Baking items aren’t common guests on Not So Doughie.  Here are my reasons:
1.  I don’t really crave sweets.
2. I love salty more.
3. They usually are doughie recipes.
4. I don’t really have the time to bake, unless it’s the weekend [or a random night where I made easy homemade brownies for Bryan].

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If you’ve been one of my long time readers or have checked out the dessert section of my blog, you will notice a few recipes there.  Most are my favorite kinds of dessert – I love fruity desserts more than chocolatey desserts and I also have been loving the salty and savory side of desserts lately.

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This recipe doesn’t really fall into a dessert category for me though.  I ate these muffins for breakfast for a few days.  If healthy ingredients are used, muffins for breakfast are great, easy powerhouse options.  Load them with superfoods, fiber rich ingredients and they will be a great way to start your day.

Do you remember your history class where you learned about hunters and gatherers?  This recipe made me think about that lesson, random I know.  But the two main characters in the muffins are nuts and berries.  Our early ancestors munched on these for their meals after those dedicated gatherers returned home, giving them adequate nutrition.  I think I would be a good gatherer!

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Anyways…. raspberries & pistachios – tart & sweet + salty & crunchy.  What a combination, not to mention the nutrition these two items contain.

Raspberries:  rich in fiber, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, rich in vitamin c and manganese
Pistachios: energy warehouse, rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids [the good fats], packed with minerals such as copper that aids in metabolism and red blood cell production, rich in vitamin C and B complex vitamins

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So what are you waiting for go grab some pistachios and raspberries and make this delicious, portal breakfast muffin.  An added bonus, they are very pretty!

raspberry pistachio muffins

Recipe By:  Sara
Prep Time:  15 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 15 minutes   |||   Servings: 12-16  |||   Difficulty: Medium  |||   195 calories/muffin

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup shelled salted pistachios
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) melted
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
12-16 muffin liners

Directions:
1.  In a medium bowl, combine 1 3/4 cup flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
2.  Stir in melted butter.
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla.
4.  Slowly pour milk mixture into flour mixture.  Stir gently and leave some lumps, it makes a better muffin.
5.  Finely chop about 1/4 cup of the pistachios
6.  Combine the remaining 1/4 cup flour with the raspberries and fold into the flour/milk mixture.
7.  Stir in finely chopped pistachios.
8.  Spoon mixture into muffin liners.
9.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes.
10.  Remove from oven and quickly sprinkle the remaining pistachios over the tops of the batter.
11.  Bake an additional 7-8 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
12.  Serve warm or store in an airtight container for about 4-5 days.

IMG_4246Enjoy!

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Strawberry Banana Bread

{okay, it’s a little doughie}

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There’s this rack at the Kroger I frequent that has intensely marked down items.  Typically, bananas are on the shelf and are practically brown & cost about 89 cents.  Every smoothie I make has a banana in it so I buy the bushel and freeze them.  The most recent bushel I bought had about 8 bananas on it.

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I already had a huge stock of frozen bananas so I decided I would make one of my favorite desserts/breakfasts: banana bread.  As you can see, I am not an avid sweet eater.  I would give up sweets and sugar thirty times over before giving up salty.  I just am not that into it, which I guess isn’t a terrible thing.

However, I definitely have a few sweets that are tucked away on my favorite list.  Such items include:  cheesecake (topped with cherries), out of the oven chocolate chip cookies, a strawberry cheesequake blizzard from Dairy Queen, and banana bread.  I am not sure if I should classify the banana bread as dessert though because nothing beats a warm piece of banana bread for breakfast.

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Sunday morning called for just this sweet breakfast treat.  I love classic banana bread, but I wanted to give it a little bit of a twist.  Cue the strawberries.  Who doesn’t love strawberries and bananas together??  I wanted to attempt to make the recipe not so doughie, but I strongly believe that there are some recipes that need just left alone.  I am willing to try a healthier one, but after being pretty dedicated to bikram and cleaning eating, I deserved a nice slice of something doughie.

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I am proud to say that this is my very own recipe, completely made up by yours truly, Doughie.  For those who know me and my past baking experiences, you probably are pretty shocked right?  I know I certainly am proud & the likes and comments I have received on social media made me want to post the recipe immediately.  So here it goes!

Strawberry banana bread

Recipe by: Sara
Hands on Time:  10 minutes   ///   Cook Time:  60 minutes   ///   Servings:  8   ///   Oven Temp: 350 degrees

Ingredients:

3 overripe bananas, smashed
1 cup strawberries, small dice
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour [if you don’t have this use 2 cups all purpose]
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
Directions
1.  In a bowl of a standing mixer, cream the sugar and butter together for about 1 minute on medium speed.
2.  Add in the smashed bananas, Greek yogurt, vanilla and eggs.  Slowly mix together.
3.  Slowly add in the two flours, baking soda, and salt.
4.  Stir in strawberries.
5.  Grease a bread loaf pan and pour in batter.  Place a few sliced strawberries on the top.
7.  Bake for 60-65 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
8.  Allow the loaf to cool then slice and serve with a pat of butter.
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Enjoy.
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Valentine’s Day Blueberry Buttermilk Scones {a guest post}

Happy Tuesday!  Valentine’s Day is a few days away!  If it’s too late to make dinner reservations at a restaurant, check out Becca’s delicious recipe for breakfast in bed scones!  A romantic & cozy way to celebrate with your loved one.  You can check out her blog {link below} to see what I’m dishing up this Valentine’s Day.  Meet Becca!

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Hi there! I’m Becca and I blog over at Two Places at Once. I’m so excited to swap blogs with Not so Doughie today. Sara contacted me a few weeks ago to swap blogs and after a bit of brainstorming we decided to serve up a couple of recipes that you might be able to use for Valentine’s Day!

This recipe is perfect for breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day. It’s quicker than it looks and you’ll have one tasty breakfast. Once you’ve had your fill for breakfast, they make a great snack for later in the week.

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Start by whisking together all purpose flour and cake flour. Cake flour adds a great texture to the scones. It makes them light and fluffy. Mix in the sugar and baking powder. Using cold butter instead of melting butter create a crumb-like mix that makes for an excellent final dough. Combine the wet ingredients and add them to the dry ingredients. Once you’ve got the dough mixed together, knead the dough a few times and pat into a large disc.

These scones are light and fluffy with a great tartness from the blueberries. Add a little bit of butter and you’re in for quite a treat for breakfast. My fiancé and I paired the scones with a couple of blood oranges. It made for a very refreshing pairing.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
original wording from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour (not self-rising)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup (½ pint) blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg lightly beaten for egg wash
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal. Stir in blueberries.

3. Whisk together buttermilk, 1 egg, and the vanilla. Drizzle over flour mixture, and stir lightly with a fork until dough comes together but a small amount of flour remains in the bowl.

4. Turn out dough onto a work surface, and gently knead dough once or twice just to incorporate flour. Pat dough into a 1-inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire rack to cool.

Be sure to check out Two Places at Once!

Cheers!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

{lemon is healthy, right?}

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I am not a baker.  It may be that I would rather be given a salt lick than a sugar cube.  Or perhaps that I don’t really care for the exact science of it.  It’s odd though because I love science!  Nonetheless, there are times when I crave for something sweet.  Last weekend was one of those times.

I knew I needed to detox/eat healthy/stop being addicted to food/all that jazz and I wanted a little last “hurrah” before I dove into the clean eating / calorie counting.  Therefore, last weekend I went through a bit of a baking frenzy.  I planned to bake some goodies Friday evening and gathered my ingredients.  When I got home I realized I forgot butter.  Seriously?  Butter?  Forgotten?  It was a balmy 1 degree out so there was no way I was trekking back outside.  So my baking adventure was postponed until Saturday, butter in hand.

Bryan & Chase aren’t huge lemon fans so these muffins were strictly for me.  That being said, I did not need 12 muffins to myself so my coworkers got to enjoy them.  I was very pleased with how they came out {for not being a baker}!  I have very few baking recipes that I keep and this definitely is one for the books.

Their sweet & bright lemon flavor had me itching big time for summer.  Oh wait, it is a giant snow globe outside right now….  The snow was great and all for maybe 1 day, but over a month of this BS is getting old.  I need a vacation.  Stat.

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Lemon Poppy seed muffins

recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Hands On Time:  15 minutes   ///   Cook Time:  17-19 minutes   ///   Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup low fat sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted + 1 Tbsp melted
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
white sugar crystals

Directions
1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a muffin baking pan with muffin cups or spray with cooking oil.
2.  Combine the sugar & lemon zest together in a large bowl.  Use your fingers to rub together until fragrant and the sugar has a yellow tint.
3.  In a stand mixer (or bowl), combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, 1 stick of melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.
5.  On medium speed, slowly pour in the wet ingredients.  Mix until JUST combined.
6.  Add poppy seeds.
7.  Spoon mixture into prepared muffin dish.
8.  Bake on the center rack in the oven for 17-19 minutes.  Insert a knife into the center and if it comes out clean they are ready.
9.  Brush on the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar crystals.
10.  Serve immediately or place in airtight container.  Lasts about 5 days.

enjoy!

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Potato Pancakes

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On Christmas Eve, I made mashed potatoes and clearly over estimated the amount of potatoes I needed.  We had so many leftover mashed potatoes so I decided to make potato pancakes on Christmas morning.  I was a little skeptical how they would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised so here they are making their debut.

I started by combining 2 cups of the leftover mashed potatoes, 1 egg (lightly beaten), flour, cheddar, salt and pepper.  If you have chives on hand, definitely add those now (I didn’t have any).

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I used a spoon to combine everything together.  Then I pour some flour onto a plate it order to dredge the cakes.  Use your hands to form the mixture into patties then place into the flour and set aside.

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In a large pan, I heated canola oil until almost smoking and gently placed the pancakes into the oil.  They cooked about 4-5 minutes per side depending on their thickness.

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After all the pancakes were cooked to a perfect crispness, I topped them with some remaining stuffed mushroom mixture.  I suggest topping with a dollop of sour cream & chives.

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So I didn’t feel too bad making all those extra mashed potatoes.  It was definitely a different, savory breakfast option which is right down my alley.  They were very easy to make and were actually even great as leftovers the next morning.

You can click here for the recipe.

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Mexican Chipotle Hash Browns

{simple & satisfying}

Thanksgiving is a mere 3 days away!  Bryan and I will be going to celebrate the holiday at my Mom & Step-Dad, Ryan’s house.  Since it is a short(er) work week I didn’t go to the store.  Tonight was a whatever night – Chase not here & Bryan quarantined himself to study for a work licensing exam.  Our fridge looks pretty barren, but I knew I would be able to come up with something to satisfy my hunger tonight.  I was going to go with a mini bagel and cream cheese and then I remember the potatoes I had left over from my Guinness Beef Stew recipe.  I rummaged around and pulled out some remaining veggies.  I was in the mood for something with a bit of spice so I went with Urban Accents Mesa Rosa as my main seasoning.  In about 10 minutes, I had myself a little Mexican hash brown dish.

Compared to last night’s crazy kitchen adventure, this side dish is so simple yet the flavors were really bold and would be star on a brunch menu.  The recipe can also be tinkered with to make it more of a breakfast bowl by adding some scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and a dollop of salsa (I will be trying this soon!).  Restaurants take brunch pretty seriously these days and some places are very hard to beat.  However, if you are on a budget, just love breakfast food, or want to mix up your boring morning oatmeal then try this recipe.  It was satisfying for dinner and would be delicious for breakfast as well.

Enjoy & have a great night :)

Mexican Chipotle Hash Browns ::::: yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup potatoes (any kind), small dice
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 Tbsp Urban Accents Mesa Rosa chipotle
salt and pepper

Directions
Place a saute pan over medium heat and then add the olive oil.  Add the potatoes and cook until about tender (5-7 minutes).  Add the seasoning and stir to coat the potatoes.  Add the green onion and corn.  Cook until the corn is soft then add the cilantro and tomato.  Season with salt and pepper & serve warm.   If desired add scrambled eggs, cheese, and a dollop of salsa to the saute pan for a main course breakfast dish.

Enjoy.

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xoxosara

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