A Weekend of Cooking!

Last weekend was a weekend of cooking and baking experimenting! I tried to make bacon-wrapped green beans, cardamom-sugared bacon, and banana bread… some of these things turned out ok… some, not so much. But hey, learning!

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So the first thing I tried to make was cardamom-sugared bacon. This turned out well… next time I’ll bake the bacon a few minutes longer. This is the recipe I followed from How Sweet It Is:

  • 10 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then lay a wire rack on top of the baking sheet.
  • On a large plate, mix sugar and cardamom. Dredge bacon slices through the mix, lightly patting the sugar on top but not overdoing it. Lay strips on wire rack and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the bacon once halfway through.
  • Remove and drain on paper towels for 1 minute.

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Then, I tried to make bacon-wrapped green beans… which turned out… soggy. Because I forgot I had a specific type of baking dish. Next time, they’ll be right! This is the recipe I followed from How Sweet It Is:

  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 10-12 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry green beans, then season with salt and pepper. Bundle together about 5-8 green beans – this will depend on your size of beans and the amount of beans you get for one pound. Bundle together as many as you’d like! Using a slice of bacon, wrap it around the center of the beans to hold it together. Lay the bundle bacon seam side down in the baking dish to hold it together. Repeat with remaining beans.
  • Heat a small saucepan over low heat. Add butter, brown sugar and garlic and whisk until melted and combined. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture over top of each green bean bundle. Cover the bundles with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, just until bacon gets crispy.

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Finally, on Sunday, I decided to attempt making banana bread. It turned out well I think… next time I won’t bake it as long… it got kind of harder on the top and sides then I think it should have. This is the recipe I followed once again from How Sweet It Is:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan (mine was 9×5) liberally with non-stick spray or grease with butter. In a bowl, mix together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract, then add bananas and milk and mix until combined. Add in dry ingredients slowing, mixing with a spoon until batter comes together. Add in melted butter and stir until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely – best if cooled overnight.

And oh yeah… make this bread and put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top with some chocolate syrup!

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