Tag Archives: bacon

Beer-baked white beans and skillet cornbread: $1.38/serving

No sense beating around the bush: I like beer. A lot. I also have not had any beer for a long time. In fact, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had any alcohol (or caffeine) at all due to a misguided  attempt to live and work more mindfully. Not that I drank that much before (although I did drink too much coffee by anyone’s standards), but couple of beers a few days a week went a long way. You’d think it would get easier the longer you go without, but it actually seems to get worse as time goes on, especially when it comes to coffee. In fact, I apologize to all who’ve had to work with or talk to me in the past week. I thought this dish would allow me a way of finally having beer without actually drinking beer, but instead it caused a great deal of angst and emotional trauma for its requiring me to purchase a large bottle of beer—sweet, wonderful beer—only to pour every last drop of it into a pot of beans. Thankfully for these beans, as well as my sanity, it was actually worth it. These are some of the best beans I’ve had in a very long time, and they do have a pronounced ale flavor.

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Pizza with Yukon Golds, caramelized onions, blue cheese & bacon: $1.36 each

Given the abundance of tomatoes and basil in our garden during the summer, pizza has become sort of a seasonal thing around here. Which is too bad, because having the oven on at high temperatures is a great way to warm up the house, especially if you have an oil-burning furnace like we do. (Being from California where everyone has electricity or natural gas, I originally pictured an oil-burning furnace as some sort of iron-clad Depression-era boiler that looked like it came off a submarine, but was disappointed to discover it looks like any other furnace.) Did you know heating oil costs more than gas right now? Because it does, and this causes me great anxiety any time we turn the thermostat over 60 degrees, so I’m always looking for auxiliary heat sources. Anyhow, this is my attempt at a seasonal pizza for January, using garlic oil in place of tomato sauce and thyme leaves in place of basil. It definitely doesn’t scream “PIZZA!,” but it’s still pretty damn good.

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White bean soup with caramelized apples & onions: $1.23/serving

This unphotogenic but fabulous soup was originally inspired by a white bean and apple soup in Lidia Bastianich’s “Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy.” I loved the idea of apples and beans together, but as for the recipe itself…I love you, Lidia, but really? Whole white beans and apple slices simmered in WATER, with only lemon zest and cinnamon for support? I’ve made enough soups in my lifetime to know that’s not going to end well.

To inject some much-needed flavor, I cooked the white beans in proper soup stock with a little bay and rosemary (I used turkey because it was on hand and free, but chicken or even vegetable is fine) and pureed them, then folded some caramelized apples and onions in at the end and topped with a sprinkling of bacon.

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Guest Post: sausage, bacon & mushroom calzones: $2.03 each

Note: This is one of approximately three times my husband, B., has cooked in the entire history of our relationship, and not only did he volunteer to do it (and write a post about it), the result was embarrassingly better than whatever I would’ve made with the same ingredients. Not only is the gig up on his “I can’t cook” excuse, the status of his being cooked for seven days a week is officially in jeopardy.

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Andouille & mushroom fideos: $1.55/serving

This dish was originally inspired by the paella menu at my favorite Spanish restaurant. I don’t eat seafood, which pretty much prevents me from ever enjoying paella, but every now and then a non-seafood option pops up on the paella menu, usually labeled “fideos.” It’s cooked exactly like paella, in a paella pan, but uses toasted pasta in place of rice and usually features some sort of sausage. It’s meant for an entire table to share, but on two separate occasions I’ve eaten the entire pan myself. It’s that good.

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Green-tomato soup w/bacon & bread toasts: 81 cents/serving

Given that daytime temperatures here in Portland have been struggling to reach 60 degrees, I’m finally calling it on our tomato plants. I’d like to say they had a long and fruitful run, but I would be lying.

Every year I insist on growing obscure heirlooms from seed, and every year I find myself in utter despair at the sight of my friends’ and  neighbors’ fecund hybrids; pound upon pound of enormous tomatoes from starts they bought for $2.49 at the fucking grocery store. Will I learn my lesson next year? Probably not.

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