Tag Archives: jam

Grilled PBBJ (did she just say bacon?). Best. Sandwich. Ever.

Sometimes amid the open-fridge staring, when your mind is blank and you can’t figure out what to make, inspiration strikes.

An old favorite, a farmer’s market find, and a cupboard staple meet in what could possibly be the best sandwich ever created.  I don’t say this lightly, because there are a lot of good sandwiches out there.  But this…it was perfection.  Make it.  Make it today.  Don’t worry if it sounds weird.  It’s not.  It’s meant to be.  It’s your destiny.

I'll bet you never found this in your lunch sack when you were a kid.

I’ll bet you never found this in your lunch sack when you were a kid.

Grilled PBBJ (Peanut Butter, BACON! & Jam) Sandwich

2 slices of decent bread
1-2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter (I like the natural kind)
2-3 slices bacon
1 tbsp. jam (I used raspberry pepper jam)
1 tsp. butter

For the best results, use great ingredients.  Natural peanut butter, homemade (by someone) jam, good bread.  Real butter.  I scored some truly amazing jam at farmers market, raspberry pepper jam!  Use your favorite.

Good ingredients = good sandwich.  These are my faves.

Good ingredients = good sandwich. These are my faves.

Cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels.  If you’re using the same skillet (and why wouldn’t you), wipe out all the bacon grease before proceeding.

Heat skillet over medium heat.  Lightly spread a bit of butter on one side of the bread slices.  On the other side of one slice spread a liberal coating of peanut butter.  If there is a way to do this without getting butter on yourself, I haven’t found it.  Resign yourself to getting dirty.  Place butter side down in the pan.  Top with bacon.

That's what I'm talking about.

That’s what I’m talking about.

On the other side of the other piece of bread, spread jam.

My new favorite jam.  I love farmer's market.

My new favorite jam. I love farmer’s market.

Place jam side down, butter side up on top of the bacon.  Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.  Cut in triangles and eat!

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Cranberry Bliss Creme

Cranberries always make me think of Christmas, because that’s usually when I cook with them.  I have a lovely cranberry chocolate chip bread that is one of my seasonal favorites.  But that post is for another day.  Fresh cranberries are actually available all winter and you can get frozen ones year round (which could easily be substituted in this recipe). I love those tangy little things so I’m trying to take advantage of them a little more often.

This recipe was actually called Cranberry Curd, but whenever I hear the word “curd” my gag reflex immediately reacts.  Not a big fan of curds of any kind.  They make me think of things that are sour and gross.  Which admittedly, is not always the case.  But seriously, I never even knew what a curd was in this context.  I’ve heard of lemon curd but I always avoided it, picturing some cottage cheese-infested lemony concoction.  I was wrong.  A curd is simply a creamy fruit spread made with eggs.  It can be used in place of jam, on toast, on yogurt, for filling in cake…you get the idea.  It was sweet, tangy and wonderful!

Just use instead of jam. I especially liked it on sourdough.  Yum!

Just use instead of jam. I especially liked it on sourdough. Yum!

I made up a bunch of this during the holidays.  It was the perfect item to finish off a gift basket, present to a hostess, or offer as a token gift or thank you.  And we managed to keep and eat quite a bit of it ourselves.  I loved it on toast, but my favorite way to eat it was swirled into greek yogurt.

This is how most of mine ended up.  Swirled into thick plain or honey greek yogurt. Delicious and healthy too!

This is how most of mine ended up. Swirled into thick plain or honey greek yogurt. Delicious and healthy too!

I packaged it in small jam jars, which were great to put in the freezer and take out as needed.  The only drawback to this particular item is that it doesn’t last long!  With an expiration date of 2 weeks or so, you can’t stash it in the fridge and forget about it.  So cook some, and eat up!

Jars of Bliss to give out.  And a few to keep for myself.

Jars of Bliss to give out. And a few to keep for myself.

Cranberry Bliss Creme
(from Cooking Light.  Recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups, but can be easily doubled.  Allow a little extra time for the curd to thicken)

1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 (12 oz) package of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yoks
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. Grand Marnier (optional)

Combine water, lemon juice and cranberries in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until cranberries pop.  Place cranberry mixture in a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Strain through a fine sieve over a bowl and discard solids.

Combine sugars and butter in a bowl.  Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined.  Add egg yolks and egg, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in cranberry mixture, cornstarch, and salt.  Place mixture in the top of a double boiler.  Cook over simmering water until a thermometer registers 160˚ and mixture thickens (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently.  Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes.  Stir in liqueur.  Cover and refrigerate.  Use within 2 weeks.

Perfect paired with something savory like Individual Mushroom Quiche.

Perfect paired with something savory like Individual Mushroom & Feta Quiche.

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