verything Tastes Better with Bacon by Sara Perry.
I do not own this cookbook, but when I was looking for things that start with E to write about, I came across it and immediately wanted a copy of it because it’s true, everything does taste better with bacon.
Bacon is delicious. It’s salty, it goes well with nearly everything, it’s readily available and it’s kind of a funny food item.
Found on Pinterest. Way to meme it up, Oscar Meyer!
One of my favourite ways to use bacon is to incorporate it into desserts. I’m more of a baker than a cook, although I love to cook too, so when I came across a recipe that incorporated bacon into a cupcake, I was excited to try it. I made it for my boyfriend’s 27th birthday, and it was well-received.
Here is the recipe I used. Instead of a cake, I made cupcakes for maximum portability. You might be wondering what it tasted like? Think breakfast in a cake batter. Sweet, salty, delicious. Try it!
Maple Bacon Layer Cake
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups pure maple syrup (at least grade B)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp. Drain well on paper towels, crumble and set aside.
- Spray two 9 inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Set the pans aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the butter until it is creamy. Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment makes this so much easier, but I have done it by hand.
- Beat the eggs into the mixture until well combined. Then add the maple syrup and beat until well combined.
- In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour into butter mixture. Add milk and vanilla extract. Mix well until all ingredients are completely integrated. You should have a smooth batter. Stir in half of the crumbled bacon.
- Divide the batter between the two 9 inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
- Remove cakes from cake pan and place on a cooling rack.
- Spread some of the maple buttercream frosting (recipe below), over the top of one of the layers. The cover with half of the remaining crumbled bacon. Place the second layer cake on top of the first and spread remaining frosting over the top and sides. Sprinkle the remaining bacon over the top.
Maple Buttercream Frosting
- 2 sticks of butter softened (1 cup)
- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (recommended) or by hand.
- Mix in powdered sugar and beat for about a minute.
- Add brown sugar and maple syrup scraping sides as needed. Continue to beat for a couple more minutes until mixture is fluffy.
Recipe courtesy of Johnsons.ca.
esigning takes a lot of time and practice. Lately I have been scouring Youtube and design blogs for tutorials on a variety of topics as I set out to create my first WordPress theme for a client (never mind that said client is my sister!)
Projects such as this can be daunting because of all how many steps there are to get from point A to point B. What I keep reminding myself is that I must be patient and work on one step at a time. I can’t start coding anything unless I have a design. I can’t design anything unless I have an understanding of what is expected from the client. And so on and so forth. So I must patiently take the time to go through each step so that when we do get to point Z (cause, who are we kidding, there’s no point B when it comes to building a website!) we’ll have crossed off all of the steps in between.
Along the way, I think a style will emerge. My style. As I do more of these projects I’ll have a broader understanding of what my “look” looks like.
“It’s not the world’s fault that you want to be an artist…now get back to work.”
– Werner Hertzog, via Elizabeth Gilbert
reativity is such an important part of being a human. It’s what fulfills us in a way that food, television, drugs and alcohol can’t. It’s the part of our humanity that craves connection with other people. We are creative because we want to share ourselves with the world, so we create things.
My sense of creativity has always been tied in with my mood. The lower I feel, the less creative I am. This summer I was in the depths of despair. Slowly I’ve been pulling myself out of that mire. Thankfully, through my efforts I’ve begun to create again.
I’m also looking at creativity in a different light these days. In the past I’ve bogged myself down with this deep dissatisfaction because I felt like I wasn’t creating enough. But lately, I’ve been noticing how I create little things. These little things, be it dinner or a blog post, all add up to larger things (a new method of cooking or a recipe tried; more knowledge shared).
Richard Florida believes that all cities need creative people. The creative class is what powers today’s economy. And I’m proud to be part of that class.
robdingnagian: adjective; come to describe anything of colossal size.
When you’re faced with writer’s block, writing about anything feels like a brobdingnagian task. That’s a million dollar word for you. It’s terribly ostentatious and speaks largely to a person’s knowledge of literature (or supposed knowledge–it’s a term that comes from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, which I have not read.)
Writing about writing helps. But eventually one has to branch out past one’s inhibitions and begin writing again about the things that matter in a person’s life. What matters in a person’s life? Itemizing can feel like a brobdingnagian task, too.
The act of creating something takes effort. Not monumental effort, mind you, just small, everyday effort. It all builds up to a wonderful crescendo as time passes and you can see what notes you have lain down to get there. Slowly, surely, one step at a time. A life’s work does not come out of you all at once. That’s why it’s called a life’s work.
I have to be mindful of that. So many times I have robbed myself of the joys in creating something because I’m too impatient, too interested in having instant gratification. We’re all like that to a certain extent. Why else would smartphones exist? But when you take the time and effort to build something over time you will be infinitely more satisfied with what you have created rather than what took less time to make.
My father was a woodworker. He exemplified that belief that it doesn’t take brobdingnagian effort to create something. Slowly he built up his own workshop and through time built lovely things for the whole family, as well as friends and people in the communities that he lived in. I see it in my sister who’s garden flourished this year. Her green thumb gets greener each year as she learns about what works and doesn’t work in her patch through trial and error. I see it in my boyfriend who makes each meal a challenge for himself to create something complex and flavourful rather than the same old boring meal time and again. He’s built our pantry into a spice haven.
All this to say that life is about the small things, not the big ones. We all face colossal moments, but they aren’t the only ones that define us. It’s the smaller tasks that we enjoy and master that define us in the end.
This is a first in a series of letter-based blog posts. Utilizing the Daily Drop Cap for my first letter, I’m going through the alphabet, choosing one word each day to blog about. I’m doing this to get my creative muscles working again. Plus, I love the beautiful drop cap letters created by Jessica Hische and have wanted to use them for a long time. Enjoy!
dversity: misfortune; a difficult situation.
Surviving adversity is a skill that we all have to learn, otherwise we can’t survive the real world. There are plenty of ways to avoid adversity’s aftermath. Alcohol and drugs are the two wiliest thieves that prey on the mind’s desire to forget about it when things get hard. Coping mechanisms are instilled in us at a young age and we use them to avoid or forget about adversity. My favourite way to forget about things is to read a book. I lose myself in the story and drift away from what bothers my mind. But sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes the adversity seeps into my brain even while I’m trying to concentrate on the story. What do I do then? Sometimes I try to write about it. I’ve written so many things in the last two years. I began writing a novel. I wrote poems. I journaled. It’s been a growing process.
I’ve also cried.
“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later and then you still have to decide what to do.” — C.S. Lewis
This is an apt way of saying you eventually have to decide what to do. Whether you’re crying, or drowning your sorrows in a pint glass. Or overdosing on episodes of Breaking Bad (I’ve been trying to catch up). Eventually you have to face the music. Adversity is a part of life. It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself. And it may suck. It may bring you to your knees. It may turn you into a raging lunatic. But eventually you pull out from your rage or crying jag or what have you and you have to continue on. Adversity doesn’t kill you. It makes you stronger. Even if you don’t believe it right now, you will when the time comes. When you are faced with adversity yet again you will recognize that situation and you will decide whether you want to react in the same way as you have in the past or choose a different route. You may cry, but maybe the tears won’t be as big, as hot, as fast as they came before. That’s when you know you will be able to survive this adversity, just like you did before.