Maple Créme With Candied Bacon

Maple Créme With Candied Bacon

Warm vanilla with deep notes of maple, our pudding-like créme has all the nuances of fall. The crispy, sweet and salty bacon adds a perfect contrast with its candied perfection. Top it off with sweetened whipped cream and crushed Nilla wafers. We like using ball jars to show off the layers and candied bacon.

6 pieces of thick cut applewood smoked bacon
¼ cup maple syrup plus 2 tablespoons, divided
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple sugar or light brown sugar, divided
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split, pulp removed
6 large egg yolks
⅓ cup cornstarch, sifted
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup mini Nilla wafers, crumbled into small pieces, plus more for topping
Whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Lay the bacon on the rack. Using ¼ cup of maple syrup, baste one side with the maple syrup and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon maple or brown sugar. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the bacon over, brush the second side with ¼ cup maple syrup and top with 1 tablespoon maple or brown sugar. Bake for 15 more minutes. Remove immediately and place on a parchment lined plate to cool completely.

Fill a large bowl with ice cubes, place smaller metal bowl inside and set aside.

Bring milk and vanilla bean pulp to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisking constantly, very slowly drizzle in ½ cup hot milk. Add the rest of the milk in slow steady stream. Increase the heat to medium and whisking vigorously, bring mixture to boil. Cook the mixture until it is extremely thick and looks like pudding, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour into the bowl set over ice to cool completely, then refrigerate until very cold.

To assemble: In the bottom of six ball jars, or tall dishes, place the crumbled Nilla wafers evenly. Layer with one layer of pudding, then a thin layer of maple syrup. Follow by another layer of pudding, then top with whipped cream and a couple crumbled mini Nilla wafers. Keep cool; when ready to serve slide one piece of candied bacon down the side of each ball jar or dish of layered maple créme.

Panzanella Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Panzanella Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

End tomato season on a high note with this amazing combination of tasty garlic bread bites, juicy heirloom tomatoes, garden fresh herbs and tangy lemon. It sings of Summer’s leaving and Fall’s beginning.

3/4 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 pounds multicolored heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-1/2” pieces

1/2 small shallot, sliced thin

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided

2 tablespoons basil leaves, torn into small pieces

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped

Zest of one large lemon

Juice of one large lemon


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and garlic powder. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp on the outside, but still slightly soft in the middle, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Cut the tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, toss well, then rest for 10-15 minutes so the tomatoes release their juices. Add the shallot. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tomatoes, add the basil and oregano, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss to evenly coat. Add the bread cubes, as much as desired. (Save the rest for another use if you have extra.) Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until the liquid is completely absorbed into the bread.

Touchdown Brownies

Touchdown Brownies

All the football stadium favorites in one delicious treat – a combination of brownie, caramel, popcorn, peanuts, and M&M’s. Select your M&M’s (or any candy coated chocolates) in the same colors as your favorite team. Or make everyone happy and split the topping using half of each team’s colors!

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, plus extra to butter the pan
Unsweetened cocoa powder
3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup of homemade caramel sauce or high-quality jarred sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups of lightly salted popped popcorn (we used Skinny Pop)
½ cup blanched, roasted and lightly salted peanuts
½ cup of M&M’s (or any candy coated chocolate candy) in your team colors

Butter a 9“ inch springform pan, Line bottom of pan with a parchment paper round and butter the parchment paper. Sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder lightly over the butter (replacing flour); dump out any extra.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter together, whisking to combine, set aside to cool. Heat the caramel sauce in a small saucepan to warm.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugars together until well blended. Whisk in the corn syrup and the vanilla and then the melted butter and chocolate. Add the dry ingredients, whisking to combine. Pour into the springform pan making an even layer.

Place the popcorn and nuts in a large bowl. Pour the caramel over and toss to combine until all the caramel has coated the popcorn and peanuts. Add 2/3 of the M&M’s and toss. Place evenly over the brownies, pressing lightly in to the top of the batter. Sprinkle the remaining M&M’s over the popcorn/caramel mixture.

Bake the brownie for 55-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife between the brownie and the springform pan and remove the sides. Cool completely. Remove the pan bottom and parchment. Cut in to wedges.

Grilled Garden Vegetables with Sour Cream Herb Sauce

Grilled Garden Vegetables with Sour Cream Herb Sauce

Grilling vegetables creates a slightly smoky and caramelized tastiness that brings out their best flavors. These yummy bites make a perfect appetizer plate, a savory side dish for grilled meats, or an entrée by adding a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Choose your favorites to grill – zucchini, eggplant, onions, small potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, or asparagus. Our simple sour cream sauce adds an extra zing and can be created with your favorite herbs.

8-ounce container sour cream or crème fraîche
4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs – mix of basil, rosemary, oregano, chives, sage, dill, parsley, thyme & cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
4 pounds of fresh garden vegetables – zucchini, eggplant, onions, small potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, asparagus cut into large pieces or left whole
¾ cup olive oil
Chopped basil leaves

Combine the sour cream or crème fraîche with the herbs, cream, and lemon zest. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Heat a BBQ grill to very hot. Brush each side of the vegetables with oil and sprinkle with salt. Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender, lightly charred, and well marked. About 10 to 12 minutes for potatoes; 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers quarters, or whole small peppers and onion quarters; 7 minutes for the zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant; 4 minutes for asparagus and whole small tomatoes. Place on a platter and sprinkle fresh basil leaves over top.

Serve hot with the Sour Cream Herb Sauce.