Bunco Bacon and Tomato Cups (BBTC)

The following is submitted to honor a special request by Linda in response to yesterday’s post … it’s one of many recipes available to Bunco groups everywhere for one-handed food items that leave one hand free to roll the dice.

Ingredients

8 slices of bacon – the thicker the better
4 large eggs
1 jar of blackberry jam (seedless)
2 pieces of white bread
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (16 ounce) can refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough

Directions

  1. Preheat your favorite oven to 375 F, then lightly grease the mini muffin pan you just conveniently found in your basement. You can dust it first, if you wish, but it’s not necessary because the heat will kill anything living on it.
  2. Over medium heat, cook the bacon until it’s evenly brown and extremely brittle. Drain the pieces on paper towels, if you wish, or just let them soak in one corner of the pan while you fry the four eggs in the bacon grease.
  3. Start your toast. We use non-nutritional white bread because it’s better for us. It’s true. A doctor said so.
  4. When the toast pops up, the eggs are done. Trust me on this. Just butter the toast, but the two pieces on a warmed plate, and dump two eggs on each piece. Pierce the yolks so the toast will soak them up. I use a fork, but I’m sure a pointy finger will work OK. Put the bacon on top of the eggs, fold them in half, and have a great breakfast (or lunch, or dinner). You might want to lean over you plate to catch the yolk running off your chin.
  5. Put the jam away because you don’t need it.
  6. Now, while you’re digesting all that protein, you’re ready to do some work.
  7. Get the bag of fresh bacon bits that you recently found on third shelf down in your refrigerator, all the way to back where you rarely look. Using the “By Guess By Golly” method, remove two handfuls of bits and place them into a medium size mixing bowl. Or, you can skip this part until well into the baking process and just dump them on top.
  8. Add the chopped tomato, & onion. Since tomatoes and onions are sold in a stunning variety of sizes, you can adjust the number needed based on how you ‘feel’ when you’re chopping them. I call this the Zen approach. I prune bushes this way, too. You can use Zen for anything.
  9. Add the Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, and basil to the bowl. Again, the amount of Swiss cheese is subjective. The original recipe calls for 3 ozs, which is a pitiful amount of cheese no matter what kind it is, or for what purpose it’s being used. So, we used a 5 oz bag of shredded cheese. You can either guess at 3 ozs, or double the recipe using the entire bag, and call it good. That’s what we did.
  10. Stir the mixture thoroughly until you can’t tell there’s any Swiss cheese in it. Then set the bowl aside in a place where you won’t forget it.
  11. Peel the little paper tab off the can of biscuit dough and beat it on the edge of your counter until it explodes. Carefully remove one biscuit and separate it into halves horizontally. Place each half into the prepared mini muffin pan, pushing it down in the middle to form a cute little cup. Continue doing this until the pan is full if cute little cups. This, generally, results in some dough being left over so you have the option to either eat what’s left, or place it into a sandwich bag for storage. Place the bag in the refrigerator in a place where it’s sure to be pushed to the back of the shelf onto which you placed it. You could just leave the unused portion in the can, and place it on the shelf, but putting it in a sandwich back makes it easier to throw away when you find it next year.
  12. Using a small spoon, fill each biscuit half with the mixture from the bowl you set aside in step 10.
  13. Place the mini muffin pan in the preheated oven and bake until the edges are golden brown. Using this method you must stare at the muffins for the entire time to ensure they don’t get beyond golden brown, or you are doomed. If you prefer using a timer, set it to either 10 or 12 minutes — 10 minutes so you can check them, or 12 minutes if you’re feeling lucky.

When the dinger dings, if you used a time, remove the muffin pan from the oven and put it somewhere to cool that the cat isn’t likely to visit for the next 30 minutes. Or, just put the cat outside first.

Once they are cooled, you can remove them from the pan and stack them on a plate in a manner that will ensure they stick to each other. Or, you can leave them in the pan and use it as a serving tray (the better choice).

At this point you wait until your spouse is diverted by something (anything) then you rush the muffins to your car. He isn’t allowed to have any unless the Bunco Group, for which you made these, with his help, feel benevolent and leave one or two. So, he gets one, and likes it, even though it’s cold and has been sitting around for the past three hours. I think basil is added to the mixture so you can tell if bugs have actually deposited anything on the muffins.

He’ll still like it.

In case you’re really interested in this, here’s the real recipe.

 

Homemade Egg Noodles & a Dead Chicken

For those of you who know about my world-famous … well, maybe at least St. Helens famous … home-made noodles, and aren’t clamoring for the recipe, I thought I’d share it with you anyway. This is from an old blog entry I made in December 2010.

Step 1: boil up a dead chicken the day before you plan to eat it. You can try it with a live one, but I don’t recommend it. It’s really hard to pluck a live chicken. Let it cool then put it in the refrigerator in preparation for the day you want to eat it. When the day comes, remove the dead chicken from the refrigerator and demand that your wife, or husband, rip all the meat from the bones. When they refuse, do it yourself. Keep the meat, dispose of the bones. Put the meat in the refrigerator while preparing the noodles.

Step 2: decide how many folks you plan to feed. That’s really not important. I’m just trying to mess you up. My rule is six eggs, no matter how many are going to eat. If there are enough people to eat noodles made from six eggs, you have too many people there. Today we fed 7 people and had plenty left over for tomorrow. Again, I ate twice. Like normal. Tomorrow I’ll do it again. No doubt.

So, you take your six eggs and break them into a fairly medium bowl. After picking out the little tiny bits of shell, take a salt shaker and put a thin layer of salt on each yolk. Removing the shell pieces really isn’t necessary, but it’s the right thing to do. Take the bowl to the sink, turn the faucet on low and quickly pass the bowl under the stream. You want some water, but definitely not too much. I’ve always pretended that my method of getting water in the bowl works out to a couple of tablespoons. The speed used to pass the bowl under the running faucet is crucial.

Step 3: using whatever you want, beat the hell out of the eggs until they are foamy. Doing this makes it a religious experience, suitable for Sunday. Once you’ve achieved a foaminess that pleases you, start adding flour, and mixing it in with the eggs. Keep doing this until it’s an absolutely sticky mess. Then add some more flour and keep mixing. When you get it to the point where poking your finger into it leaves a dent, but your finger doesn’t come out sticky, roll the mixture out onto the rolling surface that you prepared before step one. I know, I didn’t tell you about that but, really, you should have anticipated it. I use a Tupperware rolling sheet and an old fashion rolling-pin.

Step 4: before dumping the mixture onto the rolling surface remove between 2-3 cups of flour and dump it onto the middle of your rolling surface. Then dump the mixture and pour some more flour on top of it. Knead it like bread until it’s to the point where you can roll it out with your rolling-pin and it will pull back a little.

Step 5: Keep rolling it and flouring it, making sure it doesn’t stick to the rolling surface or the rolling pin. Roll it out until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick. I guarantee that it will roll beyond the boundaries of the rolling surface. Sometimes I cut it in half to do the rolling but today I put a large piece of cardboard, that I found in the garage, under the rolling surface and it worked great! I didn’t get any flour on the floor like I usually do. Didn’t get any grease in the noodles, either.

Step 6: if your wife will let you, get a very sharp instrument that you will need to cut the rolled out dough into noodles. Sometimes I use the “everything cutter” that we’ve had for years. Most people call it a pizza cutter, but I cut all kinds of food with it for the kidlets, like pancakes, waffles, sausage, noodles, and pizza. It takes a little while to whittle out noodles with this tool, but there’s not a chance anyone would accuse you of buying the noodles because I guarantee they will not be uniform in size. That’s ok. If you have a multi-bladed noodle cutter, like I do, use that. It’s much quicker and doesn’t cut as deep when you get a finger in the way.

Step 7: separate the cut noodles, mixing in the flour. Add more flour, if you want, then leave them alone in a pile to rest. You can cover them with something if you want, but I never bother with that. I used to but no longer have the patience to wrap each noodle in it’s own little blanket. Takes too long, so now I just toss one of the kitchen towels, that we’ve been using to dry our hands, over them. If you chose this covering method, make sure it’s not real damp. There’s nothing worse than damp noodles.

Step 8: while the noodles are resting, heat up the broth you obtained while boiling the dead chicken. If you didn’t keep it, that’s OK because it never tastes very good anyway. If you did, add a bunch of chicken bullion, or something similar, to the water, or broth, and heat it up to a rolling boil. Add the bouillon until it tastes really good to you. No one else matters on this step. You’re the cook so please yourself.

Step 9: once you have it tasting, and boiling properly, add the noodles, flour and all. You’ll need to stir the noodles right away to separate them, making sure they don’t cook up in one huge lump. If that happens, just call it a dumpling and no one will know. Assuming you get them separated, and it’s boiling good, lower the heat and let it slowly boil, stirring once in a while to move them around. Check them once in a while, after about 15 minutes, to see if they’re done. For that part of this step, keep some Blistex handy because you will burn your lips and tongue. Every time. An alternative is to have one of the kids check doneness. You can only do this once because the second time you try, I’ve discovered, the police get involved.

Step 10: add the dead chicken to the noodles, stir it in and turn the heat off. Cover the pan with a lid, a plate, or another pan.

Step 11: make some mashed potatoes while the noodles are boiling. We always use instant because they are quick and we don’t want to wait.

Once the noodles are done, the broth will be thick like gravy which makes it perfect for putting on top of mashed potatoes. Before adding noodles, put at least 2 tablespoons of butter on the potatoes. This gives the plate a little color as the melted butter seeps out from under the noodles. It’s kind of like the noodles are squeezing the innards out of the potatoes which makes it fun for the kids.

It’s simple and, so far, everyone loves it. I suspect it’s fattening, too, but who cares?