Candied Bacon Bouquet & Bacon Bourbon - A Bday Post

A bacon-licious man bouquet and libation for my babe's birthday <3

  • Candied Bacon Bouquet
    • 4 tsp vegetable oil 
    • 1 to 1.5 cups brown sugar (packed)
    • 12 strips bacon (thinly sliced)
    • Toppings
      • Semi-sweet chocolate
      • Caramels
      • Maple syrup
      • Walnuts
      • Sea salt
      • (etc.)
    • Misc.
      • 2 disposable muffin tins (makes 6 muffins each)
      • 12 fake rose flowers w/ stems
      • 1 vase
      • Some marbles, glass beads or beans (for vase base)
      • Optional: fresh greenery/flowers (whatever's in your yard)
  • Bacon Bourbon 
    • 12 ounces bourbon (I used Elijah Craig)
    • 4-6 thick slices of bacon
    • A jar of some sort with a tight lid
    • 1 or 2 paper coffee filters
The bacon bourbon takes a day, so plan ahead!
  1. Candied Bacon Bouquet
    1. Read directions for bacon roses to get the idea (note: it's easier to use disposable muffin tins).
    2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. 
    3. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil. For the 2 muffin tins, poke a single hole in the bottoms of each muffin tin. Coat the bottoms of each muffin tin with 2 tsp of vegetable oil (the other 2 tsp of oil is used later).
    4. On a flat surface (cutting board, plate, whatever), drizzle 2 tsp of vegetable oil and spread evenly. Lay your strips of bacon on this. Then, you'll cover the bacon strips with the brown sugar, firmly pressing to make sure the sugar has stuck to the top sides (only) of the bacon strips. Next, you'll roll the bacon strip, bigger end first and at a slight angle, to make a rose shape. Place each rose bud in the muffin tin and bake until the bacon is crisp and the sugar is bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. 
    5. While the bacon cooks, prepare the rose stems, as directed here. If you don't have fake flowers to work with, as I didn't, you can use aluminum foil + wooden skewers/toothpicks, though it's not as pretty looking.
    6. When the bacon is done, set them aside to cool. In the mean time, get the fun toppings ready! Melt some chocolate/caramels, chop some nuts, find some fancy sea salts...get creative. Also, get the vase ready by placing the marbles/beans in the bottom of the vase.
    7. When ready to be decorated, move the roses from the tins to the prepared stems. Optional: stuff some nuts in the wider rose buds. "Paint" your rose buds with chocolate/caramel, drizzle with maple syrup...whatever you like, but sprinkle a touch of sea salt on each (it definitely completes them). Arrange the bacon roses evenly in the vase. If you chose to add some fresh greenery to your bouquet, do so now. The smallest greens I had available were large leaves, so I "ribboned" them through toothpicks to downsize them a little and to give the leaf some strength to stand. 
    8. Share with your bacon-loving friends/loved ones. It can be stored in the refrigerator for some time, but don't forget that your fresh greens may wilt (so add water). Always serve the bacon roses at room temperature (or warmer)!
  2. Bacon Bourbon
    1. In a frying pan, cook the strips of bacon on low heat for as long as you can to render the fat, which is what you want in making bacon bourbon (20 minutes). Do not burn the bacon or you'll have a burnt-tasting bourbon!
    2. Pour bourbon in to a jar. Dispose of your bacon (nom nom nom) and pour the fat in to the bourbon jar (ideally, you want a few, 4-6, of bacon fat). Close the lid and let sit at room temperature for at least half a day (I do 24 hrs and add the bacon strips). 
    3. Now to remove the fat! Place the jar in the freezer for at least an hour and the fat will solidify. When solidified, you'll be able to scoop the bulk of the fat out. To get the rest out, let your bourbon filter through a coffee filter, which goes pretty slowly (20 minutes). When done, put your bacon bourbon back in it's bottle and slap an additional "BACON" sticker on it! (Lets admire the flying pig unicorn in the top photo...)

Happy Birthday, BF! I <3 you

Adapted (ever so slightly) from:,,

Slow Roasted Butter Beans w/ Andouille, Kickin' Collard Greens w/ Okra and Molasses-Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Slow-Roasted Butter (Lima) Beans w/ Smoky Andouille Sausage
Kickin' Collard Greens w/ Okra
Molasses & Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Wow, it's been a long time since posting! We've since moved to the south in beautiful, ol' New Orleans :) We've been dining out a fair bit, soaking up the amazing, Southern foods! Now that we're settled in and have a whole new range of goodies in the grocery stores, we can really get creative with some tasty, Southern dishes - yum!!!

Starting with: a Southern meal for the bf's bday <3

Serves: 6 peeps.

  • Slow-Roasted Large Lima (Large Butter) Beans 
    • 1 lb Large Lima (Butter) Beans 
    • 6 cups water
    • 1/2 lb smoked ham hock
    • 1/2 lb tasso, chopped 
    • 1 large onion, chopped 
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 tbsp parsley (dried), chopped 
    • 4 stalks celery, chopped 
    • 1 large bay leaf 
    • 2 tsp Cajun Seasoning (Tony Chachere), or to taste
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika, or to taste
    • Fresh ground pepper, to taste 
    • 1 lb Andouille Sausage (3 large links)
  • Molasses & Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes 
    • 1 stick butter (unsalted), quartered 
    • 3/4 cup molasses 
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
    • 1 cup bourbon 
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
    • 8 large sweet potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes 
    • 3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • Kickin' Collard Greens w/ Okra
    • 1 tbsp olive oil 
    • 3 slices bacon 
    • 1 large onion, chopped 
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
    • 15-20 okra spears, chopped
    • 3 cups chicken broth 
    • 1 tsp salt 
    • 1 tsp pepper 
    • 1 pinch red pepper flakes 
    • 1 lb fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces
Start with the lima beans and once they're set to simmer for 1.5 hrs, move on to the sweet potatoes recipe. Once those are in the oven, (check the lima beans and then) start the collard greens. Overall, it'll take 2 hours to go from ingredients to a tasty, Southern dish, ready to eat!
  1. Slow-Roasted Large Lima (Large Butter) Beans (1 hr, 45 mins)
    1. Rinse and sort beans. In a large pan, combine lima beans and water and set to low heat. 
    2. Render ham hock and tasso in skillet, remove meat and set aside. 
    3. In same skillet, sauté onion, garlic, parsley and celery in meat drippings until browned.
    4. Add vegetables, meat, bay leaf, and spices to beans. Boil gently, stirring occasionally for about 1-1/2 hours, or until tender. Add water while cooking if necessary. 
    5. In the last 15 minutes of lima beans simmering, add the andouille sausage (whole or cut in to pieces). 
  2. Molasses & Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes (45 mins)
    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roast the cubed sweet potatoes on a raised broiler pan for 20 minutes to "par-cook."
      In a medium saucepan, combine butter, molasses, and brown sugar and cook over medium heat until smooth (about 5 minutes).
      Increase the heat to high, add the bourbon, and cook for 2 minutes to allow alcohol to burn out. Season with salt and pepper.
      Put the par-cooked potatoes in a large baking dish, pour the molasses mixture over and toss to coat. Roast in the oven, stirring a few times, until the potatoes are cooked through and glazed (about 20 minutes). Remove to a platter and top with the pecans. 
  3. Kickin' Collard Greens w/ Okra (55 mins)
    1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. 
    2. Add onion, and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). 
    3. Add garlic and okra, and cook until garlic is fragrant. 
    4. Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt. 
    5. Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.  
Dessert option: mini apple pies, a la mode...oo la la (that's how my New Orleans French sounds)!

Adapted (ever so slightly) from:,,