Bacon Onion Havarti Crostinis

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Reminder: I’m still not a food blogger, but I love food.

Many moons ago, I found this recipe and made these as my go to appetizers for parties. Somewhere along the way I offered to pass the recipe along to a friend and on googling it couldn’t find the original recipe! Shame!

The only answer was of course to use my brand (hashtag my brand) to share it with the masses. Behold, my…

Bacon Onion Havarti Crostinis

-One small baguette, sliced into half inch slices (or buy the bag of pre-sliced baguette slices, ain’t no one gunna judge you)
-A chunk of havarti cheese (this I wouldn’t buy pre-sliced since it’s pretty thin)
-One package of bacon
-A third of an onion

There’s a holy trinity quartet of flavors here. Behold: my crude illustration.

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Here you have the salty, smoked flavor of bacon married with the sweet flavor of caramelized onions, and the creamy flavor of havarti… All balanced on the perfect delivery system that is sliced bread. The perfect food.

Now: how to crostini!

1. Pre-heat your oven to 400°.

2. If you didn’t buy pre-sliced baguette, go ahead and slice that guy up.

3. Put the baguette slices on a cookie sheet.

4. Cook up your bacon to your liking, and set it to the side.

5. While the bacon cooks, cut up your onion into strips. I made mine about a third of an inch thick and around two inches long. No need to be exact, just find this makes them a good size.

6. Set your pan to a medium heat and put in approximately a couple teaspoons of oil (I used olive) and a good chunk of butter. Melt!

7. Throw the onions in and keep an eye on them. I tend to bounce back and forth from tending bacon to onions at this point.

8. As onions brown, put them in a bowl. If you whoopsie and burn them, just start the onions over. If they’re starting to look a little done on one side and not the other, flip them but also carefully add a teaspoon of water to the pan.

9. Now take out your havarti and start to cut them into half inch thick chunks that will cover the bread slices.

8. Take the onion and put that on top of the cheese. I usually use tongs for this part since they’re buttery.

9. Throw the crostinis in the oven for about five minutes… just looking enough to melt the cheese.

10. Cut your now cooled bacon into approximately bread shaped pieces.

11. Once the cheese is starting to melt, take them out and carefully top the crostinis with the bacon. I sort of snuggle the bacon into the cheese to anchor it in.

12. Pop them in for a few more minutes, just to warm up the bacon.

YOU DID IT. NOW YOU HAVE BITE SIZED DELICIOUSNESS. You’re welcome, internet.

Let’s talk about soup, baby.

The world, as we know it, has plunged into a frozen wasteland. Here: I have created a handy weather report graphic for you.

thisfrozenearth

Nothing can save us now from this arctic hellscape – except the warm, loving arms of soup. Yes, soup. Soup is: a. warm or even hot b. comforting c. easy to make a lot of so you only really need to make the effort once and get like five meals out of the deal as you huddle and wait for the sweet release of becoming a human popsicle.

It was just new years, right? You might have had a resolution or two? Cool, cool. Was one of them learning how to cook? I have NEWS, friend. Soups are a GREAT way to learn how to cook. It’s what I started out doing. I’m a strong advocate for soups for newbie cooks. You get to try out a couple different things, see what spices and herbs can do, and build up your skills. The first year my husband and I were living together we probably ate soup a good third of the time.

This was my first soup.

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That’s it. You make the can of cream of chicken soup according to the directions, then dump in the veggies. Not the whole bag, maybe half. Once the veggies have thawed, you have soup. But then you can build on that. Maybe next time you want something starchy. So you make biscuits from a can. Make this soup. Put a baked biscuit on top. You just made pot pie soup.

But it can go on from there. Next time, maybe you add some onions. Dice them up, cook them in some butter or oil in the bottom of your pot until they’re soft. Then add the can of soup and veggies. Then experiment. Do I like thyme? Thyme goes really well with chicken. You might like to add a little to this soup. Maybe you have fresh veggies. Maybe you want to learn how to skip the can and make your own cream of soup from scratch.

This is such an easy way to get started. And cheap! If you screw it up you have three options.

  1. Eat it anyway. This option requires salt, probably.
  2. Throw it away. You’re out your time and maybe two bucks.
  3. This is probably my favorite option: add shredded cheese.

Cheese can save just about any soup. Just this Monday I made this Carrot, Potato, and Leek soup. I’ll tell you what: it was a damn bore. Pretty bland. Last night, in an attempt to save it (being as I had made like a half gallon of the stuff), I shredded cheddar cheese over it. Not a ridiculous amount. But enough that the soup was now kind of like a loaded baked potato situation and pretty tasty. SOUP = SAVED.

You can also freeze soup! So when you’re feeling lazy, instead of pizza again, you can just pull out a container of soup. I invested in a bunch of those Ziplock containers with the twisty top. Great for emergency soup supply. Also, fun fact, YOU CAN FREEZE CHEESE. Not all cheeses, but your basic shredded cheddar and the like? Yup. Cheese is magical.

There are all kinds of soups that are not hard to make that you can try out. Here’s a few of my favorites. I just looked and I have like 120+ recipes bookmarked. I might have a soup problem.

  • Tomato Soup from i am baker – My hands down go to tomato soup. It is easy, fast, and it tastes better than tomato soup from a can. It is not quite as easy as the two step soup above, but it’s not that complicated.
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup from Nutritious Eats – This is a similar ‘throw things in pot – wait – SOUP!’ I recommend using the Rotel with chiles because I feel like this mexican style soup needs a little heat. I’m not saying this soup has literally cured me of a bad cold, but it seemed to get a lot better once I started eating it.
  • Cheesy Broccoli and Potato Soup from Handful of Raspberries – Here’s a creamy soup that is comforting. Instead of celery I tend to dice up the stalks from the broccoli. That’s a nice thing about soup – if you don’t like something, you can just substitute it.
  • Italian Wedding Soup from Giada De Laurentiis – This is only complicated because there is an odd ingredient (curly endive, which if you can’t find it at Meijer or Walmart, just use spinach) and meatballs you make by hand, but it will be WELL worth the effort.
  • French Onion Soup from Sweet Potato Chronicles – A lot of recipes for french onion soup get really complicated. This one isn’t. The only suggestion I might have is backing off on the balsamic vinegar, especially if you haven’t cooked with it before. Cooking isn’t like baking. Things don’t have to be measured exactly like your recipe says for it to work.

Now some of these recipes have some advanced skills in them, but fret not! It’s just like learning anything else. You build on what you know with new skills. And all of these can be modified with more cheese. You got this. Feel free to comment if you want help getting your soup on. We are here for you. (The ‘we’ in this case is me and soup.) (Ooo. If I ever make that Learn to Cook with Soup book, maybe that’s the name.) (No, maybe ‘Soup to what’s?’ Ugh that doesn’t even make sense.)

When stuck with an overripe banana.

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Here is our single banana. Without fail.

Today’s post is short because I haven’t been feeling well, truth be told. BUT DO YOU EVER HAVE LIKE ONE BANANA YOU DIDN’T GET TO? And you’re all, “Awww man.” and it’s all spotty and the texture is too soft to be manageable or palatable in anyway, like if you could trap weird sadness inside a sandwich baggie and leave it in the sun. I’m feeling gross just talking about it. But this happens to me ALL the time.

The hubs and I typically eat a banana a day. I have weird health things so they’re one of the only fruits I can eat anymore. A balanced breakfast is a. a banana b. a yogurt from Trader Joe’s c. fistful of supplements and c. a single cup of coffee. Then I’m on my way.

But our math is usually off by one banana. One banana too many to eat them all at optimal banana status or O.B.S. We’ve tried adjusting the amount we buy. We’ve changed where they’re stored. And yet one banana always escapes O.B.S. and heads straight to Ohio. (Meaning Ohio is crummy.) (Why am I picking on Ohio?) (I don’t know, I’m not feeling great.)

I have to imagine I am not the only soul with this issue. Surely there are others who have this issue who are not as blessed as one Alton Brown, always having three to four lame duck bananas available to make his banana bread (which is delicious and if you have a chance it makes for a nice, moist, banana bread). SO I SHARE WITH YOU…

Two ways to make do with that overripe banana (that avoid throwing it away). 

Way one:

One Banana Banana Bread – The Fauxmartha (a good blog name)

Pinterest revealed to me this one banana banana bread recipe (say that five times fast) and I loved it. I’m a great instruction follower when it comes to baking, but my attempts at just tweaking banana bread recipes by half or a third so the one banana would be proportionate to the bread? Misery. Either I succeeded in baking a rock or a never solidifying lump of goo. At least someone better equipped for these matters was able to make the dream happen. I was thinking about including a picture… but why? It’s banana bread, you know what it looks like. Tada. If you click the link and you will see a stumpy loaf (which I solved by baking in a smaller loaf pan).

Way two:

Banana Nut Bread Cookies – Baked By An Introvert (also a good blog name)

Now these, THESE are great. Take banana bread. But make it slightly firmer and not as crumbly. And cookie shaped. Yes. Important to mention. That’s what these are! Now this recipe calls for a 1/4 cup banana mush, banana chips, as well as nuts. I had to neuter the recipe due to nut allergies (HEH) but I’ve never seen or heard about no kinda banana chips. So I used a whole banana and cinnamon chips. When in doubt, my friends, ADD CINNAMON CHIPS. We add them to a lot of our baked goods. There’s a storage can of them sitting on my counter so they can be available at a MOMENTS NOTICE. THAT’S HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS. No photos of these because they were all eaten.

But there you have it! I have solved yet another one of life’s little mysteries. Maybe next I’ll tackle why my back hurts when I sit and my limbs get tingly. STAY TUNED.