Bruschetta, Two Ways

It’s radish season, and I’m excited! Years ago, my mother brought me an enormous bunch of radishes, declaring them the best she’d ever had. I knew I liked them in salad, but I didn’t know what else to do with the darn things. That was when I discovered radishes, butter, and salt on french bread. So simple. So delicious.

But alas, it is never fig season in Vermont. I could probably find fresh ones somewhere, but they’d likely cost an arm and a leg and their “freshness” would be questionable, given travel time and their short shelf life. Since last year I’ve been dreaming of a fig, goat cheese, and prosciutto pizza, with no idea of how to make that dream come true. And just recently it hit me: fig jelly! All the tastiness of figs, sealed into an unassuming little jar. And since pizza doesn’t exactly work as an appetizer (I made mini pizzas last year and it was an absurdly tedious process), bruschetta is the perfect alternative.

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No-Bake Cookies…with Bacon!

I hear the bacon trend is on its way out (citing our very own, local and awesome Eating Well magazine). And on one hand, I am definitely inclined to agree. I cringe every time a Chopped contestant grabs the bacon, as it almost always leads to a judge’s complaint about the dish’s overpowering bacon flavor. While delicious, it does not belong in everything. (*sigh* ’tis true)

On the other hand, I was a vegetarian for the majority of my life. Raised by vegetarian (or pescetarian, to be exact) parents, my brother and I would only eat meat every now and then, when mom and dad would tire of our endless pleading and begrudgingly stop at a McDonalds, or mom would pick up Brooks chicken if she happened to be in Oneonta. (And if you happen to be in or anywhere near Oneonta, NY, stop at Brooks and pick up at least a dozen half chickens. Freeze the ones you can’t immediately devour. You won’t regret it.) I became 100% vegetarian in college (how original of me), and continued my meatless existence until a few years ago. And during that time, the one thing I’d occasionally crave was the amazing local bacon I would devour every weekend at the pancake house where I waitressed throughout high school. And once I decided to start eating piggies again, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some greasy bacon. And while I resist the urge to put it in everything, I will use it when it will compliment (but not overpower) the rest of the ingredients. And it definitely works in these cookies.

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