Kitchen Adventures: Simple southern greens with bacon

There are two things you might not know about me if you haven’t seen me cook:

  1. I am terrible at following directions.  If I have even an inkling something should be done a different way (this would be better minced! Surely they meant that amount of butter was optional! I love sugar – ADD MORE!) I jump in and do it that way.
  2. I have no patience.  None.  Zip. Nada.  So when things need to be done slowly, I tend to crank up the heat just to get it finished with sooner.

I tried to quell both those urges with my recent cooking adventure, and had a 50% success rate.  Even though I didn’t follow the directions, I did cook this much longer than I pretty much ever cook anything, and my patience definitely paid off.  This is one of the most decadent and delicious dishes I’ve ever made and it will definitely become a staple in my cookbook.  I was inspired by this recipe.

southern greens

Southern (Collard) Greens with Bacon

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 1 bag southern greens from TJ’s
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper (optional)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  1. Heat oil in a large pot.  Cut up the bacon by stacking the slices and then cutting across the grain into about 10 pieces (or whatever – this isn’t rocket science.  Just make it smaller).  Add bacon to the pot and cook about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and onion to the bacon and cook 5 minutes, until onions are mostly cooked and bacon is crispy.
  3. Add greens to the pot and cook for about 3 minutes, until wilted/lightly fried.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir.  Cook covered for 45 minutes or until greens are done – they might look finished while they’re still crunchy, so go ahead and try them if you’re not sure.  It’s quite hard to overcook this, so don’t worry if your other dishes or your greens need more time beyond the first 45 minutes.
Greens before and after cooking

Greens before and after cooking

And enjoy!  I ate mine with fresh bread and a poached egg – perfection!  Good for breakfast, dinner, guests, or leftovers – they’re just plain good!

Kitchen Adventures: A new way to eat bacon

Yes, you read that right.  I have discovered my new favorite way to eat bacon, or as I like to call it, dinner.

A few months ago, Matt and I ventured out to a $1 tapas place where we first encountered an amazing bacon creation.  For a dollar a pop, these treats were pricey – but oh-so-worth it.  Tonight we embarked on a quest to recreate that dish, and did so super successfully.  I am now pleased to present to you…

Bacon-Wrapped Chili-Almond Stuffed Dates (ta da!)


  • 16 dates (pitted, aka with the pits removed)
  • 16 almonds, roasted with no salt or seasoning
  • 8 pieces of bacon, sliced in half crosswise
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a pan, roast the almonds and chili with a dash of oil until the chili powder sticks to the nut.
  3. Stuff one almond inside each date  (it should be easy to slide it in where the pit used to be, but don’t stress if it’s not – just stuff the almond in somewhere and wrap the date around it).
  4. Wrap 1/2 a piece of bacon around each date and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place this awesome little bundle on some tinfoil in a baking dish and throw it in the oven until the bacon is browned and crisp, probably 20 minutes.
  6. Serve either warm or at room temperature, and enjoy!

The result was delicious.  The chili really goes well with the saltiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the date.  These would be great at a dinner party or even as an appetizer for a smaller crowd – there’s no limit to how many or how few you can make at a time.

My two biggest tips: DO use tinfoil in the baking dish, even if it’s metal – it really helps contain the fat as things melt.  DO NOT try to skimp on bacon.  I used 1/3  a piece on a few and they came out looking supremely ugly.  The best part?  Ingredients for about 40 of these were less than $13, making them far cheaper than anything you could get at a restaurant.  If that’s not baconey goodness, I don’t know what is.