Peanut Butter Bacon Rice Crispies

I’m going to go ahead and let you know that after this post, all you’re going to want in life is a rice crispy treat.  If there’s bacon in it, that’s going to be an added bonus.  But rice crispies are going to be on your brain and I’m not even sorry.

The past few weeks have been the most insufferably hot weeks ever.  It’s like I forgot that I grew up in a desert-like region where 100F+ is normal during the summer.  100F in Costa Mesa is hell (without AC).  As a result, I refused to turn on the oven.

Frying bacon on the other hand, no heat could stop that.

When I was trying to think of what to make for dessert for a potluck, I could only think of making something that did not involve turning on the oven.  So of course I had a brilliant idea, and I made it a reality

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The world can pretty much thank me for this.

Peanut Butter Bacon Rice Crispies

3 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Company Crunch Time)

4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups puffed rice cereal

In a large pot, fry bacon.  Once cripsy, remove from pan and pour off the majority of the grease (it’s ok if some stays on there).  Allow bacon to cool completely, then chop.  Add peanut butter and marshmallows to pot and melt on low heat.  Once melted together, add rice cereal and bacon.  Stir to combine.  Press into a 9×13 baking dish lined with parchment paper.  Allow to cool completely, slice and serve!

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These were tasty.  Next time, I’ll drizzle some chocolate on them, because I’m intense like that.  Also because peanut butter, bacon and chocolate are an awesome combination.   Did you forget about the Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Mousse and Maple Candied Bacon?  In case you did, here’s a reminder…

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Peanut Butter and Bacon is absolutely a thing.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you should.  And seriously, this couldn’t be an easier way to do so.  No baking, just a bit of stirring, pressing and slicing.

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Get on it.

What’s your favorite sweet bacon combo??

Dinner at Mesa

The folks at Mesa invited Allison from Sweet Potato Bites to try a few new things on their menu. She was super nice and awesome and invited me to be her +1.

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I know I usually do recipes and such on this blog, but I have to tell you guys about it because it was pretty fun and clearly I love food.IMG_4533

Mesa is a Bar/Lounge/Restaurant located in Costa Mesa.  I’ve seen it a bunch of times, because it’s right next to the CAMP but never went because honestly it just seemed a little too swanky for me.  But after this visit, that myth was sort of dispelled.

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This place is definitely the kind of place I want to go for an awesome drink, but the food was also awesome.  We got there at 7 (which is when they open), and it was still light out.  The place has an awesome retractable roof so you feel like you’re outside without having to deal with heat or wind.  FOODIE BONUS: natural light is great for food photography.

Upon arriving we ordered some drinks.  Allison and I both got a glass of wine (after all it was a work night, couldn’t go too crazy), but they had an awesome array of cocktails.  I would love to go back someday for an afternoon Negroni.

The staff at Mesa was super nice.  They told us about the hand-drawn “secret menu” that included special cocktails and small plates.

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We ended up ordering a bunch of things to share.  All in all, it was quite a spread for two ladies…

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We tried the sweet potato fries

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Because Allison could never pass those up.  Seriously guys, they were amazing.  Perfectly crispy and I loved the spicy dipping sauce.  Normally, I prefer regular fries to sweet potato fries, but I would definitely get those again.

Smoked Chorizo Meatballs from the secret menu.

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Delicious.  Loved the little spicy kick to them.  And the grilled bread they came with… Delicious and eaten entirely by me since Allison is avoiding gluten right now.

Free-Range Chicken Breast with potatoes, mushrooms and a delicious cream sauce

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This was seriously tasty.  I won’t lie.  The chicken was chicken; I really only wanted to eat the potatoes and mushrooms, because they were awesome.  I would order that again just for the potatoes and mushrooms

Roasted Beet Salad

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I’m always a fan of anything with beets and goat cheese.  This salad had feta and roasted hazelnuts.  Super tasty and light.

For dessert, because we know I can never pass up dessert… we got the ice cream trio.

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Vanilla Maple Ice Cream with bacon, Blackberry Sage and Espresso Chipotle Stout.  These were all awesomely intense flavors.  Allison and I both agreed the maple bacon was the best.  It’s definitely on my list of things to recreate.

They also made us a special after dinner cocktail.  It was super intense but delicious.  I probably could have drank the whole thing but decided to keep it classy…

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I wish I could remember all the things in there but it was amazingly herby and sweet (maybe a little too sweet).

Overall, it was a fantastic meal.  I wish this place was open before 7pm, because it would seriously be the perfect place for weekend (4pm?) afternoon cocktails.

Thanks so much to Allison for letting me tag along with you and thanks to Mesa for taking care of us.

Ok so tell me.  What was the last great meal you had out?

 

Banana Coconut Bars

I’ve been on a bar kick recently.  Not the party kind of bar, like the cookie-that-you-cut type bar.  Like this:

As for the other type of bar, I’m not cool enough to hang out in bars.  You’re more likely to find me in a park.

A few weeks ago I had decided I wanted to open a bar.  Not just any bar, I wanted it to be an outdoor bar (think park meets bar, see where I’m going with this?).  I think it’s ridiculous that Southern California has awesome weather but very few places where you can enjoy the weather with a beer/wine in your hand.

Sure, there are bars with patios, but those are usually small and there’s no grass involved.  Grass is really essential to the full outdoor enjoyment. I still want to open that bar.  Would you come?

But enough about those types of bars.  Let’s talk about this sort…

I’m a fan.  You will be too.  Unless you’re like my friend Emily who hates cooked fruit, in which case you should make this instead… or this.

But if you love cooked fruit (I do!) and more importantly bananas and coconut and sweet goodness, then you should probably give these a try!

Banana Coconut Bars

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour (or just 2 cups all purpose)
3 ripe bananas, sliced
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
5 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Cream together 3/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar.  Beat in egg.  Add flour and mix until just combined.  The texture will be pretty crumbly, press into a 9 x 13 baking dish (I used a jelly roll pan and pressed it into about 2/3 of it) lined with parchment paper.

Lay banana sliced on dough.  Next spread shredded coconut on top and chocolate chips if desired.  Drizzle with 4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk.

In a bowl combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup oats, 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp brown sugar.  Use your hands to work it into coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle the mixture over the bars.  Drizzle with remaining sweetened condensed milk.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow to cool complete.  Cut into bars and serve!

In case it wasn’t obvious, everyone is cool enough for this bar.