Beer-Candied Bacon

I had my first taste of beer-candied bacon on a burger at my other favorite local brewpub, Evolution’s Public House. While I don’t really remember anything remarkable about the burger itself, that beer-candied bacon really resonated with me. And, I tucked it away in the “make sure to try at home” file.

So, when I went into bacon-hoarding overdrive during the Holidays – and had about three pound in the fridge after Christmas, I decided to give the beer-candied bacon thing a go to have for New Year’s Eve munching. Takes less than 1 minute to throw the glaze together, then some cooking time in the oven. Which, by the way, if you haven’t been cooking bacon in your oven you’re missing out. No grease splatter, no bacon sticking to the pan, no more uneven cooking. Just perfectly crisp bacon, every time. If you line a baking pan with aluminum foil, it’s super-easy cleanup too!

With the playoff games ahead of us, as well as Super Bowl, these sweet and salty little bites of heaven would “drop the bomb” on anyone who tried them.  I served them in my favorite pint glass (yes, that’s a honey badger) which I thought was cute. It was almost like a bouquet of bacon; there’s an idea for Valentine’s Day, ladies! I used a stout for the glaze, but I think that most beers (maybe aside from an IPA) would work for this application. It’s a quick and easy appetizer that’s so fun and different – a great start to the new year in my book!

Pomegranate Martinis

Today I’ve been busy in my kitchen preparing a New Year’s Eve feast for our little family tonight. But, I did want to take a quick minute to share a fun cocktail to celebrate with tonight!

We spend New Year’s Eve at home every year. We used to be big party people, but now in my mind there is nothing better than staying home with my boys, having a few cocktails, and waiting for the ball to drop.

Chances are you have most of what you need in your liquor cabinet already to make these, and they’re perfect for New Year’s Eve. I love the vivid hue, it’s just so festive! I hope that everyone has a happy & safe New Years Eve, full of fun and laughter. Here’s to a fabulous 2013!

Earlier this week I shared your favorite recipes here at Tide & Thyme in 2012. However, some of my absolute favorites weren’t on the list and I couldn’t let the end of the year go by without sharing those too! I know if you enjoy any one of these recipes, half as much as we do, it’s sure to be a winner in your home too!

Beatty's Chocolate CakeBeatty’s Chocolate Cake – this is the cake that my family always requests for birthdays. It’s moist, rich, and decadent. The addition of coffee to the cake batter and frosting sets it apart from any other chocolate cake I’ve had. It’s wonderful.

Shrimp EnchiladasShrimp Enchiladas – this dish has “wow”-ed everyone that I’ve served it to. In fact, it’s actually rendered a couple of people speechless. I never thought that a shrimp rendition would turn out to be my favorite enchilada, but it certainly has.

"Animal" Double-Double“Animal” Double-Doubles – I’d been craving In-N-Out Burger for a solid two years before I finally got the nerve to try to re-create them at home. These burgers are pretty damn close, and it’s definitely one of the recipes I’m so glad I added to my recipe box this year!

Buffalo Chicken PizzaBuffalo Chicken Pizza – My favorite pizza of the year, hands down. The buffalo pizza sauce is amazeballs, then to top it with sliced chicken and red onion that gets crunchy in the oven? Crazy good.

diymargaritamixDIY Margarita Mix – it was definitely the year of the margarita in our house. No matter what seasonal fruit I was whipping into a marg, this was always the base component. It’s great as a mixer for other things too, like lime daiquiris. We always have a bottle in the fridge!

Chicken MarsalaChicken Marsala – my signature dish. Well, one of them at least! I’ve made this time and time again, and we never get tired of it. The sauce is so silky and rich, and the chicken tender and flavorful. Kids, this is one for the books. Make it!

Raspberry CheesecakeRaspberry Cheesecake – the picture pretty much sums this one up. A thick, rich cheesecake topped with mounds of gorgeous sweet/tart berries? It doesn’t get any better than this.

Blackened Fish TacosBlackened Fish Tacos – while my love for fish tacos was born out of the beer-battered variety, these blackened fish tacos quickly became our favorite. They take a few minutes to throw together, are about a million times healthier, and have more flavor. The mango salsa on top is killer too!

Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl BreadCinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread – We enjoy a loaf of this bread at least once a week. It’s perfect for an easy breakfast or snack, and everyone always loves it. Definitely one of recipes I’m most proud of for making myself home (instead of buying at the store) in 2012!

Pork Tenderloin with Madiera-Fig GravyPork Tenderloin with Madiera Fig Gravy – my favorite new recipe that I tried this year, and I totally didn’t see it coming. Prior to this year, I hadn’t been a fan of pork tenderloin. But, when seasoned and cooked properly – it’s a wonderful, lean cut of meat. I’m already looking forward to spring when our fig tree will produce again!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup CookiesChocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies – I entered these cookies in my small town’s fair this year, and they won Reserve Champion. They’re big, they’re rich,  and one is all you need. Our favorite cookie!

porcini and pumpkin ale mac and cheesePorcini and Pumpkin Ale Macaroni & Cheese – we eat a considerable amount of pasta dishes in a one-year time frame, but this one really sticks out with me. All the flavors just work so beautifully together to create a dish that’s so satisfyingly delicious. I need to make this one again soon!

So, there they are. It never ceases to amaze me – all the wonderful food that I’ve made at home as a result of doing this little food blog. It’s definitely forced me to go out on a limb more, and try recipes I wouldn’t normally try. I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things we whip up in 2013!

As this year draws to a close and we look forward to ringing in the New Year,  I thought it was only pertinent to share the most popular recipes here on the site in 2012. They’re some of my all-time favorites too, and I’m excited to be able to share them with you guys again!

Nutella Cheesecake Bars

Nutella Cheesecake Bars – these are one of the most delicious and indulgent things I’ve encountered in my lifetime. Totally craveable and worthy of the coveted #1 position. Make them. Like, now.

Rustic Roasted Tomato SalsaRustic Roasted Tomato Salsa – a good homemade salsa that can be kept in the fridge for a moments notice is indispensable. This is my go-to recipe.

Strawberry Yogurt CakeStrawberry Yogurt Cake – this cake was so easy to put together, so delicious, and so versatile. Would be great with any berry you’d care to add I think, and it’s just so gorgeous to look at. This strawberry version would have to be my favorite though, just because it brings a smile to my face thinking of picking those little ruby gems with my boys this summer!

Swedish MeatballsSwedish Meatballs – pretty much my favorite appetizer/party food of all time. And, they kick the pants off the ones from IKEA. I’ll take the Pepsi challenge anyday.

Chicken GyrosChicken Gyros – easily one of my favorite dinners. My husband grew up working in a Greek restaurant, so gyros hold a special place in his heart. We often have this for dinner once a week in the warmer months, and we never tire of it.

Oreo CupcakesOreo Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream – I’m so glad that this was your favorite cupcake here on the blog, because it’s mine too. The Oreo on the bottom of the cupcake is such a delightful surprise, and the Oreo buttercream frosting just plain rocks.

Peanut Butter Cookie CupcakesPeanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes – these are some of the cutest cupcakes I’ve ever laid my eyes on. And, surprisingly – some of the easiest cupcakes to decorate. I entered them in the cupcake category in my local fair, and they won first place! A winner, for sure.

Cajun MargaritasCajun Margaritas – I knew there were other Truebie foodies out there! When these drinks were mentioned on the show True Blood, I couldn’t help recreating them at home. And, I’m so glad I did. You guys loved them as much as I did!

Triple Chocolate Mousse CakeTriple Chocolate Mousse Cake – as the name implies, this is everything you could possibly hope for in a dessert. A cake made of chocolate mousse? I mean, come on.

Strawberry MargaritasStrawberry Margaritas – these are sooo bad. And by bad, I mean good. Homemade marg mix, tequila, and plenty of pureed fresh strawberries make for one delicious batch of cocktails.

Pot Roast with Stout GravyPot Roast with Stout Gravy – The winter months certainly aren’t my favorite time of year, but one of the few things that make it palpable is this delicious pot roast with stout gravy. With a homebrewing husband, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that include beer. This will always be a favorite for us!

Loaded Baked Potato SoupLoaded Baked Potato Soup – this recipe completely blew us away. It comes together easily and relatively quickly, and after just a few hours in the slow cooker you have a delicious and satisfying meal on the table that pretty much cooked itself. This is one you’ll make again and again!

A big thank you to the readers for making 2012 the best year for Tide & Thyme so far. Here’s to an even better 2013!