Real Food Survival Guide for Working Moms - Homemade Mommy The real facebook freezer 2012

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I’m sitting in my shed this morning, perusing kitchen designs…. and contemplating what actually does make a good kitchen

I am no expert, not professing to be an expert…. I only know what has worked for me and my clients in the past.

When you think of kitchen design, what first comes to mind… to me, before I consider the aesthetics, it’s the old ‘kitchen work triangle’ (stove/fridge/sink, positioned at three sides of a triangle). There’s heaps of opinion out there, about precise measurements of how far your sink, stove and fridge should be from each other. I sort of broke the golden rule of the triangle when I whacked my fridge in the pantry, along with all the other kitchen clutter (plates, glasses, food!)… but it worked for me.

My stove was opposite the sink… and well spaced (1.5m apart)… and the ‘work triangle’ was not a major thoroughfare in the house so that was the most important thing for me, in terms of working design. Trekking from the fridge into ‘the triangle’ was not really a trek and I considered that, when cooking a meal, I only went to the fridge once to get everything and once to put it all back… not a major limitation when it came to deciding to hide the fridge and not make it a feature of the kitchen or an integral part of the work triangle.

I think it is also important to consider, when designing your ‘work triangle’, how open appliance doors affect the flow through the triangle. I know what NOT to do, based on the townhome I am living in at the moment that’s for sure!! When the dishwasher door is open and the slide-out pantry cupboard is fully extended and someone is in the fridge hunting for something… everything comes to a standstill!!! Appliance doors, fridge door openings and entry doors should not interfere with the general flow through the work area.

Wrt  the triangle thing, consider the work flow of how you like to work in your kitchen, where you chop your veges and like to prep your meals. Generally it is desirable to have the sink in the centre of the work triangle as that is generally where all the action is. I think allowing for bench space on either side of the sink and the stove is optimal. You can even plan your work flow right down to how you position large and small sinks wrt which sink is closest to the stove for draining and clean up….. and then consider the flow of clean crockery, from the rinse sink etc back into it’s storage compartments.

This certainly would take centre stage if this was my sink!

You can plan your work flow requirements by thinking about how you prepare a normal meal. Fresh ingredients from the fridge -where do you like to chop and peel them where do you like to transfer ingredients into cookware .. near the sink, near the stove Is the sink close enough to the stove so that the journey with hot pots from the stove to the sink is not too far Where do you like to plate up …near the sink ..near the stove These are all the things I take into consideration when advising on kitchen design.

Consider also the positioning of the dishwasher. When it’s open for stacking or unstacking,  is there enough standing space in front of the dishwasher for unpacking Will the open dishwasher door clash with other cupboards you would like to have open at the same time for the ‘putting away’ process Ugh! There is no space for standing in front of my dishwasher. It has to be a sideways unpack. Who designed my current joint

In terms of overall streamlining kitchen design, I am a serious fan of cupboards meeting the ceiling or at least flush with a bulkhead. That space between cupboard tops and the ceiling is just a receptacle for dust. Streamlined to the ceiling cupboards so do it for me. I also am a sucker for undermount sinks where you can’t see the edges of the sink. It looks so much more polished and sleek and more upmarket.

A well designed island bench can make a kitchen, creates a central focal point, a central family meeting place and can provide a centred point around which symmetry can be built if that is the overall desired effect one one wants. If you can afford it, I think thick slabs of marble or composite stone or even concrete are the bomb! One of my recent clients incorporated an 80mm thick island bench top  into her kitchen and it looks glorious! Heartstopping! Flaunt those benchtops!

I think choosing a neutral colour scheme overall creates a sense of calm and space and remains timeless. It is great to show off one’s flair with the splashback…. a place to add colour/ texture/ personality…. without dating the kitchen.

Dark tones can make such an impact but can be overwhelming in smaller spaces so they are best used to highlight feature areas… a bank of cabinets, an island bench, a dark floor in a overall neutral kitchen with dark accents to highlight. Bursts of brighter colours are best kept for feature areas… splashbacks, even accessories and furniture.

Last but not least, the lighting… the jewellery of the kitchen… the jewellery of the home for that matter. A mix of feature and well directed task lighting and you can’t go wrong. I’m a sucker for the ‘Rule Of Three’.. and you’ll most likely find me recommending the triplet of 3 decorative lights over an island bench, dimensions permitting. I could go on and on about door/drawer hardware too but my workday beckons and I would like you to have some input into my ponderings. Just for the record, the trend is to do away with door hardware these days, with invisible drawer pulls, etc… but I’m a lover of antique brass and antique silver knobs and pulls. I also think they bring some more ‘jewellery’ into the kitchen.

What do you think makes good kitchen design What elements do you notice when realestalking that make you love a kitchen Would love you to share 1Password

A-M xx

All image sources via my ‘Kitchen Love’ Pinterest page

"Just Like the Real Thing" Low Carb Keto Lasagna Peace .

In our family, we eat mostly made-from-scratch food with real food ingredients.  We rarely eat packaged/highly processed foods.  While some may think Aldi is filled with only processed foods, I disagree!  Aldi has tons of great products for the real food kitchen!  And did I mention the prices are amazing* *All prices are my best estimate of what I usually pay, but may not reflect the current prices at your local store.

Pantry Staples/Baking– old fashioned oats ($2.29/2 lbs.) – this is a large container and it’s the cheapest “cereal” we can eat for breakfast!– raisins ($1.89) – my girls think raisins are candy and love to have a few for “dessert”– dried cranberries ($1.19) – we love to throw these in granola, cookies, oatmeal, and trail mix!– whole dates ($1.99) – great price, but they just have them at Christmas time– other dried fruit (prices vary)– pure maple syrup ($3.99) – excellent price for Grade A pure!– organic honey ($3.19)– regular honey (around $2) – great for baking– dark chocolate morsels 60% bittersweet ($1.69) – holiday special item, but I PROMISE these taste exactly like Ghiradelli chocolate chips and are half the price– spices ($1.69) – pretty good quality for the price– pure vanilla extract ($1.99) – I make my own vanilla extract now, but I used to buy this– pure almond extract ($1.99) – seasonal, so I stock up– nuts (prices vary) – all the nuts are very affordable

– natural peanut butter ($1.69) – our favorite peanut butter!

Canned Goods– diced tomatoes ($.59)– tomato sauce ($.25/small can)– beans (prices vary)– organic pasta sauce ($1.99) – a convenience food, but a good price for organic

– pumpkin ($.89) – seasonal item

Dairy– milk (between $2-$3) – I buy whole and it’s a great price!– half half ($1.59)– heavy whipping cream ($1.99) – I use this in white sauces, soups, and to make homemade ice cream– butter (currently $1.69/lb.!!) – I stock up on butter when the price is this low!  (Normal price not around the holidays is $2.49)– cream cheese ($.99)– yogurt – I make my own most of the time, but the small cups of Greek yogurt are really good and taste like Chobani. They also have larger containers of plain Greek yogurt.

– eggs ($1.29)

Cheese– all the “regular” blocks of cheese ($1.79/8 oz.) – we’ve tried it all and it’s all good!– specialty cheese (price varies) – we have enjoyed Gouda, havarti, goat, feta, asiago and more!– Parmesan wedges ($2.99-$3.49/8 oz.) – this is very good and SO much cheaper than at other stores

– fresh mozzarella ($2.69/8 oz.) – ditto!

ProduceI buy TONS of produce at Aldi.  Like anywhere, the produce that is currently in season is what will taste the best and be the best price, so that’s what I try to buy!  (i.e., watermelon in the summer, squash in the fall, citrus in the winter, asparagus in the spring, etc.)  Also like when shopping anywhere else, if it doesn’t look good, don’t buy it.  It’s helpful to find out when your store gets its deliveries and shop accordingly.  For me, Thursday is a great day to shop since the truck comes Wednesday.

The produce prices fluctuate based on season and region (check your weekly ad here), obviously, but here are some of my favorite rock-bottom prices for produce (some of this is from memory):

– pineapple ($.99 each)– pomegranate ($.59 each)– potatoes ($3.49/10 lbs.)– lemons ($1.49/bag)– cucumbers ($.29)– carrots ($1.09)– baby carrots ($.69)– onions ($1.19/2 lbs.)– avocado ($.59 each)– multi-color peppers ($1.99/3)– mini sweet peppers ($1.99)– blueberries ($1.69)– red grapes ($2.58/2 lbs.)– celery ($1.29)– organic baby spinach or spring mix ($2.49)– artisan lettuce ($1.99)– grape tomatoes ($.99)– garlic ($.49/3)– Gala apples ($2.29/3 lbs.)– grapefruit ($1.79/5 lbs.)

– butternut squash ($1.19 each)

Meat– frozen wild-caught Alaskan salmon ($3.99-$4.49 for 4 fillets) – best deal on salmon that I’ve found! Quality is great too.– ground beef ($1.79/lb.)– grass-fed ground beef ($4.49/lb.)– center-cut bacon ($3.89)

– whole chicken (price varies, but is around $.89/lb.)

Other Frozen– broccoli ($1.09)– corn ($.95)– peas ($.95)– green beans (around $1)– mixed veggies (around $1)– California blend (around $1)

– berries (prices vary)

Snacks– blue corn tortilla chips ($1.69) – These are seriously the best chips we’ve tried, including name brands and ones from Trader Joe’s.  They are made with organic blue corn and have just a few ingredients.– kettle chips ($1.79) – not super-healthy, but they only have three ingredients and are delicious!– organic salsa ($1.99) – we thought this was pretty good! The non-organic salsa is good too.

– chocolate ($1.99) – I loooove the dark chocolate (70% and 85%) and often snag a bar to keep on hand.  One time they had organic Green Black chocolate as a special buy!

Non-food– aluminum foil ($1.99)– plastic wrap ($1.49)– zip bags in various sizes ($1.99)– scrubby sponges (2/$1.19)– tissues with lotion ($1.19)

– cheap paper towels ($ WinZip PRO FINAL v15.0

69) – great for cleaning up really gross stuff

Your turn!  What are your favorite things to buy at Aldi

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Freezer Crock Pot Meals {Round 2} - Loving My Nest

June 22, 2015

(White Sulphur Springs, MT) – Thanks to proceeds from lastyear’s Red Ants Pants Music Festival, the Red Ants Pants Foundation announced$12,000 in grants for organizations across Montana. Fourteen organizationsfrom across the state received grants for projects in line with the mission ofthe Red Ants Pants Foundation.

The Red Ants Pants Music Festival is produced by andbenefits the nonprofit Red Ants Pants Foundation which, to date, has providedmore than $45,000 in grants to projects that support women’s leadership,working family farms and ranches, and enriching rural communities.

“I’m inspired by the heart and hard work that all ofthese grant recipients are putting into their businesses and communities. We’rethankful to all who support the Red Ants Pants Music Festival and hope to giveout even more in grants in 2016,” said Sarah Calhoun, Executive Director of theRed Ants Pants Foundation.

Please join us in congratulating all 14 recipients of theRed Ants Pants Foundation 2015 Community Grants:

Agriculture in Montana Schools (AMS), $500—White SulphurSprings, Montana

AMS provides agricultural educational materials to Montanateachers, students, and public libraries. Grant funding from the Red Ants PantsFoundation will help with the production of a video for elementary studentsabout the production of beef in Montana.

Big Timber Meats, $1,500—Big Timber, Montana

Big Timber Meats is introducing a new line of 100% meat dogtreats. Blue Dog Provisions are made of only one ingredient – smoked Montanabeef, lamb and pork offal that come straight from the butcher shop! Funds fromthe Community Grant will be used for logo and packaging design.

Clark Fork Organics, $750—Missoula, Montana

Clark Fork Organics is a family-run farm that provideshealthy food to the communities of the Missoula Valley. Funds will go towardsthe construction of a root washer so the farm can increase production ofcarrots, beets, celeriac and potatoes and grow their small business.

Claudia’s Mesa, $1,000—Bozeman, Montana

Claudia’s Mesa is a food emporium that brings a taste offoreign lands to Montana using local ingredients and supporting local growers,ranchers and producers. While Montana is the largest producer in the country oforganic and non-organic lentils, most people in the state are not familiar withthis powerhouse food. Claudia’s Mesa teamed up with Timeless Food pulse andgrain farmers from Montana’s Golden Triangle in an effort to introduce ruralMontanans to lentils, chick peas and ancient grains through cookingdemonstrations and tastings. Financial support will help to fund trips to townslike Havre, Fort Benton, Baker and Lewistown, and allow for printing of recipesand recipe ingredients.

County Rail Farm, $811—Dixon, Montana

County Rail is a small diverse vegetable farm just east ofDixon, Montana. They provide homegrown and organic produce to local communitiesvia Farm Shares, two Missoula farmers markets, and through the Western MTGrowers Co-Op. Grant funding will go towards infrastructure improvements theyare implementing to achieve Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.

Flathead FFA, $500—Kalispell, Montana

Flathead FFA is one of the many fine FFA programs in thestate. FFA helps high school students become successful adults by providingopportunities in a wide variety of career experiences. This program seeks toprovide new opportunities as well as stay up to date with more traditionalcareer paths. To support the high school welding programs in the FlatheadValley, funding from the Foundation will go toward the purchase of auto-darkeningwelding helmets.

Livingston Women in Business, $750—Livingston, Montana

Livingston Women in Business (LWIB) is Park County,Montana’s only forum for networking, professional development, communityinvolvement and peer resources specifically created for women. Funds from theFoundation will assist LWIB with operational costs for monthly meetings and guestspeakers.

Luther School PTA and Wholesome Food Farm, $1,000—Red Lodge,Montana

Luther School is a rural K-8 school in Carbon County,Montana. In cooperation with the local family-run Wholesome Foods Farm, LutherSchool started providing farm visits and local produce to school children. Withthe support from the Foundation, Luther school will be able to increase thenumber of farm visits and provide students with year-round access to locallygrown foods in their school lunch program.

Montana Outdoor Science School (MOSS), $1,100—Bozeman,Montana

MOSS’s mission is to promote an awareness, understanding andappreciation of the natural world through quality educational experience.Funding from the Foundation will provide scholarships so that underserved womencan participate in MOSS’s ‘Adventures in Outdoor Science Summer Program.’

One Montana Hornet Vinyl Project, $1,000—White SulphurSprings, Montana

In cooperation with One Montana, Hornet Vinyl is a highschool business and class designed to create vinyl promotional products for thecommunity of White Sulphur Springs. The development of Hornet Vinyl wasspearheaded by senior students and is an effort to get high school studentsinterested in entrepreneurship. Grant funding will assist in the purchase ofequipment to develop this community business.

Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation, $1,489—Missoula,Montana

The Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation connectscitizens and communities to stewardship opportunities in the Selway-Bitterrootand Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness areas and surrounding wildlands.Funding from the Foundation will provide four weeks of professional wildernessskills training and experiential learning for one female Wilderness RangerIntern, who will spend the summer accomplishing priority wilderness work.

The Shovel and Spoon, $500—Sheridan, Montana

The Shovel and Spoon is a bakery and café in rural Sheridan,Montana. The woman-owned small business prepares home cooked meals with localingredients for Ruby Valley residents. The café plans to improve upon theirexisting community gathering place by offering live music. Funds from theFoundation will help grow this aspect of the small business.

Valler Mercantile, $600—Lincoln, Montana

Valler Mercantile is an up-and-coming woman-owned communityfood store in Lincoln, Montana. The vision of Valler Mercantile is to bringhealthy, fresh food to the valley; to purchase produce, eggs, milk and artisanproducts from local producers; to help create new income sources; to providehealthy living skills-training and sustainable living classes; and to become acommunity gathering place to exchange ideas, skills, encouragement and support.Funding from the Foundation will go toward the purchase of a chest freezer forthe store.

Women Stepping Forward for Ag, $500—Lambert, Montana

The mission for the Women Stepping Forward for Agriculture(WSFA) conference is to empower women involved in all sectors of agriculturethrough education, collaboration, and communication, to ensure the success offarms and ranches across the region. Funding from the Foundation will be usedto bring in a nationally renowned keynote speaker to the 2015 WSFA conference,Marji Guyler-Alaniz, the founder and president of FarmHer Inc. Ms.Guyler-Alaniz is an Iowa-based photographer who created FarmHer and is focusedon helping change the perception of what people think of when they hear“farmer” by photographing women in agriculture MS Office 2010

-Red Ants PantsFoundation

FOX 13 News FOX 13 Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay news weather .

09. 23. 2018

When: Labor Day weekend // Weather: hot // Real life: road trip to Nashville, TN

I’m not sure if these count as boyfriend jeans or mom jeans, but holy crap are they comfortable. I wore them on a 5-hour road trip to Nashville and it was delightful. No riding up my butt or digging into my bladder on the drive, and plenty of room to acquire a food baby once we got there (it was a big weekend of eating).

Seriously, what took me so long to see the relaxed-fit light! I mean, I don’t have a boyfriend, and I do have a mom but she’s never been one for denim. So I guess I just didn’t have a good boyfriend and /or mom jean role model. To make up for lost time, I’ve already bought a second pair

Jeans (under $30!) // Tee // similar Shoes // Bag (less expensive option)

09. 20. 2018

Jumpsuit (c/o Shein)


Dress (c/o Shein)

Don’t you hate it when your family vacation is cut short by a massive swirling storm of death Yeah, me too. But there are worse things. Like when your property and/or life are destroyed by a massive swirling storm of death. If I have to be in one of those groups, I’ll gladly take the former.

Our annual week on the NC Outer Banks was very rudely interrupted by Florence, but we squeezed all the beach time we could out of our 3 days. Apparently my updates on the Interwebs gave the impression that we were waiting for the lightning and rain before we bothered getting out of the ocean – people, how dumb do you think I am! Yes, we waited until they kicked us out…but that was about 48 hours before the first breeze or drop of rain.

As you can see, the time we did have at Emerald Isle was gosh darn beautiful. And if nothing else, at future beach vacations we’ll be able to tell increasingly exaggerated stories about “Florence year.” (“It was a category 4.” “No, it was a category 7.” “They told us to leave and mom punched them, so the police escorted us off the island…”)

Anyway, don’t worry about me. I was never in danger, and a “backup” vacation is already in the works. But lots of people aren’t this lucky, so please consider donating to the Red Cross here.

09. 18. 2018

When: August 31 // Weather: hot // Real life: work

I bought this top during a little spree at Madewell in NYC, because birthday shopping has special rules (namely: I am special on my birthday, so I buy whatever I want because I’m a grownup with a job). I like how it’s light and short-sleeved but has some autumnal colors thrown in.

Like I said in my last post, I’m all for transitioning seasons however you damn well please. That said, if you happen to be looking for ideas on what to wear in late summer when it’s still sticky but you’re feeling the pumpkin love, I personally like to start with mixing in some darker colors. It could even just be a lipstick – this one has a brownish tint, so I usually save it for fall/winter, while coral feels right in spring/summer. Again, just me, and what do I know – I’m just one of those stupid influencers.

Top // Bag // Shoes // Watch // similar Sunglasses // Earrings


09. 14. 2018

When: first week of September // Weather: not fall yet // Real life: work, then out for Mexican

You know it’s late summer when you impulse-buy a new bathing suit and a pair of shooties in the same Target trip. (I don’t know if “shooties” is the official fashion term for these shoe/bootie hybrid things, but it sounds just obnoxious enough to be right.)

Speaking of pre-fall, let me just go on the record and say: If you want to drink your pumpkin spice latte when it’s still 85 degrees outside, do it. If you want to keep wearing jean shorts through October, do that. There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women, so I just want you to know – I support you, girl. And I hope you’ll support me when I’m wearing shooties on the beach.

similar Top // Skirt // Shoes // similar Bag // Sunglasses

09. 13. 2018

When: late August // Weather: I don’t remember…I mean, probably warm // Real life: work

Dear J.Crew, please make this dress in 1000 more colors and patterns and send me one of each. Yes, I know you already make it in another pattern, but I don’t like that one. Pick something I like. I spend about 20% of my income at your stores (which is totally normal), so I like to think I’m a VIP. Also if you could make a few of them long sleeved, that would be great because…#Midwest. Loooooooove, Sarah.

Now, who has connection at J.Crew and can pass along my message Second, who has connections with Santa and can get me all these dresses for free Let’s work together and make the world a better place (or at least make my closet a better place, because the whole world may be asking too much at this point).

Dress (on sale) // similar Bag // Shoes // similar Sunglasses // Earrings

09. 09. 2018

When: Aug. 24 // Weather: 60s // Real life: outdoor concert

There’s a long list of things I hate. Amusement parks. Bad grammar. Crocs. The dentist. Duke. I could go on.

There’s a short list of things I love, and some of them seem to surprise people. Like, I love Michael Jackson. Don’t you dare make jokes about the more questionable parts of his past in front of me, or you will receive my famous withering stare, and you might be added to the above list. He is the King of Pop and he can do no wrong in my eyes. Shamone.

There’s a really good MJ cover band that did an outdoor concert at Symphony on the Prairie a couple weeks ago, so I was living my best moonwalking life. In fact, I love Michael so much that I wasn’t even mad about going to the suburbs (I also hate the suburbs).

Discussion time: What’s your favorite Michael Jackson song I have trouble choosing between “Beat It” and “Man in the Mirror.”

Pants (on sale) // similar Shirt // similar Bag // similar Sunglasses

09. 04. 2018

When: August 10 // Weather: hot // Real life: work and fun in NYC

Remember that birthday I mentioned I didn’t forget to celebrate it. We took a quick trip to NYC the weekend before to see friends, see shows, do some shopping, eat all the food, and just generally have a good time. (I love saying things like “took a quick trip to NYC” because it makes me sound very fancy and jetsettery.) We flew in Friday morning and out Sunday night, and managed to fit in 2 Broadway shows, 3 museums, 1 shopping spree, and an undisclosed number of cocktails.

To make the trip even more of a whirlwind, I started it by meeting with a client (a cool one, otherwise I would have pulled the “sorry, I’m on vacation” card!). So I had to somehow come up with an outfit for Friday that was comfy enough for a 7am flight, nice enough for a business lunch, funky enough for hanging out downtown, and mean enough to go see Mean Girls. I think I pulled it off, but don’t ask me to do it again. Oh, did I mention my wife bought me tickets to Mean Girls She’s the best, and she can definitely sit with me, even when she’s wearing sweatpants.

Kimono // Shoes // similar Sunglasses // Bag // Watch

09. 01. 2018

When: my birthday! // Weather: hot // Real life: work

So I know it’s September now, but did I mention I had a birthday in August Cuz I did. I’m at a stage in life where I’m still young enough that I want people to know it’s my birthday and shower me with gifts and compliments, but I’m old enough that I don’t want people to ask too many questions. Suffice it to say I had a birthday and it was lovely. I took a little pre-birthday trip to NYC (more on that later), but my actual birthday was a Monday, which I spent at work. I went for a mature yet playful combo of a navy dress with tassel earrings – sort of a business in the front, party in the back situation.

I’ve had a couple weeks now to acclimate to my new age – ahem, don’t ask too many questions, remember – and it seems to be OK so far. Here’s to another swell year.

similar Dress // Bag (cheaper option) // similar Shoes // similar Earrings

08. 28. 2018

When: August 7 // Weather: hot // Real life: work

There comes a point when I have to ask myself:

“Self, do you really need another floral dress”

Myself is very sassy, so she always answers, “Shut your mouth and hand over that credit card.”

(But myself is also very responsible, so she also usually reminds me to pay my credit card bill promptly and keep up that badass credit score.)

Dress (on sale) // Shoes (on sale) // similar Bag


08. 26. 2018

When: a couple Mondays ago // Weather: summery // Real life: work, then tacos friends

You’ve heard of Taco Tuesday, but what about Taco Monday

It’s similar to Taco Tuesday, but better, because when it comes to tacos (and margaritas), sooner is better, and Monday comes sooner than Tuesday. You can’t argue with that logic.

Just like there’s no bad time for tacos, there’s also no bad time to go shopping and randomly pick up a bright yellow bag on clearance. I called it a birthday present to myself, but that was really just an excuse because I bought it about 2 weeks before my birthday.

So the moral of today’s story is: Life is short. Don’t wait to eat the tacos or buy the bag call free

Dress // similar Jacket // Bag (on sale) // Shoes


InformationWeek serving the information needs of the .

There are many of us who know and love bacon. Of course there are the few who don’t like it, but we are not going to talk about them. I think even though a lot of people know what bacon is and what it looks like they have never considered making it themselves. Because I don’t really purchase meat from the store, I typically purchase my bacon from Yonder Way Farm but theirs comes completely uncured and unsalted, in fact it’s simply fresh pork belly. Which technically makes it not actual bacon due to the fact that bacon is a cured and preserved meat.

I was completely fine with that for a while because their pork is the best and so incredibly flavorful that it doesn’t really need to be cured. Alas my cravings for salty, piquant porky goodness began to arise so I sought to make my own.

As some might not know, there are different types of bacon. The most commonly known in the United States is the one that I’m doing for this recipe which is made with pork belly but it can also be made with other cuts like loin, fatback, ankle, jowl, the list goes on and on. Each of course differing slightly in the use of ingredients but all of them have a general “bacony-ness” about them.

The wonderful thing about home cured bacon is that you have complete control over the ingredients that go in it. You don’t have to freak out about using sugar, nitrates or nitrites in your bacon if you choose not to have it because  it’s not completely necessary, although I don’t really worry about nitrates in bacon. I did choose to use a more natural source of nitrates which was celery powder because I didn’t want to use the pink salt due to the fact that they dye it pink, although you do use it in very minimal quantities so it’s also because I’m slightly stubborn.

Mainly you don’t have to worry whether or not the ingredients are Paleo of if they’re contaminated with gluten or unsavory ingredients because it’s all coming from you’re own home. Most old fashioned bacon that was made before it started being mass produced was cured with a simple mixture of salt and sometimes sugar. Now what tickles me is when someone says that they don’t want any preservatives in their bacon what so ever which is slightly an odd request because salt acts as a preservative in the making of bacon. In fact bacon is a preserved food. The whole reason that bacon was ever invented was to preserve it prior to having refrigerators.

The most important thing to do when making your bacon is to make sure you use quality pork belly from a trusted source. I know many of my readers are pretty aware of where their meat comes from and have very high quality sources but it’s still an important thing to remember. Because Jason was out of pork belly I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get any for a while. That is until I went to Revival Market to meet up with my friend Charissa for lunch. Revival market it one of the only places I will eat out at because all of their meat is pastured/grassfed. Once we had eaten I grabbed a pork belly on the way out because the thought of homemeade bacon began swimming in my head again.

 Pork is a fairly potent source of glutamate which is what gives the meat it’s umami flavor. Now take that umami packed meat but then cure it in a combination of salt and sugar. Now you have created another; even more potent layer of umami on top of that making it twice as immersive in flavor.You know what I’m talking about; that tongue tingling salted porkiness, that alluring aroma of cured pork fat rendering in the pan. This is exactly why most people love bacon, and most vegetarians don’t even want to think about it. It truly is a one of a kind flavor that is just so powerful that it’s made irresistible to many who know the taste. And now, you know how to make it yourself.

Of course I will include the obligatory shot of bacon frying in it’s own beautiful shimmering layer of fat.

  • 4 lb fresh pork belly
  • 45 grams coarse sea salt (3½ tablespoons)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves of garlic smashed and left in skin
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • Optional: 1½ teaspoons celery juice powder(I used this celery juice powder) you could also use pink salt if you wish
  • hickory wood chips if smoking
  1. Rinse and pat dry pork belly. In a small bowl combine salt, optional sugar, and optional celery juice powder or optional pink salt and mix well. Place the pork belly in a 2 gallon zip lock bag and coat all over and thoroughly rub with mixture. Bruise the rosemary sprigs and place all over pork belly along with garlic. Place the cure rubbed pork belly in the fridge for 7 days.
  2. Once the pork belly has cured rinse it off thoroughly with water.
  1. Soak wood 4 cups of wood chips in water for 30 mintutes. Fill 1-2 smoker boxes with ½ cup of soaked chips and a small handful of dry chips and reserve the rest of the soaked chips for later use. Remove one of the sides of the grates of the grill so that you can place the smoker boxes directly on the heating element. Preheat one side of the grill to medium heat keeping the opposite side completely off until the smoker boxes begin to smoke then reduce the heat to low, place the pork belly on the wire rack onto the unlit side and close the lid (see the image in my post for how I set mine up). Try to stabilize the heat at around 200 degrees and smoke the pork belly for 3½-4 hours adding more soaked chipped every 45 minutes or so; until the internal temperature of the pork belly registers 150 degrees. If you want more smoke without having to increase the temperature just add a small handful of dry woodchips along with the soaked.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place the pork belly on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Roast the bacon until the internal temperature of the pork belly registers 150 degrees.
  1. Allow to cool completely then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight to harden the fat. With a sharp and long knife slice the bacon into desired thickness and store in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for 6-12 months.
  2. Congratulations you have made your very own bacon.
For the sugar:This is completely optional yet I chose to use coconut sugar in my recipe because the cure is washed off before it's smoked or placed in the oven which leaves insignificant and minimal quantities. If you still do not want to use the coconut sugar then your bacon will taste a bit more salty because the sugar is in place to help contrast and tone down the saltiness.
For the use of celery juice powder or pink salt: This is also optional but I chose to use celery juice powder and explained why in this post. If you don't want to use the celery juice powder or the pink salt don't worry because it's completely optional. The only difference is that your bacon might turn brown or grey after it is cured and lack the distinct piquant cured taste. If you want to learn more about the use of nitrates in cured meats and why I do not fear them Chris Kresser and Michael Ruhlman both have great articles on it.
If you have a different weight of pork belly than specified: Michael Ruhlman Recommends you get the weight of the pork belly in grams and then multiply by .025 and the result of that is the amount of salt you should use in grams. This method only works if you have a food scale at home though.
If you own a smoker: I do not have a smoker so I didn't try making it with one but I would imagine if you do and wanted to smoke it like that you would simply smoke it at 200 degrees away from the fire to avoid any flare ups until the pork belly internal temperature registers 150 degrees.
Things to do with your homemade bacon:

Fry it and eat it. Savor every bite.

Bacon Guacamole Sammies – Nom Nom Paleo

Bourbon and Cider Braised Bacon – The Domestic Man

Bacon Wrapped Beef Franks with Spicy Relish – Civilized Caveman

Salted Caramel Bacon Bark – Spunky Coconut

Bacon Jam – Zenbelly

Infamous Bacon Cookies – Primal Palate

Make something from Beyond Bacon

Maple and Candied Bacon Blonde Brownies – Urban Poser

Or you could do this. Although not recommended Angry Birds

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