Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Breakfast

Ahhhhh, Valentine’s Day….A day for love.  And for me, a day for eating.  Right?  Most of us go out to eat for Valentine’s Day, or make a special meal at home.  When you are kidless, you go out for a long, romantic dinner.  When you have kids, things change dramatically.  I’ve found that staying home and cooking a special meal is the way to go.  We don’t have to get dressed up, I don’t have to wrestle my kids to brush their hair, and I don’t have to scream at them to stop hitting each other in public.  Win/win.

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a school night.  It’s tomorrow for those of you that are mentally blocking what day it falls on this year.  I won’t be cooking a special dinner.  Between work, school, homework, etc. I would just feel too rushed.  This year, we are going to have a special Valentine’s Day breakfast.  I am going to make my amazing Red Velvet Pancakes with a Cream Cheese Glaze, Candied Bacon and my “Love Potion”.  I know my kids will love it, and it will be a great start to V-day.

Let’s start with my Candied Bacon.  I know most of you think that bacon can’t get any better.  It can.  I love bacon as much as the next guy, but I am a freak over this candied version.  It is sweet, salty and crunchy.  It’s everything you could want in a breakfast meat.

I start with thick cut bacon.  I coat the bacon in a combination of Gourmet Rooster Carolina Style BBQ sauce and brown sugar.  The BBQ sauce is a mustardy sauce that doesn’t have tomatoes in it.  It is slightly spicy, sweet and tangy.  If you can’t get this sauce, you can totally substitute Dijon mustard.

Once the bacon is sufficiently coated, I bake the bacon on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet.  I bake the bacon until it is browned and super crispy.  Your house will smell amazing.

This bacon is like nothing you’ve had before.  The mustard and brown sugar combine together into something magical.  You will love it.

My Red Velvet pancakes are ridiculously easy.  Why, you ask?  Because I use pancake mix!  I mix the pancake mix with buttermilk, eggs, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar and red food coloring.  Basically, I follow the directions from the back of the box, but I sub in buttermilk for the regular milk and add in the cocoa and coloring.  A red velvet cake has buttermilk, cocoa powder and food coloring in it, so it’s pretty much the same….just in pancake form.  And it is fast to make…just like a regular pancake.

The Cream Cheese Glaze is cream cheese melted into whole milk with some sugar and a splash of vanilla extract.  The cream cheese melts into a thick yummy sauce.  I could eat this stuff on a shoe and be happy.  It really is the perfect topper to Red Velvet Pancakes….after all, a good red velvet cake always has cream cheese frosting.


Finally, every good breakfast needs a drink, right?  My “Love Potion” is strawberry nectar, peach nectar and lemon lime soda.  For the grown-ups, I use champagne instead of the lemon lime soda….usually.  This Valentine’s Day we will all enjoy this “mocktail”.  It’s a work/school day!


My kids love this drink.  It is sweet and fruity fresh.  The soda makes it fizzy and fancy.  And it is the prettiest shade of pink!

I hope you have a great Valentine’s Day with all of your loves.  I also hope you try one or two of these recipes!

Courtney’s Candied Bacon

1 pound thick cut bacon

¼ cup Gourmet Rooster Caroline Style BBQ Sauce

¼ cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Arrange on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet that has been lined with foil, without overlapping.

In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar and BBQ sauce until well combined.  Top each bacon slice with sugar/BBQ sauce mixture, evenly coating each piece.

Bake for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees, or until bacon is browned and crispy.

Serves 6

Red Velvet Pancakes

2 cups pancake mix (Bisquick)

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

¼ cup sugar

1 ¼ cup buttermilk

2 eggs

.75 ounce red food coloring

Butter for pan

Preheat skillet or griddle over medium heat.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together pancake mix, cocoa, sugar, buttermilk and eggs.  Once blended, stir in red food coloring until desired color is reached.

Coat skillet or griddle with butter. Ladle pancake batter onto hot skillet (about ¼ a cup at a time).  Cook until pancakes look dry on the tops and edges are starting to bubble.  Flip pancakes with a spatula and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until pancakes are cooked through.

Top with cream cheese glaze.

Serves 6

Cream Cheese Glaze

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons sugar

In a sauce pan, melt cream cheese into milk over medium heat, whisking frequently (about 5 minutes).  Once glaze is smooth, whisk in sugar and vanilla extract.  Cook until sugar is dissolved.

Love Potion

2 cups Kern’s Strawberry Nectar

2 cups Kern’s Peach Nectar

1 cup Lemon Lime Soda

Mix together in a large pitcher.  Serve chilled.

Serves 4-6

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