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I’ve mentioned before I love cookbooks. I have a pretty nice collection of cookbooks that I love to read and cook from. I was recently sent Valerie Bertinelli’s cookbook, Valerie’s Home Cooking to review. I am pretty familiar with Valerie. I might be showing my age here, but I remember her from when she was on One Day At A Time. These days I watch her on her Food Network Cooking Show. I am glad she came out with a cookbook because I have a bad habit of forgetting what show I saw a recipe on when it comes time to make it.
Valerie’s Home Cooking includes 100 recipes in the following categories:
- Rise & Shine
- Getting Through The Day
- Happy Hour
- Around the Table
- A Side Note
- Finishing Sweet
Each of the recipes include a quick little story which I think is a great way to get to know Valarie a little better. I am one of those people who “reads’ cookbooks so I like this. Throughout Valerie’s Home Cooking you will find tips, variations and notes to help make the recipes special. I love that Valerie encourages you to create these recipes with your tastes in mind. These are not the type of recipes with ingredients written in stone where you have to make it a certain way.
A few things really stuck out to me in this cookbook. There is a mix of healthy and what could be considered not so healthy recipes included. To me this is real life. You have to have a balance. Valarie also includes some nice sandwich recipes. The Breakfast Biscuit Sammies have sausage in the biscuits! It looks so good. There is also a Lobster BLT I wouldn’t mind making. I was also pleasantly surprised with the Happy Hour section of the book. It has easy to make cocktails and snacks to go with them . I think this is the first time I have seen something like this before in a cookbook that is not is not centered around drinks. I like to try my hand at making different cocktails so I really appreciate this.
Brown Sugar Sriracha Bacon Bites Recipe
Excerpted from Valerie’s Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Bacon candy. Those two words are not often used together, and in fact you may not have ever associated them. But now, having considered the possibilities, you’re probably like me and thinking this combination sounds amazing. It is! The brown sugar, Sriracha, and bacon remind me of a party where I introduce three of my favorite people to each other and watch them become best friends. Taste-wise, this is an irresistible collaboration of sweet, spicy, and savory. It’s one of my favorite appetizers to make for a cocktail party. They always go fast. These bacon bites also package well, so I’ve made them in advance and given them to people as yummy gifts.
Serves 10 Hands-on 10 minutes Total 1 hour
¼ cup Sriracha chili sauce
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
10 thick-cut bacon slices, each cut into 4 pieces
1½ tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1½ tablespoons black sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Stir together the Sriracha and brown sugar in a medium bowl; add the bacon pieces, and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; place a wire rack over the foil. Spray the rack liberally with cooking spray. Place the bacon pieces in a single layer on the rack.
- Bake the bacon until almost crisp, about 45 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, sprinkle the bacon evenly with the toasted sesame seeds and black sesame seeds.
- Remove from the oven, and cool for 5 to 8 minutes, moving the bacon pieces slightly on the rack every 2 minutes to prevent sticking. (The bacon will crisp more as it cools.)