Cambria Corn Chowder

The first time I tasted this soup, I thought to myself, "What is in this? It's savory. It's sweet. It's got a little kick. It's delicious!  And what in the name of Sam Hill is Cambria?"  (I assumed it was some ecuadorian spice because my friend, Carol Snell, made it and she had at one time lived in Ecuador.  

But you know what happens when you assume. . . )

In case you really want to know, and because I love a good trivia fact, Cambria is a little coastal village in California that I guess must make a mean corn chowder, or they have a bunch of corn farmers there.  IDK which, and it doesn't really matter, because whatever the reason, those little folks down there in Cambria, California, make a wicked corn chowder.

If you are looking for an incredibly fast, incredibly delicious soup for these cold winter days, then you are going to love this.

Enough with my jibber-jabber.  Here's the recipe:

1 Onion (diced)
1 Large Potato (diced small)
1 Cup of Water
2 Cups of Half and Half (I use Fat Free and it's just as delicious)
1 pound of bacon
1 pound of ground mild italian sausage
1 2oz jar pimentos
3 15oz cans of creamed corn
1 4oz can of diced green chilies
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Cook the bacon by cutting the bacon into bite-sized pieces and cooking until crispy. 

I love a recipe that starts with "Cook the bacon . . . "  

Drain and set aside.  

Pardon my very terrible picture, but isn't
that bacon gonna be yummy!

Brown the sausage in the same pan that you cooked the bacon in. (Yes, it matters. do you seriously want to waste the deliciousness of those bacon renderings? But in case you are the really observant kind, you'll notice I *did* change pans. Don't do what I do. Do what I say.)

What's a rendering you ask?  Why it's a fancy culinary term for the little pieces of bacon that got stuck to the bottom of the pan after you cooked it and drained off the grease. YUM!

(I don't have a picture of this stage.  I got a little carried away tasting those homemade bacon bits and forgot to take the picture.)

Before the sausage is all the way cooked, add in the diced onions, the garlic salt and salt and pepper and continue to cook.

Yeah, I know, the picture is terrible.
Someday I'm going to remember to
turn my stupid phone when I take a

Meanwhile, in the pan that the actual soup is going to cook in (I recommend a 6qt. dutch oven)

This kind.  

Not this kind. (sorry I couldn't resist)

Cook your diced up potato in 1 cup of water.

Okay, this is technically a picture of the bacon still cooking. But if you look back at the back of it, you'll see the potato.

Yeah, I forgot again.      That bacon . . . so distracting . . .

Once the potato is tender, stir in all the other ingredients (well, everything EXCEPT the bacon!)

To recap, don't drain the potato.  Just add the sausage and onions, the corn, the pimentos, the green chilies, and the half and half to the potato and water.

Cook slowly, very slowly, for as long as you want until it's as thick as you want.

Then serve with that yummy bacon and heck, why not some grated cheese too!

For the love of cheese and bacon, this is so good.  


Sweet Chili Bacon Chicken Skewers

For a series, I have to say this is a painfully slow roll out! But don't you worry your little bacon-loving heads about it, because it's all going to be worth the wait!

I know you enjoyed the Grilled Bacon and Onion Potatoes because so many of y'all have pinned it or emailed me to tell me it was awesome!  You're welcome, and I love you back. Now get to the gym.

So now that you've tasted the delicious side dish in this grilling series, let's get right to the main course, Sweet Chili Bacon Chicken Skewers. I've made this dish a TON of times and there is never any left, ever. It's just the absolute perfect blend of sweet and hot (sort of like me) and I haven't found a single person yet who doesn't love it.

The great thing about this recipe (especially for you campers) is that you can make it ahead of time, freeze it, and then grill it later on when you get to the campsite.  Just be really careful about the thawing process . . . disclaimer . . . thawing chicken at room temperature is bad, naughty, potentially deadly and might cause mad chicken disease so don't do it . . . don't say you weren't warned.



4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 1# package of sliced bacon, your desired thickness.
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 or 2 tablespoons chili powder  (I use one because I don't like my mouth to be on fire, unless it's because my husband is kissing me, but well . . . I digress)


  • Heat your grill to about 350 degrees F.  (I can't convert it if you live in another country.  I'm challenged that way.)
  • Cut chicken breasts into 1" cubes.  
  • Mix chili powder and brown sugar together in a Ziploc bag.  Shake cut up chicken breasts in that mixture.
  • Cut each bacon slice into thirds, wrap around chicken cube.  Secure with wooden skewer.  (NOTE:  If you don't already know this, you have to soak your wooden skewers in water before you cook on the grill with them.  Think about it  Wood.  Fire.  Firewood.)
  • Grill those babies for about 30-35 minutes, but the time totally depends on how big you cut your chicken!
For the love of Cheese and Bacon, this chicken is so good!  You will make it again and again, I promise you!  And hey, once you make it, will you take the time to come back here and let me know what you thought about it, if you modified it, etc?  

Grilled Bacon Onion Potatoes

First of all, let's address the bacon-flavored elephant in the room.  I have not blogged in far too long, so long in fact, that it's quite possible that there's no one left out there in blog land that even reads this lovely culinary offering.  (I think when you're writing about something as redneck as cheese and bacon, you need to bring it up a notch by using words like "culinary.")

To my fans, readers, fellow cheese and bacon lovers, I am sorry for my absence,  but I'm here now, and apparently you are too, so I can't wait to tell you about my upcoming series.

For the Love of Cheese and Bacon on the Grill. 

 It'll cover everything from your appetizer, your main course, a couple of sides and even your dessert (yep, your dessert, with bacon and cheese and a grill.)

I live in Texas, and in Texas, it's too dang hot to grill out in the summer, ESPECIALLY in August, so I'm getting my fellow Texans ready for September and football and cooler days and cooler nights, nights that practically demand dinner on the grill.

So get ready for some Cheese and Bacon Action - Grillside.

And because I'm non-conventional, I'm not giving you these awesome recipes in any particular meal order.  You'll just have to save up and put 'em in order once you have 'em all.

(I swear I get more country with each passing sentence!)

The Ingredients

2 to 3 sheets of heavy-duty foil
1 packet onion soup powder
10-12 baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
(and let me take this opportunity to tell you that if you use ANY other kind of potato, you are going to have to adjust your cooking time .. . trust me on this one!)
12 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon
(I recommend Hormel Thick Cut bacon, not because they pay me, at all . . . but they should as much as I mention them, but because I think thick cut bacon is yummy in this recipe!)
1 cup cheese (optional, if you're an idiot, because leaving off the cheese is like a birthday cake without candles.  It's just not done.)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
Sour cream for serving (optional . . . okay, I'll let this one be optional, but trust me when I tell you it's gonna be way better with some sour cream on it too!)

The Directions

Spray each sheet of foil with cooking spray. Top each piece with equal portions of potatoes, bacon, 1 packet onion soup powder and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each serving. Wrap securely.

Grill for 20 to 30 minutes. Or you can bake it in the oven, at 350° for about 55 minutes or till done, or till the rest of your food is cold because you used the wrong potatoes (but since this is a series about grilling, you should use the grill.  For real.)

Let stand 10 minutes before serving. About 2-3 minutes before you serve it, add the cheese and reseal the foil. Serve in foil, topped with sour cream if desired, (you desire, see above).

Serve this alongside your Sweet Chili Bacon Chicken Skewers. . . . Oh wait, you don't have that recipe yet.  (Well, I guess you know what's coming!)

Bacon in My Inbox

It's funny to me how many emails, text messages, and facebook messages I get that include pictures of bacon, words about bacon, bacon recipes, bacon cooking tips, bacon web links, bacon poems, and so on.

Really, it's comical. 

And intriguing.  

People love bacon.

So, to share a smidgeon (that's a rare, bacon-related cooking term) of the goodness people send me, I have compiled a Top 25 list of food/drinks that people have told me they put bacon in or on.

Be amazed and be sure to include your bacon favorites in the comment section!


1.   Bacon Brownies
2.   Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies
3.   Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting
4.   Bacon and Strawberry Cupcakes with #3
5.   Beef and Bean Burritos with Bacon Pieces (I'll have to post this recipe someday!)
6.   Bacon and Banana Sandwiches
7.   Bacon Salsa
8.   Chocolate Covered Bacon in Coffee (looked like a stirrer)
9.   Bacon Pancakes (it's a mix!)
10. Bacon Smoothies
11. Bacon Jelly/Jam
12. Peanut Butter and Crispy Bacon Sandwiches (Toasted)
13. Bacon Gumballs
14. Bacon Beer (apparently there is a festival!)
15. Ice Cream with Bacon Bits
16. Bacon Peanut Brittle (that could be good!)
17. Bacon and Cream Cheese Dip
18. Bacon Bourbon
19. Bacon and Cheese Pancakes (cream cheese)
20. Peanut Butter Cups with Bacon Bits
21. Powdered Sugar covered Bacon served on Waffles (yum)
22. Peanut Butter and Bacon Cookies
23. Bacon Dressing
24. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Balls
25. Bacon Pie

For the love of cheese and bacon, don't forget to include your favorite bacon weirdness or goodness in the comments.

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Bacon and Poppyseed Dressing

It's Cheese, It's Bacon, It Can't ALL Be Bad for you, Right?

Every single time I tell someone that I have a blog called "For the Love of Cheese and Bacon" they say, "Oh my gosh.   Is the whole thing about cheese and bacon?"

My response is typically laden with sarcasm, because, well . . . it's a gift I have, the gift of sarcasm.

But typically my response goes something like this, "Ummm, yeah. Cheese. Bacon.  That's pretty much it."

And then I usually get some sort of a lecture telling me how bad both cheese AND bacon are for my body. (Sheesh, let a girl have a little comfort food every now and then, okay?)

I feel somewhat defensive about my love for cheese and bacon.  But yeah, I GET that it's not good for you all the time.  Moderation people.  Moderation.

To prove that it's not all bad for you, I am giving you one of my all time favorite salad recipes that contains both cheese and bacon.  So shut it.  (Did I mention I feel a little defensive?) :)

First, a picture to entice you. 

For The Love of Cheese and Bacon

Now, just a teeny weeny bit of history about this salad.  The dressing, I got from my friend, Mary's, grandma (whose name was also Mary)  It was the kind of dressing where you eat it and the first thing you say is, "Oh my gosh! You made this dressing from scratch? Can I please have the recipe?" and then you hold your breath because you're pretty sure they're going to tell you no.  But she said yes. Score (for both of us)!

The salad I sort of made-up because I had some stuff in the pantry, and I was hungry for something with strawberries and bacon in it.

Tada!  Birth of a salad.  Enjoy!


  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce 4-6 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 box (small, but not snack size) golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • 2 tbsps feta cheese
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (make home-cooked bacon pieces.  I'll know if you don't, and it won't go well for you!)

  • 1/2 cup low fat yogurt  (Yes, before 12 people ask, you can use greek!)
  • 1/2 cup lite mayonnaise (I've gotta watch my figure girls!)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon poppyseeds


Wash lettuce and spinach, dry,  then tear lettuce and spinach into bite-sized pieces. (If you don't have one of those salad spinner things, for love of easy, go get one!). 
Add your almonds and raisins into the lettuce and toss.  Top it all off with your strawberries, feta cheese and bacon pieces. 

To make the dressing, I'm going to get all technical on you, so prepare yourself.  Pour all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk it until it's as smooth as syrup. (speaking of syrup, I've always wondered what this salad would be like with a teeny weeny drizzle of maple syrup.  If you try it, let me know!) 

Now, drizzle (more like pour) salad dressing generously over your salad and serve immediately.
For the love of cheese and bacon, this is good!


How To Cook Bacon That is Freaking Amazing

There are a few things you pretty much have to learn how to cook as a southern woman, and bacon is near the top of that list.  

But I gotta tell you, bacon is not easy to cook.  First you have the whole "hot popping grease thing" to contend with.  (I think it's bacon's way of getting even with you for eating it. Or maybe it's God's way of warning you NOT to eat it! HA!)

Then, (at least in my house) you have to contend with people's opinions about how their bacon gets cooked. (And trust me when I tell you, the people in my house have opinions about their bacon.)

So over the years, I have developed my own very special technique of cooking bacon.  It's all very involved and scientific, so you're going to have to follow my directions precisely.  

Start with fresh and completely thawed bacon.  It doesn't matter if your slices are thick or thin, whatever you like is fine.
I use this bacon because it's fairly thin sliced and cooks evenly.
And you've gotta have a splatter screen!

First, place the bacon in the skillet like so. Don't try to scrunch the bacon all up in the pan.  It's okay for it to hang over the edges a bit when you first start out. This helps prevent the  bacon from bubbling.
Notice how the bacon is hanging over the edge? Not a big deal.
If you keep following my directions, your bacon will be flat and crisp.

Then, cook bacon until it is almost done. Then remove the bacon from the skillet and lay it on a microwave safe plate with two pieces of paper towels covering the plate. Then cover that layer of bacon with one paper towel.
Notice that the bacon is not fully cooked, but it's close.
See how the ends  are a little curled up?
If your ends get too curly, simply cut them with a knife.

I'm showing you that the cooked bacon is getting layered
onto the plate.

Continue cooking bacon and layering/draining on plate.

Once all of your bacon is cooked, place a paper towel over the last layer and cook it in the microwave for one minute. Check the bacon.  (You will mostly likely need to cook it for one more minute.)

Let sit (outside the microwave) for another minute to finish cooking and crisping.

I would show you a picture of the finished product, but people ate it.  It was yummy, crispy and delicious.  Calorie Free.  (most of that is true.)

Now, the worst part, to me at least, about cooking bacon is the clean up of the grease! YUCK.  But here is the best tip for that. I take a piece of aluminum foil and stick it into a coffee cup, then pour the hot grease into the cup.

Make a "well" out of the foil to receive the hot grease!

Once it cools, you simply wrap up the foil and throw it in the trash. SO EASY!

Enjoy your perfectly cooked, crispy bacon!  And let me know how it turns out.


The Best Ever Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese

How do you even start a blog called "For the Love of Cheese and Bacon?"  

Really, there are endless possibilities, but I thought I'd start off with a story and a recipe.

When I was a kid, my family was fairly poor.  We got food (called "Commodities") from the government, most of which was TERRIBLE for you!  I never really understood their philosophy of nutrition, unless of course the plan was to give you nutritionally poor foods in order to make you die off, thereby removing you from the list of people who needed help from the government.  I don't know.  Just a theory.

Anyway, one of the best foods we got was cheese.  GIANT. BLOCKS. OF CHEESE.  I blame the government really for my cheese obsession.  I can't blame them for my bacon obsession. They didn't give us bacon (bologna, yes . . . bacon, no).

So yeah, that's where it all began for me.  My love of cheese.  This love I have passed down to my children, and I am sure, in turn, they will pass it down to their children after them.

There are so many recipes I could begin with, but I decided I would begin with our all-time family favorite: Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

First off, I should tell you that I am a southern cook, which translates to "I mostly don't measure stuff, and I use way too much butter and black pepper."

So you might have to do a little finagling with this recipe to get it exactly how you want it.

But here's how I make it.  And I want to assure you that I never, ever, ever have any leftovers, no matter how much I make. It's that good.  And so easy!  (You're welcome in advance)



1 1/2 cups Small Elbow Macaroni (don't get other kinds - it's my recipe!)
1 cup of cubed Velveeta (yes, I know it's not really cheese, but let's pretend okay? Later on you can modify if you like!)
1 cup Milk (I use 2% because clearly I'm concerned about calories! And DON'T USE IT ALL AT ONCE!)
1/4 stick Butter (not margarine, not fake butter.  Butter.)
Salt and Pepper


Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan.  Once boiling add about 1 1/2 cups of macaroni with a pinch of salt.  Boil until done, or a little less than done depending on how you like it. Drain and put noodles back in pan. Add 1/4 stick of butter, 1/2 cup of milk and about 1/2 cup of cubed Velveeta. Stir over low heat until completely melted.

Here's where the southern part comes in.  You will have to decide for yourself if you want it cheesier and/or creamier. If you want it cheesier, add more cheese.  I dice about another 1/2 cup cheese and keep adding it until it gets to the cheesiness that I like.  Sometimes this requires me to add more milk because I also like mine with lots of extra cheesy juiciness. (Pretty sure that's a technical recipe term)

NOW, once you have it to just the perfect amount of creaminess and cheesiness, THEN add your salt and pepper to taste.  I tend to go heavy on the pepper.  You do what you like.  But if you add your salt and pepper before this stage, you're just going to have to do it again because the cheese and milk you added (see above paragraph) are going to change the taste!

Serve it while it's hot!

Total time from boiling water to serving?  Oh, about 15 minutes.  That's all.  Unless of course you want to add some crumbled up bacon to the top.  That'd be pretty amazing too.

For the love of cheese and bacon, you've gotta make this tonight.  It'll pretty much make you wife/mom/girlfriend of the year.  (No guarantees of course. I just like to end with grandiose statements like that!)

I'm That Carol Jones. Enjoy! (and if you make this, please come back and tell me what you thought, what you changed, etc.! I'd love to hear from you!)

(BTW, when my son was reading this, he said, "You know what makes your mac and cheese so good?  It's the way the cheese gets up inside the noodles, and then when you bite into it, it explodes into warm cheesy goodness.") - an unsolicited testimonial.