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Do You Smell What’s Cookin’?

While Renee and I anxiously await for the right job to find us in South Korea, we are spending our time in Michigan with my moms visiting friends and family, doing necessary logistical work for Korea and finding little (inexpensive!) ways to have fun.  This break has been filled with reading, crocheting, canvas work, fancy Christmas gift wrapping and cooking.  Cheap.  Fun.  Creative.  Not at all like an old lady.  Not. At. All.

I’m definitely not a cook.  If I was left by myself there’s a good chance I would survive on cereal, eggs, horribly dry chicken, fruits, veggies, pasta and microwaveable meals.  Thankfully Renee has entered my life and loooves to cook — and BONUS!  She’s fantastic at it.  So, after my slight obsession with Pinterest and finding simple and delicious looking meals, we decided to make some tasty treats on this grey Wednesday.  Here are the results!

Portabella Pizzas

Renee topping our portabella pizzas.


  • 2 portabella caps
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • shredded cheese
  • pizza topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Clean the mushrooms and scoop out the insides and stem with a spoon.  Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and place the portabellas on the cooking sheet.  Bake for 7 minutes.  Take the mushrooms out of the oven and turn the broiler on high.  Cover the mushrooms with the marinara sauce, shredded cheese and other toppings that you choose (I loved the pepperoni and black olive combo, but there’s so much you can do with this dish!) and put it back in the oven for 3 more minutes or until it is all evenly melted.  (Hint: if you are using a low fat cheese, premix the shredded cheese with an egg white or two — low fat cheese usually has trouble melting so this helps the process.)

Portabella pizzas with pepperoni and black olives.

 We made this for lunch and it was amaaaaazing!  The portabella tastes so juicy and meaty, and with the toppings it tastes just like (possibly better than?) a regular pizza.  Seriously.  And it’s better for you — that never happens.

Mom enjoying our ‘pizzas’

Then we made something not so good for you.  This tasty treat is called:

Cinnamon Maple Bacon Spread

Mixing up the cinnamon maple bacon spread.


Candied bacon

  • 2 tbs of butter
  • maple syrup
  • brown sugar
  • bacon

Bacon spread

  • 16 oz plain cream cheese
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tbs brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the butter, maple syrup and brown sugar in a bowl.  Coat the pieces of bacon in the mix and lay flat on a large cooking rack set on top of a cooking tray lined in tin foil.  Top the bacon with a thin coat of brown sugar.  Put the bacon in the oven for 30 minutes or until brown and crispy.  Halfway through the baking process rotate the tray in the oven (most ovens don’t cook evenly so this will help keep the bacon consistent).

Candied bacon

In a large bowl mix the cream cheese (zap in the microwave for about 15 seconds to get it soft and smooth), maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Once the bacon is out of the oven and has cooled, crumble it up and fold it into the spread.

Crumbling the candied bacon into the spread.
I prepared this with croissant rolls, but this would also be wonderful on bagels, crackers, waffles or biscuits.  The saltiness from the bacon mixed with the sweetness of the brown sugar and maple syrup is addicting!
Mmmmmmm vino.
After a beautiful afternoon of making the kitchen smell like pizza and maple syrup bacon, we enjoyed a lovely $4 bottle of sweet moscato vino.  Cheers!


I have circumnavigated the globe, I have lived overseas, and now I'm back in America about to marry my beautiful fiance, Renee. Follow our adventures in travel, getting healthier with Plexus and starting a brand new life.

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