Tag Archives: Bacon

Pizzettes with Fried Brussel Sprout Leaves Tossed with Crispy Bacon and Golden Raisins


Mini pizzettes for everyone! These are cute and delicious little pizzas that are sure to please any party guests. I have been on a pizza kick for my just about my whole life… I LOVE pizza! Ever since I learned to make my own dough- we no longer eat “delivery” pizza because it’s ALWAYS a disappointment for many reasons, it’s $$ for what it is, it makes you feel like crap, and it’s just simply not. that. good. We still enjoy going to local pizza places like Salvations and Rounders but that requires driving all the way into town which is not close.

Next time you need an appetizer plan for guest, try these babies out! You will not regret it!

Fried Sprouts

Prep: 1hr

Cook Time: 10-15 min

Serves: 8 tapas sized pizzas


  • 1 (1/4 ounce) Package active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water
  • 1 TBS. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups Bread flour
  • 2 TBS Lemon thyme, fresh
  • 1 TBS Chopped rosemary, fresh

Pizza Toppings

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh whole milk mozzarella slices, small ones (1-2 per pizza)
  • Crispy cooked bacon
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Salt/pepper
  • Golden raisins

Meyer Lemon and Sage Dressing

  • 1 C. Sour cream
  • 4 Sage leaves, chopped rough
  • 1/8 C. Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic, granulated
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
  • 1 TBS Meyer lemon juice
  • Blend above ingredients with a stick blender or regular blender. Place into ziplock bag and reserve in fridge.

Brussel Sprouts

  • 2.5 C. Whole brussel sprouts,
  • 2 C. Peanut oil
  • Cut bottoms off sprouts and begin to peel the leaves apart, this may take a while, get a helper… place sprouts in a salad spinner or strainer to get water off the leaves.
  • Heat fryer to 350 F
  • Fry sprouts for 30 seconds, do in batches until done. Season lightly with salt add rasins to the batch after frying and toss.
  • Don’t fry in advance do these while pizzas are cooking so they remain crispy 🙂


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, herbs, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes. If making 2 pies split dough into 2 balls.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down each ball.
  8. Divide into 8 balls and roll out 8 little pies.
    * I like to par bake crust for 5-8 min to make it CRISPYYYYYY
  9. Once par baked top with olive oil, mozzarella, and a dash of salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 min until cheese is melted.
  10. Top with fried sprouts, bacon, parm shavings, and dressing!


Enjoy and Cheers!

Delectable Shrimp and Grits… Oh and ZestyBeanDog is Still Alive :)


Well helloooooooo everyone! After many comments from friends and family I have decided to let everyone know that ZestyBeanDog is still ALIVE! After going through some big changes (career wise) I’m happy to say that finally… I think have my head glued back on straight!  A little over a month ago I quit a marketing job of 3 years to pursue my passion: teaching yoga and working with my Green Feet Fitness business fulltime. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Also let’s not forget all the other full time jobs I have like: keeping a pretty clean house, being my husbands personal chef, doing laundry, paying bills, being a dog entertainer, and much much more.  It was a long over due decision and I’m glad it’s finally here! Sometimes life gets in the way of hobbies but here’s to new beginnings!  It will be so nice to get back to reading your lovely blogs as they are always such an inspiration to me. Thanks and MUCH LOVE!

This is a zesty spin on shrimp and grits, I hope you enjoy!


Prep Time: 30 min

Serves: 4

Cook Time: 30 min

Shrimp and Grits


  • 1 C. Corn Grits (Bob’s Red Mill Brand is nice).
  • 24 Large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5 Slices of uncooked bacon
  • 1 TBS Rendered duck fat
  • 1/2 C. Fontina cheese
  • 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Stick of butter
  • 1/4 C. Heavy cream
  • 1/4 C. Milk
  • Scallions and Green Onion
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay


  1. Cook 1 Cup of corn grits as directed on package.
  2. Add cheese, cream, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Cook up bacon in large skillet on medium high. Keep grease heated and add TBS of duck fat to grease. Keep heat to medium high. Reserve bacon on a paper towel, once cooled break into pieces.
  4. Add shrimp to heated greased skillet and sprinkle Old Bay on top of shrimp as well as a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 1.5 min on each side, until done. Don’t over cook.
  5. Place a mound of grits on a plate top with shrimp, then bacon crumbles, then scallions and green onions. Sprinkle with some parmesan (if you are feeling saucy)  and garnish with a Meyer lemon wedge.  Great with brussel sprouts!

Cheers enjoy!

Green Tomato and Bacon Pizza Pie


I bought some green tomatoes from Johnson’s Backyard Garden last Saturday and decided these babies are either getting fried or going on a pizza… Pizza it was and it was fantastic! Also today is the last day to vote for my Morel and Bacon Egg Rolls! If you haven’t voted yet ( I know many of you have, Thank you so much) please do! Vote here.

Prep: 1 hr

Cook Time: 20-25 min

Serves: 2-3



  • 4 slices of Bacon, cooked until almost done
  • Green tomatoes, 3-4 sliced (enough to cover pizza will depend on size)
  • 8 oz Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into medallions.
  • Olive oil, about 3 TBS
  • Salt, pepper, fine herbs (whatever you like).
  • 1/4 C. Parmigiano reggiano, the GOOD stuff!


  • 1 (1/4 ounce) Package active dry yeast
  • 1 C. Warm water
  • 1 TBS. Sea salt
  • 2 tsp Olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups Bread flour
  • 1/4 C. Cornmeal


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add sea salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 5 minutes. If making 2 pies split dough into 2 balls.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warmest place in house away from draft until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down each ball.
  8. Roll out dough as you like and place on your cooking surface. (stone, tin, pan, etc.)
    To Top: lay down oil, herbs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place mozzarella on top, Then tomatoes, then bacon, Finally sprinkle with Parmigiano reggiano.
    Bake for 20-25 min until bubbly and golden
    Enjoy and Cheers!

Marx Foods 4th Annual Morel Challenge!


So I’d first like to say sorry for not having a pizza post this week, I’ve been sick for the past week almost.  Dry your tears everyone because I will be making it up to you with the most amazing pizza in ZBD history this week. 🙂 But for now enjoy this delicious recipe.


I have entered into another contest with Marx Foods and this time it’s their 4th annual Morel Recipe Contest. Some of you may remember the Fregola Contest from a while back. ZBD took first place with the Bacon and Vanilla Fregola Cupcakes. This year the voting is a mix between public and internal! Voting starts 5/1/12-5/3/12. I’ll let you all know where to go to vote when the voting polls go live and would truly appreciate your support 🙂

Morel, Bacon, and Parmigiano-Reggiano Stuffed Egg Rolls with an Agave Yuzu Soy Sauce Infused with Garlic, Ginger, and Purple Scallions.

These are not your average egg rolls! They were incredible and I’ll be making these again for sure!

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 5 min

Makes: 6 egg rolls


  • 1 oz Morels, dried
  • 1/2 C. Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 4 sliced of cooked bacon, diced
  • 1 Green onion, chive part, sliced very thin and chopped
  • 1 TBS of Butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper, fresh ground black
  • 1 egg, beaten (to seal egg roll).
  • Egg roll wrappers 6
  • Peanut oil, enough for frying


  • 4 TBS Yuzu juice
  • 3 TBS Light soy sauce
  • 2 TBS Agave nectar, light
  • 1/2 Clove of garlic minced
  • 4 Purple scallions, sliced about a cm thick
  • 5-6 sliced of peeled ginger, slice very thin


  1. Reconstitute Morels 
  2. Make sauce while you reconstitute Morels, By combining all “sauce” ingredients then place in fridge.
  3. Chop up morels, grate cheese, chop bacon, and green onion chive and combine a medium mixing bowl with 1 TBS of butter and pepper. Divide into 6 balls
  4. Lay out egg roll wrapper and place a ball of the mixture on the top corner and roll down until it’s a triangle, then fold in the corners and finish rolling, sealing with egg wash on the seams. Repeat until done.
  5. Heat fryer oil to 350 F. once hot place egg rolls in and cook for about 5 min or until golden. Turning occasionally throughout the duration of cooking. Transfer onto paper towel before serving.

Serve with sauce and enjoy! Cheers!

Stay tuned for the next post, you won’t want to miss the OXO Gadget Giveaway! 

Marx Foods has provided me with 1 oz of Dried Morels to experiment with. I received the Morels at no charge to me and I am under no obligation to return the product but can keep it for me own personal use.

Bacon Wrapped Quail Stuffed with La Marechal Emmi Cheese and Jalapeno : Pan Seared in Duck Fat Served with Grilled Brussel Sprouts


This is one of my FAVORITE dishes to make for dinner guests. It’s so incredibly good and is sure to please!  La Marechal Emmi Cheese is so amazing with this dish, it really ties it all together. I served this with grilled brussel sprouts, a potato gratin, and homemade bread. The plates were cleaned (except for the bones of course). This is a great special occasion dinner as well. The quail can be hard to find and are a bit on the pricey side, I pay about $ 3-4 per quail and like to serve 2-3 per person. You can always ask your hunter friends 🙂

Prep: 30 min

Cook Time: 20-30 min

Serves: 4 with 2 quail per person


  • 8 semi-boneless quail, washed and pat dry.
  • 8 slices of bacon, nitrate free please 🙂
  • 1 block of  La Marechal Emmi Cheese, about 8 oz or so.
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced into 8 long slices
  • 2 TBS rendered duck fat, you can buy it here via Marx Foods
  • Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1lb of brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced for brussel sprouts
  • 1 TBS butter for brussel sprouts
  • 1 lemon, zest on top of sprouts


  1. Clean quail and stuff with one piece of jalapeno, one chunk of cheese, and wrap with bacon. Repeat until done with all 8.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  3. Gather 2 large skillets. One for quail and one for sprouts, use a griddle if you have one for the sprouts to “grill” them. Bring skillets to medium high then add 2 TBS of duck fat to the quail skillet and 1 TBS of butter and garlic to the sprouts skillet.
  4. Add quail and sprouts to respective skillets: Cook quail for about 3-4 min on each side and season with salt and pepper lightly. Then transfer to the oven in a shallow baking pan for 5 more min. Do not over cook. Cook sprouts until nice and browned (tossing occasionally), season lightly with salt and pepper. Keep warm in a covered dish.
  5. Once quail are done in the oven plate your food and serve with a big red like Chocolate Block

Enjoy! Cheers!

Happy New Year from Zestybeandog and Co! Yard Birds with Agave Garlic Citrus Jalapeno Glaze, Black Eyed Peas, and Sun Dried Tomato Bread


Happy 2012 to Everyone! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but all is well in Zestybeandog Land! We have successfully had Christmas with both families, packed a 1,700 sqft house into a 10×20 storage unit, moved to Lago Vista from Austin to stay at Evan’s  parents home for the next 1-2 years while they’re in Singapore, unpacked some kitchen stuff, had a low key NYE celebration playing poker and enjoying drinks, and of course cooked up a great New Year’s Day meal for everyone. We are so grateful for our families for all of the amazing help we had… or we’d probably still be packing boxes! Here’s to new adventures and good times in 2012. I wish you all the best of everything not only for 2012 but for all the years to come. Cheers!

I’d also like to give a personal shout out to my fellow foodie bloggers: Five Reflections, Rufus’s Food and Spirits Guide, Simple Speedy Snacks, Twistedvines, Talinorfali, Bam’s Kitchen, Saffron and Honey, The Kale Chronicles, The Complete Cook Book, Coffee with Caroline,Pure and Complex, Sports Glutton, Charles with Five Euro Food, Tandy with Lavender and Lime, Sweet Caroline’s Cooking,Hotly Spiced, Edible Substance, Food Diary of a Picky Eater, Adesinsa’s Kitchen AND to all I may have missed, I’m still in a food coma 😉

Yard Birds with Glaze

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 3-4 hours

Serves: 8


  • 2 Whole chickens 4-4.5 lbs each
  • 1 C. Amber agave nectar
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 1 Jalapeno, minced
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Clementine, juiced
  • 2 TBS Sugar
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt, kosher
  • 1 tsp Green peppercorn, finely ground
  • Charcoal
  • Mesquite wood chips, soaked in water for 20 min
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Prep smoker, with about 10-12 lbs of charcoal and wood chips.
  2. Make glaze in small sauce pot. Mix all ingredients besides the chicken, and last 3 items on the list. Bring to a simmer and then cook on low for 5 min, stirring occasionally.
  3. Salt and pepper washed chickens, place on smoker and glaze every 30 min until chicken reached an internal temp of 165 F.

We paired this with a Brooklyn Lager 2, it was great!

Black Eyed Peas

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 3 hrs

Serves: 8-10


  • 22 oz Black eyed peas,  like Melissa’s
  • 5 Thick slices of bacon, cut up into chunks
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, diced
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1.5 TBS Better than Bullion Paste
  • 5 C. Water
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 TBS. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder


Add all ingredients to crock pot and cook for 3 hrs on high.

Bread Recipes coming soon 🙂

Marx Food’s Dessert Challenge Voting is Live: Please Vote for ZestyBeanDog!


PleaseVote for Bacon and Vanilla Fregola Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Click HERE to vote 🙂 

The polls will close at noon PST on 12/8, so make sure you vote before the deadline! The winner of this poll is going to receive $100 worth of baking ingredients (of their choice) from MarxFoods.com. They recently added some great items to the store…think of how much baking you could get done with a quart of premium vanilla extract…you’d sure be busy! There’s also bulk dried fruit, specialty sugars, yuzu juice, elderflower syrup….the list is long and delicious!

Thanks for all your help 🙂 Cheers!

Bacon and Vanilla Fregola Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting….


This is a recipe I came up with for the Marx Foods Dessert Challenge! I had never had Fregola before until now and we were instructed to make a dessert with it. We were also sent bourbon vanilla beans, star anise, and saffron. I wanted to do something out of the ordinary while being something sweet and savory so here it is! Enjoy! Please vote for my recipe HERE. 

These turned out to be amazing! I really enjoyed the Fregola texture incorporated into the cupcake. The maple syrup that the fregola was cooked in really worked well I thought. The vanilla and bacon hints tied it all together in this sweet and savory dessert!

Prep Time: 30 min

Bake Time: 20-25 min

Serves: 24 (regular cup cake size)



  • 1 C. Dry Fregola
  • 1 Vanilla beans
  • 2 C. Water
  • 1/4 C. Maple syrup
  • 20 Saffron threads

Cup Cakes

  • 1 C. Unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 2 C. Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla bean pod, scraped of seeds (use the seeds).
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 C. All purpose flour
  • 1 TBS Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 C. Skim milk
  • 24  Cupcake paper liners
  • 3/4 lb Bacon, cooked and crispy ( you know how I like it, nitrate free like Applegate Farms).

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1 Stick of salted butter
  • 1 Vanilla bean pod, scraped of beans.
  • 2 C. Confectioner’s sugar, sifted.



  1. Wash fregola under cold water.
  2. Add fregola to a pot of: 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 20 saffron threads, and vanilla beans, and pod.
  3. Boil for 20 min.
  4. Remove vanilla pod and drain (do not rinse again).

Cup Cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to cream. Gradually add the vanilla and eggs and mix in well. Sift together the dry ingredients; then mix into the butter mixture alternating with the milk.
  3. Add prepared Fregola.
  4. Pour batter into cupcake paper-lined muffin tins filling them 3/4 full. Bake until puffed and firm in the center and light golden brown on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Once cool frost the cupcakes with your cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla beans, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.


Disclaimer: Marx Foods sent me samples of their products in order to participate in this contest. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.


Grilled Chicken Club with Sweet Potato Chips AND Give-Away Winner Revealed!


I’ve been on a sandwich kick lately, it’s easy and the possibilities are endless. I knew there was a slight chance we would have some trick-or-treaters last night so I didn’t want to get too busy in the kitchen just in case… Well we had 2 groups, about a total of 8 kids so it wasn’t very eventful. Evan and I ate more candy than we gave out… as suspected 🙂 Below I’ll post what we dressed up as over the weekend!

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 15 min (depending on thickness of chicken).

Serves: 2


  • 2 Free range chicken breasts, pounded flat with a mallet to desired size.
  • 4 Slices of cooked natural bacon, nitrate free.
  • 4 Slices of nice bread, your choice ( I used a 9 grain).
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 2 TBS Olive oil mayo
  • 1 Lemon, juiced into mayo
  • 1 tsp ZBD Fine Herb Blend
  • 1 – 3 TBS butter for bread toasting and cooking chicken
  • Purple onion (however much you like)
  • Roma tomato (however much you like)
  • Spinach (however much you like)
  • 1 TBS Olive oil to brush on potato slices
  • 2 Slices of sharp cheddar


  1. Pre-Heat oven to 400 F. Slice sweet potato on a mandolin, very thin into rounds. Line rounds on a greased foiled tray and lightly baste with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt. Cook for about 15-20 min or until done. Once almost done add cheese to melt onto chicken.
  2. In some butter cook chicken breast in large skillet on medium, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Slice produce that goes on sandwich.
  4. Toast bread lightly then add sliced to a large skillet with a bit of butter to finish the bread off.
  5. Mix up a quick aioli with mayo, lemon juice, and ZBD fine herb blend.
  6. Assemble sandwiches bread, chicken, cheese, onion, tomato, spinach, bacon, bread. Stick a tooth pick in it and there you have it!
  7. Pull chips from oven and serve with sandwich, we like to dip our chips in a yogurt based dressing like caesar or ranch.

The Random Subscriber Winner is…

Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide!  Congrats!

You won a jar of ZestyBeanDog Fine Herb Blend before you can buy it! Message me with your shipping address, jendaugherty2010@gmail.com

Halloween Fun… can anyone guess who we were? I sewed Evan’s costume from scratch very last min…about 5 hours before the party, talk about last min!!! 🙂

It’s my 100th Blog Post! Pizza made with Brussel Sprouts, Bacon, Shallots, and Garlic!


One of my favorite meals to eat and cook is pizza, I eat it once a week! So I figured why not do a pizza for my 100th blog post… I also will enclose a peek into what we ate over the weekend at the end of the post (as well as a very interesting cake we saw at HEB). I hope you enjoy and thanks for keeping me motivated to blog over the last 100 posts. Cheers!

This is my favorite pizza I’ve made so far! It was amazing! The brussel sprouts go so wonderfully with the bacon and shallots, it’s like a match made in heaven 🙂 I even ate a slice today for breakfast, cold… just had to make sure it was still good!

Prep: 25 min

Serves: 2-4

Cook: 18-20 min


  • Dough, make your own or find some pre-made or frozen dough. (Some speciality stores like Whole Foods or Central Market will have some). Enough to make a large 14-16 inch pizza
  • 15 Brussel sprouts, halved
  • 4 Slices of bacon, I love Applegate Farms nitrate free bacon.
  • 2-4 Shallots (about 1/4 C.), sliced long ways
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 C. Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 C. Provolone, shredded
  • 1/4 C. Parmesan Reggiano, shredded (and some extra for topping). * Remember! Use good quality cheeses for best results 🙂
  • 4-5 oz of Muir Organic Tomato Sauce (add 1/2 TBS of herbs de provence, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp red pepper and pinch of salt and stir). I like thin sauce, but you can add more 🙂
  • 1 TBS of an Italian herbs de provence for the top of cheese.
  • 1/2 tsp of Thyme for top of cheese.
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon for sprouts


  1. Pre-Heat oven to 375 F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place brussel sprouts cut side down.  Baste sprouts with olive oil and lemon juice. Bake for 15 min and remove from oven. Turn oven up to 425 F when done for the pizza.
  2. Cook 4 slices of bacon to almost done, (so it’s not completely crispy). I do it in the microwave for about 3.5 min on paper towels, but all microwaves are different so if you choose this route, just keep an eye on it. When done, cut bacon up in chunks, about .5 inch x .5 inch.
  3. On prepared dough, lay down sauce, cheeses, herbs, bacon, sprouts opposite side up this time, shallots, garlic, and then top with grated Parmesan Reggiano. Bake for about 15-20 min or until cheese gets golden and crust is crisp.
  4. Enjoy!

Sneak Peek into Zestybeandog’s Weekend….

Evan’s Fried Egg Sandwich, it was huge!
The whole shabang…
My Salad… House smoked salmon and bacon, a poached egg, with avocados and house dressing.

Evan’s First Bite: This thing was ginormous!
MAX and Cheese, Crazy good truffled mac and cheese from Max’s Wine Dive

Beer at the Gingerman
Crazy Barbie Cake at HEB…
Thanks for coming to the Zestybeandog Blog once again!