Since 2000, National Bacon Lover's Day has been celebrated on Aug. 20. Bacon, which had its beginning in China more than 3,500 years ago, even has its place in history. During World War II, women were urged to save their bacon fat so it could be used to make glycerol, an ingredient in the manufacture of bombs.
The first sliced and packaged bacon was on the grocery store shelves in 1924 … thank you, Oscar Meyer ... so now we can celebrate on Aug. 20 with a day of bacon. For breakfast, fix your favorite bacon and eggs. Then have a big BLT for lunch and for dinner, try chicken and bacon shish kabobs and dark chocolate bacon cupcakes, courtesy of Allrecipes.com.
Chicken and Bacon Shish Kabobs
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 Tbsp. honey
4 Tbsp. canola oil
15 large mushrooms, cut in half
2 green onions, minced
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into chunks
1/2 pound sliced thick cut bacon, cut in half
1 (8 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained
In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, cider vinegar, honey, canola oil, and green onions. Reserve half. Place the mushrooms and chicken into the mixture, and stir to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
Preheat grill for high heat.
Remove the mushrooms and chicken from the marinade and shake off excess. Pour reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes; set aside.
Wrap the chicken chunks with bacon, and thread onto skewers so that the bacon is secured. Alternate with mushroom halves and pineapple chunks.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Arrange skewers on the prepared grill. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, brushing occasionally with remaining soy sauce mixture, until bacon is crisp and chicken juices run clear.
Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes
12 slices bacon
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup cold, strong, brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended. Mix in 3/4 of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
Bake until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter.
Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting and sprinkle reserved bacon crumbles on top. Dust with additional cocoa powder.