When Sodium and Chloride Get Together: Salt

If you grew up like me, salt was akin to a fine, white sand and it came out of a shaker that rested in the middle of the dining room table and once you became “of a certain age” you needed to keep a close eye on your intake.

Salt is known scientifically as sodium chloride, or NaCl. (Na is from the latin natrium.) Salt forms when sodium, a highly-reactive metal that ignites in water, and chloride, one part of the corrosive hydrochloric acid, get together.

Sodium and chloride are both essential in very small amounts to the life of all animals. Historically, salt has been used in a wide variety of ways, such as in the preservation of foods, the production of paper good, as an additive in cosmetics and, of course, to make food taste more delicious.

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Oh, hi! Over here…

We know that our readers are super hip and technologically advanced, so we decided to get a Twitter account! Follow @GreenChalkboard where we will be sharing lots of fun, yummy, interesting food things with you. We’ll also let you know when we put new posts up, too.

See you there!

Mmm,
Mandy

From http://www.penn-olson.com, original source unknown.

Mission: Biscotti

Biscotti are twice-baked Italiany cookies. The double dose of oven time makes them less perishable than their moist relatives, the once-baked cookies. In this case dry and crunchy are desirable traits.

There are lots of variations for biscotti but I wanted to make one that featured almonds since that’s a traditional ingredient. We also just happened to have some crystallized ginger in the cupboard so when I stumbled upon a recipe that utilized both on Epicurious it seemed like a no-brainer.

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Bacon Caramel “Apples”

So this is it: the recipe you’ve been waiting for. Yesterday we posted about the Chicago Bacon Takedown—this is what we made and won the Judges’ Choice for 2nd Place with. It is pretty weird, we know, but not only will you enjoy eating this but you will be basking in sweet, bacon-y glory when you take it with you to a party this fall. I promise. I even have a vegetarian friend who wants to eat bacon now because of it.

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Chicago Bacon Takedown

It is official: You are reading an award winning blog. (Or, uh, our recipe won the award, but still!) More so, the award is related to a food item we all have a love-hate relationship with because we can never get enough of its salty, fatty, crispy deliciousness.

Oh, bacon.

After we wrote about baking bacon last week, Kendall happened upon an article requesting more competitors in the Chicago Bacon Takedown, a competition of amateur cooks to create the BEST bacon dish for 250 people to sample at Lincoln Hall. After showing the article to me, we both accidentally shrugged the idea off. The next day, with less than twenty-four hours before the Takedown, the prospect of receiving 15 pounds of no-strings-attached bacon to cook with sounded like a great idea. We e-mailed the guy coordinating the event,  promptly started brainstorming while swearing not to get our hopes up and… well, waited.

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Makin’ Bacon (In the Oven)

What can we say about bacon that hasn’t been said before? Nothing. (see Jim Gaffigan video at the end of this post)

I had heard once or twice before that making bacon in the oven was the best way but never tried it before and decided to remedy the situation.

It was super simple, delicious and easy to clean up. One of the nicest things about it is it’s pretty much hands off—once it’s in the oven you just wait 20 minutes and it’s done—freeing you to focus on whatever other food you’re preparing that will soon be improved with the addition of bacon.

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Lubin’ the Lodge

So much about cooking is intimidating—feeling like you don’t know enough to do something can be paralyzing. Sometimes you just have to dive in and see what happens.

I’m not sure exactly why I wanted to buy an iron skillet. It comes up sometimes in recipes or on cooking shows but it’s probably not the most essential piece of equipment missing from our kitchen. It is relatively cheap though ($18.99 at Target) and there’s something intriguing and mysterious about cooking with a solid hunk of iron that’s been formed in a sand mold. It makes me think of camping (even though I’ve never experienced the use of one while camping) and it’s a living link to the culinary past.

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