Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

“Heaven’s Cuisine” Bourbon Bacon Popcorn

Posted on: August 21st, 2015 by Carla Johnson No Comments

“Sometimes when you cook with “sin,” it brings you a little closer to heaven.” ~ Carla Johnson

Note: All photos in this post are credit of Carissa Idsinga

Inspired by a recipe she found on The Endless Meal blog, my cousin-in-law Carissa made a batch of popcorn that blew everyone’s mind. When she shared her pics on social media, she said, “This is what they serve you when you get to heaven.”

Cooking With Sin author Carla Johnson

A passionate, thoughtful foodie, Carissa cares deeply about eating healthful and beautiful food. She grows most of her own vegetables and has her own chickens for eggs. She enjoys foraging for food and loves time in her kitchen creating the most exquisitely delicious meals for family and friends. Plus, she shares a love of food with her sister Sophie who dishes out inspirational eats on her blog Soph n’ Stuff.

Cooking With Sin author Carla Johnson

Whenever Carissa cooks or shares recipes, we all pay attention. She knows food and she inspires us with her culinary ventures. This batch of popcorn especially grabbed everyone’s attention. Hello, bacon! Plus, you make the popcorn the old-skool way. It is the way I remember making it as a child – in a pot on the stove! This is one fun recipe. Carissa may have just found a most heavenly way to embrace your inner child.

Cooking With Sin author Carla Johnson

“Heaven’s Cuisine” Bourbon Bacon Popcorn


  • 1 1/2 cup bacon, diced
  • 1 cup quality popcorn kernels (22 cups when popped)
  • Butter, softened – up to 1 cup, depending on how much bacon fat you use
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp & 2 tbsp bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  1. Fry bacon in pan over medium high heat until crispy. Remove bacon from pan reserving the fat.
  2. Pop the popcorn in a pot – old skool!
    • 2 tbsps of bacon fat into a large pot. Heat and test with 2 or 3 popcorn kernels, cover on. Once they pop, add the rest of the kernels.
    • Gently shake the pot until the popping slows. Remove from heat.
    • Transfer popcorn into a large bowl. Remove any un-popped kernels.
  3. Make the bourbon caramel.
    • Top reserved bacon fat with butter to fill a 1 cup measuring cup. Scoop into a medium pot.
    • Add sugar, 4 tbsp of bourbon & salt. Bring to a boil (approx. 4-5 minutes) until candy thermometer reads 275° F.
    • Remove immediately from heat and carefully stir in baking soda, liquid smoke, vanilla, paprika & 2 tbsp bourbon.
    • Pour caramel over the popcorn right away, tossing the mix. Then stir in bacon.
  4. Bake
    1. Preheat the oven to 275° F. On baking tray (0r 2) lined with parchment paper, spread popcorn evenly.
    2. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Cool and serve.

Cooking With Sin author Carla Johnson

Note: All photos in this post are credit of Carissa Idsinga

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin


“Pork Ninjas” Salad Dressing

Posted on: December 22nd, 2011 by Carla Johnson No Comments
Here’s a toast to the roast that good fellowship lends,
With the sparkle of beer and wine;
May its sentiment always be deeper, my friends,
Than the foam at the top of the stein”
~ Anonymous

Take a chef who loves pork, make him a die hard fan of the TV show Iron Chef, then give him a BBQ team with off-beat humour and an unmatched flare for the grill. What could you possibly name that BBQ team? …“Pork Ninjas!”

Jason Rees is loved by his fans for his extraordinary panache for all things culinary. His BBQ team “Pork Ninjas” competes all over the country and wows every crowd with their smokin’ grillin’ expertise. When Jason turned 30 he commemorated it with a very fine flying pig tattoo.

Pork Ninjas’ Salad Dressing

1/4 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 raw red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup cream ale
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch salt
ground white pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
splash of hot sauce

1. Loosely toss the bacon, blue cheese and onions.

2. In a separate bowl make the beer dressing by combining the rest of the ingredients, and whisk briskly until the beers flattens out.

3. Crumble the cheese-bacon-onion mixture over your favorite potato salad or cobb salad, then drizzle the beer dressing over top of the entire thing.

4. This dressing is truly rocking when served super fresh, so you don’t want to store it to use later.

*G-F Tip! Make this dressing with gluten-free beer and voila!

 Want to check out another salad dressing with beer? Try “Poverty Line” German Potato Salad

Republic of Bacon Love!

Posted on: November 7th, 2011 by Carla Johnson 1 Comment

Every once in a while, kindred spirits meet and sparks fly – in this case great, hot, snappy sparks of bacon grease!

You can imagine how many times I am asked whether my recipes are healthy or vegetarian or gluten-free. Who can blame people for asking? Health is important. But here on Cooking With Sin, well… the name pretty much says it all. So when I met some of the guys at Republic of Bacon, the attraction was undeniable! These guys cook, eat and promote one of the most beloved and least respected foods in the world. Heck, in some cultures bacon is a sin! We knew we belonged together!

If you love bacon and can’t get enough – you know you can’t! You will love their site!

Cooking With Sin sends out a big, greasy, crispy “Thank you” to the guys at R of B for featuring some of our recipes on their weekly special “Bacon Love Friday.”

Thanks for all the love guys!


“Proud Mary” Fried Green Tomatoes

Posted on: July 20th, 2011 by Carla Johnson No Comments

Idgie: He won’t even sit in the same room and have a meal today.

Sipsey: Oh, it don’t make no kind of sense. A big old ox like Grady won’t sit next to a coloured child, but he eats eggs which shoot right out of a chicken’s ass.

Script excerpt from the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”

We are such funny creatures, us human beings. We seem to be on a perpetual quest to find, point out and magnify our differences. We are especially superficial about this quest since the tone of our skin continues to be a really big deal.

Last night I watched the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.” Towanda! I hadn’t seen it since it first came out – back in the day – in 1991 and I loved it even more! While the issues in the south were intense and brutal they are universal struggles that time has not erased anywhere on our globe. It covered a good gamut of emancipations: racism, sexism, agism, the single mom, religions, creeds all blended into one “sauce.”

The brilliant scene with George BBQing the ribs

Watching the movie followed on the heels of finishing the book “The Help.” Last Sunday I woke up and told myself I wasn’t doing anything until I finished it. Even though I was raised here in the Great White North, the attitudes of the south were paralleled up here.

I grew up in a very pale community. The “n” word was used freely, but I had no idea what it meant. Not a clue. Every time I heard that word I’d scratch my head and wonder. I also remember hearing people talking about “chewing” someone down in price. It made sense. I was in my 20’s when it hit me like a brick what they had actually been saying all along!!

I was a pre-teen when I met Georgia. She was the first “coloured” person to come into my life. She arrived new to my class one year and she was just fun and sweet. A really nice friend. My dad, knowing how much I liked her, thought he was being nice by calling her my “blackie friend.” (Sigh)

To categorize and create hierarchies based on skin tone requires no sense, no logic and no intelligence. It just requires stupidity and that creates fear.

It also means you don’t know your colours. Here is the selection of foundations tones from the Smashbox line of cosmetics designed for people all over the world. Look at it. No white, no black. We are all tones of the SAME colour.

We’re all brown. From very pale to very dark, we’re all brown! We always have been. Yes! 😯

Our species is so determined to find differences though, I am certain we could even if we all had the same tone of skin. We would pick out eyebrow arches or attached earlobes or nail biting or whatever! My friend is of Dutch descent – a pale people – and he was born and raised in a pale community, but he remembers receiving slurs from some community members as a child walking to school emphasizing his Dutchness. Why? Because we seem to be on a perpetual quest to find, point out and magnify our differences.

Yes, we are funny creatures, us human beings.

So where is the booze in all of this?

Don’t worry I’ve got something for ya. I couldn’t find a recipe for fried green tomatoes with alcohol, but I found an interesting drink. Based on the Bloody Mary, it’s a Green Mary and best sipped with some “Proud Mary.”  Allow me to digress. This is how my right brained mind likes to work. 😉

Tina Turner and Cher both know more than a little something about emancipation. Oh ya!

Here it is! The recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes from the original novel “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” by Fannie Flagg.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Milk Gravy

Serves 4

3 tablespoons bacon grease
4 tomatoes, green, firm, sliced
2 eggs, beaten

“Heat your bacon grease in a heavy frying pan. Dip tomatoes in eggs, then in bread crumbs. Slowly fry them in the bacon grease until golden brown on both sides. Put your tomatoes on a plate.
For each tablespoon of grease left in the pan, stir in one tablespoon of flour and blend well; then stir in one cup warm milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper till you like it.
Pour over the tomatoes and serve hot. The best there is.”

— Sipsey Peavey, Whistle Stop Cafe, Whistle Stop, Alabama.

The Green Mary

Makes 6 drinks

4 green tomatoes, chopped
5 green tomatillos, chopped
1 celery stalk
3 mint leaves
1 jalapeno, seeded
5 jarred olives
1/2 cup olive juice, from a jar of olives
1 cup orange juice
2 oz lemon juice fresh horseradish, grated, to taste
12 oz vodka

1. Puree all the ingredients, except the vodka, in a blender.

2. Add the vodka to the mixture. Stir and serve in highball glasses.

3. You can garnish with celery or mint, something else green if you like.

Credit for this recipe goes to

Y’all come on and “Like” Cooking With Sin on Facebook where I have a video posted of Paula Deen making her version of Fried Green Tomatoes!
Click Here!


If you are interested, I received a copy of an “Open statement for the Fans of The Help” from the Association of Black Women Historians. I posted it on my personal blog and would be very interested in your opinion.

Did “The Help” help?

‘Steam Whistle’ Team Cedar Grilling

Posted on: June 24th, 2011 by Carla Johnson 2 Comments

Steam Whistle’s Founding Story

The Steam Whistle story begins in the spring of 1998 when three friends were on a canoe trip in the Ontario heartland. Greg Taylor, Cam Heaps and Greg Cromwell had all been colleagues at one of Canada’s premier microbreweries producing quality beer in the late 1980’s and 90’s – before it was bought out by a national brewer and closed down. As they sat around the campfire, the self-named “Three Fired Guys” dreamed of running their own brewery one day.

They wanted to make a Pilsner that would compete with the best in the world. They wrote a plan and quickly attracted investors with their vision and passion.

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin

Steam Whistle Brewing Enlists Canadian BBQ Champs for Award-Winning Beer-Infused Recipes


About Steve Adams & Team Cedar Grilling

Steve has been fueling his passion for real southern barbeque and fusion style cooking for over two decades. “I get my inspiration from the huge melting pot of different cultures, flavours and cooking styles that Canada has to offer”. Dedication and hard work have paid off as Steve has led his competition BBQ team, Team Cedar Grilling to victory for three consecutive years earning the coveted Canadian BBQ Championship title, together with the privilege of representing Canada at the Jack Daniels’ World Championships in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Steve can often be found at his Muskoka cottage working on new innovative ideas, techniques, and food design in search of barbeque perfection. Two of his ongoing goals are to develop recipes showcasing his sponsors’ products that are used in competition and to share his passion for grilling through BBQ workshops and events.

Bacon and Roasted Red Pepper Jalapeno Poppers
Dipped in Steam Whistle BBQ Sauce
by Steve Adams of Team Cedar Grilling


12 fresh extra large jalapenos, washed and dried
2 oz (55g) regular or flavoured cream cheese
1/2 roasted red pepper, freshly roasted, peeled and chopped
24 slices of bacon
3 oz (85g) pulled pork, or cooked Italian sausage, peeled and crumbled
wooden skewers toothpicks

1. Mix the cream cheese and roasted red peppers together, set aside

2. Cut jalapenos in half and remove membrane and seeds

3. Use a table knife to gently spread the cream cheese mixture across the jalapeno

4. Top the cheese mixture with pulled pork or crumbled sausage

5. Wrap one piece of bacon over the top and spiral it down the side to the bottom of the jalapeno inserting toothpicks and securing the bacon as you go

6. Cook over direct heat for about 30 – 50 minutes on preheated barbecue at about 300°F (150°C) until bacon is cooked and cheese is bubbly.

Steam Whistle BBQ Sauce

2 teaspoons (10ml) Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon (5ml) chili powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) dried mustard
1 teaspoon (5ml) onion powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon (2ml) fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon (2ml) ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon (1ml) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1ml) ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon (1ml) cayenne pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered, stirring for 20 minutes.

3. Refrigerate unused sauce.

Fire Grilled Pizza
by Steve Adams of Team Cedar Grilling

Steve’s Pizza Dough

2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup Steam Whistle Pilsner (110°F)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar, in 110°F water & beer and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution.

3. Mix in 3 cups of the flour.

4. Turn dough out onto a clean, well-floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a bowl well-coated in olive oil, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour.

5. Punch the dough down, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out into desired size.

6. Add Steve’s Pizza Sauce and your own favourite ingredients.

7. Preheated BBQ and pizza stone to 500-700°F.

8. Bake pizzas until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 6 -10 minutes. Serve with Steam Whistle Pilsner.

Steve’s Pizza Sauce

10 small fresh ripe plum tomatoes or 1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon anise seed
Pinch cayenne pepper

1. Add all ingredients into sauce pan.

2. Mash tomatoes with potato masher.

3. Bring mixture to a boil.

4. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.

5. Pick out tomato skins.

6. Reduce mixture to desired consistency.

*Steve’s Tip: If you are making this sauce recipe on the BBQ, fire roast the tomatoes over high heat until the skins split. Continue with the recipe.

Smoked Picnic Chicken
by Steve Adams, Team Cedar Grilling

12 chicken thighs
Steam Whistle Killer BBQ Sauce
12 pieces 12” x 12” heavy duty foil
1/2 cup soaked wood chips (optional)

1. Preheat BBQ to 375°F.

2. Lightly sprinkle rub on both sides of chicken thighs.

3. Place wood chip foil package over direct heat source.

4. Cook thighs skin side up over indirect heat for 35 minutes.

5. Remove chicken from grill.

6. Dip each leg completely in Killer BBQ sauce; place thigh skin side down on a piece foil and fold to seal. (Discard the remaining sauce)

7. Cook the foil packages over indirect heat for 25 minutes.

8. Rest chicken foil packages for at least 10 minutes before opening. Can be served in foil packages with the juices and sauce.


2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Steam Whistle

Steam Whistle Killer BBQ Sauce

1 bottle Steam Whistle Pilsner
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (double for X hot)

Steam Whistle Brewing Enlists Canadian BBQ Champs for Award-Winning Beer-Infused Recipes

(Toronto, ON May 18, 2011) – Nothing says summer like BBQ & Beer, and what better marriage than Canadian BBQ Champions paired with Canada’s Premium Pilsner. In 2006, Steve Adams, leader of Team Cedar Grilling approached Steam Whistle Brewing about partnering together when he took his competition BBQ Team to that season’s BBQ Festivals and championships.

Team Cedar Grilling was looking for the best beer to pair with their creations as well as use this key ingredient in winning recipes, and had their eye on Steam Whistle Pilsner for its all natural ingredients and perfect balance of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness that offered a clean, refreshing taste. The result is a collection of delicious barbeque recipes that either include or pair exceptionally well with Steam Whistle Pilsner.


About Steam Whistle

Steam Whistle, an independent brewery housed in Toronto’s historic John St. Roundhouse, has a passionate focus of making just one beer of exceptional quality that Canadians can be proud of. They brew their refreshing Pilsner with traditional brewing methods and only four, natural (GMO-free) ingredients. Steam Whistle Pilsner is packaged in signature green glass bottles, cans and draught and is shipped fresh across Ontario, Alberta and BC to Beer and Liquor Stores as well as licensed bars & restaurants.

Steam Whistle welcomes more than 100,000 visitors to the brewery each year to the on-site retail store, for a tour, or to attend one of the many on-site events, concerts and art shows. Highly awarded for its premium beer, its business success, community support and environmental practices, Steam Whistle Pilsner is now one of the top selling premium beer brands in Canada. To learn more about what they do really, really well visit

Become their fan on Facebook

Follow them on Twitter


Tasting Notes for Steam Whistle Pilsner

Steam Whistle Pilsner offers the style and flavour of the great Pilsners of Europe, yet is brewed fresh locally at their independent, Canadian Brewery. Crafted under the watchful eye of their Czech-born Brewmaster, this golden-coloured Bohemian Pilsner is characterized by a floral hop aroma, sweet graininess with distinctive grassy notes, and balanced by a clean, crisp finish and pleasant lingering bitterness. When pouring this refreshing lager, expect soft, rising foam and a smooth drinking experience. Best stored and served 4-8° Celsius.

Check out their great site. Learn about their Green Initiatives, take a look at their Vintage Vehicles, take the Virtual Tour of their brewery and lots of other fun stuff!

R u a Craft Beer Fan?

You will LOVE …

Black Oak “Anything-For-An-Excuse-to-Use-My-Blow-Torch” Crème Brûlée.

More Steam Whistle recipes – > HERE!

Carla Johnson Cooking With Sin