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I recently began formulating a menu for a project at The FCI. Instead of starting from the beginning, I went backwards and made dessert. Everyone, meet Apple-Bacon Pie.

I won’t go on and on about how incredibly the savory bits of bacon melded with the sweet apple filling and the spice of the gingersnap crust, I’ll just direct you to the recipe and encourage you to make it yourself. We can all thank (or curse) Mims Bledsoe of The Pie Shop in Atlanta, Georgia, for her genius.

The candied bacon made in the previous post is as versatile as regular bacon. My friend and culinary classmate Sonia suggested making a cake ball of corn bread, rolled in maple frosting and topped with said candied bacon. She is a genius.

I did something a little simpler, but definitely worth trying. Make popcorn (the real way, on the stove. Or if you can find micrwave popcorn with no salt or flavorings, that’s fine, too) and toss with finely chopped fresh rosemary, melted butter and crumbled or diced candied bacon. Season with S&P to taste.

I don’t know who to thank for contrasting sweet with savory and balancing the two in a single dish. I can’t even take credit for inventing candied bacon. I can, however, claim responsibility for the candied bacon I made last night.

Lay bacon slices (I prefer thick-slice) on a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with brown sugar and freshly ground black pepper. Bake in a 425-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.

This is a prime example of a food that demands you take off your pants. Eat the candied bacon alone or get creative and add to other recipes. (Tune in to tomorrow’s post where I tell you about my bacon popcorn experience.)

The best thing about exercising is the excuse to eat more. Since starting culinary school, I’ve taken to running to balance out the dramatic rise in butter consumption. Last weekend I participated in a mud run–six miles of trails, studded with military-style obstacles, with mud pits planted at the halfway point and just before the finish line.

Naturally, the night before the big race, I had to carbo load. I mean, how else could I have possibly made it through such a race without a stomach stretched out with carbs?

Pasta carbonara. It’s easy, delicious, and doesn’t take much time to perfect. While the pasta is boiling (I used orzo), saute onions and bacon. In a separate bowl, beat eggs together with parmigiano reggiano and a ton of freshly ground black pepper.

Once the pasta is done, drain well and add to the bacon and onions. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and stir until warmed through. Season with salt to taste, and top with extra cheese and pepper.

Not only do I want to eat this in my underwear, after burning off all the calories during the mud run, I want to do pretty much anything in my underwear. And if you start moving around some more, you’ll wanna do the same.