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An ode to bacon

It's official - everyone loves bacon (okay, most people). It comes in many forms and flavors and can be integrated into every meal of the day - from breakfast straight through to dessert. Liz: I'm a big fan of turkey bacon and stick to a traditional BLT when indulging, but it turns out that bacon is becoming more and more popular as a snack or dessert. From Chocolate Bacon Maple cupcakes to Whiskey, Caramel, Marshmallow and Bacon Bark - people have thought of everything to mix this salty snack with!

A few of us here at House Party recently decided to try this craze. We turned to a place that knew what they were doing - Baconery (right here in NYC) - and ordered some baconey sweets. First bite: chocolate covered bacon. While there were mixed reviews, it tastes just like you'd think: salty and crunchy and richly chocolatey. Baconery also has a great selection of bacon baked goods: a variety of cookies, brownies and muffins. These were more up my alley with bacon pieces baked perfectly into bite size sweets. If you'd like your own sample of these yummy baked goods, House Specials is offering 25% off this week! Try the 24-piece cookie and brownie assortment and even get a bonus bacon spatula - shipped anywhere in the country! Get in on this phase for yourself - and let us know what you think!

Danielle: At the risk of mass outcries and shouts of 'Sacre bleu', I have to confess I'm not a bacon lover. Don't get me wrong, I love a good porcine product, but bacon has never really done it for me. However, there are a few late-in-life exceptions. Applewood Smoked Bacon on a grass-fed burger is up there. Something about the smokeyness and apple combo that makes this bacon not only taste great, but seem healthier and less greasy (I know, defeating the point of it being bacon in the first place). And a new favorite is bacon-wrapped dates with honey, served at a local NYC joint I frequent. Holy cow that is some good stuff. Again, the sweet of the honey and dates just nicely balances the salty of the bacon. Y-u-m!

Fun link if you guys want to integrate somewhere

Brian: First-off, "Sacre bleu, Danielle!" Well, with that off my chest, I suppose it's my turn to preach my particular adoration of bacon. While both Liz and Danielle have distinctly unique and even upscale culinary preferences when it comes to the good ol' prepared pork belly, mine's a bit more...shall we say...rudimentary. Ever since I was a child, my preference has always been for well-cooked bacon. And when I say "well-cooked" let me be clear. You might as well effectively char-grill it. I may have a taste for prosciutto or even pancetta, but when it comes to the winner's circle you can't beat some damn-near burnt strips of the stuff - none of that flimsy, floppy and chewy bacon here, please. If I can't break it over the edge of a table, you've still got some cooking time left on the clock. So, while my approach is more greasy spoon than fine cuisine, a preference is a preference. So, who's got the blow-torch?

Shana: Bacon is great, but to be honest, the only way I've ever really eaten bacon is for breakfast with eggs. A classic bacon, egg, and cheese will always have my heart but I decided to test out a couple of recipes that utilize bacon, too. I'm a pretty picky eater so I tried to stay away from anything too crazy. Since bacon and cheese together are delicious, adding pasta to it makes it even better. I tried this bacon and parmesan penne pasta recipe from allrecipes.com and was pleasantly surprised. It was super easy to make and the crispy taste of bacon gave the pasta just the right touch. For another recipe, I tried using turkey bacon and made nacho potatoes. They only require a couple of ingredients and were absolutely incredible! Bacon and eggs will always be my number one classic combination, but now I know there are many other awesome ways to eat bacon too.

What's your favorite way to eat bacon?

Ahhh...winter getaways!

The 4-1-1 on Barbara Farmer