How to Eat More Bacon for Less Money

Bacon used to have a slow season. Sales of the ubiquitous burger topping—and its parent product, pork belly—were known to heat up in the prime-time grilling months of summer, while in the winter, sales traditionally cooled off.

That’s changing, though. In July 2017, Bloomberg reported that pork belly prices had increased 80 percent for the first half of the year, and that bacon prices, already high, were projected to continue to climb. The major reason was simple: ongoing demand, no matter what time of year it is.

Approximately 80 percent of the top 500 restaurant chains in the U.S. offer at least one bacon item on the menu. The cured meat has become so pervasive that a “bacon critic” position was created at the breakfast-oriented website, Extra Crispy; five-day bacon camps are put on by Zingerman’s Deli in Michigan; and completely gratuitous bacon dishes like “fully loaded guacamole” with a crumbled bacon garnish, are pushed out.

Even fake bacon is prized. Now that high-quality plant-based burgers are getting more popular, faux bacon is the holy grail for such companies as Bill Gates-backed Beyond Meat.

In this time of overwhelming bacon opportunities, there’s one you don’t see much of: the kind you make yourself. Yet makin’ bacon is supremely easy, requiring just four ingredients—all available at the supermarket—and no specialized equipment.

The Expert

Maria Sinskey, the culinary director at her husband’s Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa, Calif., created an especially home-friendly version for her cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen (Oxmoor House).

“Making your own bacon gives you total control over a food that is frequently out of control,” says Sinskey, who was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine when she cooked at Plump Jack Café in San Francisco in the 1990s. “You get good-quality pork, customize the seasonings to your taste, and make it your own. Why not?”

The procedure is simple: Rub a carefully measured mix of seasoning on a pork belly. “Three days later, you’ll wake up to bacon,” promises Sinskey. She notes that a dry cure like this is easier than a wet cure, so you don’t have to deal with sloshing containers of brine solution.

Sinskey’s bacon is nicely salted, with a hint of sweetness. Because it is not smoked, the flavor shines through; she compares it to Italian pancetta. Use it as you would store-bought smoked bacon, whether for salads and sandwiches, as a side for eggs, or in any recipe that could use a bacon boost.

Store it, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for a week. For longer life, slice it, place parchment paper between the slices, wrap them in plastic, and store in the freezer; you’ll have bacon on demand for months. If you like your bacon on the smoky side, cook it on an outdoor or stove-top smoker. Or just replace some of the kosher salt with smoked salt for the cure.


The Recipe

This recipe is adapted from Maria Sinskey’s Williams-Sonoma Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen. Note: This bacon is nitrate free; nitrates pump up the pink color of most store-bought bacon and also accentuate the cured flavor. This bacon has a more direct pork flavor.

Makes About 2 Pounds

1/2 cup kosher salt1/4 cup packed brown sugar1 tsp. sweet pimenton (optional)2 1/2 lbs. skinless pork belly, about 1 ½ inches thickCoarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Mix the salt, sugar, and pimenton (if using). Rub three-quarters of the mix into the meat side and the remaining one-quarter into the fat side; rub it in around the sides of the slab, too. If using black pepper, pat into the fat side of the meat before adding the salt-sugar mixture.

Seal the belly in a Ziploc bag, pressing the air out. Refrigerate for 3 days, turning each day. (Liquid will collect in the bag; do not pour it out.)

Rinse the bacon briefly with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place it on a rack over a pan and refrigerate, uncovered, to dry for two hours. Slice the bacon from the slab—thick or thin, according to your preference—and fry it up. For smoky bacon, cook according to manufacturer’s directions over an indoor smoker or smoke it on an outdoor grill.

(Testers note: If you want to test the cure after two days, cut off a couple of slices. Rinse them with cold water and pat completely dry. Fry the slices and taste. If you want the bacon saltier, return the pork belly to the bag and refrigerate for one additional day.)

The Pictures Of Elon Musk’s Tesla Orbiting Earth Are Just Mind Blowing

Wait, ready for it?

This fucking picture:

And this one too:How would you explain those pictures to…to literally anyone not alive right now? I don’t even think I’d be able to explain them to grandma (RIP). I can barely wrap my own head around them. Why is there a car in outer space? And now it’s just there forever? And it is a test to see if we can fly to Mars? Imagine trying to tell someone in 1920, less than 100 years ago, that Elon Musk just blasted his own car into space and now we have a flying car orbiting the Earth for the rest of time. They’d lock you in a looney bin and throw away the key. But alas, here we are.

And then the whole Falcon Heavy thing. We are literally living in one of the most amazing times of human innovation. It’s as close to a real life Iron Man as possible- Elon Musk is a billionaire genius, and he is just building his own space ships, his own rockets, and is going to put us on Mars. What he is able to accomplish is mind blowing. Those two rocket boosters landing back to Earth like that completely synchronized, like, I can’t even begin to comprehend how much work goes into figuring that out. The type of math and engineering is far too advanced for me to even begin to understand.

Elon Musk is living in another dimension right now with what he’s able to do. We have a car on the way to Mars. This should be the biggest story of the year, right up there with when the government confirmed aliens. He’s going to put a Tesla on Mars, and then eventually a human. The future is so out of control, I legit can’t wait to see what happens next.

Hooters Is Offering Free Chicken Wings To Single People On Valentines Day

When you’ve just gone through a nasty breakup, Valentine’s Day probably doesn’t feel like much of a cause for celebration. But then again, when there’s free wings up for grabs, who gives a shit about failed relationships?

There’s only one love that really matters – the love that exists between man and fried chicken. And the good people at Hooters are well aware of that fact.On Valentine’s Day, the US sports restaurant chain is offering up free wings as part of its ‘Shred Your Ex’ promotion. All you need to do is take a picture of your ex along with you, rip it up and you’ll be gifted a free portion of the good stuff.

Can’t bring yourself to do it? No worries – just ask your waitress to do it for you and you’ll receive 10 free boneless wings when you purchase just ten regular wings.

If you don’t think you can watch a photograph of your ex get torn up without bursting into tears like a total fanny you can simply do it online instead. Just head over to the site where you can fill in a short questionairre and then virtually “shred,” “burn,” “bury” or “dart” the pics in exchange for a coupon redeemable on February 14th.

The restaurant is well known for its scantily clad waitresses, but shifting attitudes have forced the chain to readdress its USP and move into the 21st century in an attempt to drum up fresh business.

Last year, the brand opened up the first of its new fast-casual branches, called Hoots, which employs both male and female serving staff and does away with the skimpy uniforms.

The restaurant has previously rubbished claims that it exploits women, saying the chain values women’s rights, “because it guarantees women have the right to choose their own careers, be it a Supreme Court Justice or Hooters Girl”.

“Just as with any traditional, fast-casual, counter service employee, there will be both male and female employees,” Lizz Harmon, spokesperson for Hoots, told The Huffington Post via email last year.

“There will be order-at-the-counter (or online) and dine-in or take-away service. The uniform will be shorts or pants and a newly designed Hoots T-shirt.”

If you’re keen to get some free wings as part of the Shred Your Ex campaign then make sure to check with your local branch to avoid disappointment.

Sadly, Brits will miss out on the action, with the only Hooters branch in the UK not running the promotion. You could always fork on a plane ticket stateside if you’re the desperate, but it would kind of defeat the object.

Featured Image Credit: Hooters

Monopoly Is Releasing A Cheaters Version Of The Famous Board Game

There probably hasn’t been a single game of Monopoly played on this earth where a player hasn’t cheated in some way, big or small.

It’s one of the most frustrating aspects of the game when you’ve been playing by the rules, only to find out a family member or mate has been pocketing a bit of extra cash as the banker or slyly not fully paying up when they landed on Mayfair.

Well Hasbro, the company behind the famous board game, is taking Monopoly to a new level by bringing the cheater out in all of us.Introducing Monopoly Cheaters, the old game you know and love – but in this realm, you’re supposed to manoeuvre around the ‘rules’ as much as possible.

Senior Vice President of Hasbro gaming Jonathan Berkowitz has told Insider: “A recent study conducted by Hasbro revealed that nearly half of game players attempt to cheat during Monopoly games, so in 2018, we decided it was time to give fans what they’ve been craving all along – a Monopoly game that actually encourages cheating.”

It seems like the idea is being welcomed big time by fans – however some reckon this could lead to more fights.

In this new edition, there will be a real handcuff included, which will be slapped onto the person who’s in jail. In addition to that, there will be 15 Cheaters Cards that will encourage you to do all sorts of devilish things.

Some of the cards suggest pocketing more from the bank when you pass Go, try to chuck a hotel piece on one of your properties without anyone watching, remove a hotel piece from another player’s property, and try and escape out of the handcuff without anyone noticing.

“Players are in control of the Bank on their turn and pass it to the next player when their turn is over, making it easier to pull off ‘cheats’ such as the Bank Heist.”

It’s a very interesting development in the game that has been around since 1932 – yeah, it’s that old. You wouldn’t be able to play this game willy-nilly either; you’d have to always be on the lookout for a sleight of hand and check the bank is always as full as it should be.

Will this create more fights or more fun?

Sources: Insider

Featured Image Credit: Hasbro

Mario Kart Is Coming To Smartphones And People Are Excited

Girls and boys, charge your Excitement Engines because we have some big-ass news – Mario Kart is coming to a smartphone near you.

As of yet, Nintendo haven’t released full details of the game or its release date but it’s likely that the game’s release will result in commuters UK-wide replacing Candy Crush with early-morning, high-octane 2D races around Yoshi Valley, Koopa Troopa Beach (those turtles) and ultimate fucker Choco Mountain.

Nintendo took to Twitter to tell fans that the game is in development and should be with us in 2019.

When first released on the SNES in 1992, the original Super Mario Kart was so unbelievably good it was awarded a special, bespoke gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics. And they don’t even have car racing in the Olympics.

(Not all of the above is true.)However, it was 1996’s revamped and re-released N64 edition Mario Kart 64 that cemented Mario and pals’ place in the pantheon of all-time classic console games, even though the sheer competitiveness it unleashed in humans destroyed friendships, families and one vase at my auntie’s house.

Mario Kart 64 was the N64’s second best-selling game (beaten only by Super Mario 64). Shifting almost 10 million copies, gave bananas a nutrition-free second wind and Bowser an uncomfortable looking 50cc means of transportation with which to race about in. My word, it was good.

Debate has raged for aeons as to which was the best course and tournament in the Mario Kart universe. The answer, of course (wahey), was the Mushroom Cup, mostly because it looked liked the developers had been on mushrooms while designing it.

Luigi Raceway, the first track in the game, was a deceptively simple thunderbastard of a track with an irritatingly open course that resulted in many crashes into water, pillars and inexplicably blocky green hills. Final course Kalimari Desert, meanwhile, had something extremely fishy about it (BOOM!), not least those extremely narrow wooden bridges that generally resulted in at least three pitfalls. It was glorious.

Beep. Beep.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo / PA


IHOP Free Pancake Day Event 2018

Every year IHOP gives away free pancakes around National Pancake Day to celebrate the day. The pancakes are completely free with no purchase required, although a donation to Children’s Miracle Network is encouraged.

It’s expected that a record-breaking amount of five million pancakes will be served in IHOPs around the country on this single day.

All IHOPS in the United States will be participating as well as IHOP restaurants in Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Date and Time of IHOP Free Pancake Day 2018

This year the IHOP free pancake day, called IHOP National Pancake Day, is on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

Guests will be able to get their free pancakes on February 27th from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. However, some IHOPs have extended hours of 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. for the free pancakes promotion. Call your local IHOP location to find out if they’re offering the extended hours.

Amount of IHOP Free Pancakes You’ll Get

When you visit your local IHOP for National Pancake Day at IHOP, you’ll get a free short stack (3) of their famous buttermilk pancakes.

Making a Donation for the IHOP Pancakes

Although not required, you will be asked to give a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network in any amount you’d like in exchange for your pancakes. This money goes to local hospitals in your area and provides life-saving medical treatments and procedures for children in need.

 Their 2018 goal is to reach $3.5 million in donations, and all donations for the pancakes will go straight to the charity.

Some of the restaurants will also be inviting guests to make a donation to get a wall icon of the Children’s Miracle balloon to publicly pledge support to Children’s Miracle Networks.

Some of the restaurants will be giving a discount coupon to be used on a future business with the purchase of a wall icon.

Restrictions for IHOP’s National Pancake Day

The offer of the free pancakes is limited to one short stack per person and you must dine in to get the deal.

Past IHOP National Pancake Days

The annual IHOP National Pancake Days have been going on for 13 years with more than $24 million being donated to organizations like Children’s Miracle Network, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Getting More Free Food at IHOP

You can join the Pancake Revolution reward program and get a free full stack of Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity pancakes for joining, a free birthday meal, and some free food on your anniversary of being a member.

Celebrate With More Free Food

National Pancake Day isn’t the only day you can get free food at your local restaurants. There are a ton of free food days including free ice cream days at Ben & Jerry’sDairy Queen, and Haagen-Dazs.

You can also get free donuts on National Donut Dayfree coffee on National Cofee Dayfree Slurpees at 7-Eleven for Free Slurpee Day, and free Chick-fil-A food on Cow Appreciation Day.

Rest your weary head with a 45-minute video of sizzling bacon

After a long day at work, we all deserve to kick back, relax, and just kind of zen out to the sounds we love best. For some, our shoulders loosen up to the calming tones of a stranger pretending to administer an eye exam. For others, the imagined sounds of the totally-not-stressful scenario of being stranded on a frozen alien planet really melt away our preoccupations.

If none of these scenarios are suited to your incredibly specific needs, however, a little digging is sure to turn up the exact auditory cues needed to make your life complete. Like, for example, 45 minutes of bacon cooking in a cast iron pan.

This hole in today’s crowded market has been filled by YouTube’s TexasHighDef, a channel dedicated to providing a cornucopia of videos you can put on to help you sleep. While these run through the usual suspects, including rain (yawn), waterfalls (so 2017), and oscillating fans (those things will kill you dead!), the crown jewel in TexasHighDef’s presumably 10 gallon hat is a nearly hour long ode to the simple pleasure of cooking bacon.

Working through three pounds of salty, popping and crackling meat, the video is billed as a sleep aid, but it could just as easily be repurposed as a meditation guide. Allow the eye to relax on a single pool of bubbling grease and an inner calm descends as a fork, held as if by the hand of god, moves the bacon around. Let yourself descend into the inner depths of your mind and know total bliss, untroubled by all distraction, as well as the knowledge that such a wonderful sound comes from cooking the remains of a very smart and emotionally intelligent animal.

[via Atlas Obscura]

Watch US troops fire the $80,000 Excalibur round for the first time

The video footage below was taken in January, 2013 and shows US troops firing the ridiculously huge Excalibur round for the first time.

At $80,000 per round, the Excalibur is easily the most expensive round the gunner has ever fired from his M777 Howitzer cannon at the forward operating base Frontenac in the Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

What makes this round truly special is the GPS guidance system which drastically reduces collateral damage. It can penetrate a building and then detonate on a specific floor.

Given the incredibly high cost, this piece of field artillery is rarely fired and mostly reserved to eliminate a threat in cities.

Following the fire mission, Ammo Team Chief Spc. Michael Arnold of Brovo Battery, 2-3 FA gives a brief interview about his experience firing the Excalibur.

Custom Donald Trump 1911 built by Jesse James

Jesse James brought something special to his booth for SHOT Show 2018, a custom 1911 in honor of Donald Trump.

“I build cool guns. So, it’s like, I’m going to build a presidential gun,” he said in an interview. “Donald Trump’s kind of old school, like 1970s, you know, New York City rich guy. So, a little bit of gold, a little bit of decorative filigree work.”

There’s definitely a Trump-level of gold and prestige on this pistol. Just take a closer look here,

The Grandmaster X 1911 in .45 ACP is one of Jesse’s largest models. To make a true .45 in honor of 45, he added a 2″ comp to the existing 7″ long barrel then detailed the slide with the words “Donald Trump” and “The 45th President, United States of America.”

“It’s kind of like, a modern Dirty Harry gun,” James explained. “He’s kind of bigger than life, I think. So he needs a bigger than life pistol.”

James says he hasn’t spoken with his old friend about the pistol yet, but plans to visit the White House soon to present it to him.

Hear Jesse speak more about his presidential 45 in the video below.

Elon Musk is Releasing a $600 Flamethrower to the Public

Elon Musk isn’t your typical Billionaire. In an economic bracket known for eccentric behaviors, Musk stands out. The South African-born American magnate is the founder of SpaceX, the brains behind Tesla Inc., co-chairman of OpenAI and the CEO of Neuralink. But it is one of his other companies, The Boring Company, making headlines this week.

Instead of electric cars, or trips to Mars, Musk is now focusing on street-legal flamethrowers.

He announced on Twitter in December that if The Boring Company could sell 50,000 hats, he would start selling flamethrowers.  “I know it’s a little off-brand,” Musk wrote, “but kids love it.”

Kids do love flamethrowers. So do adults, though most of those adults are men who never got to play with flamethrowers when they were kids. And that may turn out to be beneficial for Musk, as The Boring Company flamethrower is expected to sell for $600.

Selling 50,000 hats for The Boring Company was easier than he’d assumed. It only took two weeks. At that point, Musk had to make good on his flamethrower promise, or admit it had been a joke.

So is it a joke?

“Mark this down as one of the promises Elon delivers on,” The Verge writes, “apparently, because it looks like the Boring Company flamethrower is here. Redditors in a few SpaceX, Boring Company, and Musk-related subreddits noticed earlier this week that the URL ‘’ started redirecting to a page with a password box. And at least one user was able to guess the original password, too: “flame.” (It’s since been changed.)”

“According to a Redditor who figured out the password (‘flame’), which has since been changed,” Task and Purpose writes, “he or she was redirected to another page where they had the option to pre-order Musk’s flamethrower. ‘Prototype pictured above,’ the listing apparently read. ‘Final production flamethrower will be better.’ The Redditor also claimed the page said the flamethrower will start shipping in April.”

It is still unclear how the flamethrower will function. How far will the flame stretch? What will fuel it? How much fuel with its tank hold? And where is its tank? For now, we have very little to go on. The image looks like a Nerf gun with a small section of hose at the back.