3rd Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival

After much anticipation, tickets to this year’s Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival will be sold exclusively through an online link located at www.blueribbonbaconfestival.com beginning at high noon on Thursday, February 4th. The event will be held at the Scottish Rite Consistory at 519 Park Street in downtown Des Moines on Saturday, February 27th.

“This year we’re preparing to accommodate our largest crowd ever, and I am finally beginning to feel comfortable with our bacon inventory,” Brooks Reynolds, Bacon Board spokesman says with relief. “So far, we’ve secured 1,050 lbs of bacon from our purveyors. With 600 participants expected, we’re guaranteed to have an average of 1 ½ lbs per person.” Last year 583 lbs of bacon was consumed by a crowd of 346 individuals.

Jeffrey Olson, M.D., the festival’s 2010 Honorary Cardiologist added, “I’m extremely excited for this year’s bacon festival. And, I plan on passing out business cards!”

The theme for this year’s festival is: “A Bacon Odyssey, One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Bacon.” Ticket cost for the event is $35 per person – ticket sales will be limited to 8 tickets per order. The ticket entitles the holder to a commemorative t-shirt, koozie, a menu of 7 bacon items, unlimited bacon samples at the Bacon Showcase, live music, a seat in two bacon educational lectures, and a free bacon bloody mary.

Schedule of Events

  • 10:00 am – Doors Open, Blazing Bacon Bloodies are Served, 1st Course is Served, Sign In for Bacon Eating Contest Begins (Sign In Closes at 2:30 pm), DJ Patrick Porto Sets the Mood
  • 10:45 am – Opening Ceremony, National Anthem by Special Guest, Bacon Invocation by the Godfather, Opening Remarks and 1st Official “OHHH, Bacon!” Cheer
  • 11:00 am – Bacon Showcase Opens and Parade of Pre-Cooked Bacon Explosions
  • 11:15 am – Live Music Begins by the Saylor Hill Sliders, Lecture Hall Opens with First Seminar Entitled “A Driving Tour of Iowa Bacon” by Leo Landis, The Bacon Professor (This Lecture Will Be Repeated at 1:15 pm)
  • 11:45 am – Second Seminar entitled, “Why Everything is So Much Better with Bacon” by Jonathan A. Campbell, MS with the Iowa State Meat Laboratory (This Lecture Will Be Repeated at 1:45 pm)
  • 12:00 pm – 2nd Course is Served
  • 12:30 pm – Third Seminar entitled, “Temple Rye Whiskey – An Iowa Classic” by Scott Bush, President of Temple Rye
  • 1:00 pm – Parade of Bacon Explosions by the BBQ Addicts, creators of the Bacon Explosion
  • 2:00 pm – Bacon Popper Pizza served by Fong’s Pizza
  • 2:30 pm – Bacon Desserts are Served
  • 3:00 pm – Bacon Showcase Closes
  • 3:15 pm – Bacon Eating Contest Begins
  • 3:45 pm – Bacon Festival Closing Ceremony (Best Bacon T-Shirt Award Winner, Last “OHHH, Bacon” Cheer, Bacon Eating Champion Speaks)
  • 4:00 pm – The After-Party Begins at High Life Lounge and El Bait Shop
  • * Times are subject to change

Event Information

  • What – Third Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
  • When – Saturday, February 27th, 10am – 4pm
  • Where – Scottish Rite Consistory, 519 Park Street, Des Moines, IA
  • Ticket Availability – Available for purchase through an online link located at www.blueribbonbaconfestival.com at high noon on Thursday, February 4th
  • Cost – $35 per ticket which includes a commemorative t-shirt, koozie, a menu of 7 bacon items, unlimited bacon samples at the Bacon Showcase, live music, a seat in two bacon educational lectures and your first drink free
  • Consumption – 583 lbs of bacon was consumed at the 2nd Annual Bacon Festival in 2009, the Iowa Bacon Board has already secured over 1,050 lbs of bacon for this year’s event
  • Competition – Personal Trainer, Manni Balignasay is the back-to-back Blue Ribbon Bacon Eating Champion in 2008 & 2009
  • Bacon Showcase – In 2010 the following bacon brands will be showcased: Eden Farms, Farmland, Hormel, Iowa Farm Families, Niman Ranch and Vande Rose Farms
  • Iowa Bacon Board – Members include Suzanne Reynolds Arnold, Seth Hall, Mark Pederson, Caressa McCurnin, Logan Porter, Marshall Porter, Tom Porter, Brad Proctor, David Proctor, Brooks Reynolds, John Tiffany and Kevin Tiffany
  • Honorary Cardiologist – Jeffrey Olson, M.D. – Dr. Olson will be present, handing out business cards and discussing the benefits of a balanced bacon diet
  • Sponsors – Coors Original Banquet Beer, IP Pathways, Pearl Vodka, Reynolds & Reynolds, Iowa Pork Producers, Smarty Pig, Stiver’s Ford Lincoln Mercury, Scottish Rite Consistory, Vande Rose Farms, Niman Ranch, Fidelity Bank, Fong’s Pizza and Goin’ Postal

What started as one man’s passion for “all things bacon” has evolved into America’s premier bacon festival. In 2007, Brooks Reynolds of Des Moines gathered fellow bacon lovers and formed the Iowa Bacon Board with the mission of improving the enjoyment of all things bacon. Informal meetings of the group had been held for years with weekend retreats at Spirit Lake where each bacon fanatic would bring at least two pounds of bacon for consumption over a two-day period. On March 1st, 2008, after several meetings between the Iowa Bacon Board, Full Court Press and In Any Event the festival was born: a day dedicated to nothing but Bacon.

Passion Pit – The Reeling

This week’s “Music Monday” video is Passion Pit with there hit song The Reeling. This isn’t the first time I talked about Passion Pit, last year I wrote a post about their first EP “Chunk of Change”. Well this song (The Reeling) is off their new LP “Manors”. It’s been out for a while and I would suggest you pick it up if you want to dance your legs off.

Passion Pit is an American electronic band that formed in 2007 at Cambridge, Massachusetts. It started out as a side project on a laptop and has turned in to a fulltime project with a live band. The original goal of the project was to write songs to a girl friend as a Valentine’s Day present. Sadly for Michael Angelakos, Passion Pit founder, the girl friend didn’t stick around. Lucky for us the band did!

Where to find more information about this weeks band:
HomepagePitchfork ReviewsMusic on LalaYouTube Videos

Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

This weeks “Weekend Cooking” is a recipe that Oscar Myers sent me to use with there Super Thickcut Bacon. Sadly I didn’t have their bacon so I used another great brand Nueske’s.

This is a great side dish for just about anything. It’s sweet, savory, and buttery. Beth and I thought they if we add diced potatoes to the mix it could almost be a meal in itself. Give this one a try and let us know what you think about it.

Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar
Prep Time: 10 min. Total Time: 40 min. Makes: 6 servings


  • 1 lb. Brussele sprouts, trimmed, halved
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 slices of applewood bacon cut in to 1 inch strips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped red onions
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 400F
  2. Toss sprouts with oil, place in a shallow pan bake 20 min
  3. Meanwhile cook bacon and onions in a skillet on medium heat until bacon starts to turn brown, drain off grease
  4. Add bacon mixture to sprouts, stir.
  5. Bake 5 to 10 min or until sprouts are tender and golden brown
  6. Stir in vinegar and pepper
  7. Enjoy!

Adapted from a recipe from Oscar Myers (all we did was add more bacon). Beth took that amazing photo of this recipe!

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA is Pork’s Best Friend

As frequent watchers of Bacon LIVE already know I am a big fan of Dogfish Head Brewery. I even went to Rehoboth Beach in December to attend a Pork and Beer dinner at their brew pub. So I guess its no surprise that I would feature them on “Thirsty Thursday”.

Today’s beer is Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, an Imperial IPA brewed to be enjoyed not chugged. This was the first continually-hopped beer the Delaware brewery made. It takes about a month to make from beginning to end. The 90 Minute IPA has been called the best I.P.A. in America.

Check out the video below of Sam explaining the brewing process.

While reading the Dogfish Head site for information to put in this post, I found the reason I love this beer so much. Right on the page for this beer it clearly states that it’s great when paired with pork. I know this to be true because at least once a month I have a Pork Shoulder Taco at Yo Rita in the South Site of Pittsburgh with a 90 Minute. Let me just say the flavor combination is out of this world!

For more information about this beer check out the Dogfish website and Beer Advocate.

Bacon LIVE: Cherry Wood Bacon

Last night we tried Nueske’s top secret Cherry Wood Bacon. Yes that’s right! The company that is known around the bacon loving community for their Apple wood is playing about with other types of smoke. Sean and I both thought the cherry wood had a mild an almost sweet flavor. I have not had many cherry wood smoked types of bacon so I don’t know how this one is compared to others, but I thought this one tasted great.

We are also giving away five Wendy’s $5 gift cards to five lucky twitter tweeters that tweet about Bacon LIVE! More details are below the embedded video.

Bacon LIVE 063:
Watch us on uStream.tv!

Twitter Contest:
To enter for a chance to win a $5 Wendy’s gift card, all you have to do is follow @MrBaconpants and tweet the following “http://twtaway.com/qipzar #baconLIVE”. To make it easier just follow the link and click the “enter contest” button.

Example of a tweet that would count:
“I could win free bacon by following @MrBaconpants & watching Bacon LIVE. http://twtaway.com/qipzar #BaconLIVE”

Twitter Contest Rules:

  • You have to live in the USA (Sorry the coupon is only valid in the USA)
  • The tweet must contain this link: http://twtaway.com/qipzar
  • You have to follow @MrBaconpants
  • You can only enter once per contest

Winners will be picked January 27, 2010 at 6pm EST

Good luck and if you have any questions please let me know. Enjoy Bacon!

Watch LIVE Wednesdays at 7 pm EST, go to our show page for details!

Nueskes supplied the Cherry Wood Bacon that we reviewed on this show free of charge. This is a good thing because if I had to buy everything I reviewed on the show I would be broke. Read my disclosure policy for more information.

Bacon & Puzzle Lovers Rejoice for the Bacon Tuxedo Puzzle

Archie McPhee made a lot of bacon lovers upset when they released the Bacon Tuxedo Box without the tux. In an effort to mend the wounds McPhee has come out with the “Bacon Tuxedo Puzzle”. It’s not tux but it’s better than an empty box of lost dreams (yes I am still bitter).

Bacon Tuxedo Puzzle – $9.95
Ham? Too casual. Meatloaf? Too retro. Make no mistake about it, bacon is the best meat for formalwear! This bizarre jigsaw puzzle features a dashing young man in a bacon tuxedo posing with his date for a prom picture. She must have been so proud. Also includes a 48 piece bonus mystery puzzle! Each 500 piece puzzle is 14″ x 18″ when assembled.

I wonder what the 48 piece bonus prize is. I hope it’s a coupon for 48 bacon-wrapped spicy chicken nuggets from Wendy’s. It’s either that or another puzzle, which wouldn’t be as cool.

McPhee also released the “Sunrise in Meatopia Puzzle” which is an illustration of a landscape made of meat. It could also be a representation of a vegan nightmare. In fact if I worked for them I would have called it, “Hide the lid and build this puzzle with a vegan friend, then watch them crumble in sadness as they realize they build a meatopia”. Ok, maybe my title was a little long, but it got my point across.

Bacon and puzzle lovers finally have two puzzles they can complete with pride and satisfaction. Thanks Archie McPhee, Enjoy Bacon.

Red Pens, a Low-Fi duo out of Minneapolis

This week’s Music Monday band is Red Pens, a Minneapolis duo. A few of their songs have been gaining some popularity on major music blogs. Pitchfork even reviewed their single “Weekdays”, a track off their new record “Reasons”.

I really enjoy this band’s danceable rhythms and fuzzy guitars. They remind of Bon Iver with a little more gain. You can listen to a few free tracks below. They also have a few live videos on youtube worth checking out.

“Hung Out” Download Mp3

“Street Issues” Download Mp3

Where to find more information about this weeks band:
MySpaceYouTube VideosRecord Label