Early every morning, outside my south bedroom window, there comes a sound exactly like a dog's squeeze toy. There's the in and out high-pitched wheeze that, after five or six squeezes, would make you want to sling that piece of plastic against the wall.

After my first daily notice of the noise, I always think that if my dad was still with us, I could do my not-even-close imitation of the sound for him, and he would identify the culprit and give me a plan of action. I'm sure on Sunday I will be listening to this bird and wishing Dad a happy Father's Day. I sure miss him.

I have said many times that my father thought of bacon as a separate food group. Sausage served with his eggs was good, but bacon was great. So in honor of Father's Day, we are talking bacon. Actually, we are talking bacon salt.

This is something I didn't know existed until my daughter, Sarah, happened upon it. Several options are available in bacon salt flavorings. You can choose maple, brown sugar maple, applewood, jalapeno and hickory. There's no real bacon in it, so it's more bacon-flavor salt.

There's a jar of regular bacon salt in my cabinet, and I do use it occasionally. The dish that sees the most bacon salt in my kitchen is green beans. It's the perfect seasoning for the vegetable that benefits from bacon and salt. Chowhound.com offers up some interesting uses for bacon salt that sound yummy.

• Sprinkle on baked potatoes.

• Season the cheese on your grilled cheese.

• Top mac and cheese with it.

• Add to ranch dressing.

• Season grilled veggies.

• Sprinkle on homegrown tomatoes and buttered corn on the cob.

Can you sprinkle bacon salt on your turkey sandwich and turn it into a club or add it to some lettuce and tomato and call it a BLT? That's far-fetched, but it will add flavor to whatever it is sprinkled on. Maybe you too could use a jar in your cabinet.

Today's recipes both contain bacon and are from "Taste of Home." The salad can be dressed up with some raisins or dried cranberries and peanuts. The cookies will spread and make big circles. Make them smaller if you like, but I like the idea of saying I ate just one cookie, so the bigger the better. Lots of great ingredients, and they are glazed.

Happy Father's Day, and happy eating.


Crunchy floret salad

3 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups fresh cauliflorets

1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup mayonnaise

2 to 3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese

Combine broccoli, cauliflower and bacon in large bowl. In small bowl whisk together mayo, sugar, vinegar and salt. Pour over salad and mix well. Cover and chill until serving. Stir in cheese just before serving. Yields 6 to 8 servings.


Bacon oatmeal breakfast cookies

1/2 pound bacon

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

Fry and drain bacon; cool, chop and set aside. Beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla until well combined. Whisk together dry ingredients except oats and stir into butter mixture. Gradually stir in oats, 1/3 cup at a time. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Scoop 1/3 cup dough per cookie and place at least 3 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Use fork dipped in water to flatten cookie slightly. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and with slightly browned edges.

Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.



7/8 cup confectioners sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons water, or as needed

1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

Whisk together all glaze ingredients until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes then drizzle over cooled cookies. Let stand 20 minutes before storing. Yields 18 cookies.

Cheryle Finley is a food columnist for The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.