BLT Lettuce Wraps

8 leaves from 1 medium head butter lettuce, such as Boston or Bibb
6 slices bacon (about 6 ounces)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium avocado, diced

Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 400°F. Lined a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Lay the bacon on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until deep golden-brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Meanwhile, stir the mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice, and pepper together in a small bowl; set aside.

Once the bacon is cool, transfer it to a cutting board and coarsely chop it. Fill each lettuce leaf with tomatoes, bacon, and avocado. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

RECIPE NOTES

Make ahead: The bacon can be cooked and chopped a day ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Pancakes

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup flour, such as almond, coconut, or all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Cooking spray or butter, for greasing the pan
Sliced strawberries and powdered sugar, or maple syrup, for serving

Place the cream cheese, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray or butter. Once the butter is melted, pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the batter. Cook until deep golden-brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

Repeat with cooking remaining batter. Serve with sliced strawberries and powdered sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup.

RECIPE NOTES

Make sure the batter is perfectly smooth before you begin cooking; start with room-temperature cream cheese. If you want to add a pinch of sugar, a dash of cinnamon, or even a splash of vanilla, go right ahead. I prefer them plain so I can load them up with flavorful toppings. You could even up the cheesiness of these tangy pancakes with a handful of shredded Parmesan or cheddar cheese and take them to the savory side.

Wait to flip. Give the batter enough time to set before cooking the other side. Three minutes gives a golden, lacy appearance.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.