Bacon Wrapped Crackers

Bacon Wrapped Crackers_1 on Whisk Together

 

**Recipe Update 12/2/14**  After a thorough study of these addictive things, I have found a few ways to make them good and bad.  One, use a thin cut bacon.  The thick cut gets mushy instead of crispy and turns the appetizer to mush.  Two, use center cut bacon if possible.  Again, the excess fat around the crackers turns the appetizer to mush.  The center cut did the best!

SUPER DUPER easy awesome kids could do it tasty treats!!!

The ultimate food in sweet-salt appetizers.  These are so stinking easy to put together.  I don’t even prep them except for cutting the bacon in half!

I know… they aren’t paleo, or low carb, or low sugar, or whatever.  But, they do have protein! 🙂  So, that makes it a health food, right?  Just like when people blog about how their recipe is SOOOOO awesome when it contains two WHOLE cups of sugar, 3 pounds of butter and some other stuff.  Of course it tastes AMAZING!  The whole thing is loaded with fat and sugar!  Two of the three things our bodies love to crave.  But anyway.  I digress.  I can hear my 11th grade English teacher now in the background shouting, “Digression!”

 

Speaking of digression, wouldn’t it be awesome to write a novel just the way it is?  Start out with “Hello.  This is the introduction.  I am going to set the scene for you using time and place to inform you the setting of this story.  Next, we will introduce the main character.  The main character named Protagonist will have a want.  Protagonist will have a large want and a few small wants perhaps.  Later on in the story, the enemy Antagonist will be the obstacle or set up the obstacle.  Naturally, Protagonist will have to use tactics to overcome the external obstacle that Antagonist has put up.  All of this will get rather tedious and boring without Urgency.  Urgency will drive the pressure and create a timeframe by which Protagonist must obtain his want.  But wait!  There’s more!  Any good writer will include an internal obstacle and an alternate internal “want” that the Protagonist must obtain in the end.  Without this internal want, destroying the Death Star becomes rather boring.  But, become a cool Jedi knight that discovers the force and his own inner strength becomes quite meaningful.  So now we have characters + want + obstacle + tactics + urgency = DRAMA!   Oh, and don’t forget your setting!

Bacon Wrapped Crackers_2 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  Back to the recipe… just make these alright?  You’ll thank me later.  We munched on these and made them in batches throughout the day on Thanksgiving.  It was awesome.  The turkey roasted while these bacon wrapped babies sat in the small convection oven on the counter top.  The down side (or I see as an upside) is that these can take 1-2 hours in the oven depending on how hot you set the oven.  But this is cool!  I just make them about a half hour before the guests are supposed to arrive and then plate them nice and hot as they arrive.

Bacon Wrapped Crackers

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce package bacon (I like center cut)
  • 1 sleeve of Club crackers
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar per cracker

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees or 300 degrees. 250 degrees will cook them in 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours. 300 degrees will cook them in 30-45 minutes.
  2. Put foil down on your jelly roll pan or drip pan. Then, place a wire rack or broiling tray on top. I learned the hard way to make sure you include the foil on the bottom.
  3. Cut the bacon in half - not length wise. I do this with my kitchen scissors.
  4. Place club cracker down. Place a teaspoon of brown sugar in the middle. Then, wrap the bacon around the cracker and sugar. Place the appetizer with the seam side down.
  5. Repeat and bake at 250 for 60-90 minutes. Bake at 300 for 30-45 minutes. The bacon will be cooked through and browned when finished.
  6. Allow to cool 5 minutes and serve. They tastes MUCH better if you wait 5 minutes.
  7. Recipe adapted from Food Network
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/12/13/bacon-wrapped-crackers/

Bacon Wrapped Crackers
serves 12

12 ounce package bacon (I like center cut  You want to use center cut!  This is a must for crispy!)
1 sleeve of Club crackers
1 tsp. brown sugar per cracker

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees or 300 degrees.  250 degrees will cook them in 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours.  300 degrees will cook them in 30-45 minutes.
2.  Put foil down on your jelly roll pan or drip pan.  Then, place a wire rack or broiling tray on top.  I learned the hard way to make sure you include the foil on the bottom.
3.  Cut the bacon in half – not length wise.  I do this with my kitchen scissors.
4.  Place club cracker down.  Place a teaspoon of brown sugar in the middle.  Then, wrap the bacon around the cracker and sugar.  Place the appetizer with the seam side down.
5.  Repeat and bake at 250 for 60-90 minutes.  Bake at 300 for 30-45 minutes.  The bacon will be cooked through and browned when finished.
6.  Allow to cool 5 minutes and serve.  They tastes MUCH better if you wait 5 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Food Network

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing on Whisk Together

Book Update:  This week in Positive Psychology is about religion and spirituality.  If you go to church, you increase your life expectancy by 7 years.  There are 6 types of prayers that were identified:  adoration, thanksgiving, petitionary/supplication, confession, reception and obligatory.  Interestingly, college students today that were studied have 40% less empathy than college students from 20-30 years ago.  I found this alarming… but they never went into further detail.   Further in the chapter, Lawrence Kohlberg is noted in reference to morality developing in stages.  This makes sense.  Compassion and admiration are towards the top, however, these take time to process and in a rapid-fire instant-everything society some may be worried that society is losing this moral and inspirational information.  You know the saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness”?  Well, one study found that people were more charitable and fair when they were in a cleaner environment.  We also watched a TED talk by Rick Warren (that guy who wrote “The Purpose Driven Life”.  It was 20 minutes long, but worth listening.

Recipe Update:  Costco sells a huge bag of fresh spinach for $5, so I have been trying new spinach recipes.  This one was a total hit.  I have tried and made the reduced calorie version of course and it was awesome.  This is definitely a worthy of people coming over recipe.  I have included the full-fat version as well.

I tried a recipe from Bobby Deen’s recipe book I mentioned before.  Just a simple BBQ pork chop recipe, but I didn’t like it a whole lot.  William thought it was okay, so I won’t put it on here because I wasn’t dying for it again.

Calories of lighter version: 150, 9 grams of fat and 3 grams of saturated fat
Full fat version:  260 calories, 20 grams of fat and 7 grams of saturated fat

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing (Light version)
serves 4

8 oz. (8 cups) baby spinach
3 Tb cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper
4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces (easy to do with kitchen scissors)
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced

1.  First put your spinach in a large salad bowl.
2.  In a small bowl:  mix your cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
3.  In a skillet, cook your bacon until done and crispy.  Now, put the bacon on some paper towels and drain your pan BUT keep 1 Tb. of bacon fat in there!!!
4.  Keep the skillet over medium heat and add your onion and broth.  Stir that around until soft – a minute or two.  The mixture should get a little bit thicker.  Add your garlic and stir a few seconds.
5.  Take the vinegar mixture you made in the small bowl and throw that on top of the onion and garlic.  (It might get stinky for a few seconds and that is okay!)  Warm this mixture up and toss into the spinach.  Top your salad with bacon and eggs.

Recipe from “Comfort Food Makeovers” by America’s Test Kitchen

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing (not light version)
serves 4

6 oz. (6 cups) baby spinach
3 Tb. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
pinch salt
8 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 red onion, chopped medium
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Hardcooked eggs

Follow directions as above.

Recipe from “Cook’s Illustrated”  by America’s Test Kitchen

The Only Potato Salad I Like

(Photo is from my iPod Touch because my Nikon was at home and we made this at mom’s house.  Okay, my mom made this at her house.)

Okay, I’ll admit I’ll try almost anything once.  I’ve tried and never liked potato salad.  I can be pretty picky when it comes to food that contains sour cream or mayonnaise.  We never grew up eating a lot of that, so I think I just developed a taste away from it.  I’m not sure.  Or, just blame it on the fact I’m weird.  But this is the ONLY potato salad I have ever liked… Ever.  Some of my cousins will say the same thing.  I may actually get into trouble revealing Grandma’s recipe!  But as most older recipes go – it uses more taste than teaspoons to determine the amounts.  I tried to quantify them here.

I believe this recipe also further proves that bacon makes everything taste good.  🙂

Grandma’s Potato Salad
yield 8-10 servings

5 lb. bag of red potatoes
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 Tb. white vinegar
2 Tb. sugar (to taste)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
pepper and salt to taste
2 stalks of celery, chopped fine (my mom likes chunks, do as you see fit)

1.  Wash and cut the potatoes in half.  Boil until they are tender and can pierce them easily with a fork.  Drain and cool.  Peel potatoes and cut into 1″ pieces.
2.  In a skillet, saute the bacon until crispy.  Remove the bacon and pour out the drippings, but leave about 1-2 tsp. of bacon drippings to saute the onion.  Saute onion until it gets soft, about 7 minutes.  Cool.
3.  Make the dressing:  in a small bowl combine the vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Toss the cooled potatoes, bacon and onion in a large bowl with the dressing.  Add celery.  Toss.
5.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.  I actually like this warm and not cold.  But everyone who likes normal potato salad and this potato salad likes it cold.  The flavors do stand out better when it is cold.

Maple Bacon – More Lovin’ from the Oven

I’m still alive.  Just working on a baby shower last week!  We had Maple Bacon, Mini Strawberry Scones, Mini Quiche, Fruit Cups, Mini Red Velvet Cheesecake (recipe to follow), mini veggie/cheese bagel sandwiches and homemade donut holes.

Everything was GREAT.  I loved the “mini” theme.  🙂

Tips for Prepping food ahead of time:

1.  Freeze unbaked scones.  Bake from frozen the morning of the party.  Generally, scones aren’t as good the next day.
2.  Make the Donut Dough in the Bread Maker.  Super fast and easy!  Wow, it was super fast!
3.  Freeze baked and cooled quiche.  Thaw in the fridge overnight and warm the day of the party.

Maple Bacon

1 package of bacon
1/4 cup maple syrup – the real stuff (I used organic grade B maple syrup.  It has more flavor than grade A.)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Prep a rimmed cookie sheet with foil (easier clean up).  Then put your wire cooling rack on top.  Lay out the bacon and bake 15-20 minutes.
3.  Brush bacon with maple syrup and bake another 3-5 minutes.

**To prep ahead of time, I cut my bacon in half and rolled it on toothpicks.  Those stayed in the fridge overnight.  The next day I just put them on the rack in the oven.  **

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

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