I am so happy right now! I’ve been outside in a tank top all morning shoveling dirt and getting my garden soil prepped for planting. Yeah, I realize that sort of work isn’t necessarily fun for all but I LOVE it. AND it’s only April […]
Who can resist the cuteness of a little Brussels sprout?? They look and taste sort of like a mini cabbage but my kids need a little convincing of their virtuous qualities. Call it a baby cabbage and they’re at least partially sold… call it baby anything and they suddenly […]
This past weekend we met up with some of my extended family for a camping adventure in southwest Minnesota. You guys, there was a GIANT jumping pillow at the playground that was a good 10 yards long and we adults may have taken the opportunity to nearly break our ankles jumping in the rain after dark. It was more hilarious than an episode of Wipe Out. Good times! Good times with family also means an assortment of good food. I mean, what family gathering doesn’t center around awesome simple foods? Take these perfectly poised bacon wrapped water chestnuts for example. They’re super simple and oh-so-scrumptious!!
Despite their name, a water chestnut is not a nut but is actually an aquatic vegetable with an edible tuber at the base of the plant (like a potato). Nutritionally speaking, water chestnuts are similar to other tubers and provide potassium as well as vitamin B-6. Soak ’em in soy sauce, roll in sugar and wrap these little crunchy guys in bacon and you can’t go wrong. And there you have it, a simple party pleaser in the form of bacon wrapped water chestnuts!!
- 2 - 5oz cans whole water chestnuts
- ½ cup sugar of any kind (white, brown or coconut sugar)
- ½ cup soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
- 10-12 strips of bacon, uncooked
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Marinate water chestnuts in the soy sauce for half hour or longer.
- One at a time, take chestnuts out of the marinade and roll in sugar.
- Wrap each chestnut with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
- Place wrapped chestnuts on a shallow rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Bake 20 minutes or until bacon is cooked.
- Serve warm.
I have a confession to make. I’ve made deviled eggs exactly once in my life. In fact, before these bacon deviled eggs, I hated the very thought of deviled eggs. My mother in law was impressed that I actually made them given my history of being a deviled egg hater. You see, I discovered my dislike was because I’ve never actually tried real deviled eggs. The ones that were served in my youth were always made with this dreadful stuff called Miracle Whip which has been passed off as “mayonnaise”. Once I realized that deviled eggs were not, in fact, supposed to be made with Miracle Whip (gag), I decided I could give them a second chance at love. Made of course, with homemade real mayonnaise. The result?
Um… Undeniably Yum….
Creamy, bacon-y goodness all put together in these cute little egg packages ready to be devoured. These little fellas were gone in about 5 seconds flat. Ever played that game “chubby bunny” with large marshmallows when you were a kid? You stuff one in your mouth and have to say “chubby bunny” and then you add another and say it, and another and say it… and it goes on until you can’t talk anymore. Yeah, I was kinda like that with these bacon deviled eggs. Almost embarrassing. Almost.
This is essentially the classic deviled egg recipe but uses bacon fat in the yolk mixture for a little extra bacon kick and I prefer the use of apple cider vinegar to white vinegar. It’s a bit less intense and the slight apple flavor goes really well with bacon. I like a little smokiness in these so I’ve used smoked salt as well as smoked paprika in the topping. These will work with regular salt or paprika too. To make them totally irresistible, they’re topped with scallions, the smoked paprika and bacon crumbles. Try to resist them, I dare you.
- 6 eggs, hardboiled
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked salt
- ½-1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 scallion, white part minced. Save the greens for garnish.
- ½ teaspoon bacon grease
- 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Smoked paprika for garnish
- Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolks into a bowl.
- Combine yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, vinegar, scallion and bacon grease until smooth.
- Either scoop mixture back into the egg white "bowls" or place mixture in a zip top back, cut the end off (like a pastry bag) and squeeze it into the egg whites.
- Top with scallion greens, bacon crumbles and paprika.
Appetizers for dinner, like these salty sweet jalapeno poppers, are always a great thing, especially when it involves hanging out with awesome friends. That was our agenda this past weekend. Well, actually it was more like, stare out the window with my coffee and ponder the new snow wondering how it went from 70 degrees just three weeks ago to below 20. What happened to fall?!? Then after the caffeine kicks in, head out to shovel, come back in and figure out something spicy-salty-sweet to bring for dinner and finally go over to our friends where we can banish the kids to the upstairs or downstairs leaving the main floor kid-free for us “adults” to enjoy. Appetizers for dinner is really just an excuse not to cook real food. Those of us with kids can then pretend we’re still hip and out to happy hour. The two husbands then also act like they’re out to happy hour and have fun posing with gourds. Weirdos.
While we’re pretending to be hip, I’ll pretend I’m extra hip by making fancy (but WAY easy) salty sweet jalapeno poppers. This is seriously the easiest appetizer you will ever make. Quite possibly the most addicting too since its filling combines a saltly sweet combination of bacon and medjool dates all pureed together and spooned into a jalepeno shell. Top it off with some quinoa flakes (or cheese if you prefer) and bake it up. I promise they won’t stay on the appetizer tray for more than five minutes.
- 10 jalapeños
- 8 medjool dates, pitted (if you use regular dates, you'll need 16-20 since they are much smaller)
- 8 slices of bacon, cooked
- 2 tablespoons quinoa flakes (or panko bread crumbs or cheese)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice jalapeños lengthwise and seed them.
- Arrange jalapeño halves onto a baking sheet.
- Combine dates and bacon in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground together.
- Spoon filling into each of the jalapeño halves.
- Sprinkle quinoa flakes (or panko, or cheese) over each popper.
- Bake for 15 minutes.