January 27, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots

This appetizer is one that I brought to a New Years party that I attended.  They were a huge hit and lots of people asked me for the recipe.  So, here is is.  Very simple to put together.  The ingredients aren't hard to find and if you've got yourself a little time for assembly they aren't complicated.

I've made them several times since that night and I've discovered that cooking them on a rack vs directly on a pan really helps with two things.  First: you don't get the pooling of melted brown sugar and bacon fat around each tater tot, which in turn makes them difficult to get off the tin foil.  Second: They crisp up better and aren't as gooey.

The combination of sweet and salty, combined with a yummy tater tot is delicious. Prepare yourself for a lot of people asking how they're made.

Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots
Recipe from Damn Delicious

  • 2 cups tater tots, at room temperature
  • 4 slices (or more) thin sliced bacon, cut into quarters
  • 1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º
  2. Line a jelly roll pan with tin foil and place cooling racks on top the tin foil.
  3. Take a tater tot, place a piece of cheese on top, wrap in bacon, roll in brown sugar and place on the prepared pan.
  4. Continue until all are wrapped.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The bacon should have started to get crisp around the edges and be golden in color.
  6. Let cool a little before removing from the pan.
  7. Serve hot or at room temperature.

January 19, 2016

Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters

This is really a ridiculously easy candy to make.  If you have a slow cooker you can easily make this. You just dump all the ingredients into a large (6 quart) slow cooker and then scoop the mix into clumps on wax paper.  Easy peasy. 

OK, here's the thing.  You do want salted peanuts.  I got lightly salted and it was still good but I think regular salted would have been even better. Also, stir every so often during the process just to get the white chocolate good and mixed in with the other chocolates. Finally, you can add whatever your head desires at the end.  I think raisins might be good.  I added some mini marshmallows at the end and they were really good. You might want to do it in increments, otherwise the marshmallows will just melt.  

Great recipe!  Glad I tried it, I think I'll half the recipe next time because it makes A LOT of candy.  I brought it all to a New Years Eve party and I still ended up sending some home with people. 

Easy Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters
Recipe from Country Outfitter

  • 1 (32 oz) package almond bark white
  • 1 (32 oz) package almond bark chocolate
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 48 oz dry roasted salted peanuts
Cooking Directions
  1. Pour all of the ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 3 hours.
  3. Lay wax paper on a work surface and spray with non-stick spray.
  4. Scoop the candy onto the wax paper and leave until set.

January 14, 2016

Indian Pudding

While I was researching this recipe I was pretty shocked to find out that this is a New England dessert and nobody else will probably have any idea what you're talking about if you mention it.  Weird huh? I'm not from New England and yet I've heard of it.  I've never tried it but I know of the name.  My husband is from New England and he's never tried it either. Fascinating isn't it? Okay maybe just to me. 

Here's the history as I've come to find out. This dessert has always been a staple at Thanksgiving through much of the 20th century in New England. Historians have traced it back to as early as the 17th century. It probably defended from England's hasty pudding. This pudding uses cornmeal which was more abundant to the early settlers than wheat was. Molasses was also readily available and inexpensive during that time due to the production of rum during the 17 and 18th centuries. This pudding is also baked for a long time at a relatively low temperature which would have been conducive to the hearth that was in every home in New England to heat the house. 

The taste is very "fall like".  By that, I mean the molasses and cinnamon and ginger are prevalent flavors.  The texture is custard like. It's extremely moist, with small little grains from the corn meal.  It's very tender and ice cream is perfect when served with it.  My husband really enjoyed it, he's the custard lover in the family.  I wouldn't describe this as "creamy" but it's not chunky or anything either.  Have you ever soaked cornbread in milk? Its sort of like that....I thought that flavors were wonderful and I can see why it's a holiday favorite. 

Indian Pudding
Recipe from Cape Cod Cookbook

  • 5 Tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 quart (4 cups) milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten separately
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the cornmeal and milk and whisk together so there are no lumps.
  2. Heat over medium heat until the mixture has scalded (look for tiny bubbles along the edge of the pan).
  3. Add the butter, molasses and seasonings and whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour a tiny bit of the liquid in with the beaten eggs and whisk, add more of the liquid and whisk some more. After the eggs have heated you can pour them into the liquid mixture in the saucepan. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a well greased casserole pan.
  6. Add the evaporated milk to the top but do not mix together.
  7. Bake at 350º for 1 hour.

January 6, 2016

No-Bake Energy Bites

I've tried a lot of these no-bake energy things and this one is my favorite so far. The others I've tried have all had banana in them and there's just something about it that isn't appealing to me.  Weird since I do like banana's.  Anyway, peanut butter is the way to go with these in my opinion.

The flavor is not too strong in any one area but they all blend perfectly together. I happen to love the chocolate chips in there.  I love how they change the texture a bit since they are cold.  The peanut butter flavor is right on and the oats make it chewy.  Great combination.

They are super easy to throw together (after you toast the coconut).  You'll be more energized after your workouts or even just a healthy snack. It is January after all so we're all trying to be a bit healthier and these will help.  Plus, they are surprisingly filling.

I'm glad I tried this recipe and for now, it's my favorite energy snack.

No-Bake Energy Bites
Recipe from bakingwithblondie

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/3 cups toasted coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Cooking Directions
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add all of the ingredients and mix well on the low speed.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes.
  3. Roll into 1 inch balls and keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator.