Bacon Wrapped Pretzels

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This is one of the appetizers that my daughter made for her birthday party.  She first had them at a museum conference, came home, and found the recipe.

While we were putting these together, we came up with an easier way to make them so the recipe here will reflect that.

The bacon will stick to the pretzel although you have to carefully put them on the rack in your baking sheet.  If it starts to come off, just stick it back on.  It’ll bake up fine.  I did find that if I dipped both sides of the bacon in the sugar/chili powder mixture, it seemed to stick a little better.

Since we followed the recipe for this batch, you will probably need at least 1 1/2 packages of bacon if you plan on making a whole package of pretzel rods.  If you use smaller pretzel twist rods, you won’t need as much and can probably cut the bacon in half.

Bacon Wrapped Pretzels

Bacon Wrapped Pretzels

1 lb bacon ~ you may need up to 2 pkgs depending on what size pretzels you use.
1 pkg. pretzel rods
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 350º.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack in the baking sheet and spray with Pam.

In a flat dish, mix the brown sugar and chili powder.

Take one slice of bacon and dip it into the sugar mixture. Wind it around a pretzel rod. Place the pretzel carefully onto the prepared rack.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.

Carefully remove from the racks and let cool. We each tried them warm and they are just as good warm!

This recipe is part of Pasta Bar Birthday Party.

Source:  Food.com

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Pasta Bar Birthday Party!

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This past Saturday, we had a pasta bar birthday party for my daughter’s 30th birthday.  It was a fairly easy, inexpensive way to feed lots of people and, best of all, it was delicious!

I have some new recipes to post from the party which I will be doing this week and in this post I’ll tell you how we put it together.

My daughter lives about an hour and a half away.  She bought the perishables and I bought and packed up to her house the produce and a bunch of odds and ends.  I bought buffet pans to keep everything warm after cooking and we used crockpots.  Some things didn’t need to stay warm as well.

For starters we had tortellini with pesto, mushroom, onion, fontina bruschetta, spectacular bruschetta, and bacon wrapped pretzels.

We made 3 types of pasta but found it was too hard to eat spaghetti on your lap so almost all of that was leftover.  The farfalle and penne were gone.  We made sauce with meatballs and plain sauce and alfredo sauce.  Mr. Meat Eater grilled up chicken and sausage which we sliced so each could be added to the plain sauce or the alfredo.  I also sauteed up a big pan of mushrooms.

We had Greek salad and Caesar salad and Tuscan asparagus on the side.  I can’t forget the garlic bread either!

Pasta Bar 1

The starter bar ~ (left to right) tortellini with pesto, mushroom, onion, fontina bruschetta,  spectacular bruschetta, bacon wrapped pretzels.

Party 1

The Alfredo sauce is in the crockpot.  I’m not sure what the glass baking dish has in it ~ one of my daughter’s friends brought it ~ but it was delicious!

Pasta Bar 3

Chicken, sausage (hot and mild), and sauteed mushrooms.

Pasta Bar 4

Greek salad (left), my Mom’s meatballs with sauce (crockpot), Caesar salad.  The asparagus is behind the Greek salad.

Happy Birthday!

This was a fun party to do and I would do it again.  Recipes will be coming this week!

Happy Cooking!

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French Bread Pizza

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This is not really a recipe as such but really just a method on how we make our French bread pizzas.  This is an easy meal to make for lunch or dinner and you can make them with any toppings that you want.

Mr. Meat Eater is pretty traditional in his pizza toppings and I just found out a week or two ago that he doesn’t like green peppers on his pizza.  We have been eating pizza with green peppers on them for 35 years *face palm*!

I know they are called French bread pizzas but I usually use Italian bread.  If I can’t find the Italian bread I want, I use French bread sticks (just smaller loaves).

I have, in the past, frozen these.  Put the completely made but unbaked pizzas on a baking sheet and put in the freezer until frozen.  Then take each pizza, wrap in plastic wrap and carefully put in a large ziplock bag and return to freezer.  Bake at 375º for about 30 minutes or until completely baked and hot.  Note that this baking temperature is different than the one below..

French Bread Pizza

French Bread Pizza

1 loaf of French or Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise
Super Easy Pizza Sauce or jarred sauce
Shredded cheese ~ I use pizza cheese but use your favorites, shredded
Toppings ~ use your favorites

Preheat oven to 400º.

Place bread halves on a baking sheet.

With the bread face up, spoon on some pizza sauce. Don’t use too much or it will be too saucy.

I always put the cheese on next so that the toppings will “stick” as the cheese melts. Save a sprinkle of cheese or two for the very top.

Add your toppings. I usually use pepperoni and mushrooms. The mushrooms I use are canned because I can drain them really well and I don’t have to take the time to saute them.

Sprinkle a bit of leftover cheese over the top.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and toppings are heated up.

I cut mine in pieces and serve.

Makes 2-3 servings depending on the size of your bread.  You can make as many pizzas as you need.

Happy Cooking!

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Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

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Oh my gosh!  These are the best potatoes I have had in a long time.  When Mr. Meat Eater tells me he loves the potatoes, you know they are good!  I have made these several times since I found the recipe and they are on my list to be made again.  Please, try them!

I found them on a site called Favorite Family Recipes which I just love.  Check it out!

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

6 small potatoes, cut in half ~ I used a 1 1/2 lb bag of very small red potatoes
1/4 cup butter
grated Parmesan cheese
garlic powder to taste
your favorite seasonings, optional ~ I used Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400º.

Melt the butter and pour into a 9×13 baking pan. I found that a metal pan works better than a glass pan ~ the potatoes get more color. Shake as much Parmesan cheese over the butter in the pan as you like ~ I use quite a bit. Then sprinkle the garlic powder over the cheese and then any other seasonings you might be using.

Place the potatoes cut side down over the top of the butter/cheese/seasonings. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.  Using time potatoes, watch the time and check the potatoes since they won’t take the whole time to bake.   Don’t let them burn.

Cool for a full 5 minutes before removing from pan or the crust won’t stick to the potatoes.

Serve. Favorite Family Recipes recommends serving with sour cream for dipping.

Makes 4 -5 servings.

Source: Favorite Family Recipes

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Parmesan Chicken Bake

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We like Parmesan chicken and this version is very easy and delicious.  I don’t see why you couldn’t make more of the chicken  if  you needed to using several pans and increasing the ingredient amounts accordingly.

Parmesan Chicken Bake

Parmesan Chicken Bake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350º.

Melt the butter in a bowl and set aside. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and pepper on a plate.

Dip chicken into butter, then into crumbs making sure to cover the chicken with the crumbs.

Put the chicken into a 9×13 baking dish and pour any leftover butter over the top.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no pink remains.

Makes 4 servings.

Source:  Adapted from Minnesota Heritage Cookbook

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Lazy Lasagna

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am a lazy cook.  When I saw a recipe called Lazy Lasagna, I HAD to make it.  It’s easy and really very good.  And great for those of us who are lazy cooks.

I didn’t use a package of egg noodles but a package of homestyle ribbons which you can see HERE.  I think mine were from a different company but they are basically the same.  They seemed more lasagna-like to me and they worked perfectly.  That was the only change I made.

For a meat-free dish, Mr. Meat Eater loved it.  I don’t see why you couldn’t add meat if you really wanted it.

Lazy Lasagna

Lazy Lasagna

8 ozs noodles ~ egg or ribbons
1 cup ricotta
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, homemade or store-bought

Preheat oven to 375º.

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

In a large bowl, mix noodles, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan together.

In a 2 quart oblong baking dish, spoon enough spaghetti sauce to cover bottom; then a layer of noodles/cheese mixture. Repeat layers, ending with another layer of sauce.

Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Lazy Lasagna 2

Source:  Cooking with Class

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Dill Potatoes

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This is a very simple recipe for delicious potatoes.  I love potatoes in all kinds of ways and this recipe will go with just about any main dish.

I used red baby potatoes but you can use whatever baby potatoes you like.

Dill Potatoes

Dill Potatoes

2 lbs baby potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tbsps chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large pot, place potatoes and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Drain the potatoes and return to the same pot. In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over the potatoes. Toss to coat and put into a serving dish.

Makes 6 servings.

Dill Potatoes 2

Source:  Taste of Home

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Honey and Soy Glazed Carrots

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Wow!  My allergies have been going crazy lately.  If you don’t see me for awhile, I am down for the count.  A few of my fruit trees are blooming and while they are pretty, they are driving me crazy!

I love carrots.  I think because they are on the sweet side.  This recipe just enhances the sweetness of the carrots.  It’s very easy ~ cutting the carrots into matchsticks was the most “difficult” part.

Carrots

Honey and Soy glazed Carrots

2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tbsps butter
2 tbsps soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsps honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the carrots in boiling water until tender ~ about 8 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter. When melted, stir in the carrots and soy sauce and saute over high heat until the carrots are getting brown in spots ~ about 2 minutes.

Lower heat to medium and stir in honey and stir until all the carrots are glazed ~ about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Carrots 2

Source:  Hearts of Palm

Happy Cooking!

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