It is Valentine’s Day, and I am so glad it is almost over. Don’t get me wrong, you know that I am a romantic at heart, but let’s look at this time of year and everything that has happened since Christmas. After Christmas, there was New Year’s Eve. Many of our friends and family throw after the holiday parties, since there was no time for another party during the holidays. Then there was the Super Bowl, now Valentine’s Day and let’s not forget the various birthdays and anniversaries that have already happened. What do all of these events have in common? Food! If you are invited, you usually bring something to share. If you are throwing the party, you provide numerous snacks and treats. I am not complaining. I love food. But, I do get tired of the same old chips, dips, cookies and cupcakes. This year I searched and experimented to find some appetizers that are a little different from the norm, just to spice things up a bit and add something new to the mix.
In our family, most of us love bacon. My oldest son is notorious for loving bacon. Whenever you see a recipe on Facebook that features bacon, he will probably be tagged so he can see it because everyone knows he loves it. That is why when I received Jan D’Atri’s email telling me about Candied Bacon, I was intrigued. (If you recall, I shared Jan’s recipe for Stinky Pretzels a couple of months ago.) Jan’s Candied Bacon Recipe was made with beer. If you are okay with using beer in your cooking, her original recipe can be found here. There is also a recipe for Bacon Crack that looks delicious as well. We don’t use beer, so I decided to try the Candied Bacon with ginger ale. It is still an experiment in progress, but so far it has been a tasty, tasty experiment. Then, I started looking through the Panna site for some good appetizers and guess what I found? A recipe for Candied Bacon! They served it with Tomato Soup. You can go here to see the preview of the recipe and to subscribe. In the meantime, here is my experimental version of Ginger Ale Candied Bacon.
During the holidays, Adrian and Alicia were here with my adorable grandson, Adriancito. We have mentioned before that Adrian is from Ecuador, and he often cooks a traditional Ecuadorian meal for us when he is here. We shared Bolones and Cheese Bread (Pan de Yuca) in January. Bolones are made with plantains. When they returned home, they left a number of plantains behind. Luckily, they keep pretty well for some time. They look like bananas, but plantains must be cooked in order to eat them or they won’t be very enjoyable. Not wanting anything to go to waste, I began scouring the internet for some recipes to use them in. I found a simple and delicious one. Brown Sugar Fried Plantains are so easy to make and they taste so good. The yellow, sweet plantains are the ones I used. I simply cut them in thick, circular slices. I dredged them in brown sugar and fried them in coconut oil, browning them on both sides. The brown sugar caramelizes and the plantains become soft and everyone gobbles them up!
One day, I was checking out a link-up party and I came across this adorable recipe on Living on Cloud Nine for MIni Chicken and Waffles! I fell in love with this idea and had to make my own version for our own Valentines/My sons birthday meal. I want to try Andrea's homebaked chicken version at some point, but because I didn't have time this day, I just used chicken nuggets and Eggos. We served them with maple syrup on the side.
The final things that you can see in the background on the table are Pigs in a Blanket. Not really something new, but I made them small by cutting the Nathan's Hot Dogs in half and wrapping them with canned biscuits and then baking them. Then we served them with dipping sauces and condiments. They were surprisingly filling. Some of the other things you can see on our table are watermelon hearts and Blackberry Lemon Bars that I showed you last week.
Well, even though Valentine's Day will soon be behind us, it won't be long until the next event comes our way! We are already thinking about St. Patrick's Day, lots of birthdays and Easter to mention a few. Don't get in a rut with your food! Do something a little different! Try a new recipe, make one up and add a little spice to your life.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!