Bacon wrapped smokies

Hello all! Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I sure did. Being around my family warms my heart an lifts my spirits……. Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we now have Christmas on the horizon. More gatherings and parties coming up.

I wanted to share this recipe for Bacon wrapped smokies. It is the perfect recipe for an appetizer or as an addition to a brunch. I received this recipe from a family friend a few years ago and have made it many, many times since. This recipe is so simple with only 3 ingredients, you can whip it up in a flash. The brown sugar carmelizes on the bacon and sausage and the combination creates a wonderful sweet and salty taste. Everyone loves these bacon wrapped goodies and they are normally the first to disappear off of the buffet table.

This recipe is great for anyone. My Aunt who does not like to cook or to follow recipes called me and told me her neighborhood was getting together for a potluck and did I have any ideas for what she could bring. Knowing my Aunt I knew this would be the perfect recipe for her. She made them with no problem and everyone loved them….

The ingredients are:

  • 1 lb. of bacon
  • large package of smokies
  • Brown sugar (about 1 cup)
  • Toothpicks
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut your slab of bacon into thirds.
  3. Place a smoky on the piece of bacon and wrap. Secure with the toothpick.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with brown sugar.
  5. Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes. The bacon should be golden brown.

I’m sorry if this recipe is vague. This is how it was explained to us and it has turned out great every time. You can adjust as needed. If we are having a large group we double this recipe. Enjoy!

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Roasted Turkey Breast with Peach Rosemary Glaze

I had some family over the other night for a mini thanksgiving dinner. We aren’t going to be able to see each other on Thanksgiving so we decided to get together a little early and have a nice meal together. I didn’t want to make a whole turkey so I decided to try this recipe from the Food Net. for Roasted Turkey Breast with Peach Rosemary Glaze. I’m not going to lie I was a little nervous. Turkey is so touchy, and you definitely don’t want to be the one who made the Turkey leather for dinner…… I’m happy to say that my turkey breast turned out perfect! It was moist and the flavor was perfect! Everyone loved it! Brining the breast made the flavor great and it wasn’t just the outer seasoned bites that were good, every bite had great flavor. It was moist and the peach chutney like glaze was delicious. Even my Aunt who was questioning the peach and onion combo was very pleased. I think that if you have a small group for Thanksgiving this would be the perfect Turkey recipe for you. For us it served 5 adults and 5 kids and we still had leftovers!

The ingredients are:

  • 2 Cups apple cider, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup salt, plus more for turkey
  • 3 to 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs rosemary plus 1 teaspoon chopped
  • 1 (3 3/4-pound) boneless turkey breast with skin (I used a skinless turkey breast that I got from Costco)
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for turkey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag frozen peeled and sliced peaches, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups apple cider, salt, thyme and rosemary. Add turkey breast and enough water to cover the bird. Cover and let brine in the refrigerator 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  3. In a small saucepan, saute onions in oil until softened. Add peaches, honey, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons apple cider. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook until peaches break down and glaze thickens, about 12 minutes.
  4. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush with oil and season with pepper. Place turkey in a roasting pan. Cook 15 minutes until skin begins to turn golden.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and brush the top generously with the glaze. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Let the turkey rest at least 10 minutes. Its temperature will continue to rise.

Pumpkin Bars

We had a get together Friday night with some family and friends and as always we had lots of yummy food to eat. I’m going to share a couple of the recipes that we had that night with you. First off, the Pumpkin Bars. This was a favorite of the night. These bars are the moistest cake like bars I have ever had. The perfect pumpkin taste with a thin layer of yummy cream cheese frosting. This is the perfect dessert to make if you have to serve a lot of people, as it makes a large sheet cake. The ingredients are:

  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 t. Baking powder
  • 1 t. Baking soda
  • 2 t. Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup oil
  • 1 Can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 2 Eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 stick Butter (softened)
  • 1 T. Milk
  • 1 t. Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 18×12″ sheet cake pan.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients.
  4. Add the oil, pumpkin, and eggs and mix until all combined.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

For frosting

  1. Mix cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add milk and vanilla and mix,
  3. Then add powdered sugar and combine until smooth.

(Note: If you don’t have an 18×12″ sheet pan you can use a 15×10″ pan and then increase baking time to 20 minutes. It will turn out more like a sheet cake than bars but it will still be delicious.)

Daily Household Challenge Monday 11-21-11

Well it’s Monday, we had another busy but wonderful weekend! I know it’s just going to get busier and busier, but I don’t mind, I love this time of year. So lets start our Monday off with a little cleaning. I had two get togethers at my house this last weekend and my house is definitely showing the effects of that.

The challenges for today are:

  • Clean up the Kitchen, dishes and all.
  • Strip all of the beds and put on clean sheets and bedding.
  • Do a load of laundry.

Have a great day, you can do it!

Daily household challenges Thursday 11-17-11

Hello all! One more week until Thanksgiving. Am I ready yet, noooooo!!! I’m doing pretty good at staying on track though. I don’t have a lot of time for the house today. I help in my son’s class during the day and tonight we have soccer. So getting anything done is going to take some clever planning. I’m up for the challenge, so let’s get started!

Todays challenges are:

  • It’s time to clean the floors. Sweep, mop, and vacuum!
  • 20 minute clean-up. Set a timer for 20 minutes, clean until the timer goes off.
  • A load of laundry.

Have a great day, you can do it!

Apple-Raisin Bars

The women in my family love to cook. It is a passion and a bond that we share. We all try to get together once a week for family cook night. On this night we all bring a new recipe to share. One that we’ve either created ourselves or tried from a cookbook or magazine. Sometimes the recipes are great (we call those keepers), sometimes they are just OK (good enough to eat for the night but probably wouldn’t make it again), and then sometimes they are just plain Yukky (bummer but when you are trying new recipes that happens).

This last week we got together and all in all the recipes were pretty good. My mom made a Beef and Broccoli dish (the recipe was from an Everyday Food magazine) that was good but not as good as the Beef and Broccoli recipe she already has (I’ll have to share that recipe another day). I made a Paula Deen recipe for shrimp and vegetable tempura that was not good at all. It was not light and crunchy like tempura should be. After some doctoring up it was edible but I definitely won’t be sharing that recipe either. The star of the night was the Apple-Raisin Bars that my Aunt made. She found the recipe in a Family Circle magazine. We all really enjoyed these bars! The apples and raisins with the spice of the cinnamon was perfect. This recipe was definitely a keeper, so I’ll share this one with you.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups diced Golden Delicious apple
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Liberally coat a 13×9″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, blend together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla for 3 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; mix for 2 minutes or until just incorporated. Stir in diced apples and raisins and spread into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

Enjoy!

Daily Household Challenge Wednesday 11-16-11

Good morning! It’s Wednesday and we are half way through the week. Hopefully everyone’s week is going well. We are going to get right down to business. Todays challenges are:

  • Kitchen Appliances, clean and shine them up. (The top of my stove is looking pretty bad!)
  • 10 Minute Tidy Up. Set a timer for 10 minutes and clean until the timer goes off, where ever needs it the most.
  • A load of laundry.

Have a great day, you can do it!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

My family loves Brussel Sprouts and this is our favorite way to prepare them. When you roast them at a high temperature in the oven they don’t get mushy, like I remember them as a child, YUUKKK! The rosemary and garlic in this recipe give them great flavor. If you are a fan of Brussel Sprouts like my family and I are then you will like this.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 lbs. Brussel Sprouts (washed and sliced in half)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 t. any dried chunky garlic seasoning
  • 1 t. dried rosemary seasoning blend (I use a rosemary seasoning that I got from Pampered Chef but any rosemary seasoning would probably work)
  • 1 t. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 t. Ground Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Put Brussel Sprouts on a large cookie sheet. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well to coat. (I use my hands and make sure all the sprouts are coated well)
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. The Sprouts should start to turn a little brown at the edges. (The brown ones are my faves, but be careful not to burn. Burnt Brussel Sprouts don’t taste good.)

Daily Household Challenge Tuesday 11-15-11

Hello all! There is only 9 more days till Thanksgiving. Hopefully everyone’s planning is going well. Having daily goals really helps me to stay on track and keep up with my house. So hopefully I won’t be scrambling at the last-minute to get everything in order.

Todays challenges are:

  • The 2 Bag Challenge. Get 2 grocery bags, walk around the house filling one bag with trash and the other bag with items that you don’t use or need anymore. You can give away those items or donate them.
  • Dishes, Dishes, Dishes. Wash all those dishes. Walk around make sure there’s no dirty dishes left around the house. (By your husbands favorite seat on the couch!)
  • Do a load of laundry.

Have a great day, you can do it!

Daily Household Challenge Monday 11-14-11

Wow what a wonderful 4 days with the kids! Our last 4 days have been jammed pack full of fun. We brought the kids to see the new movie Puss & Boots (pretty cute, probably won’t be a classic but still cute). We had a birthday party, 2 sleepovers, the Walk To Cure Diabetes, girl time at the mall, a visit to a science museum, and championship softball games. Whew!!!

It’s Monday now, time to refocus on whats been neglected. My house!!!

Todays challenges are:

  • 20 item pick up. Make your way through every room in your house and pick up 20 items in each room. If there’s not 20 items in a room just pick up what’s there and then move on to the next room. If there is more than 20 items don’t worry we’ll get back to that later.
  • 20 minute clean up. Go back to the room that still needed the most work. Set a timer for 20 minutes and clean untill the timer goes off.
  • Do a load of laundry.

Have a great Monday, you can do it!