Sweet Bacon Crackers

Sweet Bacon Crackers are an idea that have been running around the internet for quite some time.  Lord knows, I have looked at a few of them, so it is hard telling which onse was the first one I saw.  It is also hard to tell if there was any one recipe that I have used so I apologize to any other blogger out there who believes this recipe may belong to them.

This can be made any type of cracker that you would like.  I prefer the buttery small rectangles, only because I like the shape that this cracker becomes.  All of the cracker types will shrink somewhat in the general area the bacon is wrapped.

The key to keeping your crackers together is to keep the heat high in the oven.  If you cook these too slow, there is more time for the grease to absorb into the crackers and they will be soggy in the middle.  But if you like your pork fat, this might be the way you want to cook them.

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Spicy Pretzels with a Kick

This recipe is a close relative of spiced crackers.  The only real difference here is the choice of spice add in used.  I prefer to keep the cayenne pepper out of my spiced crackers, but it pairs well with pretzels, at least in my mind.

Spicy Pretzels with a Kick pairs well with beer because of the kick.  I like to serve these when we are having a few folks over to watch football games.

These pretzels also serve well as hostess gifts just like Peppermint Crunch and Spiced Crackers do.

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Bacon Wrapped Baby Potato Bites with Sriracha Sour Cream

Bacon Wrapped Baby Potato Bites with Sriracha Sour Cream are the perfect snack for football, holiday gatherings, or just hanging out at home having a lazy weekend watching TV.

I like to use baby yellow potatoes for this recipe, but any small potato will work.  I have even made these with regular sized potatoes, they just need to be cut into wedges.

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Sweet and Spicy Fried Pickles

If you’ve visited a restaurant while visiting the deep south, I’m sure you’ve seen fried pickles on the menu. Fried pickles are a southern favorite and a pretty easy to make. Most folks who’ve never had a fried pickles tend to think the combination of frying a pickles as a little weird. However, I can promise you that once you try a fried pickle, you’ll order them every time you see them on the menu.

I’m kind of a fried pickle snob. Fried pickles, while delicious, can be easily ruined by one ingredient. Salt… a fried pickle that is too salty is sometimes just too difficult to eat, no matter how much ranch you cover it in. Finding the right pickle is pretty critical to the final product, so you’ll have to do a little bit of experimentation with the pickles available at your grocery store.

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Even though you might experiment with pickle varieties, we have settled on our absolute favorite pickle. Pickles from Wickles are sweet, spicy, and just a little bit salty. Wickles are thicker than your average sliced pickle, so the pickle-to-crust ratio is great. However, some folks in the south prefer their pickles razor thin to maximize the amount of crust. I think this is just an excuse to eat more fried crust with ranch dressing. With Wickles, you can actually enjoy the great flavor of the pick itself. I find myself eating the pickles for a snack sometimes.

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Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

I love bacon wrapped snacks and appetizers.  I have been making this bacon wrapped water chestnut for over 25 years.

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts are perfect for tailgating, game day parties, New Year’s parties, and just about any gathering of people.

I have been known to serve these at Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and even Christmas day while the holiday meal is cooking.

I am sure this came off of the back of a product, but it’s been a minute since I last saw it anywhere near a product package.  It could have been chestnuts, or soy sauce, or even Worcestershire sauce.

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Beef Salad

Beef Salad is perfect for elegant cocktail parties and casual get-togethers.  It’s all in the presentation with this one.

It is easy enough that even beginners should be able to pull off beef salad so long as they own a food processor or blender.  I might be possible to mince the meat with a knife, but I have never done it.  I am too lazy for all of that, and patience is NOT by strong suit.

This recipe can be scaled down to use leftover roast beef.  I used to make it this way until I discovered that so many people liked it that I actually needed to make a full roast just for beef salad.  This is another one of those dishes that I carry to others’ parties as an appetizer.

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Flat Burger Sliders

Flat Burger Sliders were created because, as you can only guess, there is no restaurant around here that serves decent thin patty burgers on slider buns.  In addition, there is no White Castle or Krystal Burger within easy driving distance of Tulsa.

I have seen the several hundred, maybe even thousands, of White Castle copycat recipes on the interwebs.  Yes, I have tried a few.  No they did not make me happy.

This recipe is not supposed to be a copycat of either of those restaurants.  I don’t believe you can accurately copy those recipes without their preformed patties, who knows what unhealthy additives, nor their large griddles.  I think there might even be some magic in the little boxes they stuff the baby burgers into.

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Fried Butterfly Shrimp

Fried Butterfly Shrimp are not difficult to make at home.  I usually start with frozen shrimp I have thawed.  The only drawback to making them is that they are time consuming to make.  And they are only time consuming because shrimp are small.  Even large shrimp requires you to repeat these steps at least 6 times per person if you are serving this for dinner.  Since I tend to buy them frozen, it allows me to buy larger shrimp when I find them on sale.

You could probably get away with 2 or 3 smaller shrimps as an appetizer, but if you are going to go to all the trouble, do you really want to mess up the kitchen for a few shrimp?  Go ahead and coat all of the shrimp and freeze them before cooking.

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Simple Guacamole

Guacamole is one of those things that is so simple to make you feel like most people already know how to make it.  But I am including it because there was a time that I did not know how to make it and had to ask Ron.  There are many beginner cooks out there who are trying to learn how to cook and many of my recipes are posted with them in mind.

I have never been a fan of avocados on my sandwiches or in my salads, so I assumed I would not like guacamole.  We know what people say about assuming right?

I had a friend who convinced me to try some at one of the gazillion Mexican restaurants in these parts.  It was actually pretty tasty.  So, anyone who knows me, knows I had to figure out to make it myself.  Besides, it is kind of pricey to get extra when eating out.

The first time I made guacamole at home it was a decent attempt.  But I suppose anything can be made to taste decent with enough lime juice and salt.  I mean come on, even tequila can be made to taste good with lime and salt right?  But it was missing that creamy texture.   Perhaps my avocados were not ripe enough, but they smashed up just fine.

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Simple Pico de Gallo

You may notice when you look at my recipes that I use minimal or no cilantro in dishes where it is customary.  This simple Pico de Gallo is no different.  If you like cilantro, feel free to add it anywhere and everywhere, just please do not put it into foods you want me to eat.  I can do small amounts of it when I go to Chipotle’s or certain Mexican restaurants, but if there is too much of it in anything I just have to leave it on my plate.

I am one of the few people in this word apparently that thinks cilantro smells like dirty gym socks.

Since I do like Mexican food though, I just make my recipes without an overload of cilantro.  I also use minimal amounts of jalapeno peppers, but just like cilantro, feel free to add more if you prefer more heat.    I serve this Pico de Gallo alongside my Midwest quesadillas because I love all things tomatoes and I think they go well together.  I also think it goes great with chips, it’s more than an acceptable substitute for store bought salsa only I get to decide how much cilantro goes in mine – none.

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