Monday 10 December 2012

Caramelized Bacon Hors D'oeuvres! Cheese and fruit plate!

Our "Ugly Holiday Sweater Party was a huge success on Saturday! Everyone seemed to have a favorite part of the food served, but without question, everyone raved about the "Caramelized Bacon"! This is an amazing and outrageous hors d'oeuvre and from what I saw at my party, the most addictive! The bacon is sweet and spicy and perfect with cocktails!
This is one of those posts where I really wish I could give you all one of those little sample tastes in a thimble cup you get at a grocery store or Costco!

It is easy with very little prep time, so pop this one in your party line up!

Caramelized Bacon

adapted from Ina Garten

Makes 30-40 Hors D'oeuvres

This is an amazing and outrageous hors d'oeuvre and from what I saw at my "Ugly Holiday Sweater" party, the most addictive! The bacon is sweet and spicy and perfect with cocktails!

1 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 c. chopped pecans
1 T.+ 1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
4 T. pure maple syrup
1 lb thick- sliced applewood smoked bacon

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed pan with aluminum foil or use a Silpat.(this makes clean up much easier) If you have a wire rack that fits the pan put on top. If not it's fine to just put the bacon on the rimed pan.

Combine the brown sugar and pecans in the food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and pulse to combine. Add the maple syrup and pulse again to moisten the crumbs.

Cut the bacon strips in half crosswise and line up the pieces on the rack or pan without touching. With a small spoon, evenly spread the pecan mixture on top of each piece of bacon, using all of the mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, really watch it at 25 minutes, until the topping is very browned but not burnt. If it is underbaked, the bacon won't crisp as it cools.

I served in these fun wire vessels with a red and white paper liner, I found at Sur la Table. they are nice as they take up very little room and clean up is simply throwing away the paper!

While it is hot transfer to a plate or rack lined with paper towels and set aside to cool. Serve at room temperature.

~ i think if you diced these strips up they also would make a nice Mac and cheese topper or for that matter any cheesy casserolet! 

Even if you are asked to bring a cheese and fruit plate to an event, it doesn't have to be.....b o r i n g. I was surprised my son and daughter-in-law at Thanksgiving, when I, was asked to bring a cheese and fruit plate. ME! What a treat, to sit back and enjoy the festivities around me! My children have embraced event planning and are amazing it! I used a cut log round to stage my cheese, found a wood box with some French written on it for my fruit and nuts, along with a natural wood platter. I found a mossy fake mushroom and a fake acorn to stage with it for a Northwest look.

 All my draft food was finished plus I made some wonderful coffee cake muffins, that I gave as a parting gift, for our guests to enjoy in the morning with coffee or tea. This was taken morning of the party, you can see the items that were finished with the check mark.

Count Down!

 Wee Bear setting up the bar for our bartender early in the day. Wee Bears tasks are complete set up of bar items, buying, staging etc. Also, music, lighting and fire features.............oh and clean up!


Dessert Buffet set up came shortly after dinner. Dark Chocolate dipped Coconut macaroons, Pecan Pie bars with a salted caramel drizzle and White chocolate Mousse shooters with Pomegranate sauce and a Pomegranate seed garnish.
Let the party  begin!

Our guests started to arrive at 6. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I will cut to the chase!


Our guests all voted for one female and one male ugly holiday sweater!

And the winner's are- 

I gave each of the winners a bottle of wine dressed in a ugly sweater. The sweater wine covers are available at Sur la Table.

We hired a bartender so that our time was mostly with our guests. You can do the same for your holiday party, or ask a friend if you can exchange services. You bartend their party and your friend bartend's yours.

Right around this time during the holidays, I start thinking about the gifts for those friends and acquaintances who have been particularly nice to me or my family during the year. Just like social invitations, kindnesses and favors should be acknowledged or reciprocated in one way or another and what better time to do it than Christmastime. Whether you send a gift or a personal handwritten card, the idea is to say thank you to a  very special person in a very special way. Amy and I will be giving you some family favorite cookie recipes this week, that will include those I served at our party. These are lovely stacked in a beautiful holiday tin or basket with some pretty ribbon. So, if you are looking for something special to give to a friend or to the person who has everything, homemade cookies may be your best bet.

Unfinished crafts and sewing projects are stacked in my sewing room and ready to be addressed in my hobby area, today, I am on it, like a PUMA!! Now that the party week has come to an end, I am sitting in my sewing room, with projects piled over my head!! I am a planner, but, what I like to do is, if I am flying along on a project and getting toward the end, I like to add a few more! I know, why not just be happy and DONE! NOPE not me! Besides, what fun it it to plan and finish, I would rather challenge myself to do more....and more and..........more! I like to go out buy all sorts of supplies and then get into the project making frenzy in December! Unfortunately a lot of times, those projects don't get done and lie floundering and half made until some other event comes around and I can get motivated to again. Not this year! I am definitely finishing my projects in time to ship up to "Rain Country" and give to my loved ones! Really..........


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