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Top holiday hosting hacks and easy candied bacon |

Top holiday hosting hacks and easy candied bacon

2. Diversify: From the guests on the invite list to the type of foods and flavors you plan to share at your gathering, mixing it up a bit is always welcome and brings new life to any party! Try a snack-style appetizer spread versus the standard seated dinner to promote movement and conversation. Adding foods with inspired and ethnic flavors will make the eating experience fun and interesting! Keep the basic five elements in each dish you prepare for balance: savoriness, sweetness, saltiness, acidity and texture.

3. Invest: Invest in quality “summer china,” or acrylic plates and flatware. This makes party clean up a breeze and you can spend more time enjoying the season, instead of doing dishes or inadvertently guilting party guests into helping you do the dishes. Don’t forget to add a garbage can when you introduce disposable dinnerware. Also, snag some extra disinfectant wipes and spray. How many times have you had a successful party, cleaned up and sat down to relax only to have an attendee at the party call you and tell you her kid has the stomach bug that’s going around?


4. Shoe Problem Fix: Do you have guests who never take off their shoes, leaving a mess of tracked in snow and mud, or worse: hardwood floor scratches? Snag some of the plastic booties off the farm (the stretchy ones that are short) and set them in a basket by your front door along with other festive shoes lined up prompting people to remove theirs when they come to your party.

5. Stencil your goodies: Drop a stencil on a freshly frosted cake and cover with glitter sprinkles for a simple, beautiful cake design. Display the handy work of your children by placing handmade snowflakes on top of a pan of brownies and dust with powdered sugar.

6. Use unflavored dental floss: Cut through cookie dough, cinnamon rolls and other pinwheel appetizers without smashing them by using unflavored dental floss as a slicing device. Simply place floss underneath the item, pull ends up and criss cross above, and pull through to slice.

7. Enjoy: Don’t be a merry martyr. Try to sit back and enjoy as much as possible, you deserve it!

And make candied bacon!

Spicy Apple Bourbon Candied Bacon

Ingredients:

1 pound thick cut smoked bacon

⅓ cup packed brown sugar

⅛-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ cup apple butter

2 tablespoons quality bourbon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place bacon strips onto a wire rack-topped baking sheet. Bake strips in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine brown sugar, apple butter, cayenne pepper and bourbon in a small bowl. Stir to combine. When the timer for bacon sounds, remove bacon from the oven. Spread sugar mixture onto each strip evenly. Return to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes until bacon is cooked, and sugar mixture is caramelized. (Watch closely.) Remove from oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve warm. Makes 1 pound or 10-16 slices.  *Cooking times will vary based upon the thickness of bacon used.

*Make ahead: serve at room temperature or slightly re-warmed.

Other variations are:

Whiskey Peach Candied Bacon: Substitute whiskey for bourbon, peach jam for apple butter and all other ingredients stay the same.

Spicy Pear Brandy Candied Bacon: Substitute pear jam for apple butter, brandy for bourbon. Omit cayenne.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off
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