Monday, February 4, 2013

the four Fs

At the heart of every Super Bowl Sunday, we have the four Fs: football (obviously), friends, fun, and way too much food! So when our new friends invited our family to watch the game at their house, I started thinking... What type of food should I make? Probably an appetizer that's fun and easy to share.

I had been wanting to try a new recipe I came across for jalapeno poppers. I have been on a real jalapeno "kick" since moving to Texas! We went to the commissary (grocery store) located on base to pick up the ingredients. Surprisingly, or not so much, there were no jalapeno peppers to be found. You see, that's what happens when you live on a very small Air Force base. The commissary doesn't always carry what you need, when you need it! {sidebar: We had friends invite us over for dinner last week. She was planning to grill chicken breasts. When she went to the commissary to buy chicken, she could not find any! The employee notified her that the store didn't receive any chicken breasts that week on their shipment and she would have to return the following week for chicken!} Anyway, no big deal, I will make something else for Super Bowl Sunday. How about homemade guacamole and chips? What? No avocados?... I think I am very spoiled when it comes to produce (both quality and availability). In California, we had a plethora of Farmers' Markets at our fingertips, in addition to all my favorite stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts. Fresh, flavorful produce is probably the thing I miss most about home so far... besides our friends and family, of course! We do have a Wal Mart that carries produce, as well, but that is a good 20-minute drive into town.

Jalapeno poppers are out. Homemade guacamole is out. It's time to break out the bacon. Yes, bacon! Who doesn't love bacon? And what Super Bowl Sunday would be complete without it? I present to you... bacon-wrapped pineapple! {classy, I know.}

{Before you start cooking, you'll want to soak the toothpicks in water for 10-15 minutes. This will prevent the toothpicks from burning.}

1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F. {our lovely oven burns everything when it's above 350°F, so I kept my oven at 350°F.}

2. Cut bacon strips in half.

3. Heat bacon strips on the stove or in the microwave. We don't currently own a microwave so I opted for the stove. I've found that semi-cooked bacon is easier to wrap than raw bacon, but if you're looking to save on time, you can skip this step. {don't worry, the meat will be thoroughly cooked in the oven later!}

4. Take each piece of bacon and lightly drag it through brown sugar. It's easiest to pour brown sugar into a bowl and dip the bacon into the bowl. The sugar will carmelize in the oven and taste wonderful!

5. Wrap each bacon strip around a chunk of pineapple and secure in place with a toothpick. Place on baking sheet.

6. Cook for 25 minutes or under bacon reaches desired crispiness. {I've also used the broiler in the past but did not with this oven for fear our entire home would burn down!}

7. Sit back, relax, and watch the little beauties bake...

8. When done in the oven, transfer the bacon-wrapped pineapple bites to a serving platter. Let cool (or you'll burn your mouth!) and ENJOY! {also, be fore-warned that the brown sugar may burn in the oven but that's okay!}

9. And lastly... did you have any helpers in the kitchen? Make sure to reward all helpers, both human and non-human!

The 49ers may have lost yesterday, but a good time was had by all! The best part of living on base is that your friends all live within walking-distance. We only had a 15-second walk home last night!

What was your favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday? The football, friends, fun, or food?


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