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Sorry for the phantom post last week, I accidentally hit the wrong button and posted this post early.  I’m just soooo excited about the holidays!!

As we’ve discussed in our previous posts, the holidays are full of parties and The Attic Birds love hosting. When it comes to hors d’oeuvres, there is only so much chips and queso (we live in Texas) and shrimp cocktail a girl can take. (I mean, we love queso…but still.)  So, for our holiday party, we thought we’d do something different — and no, I’m not talking about a Cosby sweater or White Elephant party, I’m talking BACON!!! Lainey and I are dreaming of a bacon-themed holiday party, because what goes better with Jingle Bells than bacon?!

We aren’t chefs, but we are good recipe followers, and we’ve planned a menu that features some of our favorite bacon-ized recipes. For the recipes found on Pinterest and the interwebs, we have provided the links.  Everything else is included in this post.

Appetizers:

  • Pinecone Dip: better than your standard cheese ball.

1 1/4 cups of whole almonds (natural, not smoked or salted)
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
5 crisply cooked bacon slices (or more), crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Spread almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan.  Bake at 300 for 15 minutes, stirring often.  The almonds should just begin to turn color (don’t burn!).

Combine the mayo and cream cheese and mix well.  Add the bacon, onion, dill, and pepper.  Stir it all together.

Cover, chill overnight (or for as long as you can).  Form the cheese mixture into shapes that resemble pinecones on your festive plate.  Beginning at the bottom, press almonds at a slight angle into the cheese in rows.  Overlap rows until all cheese is covered.  Garnish with artificial pine sprigs or whatever catches your fancy at Hobby Lobby (stay away from anything with glitter). Unlike the picture below, make sure you put the garnish on the correct ends.

Serve with crackers.

pinecone

Main Course:

  • Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Bacon and Apple-Riesling Sauce: I changed this recipe slightly by substituting fresh spinach for the collard greens and baked at 375 for about 90 minutes.  You want the meat thermometer to read 160 degrees F.  Let the tenderloin rest for about 15 minutes (cover loosely with foil).
  • Julie’s Green Bean Bundles:
5 cans of whole green beans
1 package of uncooked bacon strips
3/4 stick of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar (or enough to make sauce semi thick)
Cut bacon uncooked strips in half. Wrap bacon strip around a bunched group of about 8-10 green beans and place in casserole dish. Make as many bunches as possible with the bacon and available beans.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In sauce pan, heat butter and brown sugar. Make sure the sauce is brown and thick like syrup. Pour sauce over bundles ensuring each bundle has sauce (more can be made if needed).
Cook for 60 minutes or until bacon is of your desired cooking.  Serve hot out of the oven!
greenbeans

Dessert:

  • Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie: I use store bought crust to save some time.  If you don’t have a fancy pie plate (you can buy this one here!), wrap garland and berries around the pie tin.

IMG_20131211_102430

After Dinner Drinks:

  • Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned:

1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura bitters
club soda
2 ounces Bacon Bourbon

Place the sugar cube (or 1/2 teaspoon loose sugar) in an Old-Fashioned glass. Wet it down with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of water or club soda. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler, chopstick, strong spoon,  whatever. Rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. Add a large ice cube. Pour in the bourbon.

Serve in a vintage glass with a stirring rod.

If your guests are beginning to get bacon’d out (if this is the case, you may need new friends), you probably want to have a selection of beer, wine, etc.

Party Favors: 

  • Gwenn’s Bacon Candy
Bacon Candy is basically just finely chopped cooked bacon, tossed w a bit of pork seasoning (not too much, maybe a tsp) for flavor and then spread on a silicone baking sheet and heavily sprinkled with some brown sugar or coconut sugar. Finally, drizzle on some maple syrup (optional).
Bake 325 for approximately 20 -30 mins. Half/ some of the sugar will melt, some other will look like it hasn’t and you won’t think it’s done b/c it looks all melted and not like candy but if it has browned up nicely – it’s probably fine to remove from the oven. Let it cool and harden then break into pieces.
  • Bacon Jam

1+cup freshly brewed strong coffee
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-2 cups real bacon pieces (cooked)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons pork seasoning
2 tablespoons garlic
Dash of pepper

Slowly bring it all to a boil and let it simmer down for about 30- 45 mins. That’s it!

Super easy to make!  Spoon your jam into little mason jars, and wrap with some holiday ribbon.  If you wanted to get creative you can put some holiday fabric on the lid or create and print a special holiday message on a label for the lid.

*No cholesterol meds were harmed in the planning of this party. 

~Emily