Sunday, March 24, 2013

Brown Sugah & Maple Glazed, Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies

That's a mouthful to say, but that's exactly what they are.  These were served at my husband's company Christmas party and, boy, did I go back for seconds.

I came home and began my search and found this recipe on the web.  It was pretty much exactly how I remembered them tasting.  We served these at Super Bowl.

 We could have left them in the oven a little longer so that the bacon crisped up even more, but we just couldn't wait any longer.  We burned fingers and tongues getting after these before they could cool off or even be plated.

If you're interested in serving these not so healthy, but way addicting and yummy snacks, here's what you'll need...


  • 1 pound Li'l Smokies
  • 12 ounces, weight Center-cut Bacon
  • ⅓ cups Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cups Maple Syrup (the Real Stuff)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • A Small Pinch Of Cayenne (optional)

  • Directions courtesy of Cooking Ventures at

    I didn't use toothpicks to keep the bacon attached to the smokies, but please do if so inclined.
    "Empty the smokies onto some paper towels and blot them dry. Dry smokies will allow the bacon to adhere better. Place the dried smokies in a single layer (keeping them separated) onto a small cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes."  I skipped this step and didn't have trouble wrapping the smokies.
    "While the smokies are in the freezer, cut the bacon into thirds. Separate each piece of bacon and place on a large cookie sheet in a single layer." I skipped this step, too, since my bacon came straight from the fridge.   "Put the bacon in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The well-chilled smokies and bacon will help to keep everything from getting too slippery when you wrap the smokies later.
    When it is nearly time to take the smokies out of the freezer, preheat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Make the glaze by whisking together the brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, and cayenne (if using). Whisk the mixture well to ensure that the larger pieces of brown sugar have broken up.
    Wrap a piece of bacon around each smokie, pressing firmly on the final edge of the bacon to better ensure it does not spring open during baking. Try not to stretch the bacon when wrapping the sausages. Place the bacon-wrapped smokies onto the foil-lined sheet pan, seam side down. Continue with the rest of the bacon and smokies. Using a spoon, put a little bit of the thick glaze on top of each bacon-wrapped smokie, trying to coat each one evenly. You should have just enough glaze to do the entire batch.
    Bake the smokies for about 35 minutes or until they are lightly brown on top. Immediately transfer the smokies to a serving plate or a slow cooker set on low to keep warm. These a very addictive. I apologize in advance."

    These were so good, I have to say, and would be great to serve to a crowd.  We will be making these, again, in the future.

    Happy Sunday, y'all

    The Kitchen Witch

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Cowgirl boots

    It's what you wear for church...
    If you're a two year old girl.  Happy Sunday, y'all.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

    Life and Crawfish Monica

    Folks, it's the time of year I love best.  Spring has sprung, even here in drought ridden South Texas.  Life has continued during my absence of blog land.  I've had the pleasure of being a substitute teacher to many elementary aged children and it is true what they say, kids do say the darnedest things.

    Why, just the other day, as I was lining up a classroom of second graders, a boy asked, while looking up at me, "how can I can I get some holes in his face like that?"  Puzzled and somewhat distracted by the group of talkers at the back of the line, I looked down and asked him, "What?," to which he pointed at his own dimple-less cheeks.  It immediately dawned on me that he was referring to my dimples, which are quite deep, ditches you might say, and I had to laugh.  I told him that you just had to be born with them.

    Another boy was explaining how he thought he caught Malaria from a box of dirt he'd been digging through.  See, the dirt was from Haiti; his parents, both missionaries, had brought it back.  I was thoroughly entertained with his self-diagnosis.  Kids do say the darnedest things.

    In my spare time, I've been working on watering the yard in hopes to green it up and have been cleaning up all the dead from the winter.  Tomato plants are in the ground and herbs are soon to follow, just as soon as I can chicken proof the herb box.  Our hens, it turns out, are fans of cilantro and parsley.

    I've also had time to try a few new recipes.  Here's a great one for crawfish, called Crawfish Monica; this pasta pleased the whole family.  Here 'tis...
    my photo
    Crawfish Monica recipe
    Crawfish Monica (Photo from Flickr by muckster


    1 pound linguine or fettucine (I used the rotini pasta as pictured above)
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 cup chopped yellow onions
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows (Instead of making a large batch of Emeril's Essence, I guesstimated by adding a little of each ingredient, approximately 1/2 tsp. paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, etc., a small shake of cayenne pepper and so on.  It's better to add a little and then add more to taste than adding too much and ruining the dish.)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 pound crawfish tails*
    1/2 cup chopped green onions
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
    1 cup grated Parmesan


    Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Return to the pot and toss with the olive oil and reserved cooking liquid. Cover to keep warm.
    In a large saute pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, Essence, salt, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the white wine and cook over high heat until nearly all evaporated. Add the cream lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced. Add the crawfish tails and cook, stirring, to warm through. Add the onions and parsley and cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat with the sauce. Cook until the pasta is warmed through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup of the cheese.
    Turn out into a serving bowl and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Serve.
    *Crawfish tails can be purchased online and shipped through Cajun Grocer. Peeled medium shrimp can be substituted, but the cooking time must be increased to allow thorough cooking.

    Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
    2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
    2 tablespoons salt
    2 tablespoons garlic powder
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    1 tablespoon dried thyme
    Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
    Yield: 2/3 cup
    Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse on Food Network.

     Here's a final shot of my bowl before I dug in.  I added a sprinklin' of Cajun seasoning to my bowl before I ate and it was perfect.
    I'm sharing @" target="_blank">
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    Saturday, March 9, 2013

    The Kitchen House

    The Kitchen House
    image courtesy of

    This book has been my latest read.  My insurance agent had it on her shelf and passed it on to me.  We were both currently on The Paris Wife, another good read, and upon discussing it she suggested I read this while handing it over to me.  I hadn't heard a thing about it, but I'm so glad it found its way to me because it is a great book.  When googling it, I saw that movie rights have been purchased.  That's as much as I know about that and I'm not sure how accurate that bit of information is, but it would make a great movie as it is already playing out that way, clearly, in my head.  I love this book.  If you're on the hunt for another read, I suggest the kitchen house.