#Ad Bacon Wrapped Smokies Recipe

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. #LoveThisHoliday #CollectiveBias

Celebrating the holidays with your friends is really fun and it doesn’t have to take away the time you spend with your family. Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. While I get together with family on the actual holiday, hosting a Friendsiving the weekend before is a super fun tradition. Host your Friendsgiving this year and wow your friends by spicing up your old recipes with Tyson® Brand products from Walmart. Just like this twist on an old Pigs in a Blanket recipe…instead make Bacon Wrapped Smokies!

bacon wrapped smokies

Using delicious Tyson® Brand products from Walmart, I was able to recreate the tried and true Pigs in a Blanket recipe with this lower carb bacon wrapped smokies appetizer. I bought Wright Brand® Bacon (hickory smoked) and Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Smoked Sausages. I opted to purchase the beef smokies, but next time I may purchase the Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Smoked Sausages that are cheddar filled.

bacon wrapped smokies

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Ingredients

  • One package Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Smoked Sausages
  • 11 slice of Wright Brand® Bacon (Hickory Smoked)
  • 1/4 cup Hot Sauce
  • 3 TBSP Butter, melted
  • Toothpicks

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet that has sides with foil. Soak your toothpicks in water.

bacon wrapped smokies

(do not skip this step. I do not wan you to potentially have a fire inside your oven. Soak the toothpicks for about 10 minutes)

  • Open your Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Smoked Sausages and place them in a bowl. Trust me, you want to do this step too. It makes grabbing those slippery little things much easier!
  • Place a slice of your Wright Brand® bacon on a cutting board and cut it into thirds.

bacon wrapped smokies

  • Next, take one of your Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Smoked Sausages and wrap the piece of Wright Brand® Bacon (Hickory Smoked) around it. Secure the Wright Brand® Bacon with a toothpick. Make sure your toothpick goes through both ends of the bacon.
  • Repeat the last step until all of the Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Smoked Sausages are wrapped in Wright Brand® Bacon. Place on your baking sheet.

bacon wrapped smokies

  • Place your butter and hot sauce in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave until the butter is completely melted.
  • Using a pastry brush, brush your hot sauce and butter mixture onto each of the bacon wrapped smokies. Flip them over and repeat until they are thoroughly coated.

bacon wrapped smokies

  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Once your timer goes off, remove the bacon wrapped smokies from the oven. At this point you can either add more of the hot sauce and butter mixture or you can just flip them over.
  • Put them in the oven for an additional 12 minutes. With just a little over 4 minutes remaining, turn your broiler on high to crisp the bacon.
  • Place your Wright Brand® Bacon wrapped Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Smoked Sausages on a serving dish and serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce. I opted for Ranch!

bacon wrapped smokies

Not only are these bacon wrapped smokies super easy to make, but they are quick too! This allows you to spend more time chatting and playing games (we like to play board games in this house!) at your Friendsgiving! Why slave over a hot stove when you don’t have to! You know what, we all like to impress our friends with tasty recipes. By sticking to tried and true brands like Tyson® Brand foods from Walmart, you can impress all you want and stay within your budget!

bacon wrapped smokies

The nice thing about hosting a Friendsgiving is you can decide to make it a potluck and have each person bring something. I’ve often made an appetizer and offered to make the main course item like Tyson® Cornish Hens. However you choose to do it, everything will be fine because you are there to hang out and have fun with your friends. Another idea, and one I think I will use this year, is to just have appetizers and desserts! You better believe I will be making this appetizer. It is delicious! If you would like them to be a little spicier, simply add more of your favorite hot sauce!

bacon wrapped smokies

What is your favorite dish to bring to a Friendsgiving?

One Bowl Baking: Simple, from Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts

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I like to cook.  Haven’t always liked to.  I think I’ve told you about my incident where I burned the outside of a chicken breast, but the inside was raw.  Yes…that happened!

One thing I’m not really good at, is baking.  Mainly because I don’t like all the steps, the mess, and all the different bowls, mixers, etc that you need to do to bake a muffin or a cake.

*This post may contain affiliate links that I do get paid pennies if you were to purchase anything from that site.  I use those pennies to buy random things, like this Cleocatra Cat Costume that I want for my kitten.

Yvonne Ruperti, recipe developer extraordinaire, has solved that with her new book, One Bowl Baking: Simple, From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts.  That’s right…say goodbye to separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients, mixers…the mess, well that’s depends on how well you whisk and stir!

Yvonne Ruperti has been baking and cooking for over 15 years, in professional kitchens, test kitchens, and her own bakery.  You may recognize her from her three seasons on the Emmy-nominated hit PBS cooking show, America’s Test Kitchen.  She is also a writer and currently pens the weekly Chocoholic column for the James Beard award winning food site, Serious Eats.

one bowl baking

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  When a recipe says to “sift the dry ingredients”…I don’t do it.  I hate the sifter.  It makes a huge mess.  So I put everything in a bowl and make sure I mix it really well.  However, I am really liking the idea of not pulling out the mixer (it’s stuck in this corner cabinet that sounded like a good idea when we were redoing our kitchen, but in fact…it was the worst thing we could have done.  I curse that cabinet every time I open it). And don’t even get me started on the multiple bowls you are told to use.  So obviously, I liked this cookbook, not just for the amazing recipes inside, but because a lot of the times, you can get a recipe mixed up and in the oven within 15 minutes!!

Below is a recipe from the book…enjoy!

BOWL TXT2_Layout 1

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Simply stated, red velvet cupcakes delight everyone.  They never failed to fly off the shelves at my store.  These cupcakes are moist from buttermilk and have a subtle chocolate flavor.  Add just enough coloring to tint the batter.  Too much red food coloring may impart an off flavor.

Makes 12

Cupcake Batter

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (7 ounces or 200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 1/3 cups (6 2/3 ounces or 190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting

  • 10 ounces (285 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Make the Cupcakes

Place an oven rack in the middle position.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).  Line a 12-cup muffn pan with cupcake liners.  In a large bowl, sir the butter, sugar, and salt until combined.  Whisk in the oil, then the egg, egg yolk, buttermilk, vanilla, and food coloring until completely combined.  Add the flour, cocoa, and baking soda to the bowl, then whisk gently until combined.  Scoop the batter into the cupcake cups and bake until just firm, about 18-20 minutes.  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To Make the Frosting

In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese, butter, and confectioners’ sugar until combined and creamy.  Add the vanilla and continue to whisk until the frosting is slightly lightened, about 30 seconds.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons of frosting on each cupcake to frost.

*recipe posted with permission

How to Make the Best Thanksgiving Turkey

This past weekend we invited my family over for an early Thanksgiving dinner.  When my husband and I got married, we decided to trade off every other year with our families when it came to Thanksgiving.  This year, being an even year, is the year we spend with his family.  However, I had a turkey in the freezer (and I like having Thanksgiving leftovers!!) so I invited my family over.

The food was delicious.  We had:

  • Beer-Can Turkey
  • Hawaiian Ham
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Brown Sugar Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Stuffing
  • Rolls
  • Angel Food Cake and Fruit

If you’ve never had Beer-Can Turkey, you are really missing out!  Here’s what you need to do:

Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. Remove the (nasty) giblets bag.
  2. Wash the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry.
  3. Rub the turkey with olive oil or vegetable oil and sprinkle your desired seasonings on the turkey, making sure to cover every inch of the turkey (we used Beer-Can chicken seasoning).
  4. Pin the flap at the top closed so you keep all the moisture inside the turkey.  We purchased metal toothpicks for this.
  5. Using a Beer Can Chicken Stand, place a turkey on to a can of beer (we used Fosters).  If you’d on’t have a beer can, carefully place the beer can inside the turkey.
  6. Set the turkey on the grill or in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees.
  7. Our 14lb turkey took a little over 3 hrs to grill.  Make sure you rotate the turkey a 1/4 turn every 30 mins or so.

And here is what our finished turkey looked like:

Thanksgiving Turkey

What’s nice about this style of cooking your turkey is that the beer can allows all the moisture to stay inside the turkey so you literally have a juicy turkey that tastes delicious.  Not a fan of beer?  That’s OK!  Play around with different flavors and seasonings.  I’ve seen a recipe where you can use apple juice!  The possibilities are endless.

What is your favorite way to cook a turkey?

Nectresse Natural No Calorie Sweetener

This post brought to you by NECTRESSE™Sweetener. All opinions are 100% mine.

Being diabetic, I am always looking for an alternative to sugar.  However, most sugar alternatives leave a horrible taste in your mouth, making you not want to eat anything with it.  Or they are WAY too sweet…and not in a good way!  Recently I was asked to try NECTRESSE™Sweetener and I was really excited!  I had never heard of this sweetener before.

Nectresse sweetener is made from monk fruit extract, which if you have never heard of monk fruit (which I haven’t before this), it is a green melon that grows in the mountains in Asia!  Now the nice thing about this sweetener is that it is 100% all natural and it has zero calories!  You have to like that!

Nectresse Sweetener is made by the makers of Splenda and it comes in two options,  individual packets (and one packet is equal to two teaspoons) or in a canister so you can scoop out what you need for your recipe.  Since I had a bunch of really ripe bananas laying around, I decided to make my amazing banana muffins using Nectresse Sweetener in place of sugar.  Since I was sent the individual packets for this review, I needed to use 18 packets…Bella had a great time tearing them open for me!  Here is the recipe I used:

The Best Banana Muffins Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup Butter, melted
  • 1 Egg
  • Dash of Vanilla
  • 3/4 cup White Sugar (I used Nectresse instead)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line or spray muffin tins
  2. Combine all of the wet ingredients and the sugar and mix well.
  3. Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing completely with a large spoon.
  4. Fill each muffin liner 3/4 of the way full
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes (I bake mine for 28 minutes, but your oven may vary)

Don’t they look delicious?!?  The two rows at the top of the picture were made with real sugar and the two rows at the bottom of the picture are the banana muffins that were made with Nectresse.  Now I have to admit, I liked my banana muffins just the way they were before, but with Nectresse they tasted really good and had I not known that I used something different, I would never have been able to tell!  The real test was to give them to my kids.  Neither child could tell the difference (and I make banana muffins every week)!

If you don’t believe me, listen to what Lisa Ling has to say about Nectresse Sweetener:

Still skeptical?  Try it out for yourself by using this link to get a FREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener!  Let me know what you think!

 

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Tasty Tuesday: Recipe Courtesy of Robin Miller

Last week I posted some excellent cooking tips, money saving ideas, etc. all courtesy of Robin Miller of Food Network. As promised, here is another recipe using the Tysons Fully Cooked Chicken Breast Strips and let me tell you…IT IS EXCELLENT! It is rare that every member of my family will eat what is put on the table at the same time. I usually have one child that won’t eat it. Well not this time!

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Recipe Courtesy of Robin Miller and Tyson Foods

Recipe serves 4
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Time Savings: 30 minutes compared to traditional recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta
  • 2 packets (6 ounces each) Tyson® Fully Cooked Grilled Chicken Breast Strips
  • ¾ cup prepared no-salt added tomato sauce (pasta sauce or pizza sauce)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, regular or part-skim
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
  • Pinch salt and ground black pepper

Preparation Instructions

  1. Cook whole wheat pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Arrange chicken breast strips in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Pour tomato sauce over the chicken and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the tomato sauce.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Mix well and sprinkle the mixture over the mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top of the casserole is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Divide whole wheat pasta among four individual bowls, spoon casserole mixture over the top and serve.

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