Bacon + Cherries + Prezzies = Yay For Christmas

If you know me at all, you might know that I really, really love bacon. Really. When I first started this blog I called it Smiling’s My Favourite. And Bacon. So, good news. Bacon is on the menu in the Collie household at Christmastime! As promised, I have a illustrated step-by-step for you and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best holiday hors d’oeuvre since figgy pudding. Which I’ve actually never had.

These are the players:

Glazed Cherries#1, Glazed Cherries. We’re obviously off to a good start.

I Heart Bakey#2 Streaky Bacon. We’re obviously moving in a good direction.

Toothpicks#3, Toothpicks. A necessity for the sweet bacon-y goodness to become possible.

The Play by Play:

Wrap a bit of bacon around a cherry, cut to desired length with kitchen scissors, and push a toothpick through to keep it all together. You should arrive at:

Like SoRepeat process until you run out of something. You might even want to go to the store and get more of whatever you run out of. These things go fast!

Assemble your delectable delights either on a baking tray or in a braai (grill) clamp. If you have a clamp (as pictured below) you won’t have to go through the trouble of flipping each bacon cherry halfway through, you can just flip the whole thing. But it’s worth the work either way. So worth it.

Grill Pan HelpsPlace a grill pan of some sort underneath to catch the drippings and save yourself some hassle later on. Then throw these tasty treats in the oven on a grill or broil setting until the bacon goes crispy. Don’t forget to flip them once the top side is starting to look crispy so that they’ll cook evenly! This is when I start drooling.

Hot StuffAnd here’s the final product, which will leave the plate before you’ve finished laying it out:

Gone Too Fast

I highly recommend trying this. Let me know how it goes. Invite me over for a sample if you can. Please. Pretty please.

Since this post is so full of pictures, I’m going to create a new one with the delightful shots of the Bear enjoying prezzie time…it’ll be posted for you, asap, Mom & Dad! Miss you and love you!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are having a wonderfully Merry Christmas! The Bear woke us up at 5:45 this morning and is already down for his first nap! We haven’t gotten everyone together to open prezzies yet, since he got up so early and then went down for a nap before everyone else was up and moving! Here’s a patiently waiting for prezzies face…

Wistful Bear

I hope that we’ll be making those bacon-covered cherries later this afternoon so that I can snap some shots and fill you in. And I hope to get a couple of pics of the Bear when he finally does get to open a prezzie or two, because I know his Stateside Grandma and Grandpa would love to see them! Hopefully soon!

In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying warm moments with family and tasty treats, and stopping every so often to thank the Lord that He came to Earth for you and me 2,000 years ago. What a reason to celebrate — God came near, and it’s the most incredible event in human history! Merry Christmas!

Tis the Season: For Christmas Watermelon!

As expected, it’s a hot and sunny Christmas in our neck of the woods right now. Beautiful. I am still sorely missing my family, but I am doing my best to enjoy the beauty and laughs of doing some new traditions over the holidays, while remembering that it’s the goodness of God that this season is all about!

Last night Mark was making these tasty South African dessert drinks (called Dom Pedros) for us and spilled most of the first batch on the kitchen floor. It was a funny moment, and I almost think we should start a new tradition because of it. Instead of hot chocolate, a tasty ice cream drink will certainly do!

One delightful tradition I’ve discovered that was an annual event in the Collie household was having watermelon at Christmas. They used to let the watermelon float around in the swimming pool to keep it cool until it was time to cut it and eat it. And it makes sense for it to be a Christmas fruit — it’s red and green! The Bear had his first taste of Christmas watermelon yesterday and I think he really likes it! Mark captured some great shots of this Christmas first. Can you guess what the little seed is that is stuck to his face from his lunch?  Feel free to enjoy the photos, and then get back to enjoying the holiday with your family!!

Melon Bear

Yum!Yum yum!Good on sore Bear Gums

I hope to get some photos of my new favourite Christmas tradition — bacon covered cherries — to share with you tomorrow! With step-by-step instructions. If you’re keen to follow along, pick up a pack of bacon, some toothpicks and some glazed cherries today!

Till then, have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

Tis the Season: For Things Better Left Unsaid?

You remember the other day when I was talking about how I think sometimes it’s good to point out that something is a big, fat, yucky lie? Well I was mulling over another one I thought I’d share with you. Please let me know what you think.

Someone once told me … like ages and ages ago … that you’ll regret the things you don’t say more than the things you do. Is that just something someone once told me, or is that a common statement? Please tell me if you’ve heard it or not, seriously. I was just thinking about it as I was reading in Proverbs this morning…maybe I made it up. Anyway, Proverbs 17:27 says,

“He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.”

Well Hush

Lately I’ve found myself occasionally having not such a calm spirit. Wanting to do a jump-up-and-down-frustrated-groaning-grumpy-dance when a simple task is getting the better of me or something isn’t as easy as I want it to be. But on the adverse, I’m glad to say I have been doing a better job of keeping my tongue and thinking about the things I want to say. Feel free to send me a virtual pat on the back.

The truth is, I can think of a lot of things I’ve said that I regret saying, but there aren’t as many things that I’ve left unsaid that I wish I had. Maybe that’s just because I talk a lot. It’s an interesting balance I suppose, and you might find yourself in a different position. But perhaps because it’s the holidays, and sometimes your family can bring out the ‘old man’ like nobody else… or because somebody might grab that last thing off the shelf you were hoping for or slip into the parking space you were gunning for… or you find yourself with a string of lights already on the tree and out of order, take a moment to remember that “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.” Take that extra moment to think about what’s going to come out of your mouth, and how you’re going to react if the mistletoe falls too far from the tree. And seize the opportunity to let love and peace season your words and deeds.

The Sermon in a Nutshell: Relax and enjoy the holidays! If that means holding your tongue here and there, praise the Lord who’s increasing your knowledge and understanding!

Crafty Last Minute Budget Christmas Decor Or Gift Idea

I just thought I’d see how many adjectives I could fit into that title. Should I have thrown in a few more for good measure? Anyway…I got crafty again yesterday. And I thought I’d tell you about it in case you felt like getting crafty, too! My mother-in-law was hoping to get a wreath or something festive to put on the door, and with the general budget-keeping and crafty nature I’ve found myself in lately I said, “Why don’t we make something!?!”

I suggested using some ribbon or bows and eventually found myself starting at a circle you can arrange flowers in (please tell me what to call it so I can update this post and not sound like a ninnymuggins), a bag of ribbons and bows, some tape, and no clue what I was going to do. Here are said items…

BowsoAll Your Base are Belong to Us

I stared at everything for a while and then decided, “Well, I’ll just get started and see what happens.” I started by taping a shiny piece of string to the base so that it would be easy to hang the wreath (pictured later). In the bow bag, I found one of those silvery wrapper things that a store-bought bouquet of flowers comes in. I started cutting it into strips, and then made the delightful discovery that I could cut the edges into a fringe and curl them with scissors the way you curl ribbon on a gift.  So this became the bottom layer. (I decided to flip the flower sticking thing oasis over since it was easier to tape stuff to the plastic side.)

Bottom Layer

Since Mark and I decorated the tree in a sort of bright-pastel theme, I decided to choose some bows in keeping with the colour scheme. I untied one of the bows (and stabbed my palm with scissors in the process — be careful!) and began layering it around the circle. I suppose it was around this point when I started to think this project had some potential and I started getting excited. 🙂

Layer Two

I chose a nice matching green for the next layer, and layered it in the spaces between the pink loops.

Layer Three

Next I found a ribbon that looked like it would go nicely in the middle. Since it was wire-tied, I poked some holes through the other ribbons into the oasis (Mark has now told me it’s called that) and pushed the bow’s wires through to the other side. I was excited because this bow was really shiny and I love polka-dots.

Layer Four

Finally, I decided a few old Christmas ornaments we didn’t put on the tree might add a bit of interest and colour, so I tied them in with one of the strands of the bow that I’d just added. I added a little bit of blue ribbon for a splash of different colour and because the ornaments were kind of rough around the edges. I arrived at this delightful sight…

Cheery On Top

I thought at this point we could add some greenery around the edges, but my mother-in-law liked it just the way it was, and we hung it on the door! I think this would potentially be an adorable (and wonderfully inexpensive) wee gift, that you could put in an interesting container, like a cake tin or a hat box. You might prefer to use some slightly more ‘Christmasy’ colours in your neck of the woods…which I think would be just fine! 🙂

So here’s the final product! If you give it a try yourself, PLEASE let me know!

On the Do