So simple, bacon wrapped anything is a win, but these, Apple Bacon Poppers are amazing. Picture if you will: salted smoked bacon with a hint of coconut gouda and sweet warm apple. Even without the cheese, these will be a hit at any party or gathering!
I have a secret to tell you. I don't love Christmas. Honestly, I am a little indifferent about it. Probably for some of the same reasons I don't love summer. I have always had a job where, not only do I not get time off, I am busier. I hear Christmas music starting in November and by mid-December, I would rather listen to ANYTHING else. I deal with people and alcohol, so Christmas often is a mix of merriment and soul-crushing sadness.
Maybe because it wasn't something that I had the magic associated with as a kid? My parents and grandparents don't celebrate Christmas. As the years pass more of my extended family does celebrate, but that wasn't necessarily the case as kids. Or they kept it hidden. Differences of spiritual beliefs can do funny things to a family. My parents did a good job of explaining the difference between what my friends at school were doing and what we did at home. It was a grownup secret that I knew Santa wasn't real before any of my schoolmates. I was entrusted with the secret reserved for the adult world and challenged with the responsibility of keeping it to myself.
In my school-age years, winter holidays were spent baking with my mom. We didn't believe in Christmas, but we absolutely believed in cookies! As soon as I could babysit, I started working thru the holidays. With parties and New Years, I was booked up looking after peoples kids nearly every night. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day most everything in the small town where we lived was closed, and Mom and Dad would stock our fridge and rent a pile of movies. When he was alive, my Gramps would show up and take us for Chinese food, one of few restaurants open. But otherwise, we would hang in our PJ's and watch movies. I remember watching every single James Bond movie as TBS would have an annual holiday marathon. I have to say, Sean Connery is, and always will be, my fave Bond man.
High school meant I was “too cool” for family Bond movies and PJs (“Again?? Ugh… Dad… seriously”). I had a job at the local movie theater, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day showings, I volunteered to work. I had friends with step- and blended-families and Christmas would be spent: part at mom's, part at dad's, and then they would hang at my house where there was just my mom and dad watching James Bond movies and eating nachos. A stress-free, and holiday-free safe haven. And there were nachos. One year I remember coming home from work to 3 of my friends hanging at my house with my parents. Haha!
During my young adult life, I worked in bars. Again, I offered to open up the pub on Christmas Day. I was quite enterprising and could make a couple hundred dollars for serving a few drinks; since I wasn't missing anything at home, it seemed like the most bang for my buck. I also felt bad for the people without friends or family on what is a family-type holiday, so it was my way to take care of the orphaned lonely adults. It was an entertaining day the first year I was tasked with putting up the Christmas decorations. I searched thru bins for instructions but ended up just winging it. Assembling a tree for the first time- I had no clue. Garland? Lights? Bows? It seemed like a whole lot of work and stringing lit garland to find there is no plugin nearby… well, I was in over my head. It did get easier year after year.
I try to get into it a bit more nowadays. My stores are decorated, and I send out cards and a few gifts here and there. But it's still something I have a hard time jumping into. I don't own any decorations for my home, and I don't listen to Christmas music on purpose (unless Raj puts it on while we're cooking). I will be spending this year working so my co-workers can have some time off over the holidays. I like parties and appies, and getting together with loved ones. And I certainly believe in cookies!! A friend organized a cookie exchange and for 3 days all I ate was cookies.
Man, I really need to eat clean, which will happen in January! 30 days of textbook paleo! Raj is doing 31 days but I won't be starting until the 2nd of January. We would love to have you join with us, as kicking my sugar addiction is going to be rough.
Wishing you all a happy holiday season, whether you are celebrating or not, or however this season looks for you!
- 3 apples
- 12 slices bacon
- 24 slivers of cheese (optional)
- Wash and core apples, slice apples into 8 slices each.
- Slice 24 slices of cheese (optional, aged cheddar is amazing, I used a coconut gouda).
- Slice 12 bacon strips in half.
- Wrap one half strip of bacon around the apple and cheese and secure with a tooth pick.
- Lay on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake 350F 35-45 min depending on how well you like your bacon cooked.
- Served cool or hot with rosemary garnish.
Feel free to use Serrano or Prosciutto Ham in place of the Bacon!
- Category: snack
- Method: Oven