With the advent of a new year comes a daunting (perhaps dubious would be a better word?) tradition — the New Year resolution. We all are expected to proclaim the need to do something better in the months to come, be it keeping our house cleaner, exercising more, being more frugal with our money, spending more time with family or, of course, improving our diet.
If you are one of those people with that latter resolution, I’m titling this blog “What Not to Eat,” a play on the title of one of my favorite guilty-pleasure reality TV programs, “What Not to Wear.” But unlike the hosts of that program, I’m not going to give you any rules by which to improve your diet.
I will just simply say this: If you have resolved to eat better or diet to lose some weight, the recipe that follows is not for you. But perhaps you might want to set it aside for the future, when any such resolutions have fallen to the wayside.
This decadently tasty tidbit was brought to a pre-Christmas happening by friend Millie Hamman. She credits it to Ree Drummond, the host of “The Pioneer Woman” on the Food Network. For our gathering, Millie made two versions, one with Parmesan, the other with brown sugar. Reviews were mixed about which version was best, the sweet or the savory. I liked them both.
1 sleeve club-style crackers
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound thinly sliced bacon
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Lay the crackers face up on a large rack over a baking sheet (or on a broiler pan). Scoop about 1 teaspoon of the grated cheese onto each cracker. (Brown sugar or blue cheese can be substituted for the Parmesan.) Cut the package of bacon in half (or cut pieces individually), and carefully, so the cheese doesn’t fall off, wrap each cheese-covered cracker with one-half piece of bacon, completely covering the cracker. It should fit snugly around the cracker but not be pulled too taut. Place the bacon-wrapped crackers back onto the rack.
Bake for about 2 hours. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
I’ve never been much for NY resolutions, but if forced to think about it, as I am now by the writing of this blog, one of my resolutions would be to do better about meal planning. It seems to happen at least once every week: Hubby Bryan and I will go for our morning walk and spend most of it trying to think of something to have for supper that evening. I must admit that Bryan is the much better planner in our household, and it’s usually on the nights when kitchen duty falls to me that the ideas come up short.
On those nights when I just don’t know what else to make, my go-to dish is something that’s known in our family as Simple Spaghetti. I remember finding it many eons ago in a children’s cookbook in the library at West Elementary School. What I like best is that it’s a one-pot meal, as the pasta cooks right in the sauce.
I long ago lost the printed version of this recipe, so this comes right out of head; I usually just break enough pasta into the sauce until it looks right. The basil is what gives the sauce its flavor, so be sure and add enough.
1 pound ground beef
½ onion, chopped fine
Two 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried basil
angel hair pasta (about one-third of a box), broken into thirds
Brown the ground beef with the onion. Add tomato sauce, plus two scant cans of water. Add seasonings and bring to a good simmer.
Stir broken pasta into sauce, and cook until pasta is tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
So what’s your go-to recipe for a busy-night supper? Sharing is appreciated for this forum. Email recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org; or mail to Lagniappe, Daily Globe, Box 639, Worthington 56187.