Hello! Hannah here. Hope everyone had a successful, relaxing & enjoyable 4th of July weekend- While Jacob and I both worked yesterday, we definitely still made time for relaxation and some good ole grillin’ for dinner. It’s funny because while I typically don’t like meat, there are times when I find myself cooking a bunch of it! Yesterday was one of those days- we decided to make grilled smoked sausage, bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, bacon-wrapped teriyaki water chestnuts, and cheddar brats. YUM. There are very few meats that I enjoy, and this is just about all of them: gristle-less brats/sausage, (especially if there’s cheese inside- duh), and BACON. I f*%#ing L O V E bacon. Not many people would disagree, right? So while my mom is away and the little devil on my shoulder got louder and louder, I went for it. Go big or go home! (And since I was already home, I HAD to go big)!

First things first: Jalapeno poppers. I don’t remember ever looking up a recipe of some sort to make these, I just kind of do it based on appearance and how much my mouth waters. I think we got about 8-10 jalapenos, because they were on sale and leftovers are always tasty, as well as some fresh whipped light cream cheese and hickory smoked bacon. While any kind of bacon will still taste good, if you want it to taste better, I suggest hickory smoked bacon- especially if you’re grilling, it just brings out a better flavor. Before touching anything, put on some freaking gloves! I am notorious for not only making some killer coffee drinks & being a super model, but also touching jalapenos and then rubbing my eyes without thinking twice- OUCH. I always keep a box of some cheap gloves around (1. because I hate when my hands feel gross while I prep food, 2. because I feel more sanitary, 3. I dye my hair a lot, 4. in case there’s spicy sh*t)- they’re probably one of my household staples! Okay, here we go…

Put on gloves šŸ™‚ Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Also, these come in handy when stuffing the cheese- I don’t like getting my hands all gross!
1. Cut in half, length-wise 2. If you’re a wimp like me, scrape out the seeds
3. I’m an anti-measurer- I don’t like using more dishes/utensils than I absolutely have to, so I just used a knife and filled these puppies to the brim. I tend to over-fill these because a little will melt off when put on the grill. PS- sorry this is such a dark photo, I tried using only natural light and this is what happened!
4. Cut the bacon in half 5. Putting the cheese-side down first, just roll these bad boys up until there aint no more bacon to wrap! 6. Stick a toothpick through to keep the bacon in place. (We didn’t have any on hand, but they still stayed wrapped).

At this point, I set them aside while I prepped the next appetizer: bacon-wrapped water chestnuts! It actually worked out perfectly- I had just enough leftover bacon from the pack and exactly the same amount of water chestnuts to wrap. Score! This appetizer is one of my faves and probably the one I make the least, just because I like to keep it tasting new and special. Tony’s nephew’s wife Izzy made them years ago for Christmas and I’ve been hooked ever since! She cooked them in the oven, which is super delicious and cooks them perfectly, but since we were grilling anyways I figured I’d try them on the grill. Notes: Make sure to buy whole chestnuts instead of the sliced ones, and the BEST sauce/marinade to use is this Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce- it’s got bits of sesame seeds and tastes like heaven on everything, especially when marinated (which, had I been more proactive, I would’ve marinated these overnight, but I was lazy).

*Whole* water chestnuts (just one can since it was just the two of us) – and the holy moly mouth watering, delicious, amazing, perfect teriyaki sauce šŸ™‚ I haven’t found it everywhere, but recently WalMart had it, and it’s pretty cheap whenever I can find it for about $4.
I basically repeated what I did with the poppers- Took each chestnut, rolled and tucked inside the bacon, and since I didn’t have toothpicks, I saw we had skewers, so I soaked a skewer really quick and just continued adding them to the skewer. (A whole can fit on 1 skewer). Then I grabbed some foil, a brush, and just drizzled the teriyaki sauce over until they were fully coated. It’s okay if there’s a lot that spills into the foil- this will keep them marinating while on the grill.
What happened next was genius. I rolled the foil over the skewer, squeezed to make sure the sauce wouldn’t fall out, then pushed the ends of the skewer out of the foil. BAM. No mess, no worries.

After I prepped both of the appetizers, I sliced the smoked sausage in half (because I love getting a little char on the inside so it’s nice and crispy), grabbed the package of cheddar brats, and outside I went to meet Jacob (the grill master- I can’t light a grill to save my life), and waited until the grill reached 350. First, I put the wrapped water chestnuts on since I figured those needed the most time, then the poppers, then the sausage, and lastly the brats. Perfection.

All ready for the grill!
Best photo of the night- After the water chestnuts sat in the foil for about 8 minutes, I unwrapped them to get the bacon extra crispy. And dang. There they were. They stayed unwrapped in the indirect heat for probably another 8 minutes. *Another bonus to doing these on the grill is that they take half the amount of time than in the oven*
Getting that crispy char šŸ™‚
Jalapenos got crispy and golden!
Adorable begging, as always. I just can’t get enough of those fat lips!

So then what happened was basically a last-minute-miracle of an idea. GRILLED RICE KRISPIE TREATS?!  Duh!  I had bought everything to make them, but just ended up not making them earlier- and when I took everything off of the grill and saw how perfectly hot it still was, I thought SH*T. NOW’S THE TIME. So, the stars aligned and I made the best Rice Krispie Treats EVA!

1. Melted the butter in a nonstick brownie pan.
2. Once the butter melted, I threw in the marshmallows and stirred until melted.
3. Last but not least- the cereal, stirred until fully coated in sugary bliss. *drool*

So there it is…. Our Fourth of July night wrapped up in one post. I continued the awesomeness this morning with homemade Sausage Biscuits & Gravy, eggs, and fruit salad- More please! Overall great weekend, and I hope your tumble back into the work-week treats you as well as these Rice Krispies did us! šŸ™‚

– Hannah