Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Waffles

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links.

 

Father’s Day just passed, and I don’t know about you, but holidays tend to revolve around one thing in this household: Food. 

For Father’s Day this year, I wanted to make my hubby something super manly so he’d know how much I appreciate all he does to provide for our family.

Naturally, I chose waffles.

 

But not just any waffles.

I needed something with pizzazz. With oomph. With machismo.

I needed peanut butter maple bacon waffles.

 

Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Waffles

I’m not gonna lie to you, I got the inspiration for these bad boys from none other than my favorite restaurant, Ted’s Bulletin, which offers a Peanut Butter Bacon Burger — a customer favorite, Ted’s Bulletin classic, and the manliest item on the menu.

These little guys are not only super manly, but they’re also delicious and almost too easy to make!

To whip these little men up, you’ll need the following ingredients:

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

 

(Clockwise in photo from left)

2 eggs

1 package of bacon

2 cups flour

1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)

1 tablespoon sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Maple syrup (My favorite is Skinny Sticks)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

1 cup peanut butter

Dash waffle maker

 

Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, it’s time to get things heated up in the kitchen.

Since it takes approximately 2 minutes for each waffle to cook in the Dash waffle maker, you’ll want to get your bacon started first.

You can either cook your bacon in a pan on the stovetop like I grew up doing or you can do it like my hubby and his family do and nuke it in the microwave.

To nuke bacon, simply line a microwaveable plate with a paper towel, lay bacon strips on top, and cover with a second paper towel. Microwave for 5-6 minutes, and voila! Perfectly cooked bacon!

If you or your hubby prefer your bacon a bit more crispy, stick to the frying pan.

Either way, you’ll want to get your bacon started before you begin mixing ingredients.

Once your bacon’s cooking, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) in one bowl and your wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, milk, oil) in another. Mix both and then pour the wet contents into the dry bowl. Mix again until all lumps have dissolved. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon for flavor.

(If you or your hubby really like peanut butter, now’s a good time to throw a bit into the batter. It’ll give your waffles an extra peanut buttery taste.)

Once your contents are mixed, you can begin pouring into your waffle maker.

Using a Dash mini waffle maker, I can’t tell you how easy it is to pull off the perfect pint-sized waffle.

Simply pour four spoonfuls of batter onto the maker, close the lid, and in 1-2 minutes you have a perfect, fluffy, bite-sized waffle!

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

Continue making waffles until all of the batter is gone. This recipe should yield approximately 13 mini waffles, which is the perfect amount for your special man and his littles. (Or, if you’re my family, it’s the perfect size for you…and maybe you’ll share one with the man of honor. But also maybe not.)

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

While I’m stacking my waffles, I like to add a special surprise between some of the layers. Plus, peanut butter helps affix the waffles to each other, and keeps them from toppling. Win win!

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

When all of your waffles are ready, add one more dollop of peanut butter to the top, drizzle with maple syrup, and lay a few pieces of bacon on the top for texture and kick. (You can also layer bacon strips between the waffle layers if you wanna get real adventurous!)

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

 

You can obviously use any waffle you’d like, but I think these Dash waffle makers give you the best waffles. Plus, who doesn’t like pint-sized anything?? They’re also easy to store and they come in a bunch of adorable colors! Follow my Instagram account @Politics_to_PlayDoh, where I’ll be giving away a brand new Dash waffle maker to a lucky follower!

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

What’s your favorite kind of waffle? (Mine is strawberries and whipped cream, always. But I’ll throw some sprinkles on there to keep it colorful.) Have you ever tried peanut butter and bacon together on anything else?

xoxo

Cara

Bacon-Wrapped Bleu Cheese-Stuffed Date Appetizers

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links

 

When I first moved to DC in 2010, I wasn’t exactly politically savvy. In fact, I didn’t even know with which party my views aligned until I had a conversation with my roommate’s friend and the lightbulb went off.

When you live in DC and you’re not a wonk, you tend to feel a little out of place. (And you then take an accelerated course in Wonkiness to catch up…and survive).

Needless to say, I remember my first wonky soiree pretty vividly.

My coworker at Ted’s Bulletin (the greatest restaurant in DC – more on that later) invited me to come with him to a little get-together with friends.

I only found out later that in DC “friends” usually means “network” and “network” tends to include some pretty fancy, often famous, people.

This was one of those parties.

It was going to be low-key by DC standards, but we were still going to need to be a little upscale in our potluck appetizer.

I had no idea what we could make that would be as easy as pigs-in-a-blanket, but not as…uncouth.

Well, turns out I didn’t need to worry. My friend had it covered.

I give you…

Bacon-Wrapped Bleu Cheese-Stuffed Date Appetizers

In the seven years since I discovered these things, they have graced my table at every event I’ve hosted.

They’re so easy, so unique, and so dang delicious.

Take a look at these ingredients:

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

1 carton Medjool dates (You can find these at any grocery store)

Bleu cheese crumbles (Or block of bleu cheese, crumbled)

1 package of bacon

Toothpicks

 

(The amount of ingredients doesn’t really matter — I usually just buy a container of dates and keep stuffing and wrapping until something runs out lol.)

 

1. Preheat your oven to 400°

This is the perfect temperature to cook bacon in the oven and get that nice little crisp before the chew.

 

2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil

 

3. Slice the top off each date so you’re left with only a smooth exterior

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

4. Peel open each date to reveal the pit

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

5. Remove said pit and open the date

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

6. Using a spoon, stuff a little (or a lot, who’s judging?) Bleu cheese into each sliced date

 

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

7. Place each date on a slice of bacon, and roll it until the bacon is completely surrounding the date

If you’re trying to preserve bacon because you have a ton of dates (or you’re just not really a fan of bacon, in which case WHY??), halve each slice of bacon before rolling.

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

8. Stick a toothpick through the center of each wrapped date, holding the bacon in place

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

9. Repeat until all dates are stuffed and wrapped

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

10. Place in the oven and let bake for 15 minutes

(Or until the bacon is crisped to your liking)

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

11. Voila! Beautiful, delicious bacon-wrapped Bleu cheese-stuffed date appetizers!

Even politicians can agree these things are scruptious!

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

The sweet, wrapped in salty and packed with tangy, gives this bite a PUNCH that makes you think, “Dang, that’s rich! …But I need another.” Have you ever combined sweet and salty? What’s your favorite bacon treat?

 

xoxo

Cara

 

DIY Pina Colada

DIY Pina Colada - Politics to PlayDoh

Is it still summer? I have to do a pulse check every other day out here in Utah. It’s not the same oppressive heat of the East Coast that will tell you in a bead of sweat which month you’re in.

Well, guys. It’s summer alright! 

Next week, my hubby and I are off to yet another tropical adventure: This time, in Cancun. (Yes, all of our friends get married in the tropics. No, we aren’t mad.)

To prepare for our vacation (which will not include a toddler this time), I’ve been throwin’ back the coladas.

I know you’ve been hankering for that piña colada I promised this week. I am, too, and I just had one!  So let’s get this baby started!

When I first got the colada itch this summer, I knew I didn’t want to go basic. Normally, I just grab a bottle of Master of Mixes Pina Colada Drink Mix and toss it in a blender with some ice. Totally endorse it if you’re in a hurry! But even the rushed will have time for what I came up with.

This is a mildly more healthful option for the classic drink — and way more authentic!

As always, my recipes are super flexible, so play with the ingredients until they’re to your liking!

 

1. First, you’ve gotta start with your ingredients. You’ll need the following:

DIY Pina Colada - Politics to PlayDoh

 

1 whole pineapple, cored (See my DIY Pineapple Cup post for easy instructions!)

5 cups ice

1 cup diced pineapple

1/2 cup Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, shredded

1/4 cup pineapple juice (you can use the juice from the pineapple or the can!)

1 pinch of nutmeg

 

*1/2 banana (for taste, if bananas are your thing)

NOTE: I used legit whole-sized coconut flakes in my first rendition, which ended up being a little chunky for my taste. It’s hard to pulverize coconut flakes while not over-pulverizing the ice cubes in the same blender. So I’d suggest either buying shredded coconut or pulverizing the coconut beforehand in a food processor and then adding it to the blender mix.

 

2. Blend all ingredients together in a blender

DIY Pina Colada - Politics to PlayDoh

3. Then, pour the mixture over your pineapple cup

DIY Pina Colada - Politics to PlayDoh

 

4. Add a maraschino cherry for the classic look or a strawberry if you want to pretend you’re super healthy!

5. Finally, top it with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a tiny umbrella and enjoy!

DIY Pina Colada - Politics to PlayDoh

DIY Pina Colada - Politics to PlayDoh

DIY Pina Colada - Politics to PlayDoh

 

For the alcoholic version, just add (wait for it…) alcohol! 

(Rum, to be specific, but I guess… You do you.)

And there you have it! This drink is definitely going to be a staple in our household this summer. If you’re ever at my house while I’m entertaining, expect to see these drinks adorning every table. In my fabulous pineapple cups! I’m so excited that I’ve found an easy and authentic way to create my favorite summer drink.

DIY Pina Colada - Politics to PlayDoh

 

What’s your favorite summer beverage? Do you like to add anything special to your piña colada?

 

xoxo

 

Cara

 

Red White and Bleu Memorial Day Wedge Salad

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the summer holidays! - Politics to PlayDoh

The other day, as I was brainstorming ideas for upcoming holiday entertaining, I suddenly had a craving for a wedge salad. Random, right? I think it had something to do with the fact that I’d just eaten the most delectable wedge salad from California Pizza Kitchen not a week prior, so wedges were on the brain.

Either way, I came home from work and decided I needed a wedge salad.

So I rummaged through the fridge and pantry and pulled out the following ingredients:

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the summer holidays! - Politics to PlayDoh

1 head of Iceberg lettuce

1 12 oz. package of bacon

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup sour cream

1 tomato

1 5 oz. package of Bleu cheese

Spritz of lemon juice

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the summer holidays! - Politics to PlayDoh

That’ll do, pig. That’ll do. (Too soon?)

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the summer holidays! - Politics to PlayDoh

Now, you should know at this point that everything I make or bake is a hodge podge of things I have lying around in my kitchen. I call it Leveraging Leftovers (c). Nothing I do is exact, and everything is made to be modified. So these ingredients are what I used in my rendition, but you can make it your own with what you’ve got. Have fun with it — I always do!

In order to assemble the salad, I took the following steps:

 

  1. First, cook the bacon

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad by Politics to PlayDoh - Just in time for the holiday!

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays! - Politics to PlayDoh

2. Next, chop the bacon into tiny pieces

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays! - Politics to PlayDoh

3. Then, mix the buttermilk and sour cream together (Continue to add ingredients until the consistency of the dressing is to your taste. I’m not gonna lie, mine came out a little bit watery. I probably should’ve added a bit more sour cream or left out some of the lemon juice I added for taste. You can also add mayo if you want a little more gelatinous consistency.)

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

4. Add half of the Bleu cheese crumbles to the mixture, stir

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

5. Add half of the bacon to the mixture, stir

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

6. Now dice the tomatoes

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

7. Cut the lettuce head in halfRed White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

8. Then cut each lettuce half in half again (resulting in four wedges)

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the summer holidays! - Politics to PlayDoh

9. Now dress the lettuce with your Bacon Bleu Cheese dressing (White!)Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

10. Next, top the salad with diced tomatoes (Red!)Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

11. Sprinkle remaining Bleu cheese and bacon pieces on top of salad (Bleu!)

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

12. Enjoy!

Red White and Bleu Wedge Salad just in time for the holidays - Politics to PlayDoh

In honor of Memorial Day’s rapid approach, I like to call this salad the Red White and Bleu Wedge: Red tomatoes, creamy White dressing, sprinkled with Bleu cheese! It doesn’t get much more #Murica than that!

How do you like to decorate your wedge?

xoxo

Cara

**Profound gratitude goes to the men and women who have served in our armed forces to protect our freedoms. I wouldn’t have the privilege of writing this blog without their selfless sacrifice. In memoriam.