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Green with Bacon

This magic meat can even make Julie eat her vegetables

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 5:00 p.m. CST
Caption
(Herald Photo by Lisa Pesavento)
Despite her dislike of vegetables — especially those of the color green — Julie Erickson has managed to develop distinctive appetizers that capitalize on her love of bacon... and make vegetables more than palatable to her. As a plus, everyone else who tries them loves them as well.

We all have different tastes in foods that we like, and some that we like not so much.

My friend, Julie Erickson, is a good cook. She is a mother of five and can throw a meal together with just a few ingredients, or items that she has on hand.

Julie does not like vegetables that are green. This includes lettuce. (She never eats a salad!) Amazingly, her children do eat vegetables.

For years, I have nagged her about trying vegetables.  There are a few exceptions to her vegetable rule. She will eat celery and green pepper in a pasta salad. She will eat almost any green vegetable that is cooked with bacon. Of course, not a salad though, even if bacon is the main ingredient.

I love the fact that Julie can come up with a recipe at a moments notice. She will also try to copy foods that she eats elsewhere.

Her attitude is “Why buy it if you can make it yourself.”

Julie has come up with these three appetizer-type recipes that her family loves... as does anyone else that tries these dishes.

The first one I just call Julie’s Dip. She brought this to my house about 12 years ago on a night that we were having a meeting to make some items for a Shabbona dance. She had the ingredients on hand and just threw them together.

I forgot to mention that Julie considers olives a vegetable, just so she can increase her “veggie-eating repertoire!”

Everyone who tries this dip has to have the recipe.  It is so simple. Serve it with a firm tortilla chip to get the most out of this dip.

Just mix together cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, and black olives and you have a dip that people cannot stop eating.

Feel free to embellish this dip with other things if you want (Julie doesn’t mind).

I will sometimes add chopped scallions. Julie would never add these unless they were cooked with bacon. They are a green vegetable, after all.

The second Julie recipe is Jalapeno Poppers. Julie saw these poppers somewhere and she came up with her own recipe. Her family loves it, especially her husband, Dave.

This recipe truly endears Julie to Dave and helps remind him of one of the reasons why he finds Julie so irresistible!

When working with jalapenos, be very careful not to touch near your eyes. They will burn for a long time and may deter you from making these delicious poppers.

Although, Jalapeno Poppers are actually an appetizer, Julie will often make these for her and Dave when the kids are not home and eat them as a meal.

Of course, being that the jalapeno is a vegetable, these are served with a piece of bacon wrapped around them.

Julie will also eat jalapenos in salsa. Even though jalapenos are a vegetable, Julie considers them more of a condiment, so she is able to eat them freely without bacon.

Julie, jalapenos are a vegetable.

Last, and certainly not least, Julie’s final recipe is Beans with Bacon. You have no idea how excited I was that Julie was actually eating beans... until I heard about the bacon. I wish these were healthier, because they are so delicious and addictive.

These beans can be served warm or cold. It seems like a big recipe, but you will find that you will be drawn to your refrigerator to eat “just a few.”

One time Julie made these (OK the secret is out) and hid them in the back of her refrigerator so that she would have them all just for herself.

After you taste these, you will understand.

For the last several years, Julie has worked full time.  She is now working out of her home selling 31 Gifts, a company that sells purses and bags. She always finds time to spend with her family and also time to create delicious things to eat.

The fact that she is home more also frees her up to meet friends at McDonald’s in the morning for Diet Coke. And most importantly, she has time to make her dad his favorite pumpkin cookies. (Hint!  Hint!  I added this especially for you, Lynn.)

Do not think that Julie only makes appetizers. She makes a lot of other things too. In fact, her sister, Joanie, calls her the “Queen of Casseroles.” I forgot to mention, she sews, too.

For someone who claims to not eat vegetables, she has come up with some very good dishes. Try all of these recipes and you will have some new favorite appetizers to make. 

And remember, …a good cook always cleans up!

Julie’s Dip

2 8-oz cream cheese, softened 1 jar of prepared salsa 1 or 2 dollops of sour cream 1 jar black olives, sliced Chips (for dipping)

Mix first four ingredients together. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Serve with chips.

Jalapeno Poppers

6 jalapeno peppers 4 oz. softened cream cheese 3 slices bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice peppers, lengthwise, and remove seeds. Stuff peppers with cream cheese and wrap ˝ slice of bacon around each pepper.  Secure with a toothpick.

Put a grate over a cookie sheet in the oven and cook until bacon is crispy, turning once.
Beans with Bacon

2 16-oz. bags frozen green beans 1 lb. bacon ˝ cup white vinegar Salt Pepper

Cut up and cook the pound of bacon. Remove the bacon from the pan when browned, but leave the grease.

Add 2 bags of frozen beans, ˝ cup of white vinegar, salt and pepper.

Cook over low heat for 3 hours, until beans are limp, stirring occasionally. Crumble bacon into beans and serve.

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