3 Easy & Delicious Recipes Perfect for SpringApril 8, 2020
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smithfield®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Now that the weather has been really warming up, we’ve been spending more & more time in the backyard: outdoor picnics, weeknight dinners on the patio and family time around the fire pit. To keep everyone well-fed, I came up with three delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes that are perfect for spring: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates, Sausage & Veggie Kabobs and Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Hot Dogs. Each of these recipes feature products from the Smithfield® line of brands, which you can pick up from your local Giant Foods, Martin’s or Stop & Shop store.
The kids are happy to spend all day outdoors. One activity we’ve been enjoying recently is a nature-inspired scavenger hunt. I’ll give Sophia & Charlotte a list of items to find and they’ll search the yard for these items. For example, items on the list include: 10 rocks, tiny twigs, brown leaves, etc. They’ll collect all their items in a little bucket and then cross items off the list as they’re found.
One thing I love about spending time outdoors is that we can all eat together in the fresh air. Once the kids are done eating, they can go and play together in the yard (they’ve been really enjoying playing their own version of soccer recently.) Meanwhile, the adults can continue to chat & snack. By the way, these Stuffed Dates are incredibly delicious – you won’t believe how easy they are to prepare!
Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
This fancy-looking appetizer that’s sure to impress a crowd is actually a breeze to whip together. Start by gathering the ingredients required: Smithfield Bacon, dates, goat cheese, honey.
First use a knife to carefully score each of the dates to remove the pit. Place the goat cheese inside a zippered plastic bag and push the goat cheese all the way down to the bottom of the bag. Using a pair of scissors, snip off a corner off the bag. Use this bag to squeeze some goat cheese inside each of the dates. If it’s difficult to squeeze the goat cheese out of the bag, remove the goat cheese from the bag and microwave for 10 seconds to soften it up a bit.
Wrap each date with a strip of Smithfield Bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Place in the oven at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until the bacon is fully cooked and lightly browned/crispy. Drizzle some honey over the top of each of the dates. Optional: You can replace each toothpick with a small appetizer fork for a more impressive presentation.
I love that this dish comes together in no time and features the delicious hickory smoked flavor of Smithfield Bacon.
It’s the perfect combination of flavors: bite-sized portions of sweet chewy dates, salty flavorful bacon and tart creamy goat cheese. It’s a match made in appetizer heaven!
Grilled Sausage & Zucchini Kabobs
This second recipe typifies spring & summer for me: zucchini, smoked sausage, cherry tomatoes and colorful peppers all threaded onto wooden skewers and char-grilled to perfection. There’s something about kabobs that are just fun to prepare and even more fun to eat. This recipe is ideal for spring picnics, BBQs or just weeknight dinners by the grill. Gather the ingredients required: Eckrich Smoked Sausage, zucchini, mini peppers, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and chopped cilantro. I love that Eckrich Smoked Sausage features a natural casing and is naturally hardwood smoked.
Slice the zucchini & sausage and thread all the ingredients onto wooden skewers. We all eat with our eyes first – are these not amazingly colorful?!
These can be cooked on an open grill outdoors or on a sauté pan on the stove top. Just make sure to brush well with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. I also like to squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and garnish with freshly-chopped cilantro.
Thanks to the savoriness of the smoked sausage and the crunchiness of the colorful veggies, these kabobs are truly a delight for the taste buds!
We host a number of gatherings at our house throughout springtime and kabobs always seem to be on the menu. They’re easy to make and everyone enjoys them!
Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Hot Dogs
Kick up your hot dog game a few notches with this next recipe. Start by collecting the ingredients you’ll need: Nathan’s Beef Franks, Smithfield Bacon, hot dog buns, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese and crispy fried onions.
Tightly wrap the hot dogs with some bacon and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I love that Nathan’s Beef Franks are made with 100% beef and are free of fillers, by-products, gluten, corn syrup and artificial colors/flavors.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until the hot dogs are fully heated and the bacon is crispy. Alternatively, you can grill these outdoors.
Place inside the hot dog buns and top with some BBQ sauce, crispy fried onions and shredded cheddar cheese. These are such a flavorful take on the traditional hot dog!
Don’t forget to stop by your local Giant Foods, Giant,Martin’s or Stop & Shop to purchase these great products from Smithfield Foods and more. From breakfast to dinner and every occasion along the way, Smithfield Foods can help your family enjoy delicious, flavorful meals all season long.
Between the Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Hot Dogs, the Sausage & Veggie Kabobs and the Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates, a weeknight dinner has never been tastier. By the way, these protein-rich foods are guaranteed to be satisfying!
The wide variety of Smithfield products makes it so simple to create delicious meals. On my next trip to Stop & Shop, I want to try Smithfield Frozen Breakfast Sausage, Carando Meatballs and Curly’s Prepared Ribs. So many tasty options!
Don’t forget to pick up some of these products from Smithfield Foods for your upcoming spring lunches. Which of these three recipes would you like to try?