Christmas Reflections of the Disorganized Kind and Caramelized Bacon Tater Tots for New Year’s Eve

Caramelized Bacon Wrapped Tater Tot Appetizer

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!  It is hard to believe it has come and gone already.  I always have mixed feelings about our Christmas celebration.  I love the time spent with family and friends, all of the wonderful foods that we eat this time of year, and the beautiful lights.  Most of all I am grateful for the reason we celebrate.  But at the same time because I am not a naturally organized person it tends to bring on a little anxiety because of all there is to do or that I place on myself to do, hoping it will be a perfect holiday for everyone.  As I was vacuuming up some of the mess this last week, it became a time of enlightenment and reflection about things I learned this year or want to remember for next year.  I thought it might help me to remember them if I wrote them down.

1.  It is never a good idea to run over M & M’s with the vacuum no matter how much of a hurry you are in.

2.  A week before Christmas, no matter how much I tell myself I won’t ahead of time, I WILL start eating cookies for breakfast.

Soft, Frosted Sugar Cookies

3.  It is an unwritten rule of Christmas that no matter how organized you are or how many presents you get wrapped ahead of time, you will still be wrapping presents until 3:00 A.M. Christmas Eve.

4.  When stressed, I eat cookies if they are available.  How many cookies I eat per day is directly proportional to how many days before Christmas.  The closer Christmas gets, the more cookies I eat.

Soft, Frosted Sugar Cookies

5.  The closer to Christmas a present gets wrapped, the less likely it will have a bow on it.

6. No matter how old they are or how well you brought them up, if you have boys and they help you frost Christmas cookies, they WILL find a way to turn a star, a camel, or a gingerbread man into an obscene cookie.

Soft, Frosted Sugar Cookies

7.  If you don’t buy extra wrapping paper because you don’t want to store it for next year, you WILL run out,  and it will be at 3:00 A.M. on Christmas Eve.

8.  Trader Joe’s grocery bags make very good wrapping paper.

9.  Another unwritten rule of Christmas is, the amount of days before Christmas is directly proportional to how many trips to the grocery store I will make in 1 day to get things I forgot.  The closer to Christmas, the more trips to the store.  Who knew there was so much math involved in celebrating Christmas.  Unfortunately I never liked math very much.

10. If you vacuum up 10 Christmas tree needles, in a matter of minutes, there will be 20 on the floor – more math!

11.  Even though it is a busy season, I am always glad we took time to go to the Christmas Eve service at church.

12.  Don’t make the soup so spicy next year.  (Send a note of apology to my dad letting him know I wasn’t actually trying to kill him.)

Posole Rojo

13.  No matter how clean your house looks when you go to bed at 3:00 A.M. on Christmas Eve, by 11:00 A.M. the next day it will look like a tornado hit it.  A Christmas tornado, but a tornado nonetheless.

14.  The first Christmas wasn’t perfect either so don’t feel too badly.  I mean, there were live animals in the nursery barn where Jesus was born!

These are the ramblings that go on in a sleep deprived, unorganized brain the week of Christmas.  I hope you are more organized than I am.  But if you aren’t, there’s always next year to try again!:)  In the mean time, New Year’s Eve is coming up quickly which means more yummy food.  Here is a recipe for my new favorite appetizer which includes bacon!  It is super easy, but make sure to follow the recipe and tips exactly for success.

Caramelized Bacon Wrapped Tater Tot Appetizer

Caramelized Bacon Wrapped Tater Tot Appetizer

Happy New Year!

Caramelized Bacon Wrapped Tater Tot Appetizer

Caramelized Bacon Wrapped Tater Tot Appetizer

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 bag frozen tater tots
  • 1 bag cheddar cheese rectangles or 1 lb. cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • approximately 2 c brown sugar
  • parchment paper
  • cooking spray
  • toothpicks
  • bar-b-q sauce, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray (the second baking sheet is to transfer the tots to halfway through.
  3. If you are using cheddar cheese rectangles, cut each rectangle in half long ways, and then cut each half in fourths so you end up with 8 cheese squares per rectangle.  If you are using regular cheddar cheese slice into 1/4 inch thick slices, and then cut those slices into squares a little smaller than the tater tot.  Basically you want to end up with a thin square of cheese a little smaller than the tot so it won’t ooze out the ends.  Cut 24 squares altogether.
  4. Cut each piece of bacon into thirds or 3 pieces.
  5. Lay 1 piece of cheese on the center of each piece of bacon.  Then lay one frozen tater tot on top of the cheese.  Wrap the bacon around the cheese and tater tot, securing the ends with a toothpick.  You don’t want the bacon to overlap too much or it won’t cook as well and get crispy.  I cut the ends off of some of mine that were too long after I wrapped it around the tot. (The recipe seems to work better if the tots are frozen and the cheese is cold).
  6. Pour brown sugar onto a plate.  Dip each bacon wrapped tater tot in the brown sugar, making sure to coat all sides.
  7. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Don’t omit this step as tots will stick.
  8. Place cookie sheet with tots in oven and set timer for 12 minutes.
  9. After 12 minutes, with metal tongs, place tots on new parchment sheet lined cookie sheet making sure to turn them over so they brown evenly on both sides, and place back in oven.  (The reason you are using a new sheet of parchment is the brown sugar that falls off of the tots tends to burn during the last half of the cooking, and fills your oven with smoke).
  10. Set the timer for 13 more minutes, then take the tots out of the oven.  Keep a close eye on the tots as oven temperatures and bacon thickness may vary, so yours may be done before this.  You want them to be a little crispy and caramelized on the outside.
  11. Serve immediately with a cup of your favorite bar-b-q sauce on the side if desired.
  12. Refrigerate any leftovers (but there probably won’t be any)!

Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, originally found on Damn Delicious



About Shari

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them! (
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16 Responses to Christmas Reflections of the Disorganized Kind and Caramelized Bacon Tater Tots for New Year’s Eve

  1. Nancy says:

    Lol, Shari… great post!! I can SO relate to your entire list! 🙂 Hilarious!
    As for these genius little appetizers, love them! And they seem quite simple to put together… I don’t even have to remember to thaw the tater tots? Perfect for my imperfect memory skills. Hope you have a very Happy New Year!

  2. Dee Dee says:

    Hope you are bringing these tomorrow night!

  3. Vicki says:

    Great post-made me laugh! I want to taste these. They sound delicious.

  4. Ginny says:

    I subscribe to your cookie eating system. One question: do you have a method to your ‘cookies for breakfast or stress’ system? (For example, I eat the cookies, or cupcakes, that are the least uniform and with defects in the decorating first … you know, saving the best looking ones for as long as possible. I tell myself that I’m providing a kind of service, by eliminating the least good looking treats.)

    • Shari says:

      Oh, Ginny! You are a woman after my own heart! That is exactly what I do, too. Do you think there is some way we could get paid for providing this service? Because we all know it is never a good idea to serve defective cookies or cupcakes!:) Your comment made my day. Thank you!

  5. I think I would eat my own finger wrapped in bacon :). this year I didn’t bake a thousand cookies and actually went on a long weekend trip before Christmas thinking it would all result in disaster. We all had a great time regardless! I plan on chilling a bit more this new year too (that’s probably a lie.) Happy New Year Shari!

    • Shari says:

      Loved your bacon comment, Julie!:) I’m glad you were able to change things up a bit at Christmas and that it still worked out okay. Happy New Year to you as well! I look forward to reading your posts this year.

  6. Those look fantastic! Great finger food!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you very much, Liuba! We really enjoyed them. I know I will be making them again and as soon as possible. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and comment!

  7. cheri says:

    Hi Shari, if I wrote out a list mine would probably be similar to yours in some ways. Love your tater tot appetizer. Happy New Year!

    • Shari says:

      Thank you, Cheri. I’m glad I’m not the only one with that kind of list!:) I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. It has been so cold here lately, it has really felt like winter for a change. Happy New Year to you as well!

  8. Great post! It made me laugh, especially the part about boys decorating cookies. (I have a dear friend who is a pillar in her church and community, yet her boys cannot be trusted when it comes to decorating cookies.)

    Also, the cookie-eating confession is priceless. I hear you, sistah!

    These caramelized bacon tater tots look DEE-LISH!! I’m sending this recipe to my bacon-loving sister – as a hint – for our next big family get-together…

    • Shari says:

      Thank you so much, Ruth! I have now purged my house of all cookies so am hoping to get back on track quickly to more healthy eating, for the most part anyway. If your sister likes bacon, I think she will love these tater tots. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

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