It’s December 21st. As I write this on November 8th (because Carrian is awesome and got it to me way in advance), I’m really hoping that when this goes live on the 21st of December, I’ll be holding our sweet baby boy in my arms. Because 4 days past my due date is 4 days more of throwing up. Fingers crossed that you’ve all heard some good news by now! If not, I’m sure I’m on Twitter whining about how miserable I am…so either way you’re probably hearing from me. 
I wanted to make sure I still had some great content and recipes for all of you to read while I’m slightly busy trying to figure out how to juggle two kids. So, for the next few weeks, every Friday I’ll be hosting a terrific new guest! Most of whom you’ve never seen here before on Rachel Cooks. I’m so excited to kick it off with Carrian. You met her when I featured her in the “day in the life” series but now you have a chance to get a taste of her fantastic food that she offers up on her blog, Sweet Basil.
Oh–and how gorgeous is her family?!?

Hello, Rachel Cooks readers!!! My name is Carrian and I write, Sweet Basil a food blog about “reinventing family dinner.” I absolutely adore food, family and friends and we are always read for one more guest around our dinner table.

I mainly write the blog, but my husband is helping out a ton, and our girls make pretty fantastic taste testers. We believe that anyone can be successful in the kitchen with a point in the right direction and that cooking and eating together create stronger relationships.

I cannot even begin to tell you how unbelievably excited I am to be posting on Rachel Cooks. I’ve been so blessed to be able to get to know Rachel and I cannot wait to one day meet in real life. I’m just sure that she is truly as lovely as she seems through emails, twitter etc.

When Rachel asked me to do a guest post for her while she was busy loving on a new baby, I immediately said yes, and then fainted. Well, actually I didn’t faint, but I could have. I totally could have. I did become immediately worried about what in the world I would ever post to such a lovely blog. Ugh, her recipes and photography are beautiful, what in the world could I make that would be good for her blog. And then bacon appeared in my mind. Mmmmm Bacon…

Passing Down Holiday Traditions to Your Own Family

During the holidays my mom spent a whole lot of time in the kitchen and every year it was the same slew of treats and snacks: (please forgive the older posts’ photography. Eeek!) bacon wrapped water chestnuts, chocolate pizza, peanut butter balls, coconut balls, pies, pumpkin roll, artichoke dip, chocolate sheet cake, spudnut donuts, and peanut butter crackers dipped in white chocolate. I’m slowly but surely starting to blog about all of these, but with my need to be creative sometimes it’s hard to go back to the classics, but when I do, I never regret it.

I’m all about traditions, especially those in the kitchen, so if you take away only two things let it be, Bacon, glorious bacon, and bring back the ol’ family favorite recipes and pass them down to your children. It will mean more than you realize to talk to your children about your childhood, and to pass something on to them.

This particular recipe was a favorite around town, and if Mom didn’t make them for a party people would be heartbroken. Plus, it has bacon… are you catching what I’m throwing here? ;)


Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts are a simple yet elegant appetizer.


1 Cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 Cups Ketchup
1 lb. bacon
2 (8 oz.) Cans water chestnuts


Preheat oven to 375.
Cut the bacon slices in half and wrap each water chestnut with half a strip of bacon. Secure with tooth pick and set evenly in a 9×11″ pan.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, and remove from the oven. Pour off fat and set aside.
Mix brown sugar, Worcestershire, and ketchup together in a small bowl.  Pour over water chestnuts and bake for 30 minutes. Place on a platter and serve immediately! (We threw ours in the crockpot the last 30 minutes and let everyone take directly from the crock pot for a casual night)

Recipe from Sweet Basil

All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.
Thanks again, Carrian! xoxo