I’ve read that in successful relationships, each partner brings different strengths. Ben, for his contribution, can remember the play-by-play of every Notre Dame football game in the last 25 years. For my part, I can remember everything the two of us have ever eaten while watching, these Sweet Potato Bites with Avocado and Bacon in particular. Clearly, we are made for each other!
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I’m sure, if pressed (or if the last Sweet Potato Bite were at stake), I could find one game Ben missed in the last 25 years, but it would be a challenge. In fact, this time of year, our entire communication system shifts to the team’s schedule.
Sample conversation. Please note, this actually happened. More than once.
- Me: “The wedding is the 23rd.”
- Ben: “What?”
- Me: (checks schedule on phone) “The Michigan State Game.”
- Ben: “Ah, OK. It’s not during the game is it?”
Why my husband’s brain is wired this way, I can no more easily explain it than I can my ability to remember every restaurant the two of us have eaten in together, what we each ordered, and our final verdict.
Some people are born to solve complex mathematical formulas. I am born to remember menus…and the words to every N*SYNC song ever written. As I said, different strengths.
Ben and my unique, er, talents join forces anytime we are hosting a game watch. Ben takes care of the party timing, DVRing, and positioning the couches and chairs for optimal viewing. I take care of the menu and invite the guests.
If I’m invested in the team, I do care about the outcome of the game, but to be totally honest, I love football (and all sports for that matter) most for the social aspect.
After all, why watch a game all by yourself when you can watch it with friends and an epic spread of game day food?
Crowd Pleasing Sweet Potato Appetizer
Oven the dozens of game day recipes I’ve made over the years, these Sweet Potato Bites with Avocado and Bacon have remained a long-running crowd pleaser.
The recipe has a few simple ingredients and spices that, while separately delicious, truly have been meant to be together all along: avocado, bacon, and sweet potatoes.
How to Make Sweet Potato Bites with Avocado and Bacon
- Start by slicing and baking the sweet potato to make chips.
- Then, while you wait for them to crisp in the oven, make a quick guacamole by mashing avocado with lime and smoked paprika.
- Take the heavenly green concoction and settle it atop the sweet potato chips.
- Smother the whole shebang with crispy bacon and cilantro. You just built the perfect game-day bite.
In addition to being ridiculously yummy and addictive (did I mention that bacon and avocado are involved?), this easy sweet potato appetizer is allergy friendly, making it good choice for parties where guests have different dietary restrictions.
They’re gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and Paleo too.
If you have a guest who is vegetarian or vegan, you can also omit the bacon or top only some of the bites. Or make them some Creamy Vegan Queso Dip.
(Spoiler if you invite me: I will be eating the bites with the bacon. Don’t judge!)
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- Make Ahead Tips. Slice the sweet potatoes and bake the bacon up to 1 day in advance. Store separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. The avocado mixture can be made a few hours in advance. I recommend baking the sweet potatoes and assembling the bites as close to serving time as possible, as they do become a bit soggy as they sit. Even if they do soften somewhat, they will still be delicious!
- To Store. Store in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed tightly against the top to prevent browning.
Sweet Potato Bites with Avocado and Bacon
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- 4 slices thick-cut bacon about 3 ounces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 sweet potatoes scrubbed clean, peels on
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 medium avocados peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake bacon according to these directions. Remove to a paper towel–lined plate and lightly pat dry. Once cool enough to handle, dice and set aside.
- If necessary, move the racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil (if reusing one of the bacon sheets, change out the foil for a fresh piece). Brush sheets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil each. With a mandoline or very sharp knife, slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2- to 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the oiled baking sheets, then brush tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown underneath, rotating the pans 180 degrees and changing their positions on the upper/lower racks halfway through. Remove the pans from the oven, flip the slices over, then roast for an additional 8 to 11 minutes, until golden on top.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the avocado, lime juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and smoked paprika. Mash lightly with a fork, leaving the mixture slightly chunky. Set aside.
- Transfer the baked sweet potato slices to a serving plate. Top each with a dollop of the avocado mixture, chopped bacon, and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Make ahead tips: Slice the sweet potatoes and bake the bacon up to 1 day in advance. Store separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. The avocado mixture can be made a few hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed tightly against the top to prevent browning. I recommend baking the sweet potatoes and assembling the bites as close to serving time as possible, as they do become a bit soggy as they sit. Even if they do soften somewhat, they will still be delicious!
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