Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Martin requested some Jalapeno Poppers.  I wanted to avoid a frying mess.  I found this recipe at Emerils.com and it ended up being a hit.  The first time I made them I did it according to the recipe.  The second time Martin requested the filling be less flavorful.  He liked both recipes.  The rest of us liked the first one.  Here it is;

Baked Jalapeno Peppers

IMG_5496Not a great pic. I should have been a bit more creative!

Ingredients

12 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese (I used MJ)
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I used 1 teaspoon.  Cumin is my favorite spice.)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste – I used 1/4 teaspoon)
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons milk
8 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 cup panko crumbs or fine dry breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Directions

1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking sheet, set aside.
2.  In a bowl, cream together cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin and cayenne. Set aside.
3.  In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and 2 teaspoons Cajun/creole seasoning.
4.  In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and 4 teaspoons of Cajun/Creole seasoning.
5.  In a third bowl combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons Cajun/Creole seasoning.
6.  Spread 1 Tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half.
7.  One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in panko crumbs, pressing to coat.  If necessary, repeat the process. (I did not repeat)
8.  Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30-45 minutes.
9.  Remove from the oven and serve immediately with a cold beer!

The second round I did the following for the filling – 6 ounces cream cheese, 1 Tablespoon chopped chives, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper.

Enjoy this simple and delicious appetizer!!

 

Stuffed Peppers

I have been craving stuffed peppers.  My mom used to make these and I hated them.  I didn’t mind what was inside but did not like those peppers.  I guess my taste buds have changed – died due to the aging process 🙂 but I love peppers now.  I used green bell peppers today but I think next time I will use red, orange and yellow.  I also would like to try some other peppers besides the bell variety.  This recipe takes about 30 minutes to prepare and another 30 minutes to bake.   I found this recipe at  America’s Test Kitchen.  It reminds me of my mom’s recipe.  Here goes;

Classic Stuffed Peppers
(just like mom’s)

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4 green, red, yellow, orange bell peppers, 1/2 inch trimmed off tops, cores and seeds discarded (I used 6 green, they were small to medium size and on sale this week!)
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1# ground beef (or any ground meat.  If you don’t want meat add more veggies and/or rice)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained – 1/4 cup juice set aside for later use
5 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/4 cup)
2 Tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
Salt and pepper

Directions

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1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Adjust oven rack to middle position.

2.  Bring 4 quarts water and 1 Tablespoon of salt to boil in large stockpot over high heat.  When water boils,  add your peppers.  02062014 006Cook until peppers begin to soften, 3-5 minutes and remove with slotted spoon.
3.  Set the peppers upside down on paper towels to drain water, then flip over as soon as drained.
4.  Return water to a boil, add 1/2 cup of rice and boil until tender or 12 minutes.  Drain rice into colander and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
5.  While the rice is cooking heat a 12 inch heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat until hot, add oil and swirl to coat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and brown, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, breaking into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
6.  Transfer mixture to the bowl with rice, stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.
7.  In a small bowl stir together the ketchup and remaining tomato juice.
8.  Place peppers cut side up in 9 inch square baking dish. 02062014 009 Fill each pepper with meat/rice mixture.  Spoon 2 Tablespoons of ketchup mixture over tope of each filled pepper, sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.  Serve immediately.02062014 013

Don’t limit yourself to the classic stuffing.  You could use any kind of ground meat, different cheeses, grains, veggies.  The list is endless.  Hope you enjoy this simple and delicious comfort food meal!!

 

 

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whoa.  That’s a long name.  I saw these in June’s Food Network Magazine.  I just can’t resist a lemon recipe, especially lemon cookies.  I may be watching what I eat but I can still have a cookie once in awhile.  Hmmm, maybe two.  These are simple and deeeelicious!

Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks(12 Tablespoons)  butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest (I used zest of one lemon)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (or vanilla)
12 ounce bag white chocolate chips

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in medium bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Beat butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs, lemon juice and extract.
  5. Reduce to low and add flour mixture until combined.
  6. Add white chocolate chips and mix together until combined.
  7. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 4 minutes, turn baking sheet around, bake 4 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven, let cool and EAT!

Great summer cookie.  Enjoy!!

May – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Chocolate and peanut butter are my favorite flavors, separate or together.   The first time I posted this recipe was May 2014.  That was the last time I baked this delicious combination for a cheesecake.  Brought this into work today for our Spa Day.  We all enjoyed this and hope you will too!

IMG_5500

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
(compliments Food Network)

Ingredients

Be sure all your ingredients are room temperature before you start.  The ingredients will blend together much better that way.  Also, if you have a food processor it will mix together to a wonderful, creamy mixture – no lumps!

Base:

1/2 (14-ounce) box graham crackers (2 cups crumbs)
1/2 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter

Filling:

2 (8-ounce) bars cream cheese
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Topping:

1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Process the crackers, peanuts, bittersweet chocolate chips, and butter in a food processor. Once it comes together, turn it into a 9 inch springform pan and press into the bottom and up the sides to make the crunchy crust.
  3. Put it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  4. Add all the filling ingredients to a food processor and pulse until it becomes a smooth mixture.
  5. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 1 hour. The top, only, should feel set and dry.
  6. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and set aside while you make the topping.
  7. Warm the sour cream and milk chocolate with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat. Gently whisk to blend in the chocolate as it melts, then take the pan off the heat.  This takes 5-10 minutes.
  8. Spoon and spread the topping very gently over the top of the cheesecake.  Put it back in the oven for a final 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cool.
  9. Slice and serve.  (I think it tastes better after being refrigerated at least 4-6 hours, overnight preferably.)

Enjoy!!

Veggie Dish – Simple and Delicious

One of the things my mother always said to me before I left Syracuse was “take care of YOURSELF!”  Now that she is gone I won’t have her to remind me.  I decided to take her advice.  I joined Weight Watchers (again) and am back to walking and yoga daily.  I will keep that promise to myself and to her.  I have to be around the next 30 years to give my kids random advice too!  Here is a dish I made this evening.  Simple, delicious, fast AND healthy.

Veggie Dish

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Ingredients

2 pieces bacon
1 teaspoon bacon grease
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 yellow squash, cut in 1/4 inch slices
5 asparagus stalks, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (I use coarse grind, you may want to use 1/4 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning (or 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder OR whatever seasoning you desire)

Directions

  1.  Fry bacon until crisp in non-stick skillet (remove bacon from skillet and place on paper towel.  Drain grease in small bowl.  Wipe out frying pan.)
  2. Add 1 teaspoon bacon grease and 1 teaspoon olive oil in skillet. (You can use just bacon grease or olive oil.)
  3. Add onions and peppers, saute until onions opaque.
  4. Add rest of veggies, saute until done.  5-8 minutes.
  5. Add crumbled bacon, mix together and serve.

You can use any combination of vegetables you would like. Would love to hear your veggie combinations!  This was really delicious.  Could that be any simpler? IMG_5476 (2)