Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jalapeno Poppers

We went to the farmers market and were inspired by some jalapeno peppers, so we bought a basket. I brought them home and wondered what to make. Then it occurred to me...POPPERS! Here's what I made and they're absolutely delicious. (I recommend wearing gloves so that you don't get the jalapeno oil on your hands.)

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Serves 2

4             jalapeno peppers
4 to 8       tsp chive and onion cream cheese
4 slices   salt reduced bacon
4              skewers, soaked in water for 20-30 mins

  1. Preheat the BBQ to medium or preheat an oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Wash the peppers and slice them lengthwise without cutting all the way through the pepper. Then remove the seeds and membrane from inside. This will form a pocket so that you can stuff it with the cheese.
  3. Fill each pepper with 1 - 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese, depending on the size of the pepper, by using a knife to press it into the pocket of the pepper.
  4. Wrap the bacon around the pepper and then pierce all the way through with two skewers, one near the top and one near the bottom of the pepper, to hold the bacon in place and so that you can flip them more easily on the BBQ. You can put two peppers onto one skewer.
  5. Once all skewers have been prepared, place them on the grill or, if using oven method, place on a cookie sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Then flip the peppers and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the bacon is crispy or just the way you like it. Be careful, the cheese will be really hot when you take the poppers out, so don't burn yourself on them like I did!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who doesn't love pizza?

The very first thing that I learned how to make really well was pizza. My mother-in-law showed me how to make the best pizza ever and I couldn't believe how easy it was! Please forgive my photos as I'm not a great food photographer - I promise to work on it, though.

Here is the recipe:
1 tsp sugar
1 cup very warm water (but not boiling)
1 TBSP yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt

1 ball mozzarella cheese, grated

You will also need your favorite pizza or spaghetti sauce and toppings. I like bacon, onions, hot peppers, chipotle peppers and artichokes on my pizza, but you can put whatever you like.

  1. If you have a mixer that kneads dough, pour the sugar and water into the mixer bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. If not, then use a large bowl. Once the sugar is dissolved, sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and let sit for 5-10 mins for the yeast to activate.
  2. After the yeast has activated, pour the oil into the mixture and stir to combine. If using a mixer, now secure the bowl to the mixer and add 2 cups of the flour and begin kneading. If doing by hand, add the 2 cups of flour and stir together with your hands until the flour begins to come together.
  3. Mix the salt into the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour (this will prevent the salt from killing the yeast) and pour the rest of the flour into the bowl. If using the mixer, let it work until you have a nice dough that is soft but not sticky, approximately 2 mins. If it is sticky, add another 1/4 cup of flour. If you are not using a mixer, begin kneading the dough to incorporate the flour. Continue kneading until you have formed a dough ball. If it is still sticky, add another 1/4 cup of flour. Continue kneading. This takes approximately 8-10 mins.
  4. After the dough has been kneaded, cover with a piece of wax paper or a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise for approximately one hour or until doubled in size.
  5. While the dough is rising, prepare your toppings and grate the cheese. Also, lightly grease a cookie sheet with edges.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down. For a thicker crust, allow to rise again for 20-30 mins. Otherwise, move right to step 7.
  7. Preheat your oven to 410 degrees F if using a convection oven, otherwise 425 degrees. Spread the dough out evenly onto the cookie sheet. Cover the dough with your pizza or spaghetti sauce, leaving a small edge as a crust.
  8. Arrange your toppings on the pizza and cover with the grated mozzarella. Let the pizza rest for 10 mins, then bake for 22-25 mins or until golden brown. Then cut, serve and enjoy!


Experimenting is always fun. Experiments sometimes work and sometimes they don't, but you can always learn from trying something, so here goes my very first blog. Those who know me will laugh when they read that the topic for my blog is a combination of two of my passions: food and animals, specifically my Birman cats.

Here are a couple of pictures of my cats and food:

Riley eating cherries and drinking beer

Ever heard of Nutmeg Rice Krispies?

Plenty more food topics, recipes, cat stories and photos to come!