Poppers that Pop

If you are just in the mood for a bite sized treat or making something for the big game jalapeno poppers are sure to please. These little spicy bites of heaven have been passed around parties for as long as I can remember and since there never seem to be any leftover the next day I will go out on a limb and say that people must really like them. I know I do. I have tried many different varieties over the years and everyone seems to have their own special way of doing them. Some swear by the type of bacon you need or the size of the jalapeno and even the brand of cream cheese for the perfect flavor. For some its a science and for others its just something you throw together to please the party goers. Either way they always seem to turn out great. For this recipe I have taken a couple of elements from several different poppers that I have tried and come up with what I will now call my “go to popper”.

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What you need. (This is for a small batch to serve 3 to 4 people)

12 large raw jalapenos (whole)

1 8oz container of Philadelphia fat free cream cheese

1 lb hickory smoked bacon

1 lb maple breakfast sausage

at least 24 toothpicks

Prep and cooking.

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First get the sausage started cooking in a pan on the stove over medium heat. You want to get it nice and brown and crunchy for texture.

Now while the sausage is cooking, cut the stem end off of the peppers and then cut them in half long ways so it looks like you have a fleet of little green boats. Be sure to remove all of the seeds and white membrane inside.

The sausage should now be done and ready to drain any fat off of. Just line a bowl with paper towels and poor the sausage in. The paper towels will absorb most of the fat. Now gently pull the paper towels out from under the sausage and out of the bowl. You will leave a little fat in there but it will be fine because you have gotten most of it out. Now mix in the cream cheese with the sausage until you get a nicely mixed paste.

Now for the fun part.

With a spoon go ahead and start filling each jalapeno half to the top. You don’t want it to overflow that much but make sure it is full.

Once you have all of the halves full open the bacon and cut the entire slab in half. Half a slice of bacon is perfect to wrap around the center of the jalapeno. You will hold the bacon in place by sliding a toothpick through from one side to the other.

Now it is time to cook them. You can do this a couple of different ways. My preferred method is on the grill. Turn it on medium high heat and let the grill heat up. If you have a top rack I like to sit them up there for a few minutes with the grill closed but it is not needed. Place the poppers on the grill and cook until the bacon looks done. You don’t want to get it too crisp but you do want it to be thoroughly cooked. You will most likely get a few black ends but don’t worry, they taste better that way.

You may want to keep a spray bottle of water on hand while cooking these. The bacon is going to drip and it will cause flare ups when the grease catches on fire.

That is how you make poppers that pop. They turned out great and that is why these will now be my “go to poppers”. If you are feeling a little adventurous try sprinkling just a little garlic powder on top before sticking them on the grill.

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I hope that you all enjoy these.

Thanks for reading,

JMW

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I’m back with something sweet

Yes I know I have been away for far to long, but hopefully I have left you all with enough recipes to keep you cooking in my absence. I’m sure you were able to find something in all of that to keep you busy. In upcoming recipes you may notice that I am starting to lean more toward a healthier approach to cooking, but don’t mistake that for bland tasteless diet food. I am still going to be making tasty dishes with great ingredients. I am just shifting toward healthier ingredients with less fat and all that bad stuff for you. With that being said, I am back, and to kick off my return I am bringing you something simple yet delicious.

Today I am bringing you something that I don’t to that often. I am bringing you dessert. While I do love sweet stuff, I don’t eat a lot of desserts, but every now and then I do crave that little extra something after dinner and this time around it was ice cream and fried bananas. Now before you turn your nose up at this one keep reading. I promise you will be wanting to make this by the end.

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Fried Bananas and Ice Cream. (recipe for two people)

What you need:

4 ripe bananas

ground cinnamon

ground nutmeg

honey

Vanilla Ice Cream (Breyers Carb Smart)

This is a pretty simple and straight forward recipe but the end result is amazing.

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Spray a large non stick skillet with cooking spray and put over medium heat. You want a the pan nice and hot when you put the bananas in.

Now remove the peels from your bananas and throw them away and cut the bananas into 1/2 inch slices. When the pan is nice and hot place the banana slices in the pan leaving a little space between them. You will hear them start to sizzle. When you get all of the pieces in the pan drizzle honey back and forth over all the slices.  Don’t worry about it getting in the bottom of the pan. That is good and helps create the sauce. There really is no wrong way to do it, so don’t worry if you are using too much or too little.  Now sprinkle the ground cinnamon and nutmeg over the banana slices making sure to get a little bit of each on each piece of banana. You want a little more cinnamon than nutmeg.  Let them cook like that for about a minute and then turn each piece over and let them cook for another minute on that side. You will notice they are starting to turn a darker shade of yellow and soften up a bit. Remove the pan from heat and let stand while you get the ice cream ready.

This is the hard part, are you ready? Place one scoop of Vanilla ice cream in a bowl and then scoop the bananas on top.

Wait… That wasn’t so hard.

Now you are ready to enjoy.

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When making this you of course do not have to use carb smart ice cream. I just chose that to be a little more health conscious. If you are feeling creative you may also want to try using Agave nectar instead of honey for a little different take on it.

See, I told you it was an easy one. I bet you will be tweaking this to add your own flare on it in no time.

I will try and not wait so long between posts from now and and hope to have something new to add very soon.

As always, Thanks for reading,

JMW