Yesterday I shared some updates of “stuff” I’ve been up to through a slideshow. One pic showed yesterday’s jalapeño pickings. I tried out a simple stuffed jalapeño appetizer and am sharing my version of the recipe here today (as promised in that photo’s caption.)
Now to real fans of hot peppers, jalapeños don’t rate too high in heat. Scoville places it pretty much in the middle as you can see on the chart to the right — well below those really hot little guys in the 2M+ range — like the habaneros!
And while we’re on the subject of hot peppers, I’m always offended that many Scoville charts don’t include our beloved Datil pepper. If you’re not in Florida, you may not have heard of this delightful hot sweet pepper. Do a search and you will find lots of info and sources for seeds and plants. I’ve made this pepper into hot sauce and added it to a wonderful peach/onion/pepper relish that I started making a few years ago. I also use it in a relish blended with sweet banana peppers and sweet red peppers as well as in my pickled pepper strips. I even submitted that flavor suggestion to the Lay’s Potato Chip Contest! And on top of that it produces such a beautiful bright orange fruit – but don’t let it’s “cuteness” fool you. It packs a punch! And if you do order these plants or seeds, be aware that there is also a milder variety that produces a red fruit – so if hot is what you want, be sure to get the right variety. This is an heirloom plant and is really quite interesting and fun to grow even if you don’t like hot peppers. You’re sure to know someone who likes hot stuff!
I’ve gotten way off track here from the Stuffed Jalapeños so I’ll get to that and say “Adiós!” Happy gardening, cooking and eating!
Christine‘s Stuffed Jalapeños
Start with 8 – 10 fresh jalapeño peppers, split and seeded (be sure to use gloves!)
For the filling, mix together:
- 1/2 cup softened cream cheese (to cut down on calories, use half lower fat cream cheese)
- 1/8 cup grated cheddar
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 5 or 6 slices of pepperoni, finely chopped – I turkey pepperoni as we always have it on-hand (A mini-blender works great for this step. I finely chop the garlic and pepperoni together in the blender. You may also substitute crumbled bacon if you prefer)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp of fresh squeezed lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped cilantro and or tomato for garnish or additional chopped pepperoni
Stuff the pepper halves with the cheese mixture. Coat a grill rack lightly with grapeseed oil or cooking spray. Grill over medium heat for 7 – 8 minutes. You want to bottoms of the peppers to be charred and the cheeses to be melted. Sprinkle with cilantro/tomato.
Enjoy and be sure to have a nice cool drink handy to calm the heat!
Note: You may also use this cheese filling with sweet mini-peppers for a milder appetizer.
Pickled Sweet Pepper Strips
Chicken Quesadillas from Pudbudder
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We’ve heard of the benefits of lemon for cleaning and as an antiseptic. Spray the juice on your hair and it will help lighten your locks in the sun! Lemon wedges will also freshen your garbage disposal and drains. I use a few lemon wedges in a bowl of water to remove odors and clean the microwave. Just heat the wedges in a bowl of water for a few minutes in the mic and let stand for 30 minutes or so to remove odors and freshen the inside. And of course it’s the perfect addition to water and other beverages! For more on lemons, click here
But have you ever considered the benefits of another favorite citrus – namely the orange? I recently saw an idea for an orange-based spray cleaner that grabbed my attention and tried it out so thought I would pass it along. I tried it and really like the fact that I know exactly what is in this cleaner! According to what I read, the orange zest is full of d-limonene what acts as a natural solvent that helps dissolve grease. When using this method of creating your own non-toxic cleaner that’s safe around food and kids, be sure to use only the rind of the orange, cutting away all of the pulp and fruit. (You don’t want mold in your solution – you’re just trying to draw the oil out of the zest.)
- rind only from 2 – 3 oranges
- 1 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
- a clean jar with lid (a pint canning jar works perfectly)
Place the ring in the jar and pour the vinegar over. Tightly close the lid and let it steep on your counter top for 2 weeks. (I kept it on my guest bathroom counter top as a decoration – it’s actually kind of pretty!)
When the two weeks of “steeping” is done, drain the vinegar/orange solution into a clean spray bottle and add 1 cup of water. Done and ready to use!!
Let me know if you try it! Until next time, be sure to send me your comments and suggestions. Have a beautiful day!
I’ve written before about the “domino effect” where one small minute details leads to another and another and so on. Well, that’s how I feel about my growing interest in quilting. With so many creative juice varieties flowing in my head, it’s often hard to pinpoint exactly what starts the action.
But it probably goes back to last November when we joined the gym. It was that time of the year that the weather sometimes interfered with my walking or biking, so we thought let’s give our local Planet Fitness a try for the winter months. Plugging in to the overhead television monitors or my cell seemed to be the thing to do while burning those calories on the treadmill or elliptical.
But I found myself getting bored with that so I tapped into my YouTube channel looking for things to interest me. Layout design, Photoshop, sewing, embroidery – those were all things that sparked my interest. And so I started turning my gym sessions into learning sessions. Eventually I landed on the Missouri Star Quilt Company channel to learn more about creating more sewing and quilting projects. And that is when I met Jenny Doan . Her tutorials are always fun, made so by her sparkling personality. If you’ve not heard about Jenny and the Missouri Star’s success be sure to check out their story here
Not only have they found business success, but they’ve made a huge impact on a struggling small town in Missouri where small town downtowns are often deserted and sleepy. They’ve brought jobs and a new vibrancy to town, even developing a “quilting retreat” center. Amazing! And they’ve captured the nation’s attention with recent spots on the NBC Nightly News as well as MSNBC.
Well, this evening I get to meet the famous Jenny at the Cut Up and Sew Shop in Palm Coast where she’s presenting a Trunk Show, sharing some of her quilts and tips.
Even though we’ve never met, I feel like she’s a friend as I’ve spent so many hours with her on YouTube listening to her tutorials on my tablet and picking up hints for my sewing and quilting projects.
I even had her on the tablet while recently making a purse – just like spending time with a good friend.
Thanks Jenny for all your help and keep up the great tutorials. I’m sure I speak for many of your fellow sewers and quilters when I say that we really appreciate ya, girlfriend! ….oh and thanks for playing dominoes with me 🙂
Unlike the soup Nazi from old days of Seinfeld, who withheld soup, I offer a yummy soup for a quick dinner. Tonight is one of the evenings that my husband and I will head to the gym after he gets home from work. That means a quick light meal before we head out the door or something we can eat when we get home. So today was new recipe day. This corn chowder went together in about an hour. Pretty easy stuff.
Blending old with the new
Photo Credit: Words Etc.
The original recipe is from my good old Better Homes & Garden cookbook. I have an original version circa 1980. It is torn, tattered, and stained and tells the story of how much cooking I’ve done over the years using this little cooking bible. A few years ago I asked for an updated version for Christmas. Many of the recipes in the newer edition have been updated to conform to our lighter style of cooking eating in the 21st century. Now that’s a good thing, but sometimes I just can’t help myself and gravitate back to the old “bible,” but one great thing about the newer version is the inclusion of nutritional information. So without further ado, here is that chowder from the newer book that checks in at 192 calories per one cup serving. I did substitute 1% milk for the whole milk so my version is probably slightly less in calories. (and there is also a corn and crab variation) Served with some warm bread or crostini and a salad and you’re on your way to a light yet comforting meal.
Easy Corn Chowder
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup chopped sweet peppers (green , red or yellow)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 3 cups frozen corn
- 14 oz chicken broth (homemade or canned)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup cubed red potato
- 1½ cup milk
- 2 tbsp. flour
- ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- Sauté onion and peppers in olive oil until soft. Add garlic, cooking one or two minutes more.
- Add corn and broth and bring to boil; reduce to simmer and cook 10 – 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Add flour, salt and pepper to cold milk and whisk together. Slowly add to corn mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thickened and bubbly.
- Continue cooking one or two additional minutes.
- Add bacon.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.
Corn Chowder from BHG – Feb 2014
With Christine’s tweaks
Photo credit: Words Etc.
For Corn/crab chowder: Substitute 6 oz crabmeat for the bacon. Note: for a richer soup, use cream instead of milk, and/or added grated cheddar or swiss cheese. Makes 10 servings.
Have a favorite soup recipe? I’d love to hear from you!
Posted in food
Tagged BHG, quick meal, Soup
Add a little extra protein to your Superbowl spread.
Here’s a quick and easy salad that packs 9g of protein in a 1/2 cup serving.
The original recipe came to me through my daughter who found it on MeatoutMondays Although we are not vegans or vegetarians ourselves, we do eat quite a few dishes that fit into those categories. Thanks to daughter Julie,along with friends Josh and Susie Neimark, founders of Vegan by Choice, who influence many of our eating habits. We do try our best to eat right, both for our health and to protect the balance of the universe. So don’t be afraid to give something new a try! You may like this way of eating so much that you won’t turn back.
Be sure to check out MeatoutMondays where you’ll find all the nutritional info on this salad and the original version by Alan Roettinger. I tweaked his method and the ingredients slightly, and here is my version:
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 1 16 oz can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and cut in thirds, lengthwise
- 1/3 cup minced red onion
- 1- 2 cloves garlic
Cook 1 cup dry lentils in rice cooker with 2 cups water seasoned with ¼ tsp. sea salt. Optional: add 1 bay leaf and/or 1 garlic clove, minced.
While lentils cook, prepare dressing:
Mince onion and garlic in mini-food processor/chopper.
Add oil, lemon juice and vinegar and process quickly – just a few seconds should do it.
Add salt and pepper to your or taste.
- Cool lentils and combine with artichokes in a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over and toss well. Add fresh parsley, thyme and basil.
- We like it chilled well. Add additional oil and vinegar to suit your taste.
I think next time, I’ll try it with one of our favorites – quinoa – in place of the lentils!