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Thursday, November 5, 2009

pumped up poppers

If you're ever at a loss for a party snack, you should definitely make our jalapeno poppers. (Actually, we got the recipe from my sister Sara.) They're delicious, and because they're made with turkey bacon and fat-free cream cheese, they're pretty good for you.

We, of course, have a hard time leaving well enough alone, so Kaytie went looking for a new recipe, which I tweaked when I couldn't find chorizo at the grocery store.

Anyway, this recipe is great. It was a hit at our neighborhood Halloween party, and I'm sure it would be a hit at yours. If you have a little extra time, you should try out these beefed-up (well, sausaged-up) poppers.

Pumped Up Poppers

24 jalapeno peppers
1 lb ground pork sausage
8 oz smoked gouda, grated
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 block cream cheese at room temp
1 egg
3 Tbs sour cream
salt and pepper
1 pkg turkey bacon, sliced in half

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut the tops off the jalapenos and split them lengthwise. Scrape the seeds and ribs out. This ensures that your poppers will be delicious without being too hot.

Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the fat, and put the sausage in a large mixing bowl.

Add the cheese, onion, egg, sour cream, and cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Fill the pepper halves with the cheese mixture. Wrap half a slice of bacon around each pepper and secure with a toothpick.

Put the poppers on a rack (like a rack used for cooling cookies) placed on a cookie sheet. (Line the cookie sheet with foil for easy clean-up.)

Bake for about 15 minutes, and then broil for 3-5 minutes to make the bacon crispy. Keep an eye on them while broiling, though, so you don't burn them.

**You're going to have extra filling. You can just buy more jalapenos, or you can experiment with other things, like mushrooms, tomatoes, or bell peppers. These other things could probably be baked for about 15 minutes at 375.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


We come from crafty stock, which means that we carve pumpkins at Halloween. And when one carves a pumpkin, one is left with a whole mess of pumpkin flesh, goop, and seeds.

Kaytie used the flesh to make some Thai-influenced pumpkin soup. I'm not sure if she'll post about it, as it was a tad on the bland side. (I thought it could do with some bacon...)

And as far as I can tell, the goop is useless and only exists to make eating the pumpkin seeds more difficult.

But the seeds are tasty.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.

Separate the seeds from the goop. (I couldn’t find an easy way to do this. I tried rinsing them in a colander and floating them in a bowl of water, but it pretty much boiled down to me squeezing them out of the goop and then rinsing them off.)

Boil the seeds. Use about 2 cups of water for every ½ cup of seeds. Add up to 1 Tbs salt for each cup of water used, depending on how salty you like your seeds. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the seeds.

Spread olive oil on a cookie sheet. Spread the seeds out on the sheet in a single layer.

Bake on the top oven rack for 10-20 minutes until the seeds are browned to your satisfaction. Let the pan cool on a rack.

**These are good, but I think I may spice them up a little bit next time. I think I could sprinkle some Greek seasoning or some other seasoned salt on the seeds before baking them.