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Monday, August 8, 2011

Jalapeno Poppers

When we had an abundance of our peppers a couple of years ago, my bestest friend, GeorgeAnn, told me to make hot pepper jelly.  I wasn't real keen on the idea but decided to use her recipe and guidance and make a batch.  I don't like hot spicy food like her, so I wouldn't even give it a taste.  I took the jelly to work and asked a couple of my friends that like hot spicy food if they would like to try it.  They loved it and encouraged me to try it.  They told me it was sweet with a hint of heat.  I smeared cream cheese on a Ritz Cracker and put a tiny bit of jelly on the cracker and gave it a try.  I had no idea it was going to be so good!  I have made probably 100 jars of hot pepper jelly so far this summer and plan to  make 100 more to get me through our Farmer's Daughters Market season from September 2011 to May 2012.

We again have an abundance of peppers.  Last week, I picked over 4 jalapeno plants and gathered a 5 gallon bucket of jalapeno peppers.  I took them to work to share and the talk turned to jalapeno poppers that different ones planned to make over the weekend.  My friend, Sonia, makes armadillo eggs for her boys.  I guess they are known by different names but all amount to stuffed jalapeno peppers.  I used a recipe that I had found in Good Taste Magazine and tweaked it to one that I thought we might like.  My fear was still the heat!  However,  the article said that cooking the jalapenos dampens the heat and leaves behind a smoky flavor that contrasts deliciously with the cheese.  Well, the article was right.  I baked them in the oven and after allowing them to cool for about 10 min., I gave them a try.  Phillip and I had agreed that I would try them first as we are both scared of heat!  After I finished off my 4, he gave them a try and said they would be good appetizers.  Who would have thought that we would be eating jalapeno poppers at our house?  Try 'em.  You'll like 'em.

                                                      Jalapeno Poppers

8 large jalapeno peppers
1 - 8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 slices of bacon

Cut stems off of jalapeno peppers.  Cut peppers lengthwise in half.  Remove all seeds and white membranes - this is where your heat comes from.  Place all pepper halfs in a pie plate that has been sprayed with Pam Spray.

Combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese.  Spoon into pepper halfs. 

Cut slices of bacon into pieces that will fit the length of each pepper half.  Place a slice of uncooked bacon on top of each pepper that has been stuffed with cheese.

Bake at 450 degrees for 35 min. or until bacon is crisp.

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