Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers!

I planted four jalapeno pepper plants this year and you wouldn't believe how many peppers I had and I am still getting off of them.  It was crazy!!!   Evidently the horribly hot weather is just what these plants crave!!!  I always plant a few each Spring, but I have never had so many peppers!   I have been trying to use them in as many ways as possible.   These "Jalapeno Poppers" turned out to be one of my favorites.   I have always loved any type of 'popper' when ordering appetizers at a restaurant so I figured this would be right up my alley!!!   These are great for serving at parties or for game day food!   Here is what you will need:

18 large fresh jalapeno peppers
1  (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of Cajun seasoning (I use Tony Cachere)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
18 slices of bacon cut in half

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and any membrane inside.  It's best to wear gloves for all of this and do not rub your eyes until you remove them.

In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, seasonings, and shredded cheddar cheese.   With a spoon, stuff each pepper half and then wrap with a half slice of bacon.   You can secure with a toothpick which is nice for serving, but the bacon will usually stay wrapped without one also.    Place on a baking sheet covered with nonstick foil or sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  

Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the bacon is done.   Serve immediately.  These are good served with ranch dressing for dipping or really they are great just alone.  They disappear fast!!!  

Creamy Ham & Noodle Bake!

This "Creamy Ham and Noodle Bake" brings back fond memories for me!  My late mother-in-law always made a dish like this when she baked a ham and the whole family just loved it.  For years I tried to recreate it and it just never tasted the same.  My sister-in-law and I looked through all of her recipe files and cookbooks, but we never found the recipe for her Ham and Noodle Casserole.   It was probably something she just made from memory she had made it so long!  

My mother and I adapted a recipe we found and came up with this one, which is very much like the one she made!   It is so good and all ages seem to really love it!!!  This is a great way to use leftover baked ham!   It's simple, but great comfort food!!!  Here is what you will need:

4 Tbs. butter
1/3 cup onion, finely diced
3 cups diced cooked ham
1 (10.5 oz.) can of cream of chicken soup
1 (10.5 oz.) can of cream of mushroom soup
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup canned green peas (optional)
15 oz. package fine egg noodles, cooked
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a large skillet. Saute the onion and ham in the butter.   Add the canned soups, milk, seasoned salt, and pepper and heat until well incorporated to a smooth sauce.    If you are adding the peas, add them now.   We didn't use them and my mother-in-law never did, but it's a nice addition if you like them.

Lightly toss in the cooked and drained egg noodles and half of the cheddar cheese.   Pour into a large casserole dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray!   Sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top.  Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly!!!  

This is great served as a main course with a salad and rolls or serve it as a side dish!!!  The leftovers are even better the next day!!! 

Rum Praline Cake!!!

This "Rum Praline Cake" might be my favorite new cake recipe!!!   I have always loved a Rum Cake and this sort of kicks that up a notch or two!  This is wonderful served plain or for a special treat serve it with Praline Pecan ice cream!!!  Here is what you will need:

1 cup chopped pecans
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (3.75 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup dark rum
1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray a 10 inch Bundt pan liberally with a nonstick baking spray.  I use Baker's Joy most of the time. Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the bottom.   

I a large mixing bowl  combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil, vanilla and rum.  Beat with a mixer for two minutes.   Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the cake tests done with a pick.  

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Invert onto a serving plate.  Prick the top evenly all over with a long-tined fork or a skewer.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water.  Heat to boiling and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the rum.  Heat just until heated through.   Do not boil again.   Spoon the hot glaze evenly over the cake.

Doesn't this look yummy!!!

Serve immediately or wait till later if you can!!!  

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