Basic Jalapeno Poppers

Welcome back!

This past weekend, the ChemE wanted jalapeno poppers. Someone had brought some to his office, and he couldn’t get them off his mind. Silly man. So, I agreed to make them for him. Gotta keep him happy. We ran to the grocery store and picked up a few things I needed; jalapenos and sausage.

I had no recipe to follow. I looked up several different recipes online and just went from there. Here’s what I did:

6 large jalapenos, halved and seeded

1-1lb package of bacon*

1-1lb package of ground sausage

1-8oz package of cream cheese

Extras: You are going to need toothpicks!! You are also going to want to bake these on a rack with a pan underneath to catch all the grease from the bacon!

Preheat the oven to 375*F. Brown the sausage in a skillet over high heat. Once the sausage is no longer pink, drain the fat, then add the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese has melted. In the meantime, wash the jalapenos, then halve and, using a spoon, seed them. (If you want a good kick to your jalapeno popper, then leave some of the membrane and seeds. If not, scrape it all out!! And, you might want to wear gloves while doing this!! I didn’t, and didn’t have any burning, but I was also very, very careful!) Take a spoonful of the mixture and place it inside the hollowed out jalapeno. *NOW the bacon. I didn’t realize how huge the jalapenos were I used. I cut the bacon into 1/3s and the slices were too small. I had to use 3 to cover the jalapeno and mixture. My suggestion is to use a whole slice at first. If you see that you need less, then cut the rest of the bacon accordingly.* Use a toothpick to hold the bacon to the jalapeno. Repeat with the rest of the jalapenos. Bake at 375*F for 20-25 minutes. Check on the jalapeno poppers…if the bacon is starting to shrink, then turn the broiler on high and finish cooking the jalapenos.

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While I was typing this recipe, I thought of somethings I could do a little different! So, I may make these again this weekend, if the ChemE is not opposed, and try out my little “twists.” IF it works out, I’ll post the recipe next week!! Meanwhile, enjoy!!

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Mert’s Green Bean Casserole

Mert was my maternal grandmother. (My Mama’s mom.) I love this casserole. I remember having it as a child and just wanting to eat the entire pan. As an adult, I wanted this when pregnant with my oldest son. And, my Mama complied. Mmmmm….

 

This is an easy, cheap meal to make. Plus, it makes more than enough for growing children.

 

I promise, when you read the ingredients you are going to say, “You have GOT to be kidding!!!” But I swear to you, it is really good!

 

Mert’s Green Bean Casserole

 

1 15oz can of diced tomatoes

2 15oz cans of string beans

1/2 cup quick cook oatmeal

2 tsp French’s yellow mustard (or spicy brown mustard)

salt and pepper to taste

2 sticks of Bryan’s original smoked sausage

 

Preheat oven to 425*F. Drain string beans, reserving liquid. Mix string beans with tomatoes in a casserole dish. Mix dry oatmeal and mustard with liquid from string beans until mustard is thoroughly blended with the liquid and oatmeal is moistened. Add salt and pepper to mixture, then pour into the casserole dish with the tomatoes and string beans. Mix ingredients well. Slice each stick of sausage down the middle leaving the casing intact on one side. Spread the sausage and cut into short pieces, approximately 2 inches long. Arrange the sausage on top of the tomato/stringbean mixture. Bake, turning the sausage over 1/2 way through cooking. Cook approximately 30  minutes until the center is hot and bubbly and the oatmeal is cooked.

 

Thank you Mama for sharing this recipe with me!!!

Breakfast Casserole

I know, I know…everyone has a breakfast casserole in their back pocket. Yes, yes, yes. I want to share mine with you, though. Just in case there is something a little different in this one that maybe you haven’t tried before in yours.

This is a casserole I make quite often. I’m not a fan, but the kiddos are, so I  make it for them. It is great to throw together the night before, refrigerate, then bake in the morning.

 

Breakfast Casserole

1 lb mild sausage ( I use Jimmy Dean Sage sausage)

6 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk**

1 cup grated cheese*** ****

2 slices of bread, cut into cubes. Add those crusts in there, too.

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dry mustard*****

 

Fry and drain sausage. Place the bread cubes and sausage in the bottom of a greased 10×13 baking dish. Blend all other ingredients and pour over sausage and bread cubes. At this point, if it is the night before you plan to serve it, cover and refrigerate it overnight. Otherwise, if you decided to wait and make it the morning (or that night for supper), Bake at 350*F for 45 minutes.

 

**I have often used 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of whipping cream. It gives the eggs a creamy texture.

***I am a huge proponent of buying blocks of cheese and grating them yourself instead of buying the shredded cheese.  Shredded cheese has a white film (it is a preservative) on it that makes it a little more difficult to melt well. Plus, if you go through as much cheese as I do, buying a large block of cheese is more economical.

****I use a combination of grated mild and sharp cheddar cheese and it is closer to 2 cups of cheese.

*****Dry mustard…love it! I use more than a tsp. Probably closer to a tablespoon. I put about 1/2 tablespoon in the egg mixture, and I sprinkle about 1/2 tablespoon onto the sausage/bread cube mixture.

 

I will often serve this with a side of homemade canned figs. Speaking of…Mama, Nannie, if you are reading this…I need some more figs!!!