Friday, October 1, 2010

Best Ever Jalapeño Poppers.

Okay, so I have a confession to make - I am Survivor obsessed. It all stemmed back years and years ago, when in order to have "family time" when I was a surly, enthused teenager, my parents opted to "family television night."

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This night just so happened to occur on Thursday nights, where we would all pile onto the leather couch (with my dad in his leather chair), and sit for two hours, first watching Survivor, and then keeping our TV on CBS so we could watch CSI next (which could be tres embarrassing for moi, since lots of the CSI episodes had to do with sex and prostitutes, which is just slightly uncomfortable when you're that age and sitting with your little brother and mom and dad - but I mean, hello, my mom had my destined for a life of prostitution and swearing since I watched the Golden Girls at like, age three).

As I got older, we continued watching, long after the mandatory "family television nights" were eliminated. It became something we bonded with as a family, and it then turned into Pat and I buying my dad seasons we had somehow missed on DVD, and going up to our house at the Cape and watch them there (especially in the wintertime when there is no-thing to do up there!).

When J and I started dating and were back at school, we were (ha, we still are!) two poor, unemployed, college age-students with no money to go out and do anything really super fun or crazy, so we started watching TV shows together. Now, this could be a recipe for nights filled with sweatpants and monotony, but we turned it into something more fun.

We headed to It's a Grind coffee shop and sat experimenting with all the different latte flavors while we watched The Biggest Loser (there were seriously hundred of options of lattes), cooked tropical themed dinner/snacks while we sat horrified at the antics of Russell on Survivor, and sat on the floor eating Thai while watching The OC. In our own way, we took my family's "bonding time" and turned it into a (cheap) way that we could enjoy one another (and I never once wore sweatpants either while we watched).

Now that Survivor premiered last week, it became a really fun way to blend the things that J and I did at school with my family tradition. It is now going to be a weekly tradition for J to come over on Survivor nights, and I'm going to be trying my hand at being Martha Stewart by preparing a new snack/appetizer/dessert for us to eat while watching.

Last week, I decided to take advantage of the jalapeños growing in my mother's garden and make jalapeño poppers. I had made them with a friend the previous weekend, and was still dreaming about them, so I satisfied my craving while making something super delicious for us to enjoy while watching. Even if you don't like spicy foods, these really isn't super hot, and I promise, they will be a huge crowd pleaser! :)

I tried to take pictures the best I could, but didn't take them of everything. I was using the other kitchen in the old part of my house because my mom was cooking for a party in the real kitchen, and I was pretty much a mess trying to find everything, so I apologize!

"Best Ever" Jalapeño Poppers

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serving Size: 32
Preheat Oven to: 350 degrees F

Ingredients

-12 oz. softened cream cheese
(As always, I used reduced fat. I also bought it in the tub rather than as a stick, because the cream cheese should be on the softer side, and I thought that might help. Now, I don't think it makes a huge difference)

-One 8oz. package shredded cheese
(The recipe calls for cheddar, but I used the reduced fat "Mexican" blend. Again, I don't think it makes a difference - use what you have!).

-1 tbsp. bacon bits
(I fried 3 pieces of turkey bacon, and then broke them up into pieces. It tastes a LOT better than the bacon bits you buy in a jar!).

-12 oz. jalapeños, halved and seeded (Basically this just means 16 jalapeños, if you're making it for the serving size of 32. You simply cut them in half, and remove the seeds. I used a melon baller to help take the seeds out).

-1 cup milk

-1 cup all purpose flour

-1 cup dry bread crumbs

-1/4 cup melted butter (This is my own substitution. I baked my poppers rather than frying them, simply for health reasons).


*IMPORTANT* -
Definitely, definitely, definitely use a pair of surgical gloves for any time you're handling the jalapeños. My mom has heard horror stories of people touching them and then rubbing their eyes and bad things happening. I just used medical gloves I had my mom bring back from her office.

Directions

1. (Wearing gloves) Slice the jalapeños in half, and then whether with your fingers or a melon baller, remove all the seeds from inside.

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2. In a medium bowl, mix the cheese, cream cheese, and bacon.

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For some reason the color on this is really distorted - it is not supposed to look like egg salad whatsoever, but just so you have an idea of how it will look when it's mixed. The color in the next picture is totally accurate! :)

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3. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeño halves.

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4. Pour the milk and flour into two separate bowls (I used two pie tins, it was a lot easier). Dip the stuffed jalapeños into the milk first and then into the flour. Make sure you completely coat the jalapeños with both ingredients - the jalapeños should be white with the flour. After you have finished this step, keep the remaining milk, but remove the flour from the bowl or pie tin that you used, and replace the flour with the bread crumbs.

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I didn't take a picture of the next step, because it was getting a little took complicated removing gloves to take pictures (and J was kind of sucking at being a food photographer ;)

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5. Wait until the jalapeños have dried (the recipe says 10 minutes, but I didn't wait that long), then dip them in the milk again and then roll them in the breadcrumbs. (We didn't have many breadcrumbs, so I mixed half of the regular breadcrumbs with Panko breadcrumbs, which gave it a little more crunch).

6. Melt 1/2 a stick of butter in the microwave in a measuring cup, and then using a brush, paint a little dab of butter onto each one of the poppers so that they will get crispier in the oven.

7. Place the baking dish with the poppers into the preheated oven (350 degrees F), and bake for 15-20 minutes. The breadcrumbs should look like they are a golden brown color, but definitely not really brown.

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Yummm, my mouth is watering just thinking about them! :) Enjoy, if you end up making them.

What are your favorite fall television shows?
Currently listening to: Them Terribles - Dreamers

14 comments:

Tracy-Girl @ Then I Got To Thinking said...

MMM! Those look delicious. I know what you mean about mandatory TV nights... they are the best! Piled up on the couch with comfy blankets and nothing to do! :)

Kickingcouture said...

Im loving that gossip girl is finally back on!! yummy nate fests haha. Those jalapeno poppers look so delicious

xxx

Couture Carrie said...

Yummy!
Thanks for the recipe!

xoxox,
CC

P.S. Love Mad Men!

Croatian_Latina said...

My mouth is drooling by seeing these photos! You know it didn't cross my mind to make jalapeno poppers, we have only been making roasted salsa. I think it's time for a change as we brought more jalapenos from the garden.

It's true about wearing gloves, hubby had the task of peeling the jalapenos and his hands were burning for days.

I love CSI: especially Vegas and New York, Miami not so much after Eric left.

I really got hooked on The middle and Modern Family is hilarious! I watch them online on the USA version of HULU (we don't have access to it here) so we use VIPTV.net, for a very very small fee.

have a wonderful weekend!

Gracey said...

yum! my mom would LOVE those haha.
I'm loving the office and gossip girl right now! and glee of course!

Kristin said...

Mmmmmm. Those DO look awfully delicious!

Jenni said...

Just found you, and I'm lovin your blog!!! Looking forward to keeping up with you!!

Awesome pictures!! Have a great weekend! :)

Lindsay said...

Survivor never gets old! Those poppers look delish!

Olive said...

I know, it's so sad. I want my tree back, haha. I'm only on Season One, I've seen episodes from other seaons, but I just own the first at the moment :P. I'm so glad to be reconnected as well, I've missed the blogger world, and reading lovely blogs like yours :). I'm sure I'll continue to enjoy college, and hopefully, more frequent blogging will occur too.
Ahh, family television nights :). My mom didn't get me into Golden Girls, but All My Children, the soap opera, definitely wasn't intended for little ones like myself, haha.
I think it's adorable how you transitioned your family nights to you & J time as well ;), and you really spiced it up too with the lattes and dinners.. It's so much more than just a lazy night at home, kudos to you girl! I commend you for managing not to dress down in sweats either, ha ha :P.
Thank you, my mouth is watering now! Those look sooo good! I wish I wasn't couped up in a college dorm without a kitchen.. Maybe I'll have to come back and find this recipe during one of my breaks while I'm home. Awesome recipe though, you described it in a way that I can actually understand, and could potentionally follow! Most recipes appear to be in another language to me.. :P. Your photos always turn out so vivid too, do you mind me asking what kind of camera you use? I might be in the market for a new one in the near future.
Take care!

J said...

OMG those poppers look amazing .. i'm def gonna try to make them! thanks for the recipee

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

MMMMMMMMM! Did I say MMMMMMM?! :)

I tried making stuffed jalepenos a few weeks back. It was a disaster. I made the recipe up. Tried using a knife to remove the seeds (thank goodness I didn't cut myself), and managed to burn the heck out of my eyes because, of course, I wasn't smart enough to use gloves...

I am going to write this recipe down now!

Keith said...

Those look so delicious. I'll have to try these out. Thanks for your comment. I always love hearing from you. Take care.

Keith said...

P.S. I love the new blog header.

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Ohhh those look so good!