4/13/14

Short Sunday Post

It will probably be a no-sewing day for me today. I've been spending all my time working on the chili rounder this past week, and when I do that, I usually have to take a day or two off to catch up on other things. Today I'm doing some laundry, and I'm going to repot at least some of the tomatoes. After looking at them yesterday, I decided some of them could stand to stay in their little Solo cups a little longer. I'll get my lettuce planted today too.

For now, I wanted to show you the latest captures on my birdcam. The American Goldfinches have returned, but I've yet to capture one at the feeder. Instead, I got the same gang I usually get. Still, some of the images were interesting for different reasons. For example, the lighting on this next one isn't very good. It was one of the first taken in the early morning, and the glare of the sun on the birdfeeder was a little much. Still, don't you suppose this bird is pissed off about the freeloader sitting on her wing? Sheesh. The noyve of some people...


And then there were these guys, just sitting pretty...




But the most interesting images from yesterday's batch were these studies in contrast between the males and the females. These next two are purple finches.


And these are the House Finches. You really can see the difference between the two males now that they're decked out for the ladies in their mating plumage. They often look the same, but you can see that the purple finch is much more red in color than is the house finch at this time of year.


So the other thing I want to tell you about is this new recipe I tried last night. It's heavily adapted from a recipe I found online. I wasn't sure if my way of doing it would work, and so it was quite a delightful (not to mention delectable) surprise when these came out of the oven.


Yeah, that's bacon, baby. Need I say more?

Guess I'm in a pepper mood these days. So, here's what I did, and I'll give you the recipe right after I tell you. First, you get yourself six jalapeno peppers. Then, you put on some gloves. Really. Wear gloves, because your fingers will burn for hours after handling them if you don't. Not to mention that rubbing your eyes will give you a preview of a place you'd rather not go.

So then, you cut off the stems and then cut them in half lengthwise. Then use your thumb to strip out the seeds and membranes. (That's where the heat is.) Then you mix up 4 oz. softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese. Use a fork to mash it together until it's well mixed. Then use a teaspoon to stuff your hollowed out peppers. Just stuff them until they're level with the top of the pepper. 

Now comes the good part: Get yourself six strips of regular-cut bacon. (I think thick-cut would be too thick to cook well.) Cut them in half width-wise...in other words, the short way. Then wrap those stuffed jalapenos sort of diagonally with the bacon. You don't need to worry about being too neat about it. Just wrap 'em up and call it good. Then roast them in a preheated 400°F. oven (I used my toaster oven) for 20-25 minutes, until the bacon is fairly crispy and the filling is sort of melty and yummy. Then pop 'em in your mouth and eat 'em up. (Give the filling a chance to cool a bit.) Yum, yum, yum. 

By stripping out the seeds and membranes, the peppers are not so hot, and roasting them in the oven gives them the nicest smoky flavor. Dee-lish. Best of all, you can get them ready to go several hours ahead. Just refrigerate them covered with plastic wrap until you're ready to roast them.

So here's my recipe...simple.

Bacon-wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos
Serving Size: 4     

6 Jalapeno Chile Peppers -- stems removed, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup (4 Oz.) Cream Cheese -- softened
6 Slices Bacon -- halved widthwise (the short way)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Using a fork, mash together cream cheese and Cheddar cheese together in a bowl until evenly blended. Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture, leveling it at the top. Wrap each stuffed pepper diagonally with 1/2 slice of bacon. Arrange bacon-wrapped peppers on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until bacon is crispy, about 20-25 minutes.

NOTES : Can be made several hours ahead. Refrigerate covered until ready to bake.

So that's all I know for today. Tonight we're heading downtown for dinner for six to celebrate Matthew's 30th birthday. We're a little late for this because his birthday was almost two weeks ago. Things just kind of got in the way. We're also celebrating Matthew's getting hired by Hewlett-Packard. He won't graduate until later this year, but it's wonderful knowing he already has a job waiting for him. 

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lyndsey said...

Not sure if my comment went through so I'll type it again.

The recipe sounds yummy and I'm going to try it later in the week. Such a great combination - peppers, cheese and bacon.

Well done Matthew for being hired by HP. Now you can concentrate on completing your degree without the hassel of worrying about about job applications. Enjoy your dinner. It's older daughter's birthday today but we will celebrate as a family either later this week or next as she is having a party with friends today.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Great job on Matthew's new job, congrats. The ladybugs- I've been finding them in the house and transporting them outside. They had been swarming a few weeks ago so I guess we too had freeloaders!

Marei said...

Everything's better with bacon! 'Nuff said.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Well Happy Birthday and Congratulations Matthew! Love the bird photos. I was trying to take bit of a break - picked up two commission quilts over the weekend.

Kate said...

Fun bird shots. We have a pair of house finches nesting just outside the kitchen door. They don't like having their picture made, so no luck on that front as yet.

quiltzyx said...

Cool pics of the birds - especially the one with the lady bug on its wing!

I'm stopping at the store on my way home. Now I might have to buy bacon and jalapenos too. You are a bad influence on me! I wonder how they'll reheat in a microwave?

Happy Birthday dinner to Matthew & congrats on the HP job!!!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Good for Matthew; a job is a wonderful thing to have. The birds are so neat all decked out in mating togs.

Peppers, cheese in two flavors and bacon--what's not to love ?~!

Valerie Reynolds said...

um do you know this wasn't short....LOL!!! Can't believe the pic with the bird AND ladybug!!! Lovely pics!!! And you made me hungry!! LOL!!

WoolenSails said...

Beautiful birds in your area. Today we went for a walk at the sanctuary and they had Ospreys nesting, hawks flying, the usual waterfowl and lots of pretty birds in trees and at the feeders, but all my shots are too zoomed and none came out very well.

Debbie

Brown Family said...

Beautiful birds! I have not re-potted my tomatos yet. We may get frost this week! The jalapeno look yummy. Too bad I am allergic!

kc said...

Always fun to see what you're up to! Congrats to Matthew on his birthday and hiring - nice to have a job waiting, eh? Kinda validates all the effort.

I've been keeping up with the Chili rounder - I, too, am a fan of the name Chili Today, Hot Tamale.

Lemme tell you about those pepper - you ain't just whistlin Dixie. Long before I knew about wearing gloves, I canned several pints of jalapenos...like, maybe 20. Ohhhhh baby, did I burn. Up to my elbows, and for DAYS. Luckily, I never rubbed my eyes - how I managed to miss that trick, I'll never know, perhaps an angel was looking out for me. But, literally, I was red-handed up to my elbows and it took a day or 3 to figure out why! And now they make pain-killing/numbing creams out of capsacin, the heat-producing part of a pepper. Go figure.

Doris Rice said...

I've done my peppers like this for years. They are so easy! I also add a little crumbled cooked pork breakfast sausage in with the cheeses if I have it.