almond popovers

May 16, 2011
You know how we sometimes choose an outfit to go with a pair of shoes?   This is the food equivalent of such situation.  
What could pair perfectly with my Banana-Lime Jam?  Almond popovers, of course.
It's the beauty of backwards design and in this case, I picked a winning outfit.
Popovers are made with an egg batter much like a pancake batter.  To make it as smooth as possible, or rather, as quick as possible, I used my Magic Bullet.  You can just toss all the ingredients in and be done!

Almond Popovers
(yields 6 popovers)
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. almond extract
a palmful of sliced and chopped almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Butter 6 cups in your popover pan (or muffin tin) and set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor or Magic Bullet and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into buttered muffin tin.  
  4. Place pan in the oven and decrease temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake 16-20 minutes.
  5. Immediately remove when the tops begin to brown.  
  6. Quickly take out each popover and place on a rack to cool.
Serve with Banana-Lime Jam

this is my jam

Who knew a fancy jam could be so simple to make?  This jam is made even more perfect because it incorporates ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen.
I've decided this is the jam of 2011.

Banana-Lime Jam
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 medium overripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter

  1. Combine sugar and lime juice together in a saucepan.  Stir with a wooden spoon and bring to a boil.
  2. Add bananas, cinnamon and nutmeg and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook for 45 minutes or until slightly thick.  Occasionally mash the bananas with the back of the wooden spoon.
  3. Stir in two tablespoons of butter.  Remove from heat.  The jam will thicken as it cools.

Perfect for toast, bagels or even a yummy popover.

no glove, no love

 Dear Jalapeno,
The deep love I had for you has diminished.  Gone.  You ruined my life for two. whole. days.  You made me slather sour cream all over my hands.  You made me take a hand bath in vinegar.  You made me sleep with my hands dangling over the edge of my bed in bowl of iced water.  I won't forgive you. probably. 
Your ex,
Jess
My burning hands basking in the temporary glory that is sour cream.
Note to the wise.  Don't cut twenty jalapenos ungloved.  Especially don't de-seed twenty jalapenos ungloved. They will come back to haunt you.  It will feel like you've stuck your hands in boiling water and it won't go away.  
 Enough about the bad.  Let's talk good.
Cheesy BBQ Bacon Jalapenos are a fan favorite.  They're a versatile appetizer and will go over equally well at an outside barbecue or a nice evening dinner party. 
 Soak these babies in some yummy BBQ sauce.
Bake, brown and serve!

Cheesy BBQ Bacon Jalapenos
20 fresh jalapenos
16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), room temperature
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 lb. bacon, cut into thirds
BBQ sauce (Stubbs, if you're especially cool)
40 toothpicks
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and cheddar until well blended. 
  3. Add cumin and paprika and stir until incorporated.  
  4. PUT ON GLOVES.
  5. Slice each jalapeno in half USING YOUR GLOVED HANDS.  Carefully remove seeds from each half WITH YOUR HANDS THAT ARE PROTECTED BY GLOVES.
  6. Scoop mixture and generously fill each jalapeno half. 
  7. Cut bacon into thirds.  Wrap each half with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.  
  8. Slather BBQ sauce over tops of jalapenos.
  9. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bacon is browned.
ouch.
On the bright side, let's cross out #7.  I've learned that gloves will not only protect your freshly manicured fingers, they are a serious necessity in the presence of jalapenos. 

spicy chicken buffalo dip

This dip, though not particularly attractive, just might render proposals of marriage from perfect strangers.  'Tis truth.
There's some odd law about men loving buffalo wings.  Maybe because it's so closely tied to their other great loves in life... sports?  Not sure, but what I am sure of is this.  If you pee standing up, you will, no doubt, love. this. dip.  And I bet your lady will like it, too.
Spicy Chicken Buffalo Dip
8 oz. (one package) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup chunky blue cheese dresing
1/2 cup Frank's RedHot sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
24 oz. shredded chicken  (You could use canned chicken breast, but I used rotisserie because I'm a snob.)

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place room temperature cream cheese in a bowl and whip until smooth.  
  3. Mix in salad dressing, hot sauces and mozzarella until well blended.  
  4. Stir in shredded chicken and mix until well incorporated.  
  5. Pour into baking dish (I used a pie pan) and bake for 20 minutes.  
  6. Turn on broiler and let top brown for an additional 4 minutes.  Remove and serve warm.
Serve with celery, pita chips, or bagel chips

I actually brought this along to a BBQ and the guys couldn't get enough of it . They added it on top of their cheeseburgers.  This dip obviously has no limits.