Jalapeño Poppers, Baked

Made these for the 4th of July and am looking for a BBQ event to bring them to so I can side swipe a few between drinks. It’s the perfect “over served” food. Bacon-y, kinda spicy, cheesey. Sooo good. In fact, I bet we could doctor them up to look Halloween-y. Ok. Time for some creativity, ya’ll. Whatchya got? P.S. The mix is damn good on toast under some avocado sliced.

  • 12 jalapeños, half and seeded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 head roasted garlic (optional)
  • 10 stalks of chives, cut into 1/4” lengths
  • 6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

Move rack to middle of oven. Line baking pan with foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Make filling by mixing all but 3 TBSP of the crumbled bacon. Cut jalapeños, deseed and demembrane.

Use a spoon to fill the filling into the jalapeño halves. Try to keep them upright (sometimes that requires leaning one up on the other-don’t worry though, they’re ok sharing space).

Cook for 20-25 mins or until bubbly. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top (I actually pressed the bacon into the jalapeños).

It’s like molten lava coming out of the oven. Use all the impulse control power you have to wait 10 mins until trying one. Trust me. Then enjoy!!

Shanghai Lumpia

I went to make Lola Momma’s lumpia recipe and did a quick search to find the ingredients. What? Nothing found. How have I never put the recipe in here? Welp, I winged it because she was asleep since she’s in the PI and we’re in the US and it was a midday project. Everyone says I did it. And the photo is proof that it was good. We couldn’t even get a pic, they went so fast.

Ate them before we could get a photo
Too much filling in this one by a third.

Mix all the filling ingredients together until well incorporated. It should no longer look like separate ingredients but more like a paste.

Set up your rolling station. You will need a bowl of water, a cutting board to roll on, a plate for lumpia you’ll fry, a couple of ziplock bags for lumpia you’ll freeze. A paper towel for any wiping and great music. (Lola Momma suggests a piping bag for the mix but I haven’t tried it yet)

After the filling is mixed and you’re set up at your rolling station, it’s time to get your wrappers ready.

The wrappers like to stick together. Pull apart a stack. Sometimes the edges are really stuck or kinda hard. I just trim off all the hard edges on the stack. Then I cut the wrappers in half.

Pull off individual wrappers. It’s important to cover the wrappers you’re not using with a damp towel so they don’t get dry.

Put about a half inch wide of filling across the bottom of the wrapper. Roll it up trying to avoid air bubbles. Wet the sealing end of the wrapper with water using your finger dipped in the bowl. Once rolled, cut the lumpia in half.

Freeze some (making sure they’re not touching until frozen). Fry others.

Enjoy with sweet spicy dipping sauce.

Green Goddess Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

I’m holding on to the last glimmers of summer with this fresh dinner option. When a meal is loved by all the family members we say, “definitely put this on the menu” for our make-believe family restaurant that we’ll never open. This meal got that stamp of approval.

The perfect last bite with crispy skin

Green Goddess Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

  • 2 lbs salmon cut in 2 pieces
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, zested and then thinly sliced
  • 3 TBSP plain yogurt
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 3 TBSP capers
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Blend basil, garlic, anchovies, lemon zest, yogurt, and mayo until thick and uniformly green. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and set back in the fridge.

Heat a medium pan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Salt salmon fillets on both sides. Layer top of salmon with thinly sliced lemons. Add to pan salmon, skin side up, lemon side down. Cook for 5 – 7 mins depending on thickness. Flip to skin side down and cook until salmon begins to flake when pushed on. Remove skin (it should come off easily). Cook the grey side of the salmon. Set aside. Add back in the skin and cook on both sides for an additional 3 mins each. Set salmon skin on paper towel to drain.

While salmon is cooking, heat another pan on medium with olive oil and add potatoes and salt. Potatoes should sizzle gently. Cover. Cook until crispy on the edges and tender inside (approx 15 mins). 1 minute before serving, add capers so they get a little crispy too and season with pepper.

Serve a slice of salmon with skin on top, dressing on the side with potatoes and any other veggies.

Enjoy!!

Peach Pecan Loaf

Today is all the breads with fruits day. Bread #2 is this pecan peach loaf. It freezes really well. You’ll just want to save the frosting until after it thaws. This bread is great for breakfast, brunch, or even a snack. Adults and kids loved it.

This was the half I thawed on the counter and then dressed in white. So good.

Peach Pecan Loaf

Adapted slightly from Life Love Liz

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped unsalted pecans
  • 2 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf pan and line with parchment paper to easily pull the loaf out of the pan later.

Beat eggs and sugar together until fluffy. Then add eggs, extracts and milk. Mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients. Then fold in the pecans and peaches.

Full loaf pan and bake for 50-60 mins. Check on doneness with a toothpick. It took me much longer than 60 mins but I had to be careful about burning the bottom.

Once done, take out of the oven and let it sit for 10 mins. Then take out of the pan and cool.

Once cooled add frosting of 1/4 powdered sugar and a tsp of milk. Add more milk if you want it thinner or more powdered sugar if you need it to be thicker. Drizzle over loaf and serve.

Enjoy!!

Lentils = Protein

It’s hard to get my mostly-fresh-fruit-and-veggie-eating littles to consume protein too. They love eggs and red meat and salmon – sometimes chicken, if it’s fried. But that will cover like 6 of the 4000 meals that need to be made … in a day. (Doesn’t it feel like the meal prep and dishes are just one continuous stream throughout the day right now? Pepper in some laundry and then it’s already time to go to bed.)

Anyway, they love this lentil (kinda) soup recipe. I say kinda because there isn’t a bunch of broth. If you like yours more broth, just add a 1/2 more around 20 min mark in the cooking process. And the kids don’t know about the anchovies!

Lentil (kinda) Soup

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup black lentils (or any other that you have), rinsed
  • 1/2 large onion, diced super small so kids don’t notice
  • 2 carrots, diced super small because of picky children
  • 4 anchovies in oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I’ve started buying the kind in the jar because holy crap this is a lot of cooking we’re doing these days)
  • Cumin to your liking (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • Good amount of salt to your liking
  • Olive oil
  • Pickled jalapeños for the grown ups as a topper

Kid approved.

Start a medium pot with a good amount of olive oil (2-3 TBSP? Sure). Heat on medium/low. Add onions, carrots, garlic and anchovies. Melt down the anchovies so you don’t see them as whole pieces anymore. They should just add color to the veggies. After they cook for a few mins, add a dash of salt and cumin. cook for another 5 mins being sure to not burn.

Add the rinsed lentils and broth. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer with the cover on until the lentils are tender. Salt to taste.

Lots of toppings go great with this from fried eggs to pickled jalapeños to avocados and sour cream to all of the above.

Enjoy!

Kimchi Fried Rice

Remember those miso turnips that I made the other day? Leftovers found their way into this kimchi fried rice and it was perfect. Also, if you’ve got a pork chop or steak or chicken, grill it right quick and add that on the plate too. This can be a main meal or just a side to your protein. It’s tangy and spicy and the perfect amount of probiotics. I ate mine with a fried egg on top because – chickens in my backyard are laying, laying, laying.

Kimchi Fried Rice

  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
  • 1- 2 carrots, cut Julianne
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • Precooked veggies of choice, I used miso turnips
  • 2″ knob of ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup kimchi (I love either makin my own or buying from Wise Goat Organics)
  • Canola oil
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP gochujan (we use it on everything. Make this a staple)
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP kimchi juice
  • Toppings of choice (fried egg, nori, black sesame seeds, green onion, steak…all of the above)

In a bowl, mix gochujan, soy sauce, sesame oil and kimchi juice. Set aside

Heat a bit of canola oil in a large skillet. Cook onion, carrots, garlic and ginger. Until tender. Add rice and kimchi and pour over gochujan mixture. Fry for 2 mins.

Note: The key is sauce to rice to veggie ratio and everyone has different preferences. I like a slightly sticky rice with lots of veggies. But, you’re the chef. You decide what’s best for you.

Serve as a side or main. Top with whatever you fancy.

Lola Momma’s Picadillo

My MIL was supposed to come back to the states this month from the Philippines for her annual 3 month stay. But it’s too risky to get on a plane. She’s going to stay home. We miss her so much. So, I made one of my favorite dishes that she makes when she comes. It’s so comforting and sweet. Serve it up over rice and maybe top it with a fried egg. It can be eaten any time of day. Enjoy!

Lola Momma’s Picadillo

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4-5 baby Yukon potatoes or 1 large Russet, diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced slightly smaller than potatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced into littler cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup raisins (I know, trust me)
  • 1,5 – 2 cups water
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

In a medium pot, begin to brown the ground pork. Add the garlic midway through and cook until pork is no longer pink. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 min. Add potatoes, raisins, carrots and enough water to cover the veggies. Simmer until cooked through adding more water as needed. Add fish sauce and sugar to taste.

Enjoy comfort in a bowl.

Sesame Steak Rice Bowls with Miso Turnips

We had a super thick ribeye that needed to be cut. And we were too lazy to fire up the charcoal grill. So, husband filleted the ribeye and marinated it in soy sauce, minced garlic and sesame oil. Tokyo turnips are growing at our local farmers. So I brushed some olive oil and miso paste on them and threw them in the oven. Rice was made and that’s how we collaborated on one of our most delicious SIP meals AND THE KIDS LIKED IT!!

Sesame Steak Rice Bowl and Miso Turnips

  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 1/4 lb ribeye, 2″ thick, filleted or 2 ribeyes 1″ thick
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Bundle of turnips, sliced in half and greens removed.
  • 2 TBSP miso paste (I used red but white would be good too)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Kimchi (optional)
  • Nori Furikaki (add this to your kitchen staples)
  • Gochujang (add this to your kitchen staples)
  • 4 fried eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic. Marinate the meat with the sesame/soy mixture for 15-30 mins.

Mix olive oil and miso paste in another bowl. Put turnip bottoms on a baking sheet. Reserve the green tops. Brush half the miso dressing on the turnips. Bake for 12-15 mins.

While turnips are baking, heat pan on medium/high heat and cook steaks (reserve marinade). Remove and let rest under foil for 10 mins. In the same pan, add turnip green tops and miso dressing. Cook until wilted and remove to another plate. In same pan, add steak marinade and cook for 2 mins and drizzle over steak.

If you want to go wild, fry an egg to top your bowls.

Assemble rice bowls with a cup of cooked rice, turnips and steak on top, kimchi and all you other fixings on top.

Enjoy!

SIP Wondrous White Bread

Ok, ya’ll. This is not the whole wheat, semi-healthy loaf of bread that’s full of fiber and good for … well, you know. No. This is the stuff we used to savor as cinnamon toast or flanking some bologna (the kind with a name). Yep. This is the good stuff with sugar and canola oil. YOLO! This is how I’m using my precious yeast.

Wondrous White Bread

  • 2 TBSP yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 cup flour (maybe less)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg and 1 Tbsp water for egg wash
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the canola oil, egg, and salt in a measuring cup. Add to the yeast mixture. Then slowly add enough flour to form a soft dough. I usually add 3 cups then slowly sprinkle more as the dough sticks to my fingers or the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes. Make sure you do this for a full 5 mins.
  • Form dough into a smooth ball. Keeping the dough in the bowl, spray with non-stick spray and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (70-80 degrees) for 15 minutes.
  • Punch down the dough.  Knead for 1 minute. Take the dough and cut it in two. This can make a full loaf and a mini one. I would do 2/3 and 1/3.
  • Form each into a loaf by rolling it into an oblong shape then tucking and pinching the ends under the loaf.
  • Line loaf pans with parchment. Place each loaf in a pan. Brush thoroughly with egg mixture.
  • Let loaf sit while oven is preheating to 400 degrees F, or about 10 minutes. I arrange the rack to the upper part of the oven because my burner is on the bottom.
  • Carefully put the loaves in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until outside is golden brown and internal temperature of loaf registers 195 degrees. If the top starts to brown too much, lightly place foil over the top to stop browning.
  • Let cool. Slice & enjoy!

Spring In A Bite

Spring is just around the corner and these are a perfect first bite of the season. I made them for a party and they held up perfectly. The stored ones for lunch got a little dry. I’d recommend making them fresh or try wrapping them with a damp towel if you’re storing them for tomorrow’s lunch. Enjoy!

Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

  • 4-5 rice paper wraps (the circle ones that you have to rehydrate)
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • ½ hothouse cucumber, julienned
  • 2-3 carrots, julienned
  • ¼ head purple cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • large handful baby spinach
  • Firm tofu (can be flavored) cut into 1/4″ strips
  • fresh cilantro, mint and basil
  • You could also add lobster or other meats and rice noodles if desired.

Peanut Sauce

  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • juice of ½ lime
  1. Put all veggies and herb on a platter for eat assembly.
  2. Whisk together all Peanut Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  1. Fill a shallow bowl with warm water.
  1. Working one at a time, dip a rice paper wrap in warm water until it becomes just pliable, about 10 seconds. (You don’t want the wrapper to fully soften while you’re soaking it; it should still have structure when you pull it from the water and will continue to soften while you apply fillings.)
  2. Lay wrapper flat on a large clean surface and arrange a small amount of each topping in the center of the bottom-third, beginning with spinach and striving to keep the pokier ingredients (peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots) last, where they will be more protected within the roll.
  3. Gently bring the bottom of the wrapper up over the ingredients, completing at least one full roll before folding in the left and right sides; continue to roll until fully wrapped. (Roll should be somewhat snug — and yes, it takes a couple of tries to get it right.) Set aside and repeat until all fillings have been used.
  4. Serve rolls whole or sliced in half (for presentation purposes only) with Peanut Sauce on the side.
  5. Enjoy!