oh yeah, and jalapenos, but not hot. I promise.
Since we had the day off yesterday, we did a barbeque run to a new spot, and are recovering from some amazing Kansas City BBQ at Slaps in Kansas City, KS. I highly recommend this joint to everyone. RIBS. The end. We ended up with an entire meal that we brought home, so order lightly. Oh yeah, and BRISKET. The best word to go with BBQ is joint, and this place brings it home. We will definitely be back. We shopped and then gambled at Hollywood Casino on the way home, and although we didn’t come out on top, it was fun!
Thought I might brew up something a little lighter for dinner, and made these chicken bacon jalapeno wraps. We had a wonderful Christmas with friends, family and even more friends from Australia, plus an upcoming Mexico vacay in which we might just possibly overindulge, so the hubs and I have been eating a lot of meat, veggies and fruit.
So, let’s bring on the yard bird. The husband of the house is not a fan of “yard bird” as he and his friend Charlie call it, but this, is delish. I remove all of the innards from the jalapeno so it’s not hot, and combine with cheese and bacon, and yummo. It’s about -10 degrees outside so I didn’t grill, which is the best, and most delicious option, but baking works as well.
Happy New Year everyone, and here’s to a fantastic 2018!!
Chicken Bacon Rollups
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 jalapeno peppers
20 strips bacon
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cup grated colby jack or cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Favorite BBQ sauce
Slice chicken breasts in half width wise (each half makes 1 chicken rollup). Place between 2 pieces of wax paper and pound to 1/4″ thickness. Season each with salt & pepper.
Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove seeds, ribs and the end with the stem.
In a small bowl, mix softened cream cheese with your grated colby jack or cheddar cheese.
Fill each jalapeno half with cheese mixture. Place 1 jalapeno half at the end of each chicken piece, and roll up. Doesn’t always close the way you think it might – no worries, the bacon brings everything together. Wrap each piece of chicken with bacon, tucking in the ends of the strips.
Preheat grill and cook over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes. Baste chicken with BBQ sauce every time you give it a flip. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, buy one. 🙂 Just kidding…you can pierce the chicken with a fork, and if juices run clear, you’re good to go.
Alternate method — if you choose to bake, set oven at 375 and bake uncovered for 30 minutes, basting as above. You can broil at the end so bacon can crisp completely.
Not sure I’ve ever made anything with wonton wrappers, but my maiden voyage occurred to try these snacks for a recent KC CHIEFS! game. You’ll find them in the produce section and about a zillion come in the package. Mix 5 simple ingredients, and ta da! Delicious! And, you can adjust the heat according to your liking by the amount of jalapenos you include.
Recipe below, and I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. Here’s to 2018!
Jalapeno Popper Wonton Cups
12 wonton wrappers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
12 oz. bacon cooked & crumbled (reserve 2 Tbsp.)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 2 Tbsp.)
2-3 jalapeños seeded and chopped (*for a spicier version, do not remove all the seeds)
Set oven to 350 degrees, and spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Place a wonton wrapper in each muffin cup and bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
n a medium-sized bowl, stir together cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, cheddar cheese, and diced jalapeños. Spoon filling into wonton cups, then sprinkle with reserved bacon and cheese.
Return to oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, until wontons are golden brown and cheese is melted.
I just recently realized that some of my favorite go-to’s never make an appearance here, so I want to share one of the most requested side dishes from our family and friends.
As I’ve mentioned, my parents were in the restaurant business in Kansas City, and I think they were friends with the then-owners of Stephenson’s Apple Farm. I believe this recipe for Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole originated from their Green Rice. It’s super easy and sooo amazingly delicious. The recipe below makes a 13 x 9 pan, but I usually cut it in half and that works great in an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan. In any case, I know you will love it!
Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole
1 bag chopped broccoli
2 cans cream of celery soup
16 oz. cheese whiz
1 stick margarine or butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1 soup can milk
1.5 cups uncooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray 13 x 9 pan. Stir all ingredients together and cook for 45 min to 1 hour. Note: about 1/2 way through the cooking time, I give it a stir as everything is starting to melt.
In a very random conversation last week at work, my friend shared that she had made a frittata with leftover spaghetti (no sauce, mind you). I replied “I always make too much and throw it out”. Laura is with us today to share a super easy, economical and delicious way to use that leftover spaghetti (who doesn’t cook too much)???
She found that this frittata is a great way to use up left-over spaghetti, and her family of three ate the whole thing and asked for it again the next night. I plan to try it soon, but I think I’ll have to mix it up with a few different meats cuz I live with Mr. All Meat Pizza – you could use browned sausage, canadian bacon, ham, etc. If you do try one of these alternatives to the bacon that Laura used, we would love for you to come back and comment below!
Step 1 involves chopping up the cooked spaghetti:
Step 2 – whisk the eggs and milk, and adding the yummy (bacon and cheese) ingredients:
The Final Frittata!
I could most definitely snarf a piece of that right now! I’m sharing Laura’s recipe below, and hope that you enjoy as I certainly plan to! Thanks for dropping by to get in on Laura’s quick weeknight meal!
1 ½ cups cut-up cooked spaghetti
2 slices of chopped cooked bacon
1 cup of shredded cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 inch round pie plate with non-stick cooking oil.
Whisk the six eggs in a separate bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Laura added a Zesty no-salt substitute to give it a little more flavor without adding additional salt.
Stir in the 2 slices of pre-cooked bacon, ½ cup of shredded cheese and chopped spaghetti. (Laura used the Mexican four cheese blend because that is what she had on hand and wanted to use up.)
Pour the blended items into the pie plate and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Bake for 30 min. or until center is set.
My friend Heather recently gave me a Hy-Vee magazine that came to her in the mail (she’s an Aisles Online fan) and it has some cool appetizer recipes that I thought I might try. The first contestant is these pecans….warning, the hubster decided we should smoke them, so the first round went in the trash. Turns out you need to cook them a little lower than the oven temperature. Round 2 also involved the pellet smoker but at a lower temp. YUMMO!
I think they would be good in the oven as well, and one thing I might try for Round 3 is to toast the pecans in the oven a bit, then add the gooey, bourbony deliciousness. Check out the recipe below – might be great for holiday gifts!
Candied Bourbon Pecans
2/3 C dark brown sugar
1/4 C butter
1 tbsp. finely grated ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 1/2 C pecan halves
cinnamon sugar, optional
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or smoker to 225). In a saucepan, bring bourbon, dark brown sugar, butter, ginger, salt and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes until thickened.
Stir in pecans. Pour on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until toasted. If smoking, placed on foil vegetable-type rack (or we used screen from the hardware store) for about 30-40 minutes. Toss occasionally. Cool and toss with cinnamon sugar if desired.
The perfect recipe for tailgating or watching football – what can you not like about creme cheese, bacon, jalapenos? I sure cannot think of anything! Tried these a few weeks ago, and they did not last long at all. Super easy, and you begin with crescent roll dough, preferably the full sheet, or if not, just seal the triangles to make a sheet. Cover with a layer of whipped cream cheese to which you have added chopped jalapenos and crumbled cooked bacon. Sprinkle with sharp shredded cheddar cheese, and roll, starting with the long end. Cut with sharp knife, and you should have something similar to this:
You’re about 15 minutes away from yummy. Add shredded cheddar to the top, and bake at 375 degrees or until desired degree of brownness. Enjoy, and grab one first before your “friends” get to them!
My little girl turned 30 today (I had her when I was VERY young 🙂 ) and this post is a tribute to her. She wrote a blog post today titled “20 Thoughts on Turning 30” and item #18 is “I’ll never cook as good as my mom and grandmas”. Personally, I think she’s a VERY good cook, and really creative!
We all know that food, 1. tastes better when someone else cooks it for you, and 2. never tastes the same as did when that special loved one either made it for you, or you’re lucky enough to still have it occasionally. I say the same thing about stuff my mom used to make.
Anyway, somewhere back in her childhood, I threw together this chicken and rice. I don’t remember for sure, but it was probably out of sheer desperation and lack of time….probably just did chores, ran in from the arena late on a school night, kids running to the shower, and me trying to figure out what to feed them. I recently sent home a batch of this with Brandi because I know she loves it, and after that she called one night to clarify how to make it and declared hers will never be as good as mine. Well, I’m sharing one of her favorites today, and it’s handy because it heats up well (trust me, it does…I remember heating it up for dinner in the microwave in my living quarters horse trailer a few years back).
Happy birthday, Brandi, and hope you enjoy some chicken and rice!
Easy Chicken and Rice
Start with 1 cup of uncooked rice in a glass dish, adding 1 cup of water. Cook according to microwave directions on box. This will yield about 3 cups of cooked rice.
Either use a roast chicken from the deli, or while rice is cooking, prepare chicken, and dice when cool. Combine rice, chicken, 1/2 stick butter or margarine, and season well with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and black pepper. The key here is plenty of butter and seasoning salt. Give it a stir and you’re ready to roll.