Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When you really love someone, you go out of your way to give them what they want. When you really love someone, you find little ways to show them you’re thinking about them. When you really love someone, you surprise them with cute paper straws and washi tape and let them go to Five Guys late at night after too many drinks because you know it’s their favorite thing in the entire world. When you really love someone you find a way to let them know.

I really love my amazing husband who does so many wonderful things for me, so the least I could do was make him one of his favorite foods, even if I had to jump through some ridiculous hoops to make this very American food in Scotland.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers are absolutely jaw dropping. They’re a bit time intensive, but super easy to make. It’s mainly construction. But trust me, everyone will love them. You should really make these for your next party. Or, you know, just for your husband because you love him so much.

If you’re outside the US, you may have a problem tracking down some of these ingredients. Ranch seasoning can be ordered through Amazon. So far, the only place around Glasgow I’ve been able to find jalapenos is at Whole Foods in Giffnock. This is definitely NOT near where I live, but I’ll do anything for love. As you can see, they’re a bit on the small side, but they were all eaten in about ten minutes, so I’m sure the flavor is fine. If anyone knows another source for jalapenos, definitely leave me a comment.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Some people might not think you can say I love you with food. Those people would be wrong. Nothing says I love you like Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Say I love you with Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers.
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Ingredients
  1. 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  2. 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  3. 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack or other spicy cheese
  4. 6-8 jalapenos
  5. 6-8 slices of bacon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, and cheese in a mixing bowl. I used my stand mixer because I'm lazy, but you could mix it by hand.
  3. Cut the stem off of your jalepenos then slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the ribs and seeds. I use a spoon to scrape out the insides. Just make sure you wash your hands a lot. Arrange jalapeno halves on a foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Cut your bacon slices in half.
  5. Fill the cavity in each jalapeno half with the cream cheese mixture, then wrap a half piece of bacon around it and secure with a toothpick.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until your bacon has reached desired crispness.
  7. If you want them to be less greasy when you serve them, place them on a wire rack over foil to cool.
  8. These are good hot or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. You'll likely have some of the cream cheese mixture leftover, so if you want to a few extra, just increase your jalapenos and bacon accordingly.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Jalapeno Hush Puppies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Jalapeno Hush Puppies

Jalapeno Hush Puppies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

2016 is almost over which means I made it in just under the wire for achieving one of my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve finally managed to overcome my fear of deep frying. Somehow, having a pot full of hot oil on my stove seemed fraught with peril. I had visions of setting my house on fire or burning my face off. 

Turns out if you leave plenty of room in your pot and clip a thermometer on your pot to make sure your oil is at the right temperature, it’s actually pretty easy. I’m going to fry all the things. 

Jalapeno Hush Puppies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My breakthrough came with these Jalapeno Hush Puppies. They’re crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside with a hint of heat from chopped fresh jalapeno all over the place. It’s like eating a fresh savoury, spicy doughnut. Hush Puppies are heaven. 

These are perfect all on their own, but if you want something to dip them in, just stir together a little sour cream and hot sauce, and go to town.

Jalapeno Hush Puppies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

2017 is going to be a year where we have to face our fears and bring our most awesome selves forward. You might as well get frying at home. Everything is gonna be alright.

 

Jalapeno Hush Puppies
Yields 12
Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and bursting with subtle heat, Jalapeno Hush Puppies are easier to make than you think and totally wort it.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 75 grams all purpose flour
  2. 71 grams corn meal
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 1 teaspoonssalt
  7. 3/4 cups buttermilk
  8. 4.25 ounces creamed corn
  9. 1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
  10. Vegetable oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Get out a pot that is heavy and deep. I used an enamel coated cast iron 5 quart pot. Clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Pour in vegetable oil until it's a couple of inches deep. Turn the heat under the pan to medium and keep your eye on the thermometer as you're mixing your batter. You want it to get up to 375F degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate container, add buttermilk, creamed corn, and jalapeno. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together quickly and gently with a rubber spatula, and mix until just combined. Try not to mix for more than 20 seconds. A few lumps are okay. Let the batter rest while your oil continues to heat up.
  5. Once your oil has reached 375 (this may take a while, and the heat will need to be adjusted throughout cooking to stay as close to that temperature as possible) use a scoop or two spoons to gently add the batter to the oil in fat dollops. I could comfortably cook 3 or 4 hush puppies at a time in my pot. You don't want to overcrowd the pan, or you won't get nice even browning.
  6. Use your tongs to gently flip the hush puppies over in the oil a few times while cooking. Once their dark brown, carefully remove them to a wire rack set over a cookie sheet to cool and crisp up.
  7. Add more batter to your oil as space becomes available, and keep frying and flipping until you have a pile of delicious hush puppies. Remember to keep an eye on the temperature of your oil throughout. The temperature will drop while cooking, so you'll need to keep adjusting your heat.
  8. Serve warm plain or with hot sauce spiked sour cream.
Adapted from I'm Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burger

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I don’t know about where you live, but in Honolulu, it is still way way way too hot for indoor cooking. That’s why I made you jalapeno cream cheese stuffed burgers. And even if it’s not 90 degrees with 97% humidity where you live, I hear they have this tailgating thing that requires cooking large amounts of meat on a grill in a parking lot. Make these. None of those float your boat? Just wear a coat. Or you could make these in a frying pan. That’s okay, too.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

These burgers are super easy to make and even more fun to eat. You can definitely taste the jalapenos, and there’s a noticable heat, but it’s not overwhelming. I mix the jalapeno and cream cheese in my food processor, so there’s not even any chopping involved. Because your burger is filled with cheese, it’s best to put them back in the fridge for a while before cooking, so these are ideal to make ahead. It’s nothing but simple.

Geoff likes his burgers with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and habanero salsa. Choose whatever accouterments you love. Just get ready for deliciousness.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m so hungry right now, I can eat one of these jalapeno cream cheese stuffed burgers in about twenty seconds. Since I have leftovers, I may do just that. Isn’t life awesome?

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Serves 4
Jalapeno cream cheese hides inside a juicy burger for a super awesome grill out meal.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 jalapenos, tops removed, split down the center, and deseeded
  2. 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  3. 1 pound ground beef
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  7. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  8. 4 hamburger buns
  9. 4 slices of your favorite cheese
  10. Your favorite burger toppings
Instructions
  1. If you have a food processor, use it to chop up your jalapenos until they're as small as you'd like. Add the cream cheese to the food processor and process until combined. If you don't have a food processor, chop up your jalapenos and stir them into your cream cheese.
  2. Add your seasonings and Worcestershire sauce to your meat, and give it a quick mix with your hands. Divide the meat into four equal parts, and then divide each of those in two. Flatten out and shape each section into a thin patty. We're going to put two together, so make them as thin as you can.
  3. Put a spoonful of your cream cheese mixture into the center of one of your patties, then top that with another patty. Gently press the edges together so your cream cheese is sealed inside. Repeat this for all the burgers.
  4. Stash your burger patties in the fridge or on ice until you're ready to cook. Four hours is fine as long as they're cold.
  5. Cook your burgers in your vessel of choice over medium high heat until they reach your desired level of doneness. I do about 5 minutes a side.
  6. Put it on a bun, add your favorite toppings, and eat til you drop.
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Jalapeno Popper Dip from Awesome on 20

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip from Awesome on 20

My husband loves jalapenos. He’ll put jalapenos on anything. Tacos, pizza, eggs, sandwiches, anything. And if he can get his hands on something hotter, he’ll chop it up and throw it in that night’s dinner without batting an eye. He’s most happy when his food is making him cry. 

He loves jalapeno poppers, as you might imagine. He’ll eat them anyway he can get them, with bacon or without. He can’t stop. But since I’m not a vegetable eater, jalapeno poppers don’t really do it for me. Chop them up and bury them in cheese, though, and I’m all in. 

Jalapeno Popper Dip from Awesome on 20

I love a warm gooey dip scooped up with a crunchy chips. When you’re chewing on corn chips, you don’t notice you’re also eating vegetables. The cheese and bacon don’t hurt either. This jalapeno popper dip is mildly spicy and so so good. I used red jalapenos because that’s what was in the store, but green works, too. If you want to make it a bit hotter, try adding some chopped habaneros. If you want a crunchy top, scatter some panko bread crumbs on top. I was serving a gluten-free guest, so I just left it plain.

A dip is also great for a party because you can make it stretch a lot farther. If you make individual poppers, you can only make 12. If you make a dip, everybody can take a bit or you can scoop to your heart’s content without feeling greedy. 

Jalapeno Popper Dip from Awesome on 20

Gooey, cheesy, spicy. Pretty much everyone’s happy. You’re summer party just got awesome, and everybody wants to hang out at your table. Run with it.

Jalapeno Popper Dip
Serves 8
Spicy, gooey, cheesy, this jalapeno popper dip is perfect for a crowd.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 16 ounces (two boxes) cream cheese, softened
  2. 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  3. 5 slices bacon
  4. 6 jalapenos, minced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  7. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
Instructions
  1. Cut your bacon into 1 inch pieces with your scissors and fry over medium heat until crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, use your mixer to beat together all your ingredients. Give each one a few seconds to come together before adding the next one.
  4. Scoop everything into your casserole dish. Here's where you'd add the bread crumbs if you like.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until warm and bubbly. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving with crunchy chips to hungry, happy friends.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers from Awesome on 20

Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers

Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers from Awesome on 20

Happy Cinco de Mayo aka the perfect excuse to drink margaritas day!!!!! After countless weeks of rainy days, particularly on the weekend, its finally decided to just go ahead and get damn hot out here in the middle of the ocean. I will be moving to the beach any day now, as my house is currently approaching intolerable in the afternoon. Especially with the sunburn I acquired today. 

Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers from Awesome on 20

Did you know that the oil that makes peppers so spicy isn’t water soluble? That means no amount of water, no matter how cold, will quench the fire that these jalapeno poppers are going to cause in your mouth. The oil is only fat or alcohol soluble, so you can either dip your tongue in sour cream, or chug your margarita. Just one more reason why margaritas are better on the rocks.

I know we’ve been to jalapeno popper land before, but this version is vegetarian friendly and extra spicy. It’s got minced jalapeno and habanero mixed in to the cream cheese, along with green onion and garlic. The filling is a bit chunky and drippy nose hot. I can’t say you won’t miss the bacon because how could you not, but if you have vegetarians in your life, they’re going to be smiling and chugging their margaritas.

Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers from Awesome on 20

Don’t say I never fed you vegetables. Don’t say I never gave you an excuse to drink more margaritas. Don’t say these aren’t awesome. You will be a liar.

Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers
Yields 8
Jalapeno poppers with an extra spicy, chunky filling.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 jalapeno peppers
  2. 1 habanero pepper, diced
  3. 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar and jack cheese
  8. salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  10. 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Slice off the top third of each of your jalapenos, lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds and ribs to make a boat. Line up the jalapeno boats on your baking sheet. Dice up the remaining strips of jalapeno and add them to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the habanero, green onions, garlic, cream cheese, cumin, shredded cheese, and salt and pepper to your bowl. Combine all these ingredients. I used my stand mixer, but if you want a good arm workout, you could mix it all by hand.
  4. Use a small offset spatula or a butter knife to fill your jalapeno boats. Make sure to press it all the way into the crevice for maximum cheese potential.
  5. Put your breadcrumbs and parmesan on a small plate and mix gently. Carefully press the cheesy side of each jalapeno boat into the bread crumbs for a crunchy crust.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until they reach the perfectly level of gooey toastiness.
  7. Hold off for about 10 minutes then go at it with plenty of fat or alcohol by your side.
Notes
  1. You'll have lots of filling left over. May I suggest smashing that onto a toasted bagel and topping that whole situation with a fried egg? What could go wrong?
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
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