Friday, December 20, 2013

Have Yourself a Spicy Little Christmas

Here's a peek at our December week...(I always knew I should have been a poet...snort)

Have yourself a spicy little Christmas
The entree at our employee Christmas party-lamb, scarpariello, couscous, sautéed green beans, crusty french bread
Not to be confused with the appetizer course-stuffed jalapeños
Or the salad course
Or the dessert course-flan with fresh fruit...

Have yourself a spicy little Christmas
 The 3 oldest participated in a skit at church...about all the crazy things we do in this holiday season...

Have yourself a spicy little Christmas
 We have gotten more snow this December in the mitten than I can remember getting during a December. 
I bundled the kids up and made them play in the crispy fresh air...

have yourself a spicy little Christmas
 The gorgeous winter moon that greeted me as I left on my run at 8:00 this morning.
It was foggy. Not really dark...

Have yourself a spicy little Christmas
 I finished my Christmas cookie baking and delivered a plate to our mailman.

It has been a good week. Not too busy. We are finishing up school today before breaking for 2 weeks. I am looking forward to the down time. The pool is closed so I see some sleeping in in my future.

I am not finished wrapping presents yet, though I did start. Mr. Hippie will have wrapped gifts to unwrap....I am planning to finish up this task this afternoon, accompanied by some Christmas music.

I have shared before that we have a tradition of eating lots of appetizer/finger foods around Christmas time. This year my stuffed jalapeños will make another appearance, plus I am making my sister's jalapeño popper dip. Along with the bacon dip, tortilla roll-ups, green bean bundles, bruschetta and more. We are trying stuffed-marinated olives this year as well as pigs in the blanket. Pigs in the blanket have mass offspring appeal.

Jalapeños vary in the fire category. Some are hot and some are way more mild. I have heard that the ones with striations (lines) are hotter and the unmarked skin peppers are milder. The seeds also carry heat, so you can adjust the heat of your recipes by seeding or not seeding your peppers.

Here are the two recipes.

Jalapeño Popper Dip (via my Sister)
8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
2 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened 
1 cup mayo
4-6 jalapenos, seeded and chopped 
1 1/2 cup Monterey jack and cheddar cheese 
1/4 cup green onion, diced 

Combine all and stir well. Transfer to a 2 qt. baking dish. 

1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese 
1/4 cup butter, melted 

Combine the toppings and sprinkle on top of dip. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until bubbly.

Stuffed Jalapeños
12 jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, plus another 2 ounces of jack cheese cut into 2-1/2" long batons
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1-1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise and seed. Place on a greased baking sheet. Mix all the filling ingredients except for the batons. Pack the filling into the pepper halves. Place a baton on each pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.


Well, friends, I have no posts planned for next week, though once I start posting on the 30th, I won't be stopping for 33 days. I will be writing a 31 days series in January. "New Year, Renewed You." I hope you will join me for it.

So, I am going to enjoy a blogging break before I get down and dirty. I will only write next week if the spirit moves me.=) Which sometimes it does...why is why I wrote 2 posts yesterday. (here and here)

Have a magnificent Christmas!