Archived entries for peppers

Creamy Tapenade

I love cheese and I love tapenade, so I decided to put them together.  Delicious!

Creamy Tapenade

  • 8 0z. cream cheese
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • 1/2 c. roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1/4 c. diced olives
  • 1 Tbs honey

Dice olives and red peppers.  Mix cream cheese, feta and honey.  Mix in olives and red peppers, reserving a few for a garnish.  Easy and yummerz.

What? Pierogi Lasgana! That’s Right. You heard me.

I love pierogies! My favorite flavor of this Polish pasta pleasure is potato and cheese.  Yummerz!  Why not take these same ingredients and put it in another loved format?  Lasagna.  Yes, please.  Here’s our recipe.

Pierogi Lasagna with Kielbasa

  • 9-12 sheets of Lasagna noodle
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 c. mashed potatoes (made with salt and butter)
  • 1 large smoked kielbasa, sliced (…or not, if you’re vegetarian)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 red and/or green pepper (or substitute roasted vegetables like red pepper and zucchini as seen in the post photographs)
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 Tbs horseradish
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 lb Swiss cheese


First layer of noodles and mashed potatoes.

1)  Make your mashed potatoes. You can use instant potatoes if you wish, but I always like freshly mashed: ~6 potatoes, boiled and mashed with at least 1/4 c. each butter and milk, salt and pepper.

2)  Boil Lasagna noodles. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop your noodles in.  Cook until almost al dente but still firm.  (Noodles will cook more when lasagna bakes).  When done, drain water.  In a bowl, mix noodles with olive oil and salt.  Set aside.


Roasted vegetables with grilled onions layered with kielbasa.

3)  Grill vegetables.  Thickly slice onions and peppers.  In a saute pan or cast iron pan, grill vegetables until cooked and slightly charred.

4)  Make horseradish sauce.  Mix sour cream, horseradish, black pepper and salt.  Set aside.


5)  Assemble lasagna. In a greased 12″ x 9″ cake/casserole pan, layer 3-4 lasagna noodles on bottom.  Spread 1/3 of mashed potatoes over noodles.  Spread half of your grilled and/or roasted vegetables and half of your sliced kielbasa .  over mashed potatoes.  Top with 1/2 of your horseradish cream sacue.  Layer with 3-4 more lasagna noodles and repeat previous layer.  Top with with your final noodles, and the last of your potatoes.


6)  Bake Lasagna. Place lasagna to bake for 30 min. at 350.  After 30 min, remove from oven, top with your Swiss cheese, sliced or grated.  Replace in oven and bake for 10-15 more minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted.

7)  Eat and enjoy.  This is the best part!  The best parts of a pierogi meal in one, easy-to-eat package.  Besides being a delicious dinner it also reheats to make a kickass lunch.  This meal will destroy people’s brains and tastebuds, all at the same time.  Two for the price of one!

Roasting Peppers: A Video



Ahh, its a video of myself! Ugh, I have the most nasal voice in the world. I’ve been wanting to try a video blog for a while, but I’m no good at video editing, so I had to do it all in one shot. I hope you don’t get motion sickness with this.

Roasting Peppers on Your Stove Top: At A Glance
Prep/Cook time: 5 minutes. Total Time: 15-20 minutes.

  1. Turn gas burner on high.
  2. Place pepper onto burner grate directly into flames.
  3. Allow skin of pepper to char until it is completely black.
  4. Flip pepper on burner to allow even heat to all sides.
  5. Remove from burner once pepper is completely black
  6. Place in a paper bag and allow to cool for ~10 minutes.
  7. Peel skin away from pepper.

Bam, you’ve got a roasted pepper.

Left Over Remix: BBQ Pizza with Chicken and Jalapenos

Its a creative challenge sometimes to look at a bunch of left over ingredients and think how I can make them over into something new and exciting. Looking in the refrigerator, I had a bunch of bags of left over garnish materials from Chili night; there was chopped jalapeno slices, half a red onion, a bag of shredded cheese and chopped cilantro.

While I was thinking of what I could use them for, my eyes glanced on a bottle of BBQ sauce I’ve been trying to get rid of. With the little scrap of chicken breast I knew was lurking in my freezer, one of Ira’s favorite pizza’s came into my mind. Using my pizza dough short cut, I had a left over dinner on the table about an hour later.

BBQ Pizza with Chicken and Jalapeno

  • Jalapeno slices
  • red onion sliced
  • cooked chicken breast
  • cilantro, chopped
  • BBQ Sauce
  • shredded cheese

I quickly prepared my pizza dough and got it in the oven to rise.

Meanwhile, I gave the Jalapenos a quick saute in olive oil with some cumin seed to add a bit of flavor and cut down on the spicy heat of the peppers. If you like spicy food, you can skip this step, but I have to admit, I am a bit of a wiener when it comes to spicy peppers. What can I say, I am a gringo.

I also gave the chicken a quick saute to cook through, about 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Before putting into the pan, I quickly cut up about a 1/4 of a chicken breast I had defrosted and mixed with the juice of 1 lime and 1 tsp of cumin.

Once the dough was ready, I spread out the BBQ sauce on the dough. BBQ sauce is easy to make if you don’t have any ready made in the fridge.

This is a quick mid week dinner not a BBQ competition in Kentucky, so Sweet Baby Rays or a BBQ sauce made with ketchup works just fine.

Layering the rest of the ingredients on the pizza, it was ready for the oven. 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Eat up and enjoy not letting ingredients rot in your refrigerator. Barack Obama is proud of you.

How To Construct A Sorbet: Mango Salsa Sorbet

The antidote to too spicy food is diary. If you’re mouth is burning off after biting into a pickled jalapeno, follow it with a chug of milk and you’ll feel better. I love Tres Leche, a sweet moist cake soaked over night in a creamy milk sauce, to follow spicy dishes. We felt this would be a perfect dessert for Chili night, but needed something exiting to go with it to spice it up. I suggested garnishing it with a mango salsa and my sister immediately said make it a sorbet! The tart and spicy flavor of the sorbet would go wonderfully with the sweet creamy delicate cake.

For the cake, we used my sister’s favorite Tres Leche Cake recipe from the Cooks Country magazine. As for the mango salsa recipe, I had to just wing it. I’ve never used an ice cream maker before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing. It seemed simple enough. We just looked up a mango sorbet recipe. From this recipe, we extrapolated a general sorbet recipe consists of:

General Sorbet Recipe

The simple syrup needed to be chilled before making the sorbet, so I did this first and allowed it to chill for about 2 hours.

From the ratio above, I prepared my fruit puree but simply making a mango salsa and processing it in the food processor. The ingredients I used were

  • 4 ripe mangoes
  • 8 small kiwis (they were very small. I would suggest 4-6 regular sized ones)
  • 2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 2 green onions, green tops only, chopped
  • 2 Tbs chopped cilantro (leaves only, no stems)
  • 2 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

I processed them all in the food processor to form a nice smooth puree. Then, in a ratio of 1:1 I mixed the fruit puree and the simple syrup and poured into the ice cream maker. My sister’s ice cream maker says to mix for 90 minutes.

After the 90 minutes, the sorbet was not completely frozen yet. We had four hours before our guests arrived, so we just removed the motor from the ice cream maker and placed the sorbet and machine core into the freezer. We removed it every hour and mixed it with the paddle for a couple of minutes, and by the time of the event, the sorbet was ready to be served with the cake.

We served the sorbet with the Tres Leche cake and garnished each dish with a shaving of lime zest.

**Notes: My sister and I felt the sorbet had too strong of a cilantro taste, so in the ingredients given above, I have cut the suggested amount in half and suggested only using the leaves, as the stems can have a stronger flavor.

Also I linked to a simple syrup recipe which uses a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar which I think might work better. We made our simple syrup with a 2:1 ratio water to sugar and this might have lead to the sorbet not wanting to solidify.

Fire In the Hole! Jalapeno Poppers.

Pretty much anything wrapped in bacon becomes a million times better. If you add cheese, your recipe will be UNSTOPPABLE!

When my sister Emily and her husband Jason were visiting his family in Texas, they were served whole jalapenos stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and BBQ’d until nice and crispy. They were blown away, but my sister’s gringo taste buds were burnin! When they got back to Michigan, they wanted to figure out a way to make the poppers year round, without the BBQ and without so much pop. Here is the recipe they came up with.

Jalapeno Poppers

Slice 15-20 Jalapenos in half, seed, and allow to soak in water for 30 minutes. By removing seeds and soaking you can remove a lot of the spiciness from the raw Jalapenos.

Tip: Use latex gloves when handling raw jalapenos to keep the oil off your hands. Always wash your hands with soap to remove any oil which may have gotten on your skin. If you don’t, and touch your eyes or the inside of your nose, you will be in a world of pain!

Mix 1 cup of shredded cheddar and 1 package of cream cheese. Spread cheese on each Jalapeno half.

Take 1 package of bacon, and cut in half or in thirds to have enough for all your jalapeno halves. Individually, wrap bacon around each jalapeno half.

Preheat broiler. When all halves are wrapped, place tray under the broiler until bacon is brown and crispy.

By de-seeding and soaking and cooking the peppers, much of the killer spiciness is reduced. (Don’t worry, these are still very fiery). Emily and Jason came up with substituting broiling instead of using a BBQ so you can do them quickly year round without firing up the charcoals.

This is the perfect time of year for this snack as peppers are popping off the vine. So wrap ‘em in bacon stuffed with cheese and really let it pop.

Check out my Jalapeno Poppers Instructable which has supplemental info and great readers comments.



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