cream cheese

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Published May 2, 2013 by jenmatteson

I mentioned that earlier this week that we finally got to enjoy our deck over the weekend.  On Monday, we actually got to eat dinner on our deck.  It really couldn’t have been more beautiful outside.  I made dinner while Nate did some homework, and then we enjoyed the rest of the sunlight outside with a bottle of wine.  Now, if the weather would just stay warm…all would be happy!

Jalsapeno Popper Chicken

We had our neighbors over for dinner last Friday and I made cream cheese and jalapeno stuffed burgers.  I had leftover jalapeno cream cheese mixture, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to make this stuffed chicken recipe I’d saved for some time.  Nicole’s recipe calls for panko, and it’s usually a staple in my pantry, but I was out.  I wasn’t up for making an additional stop on my way home from work – I was excited to get home and run outside in this gorgeous weather!  So instead of panko, I just used regular bread crumbs I had in my cupboard.  Also, I only used cheddar in Nate’s chicken, of course.  I liked mine just fine with just the cream cheese and jalapeno mixture.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I was sort of expecting the filling to ooze out while the chicken was cooking, but it didn’t at all.  I used four toothpicks in each piece of chicken, so once I took them out, the inside did start to dribble out, but it only made the meal look that much more delicious!  The taco seasoning in the bread crumbs was genius, as was toasting the bread crumbs before breading and baking the chicken.  I think that’s what gave it the extra crisp!  I loved the combination of the cream cheese and jalapenos!

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Source: Adapted from Prevention RD
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (panko preferred, but I used regular)
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp taco seasoning
1 egg
2 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cheddar cheese, shredded
2 jalapenos, minced (seeded if you want to reduce the heat)
2 chicken breasts (I used only one because it was giant)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top.  Spray with cooking oil.

2. In a small skillet, combine breadcrumbs and oil over medium heat.  Cook until breadcrumbs are golden and crispy, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer to a shallow dish.  Add the taco seasoning to breadcrumbs and stir to combine.

3. In another shallow dish, lightly beat an egg.  In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese and jalapenos.

4. Using a small knife, cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast.  Try to get as deep as possible without puncturing the opposite side.  Divide the cream cheese mixture evenly and spoon into each chicken breast pocket.  Use toothpicks to secure.

5. Dip chicken in egg mixture and then into breadcrumbs, making sure to evenly and completely coat the chicken.  Place chicken on prepared wire rack on baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is completely cooked through.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Published November 16, 2012 by jenmatteson

I have had this recipe in my “to try” list for several months and was waiting for the perfect time to make it.  I just hosted my Ladies Wine Workout and this was the perfect dessert.

I’ve never used a pre-made crust before, but it certainly made this pie a cinch to make!  I initially grabbed the 6 oz container of Cool Whip (can anyone say Cool Whip without thinking of Family Guy?), thinking it was the 12 oz container, but it wasn’t.  So I ended up getting one 12 oz container for the pie itself and one 6 oz container for topping.  When it was time to fold the Cool Whip into the peanut butter/cream cheese/milk mixture, I was worried that the 12 oz container was too much, as the filling seemed mostly white with a tinge of peanut butter (that’s a color, right?).  But, I forged ahead, and sampled a little from the spatula.  Yeah, it was perfect.  I could hardly wait to dive into this pie – but dessert wasn’t for at least another 24 hours!  But I did.  And it was well worth the wait.

The pie was so creamy in texture with a rich peanut butter flavor.  I used a chocolate cookie pie crust and topped the pie with chocolate sauce, Cool Whip, and a few peanut butter cups.  It was an excellent balance!  Best part about this recipe is that it makes 2 pies!  One for now, and one for right after.  Okay, we didn’t eat the other one right away.  It’s wrapped up in my freezer ready for friends Thanksgiving on Saturday.  Very much looking forward to it!  If you don’t finish the pie, it’s best to store in the freezer.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Source: Adapted from Alida’s Kitchen
Servings: 16-20

Ingredients:

8 oz low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky – I used creamy this time, but would be interested to try chunky!)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
14 oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk
12 oz Cool Whip lite, plus more for topping
2 ready-made chocolate cookie pie crusts
chocolate syrup, for topping
peanut butter candies, for topping

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar.  Beat on medium until combined and fluffy, about three minutes.  Continue beating and gradually add in milk until well combined.

2. Fold in Cool Whip until fully combined.  Divide mixture evenly into two pie crusts.

3. Place pies in the freezer until set (at least two hours).  If solid, remove from freezer and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Meanwhile, decorate with chocolate sauce, Cool Whip and peanut butter candies.  Slice and serve.

Chicken Jalapeno Popper Wonton Cups

Published August 25, 2012 by jenmatteson

Last weekend, Nate went to the beer supply store with our good friends to help them pick up their own brewing equipment (and also pick up an Oktoberfest for us to start!).  It was decided on the way home that our friends would come over and watch us brew the Oktoberfest so they had a good idea of what to do.

I wasn’t about to have them over to our house without at least having a snack, seeing as though the process would take about two hours and it was nearing dinnertime.  Lucky for me I still had leftover Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper filling in my fridge from the last drink tasting party.  I only had one jalapeno though, so I decided to add the jalapeno, onions and some chicken (had I more time, I would have used a cooked chicken breast, not canned chicken) to the mix, and throw them in some wonton wrappers in my mini muffin tin.  I crossed my fingers and hoped it would turn out for the best.  And it did.  The four of us ate every last wonton cup.  If I had more jalapenos, I would have added more to the mixture to spice it up, but I only had the one lonely pepper.  Very flavorful and super simple.  I love recipes like that!

What’s your quick go to appetizer or snack for unexpected guests?

Chicken Jalapeno Popper Wonton Cups

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: 36 wonton cups

Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
3-4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 can chicken
salt and pepper
36 wonton wrappers
2 tbsp green onions, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, jalapenos, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and onions.  Stir in chicken.  Salt and pepper to taste.

2. Line mini muffin tin with wonton wrappers and fill each with 1 tbsp cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until wontons are golden brown and crisp.  Garnish with green onions.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Published August 9, 2012 by jenmatteson

I haven’t posted anything in quite some time – I promise, I’m  not giving up on my blog already.  Summer has gotten the best of me and we’ve had too many events, gatherings and parties to do much of any cooking at home.  Add in some life changes, and blogging has taken a backseat.

But, we did host our tasting group, albeit a very small tasting group, on Saturday.  This one was sort of last-minute, it was changed around so many  times, and people are so busy in the summer that it wasn’t as well attended as they usually are.  However, it was still an awesome time with some great friends!  The theme of this party was Olympics, so contestants had to bring a drink that was at least one color of the Olympic rings.  Nate and I made the Panty Ripper; a drink that was introduced to us in Belize.  Check out that post for the winner of the drink tasting and a deliciously refreshing summer beverage!

For snacks, I made jalapeno poppers, one more thing on my 30 Before 30 list.  There are so many different ways to make jalapeno poppers, some are breaded and fried, some are just stuffed, some are even wrapped in bacon.  Well, the bacon wrapped version sounded good to me, and it sure was!  I de-seeded the jalapenos, so they definitely weren’t as spicy as they could have been, but I wanted to make sure they weren’t too hot for my guests.

I didn’t alter the original recipe much.  I added green onions and par-baked the bacon so it would get crispier on the grill without flaring (too much) or overcooking the jalapenos.  I thought about omitting the sun-dried tomatoes, as they seemed like an unusual ingredient in this mix, but I didn’t because I love them.  It was a great addition and really gave the poppers some deep flavors beyond the bacon and cream cheese.  They seemed like a pretty big hit.  These are wonderful for a party or even tailgating – football season is approaching fast!

What’s your favorite tailgating recipe?

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Source: Adapted from Food Network
Servings: Makes 20 poppers

Ingredients:

20 jalapenos (larger are easier to stuff, but smaller are spicier)
12 oz cream cheese, softened
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
4-6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
salt and pepper
2 lbs bacon

Directions:

1. Slice jalapenos lengthwise on one side, careful not to slice all the way through the jalapeno.  Remove seeds (or leave if you like them spicy).  You may need to slice just below the stem in order to get the seeds out and make an opening large enough to stuff.  Make sure to keep stem in tact.

2. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and onions.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer mixture into piping bag, or a zip top plastic bag with small corner cut.

3. Carefully fill each jalapeno with cream cheese mixture.  There should be a liberal amount in each pepper, but not too much so the filling doesn’t leak out during grilling.

4. Wrap each filled jalapeno with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick (I used two toothpicks in each popper).  Grill over medium-low heat until bacon is crispy, turning a few times, about 12-18 minutes total, depending on size of jalapenos and thickness of bacon.  Be sure to stay close as the bacon grease can flame up in hurry.

5. Remove from grill, let cool slightly, and serve.

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