recipes: pepper poppers

Thought I’d start posting  some appetizer ideas for those who might be entertaining on New Year’s Eve.  Enjoy!

Well, I will be the first to admit it.  I fell for the large bag of small red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers.  No, they’re not organic, and they’re not local (but they were only shipped from 3 states away), but boy, I couldn’t resist the bargain and number of ideas I had for those babies.

The other night as my daughter begged for something “different” for dinner, I took out the peppers and wondered what I could do with them.  Something reminded me of those jalapeno poppers in chain restaurants so I dug through the fridge and here’s what I created:peppers on plate

Growing Grace Farm’s Goat Cheese and Bacon Pepper Poppers

Ingredients:

Small sweet peppers, tops cut off and seeds removed

Herbed goat cheese (preferably local and fresh)

Bacon cut into pieces that will cover tops of pepper openings; I precook the bacon (we used turkey bacon, but I can’t wait to get hold of some peppered applewood pork bacon)

tooth picks

Preparation:

1.  Preheat over to 400 degrees.

2.  Spoon herbed cheese into peppers until topped off.

3.  Cut a piece of bacon to cover opening.

4.  Stick a tooth pick through it long ways so that bacon stays together with pepper and keeps cheese from oozing out.

5.  Bake until desired texture–we like our peppers with a little crispness.

6.  Be careful to let cool a bit–the cheese can hold in some heat!

Variations:

Southern popper:  some pimento cheese and a slice of pork bacon on top

Pizza popper:  a dab of marinara, some mozzarella, and a pepperoni on top

Middle Eastern popper:  hummus with an olive on top

California popper:  an artisan cheese with a cube of avocado on top

update on mason jar seed starts–3 months out

So back in late January, I got a wild hair to start seeds in all the extra mason jars I have filling up shelves.  If you’d like to follow the journey from the beginning, you can read here and here and here.  It’s been awhile since I’ve given you an update so I thought I’d check in and give you my overall evaluation of how the mason jars worked this year.

In short, I LOVED THEM!seed starts peppers 2 mos

They were easy to use.  They were being upcycled.  They did not include plastic that would leach into the soil.  They were easy to tote.  I could replant sprouts into bigger jars as they grew.  Sun could reach all the soil and keep it warm.

And best of all, I could actually watch things grow from seed to sprout, from root to leaf.

As you can see by the photos, all the plants grew well–very hardy.  The tomatoes and acorn squash actually required staking bec/ I didn’t want to transplant outside too early.

The two issues I will keep in mind for next year are:seed starts green growth

  • the soil will grow some green stuff (sorry, I don’t know the technical term for it) if it gets too moist
  • when the plants gr0w an extensive root system, it is harder to pull them out of a small mouth jar–will only use wide moth next year

As for the starts, this is actually the most successful year I’ve had.  I’ve raised so many of each variety that I’ve given several away.  In early April, I actually decided to go ahead and start some 2nd round seeds so that I can have produce later into the summer/early autumn.  I’ve also had problems in the past with bugs eating my cucumber or pepper seedlings when I start outside.  Now, I have plants that can hopefully take care of themselves in spite of a few insects that get the munchies.

As you can imagine, I am thrilled!  There’s nothin’ I love more than finding another reason to use my mason jars.  Just seed starts acorn squash 2 mosremember to save a few–canning season is right around the corner!

recipes: pepper poppers

Well, I will be the first to admit it.  I fell for the large bag of small red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers.  No, they’re not organic, and they’re not local (but they were only shipped from 3 states away), but boy, I couldn’t resist the bargain and number of ideas I had for those babies.

The other night as my daughter begged for something “different” for dinner, I took out the peppers and wondered what I could do with them.  Something reminded me of those jalapeno poppers in chain restaurants so I dug through the fridge and here’s what I created:peppers on plate

Growing Grace Farm’s Goat Cheese and Bacon Pepper Poppers

Ingredients:

Small sweet peppers, tops cut off and seeds removed

Herbed goat cheese (preferably local and fresh)

Bacon cut into pieces that will cover tops of pepper openings (we used turkey bacon, but I can’t wait to get hold of some peppered applewood smoked pork bacon)

tooth picks

Preparation:

1.  Preheat over to 400 degrees.

2.  Spoon herbed cheese into peppers until topped off.

3.  Cut a piece of bacon to cover opening.

4.  Stick a tooth pick through it long ways so that bacon stays together with pepper and keeps cheese from oozing out.

5.  Bake until desired texture–we like our peppers with a little crispness.

6.  Be careful to let cool a bit–the cheese can hold in some heat!

Variations:

Southern popper:  some pimento cheese and a slice of pork bacon on top

Pizza popper:  a dab of marinara, some mozzarella, and a pepperoni on top

Middle Eastern popper:  hummus with an olive on top

California popper:  an artisan cheese with a cube of avocado on top