Bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers

I LOVE appetizers! They are my favorite meal to eat, make and serve. When looking at recipes, if they contain cream cheese and bacon, it’s pretty much guaranteed that they are going to taste good. Of course, I needed to test that hypothesis.

The original recipe is from the Pioneer Woman and can be found here (the version in her cookbook includes cheese and green onions in the cream cheese mix).

As many of you know, I’m pretty much incapable of following a recipe. It’s genetically encoded in me (yes mum, I’m looking at you) to “play” with the recipe. I modified the amounts of some ingredients and changed the cooking times. So, below is how I did mine.

13 fresh jalapeños
One 8 oz package of cream cheese
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 green onions
13 slices of bacon (I used a little more than one package)
Bottled BBQ sauce
Toothpics
Rubber gloves

1. PUT ON GLOVES! I made the mistake of working with jalapeños once without gloves. Even though I was being careful and using tongs, I still managed to get it one my hands, and inevitably touch my eye. OUCH! I put a glove on my left hand to pick up the peppers and used my right hand for the knife and spoon.

2. Cut the jalapeños in half, keeping the steps intact.

3. Spoon out the seeds and membranes inside. If you like them extra hot, leave some of the membranes and a few seeds in. Note – do this at your own risk.

4. Beat together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese and green onions.

5. Stuff the jalapeño halves with the cream cheese mixture. I found it easiest to do it with a knife and spread it in. Fill each one – if you run out of mixture, just spread plain cream cheese into the last few (or make up more mixture, but I’m lazy, so I just spread the plain stuff in).

6. Cut the bacon strips in half. Wrap each jalapeño half with half a slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick.

7. Lay out on a baking tray. Brush the top of each jalapeño with BBQ sauce. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Check and see how they are doing. I then baked them for an additional 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

8. Serve them hot, or cooled down. Either way, they are delicious!! Enjoy!

Next time, I’m going to try skipping the cheddar cheese, and instead combine the cream cheese with fresh cilantro. I’ll let you know how it goes.

PS – one of my friends on Facebook suggested enjoying these with a cold beer (or two). That sounds like a WONDERFUL idea, and if we’d had any left, we probably would have done that.

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Asian Lettuce Wraps

I realize that I haven’t written on here in ages. The truth is, I don’t have much to tell. I study, hang out with my little man, see the big guy (hubby) between all of his business trips, and that’s about it!

Thankfully, I’m on a two week break from school right now and I have a bit of time to relax and enjoy myself. So of course, I’m hanging out a lot in the kitchen! Tonight I made Asian Lettuce Wraps and posted a pic on twitter and Facebook. I received a few requests for the recipe… problem is, I didn’t really have a recipe. I looked at a few different recipes, combined the parts that I liked (interpretation: ingredients I actually had on hand) and went for it.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef (could do with ground turkey, or with diced chicken breasts)
1/2 onion
1 tbs oil
1 tbs minced garlic
minced ginger
6 mushrooms
Green onions
Soy sauce
1 tbs flour
Rice wine vinegar (I didn’t have any so I just used red wine vinegar)
Hoisin sauce (I didn’t actually have any of this, but most of the recipes called for it)
Lettuce (bib lettuce is best)
Rice (about 1 cup cooked)
Rice paper
Sliced cucumbers (can add other assorted vegetables as well such as grated carrots)

Directions:
Dice onions and add to pan with oil. Start to brown. Add ground beef, garlic and ginger. Once mostly browned add soy sauce (I think I added 1/4-1/3 cup), rice wine vinegar and hoisin sauce. Sprinkle flour over meat then stir to combine. Once sauce thickens, add sliced mushrooms. When mushrooms cooked to desired texture, remove from heat and stir in sliced green onions.

Set up two plates – one with water, the other for building the wraps. Dip the rice paper in the water, then flip over making sure it is completely wet. Set on clean plate. Lay lettuce in the middle, top with meat mixture, rice and sliced cucumber. Then wrap it up like a burrito. Here is a link to post about how to use rice paper.

Whenever I have had these in a restaurant there has always been a sauce to put on it. My attempt to make it didn’t quite turn out, but here is what I will try next time: 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup sugar. Combine with a whisk in a pan over medium heat until thickened, then remove from heat. You may need to add a bit or rice wine vinegar to this as well to get the flavoring right.

Enjoy!

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Recruiting

A year ago I was asked to be in a recruiting video for Fraser Health. They had a full production team, including a make-up artist (I love having my make-up done!), and I was interviewed on camera. 

And then I never heard anything about it and thought maybe the project had been dropped with the recession.

Last summer I found out I was on a Fraser Health banner that they use a recruiting fairs (they took a still from the film). 

Then, out of the blue I got a letter last week telling me that the videos were done and posted on the site trying to recruit nurses from across Canada. They made 8 videos highlighting various specialties and aspects of Fraser Health and I was featured in two of them!

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Fotoshop

In case you haven’t seen this yet, check it out! It was made by a guy I used to go to school with, Jesse Rosten, and it is GENIUS! It’s a faux-mercial mocking society’s impossible beauty standards.

Enjoy!

Fotoshop by Adobé from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

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Writing project

I recently had the chance to contribute to the Association of RNs in BC. My thoughts about the NCLEX (american Nursing exam) coming to Canada are up on their blog now so check it out! I’m hoping to write some more posts for them as well and will post here if I do.

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Yikes!

The new quarter started today, and I already feel overwhelmed! Last quarter was 9 credits and this quarter I’m taking 12. It’s going to be a crazy, intense 10 weeks! I’m sure that once I get into the classes it won’t be that bad, but right now even the syllabus is making my head spin!

The courses look interesting.

The assignments are many, but each seems relatively small.

The reading list is daunting!

See you all in March. That is the next time I will be coming up for air.

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Happy New Year!

I realize it’s been a while since I updated here, but I have a good excuse this time: I’ve had nothing to write about. Life has been good and busy, but nothing really exciting. I go to school and I hang out with Dean. I love doing both, but they don’t make for overly exciting blog posts!

So here is a recap of the past few months:

Finished my first quarter of grad school. I’m so grateful that I’m able to go to school from home! All of my lectures are recorded, and then I watch them online. It’s amazing! Dean goes down for a nap, and I go to school! I even get to take my exams by proctor at our local library. This coming quarter I need to be in Seattle one morning a week for a lab. They will be crazy days, but thankfully I recently found someone in Bellingham who is in the same program so I have a carpool buddy!

Trips to Oregon. We visited Phil’s parents in Oregon for Thanksgiving and the weekend before Christmas. It was a great time of relaxing and being with family. Phil’s mom particularly enjoyed the time with Dean. She now refers to herself as “Grandma Skype” because that is how Dean usually sees her.

There’s going to be a wedding! A few weeks before Christmas, my bro-in-law popped the question to an amazing woman and she said yes! I’m so excited to have Megan as a sister-in-law. We get along great, and she’s a nurse as well! Those Snyder boys know how to pick ’em!🙂 No wedding date set yet, but some time this year we will be flying down to sunny southern California (where they live) for a great party.

Dean’s first Christmas. We got to spend Dean’s first Christmas morning at home, just the three of us. It was a great family time and Dean loved the wrapping paper and boxes. We then went and had a wonderfully relaxing day at my sisters house.

Busy. I had three weeks off from school and hoped to spend lots of time napping, reading (for pleasure, not textbooks) and catching up with friends. Alas, the 3 weeks went by in a busy blur. Writing this blog post is the last thing on my to-do list for the break and once I hit publish, I’ll be attacking the mounds of reading that are already piling up. School starts tomorrow.

So there you have it – 3 months in one blog post!

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