Easy Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Last night was an quick & easy dinner night – I made my signature “College Enchiladas,” but to spice things up I also made jalapeño poppers. My mom adapted this recipe from Emeril, but having never made his, I think these are the bomb. They are pretty quick as well–the only thing that takes time is slicing & dicing the jalapenos. I also halved the recipe since there’s only the two of us (& I’m the only one who eats them) and while I could eat every last one by myself, I need to reign it in.

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh jalapeños, halved & innards removed
  • 3/4 cream cheese brick
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese (to taste – at least a half cup)
  • cumin (to taste – at least a teaspoon)
  • chili powder (to taste – at least a dash)
  • cayenne powder (to taste – at least a dash)

The really great thing about this recipe is that you can’t really screw it up. Like, I typically just eyeball it all.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Set out the cream cheese on the counter to warm it up a little.
  3. Half the jalapeños & remove the innards (seeds, etc). I like to rinse all the seeds off to really get them clean.
  4. Lay them out on a cookie sheet. I like to put aluminum foil on top of the cookie sheet because I’m lazy & hate washing dishes unnecessarily.
  5. In a separate bowl, add the cream cheese, seasonings, and shredded cheese. Mix together. (With clean hands) I smush all the ingredients together to ensure correctly blended.
  6. Scoop cheese mixture into the halved jalapeños. If you like them stuffed, you may need to add more cheese mixture.
  7. Sprinkle cheese on top of jalapeños. If you’re feeling real experimental, you can add bacon bits to the top as well.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes or until cheese is browned.
  9. Enjoy!

Pics to follow, I’m a loser and forgot to commemorate my chef status. WOMP. This is the closest one I’ve found online, except I slice the heads/stems off as well.

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Looks pretty good, huh?

Pic Taken from If the Sneaker Fits

Hope you enjoy!

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Cold, dark, & stormy

Instead of being at work eating canned French onion soup, this is where I wish I was:

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Home, in front of the fire & Christmas tree watching Elf.

I love Christmas (who doesn’t), but here are some of my MUST WATCH Christmas movies every year.

  • The Santa Clause
  • Fred Claus
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Elf
  • A Year Without a Santa Claus
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • The Grinch (animated)
  • Various Hallmark movies (SO CHEESY & SO GOOD)

Love this time of year!

Zucchini noodles or zoodles if you will

I love these, guys. I don’t feel bad about eating carbs, but around the holidays and swimsuit season, I don’t want to overdo it on pasta when I could be eating more delicious carbs like cookies or fudge or ice cream. I love my sweets.

Anyway, they are the easiest noodles to make — I use this cheap little spiraler from Walmart (I think) which works great for me because I only spiral one zucchini for me, Beau eats regular pasta.

  1. Add extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and garlic to a pan. Sautée.
  2. Begin spiralizing noodles with the fancy contraption.

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    This is the spiralizer with zucchini noodles inside.
  3. Add spiralized zoodles to the EVOO & garlic and sautée until done.

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    Sautéeing away.
  4. Add to plate and garnish with toppings. I decided on roasted veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and red onions) and oven baked shrimp. I love burning my veggies in the oven. I’m a freak, I know.

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    Healthyish right?

Also, please do not get too close to the spiralizer and cut your thumb because it’ll be really deep and will be painful for the next couple of days. Just a general warning–not from personal experience or anything.

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Stupid iPhone wouldn’t focus on my serious injury.

And that was my adventure in zoodling. Hope you enjoy and realize how easy it is.

Werkin fer the weeken

What’re your favorite Friday night plans?

Ever since I’ve been little, I have loved staying in on Friday nights for pizza and a movie. Once, I made fake movie posters and tickets for a showing of Spiderman (yes, with Tobey Maguire–it may have been my first PG-13 movie). There’s just something about getting into your jammies and watching a movie that is so fun to me.

My husband and I always watch movies on VidAngel. We LOVE their platform, and it works great on our Roku. They allow us to watch movies we wouldn’t normally be able to by using filters after we purchase the movie from their app. So, stuff we would normally not watch (typically movies that are rated R) we can! And it’s great. The only feature I kind of wish they would add for cursing is to substitute other words for the curse words so that way  we could hear the whole sentence (because some sentences that are completely lifted out are important), but I’m not sure how that works legally.

Another site we use for movies that are just hitting the box office is called Kids in Mind (which is not just for kids, despite its title). The site rates movies so we don’t have to waste people’s time at the box office for walking out of movies that are too crazy for viewing.

Basically, I can’t wait to watch a movie and eat pizza in my jammies. That is all.

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Define: hospitality

One time I was listening to a radio show & the hosts were waxing poetic (read: lambasting) about having visitors to their house. They were complaining about mishaps that occur when people stay for extended period at their house. To be fair, I only caught the tail end of the discussion on my way into work, and I could not believe what I was hearing. When they said that they wouldn’t let someone borrow a razor or toothpaste, I couldn’t deal. I tried to call in.

 

Me: Hi, I’m calling about the guest segment. Where is your sense of hospitality? How can you invite someone over and not feel as though you should make them welcome?

 

Person who answers phone: [silence]

 

Me: No?

 

Person who answers phone: Ha, no hold on.

 

Me: Oh okay.

 

Person who answers phone: We are moving on, but will still be taking responses via text at…

 

Me: Okay, thanks, bye [doesn’t text in my response because I’m driving]

 

But guys! Lets talk about this. Let’s look at the definition:
1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way
Synonyms:
warmth, cordiality, geniality, friendliness.
FRIENDLY. GENEROUS. WARM. None of these words describe the people who were saying that they wouldn’t share toothpaste if their guest forgot it. If people stay with you, you need to make sure you’re prepared for them! Buy a mini toothpaste specifically for guests. If you go to the dollar bin at Target, they have it. Not expensive. You can even buy backup toothbrushes and deodorant (I totally understand having a backup because I don’t really want to share but that’s why you buy an extra.)

This radio show seriously depressed me. I hope we’re not all so selfish that we place value over things rather than people. Just my two cents.

Gilmore girls

Guys, how have we not talked about the girls yet??? SPOILERS AHEAD.

So, I didn’t (as I would if I had been watching the show alone):

  • binge-watch
  • hear everything because there were a bunch of people in the house

I’m re-watching this week to make sure I’ve heard and understood everything. But first, let me back up and tell you my origin story with the Gilmores. SERIOUSLY THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD.

I was probably in seventh or eighth grade when my old friend Jenny got me hooked on the show. She had several of the first few seasons, and we would watch them at sleepovers. I was hooked, and she let me borrow them to catch up. I never watched the show in real-time because I couldn’t catch up from the DVDs. Luckily, my grandmother and mom kept buying me seasons to watch and I purchased a mini-DVD/TV player for my room just to watch from the comfort of my bed. I don’t remember when I watched the last episode, but when I went to college, I watched the show constantly. It was on as background noise while I did homework and studied. I easily have seen/heard the show at least a comprehensive total of six times. At least. Every September, I start it over again. Since the rise of Netflix, they have only made it easier for me to binge-watch. I never expected them to get together again, but there have always been rumblings. I had read about the “last four words” and wondered what they could’ve been, but never spent much time obsessing since it seemed unlikely that they would be uttered. But, our wildest dreams happened. They came back. They are back. What would happen? Would Rory + Jess finally happen (as we all know should happen if everything went correctly, but now seems unlikely)? Would Rory be working at the NYT like she had always dreamed? Would Lorelai + Luke finally get married? Would she have franchised the Dragonfly like her dad wanted by now? Would Sookie & Jackson ever stop having kids? I can continue my speculation, but I’m going to stop now.

SERIOUSLY THESE ARE SPOILERS. Like, turn away right now because they’re starting immediately following the period at the end of this sentence.

Rory: So, Rory’s pregnant? Hmm. Do I believe it? I mean… Yes? It just seems so obvious. My husband and I had several theories (he’s never seen the show), but before watching settled on the last one of: “Mom, I am pregnant.” See, that’s four words. And they could have gone for Lorelai to Emily, or Rory to Lorelai. I didn’t publish this beforehand so it doesn’t count as “calling it.” I digress.

Yeah, it seems possible with Rory’s life falling apart that she forgot to prevent pregnancy. But it seems like she wouldn’t. That’s not Rory, Mrs. Pro/Con List, valedictorian,  Yale grad. In order to believe she’s falling apart, I need some context. I need to know what Rory’s been doing for the past nine years besides flying back and forth to London. Did her grandfather dying send her into a tailspin (doesn’t seem like it). Did another Mitchum Huntzberger tell her she didn’t “have it?” (Sidebar: did he call it or what? She certainly does not appear to have it. Also, so did Paris, when she looked up the statistics on the post-grad lives of valedictorians back in season 3). What exactly did the “creds” of following Barack Obama provide her? She should have at least been doing some writing then to lead her into politics (Sidebar: if they didn’t take any of the last season into account, that’s total baloney). WHY IS SHE SO NOT RORY??

Some questions about her relationship with Logan: why is she “in Vegas with Logan” (insert a–ah, so that’s what the kids are calling it these days) when she broke it off with Dean for a very similar reasoning? Why would Logan date her again after he proposed to her and she turned him down? Sure, I can believe they just can’t break it off with each other due to some level of attraction, but Rory’s not the “in Vegas” type of girl, as we saw when she tried to break up with him back in season 5, episode 19. Why is she a “casual dater” now? Why doesn’t she revisit marrying Logan? It seemed like her big hangup was that she wanted to focus on her career. Why don’t they at least talk about it? Their last exchange is a bizarre night at a tango club and spending the night in a B&B. Rory only asks Logan if he’s seriously marrying Odette. He responds essentially by saying his father is making him. Not a great answer. Logan fought for Rory in the past by bringing out the big guns (coffee cart, Lorelai’s letter) and now, this? Disappointing fizzling out to end to a pretty good past relationship.

All which brings me to: Jess. He is now officially too good for Rory.e5d45eab567d9a84e7e61477fabb6f07.jpg

Could he be her white knight in the inevitable new series? Everyone is saying Chris:Lorelai::Logan:Rory and therefore, Luke:Lorelai::Jess:Rory. Too much full circle for me, but now that our girl Rory is bottoming out, maybe it’s time for Jess to stick with her like she did for him. I would love to see Rory reach bottom and I would also like for her to start having some realizations in regards to her career. For instance, don’t go to a job interview unprepared despite thinking the job is beneath you. Also, don’t sit around waiting on a job interview without writing on the side and continuing to build your base. Another tip is to actually negotiate some pay for a job that was likely able to swing something, no matter how menial (here’s looking at you, Stars Hollow Gazette). So many tips Ms. Rory Gilmore. Again, I’m fine with her making these mistakes, but I would like some sort of understanding on how her actions have caused her to be in that situation. Typical millennial gots no hustle.

Lorelai: How are she and Luke not married by now? Nine years later. Un. Believe. Able. The chick had proposed to Luke. You don’t do that unless you’re seriously in love. However, (she at least) acknowledges it in one of her therapy sessions. As my creative writing teacher used to say, (I’m paraphrasing here) acknowledgement is the first step to suspending disbelief. (I don’t mean to go back to Rory, but that’s the main problem with the last four words. There’s nothing for us to acknowledge because it goes full Sopranos on us. I’m not salty.) Anyway, so they aren’t married & they’ve settled down in their life. There are little missed conversations that happen (I can’t attest to not speaking my mind about everything 100% of the time, but perhaps that happens in relationships after 9+ years) to build up barriers between them. This seems true to their form, even though after the April fiasco, they had promised to keep it 100 with each other. She ends up going on a “Wild” trip (which was hilarious and I loved–the emotional phone call to Emily, how she never ends up hiking, all amazing) and decides that she’s ready to get married. I loved how Luke goes on one of his rants due to his misinterpretation of her actions and once again, Luke completely missed his opportunity to ask for Lorelai’s hand in marriage. But that’s how Lorelai is. Her way or the highway, baby. She makes the decisions & Luke, stubborn, crotchety ole softy that he is, goes along. True to form, (I ain’t mad about it) but I’d like to see Luke make a decision for the two of them that Lorelai goes along with.

I also appreciated how Lorelai finally wanted to finally grow the Dragonfly per Michel’s suggestions. In life, it’s easy to fall into a trap of contentment and/or being afraid to grow, but I never got that feeling from Lorelai in the series. She fled her parents house as a teen mom, she got her business degree while running the Independence Inn, then she opened her own inn, all the while she raised a daughter alone. Lorelai has been (basically) fearless when it comes to business decisions and her financial life, but she seemed timid this time around. Why had she lost her way? Again, I need more fleshing out.

Aside from all this, I couldn’t stand the musical. It went on for entirely too long. There was plenty of room for more important storylines in this block. Additionally, THIS was the moment they chose from all the great festivals in Stars Hollow? I mean, I guess I understand having a cameo from Sutton Foster, but at what cost? The ninety minute eps do a real disservice to the story. They should have stuck with the old formatting and done a few more episodes to flesh out the big kahuna storyline (Rory’s pregnancy). I know, I know, scheduling blah blah blah. If you’re going to revisit Stars Hollow, do it right!

I know I talked about all the things I would improve and not the stuff I liked, but isn’t that the Gilmore way?

Let me know your thoughts! I also will update a few things once I finish re-watching.

Monday, Monday (After Holiday Work Blues)

Guys, it’s tough to come back from a holiday weekend. Like, TOUGH. We are almost through it though. Hang in there!

My parents are moving and this holiday was bittersweet, since I was able to be home with them, but the house that I love so much is being sold and they are moving on.

“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

In memoriam of my house, here are my favorite memories there:

  • Getting married:
    • My husband and I were married in the living room in front of our Christmas tree there. It was the chillest day ever. My cousin and my sister and I went to Publix on the morning of the wedding to pick up the cake. They did my hair in my bathroom before the wedding.
  • Got engaged:
    • After a series of strange occurrences, my now-husband showed up on the front porch to ask me to be his wife. I said yes, and we went to Smashburger with my family to celebrate. Then we watched Red 2 as a family in the living room (fitting as our first date in college was Red). The next day, my sister took our “announcement” pic in front of the Christmas tree.
  • Spent time with mom and dad as an “only child” again:
    • I’m the oldest, and after I graduated college, I came home for the summer. Once my brother & sister went away to school I got to hang out with my parents when I got home from work. We watched 24 and ate a lot amazing food. It was the best. I love my siblings, but it’s nice to be an only child for a little while.
  • The neighborhood pool:
    • The setup at our neighborhood pool was awesome. There was a slide and I was old enough to get in the water during adult swim which made me feel really cool.
  • Living in the Carolinas:
    • Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be a “Carolina girl.” My nana and Granddaddy had always lived in North Carolina when I was growing up, and I wanted to be a Carolina girl just like my nana.
  • Quick trips to Boone & Charleston:
    • These places were only a hop, skip, and a jump from my house. The mountains and the beach are within a few hours of each other. Which is awesome.

Thank you, house, for being the best. I will miss you.