I’m always on the lookout for lunch ideas, and when I came across this Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese recipe my mouth started watering. It seemed so complicated though—seeding, stuffing, and roasting jalapenos, cooking bacon—way too much effort for lunch time. So here’s my easy version!
Get two slices of crusty bread. Spread one with cream cheese and the other with mayo. Apply a generous layer of pickled jalapeños and sharp cheddar cheese. Close the sandwich, and butter the top and bottom.
Grill it in the skillet, or toast it in the oven. I preheated my toaster oven to 425 and baked my sandwich for 5 minutes. Then I flipped it and baked for another 3-5 minutes. Once the cheese was melty I broiled it for 2 minutes (flipping halfway through) to brown the outside. Then I ate it, and it was amazing.
I love cheese. That is all.
Weird fruit alert! Just when I thought I’d seen them all. Have you ever come across a Buddha’s Hand? It’s a citrus fruit! It smells like yellow Starburst candy and tastes like a mild, un-sour lemon. It’s primarily used for its zest, among other things. Have you ever eaten one?
Are there any kombucha fans in the house? I got a kit from Kombucha Brooklyn, because I wanted to try brewing my own.
Here’s the gist of the process: you dump a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) into a jar of sweet tea, and sample your brew for a week or two until it’s tastes the way you want. As the tea ferments, a new SCOBY grows on top. It’s like having a weird slimy pet that reproduces at an alarming rate. When your kombucha is ready you pull out the SCOBY and bottle the tea. (You can find more detailed brewing instructions here.)
Sadly I let my first batch ferment too long, and it ended up being too vinegary. No big deal though, I’m trying it again with my newly grown SCOBY. The process is a whole lot more forgiving than wine making, that’s for sure. Have you ever tried to brew kombucha?
I discovered another new-to-me fruit that was too wild not to photograph. Are you familiar with the dragon fruit? How magical looking is this thing? The inside is the same texture as a kiwi, but it’s very bland with only the tiniest hint of sweetness. Now that my curiosity has been satisfied I don’t think I’ll feel the urge to eat another one, but it was great fun dissecting this magenta, spiky wonder.
Mabel turned 7 last week, and Oliver’s 9th birthday is coming up, so I made them doggie cupcakes to celebrate! They were actually pretty tasty. Apple and peanut butter go so well together. I started nibbling one and would’ve eaten the whole thing, but the dogs were giving me a pitiful we-thought-those-were-for-us look.
Oliver was terrified of the birthday candles, but the scent of peanut butter was too much for him to resist!
It’s crazy how different my dogs’ personalities are. As soon as I gave them the go ahead to eat Mabel stole Oliver’s cupcake right out from under his nose, smeared it all over the floor, and began scarfing it down as quickly as possible. I scooted Mabel’s abandoned cupcake over to Oliver. He daintily ate the biscuit off the top, licked off the peanut butter icing, and carefully kept the cupcake on the plate as he ate. Love these pups.
Doggie Cupcakes Recipe:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cooking oil (or apple sauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons honey (optional)
1 cup shredded apple
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
additional peanut butter for frosting (optional)
dog biscuits for garnish (optional)
Whisk the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla extract, and honey together in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in the shredded apple. Sift the flour and baking soda together, then stir them into the peanut butter mixture.
Spoon the batter into a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. They won’t rise too much, so you can fill each liner to the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are browned and spring back when pressed. Cool completely.
Before serving frost the cupcakes with peanut butter and remove the cupcake liner. Garnish with a dog biscuit.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.