Meatloaf Ala Bah Bah (that’s me!)

I think I’ve been working on this meatloaf recipe since I was in my twenties. This is a tad labor intensive but it’s entirely worth it.

By now, we all know I’m a bit of a weirdo (and a perfectionist) when it comes to cooking. The way I make my meatloaf is a tad different than most in that I do not mix my ingredients in a bowl. (This is born from my experience with catering for large groups. It’s impossible to mix the ingredients for meatloaf for 100 in a bowl, so I always use a huge baking sheet.) The first time I tried this method at home, it worked so beautifully, I’ve not used a bowl since. The reasoning behind it is pretty simple. It’s just easier to get the meats and the seasonings uniformly distributed using this method.

This was last year at the start of the Pandemic. Making meatloaf for the masses!

I used to substitute oatmeal for breadcrumbs in my meatloaf recipes until that one time I forgot to put them in and it ended up being the best meatloaf ever. Now I skip them completely. Instead, I use extra eggs to hold everything together. Yes, the consistency going into the oven is slightly more wet, (and more work) but it works out just fine.

Wait. Did she just say, “…more work”? Relax. It’s just a couple of extra steps to siphon out the liquid as it builds up during baking. (Doesn’t that sound appetizing? Here, your turkey baster will be your friend.)

See how much easier it is to sprinkle all of the ingredients evenly?
Oh YES this is DELICIOUS!

Meatloaf Ala Bah Bah

(Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb. ground beef (80/20 for best flavor)

1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage

1 lb. ground mild Italian sausage

1 Pkg Lipton Onion Soup mix

1 medium onion diced however you like it

1/2 c. minced fresh parsley (Take the time and use the FRESH stuff. It DOES make a difference!

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup Ketchup (I like Primal Kitchen’s Sugar free)

3 eggs

1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Rays Hickory & Brown Sugar is yummy)

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a large baking sheet, break up the ground beef and spread it, then break up the sausages so they are evenly distributed. If a baking sheet scares you, use a bowl, but trust me on this…a baking sheet allows for easier mixing and even distribution of ingredients.
  3. Sprinkle the soup mix, onion, parsley, Italian seasoning, olive oil, ketchup, eggs and salt and pepper evenly over the meat. (Basically everything but the Barbecue sauce.)
  4. Using your hands, mix all of it together and then spread it back out across the baking sheet once more.
  5. Drizzle thin streams of the barbecue sauce over the meat. Salt and pepper once more. Mix again and then form it into a loaf inside a standard loaf pan.
  6. Put the meatloaf into your freezer for 20 minutes.
  7. Put into preheated oven, uncovered for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, turn temperature down to 375.
  9. Using a turkey baster, remove the juices that have accumulated. Brush on a thin coating of Barbecue sauce. Return to oven for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven, siphon the juices once more, re-apply the barbecue sauce, cook for 5-10 minutes more. Repeat siphoning juices and applying barbecue, then broil on high for two minutes.
  11. Let the meat rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Lemon Cilantro Baked Cod Fillets

I have always been that person who thought cilantro tastes like soap. That is, until I started living with my husband, who is a fanatic over the stuff…

I have always been that person who thinks cilantro tastes like soap. That is, until I started living with my husband, who is a fanatic over the stuff. At any given moment during the year, we have not one, but two bunches sitting in water on our counter; so over the summer I decided to give in and start using the stuff and now I am hooked.

I adapted this recipe from something similar that called for parsley instead of cilantro. I imagine it would also be great with fresh chopped basil or even rosemary.

I love this recipe because it’s unexpectedly creamy and it smells incredible! Prep time is just a few minutes and you can assemble this dish ahead of time if you need to- just pop it in the fridge until you are ready to bake.


Start off with with cod fillets. We buy ours frozen from Trader Joe’s. Once it’s thawed, be sure to pat it dry on both sides so the melted butter will adhere to it.


Next melt about 4 Tbsp real butter (none of that no fat, low fat, fake butter crap! Use the real stuff!) We buy Amish butter. You can’t beat the freshness.


Now for the dredging stations: 1) This is about 3/4 cup of flour, mixed with a generous amount of smoky paprika, salt and pepper and one of my favorite spice blends: Essence of Emeril.


2) Next, I zested one very large lemon and squeezed its juice (about 3 Tbsp, I said it was large!). For fun, I also zested a Meir Lemon. Then add about 1/4th cup chopped fresh cilantro. When your butter has melted, add it here.


Here it is with the melted butter.


Dredge each piece of cod, both sides in the butter/ cilantro mixture and then the flour. The original recipe called for dredging only one side but I always do both. I suppose you could leave out the flour entirely, but the dish will not turn out as creamy. (It will, however, still be delicious!)


Spray your baking dish with coconut oil (or whatever you have on hand-or leave it out. I forgot this step tonight. It made no difference.), then lay out your fish. Pour the remaining butter/cilantro mixture over the fish. Here, I usually toss in a little more cilantro and sprinkle a little more paprika.


PS: This stuff? It’s your friend when you don’t feel like chopping. Find it at the grocery where you buy fresh spices.


Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until flakey.


We made roasted butternut squash, zucchini and baby Roma tomatoes as our sides. These just go in at 400 degrees coated in olive oil, salt and pepper. All on one sheet pan. I make then before I bake the fish, the cover with foil and let them rest.


Fresh out of the oven.


The thought occurs to me that I could have mixed the tomatoes in with the squash. I like to keep the zucchini whole, however. It’s a texture thing for me.


INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tbsp smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning

4 cod fillets (6 ounces each)

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Zest of 1-2 lemons

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400°. In a shallow bowl, mix lemon juice, cilantro and butter. In a separate shallow bowl, mix flour and seasonings. Dip fillets in lemon juice mixture, then in flour mixture to coat both sides; shake off excess.

Place in a 13×9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice, cilantro, butter mixture. Sprinkle on a little more paprika & lemon pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes or until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork. Garnish with more fresh cilantro & lemon zest.

Bobbe’s Garlic Shrimp with Fresh Peas, Spinach & Tomatoes

I made this for dinner last night. It’s easy, healthy and takes very little time. Perfect week night meal!

NOTE: Today is your lucky day! I am sparing you a lengthy explanation about what I think about this recipe! The ONLY thing important to know is that my measurements for butter and olive oil are complete approximations. I tend to be very heavy handed with butter and this recipe can take it!

Garlic Shrimp with Fresh Veggies.

Ingredients
Half stick of butter (or MORE!)
4-5 TBSP (or 6 or 7 see my note above) olive oil
3 Tbsp chopped garlic
1-2 lbs raw shrimp (peeled & deveined) We like the Argentinian Red Shrimp from Trader Joe’s (find it in the frozen aisle)
1 package fresh English peas (Kroger has them now)
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (keep them whole)
4-5 cups fresh spinach
Salt & pepper to taste

Optional: Angel hair pasta (I used @ 1/4 of box, but use however much you want or leave it out)

Assemble your cast of characters

Instructions

Thaw and dry the shrimp well. Place in a ziplock bag with enough olive oil to coat it (not drown it) and the fresh garlic. Be sure and mix it around so the shrimp is evenly coated with the garlic. Let this sit on the counter while you’re sautéing the vegetables.

Boil and drain the pasta making sure to reserve one cup of the cooked pasta water. (Put a lid on it to help it stay a little warm while you continue to work.)

Place your skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil, then add the peas and whole tomatoes. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Sauté for about 6-8 minutes, then add in half the spinach stirring constantly until the spinach wilts and turns bright green. Remove everything from the pan and set aside. (You will add it back after the shrimp is cooked.)

Put the pan back on the heat, add another pat of butter, let it melt, then dump in the shrimp. Spread it evenly over the pan, sauté for a couple of minutes, turn the shrimp over and continue sautéing until the shrimp is opaque. (About another minute) Quickly add the vegetables back to the pan along with the remaining raw spinach. Turn the spinach until almost cooked, then remove the pan from the heat and slowly add in the pasta. (Use the pasta water to help incorporate it.)

Poof. You’re a genius!

This is how it looks towards the end. You want some of the spinach to stay super green and just barely cooked.

Bobbe for Favorite Chef!! Help! Help!

More on the Favorite Chef contest and what’s going on. I’d love you to click through to the contest and read my story and why I want to win!

About a month ago I was contacted about the “Favorite Chef” contest. The criteria was simple: love of cooking. The contest was open to food bloggers and Chefs and novice Chefs and foodies alike. It first caught my attention because the prize is a two page spread in Bon Appétit Magazine!

“Holy cow!” I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t THAT be the coolest EVER!” So, I entered. I had to answer a lot of questions, submit photos of myself and my work and then wait to see if I was accepted.

Poof. I was accepted but THEN?! I learned that there is MORE to the story. In addition to winning the photo spread, the winner gets $50,000.00! When the contest began that number was $20,000, but they have since increased it! (gulp!)

So the contest began on the 16th. It’s entirely based on people voting online for their favorites. To be honest, when this all started I thought I’d do well the first day but then there are so many talented Chefs competing, I would drop off into oblivion.

YOU ALL! I am currently in the number ONE spot in this contest! I have cried my eyes out so much over your support. I can’t even express properly how MUCH your willingness to vote and share has meant to me. -Even if I end up not winning, I have already won. (Sounds SO corny, but it’s true!)

That being said…please continue to vote daily! Everyone gets one free vote per day. I have figured out that this contest is about longevity. If my sweet people vote daily all the way through, I WILL win….and I will cry and cry and cry HAPPY tears.

Thank you isn’t enough. But here I am. Thank you!

If you haven’t voted today, please click through and do it. (Thank you in advance!) Also while you are there you can click on the word, “Group” to be taken to the list of my competitors. BUT FIRST please READ my story about how I got started and WHY I want to win.

Then after ALL of that if you are so inclined, you can click on the Facebook icon and share it to your social media pages. PLEASE!

https://favchef.com/2021/bobbe-crouch

Love to all!

Bobbe

PS–In the next day or two I will be posting a new recipe. This one is for Creamy Lemon Chicken with peas and spinach! So yummy!

Please help me WIN!

HOLY COW! I am entered into the Favorite Chef contest & The voting is today! Will you please vote for me?

Friends!
I have a HUGE request for TODAY!! I was recently accepted to compete in the International “Favorite Chef” Contest sponsored by Bon Appétit Magazine. The winner gets to appear in the magazine (OMG!!) and ALSO wins $20,000.00!

(GASP! SWOON!)MY FATE depends ENTIRELY on the willingness of my friends to VOTE for me (often) and to SHARE the link to vote (It’s completely based on online votes). I am going to be counting on you! The voting begins TODAY, February 16th!


Can I count on you to help me? Pretty please?


Here is the link! AFTER you vote, please forward this letter to anyone you think might vote and share with their friends!

VOTING STARTS TODAY (the 16th) AT 10:00 PST and 1:00 EST!

https://favchef.com/2021/bobbe-crouch

THANK YOU from the DEPTHS of my soul! Please share this page!

Bobbe’s Vegetable Gratin

I made this one night on a whim and it’s become one of our favorite side dishes. It freezes well and is great left-over too!

Start by chopping all of your vegetables. I didn’t photograph all of them, assuming everyone knows what chopped onions and mushrooms look like as well as shredded carrots. The truth of why this photo is posted?  I think this is a pretty picture.

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I used two things in this recipe that you might not have readily on hand. The first is a basic thing you can get at the store: Arrowroot. This is thickening agent that I am told is paleo. You can also use corn starch or even a handful of panko bread crumbs. The second is from Trader Joe’s (and you can totally leave it out if you can’t get it). It’s Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute”. I really like it because it adds a little more depth of flavor with just a hint of spice. If you can’t find this, just use a Tbsp of Italian seasoning and some dried thyme.

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Then you start with sauteing your onions and carrots. I let them go a little and then add in my chives and salt and pepper. I would also add the mushrooms once these are starting to get soft. I didn’t have mushrooms when I made this last night, so you won’t see them pictured.

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I was using frozen spinach last night so I added it here. USUALLY I make this with fresh spinach. which I think is more fun. IF you use the fresh spinach, wait until the end to add it. Seasoned collard greens are delicious in this too.

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After your veggies are just turning soft, it’s time to add the squash. I wait until later to add the squash because it softens up pretty quickly and you don’t want to over cook it and have a squishy gratin. That’s never cool.

Put the squash in and do your best to incorporate it. Season it again with more pepper and your dry seasonings. I usually will cover the pan at this point and allow the squash to steam a bit.

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Then add the cream. Stir and let cook for about five minutes to heat through. Sprinkle on the arrowroot and stir until it dissolves.

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Once it’s simmering (takes about 5 minutes), remove from the heat and stir in your cheese. We like it really cheesy so I always add more than the recipe calls for but you do YOU.

Here is what it looks like with the cheese stirred in and transferred to a baking dish.

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 Then all this is left to do is top it with fried onions. We love spice, so we usually do a combination of fried onions and fried jalapeños. Then sprinkle a little cheese in with them (optional).

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This next photo is how we usually make it-completely covered with yummy goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 medium yellow squash, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick 
  • 3-4 mushrooms sliced (button or cremini work well)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating dish
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 cups cream
  • 2 tablespoons Arrowroot 
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino/Romano
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (Use your favorite. I like Gouda or Gruyere)3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups prepared fried onions & jalapeños if you like (French’s or whatever brand you like)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  1. This dish can be made and baked in a cast iron skillet or you can sauté the veggies, add the cream and cheeses and then transfer it to a casserole dish for baking.
  2. Over medium heat, sauté onions in the olive oil until almost translucent. Add the garlic and stir, then add in the squash, zucchini and sliced mushrooms. Season liberally with salt, pepper, thyme and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute. Cover the dish for about 4 minutes. Stir well, then stir in the fresh spinach.
  3. When the spinach has wilted a bit, add the cream bringing it up to a simmer. (About 5 minutes) Stir in the arrowroot. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in the cheese, reserving 1-2 Tablespoons for the top.
  5. Transfer to a casserole dish (optional), top with fried onions, remaining cheese and fried jalapeños (optional).
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy, brown and bubbly.

Goodwill Towards All

Is anyone else as depressed as I am?

Sometimes I think we’d all be better off without social media. (In fact, I know we would, but I also know there are many positives that come along with it when it’s used correctly, so I’m not going to go there today.)

I really hate bloggers who try to come across as if they can make sense of the nonsensical. This isn’t me trying to do that, because I absolutely know there is no sense to be made out of the current state of the world. Every place I look I see people broadcasting their opinions of our Government and our people and the people in charge. I see Trump haters, I see Democrat haters, I see people condemning racism, I see people condemning rioting and looting, I see Black Lives Matter, I see All Lives matter, I see people shouting to defund the police, I see people posting photos of abused animals, I see people fighting oppression, I see people correcting the spelling and grammar of strangers and friends, I see people making fun of all of the above. It doesn’t end. I could fill this entire blog with “I see’s”.

We don’t walk down the street and shout in the faces of the strangers we pass, “Impeach Trump Now!”; “Stop Abusing Animals!” (Oh wait. Seems like we are doing that now.) Why do we do what we do on social media? Just stop.

One of the anomalies I’m finding lately is that people who absolutely never like or comment on a single thing I post, feel it’s perfectly fine to come through and leave lengthy comments educating me on why I am wrong in my opinion. For those who need a reminder of the definition of the word “opinion”, I am leaving it below.

o·pin·ion/əˈpinyən/noun

  1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

I find it both hilarious and offensive that people who have known me for my entire life-the very ones who have at times berated me because I am “too nice” and “too giving” now border on calling me a “racist”, and worse in my opinion (there’s that word again) they imply I need to be educated about racism.

I pretty much spend every part of my life in the service of others. This is a choice I’ve made for myself because of the one reason that I’ve published numerous times before: God sees. If I come across something on social media that isn’t what I believe or think is true, I read it and move along knowing that differences of opinion are totally fine. I don’t dislike a person because he/she doesn’t believe the same as I do and I definitely do not berate or look down on anyone who is different than me either. That’s called respect and it makes me sad that we seem to be losing that in our society.

You know what else is sad? I started this blog in JANUARY. I felt this way PRIOR to what is currently taking place in our world. How much worse is everything right this moment compared to the olden days of January, 2020?

It’s enough already. It’s time for ALL of us to STOP and remember that we belong to one another. We are all spirits living a human existence the best way we know how. We need to join hands and help one another and stop all of this nonsensical posturing.

If you believe in something, by all means shout it from the rooftops. I will open my eyes and and ears to see and hear you and I won’t be berating you or unfriending you if I don’t agree with what you say. Let’s all afford one another the right to their opinions.

Also remember that how you treat others speaks volumes about who YOU are not vice versa.

Today’s Prayer:

Dearest Lord,

There are relationships in every community and family in the world in need of your healing. There are relationships in my own life that I have no idea what to do to heal.

You do.

A long time ago I used to pray this simple prayer, “Dearest Lord. I can’t. You can. Please do.” This is the only prayer that comes to my heart lately. I remain open to your healing and to your direction on what to do next.

Until then, I will continue in your service, trying desperately to hold on to hope. My faith will never waver.

I love you.

In Jesus name I pray.

Amen.

Through Our Faith -NO Weapon Formed Against US Shall Prosper.

I have had all I can stand of naysayers and fear mongerers. (Yes I know that’s not a word.) GOD and goodness always prevail.

And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.  -Matthew 17:20

Once upon a time I felt so alone and unable to trust even one human being that I spent nearly a year of my life quiet inside. Feeling I couldn’t tell another living soul what was happening with me; I drifted forward -some of those days uncertain I could last even one more day on this earth.

One day, on the way home from work I felt compelled drive across town, completely out of my way to stop at was once my favorite church in the city. I followed my intuition. Soon enough I was kneeling in a beautiful grotto reduced to tears, unable to pray, unsure of just about anything. All I could muster was, “Please help me.” Minutes later a warm hug came into my heart that said, “Do not be afraid. I am with you. Pray. Pray. Pray.”

I went home and began to do exactly that and my life changed in miraculous ways.  Almost forty years later, I am here to tell you that prayer is still one of the most, if not The most powerful tools we each possess.

By definition, the word, “pray” means: 1: to make a request in a humble manner; 2: to address God or a god with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving. For me, it has always meant constant conversation where I listen and pay attention as much as, if not more, than I speak.

When I first started writing this blog (it has been sitting here for weeks unfinished), I was upset by the number of people saying that we will never be the same again after this pandemic; that we would never recover. I was mortified hearing people say that we could never sing in church again and that we might never be able to have large gatherings.  The worst I heard was that Grandparents may never see their families in person again because of the risk.  I am always against broad generalizations, but these…they stuck in my heart BIG because I know how powerful God is. 

This was of course, before George Floyd was murdered. (Yes, I know there are others and I know their names.)

I hate it when monumental things happen and ordinary people like me decide to weigh in and explain what is happening and what we should be doing. The truth is, the only legitimate answer I continually come to for myself is prayer.

Spare me your lists of things I ought be doing.  Truth be told, I was already doing them eons before any of this stuff happened. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to look for the beauty and the good in people, because it’s present in all of us. It doesn’t take a lot to stand with those who need inclusivity, assistance, justice, acceptance, equality, a voice and/or especially love -because it’s what is expected of ALL of us. 

It is still true that hearts and voices joined together, lifted to the heavens land squarely in the lap of the Almighty. God hears us and He STILL answers prayers. I will continue to use my knees as I always have and while I’m at it, I’ll be praying that your prayers are joined with mine.

PS-You’re missing out if you don’t click through and listen to this beautiful song!

 

When We Pray by: Tauren Wells

Lyrics:

People hurting, people broken
Beaten down and feeling hopeless
Wonder if it’s gonna always be this way
Who will speak up for the captive
Show some love and heal a past that
Binds the wounds we think will never go away
But what if we could be a people on our knees
As one before the King
‘Cause we believe
All the world starts changing
When the church starts praying
Strongholds start to break
Oh, when we pray
Prison walls start shaking
At the sound of praising
Nothing stays the same
Oh, when we pray
Oh, when we pray, oh
I see revival rising
I see hope on the horizon
As a generation stepping out in faith
Because we will be a people on our knees
As one before the King
‘Cause we believe
All the world starts changing
When the church starts praying
Strongholds start to break
Oh, when we pray
Prison walls start shaking
At the sound of praising
Nothing stays the same
Oh, when we pray
Oh, when we pray, oh
Let Your kingdom come, Lord
Let Your will be done

In Jesus’s name (when we pray)
In Jesus’s name (when we pray)

 

From The Angels:

You are part of an awesome and powerful team of benevolent beings. They surround, guide, and love you constantly. If you are in danger, they will intervene with warnings or lifesaving measures. If you are afraid, they will comfort you with the energy of Divine love. If you are confused, they will whisper guidance in your ear.

Your angels and guides ask you to talk to them more frequently. Have mental conversations with them about everything, and you will soon see evidence of their existence. Soon, the angels will enlist you to help other people. If you ever feel doubtful about your ability to help others, ask the angels to help you release these fears.

God, the angels and the ascended masters who love, protect and guide you are watching over you right now. YOU ARE NOT ALONE and YOU ARE SAFE!

All of your prayers are always answered. Sometimes you may not feel this way, because the answer comes in unexpected ways. Perhaps you receive an intuitive feeling or a new opportunity appears–or a book falls off the shelf. The angels answer our prayers very often by giving us ideas or information in these everyday ways.

The angels request that you be extra observant at this time. Notice everything that you hear, say, think, and feel. Be especially alert to help that comes to you, and be sure to accept that help. You do deserve this assistance and many times God enlists people to act as Earth angels who bring you answers to your prayers.

Fear not, beloved one. Your prayers have been heard and answered.

Jesus looked straight at them and answered, “This is impossible for human beings, but for God everything is possible.”

Matthew 19:26 GNB
 

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Lord,

It feels gloomy outside today, even though the sun is shining and it’s trying to enter my soul. Please help me to defeat it. When I was down and scared and I reached for your hand, it was there. I know it’s there right now because I believe even though I cannot see.

Please send the light of your love into every person’s heart. Enlighten us and enable us to see one another through the eyes you intended us to use all along–the eyes of love, compassion and understanding. Help us to recognize that we belong to one another and that it’s up to each of us to take care of one another.

Help us to listen to and finally hear one another and let us do so with the intent of finding our similarities instead of our differences. Reform the hearts that need it; open the hearts that need it; heal the hearts that need it.

Help us all to shine in the light of your unending and all encompassing love and forgiveness.

In your Son Jesus name, I humbly pray.

I love you.

Amen

 

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken Breasts.

If you can’t have comfort food during the Apocalypse, when can you have it?

Do I really need to write something descriptive about chicken breasts stuffed with ooey gooey cheese and yummy jalapeño? Let’s talk instead about how long it took me to figure out how to get that little squiggley accent mark (it’s called a tilde, by the way) over the “n” in jalapeño. Good grief, and I have a degree in Spanish?

Anyway, this recipe was born out of a deep need for something yummy and different for dinner. Although this recipe is far from “different”, it’s not in our usual repertorio, so I am allowed to act like it’s brand new. It’s also great for people who are limiting carbs. I paired it with spaghetti squash mixed with peppers and onions and served it with a side of avocado (aguacate is one of my favorite Spanish words. Ask my husband.) and sour cream.

The instructions for this are very simple so I didn’t take photos of the process. Here is what ours looked like before it went into the oven. They remind me of little mummies:

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I did these in a square baking dish but hind site tells me they would have done better on a rack over a sheet pan. Next time, grasshoppah…..next time.

At the last minute I decided to drizzle maple syrup over the bacon to add a little bit more flavor.

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After they come out of the oven, let them rest before slicing, otherwise you will have cheese oozing out all over.

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Hungry yet? (¿Tienes hambre todavia?)

I intentionally bought more jalapeño’s than I needed and I doubled my stuffing mixture so I could make some actual jalapeño poppers at the same time. When they were all made, I put them on a sheet pan and froze them over night. This morning I took them out and put them in a freezer bag so we’ll have them when we want them later.

Adios Amigos!


 

Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Chicken for Two

Ingredients:

Two large chicken breasts

Stuffing mixture:
4 oz. softened cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream (optional)
2 large jalapeno’s, diced
¾ cup grated Cheddar Cheese
¼ cup chopped cilantro (fresh)
1 garlic clove, grated
S & P to taste
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (Use what you like)

1 lb. bacon (Use what you like although thin slices work best)
Maple Syrup (Optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Rinse and the chicken breasts dry. Cut a deep slit in each one to make a pocket for the cheese mixture. Salt and pepper the inside and outside of each breast. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine all of the stuffing mixture ingredients. I usually microwave the completed mixture and stir well to combine. If it’s too runny, put it in the refrigerator before trying to stuff the chicken with it. You want it to be pliable but not loose.

Stuff the breasts liberally with the cheese mixture but do not over-stuff. You want to be able to close them.

Wrap each breast tightly with as many strips of bacon needed to cover. (It’s bacon! Use a LOT!)

Brush maple syrup over all over the bacon. (You’re welcome in advance.)

For best results place the breasts on a greased rack over a sheet pan. IF you don’t have this, use a baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, then flip and bake 15 minutes more. If you are using a baking dish, you may want to use a turkey baster to suck out excess juices.

Finally, if you want the bacon to be very crispy, flip the chicken back over and broil it on high for 2-3 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY so it doesn’t burn.

Let rest 10 minutes or more before slicing.