BBQ Jalapeno Poppers

It’s September, football has started and that means GAME DAY APPETIZERS! That’s my favorite part of football season anyway. There are lots of ways to make poppers, they can be a bit more refined, with goat cheese and balsamic, like Honey Balsamic Jalapeno Poppers or more traditional. This recipe screams Texas to me, with the combo of bacon, cream cheese and cheddar cheese and topped with BBQ sauce. Who’s hungry?

 

Ingredients:
12 jalapenos, sliced in half
8 oz. cream cheese
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
12 slices of bacon, cut in half
¼ cup BBQ sauce

Let cream cheese sit on the counter for about 30 minutes to soften. While preheating oven to 425 degrees, cut stems from jalapenos and slice in half lengthwise, removing ribs and seeds.  Mix together softened cream cheese and shredded cheddar. Spread an equal amount of cheese mixture in each halved pepper and wrap with a half slice of bacon. If the slices aren’t big enough to wrap around completely, they can be secured with a toothpick, but I usually do without. Place jalapenos on cookie sheet in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until bacon is cooked. Make sure the pan has a raised lip so the oils from the bacon do not spill while cooking. Brush with BBQ sauce, then return to the oven for 5 minutes more. Enjoy!

Pepperoni and Italian Sausage Pinwheels

Pepperoni and Italian Sausage PinwheelsIf you’ve ever walked into a pizza place in New York, you’ve seen the counter lined with pizza you can order by the slice, calzones and pinwheels.  My first stop when visiting New York is always my favorite pizza place, but I still need to get my fix between visits. These pinwheels are hearty, grab-able, appetizers for game day or just having some friends over. My all-time favorite is the classic pepperoni pinwheel, but you can put just about anything in them. Got a meat lover? Make this pepperoni and sausage variety. Feeling vegetarian? Broccoli and roasted garlic makes a divine pinwheel. Just don’t forget the cheese! Take some store bought pizza dough (or make your own) and roll away. One pound of dough makes 2 rolls, and each roll makes about 10 pinwheel slices, so this recipe is great for a group. If you’re making appetizers for just a few friends, cut the recipe in half, and make the leftover dough into garlic knots to have with dinner, or a thin crust pizza for tomorrow.

Pepperoni and Italian Sausage Pinwheels 2Ingredients (makes approximately 20 pinwheels):
1 lb. pizza dough
¼ lb. sliced pepperoni
¼ lb. crumbled Italian sausage, browned in skillet
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
¼ tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. melted butter
Marinara sauce for dipping

 

Pepperoni and Italian Sausage Pinwheels 3Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pizza dough in half and roll each half into an approximately 9×9 square on a floured surface. Top each square with half of the pepperoni, crumbled sausage, mozzarella and Italian seasonings. Carefully roll into a log, pressing ends together so the cheese doesn’t melt out when baking. Cook for approximately 25 minutes until deep golden brown on outside and dough is cooked throughout.

 

Pepperoni and Italian Sausage Pinwheels 4 Let cool for 5 minutes, brush with melted butter, slice each roll into 10 pinwheels and enjoy!

Honey Balsamic Jalapeno Poppers

Honey Balsamic Jalapeno PoppersThis take on a classic jalapeno popper gets a twist from using tangy goat cheese and a sweet honey balsamic drizzle. This recipe makes 30 delectable poppers, so perfect for a holiday get together or game day appetizer. Who doesn’t love the combination of bacon with something sweet?  WARNING, these are addictive!

 

 

Ingredients:
10.5 oz. package goat cheese (I used Costco’s Kirkland brand)
15 jalapenos, sliced in half the long way, ribs and seeds removed
1 lb. package of bacon (15 slices), cut in half
3 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Honey Balsamic Jalapeno Poppers 2Take goat cheese out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes before preparing so that it’s soft enough to spread into jalapenos. While preheating oven to 425 degrees, cut stems from jalapenos and slice in half lengthwise, removing ribs and seeds. This will cut down spice considerably from the peppers once they are cooked! Spread an equal amount of goat cheese in each halved pepper and wrap with a half slice of bacon. If the slices aren’t big enough to wrap around completely, they can be secured with a toothpick, but I usually do without. Place jalapenos in roasting pan or cookie sheet in 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until bacon is cooked. Make sure the pan has a raised lip so the oils from the bacon do not spill while cooking! Once bacon is beautifully browned, remove from oven and let drain on a paper towel. Wisk together honey and balsamic vinegar. Transfer peppers to a serving platter and drizzle with honey mixture before serving.

Enjoy!