Chorizo Jalapeño Popper Mummies

Halloween for me always means spooky decorations and playful food.  I decided this year’s theme was going to be mummies so I took traditional jalapeño poppers, added spicy chorizo sausage meatballs, and replaced the bacon wrapping with pizza dough.  The combination of the heat from the jalapeño and sausage with the cool creamy cheeses and savory pizza dough made these the perfect spicy Halloween party appetizer!

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Blood Orange and Jalapeno Mexican Martini

Blood oranges are like fresh figs. They appear suddenly in the produce section of your local grocery store, then the next thing you know, they’re gone. This year, when I saw the blood oranges appear, I eagerly put several of them in my cart so that I could use them in a new recipe. And as fate would have it, I had tequila on my grocery list that week, so one thing led to another, and this sweet and spicy cocktail was the result.

I like to use silver tequila which is usually clear and un-aged, where the true flavors and intensity of the Agave are present. What’s nice about the blood orange juice is not only does it add beautiful color to the drink it’s sweeter than a naval orange, so the natural sugar keeps the heat from the jalapeno under control.

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Grilled Tilapia Street Tacos with Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa Verde

Cinco de Mayo is coming up on Friday so what better way to celebrate than this healthy, spicy dish? I don’t know if it’s the simplicity of ingredients with big, bold flavors, or the fact that they’re so easy to prepare, however, I have absolutely fallen in love with the whole concept of street tacos. You can fill them with just about anything and top them with an unlimited number of garnishes and they taste amazing.

The grilled tilapia in this recipe is light, flaky, and picks up the flavors of the cilantro lime marinade beautifully. And there are two schools of thought when it comes to salsa verde. You can either roast the veggies first then puree them for a smokier flavor, or you can prepare them raw and fresh like I did here. The clean, boldness of the tomatillos, peppers, and cilantro marry so well together, they’re absolutely addictive. In fact, several spoonfuls of this salsa verde were eaten all by themselves without the tacos!

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Roasted Jalapeño, Cheddar & Bacon Cornbread

Roasted Jalapeno, Cheddar & Bacon Cornbread

I moved to Texas mid-way through my junior year in high-school and lived there for seventeen years before my heart called me back to the mid-west where I was born.

What I remember most about traditional southern-style cooking include chicken-fried steak, fried okra, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. The okra and black-eyed peas were pretty good, but I didn’t care for the chicken-fried steak, and I found the cornbread to be dry, gritty and flavorless. Mind you; I was smart enough to know you never tell a Texan you don’t like their food.

But I’m a bread lover, so I was convinced there had to be a way to make cornbread enticing. So after a few tries, I found the flavor and texture I was looking for in this version made with buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and sour cream. Aside from the fact it also has cooked bacon and roasted jalapeño (how could I go wrong there?), it has just the right balance of moisture to the cornmeal, smokiness from the bacon, and a nice low heat from the peppers.

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