Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

These cream cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers are simple to make and over the top in flavor.  In fact, you can assemble these a day in advance then store tightly sealed in the fridge until you're ready to prepare them.

I recommend using thick cut bacon for these jalapeno poppers since a thinner cut bacon cooks more quickly than the jalapeno pepper.   As far as the amount of heat it's always a gamble when buying jalapeno peppers.  These peppers were only moderately hot which made them quite enjoyable.   If you really love living on the edge, sub out pepper-jack for the colby-jack cheese.

Slow Cooker Queso Blanco Dip

This queso blanco dip is awesome when putting together a self serve nacho bar.  If you need a smaller amount, the ingredients can be easily halved. It's rich and creamy and guaranteed to garner many "ooohs" and "aaahs" from your happy nacho eaters.

The cheese I recommend for this queso blanco is purchased from the Deli, don't try to substitute another kind in it's place you simply won't get the same results.  Use it for dipping, drizzling or scooping, it's so silky and delicious your family and guests will keep going back for more.

Cinnamon-Toffee Banana Nut Bread

Quick breads like this one are often found cooling on my kitchen counter.  I can't bear to throw over ripe bananas away, so the smell of banana bread is often wafting through our house.  Funny, I've never received a single complaint. Ever.

I gave this loaf a cinnamon toffee twist, but replacing the toffee with the same amount of chocolate chips happens just as often.  Serve it toasted, slathered with honey butter, cinnamon cream cheese or my kids favorite, peanut butter.  I like it just the way it is. It's a wonderful treat with a cup of coffee or hot tea, and freezes beautifully, too.

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

I love classic cabbage rolls and my Mom made them quite often for us when I was young. My experience has been that depending on the cook's interpretation of this dish, it can sometimes seem a bit bland and short on seasonings. My Mom's cabbage rolls always had a really good flavor and I wanted to find a simpler way to enjoy the same flavors without steaming the cabbage leaves and rolling in the traditional way. This is my unstuffed version and it's so tasty that it's landed a regular rotation spot on our dinner menu.

I serve these unstuffed cabbage rolls over steamed basmati rice instead of adding rice to the pot, since the cabbage and rice cook differently.  It also gives my hungry eaters the choice of having it with or without a side of rice. I admit one of my favorite ways to enjoy this is over a piece of hot buttered skillet honey cornbread Now that's a tasty Southern spin on a classic.

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