Grilled Bleu Cheese Poppers – Be a PotLuck Rock Star

Photo: Grilled Bleu Cheese Poppers - NHF Title:Social

If you want to be a Potluck Rock Star, this is your Gateway Dish!

This winter, while we were keeping warm in Florida for a few weeks, we were invited to a house party.  The price of admission was a platter of finger food.

I had just picked up a huge bag of multi-colored, baby bell peppers, rarely found in the mid-Atlantic.  So, I stuffed a dozen of them with a creamy-yet-slightly-lumpy bleu cheese concoction, wrapped them in bacon and asked Mr. Nest to do his grill magic on them.

When we arrived that evening, they were added to a serving table already groaning with platters of yumminess.  Within three and a half minutes, our bleu cheese poppers had completely disappeared.

Two nights later, close friends were hosting their own party and we were asked to bring “those pepper appetizers you brought to Joni’s!”  So, we doubled the recipe and watched people close to the table devour every one of them in 4 minutes.  Flat!

Ever since then, everybody’s been asking for “those bleu cheese poppers”. Continue reading “Grilled Bleu Cheese Poppers – Be a PotLuck Rock Star”

Southwestern Chicken with Chili Sauce

photo - Southwestern Chicken - TitleWe’ve been eating in a lot lately, returning to simple, homemade meals.  Certified organic chicken has become part of our weekly menu.

We look forward to it and all the good things that come from leftovers, including healthy, flavorful, homemade chicken stock.  And soup.

Over the last few months, most often we’ve had herbed chicken, sweet spice chicken (see Sweet Spice Chicken Rub), and sweet and savory chicken.

With the warmth of Summer coming in, our taste buds are looking for something fresh.

Enter Southwestern Chicken!

Bell pepper! Poblano Pepper! Onion!  Plus two  ingredients that create its deep flavor and set it apart; my own Chili Powder Blend and a healthy slathering of Homemade Chili Sauce.

It  Is  Goo-oo-ood!

Continue reading “Southwestern Chicken with Chili Sauce”

Stef’s Chili Powder Blend

Photo - Homemade Chili Powder - NHFIf you’ve read any of my recipes, you know I like to control what goes into our food. Spice mixes are high up on my list of Make-It-Yourself’s

Years (decades) ago, it occurred to me that I’d doctored store-bought chili powder so many times, I finally started mixing it from scratch.

Give it a try.  There’s nothing to it. And, you’ll always have your favorite flavor mix right in the cupboard!  Obviously, you might want to make your own adjustments 🙂

That’s okay!  That’s the point!
Continue reading “Stef’s Chili Powder Blend”

Foods We’re Eating These Days (and not)

Mr. Nest and I have become increasingly aware of what we’re eating these days.  We’ve learned first hand how the foods we eat hold power over the quality of our daily lives and health.

It’s been a gradual transition, and sometimes it has taken a bit of ingenuity.  Happily, every good choice has become another piece in the puzzle of a healthier, better, perhaps longer life.  And we’re loving the new decisions we’re making!

We  now live with less aches and pains, no bloat or fuzzy-headedness.  We’re more comfortable, slimmer and sharper.

“GLUTEN-FREE” FIRST SHOWED UP ON OUR RADAR a few Photo - Wheat - Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos dot net
years ago, but we were hesitant to try something so drastic. After all, who wants to sacrifice any of life’s great pleasures – like french toast, fried oysters (the breading) and the rare, deliriously enjoyed, apple cinnamon doughnut?

But, it wasn’t easy to stay away from the idea. Articles and recipes were popping up everywhere!  Information and questions percolated in the back of my mind.

We started out timidly.  Our first step was to put gluten-free to the test. Continue reading “Foods We’re Eating These Days (and not)”

The Skinny on GMO Foods

GMO Foods are all the buzz these days.

What are they?
How do they affect us?
Why do we care?

Photo - The Skinny on GMO Foods - Genetic Engineering Concept image by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.netGMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms.  They’re also known as Genetically Engineered (GE) along with a few other terms.

The premise behind artificially altering the genes of plants, animals and soil bacteria is to help agricultural crops to resist pests, be less affected by drought, grow and ripen faster and produce more crops for the effort.  GMO’s are also being used in pharmaceutical production.

There are a lot of compelling reasons being presented to support the idea.  If genetically altered crops were to contain higher amounts of certain nutrients, the argument goes, then think of all the good GMO foods could do.  Maybe rice could contain more vitamin A to aid vision health, particularly in fighting blindness in children who live in nutritionally-challenged, less-developed countries.  And how about cancer-fighting foods, like broccoli, being able to fight cancer even better?

Who doesn’t want these things?!

The percentage of GMO foods is increasing rapidly.   Proponents seem to want us to believe this is a natural evolution.  But we’re not talking about cross-pollination the way nature does it.  Or even taking cuttings from one fruit tree (for instance) and grafting it onto another fruit tree (for instance).  We’re talking about huge, commercial laboratories (cough cough Monsanto cough cough) artificially forcing foreign genes into the genes of plants and animals.  Forcefully breaching the barriers that naturally occur between species. Including plants and animals that end up in our kitchens and restaurants.

To this, I used to say, “So, what?” Continue reading “The Skinny on GMO Foods”