Combine cream cheese, salsa and shredded cheddar in a small bowl.
Once combined, add the mixture to a pastry bag or sturdy 1-quart Ziploc bag and cut off a corner to squeeze the mixture into the peppers. Fill the peppers with the mixture.
Cook bacon in the microwave or a saute pan for a few minutes until it’s starting to brown a bit but is still soft and pliable.
Cool and then wrap each jalapeño half in one piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet (with sides) and bake 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 degrees.
Set the oven to broil and cook for 2-3 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn. This gives the peppers a nice roasted flavor and ensures that the bacon will be crisp.
Remove the poppers from the oven and cool slightly before eating.
Jennifer Bordelon’s Venison Stew
3 ½ lbs. venison cubes (shoulder meat)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
1 cup red wine
1¼ cup beef broth
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. herbes de Provence
1/8 tsp. peppercorns
1 pinch salt (optional)
Coat the meat cubes with flour.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottom casserole dish over medium high heat. Add meat cubes in batches, turning them until they’re dark brown on all sides (5-7 minutes). Remove cubes with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate. Add salt and set aside.
Add the onion, carrot and celery to casserole dish. Sauté 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute while stirring. Add tomato paste and cognac. Let liquid boil until it’s almost evaporated. Pour in the red wine, then bring to a boil until the liquid is reduced to about half its initial volume.
Put meat cubes back into the casserole dish, then add just enough broth to cover. Add bay leaves, cloves, herbs and peppercorns.
Lower heat, cover and simmer for 90 minutes, or until meat is tender. Add more broth if necessary for a thinner sauce.
Remove bay leaves, adjust the seasoning, and serve in warmed dishes.
Tailgating at Point-to-Point. Photo by Bob Leitch.
Will Rockafellow’s Gluten-Free Lemon Cake
3 cups gluten-free flour blend
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
1 tbsp lemon zest from one large lemon
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs (room temperature)
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup milk (room temperature)
1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed from one medium lemon
2 tbsp. elderflower cordial
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed from one large lemon
1 tbsp. lemon zest from one large lemon
6 tbsp. unsalted butter cubed
1/2 cup butter (softened)
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 heaping teaspoon lemon zest
5 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake rounds and line with parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt until well combined. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and lemon zest until smooth. Add sugar and beat on medium high until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each.
Alternate adding flour mixture with milk and lemon juice, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour, 2 of milk and lemon juice). Fully incorporate after each addition.
Spread batter evenly between prepared pans and smooth the tops.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely
Place eggs and sugar into a small pot, whisk to combine. Add lemon juice, zest and butter. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Transfer to a glass bowl and lay plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for 3 hours to set. Makes 2 cups.
Juice and zest a large lemon.
Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest in a mixer until blended.
Mix in Powdered Sugar a cup at a time and continue to mix until sugar is incorporated.
Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Poke holes into the cake using a bamboo skewer. Brush with elderflower cordial.
Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the layer and pipe a border around the outside to hold the lemon curd in. Fill with approx 3/4 cup of lemon curd. Repeat with next layer.
Place final layer on top and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20mins.
Frost the top and sides of the cake with remaining frosting in a rustic manner. I started by spreading a generous amount of buttercream on the top and letting it overhang on the sides. Then I used a flat spatula to add buttercream to the sides of the cake and to smooth the which created a top lip with the overlapping buttercream.
Top with fresh peonies if desired, but be sure to wrap the stems in floral tape.
Photo by Jim Graham.
6 ABC Action News Meteorologist Adam Joseph’s Cucumber Mini Sandwich
1 large cucumber (any variety)
1 small onion (chopped)
8 oz. pack of cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
dash hot sauce
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
thinly sliced bread (any variety)
Peel cucumber and slice in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cucumber in a food processor and pulse until minced, then place in a small bowl. Do the same with the onion.
Add onion to cucumber, mix in cream cheese, and stir well. Add salt, hot sauce and fresh lemon juice.
With a round biscuit cutter (the smaller the better), cut rounds out of bread slices. Spread a small amount of mayonnaise on one round, and spread cheese mixture on another round. Put them together and garnish with a sprig of parsley.
Paula McDermott’s White Bean Hummus
4 cups canned cannellini beans
6 cloves roasted garlic
2 tbsp. tahini
Juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
3 tbsp. white truffle oil
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp. chopped basil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
In blender or food processor, add beans, garlic, tahini, cumin, lemon juice and paprika. Pulse a few times until mixture is roughly combined.
Slowly add truffle oil and blend until smooth.
Transfer mixture to a bowl and gently fold in roasted tomatoes and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Carrie Smith Wedo’s Horse’s Ass Punch
In a large drink dispenser, combine the following:
orange slices (add lemons and limes, if you like)
orange juice (less of it than the pineapple juice)
dark and light rum (half-and-half)
Serve over ice.
Jennifer Bordelon’s Buggies Punch
In a large drink dispenser, combine the following:
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup ginger ale
2 bottles Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple-Cranberry Juice