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Column: Poppers

The older I get, the less social life I have, and I am completely okay with this.

I remember often being told that I was a “social butterfly,” but those days are long gone, and I’m fine with getting done with work and getting into pajamas hours before the sun goes down without worrying about hosting anyone.

I figure I’m out in public enough for work that when I’m home, I just want to relax and not worry about anything but what to watch on tv.

Every once in a while, I will emerge from my very comfortable cocoon and invite some friends or family over to watch a big fight card or important game.

Usually, when I have people over, I will grill some steaks or make homemade mac and cheese, which always seems to be a huge hit. I tried to take and bake pizzas for one of our fight night soirees and somehow managed to have one slide off the tray onto the bottom of the oven creating chaos in the kitchen, so I probably won’t do that again anytime soon. I’ll save the pizza cooking for Stageline and go pick it up.

Over the weekend, we had some family over for a fight, and I decided it would be a simple meal and one that was easy.

The highlight of the spread was both easy and made everyone happy. The less talk there is when people eat, I figure I’ve done my job.

As soon as I mentioned “jalapeno poppers” were on the menu, everyone was excited.

All I needed to do was say that bacon is involved, and the kids would start doing backflips in the backyard with so much excitement you would have thought I said they could get a puppy.

Jalapeno poppers are such an easy dish that I wish I had put them in my menu repertoire sooner.

I’m certain there are many more elaborate ways to make them, and sometimes I would love to make them in a smoker when I can ever save enough money to purchase one.

If you have never made them at home, it is relatively quick and simple prep.

The past weekend I bought 12 decent-sized jalapenos and cut them in half. I usually have Melissa get the seeds out of them, seeing I cannot trust myself with that duty anymore after another Jack-related cooking incident a few years ago. It’s pretty common nature to wash your hands after cutting jalapenos, but on this night, I got in a hurry to get the food done before the fights started and moved on to my next duty in the kitchen. Not washing your hands after deseeding a jalapeno and then venturing to the bathroom is an extremely bad idea.

Once the seeds were gone, I stuff the insides with cream cheese, a little bit of cheddar, and a couple of spices. I then wrap them with bacon which brings smiles throughout the house. I used to use half a slice for each half a pepper but now throw on a full slice because it is bacon after all and there is never too much.

All that is left is to throw them in the oven at 375 for about a half-hour and it is a simple way to feed a crowd.

I managed to cook them Saturday by dropping them in the bottom of the oven, so it was a win-win for everyone that showed up who were also there for the dreaded pizza incident of 2022.

Maybe sometime, if I budget right, I’ll splurge for a prime rib when company comes over, but I probably need to watch a video on how to properly cut one because my knife skills are almost as bad as I am with take and bake.

This weekend will be relaxing with no company, but I wouldn’t mind having a popper.

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