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Month: July 2020

These peppers pop!

Pepper Poppers

Cindy Williams
Banana peppers are prolific in my garden right now.  One of my favorite ways to use them is stuffed as an appetizer or even a meal accompaniment.  This recipe is easy and attractive.  For a colorful rendition, purchase a bag of mini sweet peppers. 
True to my mantra that you can never have too much garlic, in this recipe you can never have too much cilantro!  Cilantro gives it that fresh earthy flavor!.  Slice the peppers in ½, mix the remainder ingredients in a stand mixer (or use your muscles and stir by hand), stuff the peppers, and grill!


  • 1 Bag Banana peppers (from the garden or a bag of multi-colored mini pepper from the store)
  • 2 8 ounce packages Cream cheese
  • 2 Jalapeños seeded and chopped (your taste)
  • 1 tbsp Dried garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper


  • Slice peppers in half and seed
  • Place remainder of ingredients in a stand mixer – or replace your morning arm workout and mix by hand.
  • Spoon mixture in a gallon plastic bag, snip one corner and pipe filling into peppers.
  • Place on a a disposable grill topper on the grill and sear just until peppers begin to blister.
  • Remove and serve!Easy, Squeezy!


Easy, Squeezy!

She loves zebra and hot pink!

Patio and backyard showers in Texas provide the ambiance and necessary room to seat more guests.  Decorating with a few simple items can transform an outdoor setting and create an atmosphere of fun and a special memory for the honoree and attendees.

I love to find out what the bride/groom or mom/dad- to -be love in terms of color and lifestyle and incorporate it into the theme. In this case – Ashley – the Bride to Be -comes from a family of animal lovers and hence her love of a zebra print.  She is a “pink” girl as well.

To tie all the different kinds of tables together, I selected one color of tablecloth.  These can be ordered online and used for future events, or rented from a party rental store.  Between my cohosts and myself, we had enough white tablecloths.  Hobby Lobby carries a zebra print fabric.  We cut 4 runners from 3 yards of fabric.  (9 feet runners)

To bring in the pink, I bought bunches of pink silk flowers.  We cut these to place on the table. Cuttings from a shrub in the backyard provided a natural complement to the silk flowers.

Handy lanterns placed in the middle of the table serve as the centerpiece and give height and candle glow ambience.  Gold chargers give it some glitz and folded green cloth napkins complete the outdoorsy natural feel.

I like to Welcome guests with a signature drink in a decorated glass, giving a “wow” experience. 

We chose a lighter pink flower and hot-glued it to inexpensive glasses.  A mimosa bar with 4 flavors of juices to mix with champagne or sparkling water jump-starts the party!

The smile on Ashley’s face tells it all!

Make it easy!  This party included 4 of my “9 Hacks to Easy Outdoor Entertaining”

A Little Heat in the Peach? Yes!

Spicy Peach Jam

Take a beautiful Texas Fredericksburg peach, add some sugar and a little heat in the form of hot peppers and voila:  sweet and spicy combine into a full burst of flavor.  The wonderful thing about this canned spicy confection is that it can be used a variety of creative ways.  In its simplest form, pour it over cream cheese for a quick appetizer. 

If you have never canned before, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and give it a whirl.  Once you try it, it will demystify the process.  It’s a great activity to include your spouse, friend, or children.  And you have something to show for your endeavor!

Be on the lookout for savory dishes which incorporate your spicy peach jam!


  • 8 cups peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped peaches
  • 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar*
  • ½ tsp. Lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. Freshly grated ginger
  • 3 TBSP powdered pectin
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 poblano pepper


  1. Place a small bowl in freezer for checking jam’s consistency later.
  2. Blanch peaches 30 – 50 seconds in boiling water
  3. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and pull the peels off the peaches, remove seed, and roughly chop peaches.
  4. Boil to sterilize jars and lids in a large large stock pot of water. Using canning tongs, remove the jars to a clean dish towel to dry. Keep the stock pot of water on low heat so is ready for sealing jars later.
  5. Add peaches, sugar, lemon juice, cider vinegar, lemon zest, ginger, and pectin to a large pot. Stir to combine, and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove stems and seeds from jalapenos and poblano peppers. Chop in a food processor until fine
  7. Add the chopped peppers to the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and place over high heat. Bring the mixture to a full boil, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the bottom from scorching. As the mixture boils, skim off any foam that appears on the surface.
  8. To test the jam, spoon a small amount onto the saucer that’s been chilling in the freezer. If the jam sets up to your liking, it’s done. If it’s too loose, cook a few minutes longer and test again.
  9. Carefully ladle the hot jam into your clean jars leaving about 1/4 inch of head room in each jar. Once the jars are filled, wipe the rims with a damp towel to ensure a clean seal, and screw on the lids.

At this point you can turn the jars upside down for 5 minutes (this is my preferred method) & then turn upright, listening for the “pop” & bump in middle will not flex to ensure a seal. Or return the sealed jars to the stock pot of boiling water, process in the water bath for 6-8 minutes. Remove the jars and set them carefully onto a clean kitchen towel. Let sit at room temperature, undisturbed, until completely cool. Jars that are properly sealed can be kept in a cool dark place for up to a year.

If a jar or two don’t seal, just place in refrigerator for consumption. A good reason for a gathering!