Jalapeño Popper Pizza – ★★★★★

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My mom has made a name for herself in the hot pepper realm with her garden grown habaneros, jalapeños, and thin-n-hots. This has spoiled my husband who loves all things spicy and now gauges meals on just how hot he can make them… Being pregnant I’ve shied away from the “40 habanero hot sauce” and “peach habanero ketchup.” Seriously, you could only get me to eat a hot pepper now-a-days smothered in cheese and bacon. That is where the inspiration started for this pizza. There is some serious heat in this recipe but it is tamed considerably with a cream cheese/ monterey jack cheese base. Those of us who are not pregnant can tame the heat even more with a bleu cheese dressing drizzle, adding an insane amount of flavor. This pizza is really savory and hit the spot with a thin crunchy crust. This was a new crust recipe because I forgot to buy yeast at the store. It’s not my favorite pizza dough but with all the flavor the toppings provided it was not an issue. Perry gave five stars and this is why:

If there is one thing I love about food it is having the ability to spice it up. Usually when Kelsey says something is spicy, it’s really not that hot. I was prepared with my mother-in-law’s hot sauce to add more heat to this pizza but this was one of those rare times that I had to agree with Kelsey. The spice is perfect and I think adding any more would ruin the rich bacon flavor. I’m giving this pizza five stars because it is really delicious and I think the ingredients work very well with each other blending to make a perfect savory pizza.”

*NOTE: The nutritional values provided below include the homemade crust. These values as well as cooking time will vary depending on if you hand roll your own pizza dough or purchase a pre-made crust.

Makes: 2 Pizzas/16 slices  Calories: 306.78 per slice  Carbs: 26.25 per slice  WW PointsPlus Value: 8 points per slice

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 30 minutes  TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 + 1/3 cups of water
  • 1 pkg of bacon, I used the low sodium stuff
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 bar of cream cheese softened
  • 2 cup bag of shredded monterrey jack cheese.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, olive oil, and 1 + 1/3 cups of water. Mix until smooth. You may need to use your hands to knead it together towards the end of mixing.
  3. Divide the dough into two balls and roll them out onto separate greased baking sheets.
  4. Poke holes into the rolled out dough to avoid bubbling.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. You will be putting them back into the oven to melt the cheeses so you don’t want it to be too “browned”
  6. While the crust is baking cook up the bacon until nice and crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate and when cooled crumble.
  7. Spread half of the cream cheese over each of the pizza pies. (one half per pie.. Using the entire bar of cream cheese)
  8. Sprinkle half of the shredded monterrey jack cheese over each of the pies. (one half of the bag per pie.. Using the entire bag of cheese.
  9. Spread the sliced shallots and jalapeños over the pies and top with the crumbled bacon.
  10. Bake again until cheese begins to bubble, approximately 5-8 minutes.
  11. If you want to drizzle bleu cheese dressing do it now. Cut into slices and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipes found at http://www.recipes.sparkpeople.com for the crust and http://www.damndelicious.net for the jalapeño popper pizza inspiration.  

CrockPot Cheesy Burger Soup – ★★★★★

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It’s that lovely time of year when pintrest is FILLED with seasonal soup/stew recipes. I came across this fantastic recipe from http://www.familyfreshmeals.com and knew it would be my first soup of the season. Seriously, who wouldn’t love a cheeseburger inspired soup? My family loved it and I am certain we will be making it a few more times before winter is over. The flavor was described as “creamy cheeseburger.” Everyone had seconds and we still have left overs for lunch. Perry gave 5 stars and here is why:

This soup can only be improved upon with a hot roll accompaniment. The flavor was excellent with a silky broth and hearty meat/veggies. I like that Kels cooked the bacon separately and added it as a garnish because it added a nice crunch. I don’t enjoy soggy bacon, no matter how much flavor it is supposed to add. I think next time I will suggest warm bread and a bleu cheese crumble topping. Five stars for this soup!”  

NOTE: Since we’ve moved back to Pennsylvania I have the added adventure of trying to tailor my recipes to fit my parents’ dietary needs. My dad is diabetic which is why you will now see Carb values, and my mom is doing weight watchers which is why you will now see the PointsPlus values. I hope these extra calculations I’m providing will help not only my parents but also anyone else who clicks on this blog with dietary needs. That being said, I am aware this is a “high carb”/”high points” recipe. Please, please, please change ingredients as you see fit. Substitute turkey for beef, turkey bacon for regular bacon, low fat cheese for shredded cheese, etc… I am making it as close to the original for the first time to gauge taste so in the future I can substitute things and see what I can change without sacrificing too much flavor. 

Serves: 8+  Calories: 448 per serving  Carbs: 39.5g per serving  WW PointsPlus Value: 13 points per serving

Prep Time: 30 min  Cook time: 7 hr (low)  Total Time: 7hr 30m

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups of white potatoes, cubed
  • 8 oz of cream cheese, cubed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp back pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled to garnish (reserving a little bit of the grease to stir in for flavor)

Directions:

  1. Sautee onions over medium high heat. Before they start to become translucent add your ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink in the middle.
  2. Add the onion/beef mixture to your crockpot along with the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, celery, carrots, potatoes, cream cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. Stir to mix the ingredients in together.
  3. Cook on low for 7 hours
  4. Before cooking time is up, fry up the bacon reserving a bit of the grease. Also, mix together the milk and flour until there are no lumps in the mixture. Add the bacon grease, flour/milk mixture, and shredded cheese.
  5. Continue to cook until the cheese is melted
  6. Spoon a healthy serving into bowls, garnish with bacon and anything else you would garnish your burger with
  7. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe found at http://www.familyfreshmeals.com