Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

WHEW DOGGIE! It is hot here in California, between June and July we get into the 100+ degree temperatures and I can’t fathom myself to make hot food for any one of my 3 daily meals. That is how this gem of a dish was born. I always have left over avocado, sweet peppers and cilantro lying around. (Remember I love Mexican food!) So I was dreaming of a cool summer dinner with little fuss and easy to make, to keep the summer fun going from the day. I am always down to stuff a pepper (that sounds so wrong, but so good at the same time!), and there are endless possibilities with these. My next version will include grated onion and crispy bacon! 

I decided to head to the Farmer’s Market this week and found some gorgeous fresh and organic vegetables, which included the pea shoots you see in this recipe as a garnish. If you haven’t tried these, please do yourself a favor and do so. I first had them from a restaurant that served them with fried calamari. It was all I could do to eat the calamari because these pea shoots were too delicious. Anyway, they are a must try if you can find them. They go great on top salad, in sandwiches, on top or raw food such as this or any other way you can think of!

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

My kids love meat (as do I), but recently I have been making meatless meals for myself and finding I still get filled up. I will never give up meat, it just isn’t in my bones, but every now and then not having to “worry” about what meat to use is a nice thing.

I had only 1 kid willing to try this meal, she said she liked them, but did she have another? NO! It’s ok though, sometimes food such as this are an acquired taste. Regardless, I was happy and cool while eating them with a nice refreshing vodka spritzer and my feet up listening to my spotify tunes! If you are ready to enjoy a quick, easy and healthy meal, read on:

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers 6

Organic Raw Stuffed Sweet Peppers - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

2 avocado, mashed
2.5 Tbsp pesto
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 a lime + zest + reserve some slices to drizzle over top
handful of organic cilantro, washed & stems removed
handful of organic pea shoots, washed
salt/pepper to taste
10-12 organic sweet peppers (depends on their size how many you will need), washed, de-stemmed and deseeded

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pulse all ingredients in food processor until smooth.
  2. Pour contents into a ziplock baggie
  3. Snip off tip and fill peppers (use the reserved lime to drizzle over tops before eating)

If you loved this recipe, check out more from Sweet Heat Chefs below;

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Spicy Avocado Deviled Eggs

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

I found this idea from a friend, you can visit her page here. She had shared it on her Facebook page and I snagged it as soon as I saw it! If you don’t know I have decided to try to lose weight, and prepare for a 5K in 5 months, so I have been looking for alternative food options and low caloric fat content. Deviled eggs is so not on that list! Eggs in general are good for us, but when you add in mayonnaise (which I LOVE) it throws it back into oblivion.

Anyway, my kids all like deviled eggs too and they usually like the same old same old. I have tried making variations to no avail, they just want the “plain” way. So when I made this I didn’t even think of them, I was just thinking this would be lunch and snacks for the next 2 days. As soon as the kiddos came home they instantly saw them and wanted to try, I mean they are green right, cool color, to the yellow version. AND it is creeping up on St. Patrick’s Day, they think I am trying to be festive! I love it 😀 They all grab one and chow down…EVEN my, “I hate mayo kid”! “Hey Mikey, they liked it!” (remember that commercial?)

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

Needles to say my plan of snack and lunch for 2 days went down the drain at that point, but that is ok, a good fat & mayo free snack has now been added to our repertoire AND it is holiday friendly!

WIN WIN =  HAPPY MOMMA = HAPPY BLOGGING = HAPPY  YOU!

Click here for the original version. Read on for mine 😀

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 fully ripened avocado; peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of my Home Made Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground brown mustard
  • 1.5 teaspoon Dijon mustard (recommend French’s Dijon with Chardonnay)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno; seeded, ribs removed, diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion ( I use the microplane)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (I use the microplane)
  • Garnish: Finely diced jalapeno & dash of hot sauce on top when ready to eat (recommend Tapatio Salsa Picante)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium sized bowl mash avocado and egg yolks until a creamy consistency.

2. Add yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, jalapeno, onion, & garlic; mix thoroughly.

3. Spoon or pipe back into egg white shells, dividing equally. Garnish with jalapeno and hot sauce before serving. Should last 2 days, crossing fingers!

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

If you like this recipe you might also like:

Bacon Guacamole…yes you heard right…BACON!

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

There is one thing my household loves more than avocado and that is bacon. That is why when I saw this recipe I instantly knew I HAD to make it, and soon.

This recipe is from my sweetest and most awesome friend Bernadette. Her fabulous blog is Rantz From My Crazy Kitchen. You can find many amazing recipes there including a page with 58 bacon recipes from breakfast all the way through to dessert, which means you can have a PORK PARTY all day! You can view Bernadette’s recipe for her outta this world guacamole here. Below is my version with just a slight modification.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 slices thick center cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, diced fine
  • 3/4 tablespoon jalapeno, diced fine 
  • 4 heirloom cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (small cloves or 1 big one)
  • handful of freshly chopped cilantro
  • dash of salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut up bacon in bite sized pieces and fry the bacon with the onions until crisp. (this is money right here, in the voice of Guy Fierre!) If you prefer less done/burnt onions, remove as you are cooking. I enjoy crispy bacon and crispy onion and they cooked together the entire process in a pan of marriage bliss! Drain everything on a paper towels when done.
  2. In a small bowl mash the avocado
  3. Next add; tomatoes, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Stir in the bacon and onion, cover tightly with plastic wrap pressed right on top of the guacamole and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. 

This recipe fed 3 of us, 2 boys and myself. We ate every last drop.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

I TEENY TINY PIECE OF ADVICE ON THIS RECIPE…..The yield here is NOT enough, plan to quadruple it for your first try. That way you won’t be licking the container clean just to get a little bit more.

3-Way Whole Wheat Buns, Never buy from the store again!

Whole Wheat Buns5 - sweetheatchefs.com

I’m serious when I say you will not want to buy store made buns or rolls again. This process is not only easy, but you can make a double batch and freeze what you don’t use. They will keep for 2 months time in an airtight container. You can also use unbleached all-purpose flour in place of the whole wheat, this gives the bread a fluffier texture. 

I have always been intimidated with making bread or any type of dough that deals with yeast. I found this to be a super easy dough especially using the bread machine. Even when you go to roll out the dough, it is soft and pliable with not stickiness. 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of milk
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup melted butter
4.5 cups whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat white)
1 packet, or .25 ounce instant yeast
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten

Whole Wheat Buns2 - sweetheatchefs.com

DIRECTIONS

  1. Warm milk slightly in the microwave (approx 40 seconds) and place in bread machine
  2. Melt butter and place in bread machine, add water, sugar, salt, and egg.
  3. Add flour and stir a little to combine
  4. Turn bread machine on dough setting. *Mine has a 1 hr rise/rest period after it has mixed* If your’s doesn’t place in greased bowl and let rise for 1 hr.
  5. Turn dough out onto a cutting board and cut into 12 – 16 pieces. Depending on if you are making burger buns, hot dog buns or rolls will depend on how you create the pieces.
  6. After you have your desired shapes and pieces, brush with a little melted butter.
  7. Top with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic powder, or Parmesan cheese
  8. Then bake for 10-12 minutes. Mine all took 10 minutes from the get go. These are a dense bread due to the whole wheat, if you let them bake too far along you will have a rock.

Burger Buns

  • place on a greased sheet pan, cover and let rise 20-30 minutes
  • bake as above

Whole Wheat Buns4 - sweetheatchefs.com

Hot Dog Buns

  • shape the 12 pieces into approximately  6″ x 4″ rectangle shapes. This can vary depending on the size of the dogs you use.
  • starting at the long end facing you, roll tightly away from you
  • pinch and tuck the ends
  • place on a greased sheet pan, cover and let rise 20-30 minutes
  • bake as above

Whole Wheat Buns3

Whole Wheat Buns

Rolls

  • cut into 16 pieces
  • shape into smooth round balls
  • place on to a greased sheet pan, cover and let rise 20-30 minutes
  • bake as above

Whole Wheat Buns6

You might also like:

Taco Wreath

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This recipe was inspired by Spice Gals version. Click here to see their version CHUCK full of yumminess!!

INGREDIENTS

1 roll Pillsbury crescent rolls ( 8 count)
1/2 lb ground beef, turkey or pork
2 tbs. olive oil
taco seasoning
1 cup cheese (I used shredded mozzarella and provolone)
1/4 cup queso fresco
parmesan cheese for dusting
1 egg for brushing tops with

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat and brown meat through.
  3. Add taco seasoning and a little water and let evaporate
  4. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray
  5. Line up crescent rolls in a circle pattern creating a wreath, placing the wide end toward the middle. You will overlap the edges and press to connect them.
  6. Add shredded cheese mixture across the wreath without a break for each roll, just keep it going in circle fashion
  7. Next add meat in the same manner, also spreading meat up the crescent roll toward the thin end
  8. Top with a little of the queso fresco.
  9. Fold the narrow end of the crescent roll toward the center of the wreath until all are done. I connected them together, you can tuck them under each roll too.
  10. Brush top with egg and dust with parmesan cheese
  11. Bake for 15-18 minutes (mine took 18)
  12. Remove from oven and immediately top with remaining queso fresco and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  13. Top with sour cream, hot sauce, sliced olives and avocado!

2012-12-28 18.07.06

BBQ Beef Cups

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This is a quick and easy dinner or appetizer for the family or the family get together, it would be great for a party too. You could halve the biscuits and use mini muffin tins!!

My kids are always helping in the kitchen, and this is a great way to get them in there where they can do little damage if something goes wrong. I have 1 kid roll the biscuits and 1 scoop the meat mixture in the muffin tins. They are happy as clams!

This dish comes out as a nice savory dense biscuit, when you bite into it you get a sweet tangy bite on the tongue. After 2 biscuits, the kids have full bellies!

In about 30-40 minutes you are done with the entire meal (except clean up) but the kids can do that while you put your feet up and relax with a glass of wine! After all, all you had was a itty bitty muffin for dinner 😀

Can you believe my grandma sent me this recipe??!! LOVE YOU GRANDMA!!!

INGREDIENTS:

2 tubes (10 oz.) Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits 
1.5 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 lb thin lean cut bacon
3/4 cup ketchup
5 tbsp brown sugar pressed firmly into spoon
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese + 1 tsp per cup

DIRECTIONS:

Roll each biscuit into a flat circle twice its normal size and place in greased muffin tins and set aside.

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In a skillet brown ground beef or turkey. When done set aside.

Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels and cut into bite sized pieces. Combine with reserved meat.

In a medium-sized bowl combine; ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and chili powder. Stir until well combined.

Add meat mixture to BBQ sauce mixture and stir well.

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Add 2-3 tbsp of mixture to each biscuit and top with 1 tsp cheese.

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Bake in 375 degree F. oven for 15-18 minutes.

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Rosemary & Garlic Infused Oil (sweetheatchefs)

Browned Butter Strawberry Eggnog Pancakes (sweetheatchefs)

Stuffed Poblano Pepper (sweetheatchefs)

Candy Brandy Pecans

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INGREDIENTS:

6 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
5 tbs brandy
2 tbsp Gingerbread Spice Mix
10 oz-bag whole shelled pecans

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non stick spray.

Melt butter in sauce pot on medium heat.

Add brown sugar, brandy and Gingerbread Spice Mix, cook for 1 minute until bubbly stirring constantly.

Add pecans and stir until all coated.

Spread out in an even layer on cookie sheet with rubber spatula and bake for 20-25 minutes stirring several times throughout.

Remove from oven to cool and in medium bowl combine:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp Gingerbread Spice Mix

Pour pecans in bowl and stir until all coated with sugar mixture. 

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Let cool completely and store in airtight container. I put mine in decorative mason jars for Christmas gifts. This would also be good for birthday gifts, hostess gifts, parties, baby showers, Thanksgiving snacks, mother’s day gifts, and father’s day gifts

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This recipe is being shared at Foodie Friends Friday

 

Gingerbread Spice Mix

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This is the beginning of so many things you can create. This Gingerbread Spice Mix is versatile for gift giving and for making different recipes out of it, some of which I have in this post for you. 

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup ground ginger
6 tbsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container  until ready to use.

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Bag up and give as gifts for Christmas or any event that calls for one! This does not have to be a holiday only gift!  

I gave mine as Christmas gifts, added tags with the recipes below and tied on to the bag with a decorative ribbon. This gives the recipient an idea of what to use it with and get creative in the kitchen!

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You can add this mix to the following recipes: (more coming soon)

Crispy Gingerbread Treats

3 tbsp butter, melted
1 bag (10 oz) mini marshmallows
1 tbsp Gingerbread Spice Mix
6 cups crispy rice cereal

Melt and mini marshmallows in a large sauce pot over medium heat stirring occasionally. Stir in Gingerbread Spice Mix and crispy rice cereal. Press into a greased 13 x 9″ baking dish. let cool and cut into squares.

Do you have a recipe to make with this? I’d love to share it and see what you come up with. Leave me a comment below with the deets and you could be featured on SHC in the near future!

Don’t ever buy it again, make your own…Homemade Sugar Cookies

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The reality is we all have busy lives and when we want to please our kids or ourselves with a little Christmas Cheer and make the infamous Sugar Cookies during the holiday season, it is EASY to get wrapped up in the convenient pre-made store bought dough. If you do one thing this year, PLEASE make your own. You will see how easy it is AND you can easily double or triple the recipe and freeze it for your convenience later so you are not tempted to buy the pre-made dough.

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A friend of mine Katrin over at Running with The Devil(ed) Eggs and I agree, MAKING cookies involves the process from buying ingredients to actually making the cookies. BAKING cookies involves pre-made slice and bake. Your kids and grandkids will have much fonder memories of the entire MAKING cookie process than the slice and bake version. The hope is they will continue the tradition and do the same with their kids and future generations to come. Honestly, the fondest memories I have are with my grandma MAKING cookies, pies, bread, noodles, bread everything was homemade.

As a society we have strayed so far away from that reality, I wonder if our kids or their kids will even know what homemade truly is and to me that is very sad.  I just think it is important to show our kids fresh food, non processed food, the art of being together (isn’t that what holiday’s are for anyway?) quality time together, the fun of checking the oven to see if the food is done, the aroma your house has while it is cooking, the laughter between you while you listen to Christmas Music and mess up on the words! Pre-made dough has you in and out of the kitchen before  you know it, much like the society we have turned in to; quick, easy, and impersonal. 

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Not only does homemade food taste incredibly better, but you know exactly what you are putting into it, there are no preservatives, you can make it organic and feel good about feeding your own belly, Santa’s and your kids’ 😀 *Stepping off soap box**

With all that being said, (and thank you for staying tuned this long) I just want to offer this recipe that is easy enough for the beginner baker and just as fun for the novice baker. With few ingredients and LOTS of decorations for the finished product afterward you are sure to build lasting memories, new traditions and fun for years to come.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (salted butter works too if you don’t have the other)
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough ( learned this from my grandma, this is key to a soft non over-worked cookie)

DIRECTIONS:

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until combined.

Add egg and milk and beat to combined. Add vanilla extract.

Set mixer on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Don’t over mix here.

Create a disk, or divide dough up if you will be making different colors or adding candies to it. Wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours. *NOTE* If you are adding colors or candies to the dough, now is the step to do it BEFORE you refrigerate for 2 hours. The dough will be hard once it is refrigerated. Ideas for add ins:

  • crushed candy canes + red food coloring color
  • roasted pecans
  • diced cranberries + green food coloring
  • macadamia nuts
  • white chocolate chips + blue food coloring
  • dark chocolate chips

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When ready to start baking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle your rolling out surface with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough (or the entire ball if you did not divide) from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick.

Move the dough around as you roll and check frequently to make sure it is not sticking.

Using cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes.

Place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges.

Cool on wire rack.

Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for 1 month in an airtight ziplock.

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This recipe is being shown over at: 

Manic Monday Party

Wicked Good Wednesday

No Santa Cookies This Year…Eggnog Rum Bread

Eggnog Rum Bread

 

So this year we will not be making Santa cookies, nope this is not a joke nor is it us protesting against Christmas. THIS year we will be making dear old Santa some  delicious, decadent, sweet, moist Eggnog Rum Bread. Crazy you say? Read this recipe I found from an awesome blogger named Robin over at Knead To Cook and you will know the only one crazy is YOU for still reading this and not checking to see if you have all the ingredients in your pantry 😀 by the way make sure to visit Robin’s page, she has a TON of great recipes to share.

I URGE you to try this recipe and leave Santa a new treat this year, he will be happy you did! 

I doubled this recipe and both loaves were gone within 3 days…just sayin, if you have a large family you might want to invest in 2 loaves! Breakfast, snack, dessert, anytime is a great time for this bread. It shows well, it maintains it’s structure and glaze really well for traveling. As Robin did, she made mini loaves for gifts, be careful with this…the people you give this to will never leave you alone again!!

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INGREDIENTS:

2 eggs
1 and 1/2 cups of regular eggnog (not low fat)
2 tsp Spiced Rum
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter @ room temperature
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 (3.4 ounces of powdered) package of instant French vanilla pudding mix
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray your loaf, muffin etc. pan with non stick spray with flour. 

In your stand mixer use your paddle attachment and mix together the eggs, eggnog, rum, sugar, vanilla and butter. The butter will remain clumpy but that is just fine.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Add the dry mixture to the wet and blend until incorporated. Avoid over mixing. The butter will remain clumpy and this is how the batter should look, the butter will melt when cooking.

Pour into your prepared choice of pan(s). Bake mini loaves for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. A regular loaf pan will take about 45-55 minutes. A double batch using 2 loaf pans take about 80 minutes. Just be sure to check, check and check you don’t want this over done. All your hard work put into this decadent bread you won’t want it ruined, especially after you smell the batter alone, you can imagine how scrumptious the actual cooked bread will turn out.

Lemon Rum Glaze:

1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
2 teaspoon eggnog
2 tablespoon Spiced Rum
1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
Lemon zest, about 1/4 of a lemon ( I added this to the original recipe, you can omit)

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Whisk together and pour over your cooled eggnog bread. (If you can wait until it’s cooled)

The glaze recipe yields enough for both loaves with a lot left over, don’t be worried about really drizzling until your heart’s content! I wish I had used more…NEXT TIME, NEXT TIME!

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