Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Burgers

I think I am coming down with something. I just feel off. Have you ever had a day like that? It’s a beautiful day outside and all I can think about is crawling back into bed and hoping tomorrow comes feeling a bit better.

Instead I am watching the Olympics.

I love watching the Olympics. Particularly, I love watching swimming, diving, gymnastics and track and field. I cannot wrap my head around how these people do what they do.

What they do is incredible.

If you’re going to watch the Olympics this weekend, I have a great recipe for you. I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to watch the Olympics on an outside television while splashing around in your pool? I might actually do that. Though I may end up doing something completely different like returning a loaner vehicle to Pennsylvania. It could go either way.

Anyway, if you end up lounging around and want to grill something up take a look at these delicious Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Burgers. Oh yes, I went there! Take a look!

Nutritional Information:
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 hamburger + 1 bun
Calories: 340
Fat: 17.3 g
Carbohydrates: 19 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein+: 24 g
Points+: 9

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

4 ounce Fat Free Cream Cheese, room temperature

8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 jalapeño, small dice

2 slices bacon, cooked extra crispy

1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeno, bacon and pepper together in a medium bowl until fully incorporated

Make 16 small round beef patties

Take about half to one  tablespoon of the mixture and put it in the middle of 8 of the hamburger patties

Top each of the stuffed patties with the other patty

Seal the edges completely so the mixture is secure and will not ooze out while grilling

Grill until the beef is fully cooked and the cheese is nice and melted

Grill a hamburger slider bun, top with some leftover popper mixture and ENJOY!

I love jalapeno popper anything, just take a look at these jalapeno poppers, this quiche, this jalapeno popper stuffed chicken or jalapeno popper dip. See what I mean? I’m in love with the flavors!

I hope you give these hamburgers a try this weekend. They will bring the heat but you can easily cool yourself off with this delicious lemonade!

xoxo Mel 

Labor Day Recipe Round-up

Happy Sunday Foodies!! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend so far! Tomorrow is Labor Day and my hope is that you all have off and are able to enjoy some special time with your family and friends. Many of us celebrate Labor Day with a big end – of – summer picnic and festivities with our family and friends. I know that you’re probably in the midst of planning a fun picnic menu and I thought that I would help you in some way. So today I am giving you a Labor Day Recipe Roundup of some recipes that I think will pair well with your Labor Day picnic festivities!

Let's first start with some yummy breakfast ideas.

Cinnamon Bubble Buns

Hint of Dijon Egg McMuffin

Cinnamon & Sugar French Toast

And some Appetizers:

Mini Chicken Lasagna Cups

Fried Pickles

Now on to the Main Courses:

Smoked Ribs

Kicked up Blue Cheese Hamburger Sliders

Beef & Cheddar Roast Beef Sandwiches

Middle Eastern Style Chicken Pita Sandwiches

What's a picnic without some sides?

Corn on the Cob with Spicy Jalapeno Garlic Butter

Cucumber Salad

Cheesiest Broccoli & Rice Casserole

Grilled Romaine with Spicy Sausage & Blue Cheese - Balsamic Vinaigrette

And for some dessert?

Grilled Nectarines with Raspberry Sorbet

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

I hope you all have a fabulous day tomorrow with your family & friends!! I hope these recipes help inspire you & make your life just a bit easier!! Enjoy your long weekend, stay safe & I'll see you all very soon! :)

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Labor Day

Grilled Nectarines with Raspberry Sorbet

Happy Monday Foodies! I hope you all had a great weekend away from the chaos of life. Nick and I lounged around all weekend, which was an incredible break from the life we were leading in the weekends prior. Added benefit? It was mostly gloomy all weekend; a welcomed reprieve from the constantly sunny days this summer has given to us here on the East Coast.

Monday Sunday is the worst day of the week for me because Monday is always so close behind. I grew up having anxiety on Sunday’s. I always attributed it to school; I hated going to school on Monday, even when I was an adult in college and other high education pursuits; Sunday = anxiety. Now I am not longer in school, but last night I had an overwhelmingly high level of anxiety and here I sit today filled with more of it. I know why I am feeling this way, but it stinks because I had hoped my path in life would not be the way it is.

Is that not always the way?

I try telling myself everything will work out and being anxious is not going to solve much of anything, but that never works. Moving right along…

This week Nick’s sister, Chantelle, is moving to Cambodia. Holy cow! I am incredibly excited for her. Because she is flying out of D.C. Nick and I are going to have dinner with her on Wednesday night before her & Keith take the transatlantic flight. I wish I was going with them; I am addicted to international travel and have not had a grand international trip in quite some time! We joked around about stuffing me into a suitcase; well, they thought it was a joke; I was pretty serious about it. Just kiddin’!

Now that I have caught you all up on my life , I might as well tell you about an awesome breakfast we had this weekend. That is why you all are here after all, isn’t it? Well for this Meatless Monday segment, I present to you all Grilled Nectarines with Raspberry Sorbet. It is delicious and I am sure you all will love this sweet treat.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving size: 1 large nectarine
Total Calories: 207
Total Fat: 0
Total Carbohydrates: 49 g
Total Fiber: 5 g
Total Protein: 3 g

PointsPlus: 5

Here is what you will need:

 

  • 4 large nectarines, pitted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pint raspberry sorbet
  • 1 container raspberries, optional

 

Directions:

 

  • Preheat grill to medium
  • Coat  cut sides of nectarines with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with sugar

 

 

  • Place nectarines, cut side down, on grill rack and grill, turning once, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes per side

 

 

  • Place nectarines halves on plate

 

 

  • Place ¼ cup scoop of sorbet per serving

 

  • If you have them, sprinkle raspberries around nectarines; we did not have raspberries, but the dish turned out perfectly.

I hope you all enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Happy Monday

Chicken Taco Wraps

Good Morning! I have something to admit: I had McDonald’s for breakfast. Oh the shame. Shameful, you’re asking? Why is it so shameful to eat McDonald’s for breakfast? Well, for me, when I crave something it is very difficult for me to stop thinking about it. For instance, last night I decided I wanted McDonald’s for breakfast and I have been thinking about it since then. I usually go through a crazy routine before I go to a fast food restaurant; there is a ton of thought going into it, mainly it has to do the calories and my weight. I’m obsessed with not gaining weight, but it’s because I have come so far from my almost 300 pound body. Yes, you read that right, at one point in my life I weighed almost 300 pounds. Now I weigh a perfect 120 and there is no way that I am not going to fight to keep my weight right where it is!

So, you see, eating McDonald’s almost always results in an instant feeling of regret. I mean, how could a process that includes talking myself into eating it not result in a feeling of regret. However, I am a firm believer in eating anything you want with restraint and moderation. It is okay to eat the not-so-good things every once in a while. For instance, one day a month I give myself permission to eat McDonald’s breakfast. That is not so bad, right? I do not eat there for any other meal and I allocate only one day each month. I have come a far way – I used to eat it once or twice a day on most days. I was a sucker [and still am] for fast foods; however, I did not restrain myself back in those days! My guilt and regret and my need to stay thin really controls my brain most days! I do have a healthier version of my beloved Bacon, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Biscuit. You can find it here! Be strong and go with this recipe and not the drive-thru!  

Now that I’ve had a moment to vent about my healthy and unhealthy eating habits, I feel the need to give you a healthier alternative for lunch or dinner tonight. Several weeks ago a friend of mine, Chad, told me about this amazing taco wrap he was having for dinner and I wanted to have one instantly [see my food obsession goes far beyond McDonald’s]. So today I have a Grilled Chicken Taco Wrap that will please everybody in your house!

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 piece grilled chicken, sliced or cut into chunks
  • 1 jar taco sauce                                        
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • Hint of Jalapeno Tortilla Chips
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Nacho/Taco Cheese, shredded
  • Corn Tortilla Shells

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, take the already grilled & sliced chicken and add the first five ingredients until thoroughly coated

  • Preheat your George Foreman Grill
  • On your tortilla, crumple one or two chips then layer lettuce, tomato, chicken, and cheese

  • Fold the ends under and roll the tortilla to ensure that none of the filling will come out

  • Place your taco wrap on your George Foreman and close the top and heat the taco wrap until it has those awesome little charred marks on each side; approximately 5 to 6 minutes

This meal is incredibly easy to whip together. Nick and I had a leftover piece of grilled chicken and I decided to use this chicken for our taco wraps and our taco salad. One little piece of chicken fed us for two meals – INCREDIBLE! I really love tacos so this adaptation seemed like a great way to change the age old favorite up a bit; Nick loved it, so I know it was a success! Try it soon!

I hope you all enjoy!!

Until Next Time,

Happy Taco Wrappin’ 

Grilled Chicken Taco Salad with a Jalapeño Crunch

Good Almost Afternoon Foodies! It’s a hot, hot, hot day here today and all I can think about is drinking lots of iced tea and lemonade. Unfortunately for me I do not have either one of those beverages made. In typical fashion, I crave those things I do not have made already. What’s up with that, I wonder. Luckily for me those two things are easily fixed. Now you know what I will be doing shortly after I post this, huh?

Most of us do not like to cook on these extremely hot days and it seems like the East Coast is getting pounded by the heat. So an easy solution is making light and tasty meals. I know I already blogged about a steak salad this week, but that was no ordinary salad. It is hard to deny how awesome that salad looked [and believe me, it tasted even better].

Today I have another pretty amazing salad. About 10 days ago it seemed like everybody was talking about tacos or taco related foods and I started dreaming about tacos. Seriously, I was dreaming about tacos. My mind was overcome by flavorful stuffed crunchy tortilla shells. So today I present to you my incredibly delicious Grilled Chicken Taco Salad with a Jalapeno Crunch.

Here is what you will need:

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  • 1 piece grilled chicken, sliced or cut into chunks
  • 1 jar taco sauce
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • Hint of Jalapeno Tortilla Chips
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Nacho/Taco Cheese, shredded

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, take the already grilled & sliced chicken and add the first five ingredients until thoroughly coated

  • Layer several Jalapeno tortilla chips on the bottom of the plate
  • Add lettuce, tomato, chicken and top with chips

  • Crumble some additional jalapeno tortilla chips on top

  • SERVE & EAT!!

It is super easy, super tasteful, and relatively healthy! I really enjoyed it. It was the perfect dinner for an incredibly hot day!! I hope you all enjoy as much as we did!!

Until Next Time,

Happy Crunchin’

Independence Day Picnic Round-Up

You’re probably thinking, Mel already blogged today what’s up with posting twice? Well, I know a lot of you will be celebrating our Independence tomorrow at picnics, around the pool, near the barbeque and I think it is important to know that you have a TON of options. You don’t have to worry when somebody asks for something other than a hot dog & burger.

Below you will find some of my favorite picks for any outside holiday event or any occasion [period]! Just click on the picture and you will be whisked away to the recipe of your 4th of July celebration dreams! I hope you all enjoy!

Kicked Up Blue Cheese Hamburger Sliders

 

Buffalo Grilled Chicken Breast with Blue Cheese Sauce

 

Corn on the Cob with Spicy Jalapeno Garlic Butter

 

Grilled Romaine with Spicy Sausage & Blue Cheese – Balsamic Vinaigrette

 

Applewood Smoked Barbeque Ribs

 

Sweetly Smoked Barbeque Ribs

 

The Almighty Chili – Cheese Dogs

Gorgonzola & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

The Cheesiest Smoked Mac n’ Cheese

Momma’s Famous Fruit Salad

 

Apple Pie Bars

Fried Pickles

Homemade Lemonade

Frozen Lemonade

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

Sweet Tea

4th of July Red, White & Blue Striped Drink

I know this is quite the list, but you cannot go wrong with these recipes! I hope you give one or more of them a try tomorrow or in the future!

Happy Independence day! 

Buffalo Grilled Chicken Breast with Blue Cheese Sauce

Good Wednesday Morning Foodies! It’s another pivotal day in the work week – we can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Today was going to be a whirlwind of a day for me but, as circumstance happens, my plans changed. I’ll try to give you a reader’s digest version of what unfolded last night, but first I have to tell you that Nick and I have a Yorkshire Terrier who is out little king of everything. We love him, spoil him, give him a voice and focus our attention on him almost 100% of the time. Beyond all human reason, he owns us. He is so popular and travels everywhere with us he actually has his own facebook page so that his loyal followers can follow his adventures in life. Sick, right? Well, we have been talking about adding another little female fur baby to our lives.

Enter yesterday.

My mom calls me about information she came across about some yorkie pups. We called, got the information and told these people that I would be driving 6 hours to buy this little girl. I was so excited. As some of you may know, Yorkshire Terriers are not cheap dogs; not even close. For me everything MUST be perfect to even consider giving somebody that much money for a dog. And after some thought, pictures & conversation I had to make a devastating decision not to adopt this puppy. I wanted her. Well, I wanted a puppy. But this was not the one for us. Sitting here I am heartbroken because I want a puppy so terribly.

Now as I sit here thinking about not having a new fur baby all I can think about is food. That’s right, I’m an emotional eater; I eat when I feel anything. Wondering what I have for you today? It is well worth having to endure my puppy story, I promise. Today I bring to you Buffalo Grilled Chicken Breast with Blue Cheese Sauce.

Recipe Inspired & Adapted from Bobby Flay

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder + 2 teaspoons
  • ½ cup hot sauce or buffalo wing sauce
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons cumin + 2 teaspoons
  • Canola oil
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat the grill to medium; make sure the grill is ready for cooking over indirect heat
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute
  • Whisk in the 2 tablespoons chili powder and heat for a minute
  • Stir in hot sauce and honey, then season with salt and pepper
  • Remove about ¼ for garnish and keep both portions warm
  • Season each side of the chicken with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper

  • Drizzle both sides with canola oil
  • Grill chicken over medium heat, uncovered until the skin is nicely charred

  • Flip the chicken, moving it to indirect heat, and brush with a good amount of the hot sauce glaze
  • Cover and cook, brushing occasionally with sauce, until cooked through

  • Whisk together the heavy cream and sour cream
  • Stir in the blue cheese and season with salt and pepper

  • When the chicken is done, remove from the grill and spoon blue cheese sauce over each piece or add some to a small dish for dipping the chicken
  • Drizzle the reserved glaze over each chicken breast

  • Now it is time to eat, eat, eat.

This chicken is marvelous, especially with the blue cheese sauce! Are you wondering what to serve up with this great chicken?? I have the perfect side: GRILLED CORN ON THE COB! Go check out this awesome grilled corn and jalapeno butter! It is amazing and is such a great side for this chicken.

For me, this is a classic summer meal.  I hope you give it a try!!

Until Next Time,

Happy Chicken Grillin’

Corn on the Cob with Spicy Jalapeño Garlic Butter

Good Morning everybody! I hope everybody made it over the work-week hump with a smile! Tomorrow is Friday; keep whispering that to yourself today! Nick and I are going to Pennsylvania this weekend. I am pretty excited. However, I am not looking forward to DC traffic on a Friday afternoon, but we will take it in strides! While Nick is breathing under water this weekend [can you figure it out?], I will be hanging out with my momma cooking whatever she would like me to cook for her. That way she is set until the next time I see her.

Moms are great, right? My mom is my best friend. She knows when I am stressed. She knows when I’m concerned or filled with anxiety. She worries about me. She will defend me until the death. And, she still treats me like a kid who is naïve to the world. It’s a mother’s job, she says. I often wonder what my job is as an actual adult in her my – daughter - will - always - be – my – little - girl world. Who knows? I laugh it off in an insensitive frustration sometimes, but reassure her that I understand the plight of motherhood. I mean, how could I not? She’s great [period].

I bet you are all wondering why I am rambling on about my mom. Well my path is quite obvious to me. First, I am going to see her this weekend. Second, what I am about to tell you about happens to be one of her favorite foods [though she is not supposed to eat it]. Emphasis on supposed. She’s an adult. She’s hard-headed. She eats what she wants. Today I present to you Grilled Corn on the Cob with Spicy Jalapeño Garlic Butter. Now my mom is not a fan of spicy food, so she would likely not have the Jalapeno butter. The grilled corn, however, is an entirely different story.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 can diced jalapeno peppers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat grill to medium heat.
  • Peel back the husks of the corn without removing them
  • Remove the silks and recover the corn with the husk
  • Soak in a sink filled with cold water for 30 minutes

  • Remove corn from water and shake off excess
  • Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning periodically

  • Unwrap corn and brush with the Jalapeno Garlic Butter [recipe follows]

Jalapeno Garlic Butter Directions:

  • Combine butter, garlic, and jalapeno in a food processor and process until smooth

  • Add a little olive oil if needed to bring everything together
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Set aside until ready to use

I loved, Loved, LOVED this corn! I want to eat corn everyday now because of how delicious it came out. It is super easy to make. It took a little longer to grill than 20 minutes, but I’m pretty sure it was because we kept messing with the other food we had on the grill. If you keep the lid closed and only flip it a couple of times, I’m sure that it will brown nicely. You want the husks to be dark brown – that’s the SIGN.

As far as the butter goes, it was packed with amazing flavor. I was not as delicate as I’m leading you all to believe. I told you above to brush the butter on the corn. That’s what classy people do, eh? Well, I took a hunk in my hands and smeared it all over each ear of corn. That’s how I do it! Well, at least this time around. I wanted that corn as quickly as I could eat it and the only solution I could see is picking up the butter with my hands and rubbing it all over each ear. Oh yeah!

I hope you all enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Happy Corn Grillin’ 

Grilled Romaine with Spicy Sausage & Blue Cheese – Balsamic Vinaigrette

Good Wednesday Morning Foodie Friends! Yep, our beloved Wednesday is upon us. Many people look forward to this weekly milestone because it signifies the middle of the workweek, but why is it so important? Well, I bet a poll would lead us to a limited amount of results all of which would pertain to the weekend; we can all see the light at the end of the work week tunnel. Now you see; that is why each Wednesday holds a special piece of our hearts.  

To celebrate the middle of this work week I have a very simple creation. Nick & I whipped it up on Sunday for lunch. We don’t have any children, we only have pipsqueak. While Pippy may be our fur baby, I still thought it appropriate to grill up a nice little lunch for Father’s Day. Neither one of us took the Father of a Fur Baby Day too seriously, but I am a cornball and wished him a great day anyway! Enter Grilled Romaine with Spicy Sausage and Blue Cheese – Balsamic Vinaigrette. That’s quite the mouthful, huh? It was a terrific lunch, light and relatively healthy. We really enjoyed sitting down by the pool & grill eating our Sunday lunch! It’s pretty simple so let’s get down to the important stuff.

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • ½ pound spicy sausage
  • 1 tomato, small dice
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat a grill
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat
  • Add the sausage and onion powder and cook until the sausage is fully cooked
  • Drain the sausage and set aside
  • Chop the tomato

  • Add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and reduce 2 to 3 minutes

  • Remove from the heat and set aside
  • Lightly brush the Romaine with some olive oil

  • Place on the grill cut-side down and quickly sear until grill marks are visible. Set aside
  • For each serving, place a half head of Romaine cut side up on a plate and drizzle the balsamic dressing on top
  • Sprinkle with blue cheese and sausage and garnish with cracked pepper

This was super simple to make and even easier to eat! I did not quite use half a head of Romaine, but it is important that you do use that much. I quickly learned that using less wilts the Romaine & leaves it pretty limp. Either way you make it, it is packed full of delicious taste and easy for any summer dinner, snack or lunch!

I hope you all enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Happy Wednesday