Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Going Green (Hot Pepper Style)

How does your Garden Grow??
One thing I can admit to loving is fruits and vegetables- of all kinds. I could use onions, garlic & green, red, and yellow peppers everyday in something. HA! I have had an itch this year to start my own little garden too. My inspiration was found in this picture below that I ran across online..........
In my obsessive compulsive manners- this seemed to suit me well :) I like how neat, organized and presentable these above ground garden boxes are. Love it! Now, have I jumped on this grand idea..... sadly not but God definitely nudged me again today to push through that little thing called insecurity and maybe make a good attempt to just give it a try!
Doesn't this look like Heaven in a basket? I think how relaxing would it be to carry a little oblong wicker basket out in the late afternoon and gather "my" vegetables from "my" little garden. Not to mention the ownership and pride I would feel knowing I had accomplished this daring feat. I call it a feat because I am no "Green Thumb." Unlike my grandmother who could grow windows full of african violets and chicken plants. Me on the other hand could look at a plant and it withers away right before my eyes. What is sad is that I LOVE fresh flowers and plants and would have them all over my house (they are really good for oxygen in your home) but I lack in that area.
Today I went and spent the day with my friend Andrea and low and behold she carries the talent of owning a "Green Thumb!" She showed me these wonderful pepper plants she started earlier this year.What began as a small potted plant became these huge bundles of wonderfulness! I have to be honest I was excited because I knew God was saying, "See just do it."
It was neat to get all the basics on how to grow these from the amount of sunlight they need, watering them in the early morning and late afternoon and how "Not" to cross them with the strawberry plants- HA! This is the bud and flower of the beginnings of a new pepper.
This is a ripe pepper and what we had to look for in color and size to pick.
I came home with 11 very HOT peppers and a new recipe to try. The recipe came from Andrea's mother and she had previously tried it, so I was excited to give it a try too. In the past, I have never been a real big fan of hot foods but in the past year I have had a change in interest or taste buds one. They say your taste buds change every 7 years- I believe it because when I was a little girls I really did not like Fig Newtons but now I think they are pretty good!
Andrea also had a beautiful strawberry plant. When I took the peppers home, I noticed they were pretty spicy just by giving the bag of them a glance. Woo! They were steaming up the bag pretty good.
As soon as I got home from church, I laid out all the ingredients that the recipe called for and .....I added a few things to it. As listed above you need six simple staples including peppers, bacon, cream cheese (I used Fat Free-still great taste), cheese, garlic salt, and toothpicks.
Before I started and after listening to Toby giggle and tease me about how much of a wimp I was going to be about this whole eating HOT peppers thing- I was given one simple key rule "DON'T TOUCH YOUR EYES" during or after handling peppers. I heard this from her and him. No need to worry, I didn't-ha!
1. First cut the pepper in an even half.
2. Then scoop out all of the insides- especially the seeds. Believe me, I think I had a few stuck to the bottom of some of my peppers when I took them from this plate and put them on the baking platter.
All emptied here! I only did five peppers to start with because I wanted to make sure we would like the recipe before using all of them.
I kind of freaked out about the thought of touching my eyes afterward- so after I cleaned them out I washed them really good twice and found these handy dandy gloves under the sink. There is a story behind as to why we have nurse gloves under our sink. Toby likes to clean our toilets with them on.HA! No joke, he won't do it without them. hehehehehe TMI- I know :)
3. Ok on with it- once you have them scopped out, place a teaspoon of cream cheese in the center and I added a small piece of regular cheese and a sprinkle of garlic salt (Andrea may get me for that one :)
4. Once they are filled, take a piece of bacon, cut it in half and tightly wrap it around the pepper and it contents.
To make sure they remained intact, she recommended spearing them with a toothpick.
Now they are ready to go in. This is the important part, you want to broil them - not bake! I did for 8 minutes but you could easily have done it for 10 minutes. I recommend making sure the bacon is well cooked and crispy :)
Viola! Serve on one of your favorite dishes :)
Truth is in the face- I was nervous! I had barely placed my tongue on my thumb after cutting them just to test how HOT they were and they lit me up! So, when it was actually time to "try" them I was timid.
Then Toby started making fun of me again and I poked fun at myself too :)
Here we goooooooo........
I chose the smallest one on the plate.......
and I think the smallest ones have more punch :)
They were really good but I am almost positive that this one had a seed on the bottom of it!
The after taste was spicy goodness!
Last bite.......
Got me again! That was the ONLY one that was hot or my mouth was just numb from that one that I didn't realize it with the others :) They were SO good!
Then I told Toby since he enjoyed photographing me so much that it was his turm! HA! He was the good sport to try them with me.
Thinking about it- this reminds me of the Ratatouille mouse waiting for his flavor explosion to occur! 
He's a FAN!!! We really enjoyed them, so much so I am thinking about making them for the family this weekend :)