Friday, June 18, 2010
Ahem. In case you hadn't noticed, the weather's heating up. That means shorts. Mini-skirts. The dreaded swimsuit and the baring of post-winter backside. I don't know about you, but the first exhibition of pasty, stew-fortified winter skin makes me cringe.
So how do we cope? We cheat. We break out the razor, the pedicures. Scan the drugstore aisles for any depilatory that doesn't smell like a home perm. Self-tanner is our friend. Hey, a girl does what she's gotta do.
Gaining weight in the winter is natural right? It's biology in action--fat is nature's Snuggie, n'est ce pas? But when the days get steamy, it's time to display some backside; preferably some that you're not ashamed of.
And yet, I'm not one of those freakazoids who can pull a Paltrow and exist on veggie juice and downward dog for two weeks straight. Sorry. I sort of like food.
We're easing into things moderately here, trying to trade in mashed potatoes for sweet corn, s'mores for strawberries. And guess what? When things healthy are concerned, the grill is your best friend.
Take the other weekend, for example. We had family and friends over for an afternoon of food and water mischief, and I wanted to keep things festive but not heavy. Awesome Stepkid R. was craving something spicy and cheesy, and while his scrawny caboose might be able to handle traditional jalapeno poppers, mine certainly can't.
But thanks to the Flay-man, we didn't have to compromise much. These grilled poppers deliver all the flavor and none of the grease-coma. They're a perfect thing to break out this weekend for your favorite, spice-loving Daddy-O.
Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Chilis
recipe slightly adapted from Bobby Flay
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
2 oz. soft goat cheese
1 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat white or yellow cheddar cheese*
2 green onions (green and pale-green part), thinly sliced
few dashes ground cumin and hot sauce
salt and black pepper
12 large jalapeno chilis, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
1 heaping tablespoon ancho chili powder
Heat grill to medium.
Whisk together the cream cheese and goat cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Fold in the cheddar, green onions, cumin and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill each jalapeno half with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture; sprinkle the top with ancho powder.
Place chilis on the grill (or use a grill basket, if preferred), filling-side up, and cook until slightly charred and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
**Cabot brand or Cracker Barrel reduced-fat, block cheese only, please. Otherwise, just run a few extra laps and use the full-fat stuff.
I don't bake, but if you're feeling like getting your inner Ace of Cakes on, there's some cute Father's Day cake ideas here!