Easy to Make Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

As part of the North Carolina Pork Council blogging network we’ve been asked to create various  meals utilizing pork. Each month is a different challenge. Last month we were asked to put together a pork entree in 30 minutes. I went with Pork Fried Rice, which has now become a family favorite.

This month we’ve moved on to bacon, and as we all know, EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH BACON!! For this challenge I wanted to share the perfect party pleaser, Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos. I’ve used this recipe from Inspired Taste for a few years now but tweaked it here and there to suit our taste buds.

jalapeno poppers

It’s really simple. Decide if you want to grill them or use the oven. grab your cream cheese, bacon and flavorings of choice. I stuck with the chives from the original recipe and added minced garlic. This recipe also doubles and triples up easily if you have a large crowd.


I also like spicy food, so I do keep some of the pepper seeds and mix them in with the cream cheese. This is optional depending on how spicy you want them.

Jalapeno scraped jalapeno membrane

With Father’s Day TODAY,Fourth of July right around the corner, and BBQ season in full swing, these are perfect for a crowd.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers


6 jalapenos, halved lengthwise and seeded

4 oz cream cheese, softened (this can be done in the microwave for 20 seconds or let the cream cheese sit on the counter for 30 minutes)

2 Tablespoons chives, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 slices BACON, cut in half

24 wooden toothpicks

1 sandwich bag


To prevent toothpicks from burning, place them in water for 30 minutes before using

Slice each pepper in half lengthwise and remove seeds and white membrane (The majority of the heat in peppers comes from the seeds and membrane).

In a small bowl add the cream cheese, chives and garlic and mix together.

Now to fill each pepper with the cream cheese mixture. Here you can do one of two things. Either use a spoon to fill each pepper, or place the cream cheese mixture in the sandwich bag, snip off a corner of the bag and pipe the mixture into each pepper.

Wrap each pepper with a slice of bacon being sure to wrap it from tip to tip and secure each end with a toothpick.

To Bake:

Heat oven to 375 degrees

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parch,end paper

Arrange stuffed peppers on the baking sheet, filling side up

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until bacon is crispy and paper is tender

To Grill:

Heat grill to medium – high heat.

Arrange your peppers on a grill  basket, slotted grilling pan or aluminum foil directly on the grill. You don’t want your peppers to fall through the grates.

Arrange stuffed and wrapped peppers, filling side up and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and the peppers are tender.

Occasionally peppers will char. If this happens, move them to a cooler section of the grill.

EAT EAT EAT, these babies will be devoured quickly, they are that good!

Happy Eating,


Quick and Easy Pork Fried Rice in 30 Minutes

I was recently asked to be a part of the North Carolina Pork Council blogging network to create various types of meals utilizing pork. Each month is a different challenge and last months was whipping together a pork entree in 30 minutes.

The NC Pork Council’s mission “is to promote and educate to ensure a socially responsible and profitable North Carolina pork industry” and as a lover of “The Other White Meat,” I was super excited to take on this challenge.

I found the easiest was to go about creating this meal was to look for products at the grocery store that would ensure I could meet the challenge. I used pre made packages of rice (really good actually and may be my new “go to”) and frozen veggies to cut down on the cooking time.



This recipe was adapted from Southern Living’s recipe website. Original Recipe can be found here.



1 pound boneless pork chops, cut into strips

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon sesame oil, divided

1 small bag, frozen veggie of choice, thawed

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups cooked long-grain white or jasmine rice, chilled
1/4 cup soy sauce


Total: 30 Minutes

1. Season pork with pepper. Cook pork in 1 1/2 tsp. hot sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat 7 to 8 minutes or until done. Remove pork from skillet.

2. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil in skillet; sauté  onion and garlic in hot oil 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender and garlic fragrant. Stir in green onions, and sauté 1 minute. Remove mixture from skillet. Wipe skillet clean.

3. Melt butter in skillet. Add eggs to skillet, and cook, without stirring, 1 minute or until eggs begin to set on bottom. Gently draw cooked edges away from sides of pan to form large pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute or until thickened and moist. (Do not overstir.) Add pork, veggies and rice  to skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in soy sauce. Serve immediately.

Note: Chilling rice will help keep it from clumping while stir-frying. Use leftover rice, or prepare 1 (8-oz.) pouch ready-to-serve jasmine rice according to package directions, and chill.

And Voila a delicious and healthy meal in 30 minutes!


Wendell Falls Hosts Southern Style “Old-Meets-New” Grand Opening May 16

Wendell Falls Hosts Southern Style “Old-Meets-New” Grand Opening on May 16

Wendell Falls Grand Opening copy

Most people don’t realize that the town of Wendell is, in fact, only 10 miles from downtown Raleigh, making it an ideal location for those who want easy access to the Triangle but still enjoy the small-town feel. Don’t we all long for the days when people still spoke to their neighbors and sat on their front porches in the evening?

On May 16 from 12 to 6 p.m., new-home community Wendell Falls will be hosting a traditional “barn raising” grand opening event that celebrates the innovation of the community while honoring its southern heritage. The event will feature live bluegrass from nationally renowned headliner Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, followed by Unspoken Tradition.

If you don’t come for the family activities (like a bungee trampoline), giveaways or V.I.P. home tours, come for the gourmet southern fare by Southern Harvest Catering.  A southern feast of grilled burgers, gourmet hotdogs, craft beer and sweet treats is on tap for the celebration. It’s hard to beat southern cuisine, craft beer and live bluegrass on a sunny Saturday afternoon!


For coffee connoisseurs, you will be one of the first in the Triangle to taste-test java from the new onsite cafe, Grounds Cafe. Wendell Falls has partnered with Grounds Café founder, Casey Marburger, to launch the first permanent location of the pop-up coffee shop. Housed in the Wendell Falls’ Information Center, the café will feature an unconventional collection of local products and cuisine, including gourmet coffee, craft beer and hand-made fashion accessories. On event day, Grounds Café will spotlight a selection of “brews and brews”—gourmet coffees from Raleigh Coffee Company along with craft beer from Big Boss Brewing

To keep up to date with the latest information, follow Wendell Falls here: 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/541989189273086/
Twitter Handle: @WendellFalls
Hashtag: #WendellFallsGO

For more detailed information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Cherith Mangum :: Clairemont Communications:: www.clairemontcommunications.com :: c@clairemontcommunications.com :: 919-437-4043 mobile :: Like Clairemont on Facebook

Come see Whole Foods Market’s cheesemongers cut open an 85 pound wheel of cheese on 3/7!


Ever noticed those huge wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano in the Whole Foods Market cheese department? Come see one of these 85-pound wheels get “cracked” in the cheese section on Saturday, March 7, at 3 p.m (Durham event is at 2pm) when the Whole Foods Market cheesemongers will simultaneously crack into more than 85-pound wheels of authentic Parmigiano Reggiano company wide.


These cheesemongers are true experts, and they love talking cheese, so join them in the annual “Crack Heard around the World.” This event will include tastings and pairings and is free to the public.

Love Parmesan Reggiano? Share your favorite use of it in the comments section for a chance to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Whole Foods Market.



· Parmigiano-Reggiano Party Mix
· Parmigiano-Reggiano and Prosciutto Toasts with Balsamic Glaze
· Chicken Noodle Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano Broth
· Kale Caesar Salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano
· Parmigiano-Reggiano Crisps with Chocolate and Sea Salt
· Parmigiano-Reggiano Baked Eggs with Swiss Chard
· Roasted Kale Chips with Parmigiano-Reggiano



· Each year Whole Foods Market‘s cheese experts visit the Emilia Romagna region of Italy and select wheels from just four producers.
· Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano carries proof of its authenticity with an impressed rind and brand.
· Each wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is 85 pounds and requires special knives for cheesemongers to “crack” it open.
· Only cheese made in area specific area in Northern Italy — Reggio Emilia, Parma, Modena and portions of Bologna and Mantua – can bear the Parmigiano Reggiano name.
· Parmigiano Reggiano is the pride of an Italian food tradition dating back nine centuries.
· Every wheel at Whole Foods Market is aged 24 months (this is the best age in terms of flavor and texture; it cannot be called Parmigiano Reggiano until it is aged at least 12 months).
· Its flavor profile is toasted, salty and nutty with subtle crystal-like texture and a little goes a long way.

Don’t forget to comment below about your favorite use of this great cheese for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Whole Foods Market. I personally love eating it when mixed with a good gooey cheese  in grilled cheese and scrambled eggs =)

Say Cheese!!


Empty Bowls 2015 to benefit Urban Ministries of Durham


United Therapeutics presents Empty Bowls 2015 to benefit
Urban Ministries of Durham

Thursday, March 5, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM (EST)
Durham Convention Center
301 West Morgan Street
Durham, NC 27701


Get your tickets now…online at: Empty Bowls 2015. Time is running out!!

Join us to fill empty bowls with hope! Empty Bowls is the signature event for Urban Ministries of Durham, the private, non-sectarian downtown charity that provides food, shelter and a future to neighbors in need, ending homelessness for 289 people in a single year. At Empty Bowls 2015, you’ll have the chance to sample soups prepared by the following local restaurants and vote for your favorites. Local artists and artisans are making hundreds of handcrafted bowls, and with certain tickets, you can select one to take home. The family-friendly evening (kids 6 and under admitted free for soup only) includes a live band and the chance to learn more about the important work Urban Ministries of Durham does to feed, clothe and shelter our neighbors.


Restaurants: Beyu Caffe, Bleu Olive, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Foster’s Market, Guglhupf, Mad Hatter Bakeshop & Cafe, Mattie B’s Public House, Pizzeria Toro, Pompieri Pizza, Saladelia Cafe & Catering, Saltbox Seafood Joint, Six Plates Wine Bar, Toast, Watts Grocery.

Presenting sponsor: United Therapeutics
Bowl selection area sponsor: Olive & Olive PA
Platinum sponsor: RTI International
Gold sponsors: Durham Bulls; Durham Convention Center; Plan 365, Square 1 Bank
Silver sponsors: AICPA; UL; Maxwell, Freeman & Bowman PA
Bronze sponsors: Alliance Architecture; BB&T ; John & Sandra Atkins; Freelon; JJ Froehlich; Mikey & Harry Hutson; The Patty Sells NC Team; Kontek Systems; PBM Graphics; WTVD ABC-11

Generous artisans: Claymakers, Clayworks Guild, Durham Arts Council, Havenhill Studios, Steve Criscenzo, The Arts Center

Small business sponsors: Attorney Tiffany Russell; DTW Architects & Planners

Individual sponsors: Rod Abraham; Susan & Bill Amey; Brooke Jenkins; Frank & Sandra Meachem; Patrice Nelson; Jack & Nancy Schmidt; David & Wendy Sotolongo; Bob & Anna Walker; Yvette & Rich West

Items and services for the event generously donated by: Sergio Analco; Telepathic Graphics; Loaf; Joie de Vegan; The Summit Church; Temple Baptist; Aldersgate United Methodist; Greater Orange Grove Baptist; Bethany United Methodist; Mt. Sylvan United Methodist

Johnsonville “Brat Crock” Recipe

logo The Super Bowl is not just about “The game” in our house. It’s about good friends and good food. My husbands three best friends (and others) arrive Saturday for our pre-game day party of food, drink and good times and then wake up (barely) Sunday morning to play their annual golf tournament, a ritual that has lasted close to 20 years. As the years have progressed, our Super Bowl pre-party has really become the “it” party. In the last few years most of our “boys” head directly home after golf and the hubs and I curl up on the couch to watch the game. This year however, the two of our three boys are staying in with us and I’m stoked (I love to cook for a crowd). We have leftovers from last night: Gaucamole, Bean Salad, Wings, and Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers. To top off the meat factor,  I am incorporating some delicious Johnsonville Brats. fiveEightyNine   Thanks to the kind folks at JohnsonvilleI am making their delicious indoor tailgate recipe for a Brat Crock.” This is easy to make and are the perfect grab and eat delight throughout the game. Few ingredients are needed, nor is it labor intensive. If you are out and about shopping today, consider this fast and fabulous recipe for your indoor tailgate. Johnsoville Brat Crock Hot Tub Johnsonville Brat Crock What You’ll Need: · 1 large slow cooker · 3-4 cans (12 ounces each) beer (depending on the size of your slow cooker) · 2 tablespoons butter · 1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced into rings · Johnsonville Brats What to Do: · Pour in the beer, add butter & onions first, then turn slow cooker on high · Heat a grill pan or heavy skillet to medium high and grill or sear the brats on all sides (Brats are fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 160F) · Add your Johnsonville Brats to the slow cooker and heat until the brats are cooked Place through, about 2 hours · Reduce heat to low to keep the brats hot throughout the game · When folks are ready for seconds or thirds — or even when stragglers show up late –grab a Johnsonville Brat out of the “Brat Crock” and enjoy! Doesn’t get much easier does it! So grab a brat and enjoy the game. Happy Eating Johanna Disclaimer: I was given coupons to purchase my brats thanks to Johnsonville.

The Glass Jug – Craft Beer Store Extraordinaire!

Glass Jug Official logo (web)

If you live in SW Durham and are a lover of craft beer, then you know just how awesome this past year has been for our little pocket of Durham. Sam’s Bottle Shop, Growler Grlz, Beer Durham and The Glass Jug all opened and good beer is now no more than a mile or 3 away.

Read through to the end to find out how to win a swag bag of great Glass Jug gear!

My husband and I happen to live in Parkwood, which is just up the road,  so our go-to stop for a tasty pint has become The Glass Jug. A mere mile-ish away, it is the closest stop to fill our growlers, sit and socialize with old friends and new, over said tasty pints, and grab beers to bring home.

Part of what makes it our go-to destination are the owners Katy and Chris. They’ve really made Glass Jug a fun place to hang out. From weekly tastings, to the NC Brewery of the month events, Knitting and Craft Club and special events, there is always something to look forward to.

Along side having a great selection of beer, you can also grab snacks on site or bring your own food. We regularly bring subs, BBQ or gyros to devour. Fun too to pair your food with a beer. The Glass Jug offers hummus and pita, chicken salad and pita, Spiced Cackalacky nuts, local cheese from Prodigal Farm, and treats like Chapel Hill Toffee, The Mad Popper popcorn, cookies, cheese straws and of course, treats for your furr baby from Barley Labs. Did I mention cigars. Yup, they also carry Bull City Cigars. Oh and Brood sodas. As you can tell, there is always something new to discover, which I love!



The Glass Jug is a retail craft beer store with a great selection of local and craft beer, featuring 16 rotating taps with an emphasis on seasonal brews, one-off special releases, and new collaborations with local breweries, in addition to all of your favorite craft beers, specialty wine, and cider.”

Beer Wall

For the holiday season, Glass Jug has put together various gift packs for that beer lover in your life, and yes, if you want to get me one, I will gladly accept, lol.

Holiday gift packs are:

$50 gift Set gj

$20 ($26 value): Any t-shirt or tank top, one 64 oz growler, one 32 oz growler
$25 (30 value): Single growler cooler, one 64 oz growler, one 32 oz growler
$45 ($51 value): Double Growler cooler, any t-shirt or tank top, one growler of either size
$50 ($56 value): Wooden growler box, two growlers of either size, any t-shirt or tank top

Of course they sell gift certificates too :)

shirts GJ

Have you heard of Stealz? This is a new phone ap that allows you to check in to various retail stores for a point and add additional points by sharing pictures to twitter and Facebook. Depending on how many points you accumulate, you are eligible for certain prizes. At The Glass Jug, I happened to get enough points to get the 32oz growler (empty), growler coozie or box, and two t-shirts. Since I happen to have all of these already, I want to give mine away.


Do you love beer? Comment on this blog about your favorite NC Beer for a chance to win the whole shebang. Enter between now and Friday, December  19th at noon. Winners will be announced by 3pm and the winner can pick-up their prize at The Glass Jug. (And maybe fill your growler too =)) While the “Stealz” deals have since changed at The Glass Jug, it is definitely worth downloading and popping in for a brew and collect your points.

So jump in your car and visit any one of the SW Durham’s new craft beer stores, you won’t be disappointed.

Happy Drinking!