Recipe for How to make the Best Jalapeno Poppers

When our neighbor brought over a large basket of home grown jalapenos, we knew we had to start using them soon. According to Healthline Jalapeno’s are packed with nutrients and have many health benefits. It would be a shame to let them go to waste. The best way to use up a lot of jalapenos quickly is to make some jalapeno poppers. You may be thinking that jalapeno popper would be way to spicy, but jalapeno peppers are only mild to moderate on the Scoville scale.1 The addition of cream cheese to the jalapeno pepper also helps to neutralize some of the heat.2 Here’s a recipe for how to make the best jalapeno poppers.

Best Jalapeno Popper Recipe


11 Jalapenos
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
6 slices of bacon
1/2 onion minced
6 cloves of garlic minced
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1/4 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese


Preheat Oven to 325 degrees F. Half and remove seeds 8 of the jalapenos, then dice the other 3. In a frying pan, and fry the bacon until crispy. Set aside the bacon to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Saute the onion, garlic and 3 diced jalapenos until tender. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add the cheeses. Crumble the bacon and add it to the mixture. Mix well. Stuff the 16 Jalapeno halves with the mixture. Place the Jalapeno halves, stuffed side up on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 min. or until lightly browned. Enjoy!

If you like jalapenos, then you should try my guacamole recipe.

If you need another appetizer, then you should check out my Easy Bean dip recipe.

Plated Jalapeno Poppers
Delicious Jalapeno Poppers



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Peach Blueberry Pie on the Traeger

This pie is a family favorite. It is requested in place of birthday cake for two of my family members. It can also be baked in an oven, but peach season is in August, a terrible time to heat of the house. I prefer to bake Peach Blueberry Pie on the Traeger grill.


Best Pie Crust

5 Cups of peeled and thinly sliced peaches

2 Cups of fresh blueberries

1 cup of sugar

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

1/4 cup tapioca

1/8 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of butter


Prepare a pie crust. Find my Best Pie Crust recipe here.

Preheat the Traeger to 400 degrees F.

Peel and thinly slice peaches. Add peaches, blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, tapioca, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Peach Blueberry Pie filling
Peach Blueberry pie filling in bottom crust

Pour into a prepared 9.5 inch pyrex pie dish. Top with slices of butter. Cover with top crust. Pinch to edge together, use the handle of a butter knife to make a decorative edge, and the blade to make a few slits.

Peach Blueberry Pie ready to bake
Peach Blueberry Pie ready to bake

Cover the pie edges with foil, and place in the center of the grill.

Peach Blueberry pie with foil covering edges
Peach blueberry pie with foil covering edges on the Traeger grill

Bake 30 minutes, then remove the foil.

Peach Blueberry Pie on the Traeger.

Continue to bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is slightly browned.

Best Pie Crust
Peach Blueberry pie with Best Pie Crust

Alternate baking directions for the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover the edges of the crust with foil and bake 35 minuets. Remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until the crust to lightly browned.

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Best Pie Crust

I have been using this recipe for over 30 years. I have not tasted another crust I like better. It can be used for both sweet and savory pies. I love it so much that I have never even tried making a different one. I always get compliments on my crust, and now I can just share this post when others ask me for my recipe.


2 Cups and 2 tablespoons of All Purpose Flour

1/3 Cup Milk

2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/8 teaspoon of salt


Mix all 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl until a dough ball forms. Divide the dough in half. Alternatively, you can make one dough ball slightly larger for the bottom crust.

For the bottom crust, roll half of the dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper or wax paper. This step is very important. You must roll this crust out between to pieces of parchment or wax paper.

Best Pie Crust rolled out between 2 pieces of parchment paper.

Remove the upper piece of paper and use the bottom piece to dump the rolled out crust into the pie dish. This step is also very important. This crust is too fragile to transfer without using the paper for support.

Bottom crust flipped into the pie dish using the bottom layer of the parchment paper.

Remove the paper from the bottom crust and pinch evenly into the pie dish.

Best Pie crust ready for filling.

Add your desired filling. I added peach blueberry filling, find it here.

Best Pie Crust filled with Peach Blueberry Pie Filling.

Repeat the process for the top crust. Pinch the edges shut.

Best Pie Crust Ready to bake.

I use the handle of a butter knife to make a nice edge. Bake as directed for your favorite pie recipe.

Entertaining at home

7 games you can play while social distancing

I don’t know about you, but when I put a brisket on my smoker I want to have some friends over to enjoy it with me. It’s difficult to entertain these days, but with some careful planning you can have some socially distanced fun!

  1. Bocce Ball or other yard games like ladder ball toss or corn hole. You can certainly stand 6 feet or more away from other players while playing most yard games.

2. Scattergories is an easy game to play while social distancing. Each player gets their own list, folder and pencil to use. Player have to come up with a word for each category on their list that starts with the letter rolled for that round. One player can be responsible for rolling the letter die and starting the timer.

3. Balderdash is easy to play while social distancing. It will require handing a small piece of paper to one person each round. No need to hand the paper directly to the person, they could be turned into a designated area, then collected by the person who has to read them. Each round has a word that players are asked to define. The reader for each round will read all the definitions, then each player has to guess which one is correct.

4. Euchre or other card games. What? you ask! How can this be done? Euchre and other card games can be played while social distancing with an app. We used to get together with our neighbors quite often to play cards. During the covid-19 lock down we were disappointed that we could no longer play together. Then, we discovered the Euchre 3D app. With the app you can add friends and play a private game. We just pulled out our camp chairs into the front yard, started a game and played. The best part is you don’t have to deal or keep score.

5. The Werewolves: The Pact is my favorite socially distanced game. We were actually able to play this game in the pool. Each player is given a role by the facilitator. You are either a werewolf, or a villager. Each round a player is eliminated until either the werewolf team or the villager team wins. Players can easily social distance, but you do need to be able to see the other players. It is a lot of fun! Teens love it. The only problem with this game is that you need at least 9 people to play.

6. Battleship is a classic game for all ages that can certainly be played from a distance. It will work as long as you are close enough to hear the other person. We have even played it in the car on road trips.

7. Ticket to Ride is one of my favorite games. Although t is nearly impossible to play the traditional board game while practicing social distancing, it can be purchased in an online version through Steam. As long as each player has a laptop or desktop to play, it could be played in a group setting while social distancing.

I hope you find this information useful, please let me know if you have anything to add. Thanks for visiting my blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Smoked Shepherd’s Pie on the Traeger Recipe

This Smoked Shepherd’s Pie on the Traeger recipe is a favorite at my house. It is actually modified from a recipe I got from my favorite chef Alton Brown. My daughter loves it so much that she will eat the leftovers for breakfast lunch and dinner until it’s gone. She even chooses it as her “birthday cake”. It can be baked in a regular oven, but in the Summer months I prefer not to heat up the house with my oven. This is why I started to bake Shepherd’s Pie on the Traeger pellet grill. I use a Pyrex baking dish on my Traeger pellet grill for may recipes, including peach blueberry pie.

Smoked Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients for the potatoes

4-5 pounds of potatoes
3/4 Cup half and half
1/4 Cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 Egg Yolks

Ingredients for the meat filling

1 large onion minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic power
1 Cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds ground beef or lamb
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 can chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, beans)

Instructions for Shepherd’s Pie potatoes

Peel the potatoes, and slice into quarters. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 15-20 min.

Drain the potatoes, add the salt and mash with the butter. In a small bowl mix the half and half with the egg yolks. Use a hand mixer to whip the potatoes, slowly add the egg mixture to the potatoes. Whip until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Instructions for Shepherd’s Pie meat filling

Brown the beef or lamb. Set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Pour the olive oil into the pan and sauté the onions until tender. Return the drained meat to the pan. Next, add the flour and mix to evenly coat the meat and onions. Slowly pour the can of chicken broth over the flour coated mixture, mix to coat. Now,  thoroughly mix in the tomato sauce. Season the mixture with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning and pepper. Finally, add the frozen mixed vegetables and stir until the vegetables are warm and slightly softened. Transfer the meat mixture to a large Pyrex deep baking dish 13x9x3″ (See the recommendation below) and spread evenly. Top with the potatoes and smooth with a rubber spatula.

Instructions for Smoked or baked Shepherd’s Pie

Preheat the Traeger to 375 degrees F. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Enjoy! 

If you would prefer to bake this in an oven, then preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Bake uncovered for 40 -50 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.

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