Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: NYE recipes – an attainable goal

Recipes include Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites, Frozen Mudslide and Strawberry Fling.

  • Dec. 31, 2014 10:00 a.m.

Happy New Year! As this year comes to an end, many of us are taking the time to seriously look at our goals and aspirations to see what really is important to us: where we may need to make changes, what we may need to let go of, and what we may need to add to our lives.

Of course we can just slip through life letting the whims and needs of ourselves and others pull us in countless directions. However, to have control of our lives we need a clear vision of where we want to go or what we may want to accomplish. It’s kind of like deciding you want to bake a fresh loaf of bread, or a cake, without a recipe. The chances of success are slim to none. If we fail to plan, we are planning to fail. Today I’m wishing everyone good health, happiness, and direction forward to their goals in 2015.

Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites

12 baby red potatoes

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 cup chopped red onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped (you can leave this out if you are vegetarian)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot of lightly salted water, boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 18-22 minutes. You want the potatoes to be soft enough to bite into, but firm enough to hold their shape as mini cups.

Remove from water and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Cut each potato in half, down the middle. You want to cut the potatoes in a way that will allow them to lay as flat as possible. The best way to do this is to just place them on a flat surface and see how they naturally want to lay and cut parallel to the surface they are sitting on. If you cut them according to what looks nice, they may roll all over once they are filled.

Once they are cut, remove most of the inside with a mellon baller, leaving enough of the walls and bottom intact to hold the filling. Make sure and save the potato centres you just scooped out, as you will add them to the filling.

In a pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until opaque. Add the jalapenos and stir, cooking until jalapenos are soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add the potato centres and mash with a potato masher until combined. Return to heat and add the bacon, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.

Allow to cool enough to handle, then fill the potatoes. Serve warm.

Frozen Mudslide

2 oz. vodka

2 oz. Kahlua

2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

6 oz. vanilla ice cream

Blend alcohol with ice cream. Serve in frosted glass.

Strawberry Fling

1/2 pt. strawberry ice cream

1 cup milk

4 tsp. grenadine syrup

Whole strawberries

Beat ice cream and milk until foamy thick in blender; pour into glasses. Pour grenadine from spoon down inside each glass (forms bright crimson layer at the bottom). Garnish with strawberries. Makes three to four servings.