Save-My-Ass Summer: Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

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
serves 6

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!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

elizabeth June 18, 2010 at 6:56 am

These look good. I only had the regular kind of poppers once, at a T.G.I.Friday's in Philly after a jazz band concert. I felt so ill when I got home that I vowed never to eat them again.

I may have to give these a go when we entertain next, however…


Devon June 18, 2010 at 7:00 am

What a nice reward for all the buffing, clipping, scraping and spraying. Summer rocks!


Lyndsey June 18, 2010 at 7:03 am

I don't bake either…good thing in this weather! The poppers look awesome! So I usually try to avoid reduced fat cheese, but your recommendation for Cabot and Cracker Barrel? They're worth the try?


Jennifer June 18, 2010 at 7:05 am

Yummo (I'm sure you are in LOVE with that word). David would love these.


Kristen @ Motherese June 18, 2010 at 7:49 am

"Fat is nature's Snuggie." That might be my favorite line of yours ever. And that's saying a lot.

Found a great lotion/self tanner this year, by the way. Only makes me look slightly citrus-y.

Enjoy the weekend, TKW!


Phoo-D June 18, 2010 at 8:05 am

This looks fantastic. I suppose it would totally defeat the purpose to wrap them in bacon wouldn't it? I don't think I've told you that I used to read Gary Larson cartoon books constantly as a child. I think it may have something to do with creating my warped sense of humor ;)!


Bryan June 18, 2010 at 8:36 am

Looks Great… I love peppers on the grill the smokey flavor and the mild bite. These look great.


Maria June 18, 2010 at 8:38 am

Girl, you know I am all about the food, because the only thing worth drinking also adds on the pounds…I cannot pull a Gwennie either!

And if you can imagine, we have weather that permits showing off "ass"ets, regardless of what the calender says.

Thanks for putting this out there, it sure beats the crap they try to sell frozen!


Suzi Q June 18, 2010 at 9:04 am

Oh my! My mouth is watering! Can't wait to try those! My wonerful husband brought me home Bobby Flay's Grill It! the other day and I have been in heaven trying out some new things!


BigLittleWolf June 18, 2010 at 9:20 am

You are a BRAVE woman. These would curl my hair. (Wait. That could be a good thing.)

They LOOK delish, and my kids would go for them in a heartbeat, but I'd have to sit out with my Tums.


Wendi June 18, 2010 at 9:27 am

Kitch, if the jalapeno and I were on friendly terms, I'd be making this in a heartbeat.


Ink June 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

Those look AMAZING!


Christine June 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

Oh Lord…did you have to remind me. Skirts and shorts are NOT my friend. I don't care who fat is getting snuggie with. I could without. Of course, that doesn't yet mean I'm willing to go without. Hence my conundrum.


From the Kitchen June 18, 2010 at 11:13 am

You are too kind! If you want one, you'll have to wait until the summer of 2012 when Barbara returns to hold my hand–or threat the bobbin. As for me, I still have finished the blouse for 7th grade home ec. Oh my goodness, I can't even remember how long ago that was!!

Have a great weekend.



Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point June 18, 2010 at 11:46 am

Did Gwyneth really do that? What can't that woman do!

I've already apologized to my husband for not being in better shape for my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary party next weekend. But I still have roughly 4 weeks to get shorts-worthy.


Gale at Ten Dollar Thoughts June 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Okay, these are definitely on the menu for my parents' visit next weekend. Thanks for the tip! (And what's wrong with s'mores this time of year? Just crank up the a/c!)


Katie@Cozydelicious June 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

These look great! I love jalapeno poppers, but the guilt involved usually stops me. But this healthier version is totally up my alley! Yum!


Cathy June 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm

These looks good. Not sure if my honey will enjoy if they are not wrapped in bacon as my recipe calls for. I got it from The Pioneer Woman Cooks! blog. They are fabulous but yours definitely seem like I should make to compare.


Sherri June 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Looks yummy…. lovin' these "save my ass" summer recipes. I just referred another friend to your blog – she doesn't blog herself, but… likes connecting / commenting, etc. on others, and…. loves the food blogs as well as the women chatting it up blogs ;-). Anyway…. I think we're grilling tonight, so this may go on the menu (and I'm always ready to get my cake on….:-).


Jana June 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm

You are awesome! Thanks for sharing this! (And you seriously don't look like you have to worry about any backsides, honey.)


Constructive Attitude June 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm

That looks awesome!!


LJ June 18, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I have never tried goat cheese. Sadly, in the one horse town I live in, we don't get it. But, is it good? Does it taste different than regular cheese? Sadly, I had to give up dairy because I am now sensitive to it, but if I could use goat cheese I could actually eat.:P


theycallmejane June 18, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Oh, but I so want to be "one of those freakazoids who can pull a Paltrow and exist on veggie juice and downward dog for two weeks straight" (You are so funny! I love the way you see things!)


Foodiewife June 19, 2010 at 7:48 am

So, here I sit on the Monterey Peninsula. Golfers have come here, from all over the planet, to watch the US Open at Pebble Beach. It’s freakin’ overcast and cold. I haven’t seen blue skies in two days! My plans for grilling have morphed into making stew. YOU are getting ready for bikinis? I have to dig out sweats and Ugg boots (how Californian). Nice twist on poppers. Very gourmet. LOVE your new look, too.


Jacquelyn June 25, 2010 at 8:41 am

Summer is back, I guess I need to paint my toenails ;) But if I can eat these poppers I guess it’s worth it! Thanks for sharing the recipe- we posted it on our Facebook fan page for everyone to see. Check it out at


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