Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stuffed Peppers, the Lazy Sunday Edition

Late Sunday afternoon, I had woken up from a delicious, after-beach nap, and was thinking about what to do for dinner. I did a quick check of Twitter and found my answer almost immediately. Someone mentioned stuffed peppers. That was it. I wanted stuffed peppers. Nothing else would do. Thank you @wenderly!

Since I’ve never actually made stuffed peppers before, I was winging it for sure. But with a quick call to my mom and a jaunt to the grocery store, the recipe came together. These stuffed peppers came out just the way I wanted: meaty and filling, flavorful, and slightly crisp on the outside. Perfect... if I do say so myself!

Oh! You might remember that I don’t measure when I’m cooking. So with my measurements below, use your instincts.

Here’s what you need:
- 3 Red Bell Peppers
- 1 Box Prepared Stove Top Stuffing*
- 1 Package Ground Pork
- ½ Red Onion, Minced
- Handful Sliced Cremini Mushrooms, Minced
- 3 to 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Panko Bread Crumbs
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons Cream Cheese

*1. Prepare the stuffing according to package directions. I know, I know. I used boxed stuffing mix. So sue me. Set aside the prepared mix in a large bowl.

2. Slice the peppers in half, lengthwise and remove the seeds, veins and core. Blanch the peppers for about a minute. Set aside to cool.

3. In a large sauté pan, sweat the vegetables in a little olive oil. When the onions are translucent, add the ground pork. Cook only until the pork is no longer pink. Too long and your mixture will be too dry.

4. Drain any excess fat from the cooked meat. Add the meat and sautéed veggies to the stuffing and mix well. Add Parmesan, panko bread crumbs and cream cheese and blend well.

5. Stuff the mixture into the pepper halves. They should be nice and full. Sprinkle some additional bread crumbs and Parm on the top.

6. Bake in a 400 degree oven until the top of the stuffing is brown and crusty.

Enjoy with a green salad and crisp white wine!

Note: These reheat beautifully - whether you stick them back in the oven for a bit, or even in a rinky-dink office microwave.

Monday, August 2, 2010


This weekend I found myself unexpectedly free. Some travel plans fell through, John was away working, and I didn’t have school or any other commitments. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to do (and eat) whatever I wanted. Bliss.
Breakfast for dinner anyone?
Photo by Stacey Doyle

Friday night, my partner in crime Stacey and I decided on breakfast for dinner: French toast, brown sugar bacon, scrambled eggs… and beer. Surprisingly, the beer went very well with “brenner.” The cold, crispness of a lighter beer cuts the sweetness of the French toast nicely. Quite an indulgent meal.

Beer Tasting
On Saturday, I decided to keep my day local. I spent the morning hours sitting in my chair, reading in Lippitt Park. The park was bustling with people going to and from the farmer’s market. But I was keeping the day a little mellower. For lunch, I moseyed from my chair across the street to the Chez Pascal lunch truck for the most delicious pastrami sandwich I’ve ever had.

After the park, I made my way to Thayer Street to see a movie at the Avon. (The Kids Are Alright.) I love going to the movies with John or a friend. But secretly, I love going by myself even better. This fit right in with the spirit of my weekend. And the Avon has terrific popcorn. Does anyone know if they use real butter? It sure tasted like they did.

Photo by Stacey Doyle

Sunday. Ah Sunday. The most perfect beach day. Ever. The sky was blue. The temperature was moderate. And the beach was quiet. A stop-off on the way home for clam cakes, followed by a luxurious after-beach nap with the cat were an excellent way to end the weekend.

I know I won’t be able to be this selfish forever. At some point, John’s schedule will regulate a little and there may even be kids that need my attention. But while the opportunity exists – a little selfishness goes a long way.