I have a four year old and almost two year old. I had a preconceived notion about raising two toddlers and in the daily execution of our life it hasn't quite panned out the way I had imagined. For some reason I thought with my little guy now precariously galloping full speed he would play alongside his big brother in perfect harmony. Both can walk, they'll totally get along now. Not quite. I have a new job description- referee.
Anyway, I used to have family over to eat quite a bit, but lately it has just gotten so hectic here that it rarely happens. So this morning my two little guys helped me make the easiest thing I could think to make ahead of time. Lasagna! Success. We invited my parents for dinner. I recall the last time they came over, many months ago, they requested appetizers. Can you imagine? The audacity.
I joined the Ghost Island Farm co-op this spring and made my way over for some salad fixings. Mini anything always catches my eye so I grabbed a pint of mini sweet peppers. The owner, Rusty, mentioned how good they are stuffed with goat cheese. So I took it from there.
I preheated my oven to 400F and went on my way to concocting. I mixed about 5oz goat cheese (room temp), 2oz cream cheese (room temp), 1 tablespoon mayo, 1 1/2 tsp By The Sea Salt, a couple grinds of black pepper, chopped scallion, and two tablespoons of parmesan cheese together in a small bowl with a fork. Set aside.
I halved all the adorable little peppers and scooped out the seeds and ribs. I thought the stems looked cute still attached as a little handle so I let them be. Put them on a rimmed baking sheet and shot each with a spray of extra virgin olive oil. If you don't have a Misto you're not living. I use mine for everything from making pancakes, grilling, oven "fried" chicken, to dressing salad. In fact I have two, one for extra virgin olive oil and one for canola oil.
I used my smallest little cookie scoop and plopped a dollop of cheese mixture into each. I finished each pepper with a nice sprinkle of panko bread crumbs and then a nice spray of extra virgin olive oil over the whole thing. Popped into the preheated oven for about 13 minutes until the cheese was bubbly and brown. They were really good. The peppers stayed a bit firm- but we like that. I suppose you could precook them in the oven before filling them for a couple minutes to give them a head start if you like them softer.
Anyway, dinner went great other than the world's longest temper tantrum over the agony and embarrassment of a not even two year old being expected to sit in their highchair. The horror. So, apparently, appetizers are totally doable. I love that By The Sea Salt lends so much flavor when I'm just not sure what to do.
I totally would have taken a photo of these stuffed mini peppers once finished but in all honesty- we ate them directly off the sheet and burned ourselves silly. Oops! Next time!