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20150114_191914

We made it y’all! We made it past the day of chocolate, flowers, romantic dinners, sweet words and gestures, sappy cards and Rose petals in the bath. I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and I hope you enjoyed yours too. I would love to hear all about it! Where did you go? What gifts did you receive? What did you …EAT?!?! Comments please ­čÖé

So what now? What next? So many fantastically decadent recipes were shared I feel like anything I give you now would be a let down. Except. Well, there’s this one thing I thought we could get all kinds of crazy excited about this week. Since the weather has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, how would you like a week of comfort foods? It sure sounds good to me!

We can start with these stuffed peppers topped with an amazing, spicy-sweet homemade tomato jam and move all the way to chicken & dumplings from scratch, some rockin’ beef stew and a few┬ácozy desserts. These will keep your insides nice and toasty warm and kissed with a little Southern Comfort…y’all ­čśë

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Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Jam

Ingredients:

  • 3 large bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise. *
  • 2 pounds ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice, brown rice, long-grain rice or Quinoa
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Thyme
  • **If using chicken or turkey, add 1 tsp. Poultry seasoning**
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Tomato Jam

  • 5 large tomatoes, cored and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp.┬áRed Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions For the Jam:

Add all ingredients to a medium, non-reactive saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook for an additional 45 minutes. The color of the tomatoes should darken and have a syrupy consistency. Be careful not to scorch the jam. Reduce heat if necessary. If you have additional jam, store in a jar in the refrigerator. This recipe can also be used for home canning.

For the Stuffed Peppers:

Place peppers halves in a baking dish. Blend remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Lightly season the bell peppers with salt & pepper. Fill each pepper cavity with mixture. Cover tightly and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until center is cooked through. Remove cover and top with Tomato Jam. Continue to bake an additional 10 minutes until the jam has caramelized on top of the peppers.

* I prefer to cut peppers into halves to stuff as it’s easier than stuffing from the top. It also provides a more reasonable sized serving. For this recipe I used the most healthy options of ground chicken with Quinoa.

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Life is too short to eat ugly food y’all!