Two Different Versions

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Do you ever get tired of taking the same old cheese dips to a party when it’s your turn for appetizers?  I know I do.  Every once in a while it’s nice to test your “recipe following” skills and try something new and interesting.  So when this Party Popper recipe was featured in Southern Living magazine, I just had to try it.  And my jalapeno-loving husband was the first one to give it a big nod of approval!

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PARTY POPPERS

12 medium jalapeno chiles
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C finely chopped cooked chicken
2 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 T. fresh lime juice
¾ tsp. kosher salt
12 hickory-smoked bacon slices, cut in half
24 tooth picks

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Directions:

 1.Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut each chile in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes. (Note: be careful not to touch your eyes while doing this)

2. Stir together cream cheese, chicken, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Spoon     1 ½ – 2 tsp chicken mixture into each chile half, spreading to fill cavity.  Wrap each half with a bacon piece, and secure with a wooden pick.  Place poppers on a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

3. Bake in preheated oven until bacon begins to crisp and chiles are softened, about 25 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil until bacon is crisp, 2-3 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serves: 6

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The Less Spicy Version

Replace jalapeno peppers with appetizer-sized colored sweet peppers, following the same directions.  Substitute fresh oregano for cilantro.

P.S.  The original version and the less spicy version were both served at a neighborhood cookout and….were gone in a flash!!!!