For many locals, Heritage Week signifies that time of year when our homes transform into free B&Bs for visiting family and friends. Take your hospitality to the next level by serving up one of these awesome recipes from local chefs and restaurants. Party on!
Bacon Jalapeño Poppers
12 jalapeño peppers (make sure they are even in size)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
24 slices bacon (do not use thick cut)
Directions  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and coat it with cooking spray.  Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and ribs with a spoon.  Mix the softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder, salt and pepper together until combined.  Fill each jalapeño half with the cheese mixtures and then wrap with bacon using a toothpick to secure the bacon.
 Arrange the peppers on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until bacon is crispy and browned. Serve immediately.
Mac and Cheese Balls
1 pound elbow pasta, cooked and cooled
8 ounce block pepper jack cheese, melted
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Flour (for dipping)
Buttermilk (for dipping)
1 gallon frying oil
Directions  Mix together the melted cheese, cooked elbow pasta and panko bread crumbs in a large bowl.  Using a small dough scoop, scoop balls out onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Freeze until solid.  In a large pot, heat frying oil to about 325°F. To set up your breading station, place flour in one bowl and buttermilk in another. Using the standard breading process of dry, wet, dry, place the balls into the flour, then the buttermilk, then back in the flour making sure to knock off all excess flour.  Place the well coated balls into the hot oil carefully and one at a time. You may fry more than one ball at a time, but be sure to not let them stick together. Cook for approximately 3-4 minutes or until they just start to ooze cheese!
Deviled Egg Dip
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon red hot sauce
Directions  Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; remove saucepan from heat and let eggs cook in hot water for 12 minutes. Pour off hot water and place eggs in a bowl full of ice water to cool.  Peel and halve eggs. Chop about half the egg whites and place into a bowl.  Put remaining egg whites and yolks in a food processor with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and hot sauce; process until smooth and transfer to a bowl. Fold chopped egg whites into the mixture.  Serve with your favorite crackers. Saltines are the Southern classic. Add chopped green olives for a twist if desired.
2 cups black olives, pitted (Taggiasche, Nicoise, Gaeta or Kalamata)
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 anchovy filet, drained, rinsed and patted dry
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine well; then process until mixture is coarsely pureed. Taste for seasoning, and serve as a spread alongside crusty bread or crackers.
4 medium ripe Hass avocados
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2-1 jalapeño, diced with seeds removed (optional)
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
Directions  Add the avocado flesh to a small mixing bowl and coat in lime juice. Using a fork or potato masher, mash up the avocado into a desired consistency.  Mix in the remaining ingredients until combined. Taste and season with additional salt and lime juice. Enjoy with your favorite tacos or chips.
Truffle Deviled Eggs
1 dozen whole eggs plus two egg yolks
1 tbsp. truffle oil
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Coleman’s Dry English Mustard
2 dashes Tabasco pepper sauce
1 tsp fresh parsley, minced
Salt and white pepper to taste
Directions: In a saucepan with hot water over high heat, add eggs to water, covering eggs and cook for 12 minutes at a rapid boil. Remove eggs from heat and run eggs under cold water for 10-15 minutes until eggs are cooled. While the eggs are cooling, prepare truffle mayonnaise by whisking remaining two egg yolks until yolks are stiff and increased in volume by 20 percent. Slowly whisk in olive oil to the egg yolk mixture, ensuring that the oil is absorbed by the egg mixture before additional olive oil is added. Continue to incorporate olive oil, then season with Tabasco pepper sauce, salt, white pepper, parsley, and dry mustard. Remove cooled eggs from water. Peel and slice eggs into two pieces and remove egg yolks, setting yolks aside. With a fork, blend egg yolks with the truffle mayonnaise until incorporated. Arrange cooked egg whites on a flat serve and fill yolk area with prepared egg truffle blend. Garnish with fresh chives, parsley, or for something a little different, crispy pork rinds.