One of the things we love about our neighborhood is that there are a lot of people who care deeply about food. Bob especially loves this feature because many of the people who love food are men. This makes for fun sharing and comparing.
A couple of years ago, one of our neighbors stopped by on a summer evening with this particular snack, made from jalapenos from his own garden. Bob tried for a moment to figure out a polite way to let him know that he doesn't care for jalapenos, but then decided it would be a lot easier to simply try one. It changed him forever. He still doesn't like jalapenos in general, but he does love these poppers. I made them a couple of weeks ago when jalapenos were on sale. They are always a hit at our house.
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. chili powder
1 pound fresh jalapenos (about 12), halved lengthwise, and seeded—wear plastic gloves and cut on glass surface (I have never cut on a glass surface because I have no glass surface. So far, they seem to turn out okay cut on a regular cutting board. Be aware, though, that you're going to feel like you're being gassed by the fumes from the peppers. And if you don't like spicy food, be sure to completely remove the seeds and membranes).
½ cup dry bread crumbs
Sour cream, onion dip, or ranch dressing for dip (we prefer ranch dressing; some kind of southwestern ranch would probably be really good).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, bacon and seasonings; mix well. Spoon about 2 tablespoonsful into each pepper half. Roll in bread crumbs. (Note: I’ve found that if you cut the peppers in half as evenly and perfectly symmetrically as possible, they tend not to fall over in the pan and leak cheese all over everywhere).
Place in a baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 300 degrees for 20 minutes for spicy flavor, 30 minutes for medium, and 40 minutes for mild. Serve while warm with dip.