You know those times when I can get a little carried away?

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Well this is one of those times.

And I am so excited about it.

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Actually, I am excited about a lot of things. Well, more just feeling grateful for a lot of things. Sometimes I find myself randomly drifting off and thinking about life. I always come away feeling amazed and grateful for everything I have, and just genuinely appreciative for my life, my family and the fact that all nine of us are healthy and together…well minus Creighton since he lives in Cleveland, but we miss him like crazy and hope he can find a job out here soon!

I guess that I am going on about this now because I got a super mean comment the other day about how I am an ungrateful brat and that I should stop pretending to have a job and actually get a real one. And yes, those where his words.

Two years ago, this comment would have knocked me down for days, but now I just think about how happy I am that I do not have to put others down just to make myself feel better, which my guess is exactly what “Jimmy Bob” was doing.

FYI, it’s kind of not cool, and you really should not pass judgment on people until you know all the facts… and then some.

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Anyway, this mean comment just got me thinking about all the stuff I actually am so grateful for. Things like having a job that I LOVE, which YES is a real job because I spend almost every waking minute of my days working hard at. This beautiful new home/studio/barn of mine that is pretty much the space of my dreams. Sure things have been a little stressful, BUT I am so excited to have some space to actually work and concentrate AND it will be even better once all these workers are outta here (can’t wait). MY PARENTS who help me SO flipping much. People who say they do it all alone are just not being honest if you ask me. Help is something I have a really hard time excepting, but without help I would not be able to do all the things I am doing today. My mom’s the genius behind all the techie stuff for the blog and my dad’s the ULTIMATE kitchen cleaner. And yes, I do 100% realize how awesome it is that my parents actually want to help me out so much. THANK YOU. I am also so grateful for my family’s health. Thankfully none of us have any serious health issues, which is honestly one of my biggest fears. Feeling incredible thankful that at the moment all six of my brothers, little miss Asher and mom + dad are healthy as horses. <–this makes me smile big!

I could go on and on (like hey I am so happy to live in the mountains where I can play in the snow and hike in my back yard every single day!), but even just writing this all out made me feel so happy.

Honestly, if you are feeling down or even feeling a little bad for yourself (it happens to all of us), you should write out all of the things you ARE actually thankful for. Look at the positives. It feels SOO GOOD.

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Oh my gosh, you guys?? Do you think I should quit cooking and become a therapist?!?! I mean wow, I feel like that was some really good advice up there. I didn’t know that could all come out me. Whoa!

But ummm…..BIG NO on the therapist thing. That would just never be for me. I am the one who probably needs to go see a therapist. I mean, sometimes I spend an hour (or more!) plating food. That’s kind of weird.

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And what else. Yeah right, this big popper hot buffalo chicken and bacon grilled cheese!

Like I said, I am so excited about it. It’s a jalapeno popper and buffalo chicken marriage… and it’s beyond awesome! It’s also perfect for that big Super Bowl Game coming up. And speaking of the Super Bowl? I hope you’re ready for some good game day eats. I sort of went a little crazy this year, all next week there is going to be some serious football food. So all you guy readers out there, I really hope you decide to check in next week, because it’s going to be “guys week” for sure.

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

But these sammies. They are loaded with an herb cream cheese mix, fire roasted jalapenos (which means broiled), spicy homemade buffalo chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese and blue cheese. You see, I got a little carried away and since it’s Thursday, which means it’s practically Friday, this grilled cheese is totally acceptable. Sorry to all the dieters out there, this is not really healthy January food (this is a good alternative though for you!).

My brothers made me, so blame them (way to accept responsibility, huh!).

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Or thank them?

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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The Recipe

Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese.

*To quickly make you own buffalo sauce, mix 1/2 cup Franks Hot Sauce, 1/4-1/2 cup melted, salted butter and 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt.*If you have time, or already have some roasted, I think that roasted garlic would be pretty amazing in this!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 GRILLED CHEESES + EXTRA BUFFALO CHICKEN

Ingredients

Buffalo Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • canola oil for frying
  • 1 cup buffalo sauce * my favorite recipe is in the notes

The Grilled Cheese

  • 6 jalapenos
  • 4-6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 green onions finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced or grated*
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese sliced
  • 6 slices cooked bacon
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbled
  • 4 slices thick cut bread I used whole grain sourdough
  • butter for bread
  • ranch and french fries for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.
  2. Season the chicken with a little seasoned salt. Add the self rising flour to a shallow bowl or pie plate. In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs together.
  3. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg mixture, and then coat well in the flour. Place the chicken in the preheated oil and fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Then dip the chicken through the buffalo sauce
  4. Once cool enough to handle, slice the chicken into strips.
  5. To make the sandwiches, preheat the broiler to high. Place the jalapeños on a baking sheet (line with foil if desired) and broil the jalapeños until charred all over. Once charred, remove from the oven, allow to cool and then peel away a little of the charred skin (I like to leave some of the charred pieces on mine, I think it adds flavor). Seed the jalapeños if desired (or seed some and leave the rest with seeds). Chop the jalapeños. In a bowl, combine the chopped jalapeños, softened cream cheese, green onions, cilantro and garlic until smooth and creamy.
  6. Butter the outside of each piece of bread. Spread the insides of each piece of bread with the cream cheese mixture. Top half the slices of bread with a slice or two of cheddar cheese. Top with sliced buffalo chicken + a drizzle of buffalo sauce, bacon and another slice of cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with blue cheese and then sandwich with the top half piece of bread. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
  7. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a pat of butter and 1-2 sandwiches, cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until the cheese is melted and bread is crispy. Serve right away with ranch for dipping and fries for snacking!!
Big Popper Hot Buffalo Chicken and Bacon Grilled Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Ahh yeah, thank them for sure!