{happy girl/happy food: "relish the harvest" founder, Jessica Wisniewski}



My husband, Larry, and I have quite a few things in common.

We love balmy June nights.

We will stop whatever we are doing to watch a Mel Brooks movie.

We believe mornings should start with a perfect espresso and we love foods with a kick.

Tonight we both fell for a new happy food and this one packs one wonderful kick. It's Hot Pepper Spread from Relish the Harvest. Recently on a trip back home to Massachusetts, I met Jessica Wisniewski, the founder of Relish the Harvest. Over dinner, I learned the delicious story behind this small company.

Jessica Wisniewski was on the fast track in the corporate world, traveling and making a name for herself in the food industry. In every single position, Jessica thrived and looked for new challenges but in the back of her mind, she remembered sunny summer days and making relish with her family. And so, one day, she took a leap of faith and decided to pursue her dream of bottling her family's Sweet Zucchini Relish. With help from her family and the support of her husband, Jessica was literally a force of nature. Relish the Harvest was born, along with her new baby girl. Happy girls know how to make dreams come true.

Along with the original-- Sweet Zucchini Relish, the line also includes Sweet & Hot Zucchini Relish and our favorite, the Hot Pepper Spread. So far, we have tried all three relishes on hot dogs, mixed with mayonnaise and a little lime for an extraordinary tartar sauce, drizzled over goat cheese on crisp bread for a recent cocktail party and mixed with cheddar for stuffed baked potatoes.

Sometimes you have to follow your heart. Maybe this means you'll sit at your grandmother's kitchen table and learn the secrets to beloved family recipes. Maybe you'll pick up your life and moves 2800 miles away to follow your dream or maybe it means that on cold, rainy nights there is no place you'd rather be than with your family, whatever that looks like.

Relish the Harvest is on Facebook and is available online, as well as specialty markets throughout New England.

I asked Jessica if we could share one of her favorite recipes for Jalapeño Poppers and she said "Of course." The first recipe is for baked Jalapeño Poppers and the second, fried.





{Baked Relish the Harvest Jalapeño Poppers With a Kick}

Ingredients
12oz cream cheese softened
3 tbsp blue cheese dressing
3 tbsp Relish the Harvest Hot Pepper Spread
1 tbsp bacon bits
25 jalapeno peppers seeded and halved
melted butter or olive oil

Directions
1) In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, blue cheese, bacon bits, and the hot pepper spread. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno halves. Reconnect the halves to become one stuffed jalapeno.
2) Place the stuffed jalapeno poppers on a greased pan.  Spray olive oil on top of the jalapeno poppers or brush with melted butter. 
3) Heat the stuffed jalapeno poppers at 350 degrees F for 25minutes. Enjoy!




 {Fried Relish the Harvest Jalapeño Poppers With a Kick}

Ingredients
12oz cream cheese softened                           3 tbsp blue cheese dressing
3 tbsp Relish the Harvest Hot Pepper Spread    1 tbsp bacon bits
1cup all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour)      1 cup milk
25 jalapeno peppers seeded and halved
1cup bread crumbs(optional)                          2 quarts oil for frying


Directions
1) In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, blue cheese, bacon bits, and the hot pepper spread. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno halves. Reconnect the halves to become one stuffed jalapeno.
2) Put the milk and flour into two separate bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour. Do your best to coat the entire jalapeno. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10minutes. Repeat this step if you want a thicker coat of flour.
3) If you want a crunchy coating, then place bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip the coated jalapenos into the milk then into the bread crumbs. Allow them to dry and repeat to coat the entire surface with bread crumbs.
4) In a skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F. Deep Fry the coated stuffed jalapenos for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and let it drain on a paper towel. Enjoy!