On Tuesday, we got home from three days at the Dells. We usually like active vacations – exercise without knowing it – and a water park is definitely active. Hauling double rider tubes up four and five flights of stairs over and over is hard work. You get even more exercise when you try to keep up with your child (who is not carrying the tube!) while he yells “Come on, Mom!”. Do that for three days and you will lose a few pounds!

That being said, I really didn’t feel like cooking when we got home around 5:00 Tuesday night. We had stayed in a room with a full kitchen, so I cooked the previous two days. We had take out Chinese the night before we left so I didn’t want to order out. My solution – carpet picnic! This is a smorgasbord of food – fruits, veggies, cheese, sausages, shrimp or clams and bread. Our Mediterranean roots showing through! I didn’t have these things at home so I had to run out and pick everything up. I was starving when I ran to the store – never a good move.

I walked around putting things in the cart. I even called my husband at home when I couldn’t decide between tomatoes and mozzarella salad and goat cheese and crustini. His answer – “Both!” On the way out, I searched for a different veggie that we haven’t had for a while. I came across these mini sweet peppers in a bag. I saw my friend’s kids snacking on these the other day. Knowing that my kids would never eat them, I bought them for my husband and I. On the bag, there was a recipe for sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese. Bonus!

When I got home, I put the clams in the oven (heat and serve). I cut the sweet peppers down the middle and took out the seeds. In a bowl, I mixed some goat cheese and dried basil. I filled the sweet pepper halves with the goat cheese mixture, placed them in a glass pan and cooked them for 20 minutes at 350. The smell pouring out of the oven while they cooked was unbelievable! We gathered up the peppers, clams, berries, veggies, cheese, sausages and Tuscan bread with olive oil and parm cheese and poured some wine. The kids grabbed their drinks and we all sat around the coffee table and watched The Biggest Loser (yes, I see the irony in that!). Needless to say, all our pounds lost at the water park were put right back on at dinner!

The peppers were AWESOME! They were gone before I could take a picture of them for the blog. They tasted even better than they smelled! They were so good that I made a few more for a snack while we waited for dinner Wednesday night and I took this picture then. I only made these 6 halves and my husband said, “Is that all you made?”. He loved them, too.

These peppers are great for a carpet picnic side or as an appetizer. You could probably even serve them cold. Quick and easy! Five stars from the foodies in our house. The picky kids wouldn’t touch them – even before they knew it was goat cheese!

They look great cold! Quick appetizer!

They smelled and tasted delicious!