Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Anyone else get this in the mail a couple of weeks ago?

005

It’s a flyer from Fred Meyer. A promotional booklet with coupons and recipes for “game day”. I studied the coupons to see if any were useful and stumbled upon this recipe. The picture looked sooooooooooooo good. And the technique fascinated me! A boule of sourdough bread, sliced up with cheese stuffed in it. What?! How did I not know this about this? I finally decided to try it.

006 008 029I used sourdough bread and pepper jack cheese. I melted the butter (the recipe called for 1/2 cup of butter, which I thought was ridiculously high, so I used about 1/4 cup, or less) and added a teaspoon of garlic powder. If I had onion powder I would have use it instead, but the garlic was fine. Other methods include green onion, peppers and a mixture of different cheeses.

Bake it at 350 degrees, wrapped in foil, for 15 minutes. Unwrap from foil and bake another 10 minutes. 035 034 037Enjoy this crunchy, warm, cheesy, and delightful treat.

Brussel Sprout Heaven…this is not a joke.

Really! Brussel sprouts get such a bad wrap! They somehow became a part of the terrible green vegetable lore that broccoli and spinach get lumped into when you’re 7 years old. But when done right, brussel sprouts can even be a snack food. I’m not being sarcastic.

First off…what the heck? This is how brussel sprouts grow? It looks like something out of an alien movie. I kept expecting these things to hatch.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. After getting past the weird look, massive size and hefty weight, cut off each of the corpuscles sprouts. Chop off the stem and peel the top couple leaves.

You’ll need about 1 1/2 pounds worth.

Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 3/4 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. I even added a touch of shredded parmesan.

Spread out on a baking sheet, and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, take the pan out and shake it, letting the embryos sprouts roll around to cook evenly. Serve immediately afterwards (though I found they tasted sweeter after they cooled). I wish I would have cut the larger ones in half, to get more roasted flavor per brussel sprout. But these are stinking delicious. They have a crispy, salty exterior. You can add more salt/garlic salt after all is said and done if you’d like. We ate almost all of these while the main dish baked.

One of the egg pods sprouts had rolled onto the floor while I was chopping and peeling. I watched it roll away and thought, “eh.” I just left it there. A few minutes later I turned around to grab it and it was gone. What?? Then I spotted a bunch of little brussel bits on Gideon’s bed. So I googled it. Turns out vegetables in the cabbage family are really good for your pups. So I gave Gideon another one. He ate it up in a few minutes.

So here’s to giving brussel sprouts a good name. And sorry Krueger family, I’ll be bringing some for Thanksgiving.

Crock-pot Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

Yum. Simple, sweet, crunchy, easy…yum.

Sometimes a sweet and salty almond (or walnut, or pecan, or maybe a peanut?) just hits the spot.

Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

1 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1 egg white, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 3 cups almonds, 1/4 cup water.

While I feel tempted to tell you to lessen the sugar (I think I used 1 1/4 cup of each, and might try even less next time) I also know I missed a step (stirring every 20 minutes). So who knows if that makes a difference or not. Either way…yum.

1. Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg white and vanilla until frothy. Toss with almonds until well coated.

3. Toss almonds with sugar mixture.

4. Thoroughly grease your ceramic crock-pot. Throw in the almonds and set temperature to low.

5. Stirring every 20 minutes (I didn’t see this step…some of my almonds burned) let your almonds cook on low for 2 1/2 hours. Stir in 1/4 cup water and let cook for another hour.

6. Spread your almonds out on parchment paper, separating to prevent clumping. Let cool.

Store in an airtight container…if they last that long.

Soothing Smoothie

It was hot here for a total of two days. In which, I think people in the Portland metro area, including myself, went outside WAY too much. We got our hopes up. We pretended it was summer. Now it’s back to the same old, same old. Gray and rainy. Ugh. But in those two days my appetite changed completely. Suddenly I’m craving fresh corn salsa, zesty lime tacos, lemonade, grilled veggies, watermelon, popsicles and anything with berries.

But I’m not going to wait around for the weather to reflect my dietary desires. Spring time usually commences the beginning of my smoothie making. Once a day I have a massive, delicious smoothie. It dies down during the winter because I’m craving something warm and pumpkiny by then, but I’m starting my smoothie ritual now regardless of the cold.

Besides sharing with you some smoothie deliciousness, I’ll share some kitchen wisdom that I dawned from pinterest (this would be a Pinterest Win). Did you know that a standard quart sized mason jar fits perfectly in most blenders? This way, you can blend your smoothie and then enjoy it right from the jar. Just don’t blend up anything hot…the air has nowhere to escape.

*If you don’t do dairy for whatever reason, omit yogurt and add some juice. I like using Odwalla, but any juice would do. I’ve even used almond milk before and it was great! The best part about yogurt is the texture, hence why I prefer a thicker substitute, like Odwalla.

Haley’s Soothing Smoothie Recipe

1 banana, 1 container yogurt (raspberry, plain, greek, whatever is your favorite!), 1 Tbs Flaxseed Meal (optional, I use Bob’s Red Mill brand), 1 cup frozen blueberries,1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup broccoli crowns, 1/3 cup chopped carrot.

Blend banana, yogurt and flaxseed well. Then add carrots and broccoli, blend well. Add the berries and blend again.

The key to this smoothies success is thefrozen berries and the abundance of blending. Nothing ruins a smoothie for me more than a sudden crunchy frozen berry in my mouth. If you’re nervous about adding the veggies, I would encourage you to add the berries first, taste it, and then add veggies slowly, tasting along the way. Broccoli actually adds a very mild nutty flavor to your smoothie, almost unnoticeable! The carrot flavor is mild as well, mostly masked by all the berries. Plus it’s a smart and yummy way to add more veggies to your menu for the day.

Imagine drinking this sitting on your porch with a warm breeze and a good book. I can’t wait for real summer. Happy Blending!