Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bleeding Heart Baked Brie and a Sneak Peek

Here's the thing. I don't usually get into Halloween very much. I dress up my babies, and generally entertain the idea of dressing up myself for about a week before deciding that I'm not that mom after all. But this year we got invited to a no-kids Halloween party, so I decided to drum up something fun (and dress up, too!)

So there was this baked Brie. Holy Hannah. It was so yummy and so simple to make, and so fancy-seeming, and so Halloween-y. So if you are looking for something to sweeten up your spooky night, make this! You will impress even yourself, and eat your daily calorie count in creamy cheese and crusty pastry. I'm sorry. (Only I'm not.)

In other news, here's a little slice of the new blog. I'm still hammering things out and figuring out how to forward things over from this site, but I've committed to a new name and URL, and I'm getting thoroughly -- well, I almost wrote the word "jazzed" and then thought better of it (and now I've written it anyhow... sigh) -- inspired and, you know, pumped! about the whole endeavor. I hope you guys are excited, too!

Won't be too long before I can show you the whole thing! (I hope!) I'm glad to report that it will be a bit simpler and easier to read, and there will be a whole lot less pink. (Which actually is kind of sad, but also a good thing.) So while I'm getting it all together, feel free to let me know if there are any changes you would really love to see. 

Bleeding Heart Baked Brie
from Taste of Home

8 oz. Brie cheese (a round would be ideal, I used a wedge -- still great!)
1 tube refrigerated crescent roll dough
1/3 c. cherry preserves + more as desired (for effect)
1 whole egg
1 tsp. water
crackers of your choice (for serving)

Unroll crescent roll dough, and pinch together seams to make a piece large enough to completely cover the Brie on all sides. (I set my Brie on the dough and made sure that I had full coverage before proceeding.)
In the center of the dough, place 1/4 to 1/3 c. cherry preserves. Set the Brie gently on top, and wrap with the dough, being sure to pinch the seams to seal. You don't want any gaps because then there will likely be oozing. Oozing cheese, oozing cherry preserves... You don't want any of that action.
Carefully flip the dough-covered Brie over so that the seams are on bottom, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water to make an egg wash. Use a pastry brush to brush this mixture on all exposed sides of the dough. (This will give it a beautiful sheen. You could skip it, but I wouldn't.)
Bake at 350º for 20 - 30 minutes, or until golden. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to serving platter.
To serve, take a kitchen knife and cut it into the Brie so that it is firmly planted in there. Spoon on more cherry preserves around the blade of the knife for a little gore-like effect. (You may need to warm them for 20 seconds or so in the microwave to help them get appropriately drippy.) Add your crackers and eat up!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Road Trip Chocolate Chip Cookies {with Rolos + Potato Chips}

A couple years ago, I did these cookies as a guest post for Bintu at Recipes From a Pantry. And this morning I woke up craving them. (Also craving revenge upon the dogs next door, since they are the reason I'm up at 4:30 in the morning...) So I thought you should have the recipe, too. I like to be helpful like that.

This makes a great plain chocolate chip cookie, but it's so much more fun with other treats mixed in. Rolos and potato chips are among my favorite road trip munchies, and I just thought they would make the most incredible cookie combo. And they do, though I say it myself. How can you go wrong, really? Vanilla-scented dough, creamy, chewy, gooey Rolo candies, and a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips, just for kicks and giggles.

We've got the treats. Let's hit the road! Where we going?

Road Trip Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Cook's Illustrated

2 c. + 2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 sticks salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. halved Rolo candies
1/2 c. coarsely chopped, plain potato chips
1/3 c. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and sugars until combined. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until well mixed. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until a stiff dough forms. Gently fold in Rolos, potato chips, and chocolate chips into the dough until evenly distributed.
Shape dough into walnut-sized balls (I use a cookie scoop), and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet (the parchment is important for these, since the caramel can ooze out and stick to the pan terribly).
Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. Be careful not to overbake.
Let cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pasta in Lemon Cream Sauce with Tuna and Peas + An Announcement

I hate to be a tease, so I'll get the announcement portion of this post done right up front.

For a long while -- more than a couple of years -- I have been wanting to make some changes to this site. Major, major changes. And now the wheels are in motion to make those changes a reality. I am very excited about it! I'm talking about a total re-branding of my blog with a new name, new look, and new URL. I'm still working things out, but get excited with me because it's coming!

About this pasta.
I am a pasta addict. Sometimes I try to stay away because, you know, "carbs" and all that. But I love carbs, and there is something so satisfying about a pasta dinner.

This recipe came rising out of that primordial ooze which is called desperation on one of those nights when my dinner plan fell through and I needed something quick using what we had on hand. One lemon, a couple cloves of garlic, a splash of cream, some Parmesan cheese and a can of tuna later and dinner was on the table. I've made it twice more since that first night. Everyone in my family eats it up with a smile, including my sometimes-picky preschooler and even the baby!

The leftovers are even fantastic rewarmed the next day, which is rare in the world of cream-based pasta sauces.

Pasta in Lemon Cream Sauce with Tuna and Peas
adapted from this Rachael Ray recipe

1 lb. pasta
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 - 3/4 c. cream
1 c. grated Parmesan
2 cans tuna, drained
2 c. frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat a large deep skillet over low heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and garlic and sauté.

When the pasta has been cooking about 5 minutes, add lemon juice, a ladle of the cooking water from the pasta, and the cream to the garlic and oil. Raise heat a bit to bring sauce to a low bubble.

Drain pasta when it still has a good bite to it, al dente. Add lemon zest and half of the cheese to the cream sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add pasta, tuna, and peas to the pan. Toss with sauce a minute or 2, allowing it time to soak up the sauce. Stir in remaining cheese and serve.