Recently I was lucky enough to receive a round of brie from the lovely people at Ile de France. I, being a cheese lover, jumped at the opportunity.

I knew as soon as I got the email from them that I wanted to bake it in puff pastry. I wasn’t sure where to go with it from there though. I went through a lot of recipes and most of them included nuts and dried fruit. Easy enough but I definitely wanted to add some sweetness.

I ended up using butter, brown sugar, toasted walnuts, and dried cherries. This was the perfect combination! Everything worked well together and the walnuts and cherries added great texture to the cheese.

It turned out to be such a simple little snack but I know it could impress a crowd. Both my boys loved it which was the last thing I expected!

Baked Brie
Ingredients
  • 1 round of Ile de France brie
  • 1 sheet puff pastry thawed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup walnuts toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 400.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add brown sugar and stir until melted. Stir in walnuts and cherries. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool in refrigerator.
  3. Unroll puff pastry and place brie round in center. Top with cooled walnut mixture and fold pastry over top. Gently press seals to secure. Combine egg and water, brush over pastry.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned. Lower oven to 325 and bake for an extra 20 minutes.
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Normally about this time I’d be getting ready to post my Tuesdays with Dorie post but I realized something recently. When I was getting all my supplies for last week’s coconut butter thins I realized that TWD has become a chore for me. I’ve been around since pretty much the beginning, well over a year, and it was so much fun in the beginning. Every week seemed like a challenge, something fun to do and then we’d all post and it was such a tiny group that everyone had time to make thoughtful comments on everyone else’s post. It was like a family of Dorie fanatics. But now, with hundreds of members, it just isn’t the same. I stuck around because it really is an amazing group, but I just don’t need the stress anymore. Plus my URL never got changed on the blogroll so it’s like i haven’t been a member for a few months anyway. ;)

So.

I did a Dorie recipe today because I wanted to. I originally wanted our favorite banana bundt cake but then I saw the chocolate-chocolate chunk muffins and had to make them. These so aren’t something I’d pick out but they just sounded so good today.

And they were. So rich and moist. Mmm. I used milk chocolate instead of bittersweet so they’re super sweet and delicious.  I’m definitely going to send them to work with hubs tomorrow or I bet I’ll eat every last one of them.

Oh, one more thing. I joined another weekly group. It’s small and it’s a book I’m not familiar with. I can’t wait!

Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.
  2. Melt the butter and half the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; or do this in a microwave. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough — a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.
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Oh Greek food. We love it. When I was pregnant, we went to this local Greek place called The Purple Cafe at least once a week and every November we go downtown for Greek Fest mainly just to eat. I always get the same thing… falafel and hummus. Because I really am that boring.

A few years ago a friend took me to another Greek place (I swear Mobile has more Greek restaurants than anything) and she just raved and raved about the chicken shawarma. I tried it, loved it, and have been wanting it since then. I was just too scared to make it.

It was so easy though. I hardest part was forking over the $8 for a jar of tahini which by the way, looks absolutely disgusting in the jar. Like a super runny natural peanut butter. Gross.

The sauce was awesome! As I was making it, I was really wishing I’d bought a cucumber so I could make a tzatziki sauce but once it sat for awhile it was delicious! I totally expected my husband to turn his nose up at it, but he slathered his pitas in it!

I made mine kind of like a salad on top of a pita, husband stuffed his pitas, and Landon ate all the components separately. There’s no wrong way to do it!

PS, whole wheat pita recipe coming soon!

Chicken Shawarma
from Cooking Light
Ingredients
Chicken:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 16 (3-inch) strips
Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt such as Fage
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 6-inch pitas
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 8 1/4-inch-thick tomato slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. 2. To prepare chicken, combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss well to coat. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.
  3. 3. To prepare sauce, combine yogurt and next 4 ingredients (through 1 garlic clove), stirring with a whisk.
  4. 4. Thread 2 chicken strips onto each of 8 (12-inch) skewers. Place kebabs on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done.
  5. 5. Place pitas on grill rack; grill 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted. Place 1 pita on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1/4 cup lettuce and 2 tomato slices. Top each serving with 4 chicken pieces; drizzle each serving with 2 tablespoons sauce.

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It’s Barefoot Blogger time again! This time the recipe was chosen by the amazing Anne Strawberry. She chose Ina’s Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart recipe and I have to tell you, I almost sat it out. I don’t like tomatoes or onions, two of the main ingredients, but Anne is one of my favorite food bloggers so I couldn’t skip her week!

I did cheat a little. I used the precut circles of puff pastry which worked just fine. I also used diced roma tomatoes instead of big slices because I can handle roma’s most of the time.

Ya’ll… I cannot even tell you how good these were. My husband and I literally fought over the last one! The crispy puff pastry made me totally forget about my dislike of tomatoes and onions. And the goat cheese… yum!

I cannot wait to make these again. I think they’re perfect for a dinner party or anytime you want to impress someone. I wish I had some now!

Go visit Anne Strawberry to get the recipe!

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I love couscous.  I mean, really love it. And what’s not to love? It’s pasta, it’s quick, and there are millions of things you can do to it. But you know what?

Neither of my boys will eat it.

I know! They’re nuts.

But that means that I can fill it with whatever veggies I want and use spices that they wouldn’t normally touch. This dish is pretty much just that. It has carrots, peas, and zucchini as well as saffron and cilantro. It’s amazing, ya’ll.

Saffron Couscous with Zucchini Ribbons
from Cooking Light
Ingredients
  • 4 zucchini about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion about 1 small
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot about 1 small
  • 1 14-ounce can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked couscous
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave zucchini into ribbons; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and carrot; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, saffron, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous and peas. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini ribbons, and sauté 1 minute or until tender. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve over couscous mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro.

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