Apple Pecan Honey Baked Brie

So news…

I gave my ‘notice’ at work last Friday.

Yep, I am going to do the SAHM thing starting in the new year.

I’m giving up my hopes and dreams for a real career just to change diapers and color. HA! Let’s be real here, that’s not the case. But I’ve heard people (errr… men) make those remarks when women decide to stay home with their kids. As well, I’ve heard that it’s lucky that husbands are understanding since staying home is easy and women just screw around home baking and doing crafts with kids. And kids aren’t hard, they just need to watch tv and movies to pass the time. Sure, sure guys.

Just like when a male friend asked how my “baby vacation” was when I went back to work after I had Autumn. Umm, kay…

In reality, I know that there are hard things about working when you have kids and there are hard things about staying home with kids. There always is a sacrifice, but in the end, I felt like I was sacrificing my sanity in running around trying to work, conquer a never ending to do list, and not really getting to see my kids. Plus, let’s not get into all the pumping and driving I was doing to be able to keep my supply up and attempt to get to work or at home on time. Multitasking 24/7!

There will be a lot of things that I will miss about going to work, but I decided that none of it was worth it when it came to being with my kids. Even when I get joy of temper tantrums about where I hung up decorative pink globe lights, like this past weekend.

 

I’ve been reminding myself that kids are kids and they throw fits, and while they make me say “Oh my God!! Enough!” they are over fairly quickly and we can move on to the next thing, like activities that don’t involve throwing dolls at me in the fit of rage. Ugh Kids are the worst. ha!

So yeah, that’s what going on.

That and making this Apple Pecan Honey Baked Brie and trying to resist shoveling it whole in my mouth. Thankfully, I shared with my neighbor so I didn’t eat the whole damn thing.

This is the perfect appetizer to make for Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

The salty brie and the sweet topping is a winning combination of flavors. The honey highlights the apples and the brie. I swear bite after bite will have you more in love than the last. It’s just so awesomely delicious, but what makes it even better is it’s simplicity and it’s wow presentation factor. I mean, come on, nothing it more cheese lover enticing than melty cheese, and the toppings on is as beautiful as it is delicious.

Apple Pecan Honey Baked Brie

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup diced apple (I used Gala)
  • 1/2 Cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 Cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 ounce wheel of Brie

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or use a shallow oven safe serving dish.
  2. While
  3. Place brie on the baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the brie is warmed through and starts to ooze out a bit.
  4. Top with the warm apple and pecan topping.
  5. Serve with crackers, apples, and bread.

 

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Honey Roasted Carrots

post from 11/23/15, pictures updated 11/6/17

Hello, Monday. We meet again…

It’s the 3rd Monday of the Month so it’s time for my monthly Secret Recipe Club post. Yes!

It’s crazy how quickly the month goes by from posts to posts. It goes by extra super duper quick when you’re super busy with work travel, deadlines, a sick kid, being sick yourself, and a little someone turning 2. Sob!!!

But here we go again.

I think I picked an awesome recipe this month too!!

It was hard work narrowing down to a few recipes from Sue’s blog, Palateble Pastime. I enjoyed going through years of recipes. She really has a wondeful arsenal of recipes! Her Chile-Bourbon Steak Marinade, Apple Spice Dump Cake, and Sweet Potato Biscuits were a few of the recipes that I stared to consider making.

 

The Honey Roasted Carrots were an easy choice from me when I picked up a BIG jar of Raw Wildflower Honey from Boston Honey Company when I went to Boston Public Market this past weekend. As soon as I picked it up I knew I had to make the carrots I was toying around with. Yes Yes!

Tender roasted carrots with a kiss of honey. Side dish perfection.

The recipe was so simple and good that I only made 1 change to it. I do enjoy rosemary but I like thyme like 100x more so I used that instead. I’m sure that the carrots would have been awesome with the rosemary that Sue used, but I have to say my thyme infused carrots were da-bomb.

You’ll want to add these to your Thanksgiving dinner. Shoot any dinner will be better with these Honey Roasted Carrots!

Honey Roasted Carrots

Makes 4 servings*

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of carrots
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  2. Peel then cut the carrots into 1/4″ thick slices on an angle.
  3. Coat the carrots with the oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme leaves.
  4. Place on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast carrots for 30-35 minutes or until almost as tender as you like.
  6. Drizzle with honey. Roast again for about another 3-5 minutes. Serve hot.

*This can very easily be doubled or tripled to make a greater serving for a crowd for your holiday hosting needs

Adapted from Palatable Pastime

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Can someone find my mojo please?

I feel like I’ve lost it. No, I definitely lost it.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread_01

And it’s not just related to the blog but to everything. Cooking, cleaning, crafting, thinking, etc. I thought I’d have the ‘nesting’ bug by now but nothing yet. Barely even an itch to get all nesty. I mean I have plans to paint & decorate The Bean’s room but it’s still all just chaos now with us dumping stuff in there as we get goodies. As well, the massive rabbits’ cage is still in the room, but first gotta get their spot ready in the basement (it’s finished like a den- we’re not just stuffing them in the basement and forgetting about them!) Either way, I can’t get my head around the list of crap to tackle to make all the dominoes fall into place to create a nice little nursery or meal or garden or blah.

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Which is exactly why making a new recipe not related to a Thirsty Thursday or Sprint Cup Snacks post is a big shocker. But I had a pile of zucchini and I couldn’t let myself just let it go to waste while I was busy not eating it for dinner since take out at the office for working late, vendor dinners, and mac and cheese with fruit are typical dinners for me lately. I do eat well I just don’t have any interest in actually cooking. Cool.

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Well, I managed to get my act together and make this ah-mazing bread. It is totally healthy too since there is zucchini in there. Right? That is what I kept telling myself as I took sliver after sliver off of this bread.

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Even if you don’t have zucchini on hand that you need to use up I suggest you run out and get some so you can make this really rich, moist bread. You won’t be sorry!

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 Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Makes 1 loaf (8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″)

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed on a colander over a bowl or sink to release some of its moisture
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, save the 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top of bread

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Incorporate the salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, and flour. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the reserved 1/4 cup of chocolate chips on top of the batter.
  4. Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until the loaf tests done when you insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf and it is clean upon it’s removal.
  5. Let the bread cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack. Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped, at room temperature.

Slightly adapted from Recipe Diaries 

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken- SRC

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Every month there I have Pricer pick out a recipe he would want me to make for my Secret Recipe Club post. Sometimes I give him a few suggests or restictions, like I’m not feeling like making cookie or pizza then, but other than that he gets pick. I love having him involved and I love to see what intersts him.

Well, this month I sent him over to check out the recipe index for Erin’s blog called the The Spiffy Cookie and he picked her Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken. It sounded good to me so I was looking forward to when I’d make it. We love to get Chinese food take out but 99% of the time I order shrimp as I do not like the quality of chicken dishes at Chinese food places so this would give me the chance to have some good Honey Sesame Chicken. Plus much cheaper, fresher, and healthier than take out.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken 01 Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken 02

This recipe was so super easy. There was very little prep and active cook time and the rest of it was just letting it do its own thing in the slow cooker.  I got it all started by mixing up the sauce, adding it to the chicken, and let it be for about 3 hours. Around that time I cut up my brocolli and got my rice going in my rice cooker. When I needed to take the chicken out I added some corn stach to the sauce to thicken it and while I was cutting up the chicken I added my broccoli in my steamer basket to my rice cooker. Perfect for a great Sunday night dinner. Plus, I had very little clean up which is always a win as well.

I just about made the recipe exactly as Erin wrote it, with the exception that i steamed the broccoli instead of sauteeing it, and it came out exactly as described. Don’t you just love when that happens?! Plus it was super tasty. Overall, I think it was a little sweet to me but I typically LOVE really spicy Chinese food. If you do then maybe you can increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add some Siracha to the sauce. While this is a slow cooker meal I think it can be converted into a week night super meal by cutting up the chicken and cooking it in the sauce in a skillet while you cooke the rice.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken 03 Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken 04

I only wish I made a double batch so I would have had leftovers for all week. This def beats spending too much money on a sandwich or salad for lunch.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1.25 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, pressed or grated
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup dry brown/white rice
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb broccoli florets

Directions:

  1. Put the chicken breasts in crock pot.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, and redpepper flakes. Pour over chicken in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook the chicken on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  5. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet until hot. Add broccoli and saute 5-6 minutes or until cooked but tender. Or steam the broccoli instead of sauteeing.
  6. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Whisk the cornstarch into liquid in the crock pot. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.
  7. Shred chicken or cut into bite size pieces, then return to pot and coat with sauce. Serve chicken over rice with broccoli, garnish with sesame seeds.

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Thirsty Thursday: Raspberry Honey Bellini

raspberry honey bellini

What are your New Year’s plans? We are planning on enjoying a dinner out and Boston’s First Night Activities. We typically stay in to relax and enjoy some fondue or sushi but are hoping to go if the weather holds up. I’m hoping we can get some tacos at The Rattlesnake or some dim sum in Chinatown. Plus, looking forward to checking out the ice sculptures along Boylston and the fireworks on Boston Harbor.

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Discoll’s reached out to me so I could have some fun using their berries to create something to celebrate the holidays. They have the freshest berries that are enjoyable on their own or incorporated into recipes. I knew immediately that I wanted to use their raspberries since they are always so fresh. Plus after we once went raspberry picking I’ve had great appreciation for just how hard it is to pick and transport raspberries as they are just so very delicate. So I started to brainstorm how to use their raspberries in a fun celebration drink to ring the new year, or just drink at any time.

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A bellini is a cocktail of Italian heritage that was created by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. The hue reminded him of a piece of artwork from Giovanni Bellini, which is how it got the name Bellini. While a classic bellini uses Persecco and peach puree, I decided that swapping out the peach for raspberry. Then I added some honey to sweeten up the raspberries and the dry Persecco. Refreshing to sip on to ring in the new year or to enjoy the day while making a great homemade brunch.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? Staying in or going out?

Raspberry Honey Bellini

Makes 6 cocktails

Ingredients

  • 12 oz fresh raspberries, 12 raspberries reserved
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 bottle (750-ml) chilled Prosecco

Process

  1. To make the puree: blend the washed raspberries with the honey. Strain the puree through a sieve to remove the seeds.
  2. To make the cocktail: pour 2 tablespoons of the raspberries puree into the champagne flute then fill with Prosecco. Float 2 raspberries in the glass prior to serving.