Mini Nutty Brie Pockets

I’m sure I have said this before, but I’m not a sugar and sweets kind of girl.  That being said, every once in a while it just has to be done.  These little pockets are filled with fig and nutty sweetness and a hint of salt from brie melted in the middle.   I made these pockets with nuts, dried fruits, and minimal butter/sugar to add a little nutritional value.  You can swap out for different nuts, fruits, even spread to whatever you may have on hand.  I would love to make them again with apricot, honey, and walnuts!  The pockets can be made any size you would like; personally, I don’t like cutting into a big gooey wheel leaving the cheese to spill all over, so I made these mini (3 bites) size to avoid such troubles.

2014-01-19 14.16.37They turned out even better than I expected and were easy to prepare in the morning before guests arrived.  I made them up until the point of baking, then put them in the fridge until 30 minutes before I was ready to bake, serving immediately.  You could make them as far as a day in advance before baking, just be sure to keep in the fridge overnight.  This only makes 8 pockets, which was not enough for our group, you may want to double it!

Ingredients:

3 oz of double cream brie cheese
1 pre-made Pillsbury pie crust
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup of diced figs
1/4 cup of craisins
1/3 cup of chopped pecans
1 Tbsp butter
Fig spread/jam (I prefer with seeds)
1 egg
1 Tbsp large grain sugar

Directions:

1. In a small sauce pan add chopped nuts, brown sugar, figs, craisins, and butter.  Stir well and cook on medium heat until butter is melted and figs/craisins are soft, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

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2. Roll out the pie crusts to be slightly thinner than packaged and even, cut into 3×3 inch squares.

3. In the center of each square place a small piece of brie (rind intact), put a small spoon of fig spread on top of cheese, and a large spoon of the nut and fig mix on top.

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4. I didn’t take a picture of this, but bring the four corners up over the cheese pile and press together. Seal the folds by pinching as able and put on baking sheet seam side up.  They don’t have to look perfect, it’s almost better that way.

5. Scramble the egg and brush on top of all of the brie pies, sprinkle with large grain sugar lightly.

6. Bake at 350 until golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

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Roasted Sweet Momma Squash

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Sometimes a side calls for a flair of sweet instead of savory.  Today I made a marinated pork tenderloin and decided it was just the dish for a little touch of sweetness.  I found an adorable squash at the farmers market last month, and as the season goes on I have decided to remove it from the decoration basket to serve for dinner.  It is called a sweet momma squash, looks like a larger and more plump acorn squash…unfortunately I did not take a picture before cutting it.  It tastes similar to acorn squash and has the same texture qualities.

Ingredients:

1 sweet momma squash (or acorn squash)
2 Tbsp  brown sugar
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp coconut milk

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Directions:

1. Cut squash in half and remove seeds.  Slice into wedges 1-2 inches thick.

2. Spray lightly with olive oil and roast for 10 minutes in the oven at 400 F.

3. Remove from oven and coat with mixture of brown sugar, melted butter, and coconut milk on both cut sides.  Return to oven and roast for another 10-15 minutes until tender.

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The skins of the squash got really tender so I ate the whole thing.  If the skins don’t get soft enough or it weirds you out too much, just go for the fleshy center .

Enjoy!

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

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When I think of ham, I think of large holiday gatherings with family and friends.  Making a ham is easy, healthy, affordable, and a perfect gateway meat to leftover meals.  In addition to a delicious meal, I find making a large roast on the weekend can be a huge help to week night meals.  This weekend we made a ham, taking care to save the bone to use a few days later for split pea soup.

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Ingredients:

– 1 fully cooked bone in half ham, 7-8lbs

– 25-30 whole cloves

– 1/4 cup brown sugar

– 2 Tbsp mustard

– 2 Tbsp (+) fresh lemon juice

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Directions:

1. To prepare ham, place cut side down in roasting pan and score through fat and skin.  Make cross-hatch lines about 1 inch apart, taking care to not cut down into the meat.

2. In the center of cross-hatch marks, pierce with whole clove.  I do this to the entire exposed surface of the ham.

3. Cover ham for the first half of cooking with foil.  Bake at 325 for 2-3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (as long as the ham was purchased fully cooked).  If you are cooking a ham that was not fully cooked, you will want to cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

4. When there are about 30 minutes left in cooking time, drizzle ham with a glaze made of mixed brown sugar, mustard, and lemon juice.

2013-09-29 17.52.295. Let the ham rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!