Baked Brie

Baked Brie is usually either baked covered in puff pastry dough, or baked naked and drizzled with honey. We cover ours in pie dough. It’s simple to do, we can make it ourselves, and if we’ve had the foresight to pick up a small wheel of brie (which we often do) this becomes party of a pantry meal. My 12-year-old insists that when she goes away to college, sometimes she can see this being her dinner (maybe with some fruit, hopefully). We like to do this occasionally as a part of our weekly Snack Plate tradition.

Baked Brie

Ingredients

1 4 – 6oz wheel of brie cheese
1/2 recipe of Wesson Oil Pie Crust

Directions

Make the Wesson Oil Pie Crust as directed. Roll out the resulting ball of dough between two sheets of wax paper. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as you can get it.

With a sharp knife, cut off most of the rind from the cheese. Brie rind is edible, so you can skip this step, but leaving the rind on will prevent the cheese from getting as gooey as you might want it.

Remove the top layer of wax paper covering the dough. Place the entire wheel of cheese on one end of the dough. Using the wax paper to support the delicate dough, flip the other end of the dough over on top of the cheese. Gently press down from the top where the dough meets the cheese. Cut off the extra dough with a sharp knife. Using a fork, crimp the edges of the dough together to create a seal.

Bake in an oven-safe ramekin or on an oven-safe plate at 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes. Serve with crackers and fruit either as an appetizer, or as a part of Snack Plate.

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread is hard to have done in time for breakfast, since it has to rise for 45 minutes. If you plan ahead and make it the day before, however, it’s very nice sliced and toasted the next morning. It has the nice, open texture of real English muffins, but having shaped and cooked English muffins, I can tell you that baking a single loaf is much easier. We usually use animal milk in this recipe, cow’s milk or goat’s milk, but you could probably substitute an alternative milk like almond milk if you wanted to. In that case, you would want to add an extra bit of fat to keep the texture of the bread nice and soft.

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding is one of those recipes that make me wonder at the existence of mixes. The ingredients are everything I have on hand anyway, and it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes from start to finish. I usually make this dairy-free, using vanilla almond milk, but you could totally just use regular milk if that’s what you prefer. It does call for a bit of margarine or butter, but if you are eating dairy-free, chances are you have some dairy-free margarine already on hand. The pudding just needs an extra bit of fat to make it creamy. For vanilla pudding, just leave out the cocoa and add an extra teaspoon of vanilla.

Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C cocoa powder
4 C milk (vanilla almond milk works well)
4 Tbs margarine or butter
2 tsp vanilla

Directions

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the milk as one continuous stream. Place over medium heat, continue whisking and cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the margarine and vanilla.

Chill before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad works best, in our opinion, with a lighter, less hearty variety of kale. We grow our own in our garden. Our favorite variety for salads is called Red Winter. If you are buying your kale in a grocery store or farmer’s market, look for delicate, tender leaves. The salad has mango in it, which gives it a sweet note. As a result, it pairs especially well with something a bit spicy, such as Seared Chipotle Shrimp.

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade makes a pitcher-full so it’s fun to do for parties, barbecues and picnics. Depending on the time of year, I have used both fresh strawberries and frozen with excellent results. If I’m making this for kids, I blend it until it’s completely smooth. Children are notorious for being picky about suspicious chunks in their drinks. Adults usually enjoy a bit of texture. The mint is just a garnish so I wouldn’t use that unless I already had some.

Steamed Edamame

Steamed Edamame isn’t something we have used a recipe for in several years, but I can see how if it isn’t already part of your repertoire, starting with some specific directions, with pictures, could be helpful. Not everyone knows what it is, what it looks like, or what to do with it. If you are one of those people, I definitely recommend that you give it a try. Edamame is one of few vegetables that isn’t mushy out of the freezer, and served with a nice flaked sea salt, it’s downright addictive. We always have some on hand for quick sides for grilled meats, such as Seoul-ful Chicken.

Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits

Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits are tender, light little dinner biscuits. Being savory, they make a nice addition to soup. These were a regular part of our menu until we started limiting cow’s milk dairy. These are another that I don’t know if they keep well because we’ve never had any leftover; they are delicious. We’ve never regularly kept buttermilk in the house, but we used to keep powdered buttermilk on hand for recipes like this one.