Monday, June 15, 2015

Brown Sugar-Dijon Brie

My daughter and I recently co-hosted a Pampered Chef party. If you've ever done this, you know that one of your choices as a hostess is what kind of party you'd like to have. Depending on the consultant, you can choose to do a brunch, a wedding shower, or, like Carrie and I, a wine and cheese party (or punch and cheese party, if you prefer!).

We had a great time, with babies outnumbering guests (which is always the best way to party, right?), and we all fell in love with this recipe.

Brown Sugar-Dijon Brie


1/3 - 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 - 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 4-inch round (8 oz) Brie cheese with rind, at room temperature
1 loaf French baguette
Olive oil

Super, super easy instructions:

Preheat your oven to 425°.

Coarsely chop  the sliced almonds, reserving a Tablespoon or two for garnish.

Mix the chopped almonds, brown sugar and Dijon mustard in a bowl.

Cut the brie in half horizontally, then place one half of the cheese, cut side up, onto the center of a round baking stone or pizza pan. Next, top with half of the almond/sugar mixture and add the second half of the brie, cut side up.

Top this with the remaining almond/sugar mixture, and sprinkle with the reserved sliced almonds.

Don't forget the baguette! Slice the bread on a diagonal into about 24 thin slices - approximately 1/4" to 1/2" thick. Arrange the slices around the brie. Using an oil spritzer (which I don't have) or a basting brush, spray or dab the bread with olive oil.

Place your pan into the oven and bake at 425° for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the brie begins to soften and the bread slices are beginning to turn golden brown.

Once you remove the pan from the oven, let it stand for 5 minutes (I can never wait!).

On the hot baking stone, the brie continues to melt, oozing goodness all over the place! Use a knife or spreader to spread some cheese on a slice of bread and enjoy. Mmm-MMM!

For more great recipes and a browse through Pampered Chef products, you can visit our consultant's website. Her name is Nikol, and she'll be glad to have you stop by!

While you're enjoying your brie, I'll catch you up on our Black Hills weather. We went into spring with drought conditions. We had a few major fires in April, and dreaded a long, hot, dry summer with water and fire restrictions.

Not a good scenario when your area's largest industry is tourism! Who wants to go camping when your can't have a campfire?

But then we had a blizzard on Mother's Day weekend, and it's been raining off and on ever since.

My dear husband and I took a day-trip to Wyoming on Saturday. Eastern Wyoming is even more arid than this side of the Hills, but they've also been getting more than their share of rain.

I couldn't believe how green everything is!

We ran into this traffic jam just west of Sundance, but all in all, it was a wonderful drive.

When we headed east toward the Hills again, it was with a twinge of regret, because "Once you've caught the lure of it, you're homesick 'til you're back in Wyoming..."

Sourdough, part 2

And now the part you've all been waiting for - the Sourdough update.

Well, everything I read said that sourdough starter needs to be kept between 70° and 75°, but we had two unusually hot days last Monday and Tuesday, and my kitchen was hovering between 80° and 85°.

Here's what my sourdough starter looked like on day 3 (you may want to avert your eyes!):

I threw this batch out and started another one over the weekend. We're supposed to have seasonal temperatures, so I have hope!

Did any of you try the sourdough starter? How did it turn out?


  1. That traffic jam, though!! Haaahaaaa!
    And your sourdough starter is doing great! As a science experiment. I haven't tried it but I'm watching very closely. Thanks for showing us every step of your journey. Maybe if I take notes and i try it, I can avoid the fuzzy stage.

    1. I'm hoping I avoid the fuzzy stage this time, too. And you're right - it really is a science experiment. When you think about all the bacteria, mold spores and yeast floating around in the air, how do you catch the good ones and avoid the bad ones?

      Too bad I'm the only one still homeschooling in the family :)

  2. So how on earth did the pioneers manage to get a sourdough starter started since they couldn't control the weather any more than you can? Mind you, if you hadn't shown that picture I might have thought the furry stuff was part of the process and tried to duplicate it. :-)

    This brie recipe looks delish -- and pretty simple considering it's so exotic looking. I'll have to make it for my next pot luck and won't everyone think I've gone gourmet?

    Oh -- and I've never been to a Pampered Chef party. Have heard of them, of course, but I think they're out of my price range...or at least what I'm willing to pay for kitchen stuff. I'd rather spend money on books!

    1. I wonder the same thing about the pioneers, Kav. But I remember reading about neighbors sharing starter, and cooks guarding their starter with their lives - maybe it was because it was so hard to get one started!

      And that's the same reason why I like this dish so much - it looks like something out of a magazine or off of Pinterest. And so easy to make!

      You're right about the Pampered Chef stuff being pricey. What has convinced me to keep buying from them, though, is the quality. I bought a vegetable peeler from them 25 years ago that's still going strong. The baking stone I used for this dish is from them, too (a gift for my kitchen from me to celebrate my last contract). I find myself using it all the time - mostly because it's so easy to clean and looks good.

      But it isn't for everyone, and books are ALWAYS a good purchase :)

  3. Must Have Brie. Will Work For Brie. Love sweetened, nutty brie!!!!! I could eat it by the spoons full. I'm ridiculous!

    I love the traffic jam! I often encounter that very thing in New York City, so I understand the level of patience you need when caught like this! :)

    I was in Nebraska last week and it was green, too. We're also green because we're actually having spring rains. Blame El Nino or La Nina or shifting jet stream, or bi-decade cycles, I don't care... it's kind of fun to see everything green and not here that the whole world is in drought and doomed because my cows burp and well... you know.... :)

    Gorgeous country, Jan!!!

    KAV.... Yes. Books are better! :) I might have an ulterior motive for saying that, of course!!!!

    1. Yes, lovin' the Brie!

      You were in Nebraska last week? And I was in Pennsylvania last month. We just pass each other coming and going to neighboring states :)

      And it's so good to see the green. Someone around here actually said that maybe we've had enough rain. Hunh uh. Take it when it comes and rejoice at the green growth and lush gardens!

      I'm so glad you understand about the traffic jams, too. I mean, there was someone else on our road! But they whizzed past so we soon got rid of them, and they didn't scare away the antelope grazing by the side of the road.

  4. Just learned that I like brie. Will try this.