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
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?