Last month was Fernando’s fourth birthday, so we threw a party for him at home with friends and family. As you know I like to take advantage of these occasions to cook one or two especial treats for my guests. But to be honest is not only for them; entertaining at home is the perfect situation for blog material recipes. The food has to be delicious, easy to prepare and beautifully presented. What you do basically is to serve with one hand and with the other take the pictures. Tit for tat.
Lately I’ve been super busy baking and decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies. I’m thrilled! Yes, apparently my fledgling business is starting to walk, very slowly, but still, slow is better than not at all. Don’t you think?
The down side of this is that I’m left with almost no time for reading, writing and commenting. That’s why you haven’t seen much of me around. But whenever I have a chance I grab the closest electronic device with internet connection and jump into the blogosphere. Today, after finishing and delivering some gorgeous cupcakes (yay!), I am here again with you. Trying to write a minimally decent post that doesn’t drive you to REM sleep too soon. I hope you’re still here, ready for two of the recipes that I served our guests the other day.
Brie with maple syrup, cashews and cranberries
You really don’t need to follow these quantities, simply pour over the cheese the following ingredients. That’s all. But some of you, orderly people, like to see some measures over here, so there you go!
- 1 wedge of brie cheese
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup dried cranberries
Place the brie in a baking dish greased with butter. Make a few cuts in the cheese, without actually opening it entirely. Pour maple syrup over and around the cheese. Sprinkle with cranberries and cashews. Bake at 180 °C (350 °F) for 30 minutes.
Serve with crackers or toasts.
Pizza Pretzel Bites
I found this recipe a couple of years ago at Sweetpeaskitchen.com, these are delicious and pretty easy to make too. Well, at least following my approach: using pre-made pizza dough. I know, I know. It is always better to make our own food and it really doesn’t take that long to make it yourself. But honestly I didn’t have the time or the will for dough making. So here it is the super simplified version of SPK’S recipe. If you want the original recipe, just follow the link.
- Pizza dough (I used 1 kg approx. divided in 4 sheets)
- Pepperoni slices, cut into small pieces
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- 5 quarts water (8 liters, 20 cups)
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
- Coarse sea salt
- Pizza sauce-for dipping
Cut small rectangles of dough.
Stuff with pepperoni and cheese.
Fold over the dough and pinch the ends. Place on a baking sheet and continue until all pretzel bites are stuffed.
Preheat the oven to 215-220 ºC (425 ºF)
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer. Carefully boil pretzels in batches. Boil for about 30 seconds.
Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping.
Recipe adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen