Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Remember when Pinterest first came out and you could spend hours and hours looking at pictures of things you wanted to eat or wear? You could scroll endlessly through a carefully curated stream of delicious or stylish photos and never get bored. Those were the good ol’ days.

Now some mysterious algorithm decides what I see which is mostly ads. It’s like it doesn’t even matter who you follow anymore. You just see the same 10 ads over and over again. I still use Pinterest constantly to save things I find on the internet, and my board are carefully crafted, but I hardly ever spend time just scrolling anymore. 

Pinterest also used to be a great place for bloggers to share their work with a lot of people for free. But all those ads you’re seeing mean there’s no longer space for bloggers unless they can pay. It was at the moment of this change that I lost all hope that my blog would ever be even moderately popular. C’est la vie. 

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

All this is to say that this recipe comes from a moment when Pinterest absolutely saved the day. I went to a party with a wheel of Camembert and no idea what I was going to do with it. A quick Pinterest search brought me to this flavor combo. My hosts had everything I needed to make this happen, and it was a hit.

Garlic & Thyme Camembert is really one of those non-recipes. Basically, you remove the plastic from the cheese, put it back in its box, give some cute cross hatch cuts, sprinkle on some flavor, and stick it in the oven until it gets oozy. Serve it with some toasty bread, and you’re golden. No need to tell your party guests how simple it was. 

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Change is inevitable. Luckily, we can always count on cheese to be totally awesome. 

Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert
Serves 4
Garlic & Thyme Baked Camembert is simply delicious.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 wheel Camembert cheese
  2. 1 clove garlic, minced
  3. 1 or 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  4. 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (this is the time to use the tasty stuff)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Remove the wrapping from your cheese and place it back in the box with the lid off. Place it on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Use a sharp knife to cut into the top of your cheese in a diamond pattern.
  3. Sprinkle your minced garlic and your thyme over the top of your cheese. I've used both fresh and dry thyme, and both ways were great.
  4. Finally, drizzle some olive oil over the top. Don't really worry about measuring anything. Trust your instincts.
  5. Place your topped cheese in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until it's oozing with awesomeness.
  6. Serve warm with crostini or crackers.
Notes
  1. If you want to make your own crostini to serve with this, simply slice a baguette into 1/2 inch slices and arrange them on a baking sheet. Spray or drizzle them with some olive oil. Pop them in the oven for about five minutes a side while your cheese is doing its thing. Just keep a watch over them until they're as golden as you like.
Adapted from What's Gaby Cooking
http://awesomeon20.com/
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I like pumpkin, and I don’t care who knows it. If that makes me basic, I’m totally fine with that. The last thing I want to be is a Kardashian. Too much makeup, who knows how much plastic surgery, and endless self-worship? Is that what we’re considering interesting these days? Sign me up for not that. 

Just leave me alone with my pumpkin spice chai, my Isadora Duncan scarves and my Joni Mitchell albums and let me do my YouTube yoga in peace. I’ll be as basic as I want to be. Except now that I think about it, I might even be too weird to be basic. Can you still be basic if you’re jamming to the Flaming Lips on the subway on your way to theatre jazz class at the age of practically 40? I don’t know. Just give me a damn muffin.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Guys, these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are ridiculous. They’re a triple threat. You’ve got your moist, sweet, and spicy pumpkin muffin action, then there’s the sweet and crunchy crumb topping, and hidden inside is a hit of creamy sweet cream cheese that just takes it right over the top. 

All this awesomeness means there are a few components to bring together which might make it seems a bit fiddly, but I assure you, it’s all quite simple. Maybe don’t attempt this before you’ve had your first cup of tea or coffee, but if you give yourself some time, you can definitely accomplish this. Also, don’t panic if some of your cream cheese erupts out while they’re in the oven. Everything’s gonna be fine.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Look kids, just be whoever you are, and do whatever you want to do. And eat pumpkin cream cheese muffins whenever you can.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Serves 12
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are a totally awesome triple threat.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
3 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
3 hr
For the filling
  1. 4 ounces cream cheese
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
For the muffins
  1. 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  3. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 cup sugar
  9. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  10. 150 ml vegetable oil
For the topping
  1. 1/4 cup sugar
  2. 2-1/2 tablespoons flour
  3. 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 2 tablespoons cold butter, in chunks
For the filling
  1. Mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar in whatever way you want until smooth. I used an electric hand mixer to bring it together quickly.
  2. Pour your cream cheese mixture onto some plastic wrap and carefully mold it into a cylinder about an inch and a half in diameter. Carefully wrap up your cream cheese log in the plastic plus a layer of foil. Stash this in the freezer for about two hours.
For the muffins
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line your muffin cups with your favorite paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Give it a whisk to combine.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until fully combined. Turn your mixer down to low, and slowly add in the dry ingredients until just combined.
For the topping
  1. Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl by squishing it all together with a pastry cutter, fork, or clean fingers. You want a rough, oatmeal like texture. Stash it in the fridge until you're ready for it.
  2. To assemble your muffins, start by adding about a tablespoon of muffin batter to the bottom of each muffin cup. Spread it a bit to make sure that the bottom of each cup is completely covered.
  3. Next, take your cream cheese log out of the freezer and cut it into 12 even discs. Place on cold cream cheese disc into each muffin cup.
  4. Evenly divide the remaining batter between the 12 cups. Try to completely cover the cream cheese if you can.
  5. Finally, evenly distribute your topping over each muffin. It might seem like too much topping. Trust me, it's not.
  6. Pop your muffins into the oven for about 25 minutes. Give them a little more time than you normally would because you've put something frozen in the center. It's tricky to test them because of the filling. Use your baking instincts. 25 minutes was perfect for me.
  7. Allow the muffins to cool a little bit longer than you might normally so that you don't burn your face off on molten cream cheese. Because of the pumpkin, these stay moist for days.
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Adapted from Annie's Eats
http://awesomeon20.com/
Explore: Bruges

Explore: Bruges

Explore: Bruges

By far my favorite place on our travels this summer was Bruges. I’ve been wanting to go there ever since I watched the dark comedy In Bruges. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you do. Don’t get offended. Just laugh. And then check out the setting because it’s gorgeous.

Explore: Bruges

Bruges is every bit as magical as the film makes it seem. It’s so adorably historic it almost felt unreal. Even the walk into the center of town from our cheap hotel near the train station was full of fascinating little details and intriguing alleyways. I wanted to stay forever.

Explore: Bruges

Because it’s so iconic in the film, we had to climb to the top of the bell tower. It’s quite steep and windy, and while going up was a definite cardio challenge, it was going back down that was actually pretty scary. If you’re nervous at all about heights, you’ll definitely need to practice your deep breathing here. I recommend going there first thing in the morning before it gets busy. The spiral stairs aren’t really wide enough for two-way traffic, so you don’t won’t to fight the crowds trying to get back down without falling. There are some cool displays of the bells on the way up, and the views from the top are really cool.

Explore: Bruges

We also went on a canal boat ride which was a great way to see some sites a bit further out from the center of town without having to walk miles and miles. (We still walked miles and miles, but we’re just weird.) 

Explore: Bruges

There are some extravagant old churches to explore, each with varying levels of what you can see without paying. There are also quite a few museums, but they’re all paid admission. We like to keep it cheap, so we chose the bell tower and canal boat as our paid attractions for the day. I definitely want to go back and check out some different stuff, though.

Basically, the whole place is like a living museum. The architecture was completely different from anything I had ever experienced. As always, I loved just wandering around and looking up and all the buildings and houses and signs and skyline that make Bruges so unique.

Explore: Bruges

We did go wandering and found a giant windmill which was pretty awesome. 

Explore: Bruges

The major drawback to Bruges is that the restaurants and cafes are all a bit pricey. Seeing as how their economy mainly relies on tourism, it’s not that easy to find a cheap place to eat, unless you want to go all the way to Belgium just to end up at McDonald’s. I’m not at all above eating frites or waffles and ice cream from street vendors. It’s the way to go in my opinion.

Explore: Bruges

Bruges has my heart. I would go back there in a minute. I could just walk up and down every street for hours on end just getting lost in my own imagination. Get there and fall in love.

Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day
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