Brie En Croute | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brie En Croute

Brie En Croute | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do versus what I should do. There are a lot of work stresses that can’t be avoided. I need the paycheck, so there’s nothing I can do about it. But in the rest of my life, I want to stop putting unnecessary pressure on myself. I want to feel relaxed and happy. I wonder if I can set aside my need to be perfect and productive and just let myself do what feels good. 

I mean, eventually I’ll have to clean the bathroom and do the laundry, but there are things I tell myself that I need to do that can probably just be set aside until I’m in the mood and it feels right. But there’s also a part of me that feels ridiculous just typing these words. Relaxed and happy? That’s for lazy people. What’s the right way to go? I’m asking for a friend. 

Brie En Croute | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I can tell you that what I almost always want to eat is cheese wrapped in carbs. Brie En Croute is where it’s at. Butter, flaky puff pastry wrapped around gooey brie filled with something slightly sweet and something crunchy. It’s pretty much pure heaven.

A recipe is not necessary here. Get yourself a wheel of brie and some store-bought puff pastry. Check your puff pastry package for the recommended oven setting. Place your brie in the middle of your pastry, dig around in your fridge for some fancy jam, or not so fancy but not super sweet, then go to  your pantry and grab some nuts. Pile these up on top of your cheese. 

Next, fold the pastry over your cheese and make sure it’s sealed up completely, not like mine in the photo. Brush it with a beaten egg and bake for about 20 minutes or until your pastry is puffed and golden. Serve it warm and gooey with some crackers.

Brie En Croute | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I know what I need, and I know what I want. Here’s to finding balance and eating more cheese.

Awesome in January
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Top 16 of 2016 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Top 16 of 2016

Top 16 of 2016 | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

2016 was a battle. I feel beaten and battered and completely exhausted. I’m digging deep and finding hope for the future. Maybe this is the challenge we need to become the very best we are capable of. 

Let’s go to our happy place and talk about food. Here are your 16 favorite posts of 2016. Eat, drink, and be merry every single day.

16. Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

15. Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

14. Chocolate Peanut Butter Gooey Butter Cake

13. Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

12. Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail

11. Brown Elephant Cocktail

10. Parmesan Fried Gnocchi

9. Transformer Chicken

8. DIY Air Conditioner

7. Passion Fruit Green Tea

6. Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

5. Double Chocolate Muffins

4. Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

3. Chicken Parmesan

2. Peanut Butter Fudge

1. Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Enough sadness. Let’s go be awesome. 

Jalapeno Hush Puppies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Jalapeno Hush Puppies

Jalapeno Hush Puppies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

2016 is almost over which means I made it in just under the wire for achieving one of my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve finally managed to overcome my fear of deep frying. Somehow, having a pot full of hot oil on my stove seemed fraught with peril. I had visions of setting my house on fire or burning my face off. 

Turns out if you leave plenty of room in your pot and clip a thermometer on your pot to make sure your oil is at the right temperature, it’s actually pretty easy. I’m going to fry all the things. 

Jalapeno Hush Puppies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

My breakthrough came with these Jalapeno Hush Puppies. They’re crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside with a hint of heat from chopped fresh jalapeno all over the place. It’s like eating a fresh savoury, spicy doughnut. Hush Puppies are heaven. 

These are perfect all on their own, but if you want something to dip them in, just stir together a little sour cream and hot sauce, and go to town.

Jalapeno Hush Puppies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

2017 is going to be a year where we have to face our fears and bring our most awesome selves forward. You might as well get frying at home. Everything is gonna be alright.


Jalapeno Hush Puppies
Yields 12
Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and bursting with subtle heat, Jalapeno Hush Puppies are easier to make than you think and totally wort it.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 75 grams all purpose flour
  2. 71 grams corn meal
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 1 teaspoonssalt
  7. 3/4 cups buttermilk
  8. 4.25 ounces creamed corn
  9. 1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
  10. Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Get out a pot that is heavy and deep. I used an enamel coated cast iron 5 quart pot. Clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Pour in vegetable oil until it's a couple of inches deep. Turn the heat under the pan to medium and keep your eye on the thermometer as you're mixing your batter. You want it to get up to 375F degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate container, add buttermilk, creamed corn, and jalapeno. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together quickly and gently with a rubber spatula, and mix until just combined. Try not to mix for more than 20 seconds. A few lumps are okay. Let the batter rest while your oil continues to heat up.
  5. Once your oil has reached 375 (this may take a while, and the heat will need to be adjusted throughout cooking to stay as close to that temperature as possible) use a scoop or two spoons to gently add the batter to the oil in fat dollops. I could comfortably cook 3 or 4 hush puppies at a time in my pot. You don't want to overcrowd the pan, or you won't get nice even browning.
  6. Use your tongs to gently flip the hush puppies over in the oil a few times while cooking. Once their dark brown, carefully remove them to a wire rack set over a cookie sheet to cool and crisp up.
  7. Add more batter to your oil as space becomes available, and keep frying and flipping until you have a pile of delicious hush puppies. Remember to keep an eye on the temperature of your oil throughout. The temperature will drop while cooking, so you'll need to keep adjusting your heat.
  8. Serve warm plain or with hot sauce spiked sour cream.
Adapted from I'm Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown
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