Awesome in May

Awesome in May

Awesome in May

Okay, I know it’s already the 8th, but I’m getting old, and it takes me a long time to get over jet lag. Last night I was fast asleep by 9 pm. There’s a pile of clean laundry on my love seat waiting to be folded that’s been building since Sunday. At this point I’m thinking I should just leave it there to meet up with this week’s laundry. That’s totally normal behavior for an adult human with a full time job and a 17 year old offspring, right?

At this point it’s probably needless to say that May was jam-packed with excitement. We made our first visit to Big Feed Glasgow, an indoor food truck gathering. We visited some cool National Trust for Scotland sites with our new year-long membership, and ate some delicious halloumi fries because how can you not at a place called Halloumi. I baked some cakes and hosted a coffee morning at work. We reveled in the rare Scottish sunshine, and I took of group of teenagers on an overnight camping expedition. And that was all before we got on a plane.

Awesome in May

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we made a trip to the US at the end of the month for my daughter’s high school graduation. While in Nashville we ate some awesome pancakes, some tasty hot chicken, and some not quite as good as homemade but still better than anything you can get in Glasgow biscuits and gravy. We visited Rock City and waited in line for a hundred years at Ruby Falls.

Awesome in May

And then we ticked off an item from my personal bucket list by visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was so completely magical. I was not disappointed in any way. The lines weren’t too long, and we managed to see and do everything in the two parks that we wanted in just one day. I wanted to quit my job and make pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes for the rest of my life. It was absolutely thrilling. We all loved it, and I think it will be a day we’ll never forget.

Awesome in May

We finished off our trip with a quick stay in Atlanta and a visit to the King Center and the Georgia Aquarium. They have four rescued whale sharks at this aquarium, and they’re so cool. They had a bunch of great exhibits, and I think it was worth the somewhat steep price to see such a big variety of wildlife. 

This ended up being a rather lengthy recap, but it was a big month. The best moment was seeing my baby graduate from high school. She worked so hard to achieve, and I couldn’t possibly be more proud of her. I can’t believe I’m about to be the mom of a college student. I absolutely cannot wait to visit her in New York.

We’ve got a few more days of nice weather on the horizon, but we’ll be doing absolutely nothing in June, as our recent trip was definitely not $20 a day. Apparently there’s some football to watch or something. Come hang out while I’m being boring. I’ll still make you cake.

Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Creamy Sausage Dip

Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Hey, friends. Thanks so much to those of you who left me sweet words of encouragement after my last post. I’m feeling empowered to make changes, not only to on my site, but in my life in general. I started by buying some brightly colored, elastic waist, wide leg pants to wear on the plane. They’re so comfy, but it’s hard to believe I’m actually allowed to wear these out in public. They’re basically fancy pajamas. I would normally never wear such a wide line for fear of looking fat, but I’m leaning in to cozy comfort and self-care this year, and so far, it’s working out well. Thanks to Kendi for the inspiration

And yet, despite all this willingness to try new things, I’m bringing you another “classic” recipe today. Read: an old recipe from waaaay back when I first started the blog and had no idea what I was doing. Real talk, I don’t have time to test enough new recipes during the week to bring you something brand new every week. Some of the stuff I try is a dud, and I’m not sharing anything with you unless it’s totally awesome. But reshooting old recipes helps me see how much I’ve grown. And even if I’m not as good as the professionals, I’m much better at food photography than I used to be, and that’s something worth being proud of I guess.

Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Now that I’ve figured out how to make English sausage taste like something, I’m feeling much more confident about bringing some of my old recipes back into rotation. Today it’s Creamy Sausage Dip. We eat chips and dip for dinner on the reg, but even if you’re not a heathen and eat actual food for dinner, this is a great hot dip for a game day party, movie night, or other gathering where people are pretending they’re not hungry but actually want to pig out on something savoury and delicious.

I think you might be able to stir just about anything into some warm cream cheese and come out with something heavenly, but spicy bits of sausage and some tomato and chillies definitely work. This dip comes together quickly all in one skillet. You could even make it in a cast-iron and serve it right in that. Damn, I should have done that for my photos.

Creamy Sausage Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We’re embracing the new and reimagining some classics and generally loving life. Put some creamy sausage dip on your table, and don’t forget to be awesome.

Creamy Sausage Dip
Serves 4
Creamy Sausage Dip is a little bit spicy and a lot bit awesome.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 oz Cumberland sausage, casings removed
  2. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  3. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  4. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 4 ounces chopped tomatoes with chillies
  7. 8 ounces cream cheese
  8. Sturdy chips for dipping
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add your sausage and break it up into small pieces with your wooden spoon. Sprinkle in the cumin, red pepper flakes and black pepper, and stir to mix. Stir occasionally until the sausage is cooked through.
  2. Add the garlic and tomatoes with chillies. Stir to combine.
  3. Finally, add in your cream cheese, and stir until the cream cheese is melted and just starts to bubble.
  4. Transfer your dip to a bowl, or not as you please. Serve warm with your favorite tortilla chips.
Notes
  1. If you're making this recipe in the US, you can just use Jimmy Dean or another bulk breakfast sausage that you love. You may or may not want to omit the cumin and red and black pepper. American sausage is already well seasoned.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m constantly waffling back and forth about whether or not to continue with this blog. It never became successful, and I understand why. My photos are fine but not extraordinary, and the food I like doesn’t fit in with what’s popular. I’ve learned to accept that I won’t ever be a professional blogger. It’s not even close to my biggest failure. But I do keep asking myself, what’s the point? You’re probably sick of hearing about it. 

I recently got some encouragement to continue blogging from one of my all time favorite bloggers. This is someone who’s work I’ve admired since I first discovered food and baking blogs back in 2011. The fact that she even knows my blog exists is a certain level of success. It absolutely gave me a huge hit of encouragement to continue being myself and putting it out there.

So now that that decision is made, I’ve got a new problem. I’ve suddenly got the urge to completely redesign my site and give it a fresh new look. This could get messy. Stick with me, friends.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While we work through our midlife blogging crisis, let’s eat cookies. But not just plain old chocolate chip cookies, but really tasty chocolate chip cookies with a totally awesome surprise in the center, a mini peanut butter cup. Apparently this was a complete revelation in Glasgow because I brought these to school for an event I was hosting, and I got compliments for a week. I thought they seemed pretty basic, but non-bakers seem to find them quite impressive.

They’re super simple to make. The firs time I made them, I had two friends in my kitchen, so they don’t even require all your attention. You can put your friends to work unwrapping the peanut butter cups. Just make sure they don’t eat all of them before you actually put them into your cookies. And how do we get those peanut butter cups into the cookies, you ask? Simply press one into each cookie as soon as they come out of the oven. Your cookies will continue to bake and set up for a few minutes after they come out of the oven, and once they’re cool, they will have set up perfectly.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It may be a bit untidy around here for a while, but it’s gonna be delicious. Have a cookie and just relax. Everything’s gonna be awesome.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 24
Beautiful chocolate chip cookies surrounding a peanut butter cup are so delicious and so impressive.
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Prep Time
20 hr
Cook Time
13 hr
Prep Time
20 hr
Cook Time
13 hr
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 2-1/4 cup all purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 12 ounces chocolate chips
  10. 24 mini peanut butter cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and fish out your muffin pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and both kinds of sugar together with an electric mixer until combined and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on the lowest speed until just combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix briefly to incorporate them into your dough.
  6. Use a medium scoop to fill each muffin cup about a third full. You want there to be enough to cover the bottom of each muffin cup, but the dough will spread and rise a bit as it bakes.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cookies just start to turn golden on top. They will still be a bit soft inside, but they'll firm up as they cool.
  8. As soon as your cookies come out of the oven, press a peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie. Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a rack to cool completely. Get on with your second batch if you don't have another muffin pan.
  9. If you have any leftover cookie dough, obviously you can just make cookies with them.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
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