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.

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve become a bit of a meatloaf evangelist here in the UK. I don’t know how this happened. It’s not as if I grew up eating meatloaf. I probably wouldn’t have liked it as a kid and truth be told, I still try to pick out bits of onion whenever possible. As I learned to cook, though, meatloaf became something I embraced. 

It has a bit of a bad reputation. If you overcook it or don’t add enough moisture to the mix, it can be a disappointment. But if it’s done right, it’s not only tasty the first time around with cheesy mashed potatoes, it’s equally as awesome the next day on soft sandwich bread with a healthy dose of mayo. It’s time to get on board all around the world. 

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf has a bit of an Italian flare. Nothing authentic or elevated. I mean, it’s just meatloaf, people. There’s mozzarella cheese layered throughout, and it’s topped off with your favorite tomato basil sauce. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law loved it. I’m starting a British meatloaf revolution.

I served this with mashed potatoes punched up with some parmesan cheese. You could probably also throw in a nice green salad if you’re into that sort of thing. 

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Is retro still a thing? I have no idea, but I’m definitely still into meatloaf. Make it happen.

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf
Serves 6
Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf is perfect for a nostalgic weeknight dinner.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  2. 15 ounces of your favorite tomato sauce
  3. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 1 cup bread crumbs
  5. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  6. 1-1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  9. 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, one cup tomato sauce, and all remaining ingredients except for mozzarella cheese. Gently mix all ingredients. I find it's easiest to do this with my hands.
  3. Add a third of the meat mixture to a loaf pan. Evenly sprinkle over half the cheese. Add another third of the meat, then the rest of the cheese, and finally the last of the meat.
  4. Cook your meatloaf in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the meatloaf and spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top. Cook in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Mealoaf Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Continental Grilled Cheese

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Almost every day I wake up in the morning wishing I could just stay home and cook all day. I don’t much care what it is. I don’t even necessarily want t eat it. There’s just something about the magic of turning ingredients into food that I find so calming. 

Work gets stressful. People think I’m dumb. But in my kitchen, I’m the boss. I do actual dumb things in there all the time, but I don’t much care. It’s quiet. It’s warm. It smells great. Where else would a person want to be?

The truth is, I’m usually so frazzled by the time I get home from work that I can barely summon the energy to stand in front of a skillet for 10 minutes. Lucky for me, you can make something pretty amazing in that amount of time.

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This gooey, delicious Continental Grilled Cheese is a fantastic mash-up of European flavors. It’s lacking in any sort of authenticity but completely loaded with good things to eat. It starts with buttery brioche which gets spread with some tart cherry jam. Polish ham went into my sandwich because I couldn’t find the Black Forest ham the original recipe called for. All of this is held together with oozing brie. It’s so right.

There are few things in life that make me quite as happy as gooey cheese. The crunch from the grilled brioche is the perfect contrast to the ultra soft brie, and the slight smokiness of the ham and sharp sweetness of the cherry jam is spot on. 

Continental Grilled Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Take a deep breath. Be good to yourself. Eat a Continental Grilled Cheese. Smile. Be Awesome.

Continental Grilled Cheese
Serves 1
Continental Grilled Cheese is a delicious mash up of Polish ham, French cheese, and total awesomeness.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
6 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
6 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices brioche bread
  2. 1 tablespoon cherry jam
  3. About 2 ounces brie, enough thin slices off your wedge to cover both slices of bread
  4. 1-2 slices Polish ham
  5. 1 tablespoon butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Place a skillet over medium low heat on your stove to heat up while you build your sandwich.
  2. Start building your sandwich by spreading cherry jam in a thin layer on each slice of bread. Next, lay slices of brie over each slice of bread, then add your ham. Close up your sandwich and spread the top, outside piece of bread with your softened butter.
  3. Place your sandwich in the preheated skillet, butter side down. Spread the new top with butter as well and cook for approximately three minutes on each side or until your bread is as dark brown as you like.
  4. Slice and eat quickly before the cheese drips gloriously down your hand.
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson
http://awesomeon20.com/
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