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
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Spaghetti with Garlic Lemon Bread Crumbs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spaghetti with Garlic Lemon Bread Crumbs

Spaghetti with Garlic Lemon Bread Crumbs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I doubt there are very many people who can honestly say they haven’t given at least a few moments thought to what they’d do if they won that $900 million Power Ball. It’s more money than you could ever spend. Obviously first you’d invest most of it. Then set up a trust for your kids. Enough that they don’t have to worry, but not so much that they turn into douche bags. Set up a foundation so you can give a bunch of it away. But even all that, there would still be plenty left to do pretty much whatever you want forever.

I think I’d buy a modest house with a decked out kitchen, but I imagine I’d probably spend many of my days on a train. If I had Power Ball money, I doubt you’d find me in one place for more than a few months. I’d see everything. Ever. Hell, I might even write a book about it.

But I don’t have Power Ball money, and I never will. So instead, I go to my humble job, try to do some good in the world, and put simple and delicious food on my table while watching nature documentaries on my TV.

Spaghetti with Garlic Lemon Bread Crumbs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Today I made a simple pasta dish, Spaghetti with Garlic Lemon Bread Crumbs. Simple it may be, but it’s definitely packed with flavor. It’s amazing what one clove of garlic and a lemon can do for your life. 

I just use a slice of everyday sandwich bread to make the fresh bread crumbs that are needed for this dish. You definitely want to start by crumbling up some fresh bread for this, though. Don’t use panko or other store-bought bread crumbs. 

We round it out with crushed red pepper flakes for a hint of heat, and some Parmesan because cheese. And don’t forget a nice handful of fresh flat leaf parsley. It’s as close as I come to eating vegetables. 

Spaghetti with Garlic Lemon Bread Crumbs | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Basically if I had all the money ever, I’d spend my days traveling the world and trying to find people to cook for. Wouldn’t that be awesome? What would you do?

Spaghetti with Garlic Lemon Bread Crumbs
Serves 2
Spaghetti with Garlic Lemon Bread Crumbs is a simple dish packed with flavor.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces spaghetti
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  4. 1 garlic clove
  5. 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  6. 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  7. 2 tablespoons butter
  8. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot with water and place it over high heat. Put the lid on so it will boil faster. Once you've reached a rapid boil, add a couple fat pinches of salt, then cook your pasta according to the package directions. Before you drain the pasta, use a coffee cup to remove about a half a cup of pasta water in case you need to add moisture to your dish later. Drain the pasta and return it to it's cooking pot.
  2. While you're waiting for your pasta to do its thing, place a skillet over medium low heat and add the olive oil. While your oil is warming, zest your lemon into the skillet. Next, peel your garlic clove and grate it into the warming oil as well.
  3. Once that becomes fragrant, stir in the bread crumbs. Cook them gently, stirring occasionally, until they become browned and crisp.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Set aside until your pasta is cooked.
  5. Once you've got your pasta back in the hot pan, add the butter and juice of half a lemon. Toss everything together until all the pasta is coated in the butter.
  6. Add the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese and toss again. You may need to add a bit of that reserved pasta water to keep everything moist and bring it all together. Taste it now to see if you want to add more lemon juice or other seasonings.
  7. Finally, add the bread crumb mixture and toss to combine. Serve hot with a smile.
Adapted from Nigelissima by Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Garlic Herb Toast | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Garlic Herb Toast

  Garlic Herb Toast | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s soup season. As I watch the rest of the world slip into the crisp days of Autumn, I can’t help but crave the gentle aromatic simmer of a huge pot of soup. Stew, chowder, or chili would all suffice. Lots of flavors, textures and love all in one heavy pot, left to mingle and get happy for hours… It makes my little cook’s heart flutter. 

Garlic Herb Toast | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

According to my husband, a good soup must always be accompanied by a good bread. Dipping is imperative. I have to admit, a hunk of crusty bread next to my bowl does make the meal seem complete. Bread also allows me to soak up every last drop of goodness. This can only be a good thing.

This Garlic Herb Toast has several awesome elements that make it perfect. It’s layer with flavors from fresh garlic and parsley, along with some other dried herbs and seasonings. It’s perfectly crunchy, but not tough. Best of all, once you have softened butter, the whole thing comes together in a matter of minutes with a food processor. Spin together fresh ingredients, spread them on bread, bake for 15 minutes, eat to your heart’s content.

Garlic Herb Toast | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Keep yourself warm and cozy. Put a pot of goodness on the stove. Make Garlic Herb Toast to complete a beautiful thing. It’s gonna be so very awesome.

Garlic Herb Toast
Serves 8
Crusty, crunchy, and packed with flavor, Garlic Herb Toast is the perfect accompaniment to Autumn soups and stews.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 long skinny loaf of sour dough or your favorite bread
  2. 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  3. 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
  4. 1/4 cup (one big handful) fresh Italian parsley
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  9. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Slice your bread in half so you have two shorter sticks, then slice these both down the middle lengthwise to open them up.
  3. Whack your garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife to remove the skin. Put them in your food processor and give them a spin for a few seconds until they're finely minced.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse until well combined.
  5. Spread a quarter of the butter mixture on each piece of bread. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into serving sizes.
  6. Store leftovers in a zip top bag in the fridge to be eaten with the best thing a pot of soup creates, leftovers.
Adapted from Handle the Heat
Adapted from Handle the Heat
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Creamy Garlic Spinach Dip from Awesome on 20

Creamy Garlic Spinach Dip

Creamy Garlic Spinach Dip from Awesome on 20

Veg of the month for March is spinach, and I went with something I already knew I liked this time. Spinach is good for you. Garlic is good for you. If you used low-fat cream cheese and sour cream, you could even pretend this is healthy. I mean, those blue corn chips have flax seeds in them, for goodness sake. It’s almost like we’re at the spa or something. Don’t disrupt my delusion.

Creamy Garlic Spinach Dip from Awesome on 20

But enough about health. Let’s talk about how spinach is actually magic. You’re going to use a whole bag of fresh baby spinach for this recipe. It’s going to fill your entire pan. It’s going to try to overflow and escape. And then five minutes later, it’s going to practically disappear. Those beautiful broad leaves are going to turn a gorgeous dark green, release a bunch of water, and wilt down to threads of squishy goodness. Spinach plus heat equals magic. Or science. Same thing really.

There’s also a sort of ridiculous amount of sauteed garlic in this dip. Make sure anybody you plan to be kissing later is also eating some. It’s delicious, but strong. Also, don’t try to skip the lemon juice. It’s a vital component.

Creamy Garlic Spinach Dip from Awesome on 20

You can’t go wrong with a creamy dip and crunchy, salty chips. Even leafy green vegetables can’t ruin it. I approve.

Creamy Garlic Spinach Dip
Serves 6
A creamy dip loaded with spinach and sauteed garlic is sorta healthy and delicious with crunchy chips.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  2. 6 to 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  3. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 bag baby spinach
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. 1/3 cup sour cream
  7. Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Instructions
  1. Put your cream cheese in a small mixing bowl and give it a bit of a smash and stir to loosen it up in preparation for the waiting ingredients and to help it come to room temp faster. You know, in case you forgot to set it out ahead of time.
  2. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium low heat. When the oil is hot, and your garlic and saute until they start to turn golden, stirring frequently. Don't get impatient and crank up the heat. Burned garlic is the worst.
  3. Once the garlic is ready, add the whole bag of spinach and crank the heat up to medium high. Stir frequently until the spinach is wilted and most of the liquid has cooked away.
  4. Spoon and scrape your garlic and spinach out onto a cutting board. Spread it out to cool it a bit before going over the whole thing with a sharp knife a few times to chop up the spinach.
  5. Add your spinach and garlic mixture to the cream cheese, season with salt and pepper, and add sour cream and lemon juice. Stir the whole thing together with a fork or wooden spoon. It may take a bit of work at first, depending on the temperature of your cream cheese, but eventually it will all come together.
  6. You can serve this right away, or refrigerate it for later. Serve it with your favorite crunchy things.
Adapted from Young and Hungry by Dave Lieberman
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
Garlic Mac and Cheese from Awesome on 20

Garlic Mac and Cheese

Garlic Mac and Cheese from Awesome on 20

A peek at my pretty little blog calendar will tell you that, according to some random website I forgot, today is National Cheese Lovers Day. I got so excited about the existence of such a day that I almost considered forgiving Congress for it’s complete impotence. Then I thought better of it and decided I’m still mad at them. But at least we can almost all agree that cheese is awesome.

I love all kinds of cheese from the parm that tops my Italian food like nutty pixie dust, to an oozing gorgeous brie topped off with something sweet and crunchy, and even the funkiest bleu cheese. I’ll try them all. There’s something so heavenly about what is essentially moldy milk. I don’t care. It’s brilliant.

Garlic Mac and Cheese from Awesome on 20

That’s why I had to make you this garlic mac and cheese today. After a plain old cheese tray, gooey cheesy pasta is probably the best way to enjoy cheese in all it’s glory.

This mac and cheese is infused with garlic and has over half a pound of cheese in total. You can use any combination of cheeses you like, cheddar, Monterrey jack, Swiss, or even colby would work. I usually just check the door of my fridge and see what I have lying around. This time I used cheddar and Monterrey Jack, along with an ounce of shredded parm. It was gooey and wonderful.

Garlic Mac and Cheese from Awesome on 20

Recipes that allow you to use up leftovers are cheap and easy. And this one is full of cheese, so we all win. Happy Cheese Lovers Day!

Garlic Mac and Cheese
Serves 6
A garlic-infused baked mac and cheese that will make your cheesy heart sing.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 pound of your favorite short pasta, whatever's in your pantry
  2. 1 tablespoon butter
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 can evaporated milk (I used fat free because that's all they had at the store)
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 8 ounces shredded cheese such as cheddar and/or Monterrey Jack
  10. 1 ounce shredded parmesan
Instructions
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once your water is boiling add a teaspoon of salt and your pasta. Cook for 6 minutes and drain. Pasta will be al dente.
  2. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 475 and lightly spray a 2 quart casserole dish.
  3. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter and saute garlic for about a minute. It will brown lightly and become fragrant. Garlic burns quickly, so don't walk away.
  4. Add the garlic and butter, evaporated milk, eggs, and seasonings to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until everything's combined. Stir in cheeses.
  5. Add your drained pasta to the cheese mixture and stir everything together. Transfer the mac and cheese to your baking dish and bake for about 12 minutes or until it starts to become brown and bubbly around the edge.
  6. Allow to cool for ten minutes before eating so you won't burn yourself on molten cheese. Dig in and enjoy!
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
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