Thursday, January 19, 2012

weekend indulgence

well, almost weekend. 
my brain kicks in to weekend mode come Thursday afternoon....I can't help it!

Let's talk about cheese. And chocolate. 
chocolate and cheese!
Two of my very favorite things to eat. and talk about. and dream about. and eat.

Two things that also, tend to get a bad rap--especially this time of year, with all of the resolutions that have yet to be broken. They are sworn off, thrown out, and shoved to a hiding place where someone will eventually find them and binge themselves into a tummy ache full of regret (and old chocolate).

Seriously though, maybe it's just me, but anytime I have sworn I wouldn't eat something (say, sugar) I end up depriving myself of it, and eventually giving in and eating waaaaaaaay too much. right? right. 

So we don't deprive around here. We don't swear off food. We just eat healthy healthy healthy most of the time, live very active lives, and that way we are not afraid to indulge in our favorites from time to time.

Take this giant plate of cheese for example. 
Do we eat this every day. no.
(but do I wish we could.....yes!)
I put this together on Christmas Eve day. 
We love cheese, and wanted the kids to be able to try a few different kinds at once. 
I had no idea really how to pair what with I was happy to find this post
over at Sprouted Kitchen. 
cheeseplate copy

Parmigiano Reggiano-loved this with pears
Goat Cheese (Chevre)--rolled in fresh chives, thyme, and lemon zest
peach jam--perfect for spreading on a toasted baguette and topped with manchego
sliced pears
Manchego--a sheep's cheese, loved it with the peach jam or cranberry sauce
toasted baguette slices
more crackers, but you knew that
a quick homemade cranberry sauce: whole cranberries, pure maple syrup, orange zest, and a squeeze of orange juice simmered until cranberries soften and mixture starts to thicken.

not pictured: pickles. my kids do not believe in any appetizer that does not somehow involve we set them off to the side....away from the delicious cheese.

let the cheese sit at room temperature for a bit before you dive in.
have fun with it! 
see what kind of creations and combinations your kids come up with (some of which may involve pickles) .....and try not to gag. 

Moving on to dessert......chocolate style of course.
Reason #972 I love the weekend: we usually end up snuggled on the couch eating some kind of treat. We've worked hard and eaten well all week.....we deserve it! 
I made these last weekend--I haven't had blondies forever! They were a favorite when I was little--in fact, this recipe came from my mom! I just browned the butter.
brownbutterblondies copy
Brown Butter Blondies

6TBS browned butter*
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs 
1 1/8 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips

*to brown butter:
Heat pan on medium heat.
Cut butter in to pieces and melt in pan.
Stir continuously. Butter will foam up.
After foam subsides, small brown flecks will start to appear in bottom of pan.
Continue stirring, until butter has reached a nice brown color, and nutty aroma.
Remove from heat.

Blend brown butter, sugar and eggs until well mixed.
Stir in dry ingredients.

Pour batter into greased 8x8 pan, sprinkle top with chocolate chips, and bake at  350° for 25-30 minutes, until just done around the edges and on top (don't over bake). These are awesomely gooey in the middle.
They are perfect hot out of the oven with ice cream.

Have a happy weekend! 
Get out and do something active.....and then come home and indulge in something delicious! 

What is your favorite way to indulge?


Unknown said...

I am salivating over that cheese plate. Give me cheese, ANY cheese, and I am a happy woman. :)

Meg said...

mmmmm cheese. We made a 2nd batch of gouda...because we ate the first 4 lbs in 2 weeks. Our white cheddar will be ready around valentine's day (for mild) and we freaking can't wait. We might hold off until Easter for medium cheddar. I'm seriously drooling over the wait. It is killing me! Then there's the emmental, and then the other gouda will be ready. And our annato just arrived, so now we can make true orange cheddar! woot!
I need a goat. An unlimited supply of milk would really help this new hobby to not be so expensive. Maybe Kasey's neighbors aren't as mean as mine. Let's pressure her into keeping it in her backyard. I'll come milk it. You can come for the cheese.

Char said...

Evvverything is better with brown butter! Thanks so much for introducing it to me! Love your recipes! =)
Char xo

Lisa said...

These brownies sound amazing. I may just have to indulge.

Sanda Vuckovic Pagaimo said...

Oooohhhh noooo...chocolate and cheese,my fav treats.Even I mainly try to avoid them, sometimes it is just not possible.Luckily I am the only one in my house loving cheese so,it is easier to avoid that one then chocolate (with 2 kids around).

Unknown said...

Ice cream or gelato is my indulgence of choice. Or anything with cinnamon or caramel. Ahhh.... Something I should not be day dreaming about at nine am.

Robin said...

I've become more enthusiastic about baking in the last year, but I usually make small-size cakes and small batches of brownies or cookies - enough for just me and my husband to share for a couple of days.

Hayley said...

can you believe meg hasn't invited me to try any of that cheese? what???

anyway, yum. yum. and yum.

we have been throwing goat cheese on everything lately from salad, to eggs, to potatoes.

i need to try this Manchego.

Tanae Nelson said...

Just did some late night baking, and while I usually fail at making brownies, these were amazing. Thanks for the recipe.

Unknown said...

Cheese and chocolate are my 2 favorite food groups!!! I mean, foods. We live a similar lifestyle, super healthy the majority of the time. Mainly because I want to save room for desserts, ESPECIALLY if there's brown butter involved, yum!

Chloe said...

wow, that cheese plate is gorgeous, that is one of my favorite combinations.

this is unrelated, and i hope you don't mind my asking, but i'm wondering what kind of product you use for your hair. thank you so much!

Unknown said...

...just found your blog, your photos are amazing.

I'm looking forward to trying a few recipes!
I'll be sure to check back frequently :-)

Unknown said...

I love your indulgences. So much fun : )

AllAmericanGrl said...

you really need to come and visit Switzerland! haha!

karen said...

MMM... so delicious! Just made the blondies and they're a real hit with my whole family. We're thinking of experimenting with some chai flavorings next :) Thanks for sharing!

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