Appetizer/ Cheese

Baked Brie with Toasted Peptitas, Pom Seeds and Maple Syrup

The sun does amazing things to my soul.  Jacob and my brother would actually prefer rainy/cloud/foggy days, but no matter what the temperature is, if the sun is out, it just makes me happy.

Chicago had amazing weather this weekend – temps near 80 on Saturday and in the 70s yesterday.  I can remember some Easter Sunday’s when it was so cold Hannah had to wear a winter coat and boots with her sleeveless Easter dresses.

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I love seeing the green grass, although I just look and see how I haven’t really taken care of the yard as Tony would.  He was very particular about the lawn – me?  Not so much!   The dogs love being outside running around.  It is a rare feet to get Roman to sit still but I caught him just as he was resting.  

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It’s hard to believe that picture was taken on my iPhone!  I used the portrait mode, which softens the background around him.  

I didn’t get home from work until 10:00 on Friday night – so much work to do with the office move this week.  Saturday morning I was in my pajamas, on my laptop, with coffee with the windows open and it was divine.  I got a lot of paperwork done, had to dispute a charge on my credit card, just a bunch of stuff that I’ve been meaning to cross of my list and it was nice to do that.  Who says you can’t be productive in your p.j.s?  The kadults were at work Saturday morning and called to see if I wanted to meet for lunch – yes please!  Always say yes to lunch with your kids 😀

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Beef tostadas for the win.  #nsv?  I only ate two chips to see how hot the salsas were, and skipped the queso fundido (that looked amazing by the way!).  While at lunch we made the menu for Easter. . .  while the kadults went home to take a nap, I went grocery shopping – pretty much my favorite thing to do.  I know some people hate it, but I love it.  Check out the size of this carrot?!

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At Sam’s Club, I’ve been eyeing this bone-in ribeye for quite a while.  With perfect grilling conditions, I knew Saturday was going to be the day – the cook on this will be another post later this week – it’s a reverse seared steak and the perfect way to cook a steak that is 2.5 pounds.

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I love that shot that Hannah got!  Stay tuned later this week about this amazeball steak. 


Not a shocker that my Mom spent Easter Sunday with me, you know, being her favorite child and all.   I always like to have a little tasting plate when she gets here since we weren’t eating dinner until nearly 6.  If you haven’t checked out Aldi for cheese, you really should.  They have an amazing variety and the prices are nearly half of that of regular grocery stores.  Take for instance that brie cheese – $2.99!

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Heat oven to 350.  Place the brie on parchment paper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons real maple syrup.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese starts to soften.  Top with salted toasted pepita seeds (I had raw pepita seeds that I just toasted in my cast iron skillet with sea salt for 8 minutes) and pom seeds.  I loved this combo – the maple syrup kind of caramalized on the bottom of the cheese, so you got a sweet/salty punch with each bite.  

I grilled a ham (the beef was meat my Mom brought that she wanted me to cook for her for later in the week – she doesn’t have a grill anymore).  

Aunt Martha, I totally misplaced this grill mat that you gave me for Christmas LAST year and am kicking myself because it’s awesome.  I cooked my green beans on the stove for about 5 minutes after the water boiled, then ran them under cold water to stop cooking.  I marinated the green beans in a tablespoon of balsamic dressing, then finished them off on the grill – the mat worked great – they didn’t fall through the grill grate, yet they still got charred.  Then I put the green beans on a cookie sheet, put a couple ounces of herbed goat cheese on top and put them under the broiler.  So good!

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Mom brought a bake in a bag turkey breast from Jennie-O.  It was great that it went straight from the freezer to the oven and cooked in a bag.   Hannah made a ramen noodle salad, that’s really delicious.  I guess I thought I could eat a lot!  I only ate a little over half of this plate.  So delicious and lots of leftovers for the week.

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I am keeping my meal plan simple this week because of my work schedule – I think I’ll have to work late every day to get all my work done before the move.   But there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Thanks Momma for coming over!

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This is the look you have when your Mom tells you that you need to cut your bangs Open-mouthed smile

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And thanks for bringing this amazing dessert – I am going to post this recipe later this week – it’s a WW recipe that is kind of like a dark chocolate mousse in this light phyllo dough.  It looks so simple, but this was divine.

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Hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Easter with good friends, family and food.  Happy Monday – make it a great day!  The sun is shining, so I already know it’s going to be a great day.

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  • Melly
    April 17, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Yummy dinner!! You can whip up a feast like nothing! Looking forward to the reverse sear on the steak. I recently

    How do you like the Jennie-O turkey breast in bag? I keep eyeing those in the store, but wasn’t sure if it would come out dry (?)

    • Biz319
      April 17, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Hey! I loved the Jennio-O turkey breast in the bag – love that you can just go straight from the freezer to the oven – but I would pull it at 155 degrees – the package says 165, but if you pull it at 165, the residual heat will make it dry out. It took about an hour and 15 minutes if I remember correctly?

  • Louise
    April 17, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Oh I can hardly wait to see how your bone-in ribeye steak turns out. I got one too. Seared it then in a hot oven for 10 minutes….temperature was 145 and I let it rest for 5……oh my that was delicious. Oh and I used the Hardcore seasoning…..I will have pictures this week on my blog so you can drool over our Easter dinner….lol!!!

    Love the picture of Roman….you are going to miss those guys. That carrot is a whopper!!! Your Easter dinner looks yummy!!! Have a great week!!!!

    • Biz319
      April 17, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Can’t wait to see your Easter recap Louise! I am out of Hardcore – both the red and black – Jacob uses it a lot too – I’ll have to order some for their house too. And yes I will miss the dogs for sure! Hope you are well!

  • Randi MacDonald
    April 17, 2017 at 10:12 am

    How was the turkey breast? Am I the only person who doesn’t eat Brie rind? I always dig inside for the cheese and leave the rind. Look’s like a really nice Easter with your family.

    • Biz319
      April 17, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      It was great Randi – I mentioned it in a comment above, but pull the turkey at 155 degrees – it didn’t give a timetable how long to cook it, but just cook to 165 – it will overcook if you do that though.

      You can totally eat the brie rind Randi – it really doesn’t have much flavor at all and it kind of melts into the cheese when you bake it. It was a great day – made me miss Tony though because it was so nice to sit outside.

  • Kym
    April 17, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    So many things… The grill mat?? How in the world does that work ad where do I find such a thing?…That carrot is Huge! It looks like something off of an old Gilligan’s Island episode (I know, I’m dating myself)…The brie looks divine, yet another thing I don’t get to eat, the family likes plain old stand by cheese products….The WW mousse looks so good. I’m not usually a pudding, mousse person but I could dive into that with no problem. Glad you had a great Easter and can’t wait for your steak recipe.

    • Biz319
      April 17, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Hey Kym! So that mat – it’s literally been sitting in my basement since last Christmas! It’s super thin, and while you can’t put it over flaming coals, hot coals are just fine. It’s dishwasher safe, and even though the food sits on the mat, it still gets grill marks. And hey, we are not old if we remember Gilligan’s Island 😀

      I think one night a week you should have a Kym dinner – all of your favorite things and have the rest of your family can eat leftovers (oh wait, they don’t do that do they?!) okay, they can order pizza.

      • Kym
        April 18, 2017 at 9:22 am

        Yes, I should do a me dinner once a week. See why you are so awesome, you give us permission 🙂 I’m working on giving myself some me time.

  • Shelley B
    April 17, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Your Easter meal looks really good. I can’t help but channel Beavis and Butthead with FIRE FIRE FIRE when I saw the picture of you cooking the bone-in steak, LOL.

    • Biz319
      April 17, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Ha, I totally forgot about Beavis and Butthead – my step-son Joe used to love that show!

  • Emily @ Pizza & Pull-ups
    April 17, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    That carrot is out of control. Glad you had a nice Easter!

    • Biz319
      April 17, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      It was a gorgeous weekend! Hope yours was nice too!

  • Lisa
    April 18, 2017 at 10:18 am

    That brie looks amazing!
    You and your mom are adorable. 😀