Maple Crostini with Brie

maple crostini with brie

I first posted this brie recipe on Mommysavers.com.  I was inspired by watching chef Amy Thielen, the host of Food Network’s Heartland Table and author of The New Midwestern Table.  What’s great about this recipe, other than its simplicity, is that the ingredients are pretty frugal.  I got my brie at ALDI for $2.99.  I made a huge batch of this for a mom’s wine night last week and spent well around $5 for a huge tray of these.  Plus, I had bread left over.

Maple Crostini with Brie

  • 4 slices sourdough bread, sliced thinly and cut into fourths
  • 1/2 C. real maple syrup (split)
  • 1 stick butter (split)
  • 1 round brie cheese (I get mine at ALDI)

In a frying pan, melt the maple syrup (1/4 cup) and butter (1/2 stick) over medium heat.  Place half of the bread in the pan, flipping right away to get the butter/syrup mixture to saturate both sides of the bread as much as you can (you may want to lower the heat if it gets too hot so the crystalized maple sugar doesn’t burn).  Continue flipping the crostini until golden brown on both sides.  Place tiny wedge of brie on top.  Smear a little.  Serve immediately while the bread is still warm.

Substitutions:  Don’t have sourdough bread?  You can make it at home (recipe HERE) or use any dense white bread.  Goat cheese or camembert will work for the cheese as well.  I have also made this recipe with the honey goat cheese they sell at ALDI and I’d highly recommend that as well.  Check that out here:  Maple Crostini with Goat Cheese.

 

Parmesan Stuffed Roasted Artichokes

stuffed-artichoke

I love artichokes.  I usually get them in cans, so I considered it a challenge to learn how to prepare whole artichokes at home.  I recently spotted a 3-pack of artichokes at our local ALDI grocery store for just $1.59.  For me, it was the perfect opportunity to experiment!  I had previously tried to make roasted artichoke appetizer without much success.  My failing had to do with the fact that I didn’t cook the artichoke long enough.  I find it tastes the best when you boil it before you roast it… and quite a while.   If I were to do this again, I’d cut even more of the artichoke off the top.  The fleshy, tender heart is what tastes good.

Parmesan Stuffed Roasted Artichokes
 
An easy introduction to roasting artichokes
Ingredients
  • 3 artichokes
  • ½ C. breadcrumbs (I used Panko crumbs)
  • ⅓ C. Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Cut off the stems, bottoms, and top ⅓ of the leaves of the artichokes. Tear off the hard outer leaves.
  2. Boil for about 30 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Pry the leaves apart in order to stuff with filling. Sprinkle bread crumb/parmesan mixture over the top and press into leaves. Bake for 25 minutes at 400.
  4. To eat them, pick off a leaf and eat the soft inner portion. The harder outer edges of the leaves serve as a “handle” for them, for lack of a better way to put it.

parmesan roasted artichoke recipe parmesan roasted artichoke recipeparmesan roasted artichoke recipe parmesan roasted artichoke recipe parmesan roasted artichoke recipe

Basic Homemade Pesto Recipe + How to Freeze and Enjoy All Year

homemade pesto recipe

basic homemade pestoHomemade pesto is something I’ve been making a few years in a row now, and it’s an excellent way to use up the rest of the fresh basil in your garden before a hard frost.  Freeze what you don’t use in ice cube trays to enjoy in the middle of the winter.

How to Use Your Homemade Pesto:

  • As a pasta sauce
  • Add a little homemade pesto to mayo for a sandwich spread
  • Top salmon or chicken with pesto before grilling
  • Add to mashed potatoes
  • As a baked potato topper
  • On homemade pizza as a sauce
  • In artisan breads
  • Make pesto butter as an appetizer spread

Frugal Tips:  Even though fresh Parmesan is somewhat expensive, it’s worth it.  A little bit goes a long way.  You may also experience sticker shock if you’re purchasing pine nuts for the first time.  If you have walnuts at home, they are a good substitute.  Some even prefer the taste of walnut pesto to pine nut pesto.

 

homemade-basil-pesto homemade-basil-pesto

Thanks to the Mommysavers Forum members for the inspiration behind this basil pesto recipe

Basic Homemade Pesto Recipe
 

A great recipe to make with fresh basil from your garden before the hard frost
Ingredients
  • 1½ C. fresh basil leaves
  • ½ C. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ C. pine nuts, toasted (or walnuts)
  • ⅓ C. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Dash of salt
  • Pepper or Tabasco to taste
Instructions
  1. /2 c chopped fresh basil
  2. /3-1/2 c extra virgin olive oil(just eyeball how ya like it as you go)
  3. /4 c pine nuts,toasted (or you can sub walnuts)
  4. /3 c grated Parmesan cheese
  5. Tbs minced garlic
  6. /4 tsp chili powder
  7. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Freeze leftovers in ice cube trays, remove and place in a freezer bag until ready to use.