Last night we went to see the musical Les Miserables at a spectacular outdoor theatre. We even took our two charges, since one of them is smack dab in the middle of studying the French Revolution. No matter how many times I see or read this story, I'm always struck by the delicate interplay of right and wrong, justice and mercy, selfishness and selflessness. But most of all, I'm left with an overwhelming urge to be kinder to my fellow man. One act of true kindness has the potential to alleviate a suffering soul, and because our lives are so interconnected, the effect will ripple out to so many others-and probably boomerang back at some point. Life is richer when we try to be better. It's so worthwhile to find meaningful forms of entertainment that uplift and inspire and show the great goodness that man is capable of. A novel, a work of art, a piece of music, a theatrical presentation, even a movie can exploit the best-or worst-of humankind. Choose wisely!
In keeping with our French revolution theme, today's recipe has not only French bread, but also French cheese. You may be wondering how a blog that professes to save you money can advocate the purchase of fine French cheeses. Here's how: I buy my brie in individually wrapped 1 ounce wedges. These mini wheels go on sale several times a year for 2 for $5 at most grocery stores. It's perfect for a small family, since a full sized wheel of Brie would be as dangerous as la guerre. I made this little appetizer for dinner guests on Sunday. For a minute I thought we should just skip dinner and have four times the appetizers. Suffice it to say they were a hit. This weekenend I'm making another plate full for lunch and curling up on the couch with Les Miserables, the book. Great literature and great food...equally inspiring.
Money Saving Tips: Buy your Brie in small wedges on sale. Blue cheese or creamy feta would make great substitutes. Make a double batch of caramelized onions to use in other recipes for the week. It's a great idea to keep a couple sliced baguettes in the freezer.
Caramelized Onions, Pear, and Brie Crostini
Estimated Cost: $3.00 for 16 crostini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon vinegar (cider, red wine, or balsamic work well)
16 thin sliced multi grain baguettes, toasted (about half a baguette)
2 ounces brie
1/2 of a pear, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until onion caramelizes, about 20 minutes. (I usually get bored and crank up the heat-it's not a true caramelization, but it's still fabulous.) Add the honey and vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring often. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread brie very thinly over crostini. Top with onion mixture and thin pear slices. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
****Thanks to all my readers for helping me find a great multi tasking jeans skirt. I'm sure to find the perfect one now!
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