My sister in law's family makes this amazing pull apart cheesy bread. I have tried a few recipes but theirs, by far, is my favorite! This bread serves as a great appetizer and screams comfort food. Great for a special occasion or to go along some yummy pasta. Really, I could just snack on this all by myself!
The ingredients are pretty simple. Spreadable cheese, dry sherry, butter, garlic, and bread.
The key is the cheese. The recipe calls for Kraft Old English Spread. At one point, I could not find any so I used a sharp cheddar instead. It is still good but the Old English definitely has a really creamy not too sharp taste. The only place I can find it in my area is at Walmart (but you can also find it online).
First you cut the bread into squares, being careful to not cut all the way through the bottom.
Mix all the remaining ingredients together.
And then stuff that cheesy goodness into the bread.
Tent the bread with foil before it heads into the oven.
And if you have a giant toaster oven like me, you can make this all day every day in the summer without heating up the house. We love our giant Calphalon convection oven that we got from Macy's when we got married. It is no longer available, but this one is similar.
And then you eat some cheesy goodness. The pictures do not even do this justice. It is amazing. You must try it.
Pull Apart Cheesy Bread
-2 jars Old English Kraft Cheese Spread (10 oz total in case you cannot find this particular brand)
-1/4 cup dry sherry (don't buy the cooking sherry--it is not the same and dry sherry is pretty inexpensive plus you will want to always have it on hand because this recipe is amazeballs)
-1 stick butter
-2 teaspoons minced garlic
-1 round sourdough loaf
Mix all ingredients together using a mixer until creamy. Slice sourdough loaf into one inch cubes; be sure not to slice through the bottom of the loaf. Spread cheese mixture into loaf. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until center of loaf is hot. May need to tent with foil to prevent burning.
We have two empty spots on the edge of each side of our kitchen counters. It's almost an island except it is attached to the wall. Over the years, we have hung things from a towel bar in these open counter spaces. But it was not until recently that I decided these empty little spaces deserved to shine.
I wanted them to be pretty end caps to our counters styled in a way that reminds me of a kitchen store. One side got a nice coat of chalkboard paint that now serves as a decorative grocery list while also holding my stir fry pan and galvanized serving tray.
I believe it is the little attention to detail that makes a home stand out as unique. Painting this with chalkboard paint has been on my to do list for way too long. All it took was a little can of paint and an afternoon to paint coats in between loads of laundry. So easy...why could I have not done it sooner!?
The other side I kept white but placed my kitchen supplies more intentionally.
A wicker basket now holds dish towels, a colander, and a few wooden spoons. Next to it is my large colander and cast iron skillet. I wanted the colors to remain neutral creating a cohesive yet stylish feel.
Such an easy and inexpensive update to an otherwise unused space! Off to find other little corners in my home that can function more intentionally (and pretty!).
Back in May my in laws took our entire family on a vacation on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas Cruise. It was a beautiful week long trip to Haiti, Jamaica, and Cozumel. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing about the different stops on our trip. Today's post is all about the boat -- and it was a big one!
There is really so much that I could say, but I will give bits and pieces and let the pictures speak for themselves. There was a lot to see and enjoy and we did it all!
Our boat ported from Fort Lauderdale so we headed to Florida (for my very first time!). We arrived the night before we got on the boat giving us a few hours in the morning to get a little taste of Florida.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency which had an amazing 360 degree view room from the top.
Palms trees were everywhere of course, and I was happy to soak in every sun filled moment.
The view of Fort Lauderdale from the top. The canals were by far the most fascinating. Oh to live like the rich and famous and live right off of the water!
When we got to the boat, there was a pretty long day so we had to wait to board. This is just a taste of the amount of people on the entire boat. Pretty crazy.
After literally hours of waiting, we got on ship. This is a view from the boat before we headed off to sea.
Brent and I lucked out and got a room with an ocean view. Our room was pretty spacious for a cruise ship and we enjoyed the nice amenities the room provided.
Off we go!
One of the highlights of the trip for me was waking up views of the ocean. This was taken one morning while on sea. The cotton candy clouds and ocean waves were calling my name.
If I haven't said it already, the boat was huge. We spent our entire first day on sea exploring the boat and figuring out where everything was. Everything lit up beautifully at night when things quieted down (which is most definitely our speed!).
The different sections of the boat had different themes, restaurants, and things to do.
They even had a bar that moved between two different stories. It was pretty amazing.
There was plenty of swimming. Our niece and nephew loved spending the majority of their days hopping from pool to pool.
I personally enjoyed the soft serve machine out by the pool.
Up on top of the boat was the FlowRider. I was too chicken to try but Brent took a turn at surfing.
They had plenty of shows to pick from that were all top notch.
At dinner we got to dress up a few times. Unfortunately my dress was not big enough to hold all the food I wanted to eat!
It was always the evenings that we got the most privacy. All the kids turned in and the adults went to hit the night life while we enjoyed a giant jacuzzi all to ourselves!
One of the best evenings of entertainment was a giant party they put on in the center of the boat.
We lucked out and this nice older couple invited us to sit with them on the moving bar. Little did we know what an epic night was ahead.
Lots of dancing as our moving bar headed up above the crowd. We joined a conga line that plenty of tourists now have on video. We got to be a part of the show elevated above everyone else. It was pretty VIP and we didn't even know it!
Kung Fu Panda even showed up and invited me to dance! Click over if you are having trouble viewing the video.
The inside of the bar on the second floor all lit up.
There was even a zip line. I have zip lined before but there is something pretty scary about flying over an entire ship!
Along with the FlowRider was boogie boarding. I was pretty terrible at it as you can see on my face.
And another dress up night with the family.
One of our favorite places to eat was this 24 hour build your own pizza parlor.
The food was great. And there sure was a lot of it. I actually preferred eating at the buffet where I could look around at all the food first before choosing what to eat. Constantly having food brought out to me in the main dinner hall was too much temptation to overeat. Though the presentation sure was nice.
So the question is, would we do it again? For us, I would say cruising was a one time experience for now. I think when it comes to planning a vacation, it is so important to know what you want out of a vacation. There was so much fun stuff to do 24 hours a day that I could barely relax because I wanted to see and do it all. I think we both were a little exhausted by the end of the trip. It wasn't until the last day at sea that we finally allowed ourselves to relax because we had finally done it all and could rest peacefully in our room with our room service and TV. We are beginning to learn that we enjoy creating our own schedule versus having one to choose from.
Besides that, I was a little disappointed by how much they pressured you to buy more, tip more, and spend more. For an already pricey trip, I expected a more "all inclusive experience." Unfortunately that was the not the case.
All in all, we had a great time and I especially loved the few things we got to do at port which I will be sharing about soon.
What are your thoughts on cruising? Are you a cruiser or prefer something else when it comes to vacationing?