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  • Jennifer Stewart

savoring time


I’m a multi tasker… always have been. I suppose that’s why I always had to have twenty things going on at all times. And not to toot my own horn, but that’s why I was always a really good bartender. In the most recent weeks, I gave birth to a perfect little baby boy. Three weeks ago actually. This little 8 pound cute object with ears, eyes, nose, and a mouth… that may or may not look like me or my spouse, but it’s cute and gassy and hairy and hungry and all the things… All the things we were anticipating for 9 months. And I can honestly say that my multi tasking has not really been great. It’s kind of gone out the window. All I want to do is just hold my baby and stare at him all day long. I start something and forget what I’m doing 10 minutes later. It’s definitely not in my nature… this inability to focus. It’s scary really.

Leading up to his arrival, I can honestly say that life couldn’t have gotten more hectic in our household. God blessed us with a trip to Italy a year ago, without really knowing what was in store for us in the coming year. A house renovation (That has taken 12 months), two deaths in the family, a first-time pregnancy, a two week bachelor party trip, two destination family weddings, and oh, let’s not forget the time my husband cut his finger off with the lawn mower. If rest was in our future… I don’t think it was or is anytime soon. But once again, my husband and I are a good team like that. We like adventure. And we don’t like boring.

And on that note, I have been known to live a pretty spontaneous lifestyle… keeping it busy. Keeping myself on the go. And really never stopping. I’ve been forever moving. My whole life. It feels as if I’ve shifted through life without really taking a breath of air and/or taking the time to just be…. My son has finally allowed me to do that. Motherhood. It has truly forced me to be present with the only things in this World that matter. I’ve learned to appreciate the quiet. The stillness in the air. And just the utter joy of my family. My very own family. My heart just explodes thinking about it.

In honor of my son, I would like to pair a recipe that represents our household. Our sweet little log cabin style household… A little bit of sweet and a little bit of savory. Because we’re all just savoring every minute of this time together.

Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Monkey Bread

From: Southern Cast Iron Magazine

Master Dough Recipe

1 Cup Warm Whole Milk (Divided)

1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup sour cream

1 large egg

3 ½ to 4 cups all purpose flour, divided

1 ¼ tsp kosher salt

First in medium bowl, combine ¾ cup warm milk and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes

Next in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, stir together melted butter, sugar, sour cream, egg and remaining ¼ cup warm milk.

Next in a large bowl, whisk together 3 ½ cups flour and salt. Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture. With mixer on low speed, add yeast mixture, beating just until combined. Beat in remaining flour mixture. Switch to dough hook attachment. Beat at medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Adding remaining ½ cup flour if needed.

Last spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in a bowl turning to grease top. Loosely cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Continue with Monkey Bread Recipe….

1 (8 ounce) block sharp Cheddar cheese, grated.

1 ½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp Italian Seasoning

½ Cup unsalted butter, melted

1 Pound of Bacon, cooked and roughly chopped

1 ½ jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced

First line a 10-inch cast iron skillet with parchment paper. Next Gently punch down Master Dough, and divide into 32 dough balls. Next in a medium bowl, stir together cheese, garlic powder, salt and Italian seasoning. Coat 16 dough balls in melted butter and roll in cheese mixture. Reserve remaining cheese mixture. Place dough balls in prepared skillet layering with three-fourths of bacon and jalapenos. Coat remaining dough balls in melted butter and place on top. Drizzle with remaining melted butter.

Next cover and let rise in a warm place until puffed about 20 minutes.

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees.

Last Cover with foil and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean about 55 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture, bacon, and Jalapenos. Bake until cheese is melted.

Okay, I have to be honest and say I haven’t tried this recipe yet. But I know that I’ve been thinking about it and therefore it will happen very soon. Everything in it is my jam and I grew up eating Monkey Bread… but not the savory kind. Or the “Made from scratch” kind. We just used the Pillsbury pre-made dough that you cut up and roll and dip in cinnamon and sugar and pour butter all over it. But I like this recipe… because it makes you go slow. Kind of like what I’m doing in my every day life.

Jim Croce is favorite in our household. My husband puts on his records and sings every word to all of his songs. It’s become a staple to know all of his greatest hits… and well, this time I’m going to pair one of his songs with this incredible time in our lives and this delicious savory monkey bread recipe. Time In A Bottle. By Jim Croce. Holy Moly. This song can only make me think of my son. Knowing it won’t last forever… I’ll savor this time with him and put it in a bottle. And we’ll eat Bacon Cheesy Monkey Bread too…

Let’s all fill our time with the people and things that we love the most. Not with the things that don’t matter. Life is too short. I’ll use my multi tasking somewhere else...and you should too.


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