Food to sooth the soul

Hubby and I have been experimenting with many different things in the kitchen. Puff pastry - who knew this fabulous flaky pastry could create a plethora of unique dishes from sweet to savory?

Food is a delicious canvas for bringing to life your soul's ultimate needs and desires.

Such as this delicious little morsel... mini beef wellingtons. These are so fantastically easy to make, and easy on the budget too.

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What you'll need:

about 1/2 lbs of your choice steak (We used Kansas steak) cubed into 1" pieces
Puffy pastry sheets (2 in a box)
1 large shallot
1 tspn minced garlic
1/4 cup finely minced mushroom (we used baby portabellas)
Shredded Gouda cheese

Quickly sear the steak bites in a screaming hot skillet. Once all sides are nicely browned, remove from heat. In same skillet, add 2 tbspn butter, with the finely sliced shallot, garlic, and mushroom. Sautee for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat into a bowl. Shred about 1/2 cup Gouda cheese.

Use puff pastry while still extremely cold. Cut into 9 squares - each sheet. In the center of each square, spoon a little of your mushroom shallot mixture, add a little gouda cheese, top with a piece of steak, then wrap completely with the puff pastry. With the seam side down, place your wellingtons on a non-stick baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown - approximately 15 minutes.

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But, we can't simply stop there! Oh no! Puff Pastry, this delicate flaky puffy heaven, can be used in so many ways. If you like cheese, and you're not afraid to experiment with your food, then try baked brie with plum butter.

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Simply take 1 sheet of puff pastry, very cold, and spoon in the center your favorite preserve or jam. We've used a rich plum butter, and added some dried cranberries. Place 1 round Brie cheese in the center, top with more jam or preserves, and completely encase the cheese round with the puff pastry. Place seem side down on a non-stick baking sheet and bake in oven 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

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And how could I ever forget about my delicious chocolate??? No entry is complete without chocolate. Chocolate and puff pastry are simply magic together.

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You can do this one of two ways - you can do 6 fairly large croissants or 12 mini croissants. Take your cold puff pastry, and with a pizza cutter, cut 3 triangles. At the end of each triangle, place your favorite chocolate - whether it's chocolate chips, a candy bar, nutella, etc... and start rolling from the thick end (where the chocolate is placed) towards the small end. Once you have your croissants completely rolled up, place on a non-stick cooking sheet, or spray a cooking sheet with non-stick spray - egg wash the tops of your croissants, and generiously sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.

Now you can leave these sugary crystalized mouth watering yummies alone once out of the oven - OR you can then drizzle with your favorite chocolate that has been melted down.

And if you're really daring? Fry up some bacon to sprinkle down over that drizzled chocolate. Trust me, your soul with be soothed, and you will wonder what else you've been missing all your life!

Enjoy!

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