As much as I like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I also enjoy quick and easy recipes, kitchen hacks, and store bought bread and pastry from time to time.

I am definitely not opposed to short cuts, especially if the outcome is quick but still tasty. I know my time is usually stretched pretty thin so when I have unexpected company, not enough hours in the day, or just need a quick football game day snack, I have some quick and easy recipes up my sleeve.

Here is something everyone should have in their recipe repertoire…pull apart bread! The combinations are endless and easy!

I am going to share with you my “everything bagel” pull apart bread. The first easy step is to go and buy a round loaf of sourdough bread. Preheat oven to 375º. Put a couple of sheets of foil together on a baking sheet, enough to cover the whole loaf. Place bread on foil, with a serrated bread knife cut the bread crosswise about an inch and a half between cuts making sure not to go all the way through to the bottom then turn the bread and cut the opposite way making cube like columns. Between the cube columns, insert old white cheddar cheese slices. Use as much or as little cheese as you want (more is always better).

In a sauce pan on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup of butter with four cloves of roasted or raw garlic. If using raw, let sit in warm butter for a bit before using. Pour melted butter evenly over bread, sprinkle with 1 tbsp of poppy seeds, 1 tbsp of onion flakes, 1 tbsp of sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes, turn back foil, return to oven, and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted nicely. Serve warm with marinara or pizza sauce, cream cheese or your favourite dip. Enjoy!

Other easy variations:

  • Garlic butter, cheddar cheese, green onions, and tomatoes.
  • Butter, cumin, chili powder, minced jalapenos, and pepper jack cheese.
  • Sweet butter made with honey, brie, thinly sliced pear, and walnuts.

My husband wanted a peanut butter and jelly version….umm maybe another time.

Here are some kitchen hacks that might make your life in the kitchen easier.

  • Use a bundt pan for cutting kernels off of corn cobs (I use this all the time, might be favpurite hack).
  • To make clean cuts in cake, use floss (I do this when I need a clean cut for a nice picture I am taking).
  • Make a few cuts on top of your hard squash with a knife, microwave for 5 to 6 minutes, let sit for a few minutes, then peel (no more sweat and tears trying to peel your squash).
  • Grate cold butter for biscuits or pastry using a cheese grater (cutting butter is half the battle).
  • Slice a lot of small tomatoes quickly and easily by placing them between two plate bottoms and running your knife through the middle (you’re welcome).

Have fun and enjoy!