Trying New Things – Recipe: Shredded Brussels Sprouts

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Yesterday I learned a hard lesson.  I baked some cupcakes for someone, and I had never tried the recipe before.  I actually baked them on Tuesday to be delivered on Wednesday.  When they came out of the oven, I knew that they looked different.  But, honestly, I did not feel well and did not want to start over.  I had tried the batter, and it tasted great.

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Well, fast forward to yesterday.  The cupcakes were not great.  They were not even good.  And, everyone knew it.  My husband had to deliver the bad news to me.

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Baking can be very unpredictable.  I should have tried out the recipe before I ever made them for someone.  We have just been so crunched for time between appointments, events, traveling, and getting ready for Christmas.   However, even though cupcakes do not always turn out the same every single time, I would have known that this particular cupcake recipe was not going to work if I had just tried it first.

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Sometimes, though, trying new things turns out wonderfully the first time around.  Such was the case with Martha Stewart’s Shredded Brussels Sprouts that my sister made for Thanksgiving.  It was fantastic.  Out of all of the things at the feast, it was the Green Bean Casserole and the Brussels Sprouts that had me wanting seconds.  I know that people either love or hate Brussels Sprouts.  But, even if you have never been a fan, I honestly think that this recipe might change your mind.  It is truly delicious.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

1/2 pound thinly sliced pancetta, diced small

Extra-virgin olive oil, if needed

1 3/4 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded (10 cups)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook pancetta over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. With a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain.
  3. Pour off all but 1/4 cup drippings (if necessary, add enough oil to measure 1/4 cup).
  4. Add Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in pancetta.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/12/15/trying-new-things-recipe-shredded-brussels-sprouts/

And…if you ever make a huge baking blunder, I hope that you have a husband as sweet as mine.  He knew that I needed a little pick-me-up yesterday.  Because, for some reason, it is in human nature to beat ourselves up for the bad days instead of lifting ourselves up about the good days.  However, ending the day with my favorite flowers put a smile on my face and allowed me to reflect on the good that I had learned, in spite of the bad experience.  Trying new things is good…just make sure that it is with family first. :)

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Sisters and Friends – Recipe: Green Bean Casserole

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I know that I have mentioned my sister several times.  She is not just a sister.  She is one of my best friends, my neighbor, our school nurse, and a wonderful aunt to my littles.  She is great at everything that she attempts.  And, yes, that includes cooking.

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I actually called her the other day to see if she wanted to just hang up her nursing shoes and open up a cafe with me.  But, then I thought of my littles and how sad they would be if she was not at the school every day, and I said, “Never mind.”  Sometimes it is hard to be selfless.  :)

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We had Thanksgiving with my sister this year.  She and Todd always put together an amazing feast.  When we tried  Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole that Darla had prepared, we declared that it was the best that we had ever had.  Seriously.  I know that there are a ton of green bean casserole recipes out there.  This one, in my opinion, surpasses them all.  Simply delicious.  I had to get a picture of it right then and there because I told my sister that this recipe was too good not to share.

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As a matter-a-fact, I kind of see my sister the exact same way.  Share her I must….because, she truly is so good that it would be a shame not to share her joy, talents, and natural abilities with others, especially when those others come in the form of sweet children, like my own precious littles.

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

This is Paula Deen's Green Bean Casserole, and it is truly delicious.

Ingredients

Green Been Casserole

1/3 stick butter

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2 cups sliced green beans

3 cups chicken broth

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (2.8-ounce) can French-fried onion rings

Pinch House Seasoning

1 cup grated Cheddar

House Seasoning

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet.
  3. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter.
  4. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain.
  5. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and House Seasoning, to taste, to the onion mixture, and stir well.
  6. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.
  9. House Seasoning:
  10. Mix together salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  11. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/12/13/sisters-and-friends-recipe-green-bean-casserole/

Indulgence – Recipe: Cranberry Bruschetta

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Happy 1st day of December!

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I have been busily preparing everything for Advent and Christmas, trying my best to get everything done so that I can just rest, relax, and enjoy the season with my family.  But, at the same time, I have already been trying to just sit back and breathe in the days a little more.  Because of the memories and moments that we try to create, I believe that my littles will always cherish the holidays, but I also know that they will experience it through different eyes as they get older.  So, for now, I am just enjoying every second of experiencing it all through their eyes, enjoying the innocence and beauty of it all as we answer questions like, “What if Santa won’t fit down the chimney this year?”

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My littles became even more attached over the Thanksgiving break, with all of them experiencing some separation anxiety.  As a mom, I am always conflicted between just enjoying these moments of having my babies really, truly need me and wanting them to be independent.  Honestly, though, loving the extra cuddles, hugs, and playtime inevitably wins out.  There is time for independence later.  Right?  I love that they want to play games with us, sit beside us during movie night, and ask to be tucked in extra tight each night.  It is the moments that I cherish, and if we are keeping them young and innocent just a little bit longer by allowing them to cling to us just a little bit longer, I am okay with that.

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Another thing that I am okay with is all of the food that I allow my littles to consume during December.  There is a time and a season for all things, and I believe that there is really no better time to indulge in old, new, simple, or complex food than the holidays.

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This Cranberry Bruschetta provided a little bit of something for everyone.  Since I added jalapenos, we had sweet, tart, and spicy all combined into one delicious appetizer.  I also made some without the jalapenos and some with just bread.  It is the holidays, after all, so there is no better time to indulge…even if the indulgence comes in the form of allowing my littles to stay just that….little….for just a bit longer.

Cranberry Bruschetta

Cranberry Bruschetta

Ingredients

Cranberry Sauce

12 ounce bag of cranberries

3/4 cups orange juice

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Brushetta Toppings

2 loaves of baguettes, sliced into 1 inch slices

Olive oil

1 container of cream cheese

1 can of diced jalapenos or 1 fresh jalapeno, diced

Instructions

    Preparing the Cranberry Sauce
  1. Add the cranberries and orange juice to a sauce pan, and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle in the sugar, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Preparing the Bruschetta
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Brush olive oil onto each piece of bread.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  10. Spread about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese onto each piece of bread.
  11. Top with about 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce.
  12. Sprinkle with canned or fresh jalapenos, optional.
  13. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven and serve warm.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/12/01/indulgence-recipe-cranberry-bruschetta/

Enjoy your December!

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Edgeware.