I realize that the week after Thanksgiving the last thing people want to think about is cooking, but as it is the holiday season and everyone and their mother is having a dinner party, it’s always good to have a few recipe ideas on hand. These Brussels sprouts were a major hit at the Thanksgiving dinner I attended. If you pay any attention to this blog, or perhaps my life generally, you probably know I’ve been nuts for B. Sprouts for the past two years. There was a few times last year that I had to stop myself from eating them every day. I digress, let’s get to the recipe.
Sweet Lemon + Thyme Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts, trimmed an cut in half
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
zest of one lemon, plus juice
2-3 tbls brown sugar
1-2 tbls fresh thyme
salt + pepper to taste
Toast pecans in a 350 degree oven until brown. In a large pan, saute Brussels sprouts in a olive oil with salt until they start to brown. Turn frequently. Lower the heat a bit and add pecans. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Toss the sprout/pecans until evenly coated. Toss in lemon zest and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.
In addition to the Brussels, I whipped up some cheesy mashed red potatoes. Mashed potatoes have saved me at many a family meal. To give you an idea, my Aunt Linda and Uncle Gary just sent out the invite to Christmas Eve. On the menu: prime rib and turkey. I am forever grateful that my family loves to over-prepare with 8 million sides and appetizers (and bottles of wine!) I’ve always been a well fed vegetarian, even in a world of salmon, bacon and prime rib.
Cheesy Roasted Garlic and Chive Mashed Red Potatoes (these are really unhealthy. Sorry! Also, this makes enough for 10 people…)
1 bag of red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
1 wedge Fontina cheese, grated
3/4 container of light sour cream
1 head of garlic
1/2 chives, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, cover potatoes with water and throw in a few pinches of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are very tender. Chop the tops off of the head of garlic and remove any excess skin. Douse in a good amount of olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast at 350 until the cloves are very soft. Remove potatoes from heat and drain water. Add in garlic, butter and sour cream. Begin mashing, adding in more butter and/or sour cream as needed. Mix in Fontina cheese. Once mixture is a smooth consistency, add in chives and salt and pepper to taste.
(On a side note: I wish I had used milk as well. You probably should.)
I spent Thanksgiving in Greenpoint at the lovely apartment of Brooke and Ryan. We ate, we drank, we danced. I was so full by the end of dinner that I couldn’t touch the spread of pies that people had brought. Once things were winding down, I headed to The Drink, the bar that a few friends are opening very soon. I hadn’t been there in a couple of months, and it’s looking amazing. I’m hoping I’ll get to visit again before I head home next week.
Speaking of home - I’m referring to Washington State, where I was born and bred. I’ll be there for a long stretch - 2 1/2 weeks. Plenty of time to see my niece, catch up with old friends, hug my family and breathe some fresh air.
Finally, I still have a few to edit/upload, but here’s another batch of photos from Louisiana.
Swing dancers on Royal
Amazing duo on Royal
View of the French Quarter
After what turned out to be a pretty epic weekend of seeing Damien Jurado and North Highlands live, attending the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island and jumping into the Atlantic Ocean, a slow Sunday has been a welcomed change. Plus it’s hot (again!) I know my friends in Washington have been suffering through an epically bad start to summer, so I won’t discuss the weather too much… but I seriously considered buying waters for the homeless dudes passed out in the Key Foods parking lot today. Perhaps I should have followed through on that thought.
For whatever reason, I thought that a hot June Sunday was a perfect time to whip up a vegetarian meatloaf again. I made this a few years back with my mom’s recipe and forced Nate and Hunter to eat what I referred to as an “American Dinner.” Meatloaf, baked potato, broccoli. If I remember correctly, it came out pretty well.
This time around I decided to class it up a bit, by making a Hasselback Potato and some sauteed Brussels Sprouts. Emma just returned from Italy, so what better way to welcome her home?!
Vegetarian Meatloaf (approximate measurements)
1 Gimme Lean “Beef”
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 onion, chopped small
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (this may vary.) Mix all ingredients in a bowl and press into a rectangular loaf pan. Bake until the mix firms up (about 45-60 mins.) Remove from oven, and top with BBQ sauce mix:
For the top:
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
Put back in oven for another 5-10 mins until sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven, cut and serve.
I know that it may seem strange to make something that is so traditionally a MEAT dish, but my mom’s meatloaf was delicious growing up and sometimes I miss it.
I kept seeing various versions of these on different blogs and figured I would give them a try. It’s a little bit fancier looking than a plain baked potato, and I whipped up some dill Greek yogurt to accompany it. Emma wanted to point out that the dill sauce was her favorite part.
1 potato per serving
1 tbls olive oil
salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste
Thinly slice potato crosswise, being careful not to cut all the way through the potato. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place in a baking pan and put in a 350 degree oven for 40-60 mins. Rub with a bit of butter ever 20 mins or so.
Dill Greek Yogurt topping
1 container non-fat Greek yogurt (plain)
2 tbls dill (I used to dry)
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
Mix ingredients and pour a couple of tablespoons over the cooked Hasselback potato.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
2 cups Brussels Sprouts, chopped in half
2 tbls olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a pan and add sprouts, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Cook at a medium/high heat until tender/brown.
Perhaps it was ill-advised to run a 400 degree oven when it’s brutal outside (and maybe if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be cooling myself down with an icepack right now) but it’s too late for regrets now!