3 Roast Brussel Sprouts

I love these little cabbages. They don’t have the harshness that large cabbages have and each one, at least the little ones, are a single bite. Also, they have the ability to absorb a lot of flavor which is really nice. So here are 3 recipes that I’m posting for you, something different to try. And even if you don’t like brussel sprouts, try one of them. You might be surprised.

Orange Sprouts

1 pound brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and cleaned and halved
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice

Heat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients and place in an oven safe dish with a lid (or you can cover with foil). Cook covered for 20 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before uncovering, stirring and serving.

Creamy Mustard Sprouts

1 pound brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and cleaned
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon water
salt to taste

Heat oven to 350. In an oven safe dish combine brussel sprouts and butter. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully, and mix the mustard, water and sour cream together and pour over the sprouts. Put it back in the oven, uncovered, for 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and stir everything together and serve.

Sweet and Tangy Sprouts

1 pound brussel sprouts, ends trimmed, cleaned and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced and mushed into a paste
pinch of salt

Heat oven to 350. In an oven safe dish mix brussels, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, mix with the vinegar, honey, olive oil, garlic and salt. Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Stir after removing from oven and serve.

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Borscht

This is my adaptation of Borscht. It’s a great recipe, easy to make (though it has a lot of chopping), makes a ton of soup and it really filling.

Ingredients
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
2 parsnips
2 red potatoes
1 large onion
4 medium beets
1/2 head of savoy cabbage
2 14 oz cans of petite diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of chicken or vegetable broth
3-4 cups water, as needed
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley
sour cream

Wash all the veggies and peel the carrots, parsnips, beets and onion. Chop all the veggies except the cabbage and place into a really big soup pot. You want to cut all the veggies into a similar shape and size so they cook evenly and you want them to be diced or about the size of a matchstick. Turn on the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and broth and water to cover the veggies. Bring up to a simmer, cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Check for seasoning and to make sure the veggies are cooked. Add cabbage and parsley and turn off heat. Let sit for about 30 minutes before serving, it will get better the longer it sits. Serve in a large bowl with a dollop of sour cream on top.

This is way better the day after and it can be frozen and thawed to eat later. You can cut the recipe down as much as you like so you don’t end up with a gallon of the soup. If you make the full batch make sure you have either a lot of people to eat it or a lot of containers to freeze it in.

Last Minute Fajita Style Chicken Dinner

I’m really more of a last minute cook. I don’t like planning ahead. I’d much rather look at what I have and throw something together. Most of the time it turns out to be better than a recipe I’ve followed.

Last night this was the case. It was 6:00, my husband was due home from work shortly. No dinner plans really. I took a quick inventory of what I had and threw this together. It took a total of about 20 minutes to cook and it was delicious!

Ingredients
1 pound chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 cup sliced onion
2 cups sliced bell pepper
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained, save the juice
1 small can diced green chiles
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup medium grain rice
2 cups water
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar is better)
a couple dollops of cream cheese
hot sauce (optional)

In a small pot with a lid add rice, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, juice from the tomatoes and 1 tablespoon diced green chiles. Bring to a boil and cover, turning heat down to low, cooking for 15 minutes. When done leave lid on until you are ready to serve.

In a pan on high heat warm oil and add chicken and chili powder and garlic powder. Toss until chicken is cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add to pan peppers and onions, tossing until the edges start to cook. Add tomatoes and green chiles and chicken. Toss together and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 more minutes. Serve over rice with cheese and sour cream. You can add hot sauce if you think it needs it.

Call me crazy!

I went to cash and carry and found a deal. A deal too good to pass up. Especially with St. Patrick’s day coming up.

Yes, that is corned beef.
16.25 pounds of it.

Wow.

We are HUGE fans of this particular cut of meat, we eat it as much as I can, especially this time of year when it goes on sale. This was roughly $1.70 a pound. Super cheap.

So.
What am I going to do with it? Split it first of all. Probably into 4 pieces. One will go to mom. One will be cooked Sunday night. The other two I’m hoping to be able to cram into my over-stuffed freezer so we can have another on the 17th and another some time after that.

Cooking the beast.
Before cooking I usually soak it in water over night. That way some of the salt will come out since corning the beef makes it really salty and even a few hours soaking in water will reduce the salt content. Then after a nice long soak it will go into the crock pot with some fresh water and spices*. Note: if you put the spices into a tea ball they won’t be all over the meat when it’s done cooking. I set the crock pot on high for 8-10 hours. When it’s down to 2 hours to go I’ll add carrots, potatoes and onions. When it’s down to 30 minutes I’ll add, if there is room, a head of cabbage** cleaned and quartered. If there isn’t room I’ll put the cabbage in a sauce pot with a lid and ladle a couple cups of the cooking liquid from the corned beef and veggies onto the cabbage. Then replace the lid and steam the cabbage for about 10 minutes. Before serving I’ll let the beef rest on a platter for 10 minutes so it will be easier to slice. I always serve it with a honey mustard sauce that I make myself. It’s easy to make and it stores in the fridge for a long time. 2 parts honey, 2 parts grainy mustard, 1 part apple cider vinegar. That’s it. Mix it together and put in a squeeze bottle or jar.

*Spices: a mixture usually comes with your corned beef but sometimes you like to mix your own. A good mix is black pepper corns, mustard seed, cinnamon sticks, celery seed and bay leaf. Or whatever you like, it’s up to you.

**Cabbage: instead of regular cabbage I like to use savoy cabbage. It’s got better flavor and it doesn’t make your belly upset if you aren’t used to eating a lot of cabbage.

Taco Salad

This one is simple to put together and pretty fast to make. The greatest part is you can add anything, meat, beans, cheese, whatever you want. And it’s a good way to use leftovers and to get a lot of veggies in your diet. These ingredients is just what I usually put into mine, you can add whatever you want. Tonight I’m going to add leftover tri-tip to the salad.

Ingredients
1 head of iceburg lettuce, sliced thin
1 carrot, grated
1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 green onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded cheese
1 avocado, diced
2 cups meat diced (your choice)
1 can kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 lime cut into wedges
1 cup sour cream
1 cup medium or hot salsa
hot sauce (optional)
cilantro leaves (optional)

In a LARGE bowl layer lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, green onion, avocado, cheese, meat and beans. Divide into serving bowls, I usually get about 4 servings out of this amount of salad. Top each with tortilla chips and a lime wedge on the side. Mix together sour cream and salsa. Pour sauce mix onto salads. Top with cilantro leaves if you like and of course you can add extra hot sauce if you want it.

Fennel Braised with Artichokes

Fennel Braised with Artichokes

Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (13.75 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Directions
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook fennel 6 minutes, stirring, or until browned; remove from skillet.
2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet; stir in onion; cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in flour until onions are coated. Add wine and boil 2 minutes. Add the broth and tomatoes; simmer for 5 minutes.`
3. Coat slow cooker bowl with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Layer half the fennel slices on the bottom, then half the artichokes, then half the onion mixture. Repeat the layers. Cover; cook on HIGH for 3 hours or on LOW for 6 hours. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium-size carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large Idaho potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon paprika
4 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 slices ready-to-serve bacon (such as Oscar Meyer), prepared according to package directions and crumbled

Directions
1. Place oil in a 4- to 6-quart stovetop-safe slow-cooker bowl over medium-high heat on stovetop. Cook carrot, celery and onion for 7 minutes or until softened.
2. Transfer to slow-cooker base and add potatoes to bowl. Pour broth over top and add bay leaf, dried thyme and paprika. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1-1/2 hours or LOW for 3 hours, or until potatoes are cooked through.
3. Stir in corn and milk; cover and cook for 1 hour or until heated through.
4. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and wine and whisk into soup; cook an additional 10 minutes. Stir in fresh thyme and salt.
5. Using a potato masher, gently mash the soup until slightly thickened. Sprinkle each serving with a generous 1/2 tablespoon crumbled bacon and serve immediately.

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