Friday, December 3, 2010

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 half1/2 cup pecans, roughly choppedzest of one lemon, plus juice2-3 tbls brown sugar1-2 tbls fresh thymeOlive oilsalt + pepper to tasteToast 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 chopped1 wedge Fontina cheese, grated3/4 container of light sour cream1 head of garlic1/2 chives, choppedButtersalt & 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. Bourbon Street 
Swing dancers on Royal Amazing duo on Royal View of the French Quarter

Gator faces 

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