Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I feel kind of guilty doing this, but I have found some wonderful posts on other blogs. So here are the links to find them.

On Providently Living, she has a link to this website, Our Best Bites. This happens to be a post on spices, but go ahead and take a cruise through the site, you'll be glad you did! I think they are from Louisiana, a guarantee to have lots of good cooking information . . those southerners, especially from the deep south, know their way around the kitchen. Speaking from experiences from visiting lots of southern relatives!

I stand corrected, this couple live in Utah, though they do mention Louisiana and have some southern cooking included . . . still a winner!!!

The other site I found is on Food Storage Made Easy. A reader sent it to them and they turned it into a pdf file that can be downloaded. It is loaded with information, the most comprehensive I have ever seen.

This site also had the link for a great deal on organizing your can goods in your cupboards.Can organizers are located HERE. yes, these are made of cardboard, but I think they would still hold up well. I plan to order some this week and will let you know what I think!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Yikes! It's Brussels Sprouts!!

Have you been checking the sales at your local fresh produce departments? With the borders so open and the produce trade flowing north from the lands south of us, you can enjoy so many wonderful veggies throughout the winter now. Actually, the cool weather crops like this are from southern AZ and California. If you check the sales, this doesn't even have to be expensive. If all else fails, try frozen, you will find some good surprises there as well.

This morning, at Bountiful Baskets,we had fun listening to all the reactions to . . . Brussels Sprouts! There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to these little gems, yes, I do like them. I had already enjoyed a batch of them from the Sunflower Markets and was happy to see more. just for fun, I found this picture of the way they grow. Did you know they looked like this? Pretty fun, huh? I grew them once in northern AZ. They were beautiful and looked so tasty . . at least that is what the thousands of aphids told me. Wish I had known then how well a little soapy water worked for suffocating those little buggers!

Now, what to do with them so they really are edible. Of course there is always the good old, bring salted water to a boil and cook them til they are a dull green with a good and slimy surface. To make sure the middle is good and over cooked, boil until the outer leaves are good and mushy. Yes, that is how I ate them when I was growing up, and I still liked "baby cabbages". No accounting for taste, I guess. Maybe I was just very distracted (or entertained) by my older brothers gagging sounds and weird faces trying to choke them down. it was quite the show.

As I grew up, I discovered the wonderful world of steaming and resorted to that. Later, I realized that if they varied quite a bit in size, maybe I should sort them and cut the larger ones in half to cook them more evenly. When they are tender, not mushy, and still have a pretty bright green, take them off and sprinkle them with a little salt and butter. If you would like the butter to not be too fattening and to really cling to the sprouts, try Half Fat Butter Sauce.

Once again, I can't find a recipe. It is for artichokes just like they serve at Black Angus. I made larger brussels sprouts like that and they were yummy. In the meantime, I will share the ones I found on the internet. There are lots more, take a peek and if these don't ring your bell, take a gander on your own to find one that does!

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 15 min Serves: 4 servings


· 3 slices bacon, chopped (or of course there are always the real the bacon bits that are precooked)

· 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan

· 1 shallot, chopped

· 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, small

spouts left whole, larger spouts halved

· Salt and pepper, to your taste

· 1 cup chicken broth

· Directions:

Brown bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan, 1 turn. Add shallots to the pan and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and coat in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook Brussels sprouts 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften, then add broth. Bring broth to a bubble, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook 10 minutes, until tender. Transfer sprouts to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and top with cooked bacon bits.

Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts Recipe (from:

This is the only way to eat brussel sprouts: cut in half and cooked until deliciously tender inside and perfectly brown and crusted on the outside.

Use brussel sprouts that are on the small size and tightly closed. You can finish these with many different types of cheese but I tend to go for Parmesan when the weather is good. I trade that in for heavier cheeses like gruyere or Gouda in colder we

ather. I finished them off with some toasted hazelnuts the other night - delicious!

· 24 small brussels sprouts

· 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing

· fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

· 1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice

Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves. Cut in half from stem to top and gently rub each half with olive oil, keeping it intact (or if you are lazy just toss them in a bowl with a glug of olive oil).

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Don't overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down (single-layer), sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 5 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they're tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.

Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some brownin

g on the rounded side. Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a dusting of grated cheese. While you might be able to get away with keeping a platter of these warm in the oven for a few minutes, they are exponentially tastier if popped in your mouth immediately.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All rights reserved

Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 40 min Serves: 6 servings


· 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

· 3 tablespoons good olive oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

· 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.