Jen’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Feta, Craisins, Candied Pecans, and a Balsamic Drizzle

Every time I see huge Brussels sprouts they make their way into the grocery cart, regardless of what was on that list. Costco has ginormous ones right now! Earthiness from the sprouts. Bacony bacon. Tang from the feta. Tartness from the craisins. A pop of sweet nuttiness from the candied pecans. And an acid pop from the balsamic glaze. Perfection. It’s so darn delicious, easy, and it happens to be fabulously nutritious, so I make it all the time. It makes a great stand-alone breakfast because of the bacon. It’s a fabulous dinner. And it’s a killer bbq sidekick. I hope you love it, too! Continue reading “Jen’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Feta, Craisins, Candied Pecans, and a Balsamic Drizzle”

Beef, Orange and Olive Stew recipe and cookbook review: Milk Street: The New Rules

#MilkStreet @Milk Street #ChristopherKimball @ChristopherKimball #LittleBrown @LittleBrown

Do you watch Milk Street? Their book, Milk Street: Tuesday Nights, was in my top three cookbooks released last year, and now I see that it got a James Beard Award. Great pick! I try very hard not to say things like best, because my best may very well not be your best. So I will tell you why I love them, and you’ll get a better idea if it sounds like a fit for you. Flavor. They are really strong flavorists. There’s never an apologetic bite to be had. Minimalists. They really do a great job of getting where they’re going on the easiest road available. The recipes are global. For me, that’s great but also the only disappointment I have. As we travel the globe in their books, I’d like to see a little American food represented, too. We’ve got some great stuff!

They have a new book out, Milk Street: The New Rules, and it’s fantastic! Four days and 11 recipes in, and I think 3 of them are the best I’ve ever had. The lentils (I know! Lentils! Promise they’re an addictive bite!), the beef, orange, and olive stew, and the Turkish poached eggs with garlicky yogurt are the best. I said it again and although I think it sounds obnoxious, it’s sincere, and I’m leaving it there.

Continue reading “Beef, Orange and Olive Stew recipe and cookbook review: Milk Street: The New Rules”

Jen’s raclettes. Cheesy, melty, oozy deliciousness, and the most relaxing party you can host. Yeah.

I put 5 miles on my sneakers on most days. Yesterday was 9 because it was so nice out. I started in a winter coat this morning, and pretty quickly tied it around my waist because it was t-shirt comfy outside. I’m down in Texas, loving the spring blossoms everywhere, but feeling pretty guilty about all this sunshine when I see my buddies up north posting pics of snowy windows, and having one more cup of coffee before grabbing their shovels. Brrrrr! I grew up in Wisconsin, and lived most of my adult life in New York, so I remember big old banks of snow all too well. So this post is for my friends in the frozen tundra. A peace offering for all my flowery posts.

chefThere used to be a show on Public Television called Chef. Oh, it was great! Lenny Henry played Chef Gareth Blackstock. In a few episodes, Chef sets up meetings with illegal fill-in-the-blank suppliers in the woods in the British countryside. He’s always the most wonderful blend of absolute nervousness and excitement. Awesome. When those Facebook quizzes come out asking if a friend ever saw you in the back of a police car, what would it be for, my friends would tell you it would involve cheese. My husband knows that it would be the height of romance if he could arrange a questionable cheese transaction in England for me. Holiday made.

Continue reading “Jen’s raclettes. Cheesy, melty, oozy deliciousness, and the most relaxing party you can host. Yeah.”

Jen’s Bratwurst, Potato, and Onion Tray Bake. Easy and Delicious! Bon Bratétit!

My youngest and I walked through Costco hungry yesterday. “Mmmm. Feel like brats?” She responded, “Um, yeah!” I’ve been in Texas for 10 years now, but I grew up in Wisconsin, and sometimes that need for brats just hits. If it were summer, I’d be talking to you about grilling them and tossing them into a beer hot tub, while enjoying an ice cold beer on my partio (like a patio, but equipped for fun. Cred to my friend Tracy for my favorite summer word). A few years ago, I had all my ingredients for the brat tub and it started raining. I love my grill, but draw the line at rain and tornadoes. With that, the Brat Tray Bake was invented. It was so awesomely cozy that it was an obvious keeper. It’s super easy, so kids can get involved and proudly bring trays of yum to smiling people at the table. Niiiice.

Okay, since there’s no tub of beer waiting for your brats on the grill, it’s imperative that you begin with fresh beer brat links. Plain and pre-cooked are right out. Don’t consider them. Unless you have to. Then okay.

I’ve included pics of my kid prepping everything below, because she cracks me up. Her coconut oil hair mask and onion goggle combo is quite the fashion statement, no? The onion goggles do work well, though. Okay, she glared at me….

Bon Bratétit! If you love it, come find me again! 😀

Continue reading “Jen’s Bratwurst, Potato, and Onion Tray Bake. Easy and Delicious! Bon Bratétit!”

Jen’s Garlic and Basil Fondue

It’s cold outside! I’ve lived in Texas for 10 years now, but I grew up in Wisconsin, and chilly air is like Pavlov’s bell to this Cheesehead. I start craving melted cheese.

My favorite fondue method is a little unorthodox. Rather than heating wine and tossing corn starch coated cheese into the pool, I love to start by making a roux and building a lovely béchamel. The resulting texture is velvety. I like to use a combination of both milk and wine, like you would in a wine cream sauce. It’s a bit less boozy which is nice for family fondue night. This uber-garlicky fondue is just as nice for roasted veggies as it is for bread. Really. I know that that’s not generally true, but you need to trust me here.

It is of utmost importance that you cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Your guests will be armed with nothing but a fondue fork, and will not be singing your praises if you make them feel like a moose, trying to navigate a ginormous piece of broccoli into their mouth. Seriously. No one feels attractive with an overstuffed broccoli mouth. My husband, the physics major – I’ll call him Nerd Boy for my purposes here – would have you scale down the size of all objects to be dipped for a different reason. It increases the surface area that cheese can adhere to, resulting in a higher cheese to bread ratio.

Hope you love it! I’ll talk about my favorite cheese books and my favorite fondue pot after the recipe…. Continue reading “Jen’s Garlic and Basil Fondue”