Brussels sprouts, two ways

November 19, 2013

Salt Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Salt-roasted brussels sprouts

I remember the first time I tried a brussels sprout; I actually didn’t know what it was. I happened to be in Sonoma county, and my husband and I had settled in at the bar of a crowded restaurant for dinner. The bartender was telling us the specials, but he couldn’t remember what vegetables were served with one of the dishes. I’ve forgotten what the dish was, but it sounded so divine I didn’t care what the vegetable was that came alongside, so I ordered it. When the dish was served, the brussels sprouts were covered with the dish’s sauce, and I still wasn’t sure what they were. They looked like some small, alien life form to me, and while I wasn’t put off by them, I also wasn’t thrilled by them. I never did ask the bar tender what they were. I ate a few, and that was that.

Fast forward a couple of years and I stumbled across the recipe that morphed into my spuds and sprouts. Upon prepping the sprouts, I realized that this was what I had at the restaurant bar in Sonoma. Luckily, this time I was in love with their flavor, as a huge dose of salt really helps tame any bitterness, and a little sweetness never hurt anything (this recipe contained bacon and golden raisins). So with that in mind, I give you two very easy recipes to make brussels sprouts that most any person will love, even if they’re not a proclaimed fan. Not to mention, for a Thanksgiving side dish, you’ll love that these are fairly hands-off recipes. (more…)

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Shaved fennel, red onion and celery salad with salami

November 2, 2012

Shaved fennel, red onion and celery salad with salami

It’s that time of year again! November. Kickoff to Thanksgiving planning. Kickoff to holiday seasons. For the first time in many years, I find myself not combing through recipes, trying to figure out what I’ll be doing this year, as the rest of my family will be taking the reins. But fear not! I still have last year’s menu to share with you, and I know I won’t be able to resist thinking a bit about new menus and new recipes, which of course, I’ll have to share!

What does all this have to do with salad? Well, last year, this salad was one of the two opening acts for Thanksgiving dinner. A couple of years ago I talked about why I now always make sure my Thanksgiving menu has a couple of appetizers, and this salad keeps the prep work simple while providing an amazing meld of flavors. (more…)

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Sunday Suppers: Fun Fonduta

March 4, 2012

Fonduta with Grappa and Walnut Bread

La Cucina Italiana has become one of my favorite magazines to be inspired by. While paging through one of their issues, I stumbled upon this recipe for a fondue laced with grappa, and I knew I must make it. I love fondue – the cheese, the dipping – it’s all so fun. Convincing my husband to eat a large bowl of cheese for dinner is a bit complicated, so this recipe was perfect! He’s a grappa fiend, and the suggested side of walnut bread would reel him in too. I was right, when I said the words “grappa fondue with walnut bread”, it was met with an, “ooooh!!”. (more…)

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