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Brussels Sprouts with Red Cabbage and Carrots

Brussels Sprouts with Red Cabbage and Carrots

Brussel Sprouts with Red cabbage and Carrots

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There’s 2 things you should know before I tell you this story. 1.) At first, you’re probably going to think it’s not the best representation as to why you should cook with brussel sprouts, but bare with me,  and 2.) If 8 year old me was a doctor, I’d be terrible at diagnosing.

So, here we go;

When I was in elementary school, I caught a really nasty flu.  I’m talking the kind that leaves you on the couch for a couple of days, with no school, and nothing to entertain you but The Price is Right and re-runs of Judge Judy. While that actually doesn’t sound THAT bad, trust me, it was. (I’ll spare you the details). To make a long story short, right before I had fallen ill, we had Brussels sprouts for dinner, and like any logical 8 year old, I blamed the vegetable for what ailed me. I was having none of it when everyone was trying to explain it to me that it was a virus that sweeping around my second grade classroom. That was preposterous.

Why, then, were all my classmates sick too? Let 8 year old me tell you why.

“Because their Mothers had obviously made them eat Brussels Sprouts too, duhhh.”

How stubbornly witty.

Luckily, I was resilient enough to recover from the Great Brussels Sprouts plague of ’95, but the damage was done, and some sixteen years later, I’m consumed with regret.

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Have you ever accused someone of something that wasn’t true? It’s a terrible feeling. I feel as if I’ve aided in convicting someone who had nothing to do with the crime.

Reparations must be made and so i’m here today to issue a public statement, that I, Karla, was wrong. Yes, I said it, I was wrong. (Don’t tell Jamie. I’ve built a solid foundation for our relationship on never admitting to being wrong.).

My official public service statement is as follows;

My sincerest apologies to the brussels sprouts family. They are extremely delicious and will in no way, or capacity, give you the flu.

Make this recipe.

Brussels Sprouts with Red Cabbage and Carrots

Brussels Sprouts are seriously one of my favorite vegetables (yes, i’ve had a complete change of heart). Not only are they really yummy but they’re really good for you too. A lot of the problem is that there are a lot of people who don’t know how to properly cook them. Overcooking them will give them a terribly tinny flavor and a mushy brussel sprout is just not worth the time. More often than not, I blanch my sprouts first, and then finish them in the pan. If you’re a cabbage lover (or you’re Polish, like me) you’ll love this simple recipe too.

Ingredients

2 cups of Brussel Sprouts halved or quartered, outer leaves removed

2 tablespoons of butter

3 medium sized carrots, julienned

1 cup of shredded red cabbage

half a cup of sliced onion

3 cloves of garlic minced

Directions:

Bring a small pot of salted water to  a boil. Blanch your brussels sprouts in the water for about a minute. Remove the sprouts and shock in a small ice bath or run them under cold water, set aside.

In a medium saute pan, sweat your onions and garlic over medium heat. Add the Sprouts and Carrots and cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the red cabbage and continue cooking for about 2 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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I’m Ten Times Happier When it’s Grill Season….

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There’s no better feeling then trading in your winter jacket for a pair of shorts and your mittens in for a pair of grill tongs. Grilling is the simplest, humblest, and most basic method of cooking food that their is. And it’s just plain awesome. While you don’t have to be a pro to get great results, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite tips to help you reach that level.

1. Season your food early. In fact, season your food before you even think about heating up your grill. Giving salt a little time to dissolve onto your food instead of falling off onto the grill will do wonders for your flavor.

2. Get your grill hot!!! Let it warm up for about 15 – 20 minutes. Patience is a virtue. A hot grill will sear meat on contact creating more flavor through carmelization and will also keep things nice and moist inside.

3. Give yourself enough room to work – nothing is worse then trying to have a relaxing time while grilling then having to run around for tools or ingredients or not having a place to put anything.

4. Keep a reasonably clean grill. Last years food doesn’t make for great additional seasoning to this years food. A grill brush can be your best friend. Use it when the grill is hot not cold, it will be easier that way.

5. Oil up your rack. To prevent sticking and to also help with cleanup later, trying using an oil soaked paper towel and rubbing it over the rack with a pair of tongs. You should even oil a clean grill.

6. Leave an unheated place on the grill. Even if you’re cooking over a single-level fire, leave a small space unheated so that you have somewhere to move food if you have a flare-up or if something is cooking too fast.

7. Remember when you’re mother told you as a kid not to play with your food? Well Mommy was right. When you put food on the grill DON’T PLAY WITH IT. LEAVE IT ALONE. Give it a chance to naturally come away from the grates and not get stuck. If you try to move food before it is seared on the bottom I guarantee you that it will stick. And that’s just not fun for anybody.

8. One of the best 25 dollars I have spent is in purchasing a grill basket. Use it for foods that might fall easily through the cracks or are harder to turn over one by one: Ie Vegetables and even fruit. Even Target or Walmart carry some decent ones. No need to splurge a lot of money on one.

And last but not least…..

9. One of the biggest mistakes that most make is not letting their meat rest before cutting into it. Let your meat rest on a clean plate, covered with foil for about 5-7 minutes so that the juices can redistribute evenly. Trust me, your food is not “getting cold”, you just took it off of a large amount of heat, it is still cooking. I’ve had a lot of people ask me, “well then, how do I know if its done?”. The best way is to learn what your product feels like when it is done. The “longer it cooks, the firmer it gets” is a good rule to go by. The more experience you get, the more you’ll be able to tell exactly what your favorite food should feel like when it’s done and it is an important thing to learn. But, while your still learning, remember: When in doubt, you can always throw undercooked food back on the grill, overcooked food doesn’t have the same luxury. Use the above pictures to show you exactly what meat should feel like through the stages of doneness.

Happy Grilling! We expect an invite!

(Photo credit: http://www.simplyrecipes.com)

The Superbowl Series: Ham and Cheese Sliders with a Poppy-Seed Sauce

I know what you’re thinking. “It’s just ham and cheese on a small bun, right?” Wrong. It goes without saying that ham and melted cheese are a delicious combination to begin with, but this particular version has a secret ingredient; A poppy-seed sauce that can turn any second-string slider into an all-star. With the Superbowl in the near future, they are a perfect addition to your snacking line-up. What makes them even better is the fact that you can assemble them the night before to ensure that you spend less time in the kitchen and more time cheering on your favorite team.

Ham and Cheese Sliders with a Poppy-Seed Sauce

Slider Recipe:
2 Packages of Slider buns (24 buns) (you can find them fairly easy in the bread aisle of your local grocery store)
24 slices of ham (thick sliced or to your liking)
24 small pieces of Swiss cheese
1/3 cup of Mayonnaise
1/3 cup of Miracle Whip

Sauce Recipe:
3/4 Tablespoon of Poppy-seeds
1 Tablespoon of Mustard (we use Dijon)
1/4 cup of salted butter, melted
1/2 Tablespoon of minced onion
1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl mix the mayo and the miracle whip together.
In a separate bowl whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.
Spread Mayo mixture evenly on the center of each slider buns. Place a piece of ham and cheese on each, close bun, and place each sandwich in a large baking dish.
Brush the sauce generously and evenly on the outside of each slider and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the butter starts to set. Cover with foil
and bake for 10-13 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Uncover and bake for 2 minutes or until the tops of the sandwiches are slightly browned. Enjoy right away!

Rainbow Cupcakes

Cupcakes are one of the greatest little joys in life.

This week we’ve whipped up some cupcakes that are not only delicious, but they look cool too!!

Enter stage left: Rainbow Cupcakes. (They’re deceivingly easy to make)



Recipe:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

Assorted Food coloring.

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners. In a bowl beat together the butter and sugar until creamed. Add the eggs, beat well after each. Add Vanilla extract.  In a seperate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly and alternatly add the flour mixture and milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. When you have your batter, seperate the batter into four or five smaller bowls and add a different food color to each. Pour a little of each color battered into the cupcake liners.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until done.

These cupcakes are great for kids parties or if your event scheme incorporates a multitude of different colors. Also, for those who are culinary challenged, boxed cake would also work here.