He thought I was being mean

In 21 years of marriage I have never made Brussels sprouts.
We eat a LOT OF vegetables but the mini cabbages never made it into my kitchen. I had never eaten them all that often growing up. Not sure why other than, well, they're Brussels sprouts.

I once asked a friend what she thought of them and she replied that she craved them. CRAVED THEM. I was incredulous. What on earth made these things crave worthy?

Flash forward a few years and I read an article about them. The photo and the write up made me think that this was a dish that I needed to make. Like NOW. Off I went to the store and picked up a little bundle. The recipe was fairly straight forward and it had the added bonus of onion and bacon. As we all know, caramelized onions and bacon will make just about anything taste good.

When my husband came home from work and saw what I was making he asked why I was being mean. What had he done? I showed him the bacon and onions and he conceded that given those ingredients they would most likely be tasty.

 Pot Stuck Brussels Sprouts  is what they were called. The recipe is from Food 52 and through that recipe we became converts. OK, convert might be a strong word. We liked them, we would make them again, but we were not evangelistic about the sprouts. Certainly, we did not crave them. That, would come soon though.

Enter, this recipe. Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Citrus Dressing. I was browsing for a Thanksgiving side dish and ran across this recipe. I liked that it was prepared a little differently, the sprouts are shaved thin then roasted until they get a little caramelized and frizzled on the edges then while still warm tossed with a very flavorful punchy dressing. These are sprouts worth telling the world about.

I served them with seared scallops dressed with Ponzu sauce. They went together perfectly and while I won't say that I crave Brussels sprouts, I do look forward to eating them again. And my husband? He no longer thinks I'm mean if he sees a little bag of Brussels sprouts in the crisper.

Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Citrus Dressing
adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
For the slaw:
2 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
1 small shallot minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the garnish:
2 green onions thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Preheat your oven to 450. Line a sheet pan or large baking dish with parchment paper.
Very thinly slice the sprouts with a knife or with the slicing blade of a food processor. Toss them with the olive oil and salt. Evenly spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes remove them from the oven and stir them. Cooking times may vary, you want the Brussels sprouts to be browned and a little frizzled in spots.
While the sprouts are roasting away, mix together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
When the Brussels sprouts have finished cooking, pull them from the oven and immediately pour the dressing over and toss them well.
Place the warm slaw on a platter and sprinkle evenly with the green onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds.

Snow Day Cookies

School was cancelled this morning due to snow. The decision was made early on to knock out some Christmas cookies to give to the neighbors. I'm not ashamed to say that before 10am, the girls and I went through 2 pounds of butter.


We made Butter Pecan Cookies

Which were so good you'll notice that one is already missing in the photo. Make them. Add a cup of mini chocolate chips and a cup of Heath toffee chips to the dough. You're welcome.

And then we made Red Velvet Shortbread

The original recipe used pistachios for the green which makes for a pretty cookie but I had green sprinkles on hand. I have a thing for sprinkles.
Sprinkles make me happy.

And then because, why not......Sugar Cookies
It is the first day of Christmas Break after all!

And yes, that would be an Ugly Christmas Sweater cookie on the left. We had a lot of fun decorating those. We didn't break out the piping bags or gel food colors, we just went with what we had on hand.

It was a perfect day with my girls. The snow was falling, we had a fire crackling away, and Holiday movies playing. I am most grateful for this snow day. It was a perfect start to the break.

Cookie Exchange

I have a childhood friend who is THE Hostess with the Mostest.


She hosts these ridiculously cute Valentines dinners, and sweet Christmas brunches. I always wished that I could go. In the past I've wistfully looked at the pictures posted on Facebook and longed to join in the merriment. But this year since I live in the same time zone I got to go!

Sweet friend hosted a housewarming (she has new digs) and Christmas Cookie Exchange.
I knew immediately which cookie I would make. It's one of my favorites. It is filled to the brim with one of my favorite ingredients.....Not chocolate.

No. Not Red Vines either.


I love that peppery bite. I like to nibble on crystallized ginger. I am probably the only person who buys the ginger flavored Altoids.

Triple Ginger Cookies. Cookies with fresh, ground, and crystallized ginger. Yum. Why three kinds of ginger? Well, there is the go big or go home factor. But, really the three forms bring different tastes to the cookie. Fresh has a bright citrusy notes and then that zesty peppery kick that sneaks up on you. Ground is the most pungent and carries the biggest hit of flavor. Crystallized is like chewy, sticky bits of ginger candy. You don't really notice them in a baked good unless you bite into a piece and then you get a pop of spice and a little heat.

These cookies are really nice the first day once they cool. They have that distinctive spiciness of ginger, a little pepper on the finish, and just a little heat. The next day they really mellow, and the crispy edges give way to chewy middles.

They are addictive and a little different than the usual Molasses Spice Cookie found this time of year.

Triple Ginger Cookies
straight up from Epicurious

Two things I changed about this cookie: I rolled them in coarse sugar to add a little more crunch to the edges and I used all dark brown sugar. Other than that I left them as is.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg room temperature
1/4 cup light (mild flavored) molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated, fresh, peeled ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup coarse ground sugar such as Sugar in the Raw for rolling

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, crystallized ginger, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Place the butter in a medium size mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until it is light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and beat another 3 minutes or until the mixture is lighter in color and very fluffy.
Add the egg, molasses, fresh and ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves.Beat well to combine.
Add the flour mixture and mix well on low speed to combine.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the 1/2 cup of coarse sugar into a bowl. Take approximately 1 tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball between your hands. Roll the dough in the sugar and then place on the prepared baking sheet. Space the cookies 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the tops crackle, the edges are firm, and the center is soft.
Cool completely.