Archive for May, 2011

May 26th, 2011

Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts

I never touch a brussel sprout until I was married. Our first year of marriage I watched a lot of Food Network. I saw a recipe for brussel spouts, and it didn’t look like the same brussel sprouts that conjured up images of children stuffing their food into their napkins, or forking the sprout into their mouth, nose pinched. My Mom said she never liked them, so, we never ate them.

I tried the recipe out and I’ve been in love with brussel sprouts (this way) ever since.

The key to making these sprouts fantastic is really good balsamic vinegar. My parents brought me back a bottle of St. Helena Olive Oil Co. Traditional Balsamic, when they went to Napa Valley. The company says it’s more like a dessert vinegar, thick and sweet. It’s my favorite Balsamic, for sure.

These brussel sprouts, when done right, are full of flavor, have crisp edges, and are salty and sweet.

!0 large brussel sprouts, washed, halved and stem trimmed.
1/4 C veggie stock or water
1/4 C EVOO
1/4 C balsamic vinegar (you should do this by taste)
salt and pepper to season

In a large sauté pan over med/high heat, add the first 3 ingredients. With the pan uncovered, let the stock steam the sprouts until slightly tender until the oil is left. About 5 minutes
Sautee the sprouts until golden brown and the pan starts to brown. About 3 minutes.
Add the balsamic, and continue sautéing, making sure to let the sprouts come in contact with the pan long enough to brown and crisp the edges. This takes about 2 or 3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

* For an easier method, you can also toss all the ingredients together, place on a baking sheet, and into a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. this method seems to make them more spicy, which is why I prefer te sauté method.

May 11th, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

May 3rd, 2011

Justin’s Nut Butters- Stuff I Love

Shame on them. I mean really, it should be a crime to make something this addicting.

Right before Easter, me and the Hubs were cruising the aisles of Whole Foods and stumbled upon some cute looking peanut butter cups by Justin’s. We got them, as well as some other chocolates. These were definitely the best peanut butter cups I had ever had. They were dark chocolate and had a great snap. They were also organic, which is always a bonus!

I had always seen the jars of Justin’s Nut Butters at the store, but I never bought them because I assumed they weren’t organic. I don’t know why, but I was compeled to visit their website. After reading about the company and the founder, I was excited! They were a responsible company, dedicated to doing their best for people, and the planet. They use great ingredients and they are passionate about their products.

I started to obsess over getting some. The next day, we were headed out of town for Easter, and we were running short on time. That night, I had tossed and turned, thinking about this freaking peanut butter!

We went to a grocery store out of town and it wasn’t there. I was crushed. 2 days later, when we got home, I finally got some! I bought a couple squeeze packets and a jar. I could hardly wait to try it, so as we were on our way home, I tried the honey peanut butter squeeze packet. I was a little bummed. It was good, but nothing out of this world. When we got home, I opened the jar of Maple Almond Butter (Justin’s favorite), and had a small spoonful. As I was trying it, I didn’t have high expectations, since the peanut butter wasn’t great. As I was tasting, I thought,” oh, this is pretty good….WHOA, THIS IS AMAZING!” I had B try it, and he had the same reaction! It’s the definition of nutty and warm. It’s so good, and worth every penny. We find ourselves, daily going into the pantry for a spoonful!

I have since tried their other flavor of Chocolate Hazelnut, and this is very reminiscent of the famous hazelnut spread. It just has better ingredients. They have several flavors, but the maple almond is my favorite. The squeeze packets are also super convenient for your purse, or travel. If it’s sold around you, don’t walk, run to get some!