Alright, alright, who’s ready to get this fall business started? We had a drizzly weekend and some cooler weather so I am *starting* to think thoughts of autumn. The farmers markets are just showing some signs as well – hooray for new produce! While there are still some inklings of summer –– with things such as tomatoes, peaches and watermelon lurking about –– there have been pears, butternut squashes, pumpkins, and Brussels sprouts making a delicious appearance around town. I welcome the change of climate and of fruits and vegetables to the dinner table. For our first, and probably only for September, cool-ish night I roasted up these Maple Sesame Miso Brussels Sprouts to go with our Chicken Paillard. Sometimes change can be a hard thing to adjust too, but these sweet and slightly tangy greens of goodness have certainly got me ready to fall into Fall.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl add maple syrup, olive oil, miso, warm water, onion powder, salt and pepper and whisk together well.
Place Brussels sprouts into a large bowl and pour half of the miso mixture over them, reserving the other half for later use. Stir the Brussels sprouts and mixture together until well incorporated. Then, Pour and spread out evenly onto to baking sheet. Place Brussels sprouts into the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, give the Brussels sprouts a turn of flip with a spatula and continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes or until tender and slightly golden.
Remove from the oven and place Brussels sprouts into a serving dish pour the remaining miso sauce over the top. Add in the sesame seeds and stir together until well incorporated. Serve.
I don’t know about you, but chocolate is right up there with wine when it comes to things that make me happy at the end of a long day or week. Is it me or has this been one of those weeks that time just flew by? Not enough hours –– whew! Thank goodness for a quick (and easy) delectable dark chocolate pudding with this fine peanut butter whipped cream to help ease us all into the weekend. This dreamy Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream can be made and ready in just about an hour including the time for it to set, and if you are interested this one could very well pair with that end-of-the-week glass of wine you’ve been eyeing.
chocolate + peanut butter = my happy place
Chocolate Pudding with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
Place a heavy duty pan over medium high heat and add in almond milk, agur agur flakes, chocolate chips and salt. Stirring constantly until chocolate is completely melted and the agur is dissolved. Continue stirring for another 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
Place 6 jars out onto the counter and pour or ladle chocolate mixture into them evenly. Allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes and then place them into the refrigerator to finish cooling. Check after an hour to see if they are set and cover if desired.
Place heavy cream, peanut butter and sugar into a mixer or bowl if using a hand mixer. Beat together on medium high until light and fluffy. Spoon out heaping Tablespoons onto each pudding cup and then serve.
For a long time I thought meatloaf was a mystery. How to serve it? (and most importantly) How to make it taste delicious? Leave it to mom. She came out for a visit after our second was born, and it was during that time when she taught me her meatloaf-ing ways. Since then, I have been making it for the family in a monthly or bi-monthy rotation. One of my favorite things about meatloaf is the fact that you can add in a heavy dose of vegetables, in other words, it’s a good way to help clean out the fridge should you need it. This time around I made the meatloaf mixture with fresh kale and cheddar cheese (everything’s better with cheese, no?) and opted to make it into little cups or bites sizes. This is a great way to make dinner ahead of time and to have some leftovers for the week. I even think these could be something to bring to that next game day celebration if you’re into that sort of thing –– Kale + Cheddar Meatloaf Cups.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease mini muffin tins and set aside.
Place ground meat, kale, cheese, parsley, eggs, bread crumbs, green onions, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and place into a cup on the greased mini muffin pan. Gently push into place to fill cup and to have some over the top. Continue the process until all of the cups are filled (this may need to be done in batches depending on how many your pan holds.
Place into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the centers are cooked through and the tops are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and serve.
Before you call the Meatless Monday police on me, let me explain. We had this last night for dinner and it was so scrumptious I really couldn’t wait to share it with you all. I saw some fresh okra at the market and realized I haven’t made gumbo in, like, forever and you know, once it’s on my mind I am not settled until it’s made. Growing up gumbo was something we ate often and now we have amazing neighbors that make it for us to help get our “fix” on. Gumbo is a hearty stew-like meal in a bowl loaded with flavor that is usually best served alongside some good, fresh crusty bread or buttery corn bread. With the school year in full swing, I love to go big on Sunday night dinners to ensure some leftovers and lunches for the week ahead. This Healthy Chicken Gumbo is loaded with fresh carrots, okra, tomatoes and chicken and served up over some brown rice to complete the dish. Spice it up with your favorite hot sauce and dive in.
Place olive oil and chicken into the slow cooker on high heat. Brown both sides of the chicken breasts -- about 3-6 minutes on each side. Once browned remove from slow cooker and set aside.
Reduce temperature to low and whisk in flour with the remaining oil. Once well combined, add in garlic and onions and let cook for 1 minute. Then add in carrots, okra, bay leaves, chicken stock, and jalapeno (if using) and stir until well combined. Once combined let simmer for an hour.
After and hour, add in the tomatoes, chicken breasts, salt, and pepper and let cook for another 25 minutes. After cooked, pull out the chicken breasts. Using two forks, pull chicken meat apart to shred and place back into the gumbo. Add in chopped parsley, stir until well combined and turn off the heat.
Once combined place a cup of rice in a serving bowl and top with a ladle or two of the gumbo. Continue the process until all of the servings are made. Serve.
I have been a fan of vodka for many years now and it’s usually my go to liquor when I am in the mood for something a little bit stronger. I have also been a longtime devotee of Dripping Springs Vodka made right here in good old Texas. Recently, I was asked to come for a tour of their beautiful facility located out in well, Dripping Springs, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see just where this crystal liquid comes from.
Upon arrival the first thing I noticed was all of the gorgeous pieces of art made with large rock throughout the tasting room by a local artist, neighbor and friend of the owners and bothers Gary and Kevin Kelleher. Kevin was on hand to give a very in depth tour of the nuances of their small-batched vodkas and I also talked about their newest member of the San Luis Spirits family –– Dripping Springs Gin, a reinvention of a traditional juniper forward London dry gin, with soft floral notes, a hint of spice and fresh citrus from the Rio Grande Valley. What makes Dripping Springs/San Luis Spirits so special or different from other products on the market?
The family-owned business focuses on the art of small batch distilling with natural ingredients, made with non-GMO, sweet, Midwestern corn in 50-gallon batches, micro-distilled in handmade copper pot stills and uses mineral rich Hill Country artesian spring water. The results? Award-winning spirits that can now be introduced to you via their new open to the public tours.
The Vesper Martini was the drink that first appeared in the 1953 James Bond novel Casino Royale and has been a house favorite of ours over the last few years. I recommend using a large chunk of lemon peel, minus the pith (which causes bitterness), and serving this very well-chilled while either watching a Bond movie or hanging out with those that will truly appreciate the 007 side of you –– shaken, not stirred.
To get a small private tour of your own or to learn more about
Technically, these are called bison wieners but since I think the word wiener is strange to say … or maybe I am just immature that way and find it hard not to giggle when saying it … I am calling them sausage. Whatever you call them, just know that bison is delicious, lower in fat and higher in protein than beef. Bison also happens to be nutrient dense as a single serving provides good amounts of iron, zinc and the antioxidant selenium. I picked these up at the Lone Star Farmers Market from the folks at Hill Country Bison and loved the simplicity and ease of using them for a quick week night dinner in this Zucchini, Carrot, & Bison Sausage Sauté. Fresh chopped zucchini twirling with carrots, onions and cilantro and of course the star of the show –– grass-fed bison sausage or um, wieners. Bison sausage can be found at a lot of local farmers markets and often times in grocery stores but if you are unable to get your hands on some try another lean sausage of your choice with this sauté, get cookin’ and try not to giggle.
Place a large heavy duty pan over medium high heat and add olive oil and garlic. Stir together for 30 seconds then add in carrots, onions and water while continuing to stir for 3 minutes. Next add in zucchini and bison and mix together. Let cook for another 4-6 minutes or until meat is cooked through and well heated and vegetables start to get golden.
Remove from heat and continue to stir while add in salt, pepper and cilantro.
Once all is well incorporated serve.
Hatch chile –– it’s a thing in these parts. The month of August is a mad frenzy of restaurants, grocery stores and farm stands promoting and capitalizing on these long stemmed greenies. While some believe they are a unique and special varietal that only makes an appearance once a year, much like that old groundhog, […]
This morning I had a great time talking about healthy, after school snacks with fellow mom, and Studio 512 hostess extraordinaire, Amanda Tatom. These tasty cool treats –– Coconut & Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Date Balls –– pack a protein punch and are a great way to get the kids into homework mode after school. […]
Summer really is coming to a close, even though the outside temperatures are trying to say otherwise. School is in full swing (yay!), my backyard pomegranates and pecans are starting to make an appearance, and apples and pears are popping up throughout the neighborhood. Gathering some of the last summer’s bounty of tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini, […]
If you haven’t noticed I have back to school fever. All week I have been talking about it and celebrating. Anyone else? From our Fish & Grilled Rosemary Chips dinner celebration, to Natural Back to School Lunch and Snack Ideas with Chef Rachel Zierzow, to my happy dance with Cucumber Mint Wine Slushies it’s been […]