Monday Randomness ~ Brussels Sprouts Edition

Every once in a while I come across either a food or food trivia that I feel compelled to pass along. It’s been a while though since I did that (maybe the last time was this post about apples on my old photography blog?)

But I have been meaning to share a particular brussels sprouts recipe over at She Feeds Her Family and figured it could be fun to share some random facts about those little balls of mini cabbage.

First, they actually are not mini cabbages. More like a cousin since they’re part of the same family as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale. They are a human engineered strain of a wild cabbage.

They can be traced back to the 13th century and are not native to the US. They can be grown just about anywhere with New York, Washington and California the leading growers in the states producing over 32,000 tons of them.

They were introduced to Louisiana in the 1800s by the French. Merci beaucoup!

Great Britain considers brussel sprouts their national vegetable.

They grow on stalks! I think it was last year when I saw an actual brussels sprout stalk for the first time and this fact totally amazed me. Apparently they last longer on the stalk than loose so if you can buy them still attached do it. Plus they look way cooler 😉 In 2000 a US couple grew the world’s tallest stalk measuring in at over nine feet tall! The biggest individual sprout ever grown weighed in at 18lbs and 3oz.

They are incredibly healthy. Sprouts have more vitamin C than oranges and vitamin K is abundant along with other antioxidants and being high in fiber.

A 2019 survey found brussels sprouts to be the fourth most hated vegetable in our country. Most believe this is due to improper cooking technique though. I mean, an overcooked squishy brussel sprout is rather yucky but roasted with apples and bacon? Or pan seared with gnocchi? They are delicious!

But there might actually be a genetic reason someone doesn’t like the little green veggie powerhouse. The gene TAS2R38, which is responsible for tasting the chemical PTC. PTC is how humans taste bitterness so if your family doesn’t love them you guys may have a developed amount of PTC.

I came across a New York Times recipe and when I finally got around to making it it became a family favorite. Actually, it’s been a favorite every time I have made it no matter who I made it for.

Mosey on over and check it out and you will be able to enjoy it’s deliciousness and wow people with all the fun random facts you now know about brussel sprouts.

Happy Monday, y’all!

Look how pretty they are!

Sundays With Sarah 2 ~ Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

When I was growing up my Mother made Sunday dinner and we ate it after coming home from church. It was the traditional fried chicken or pot roast kind of fare (which I still dearly love) and that was it for the day. After that big ol’ lunch she didn’t cook again.

Even though we eat at church every week I have pretty much followed the tradition of letting Sunday be a whatever night. Which has worked out great since Sarah has started cooking on Sunday evenings. We love it. We’re spoiled by it. We’ve become accustomed to it. And she’s on spring break in the great Northwest having a grand old time and we’re eating eggs for dinner. I wish you could have seen the look on Em’s face when she realized we were on our own for dinner. I think she misses her big sister a little more than she was before. I know I am!

I still have a recipe to share from a previous dinner though. We love Brussels sprouts in our house and they are kind of a staple. On special occasions I will roast them with apples and bacon. They’re also a quick and tasty veggie for me to steam for lunch. Sarah’s dish roasts them with a balsamic reduction and brown sugar and there really just wasn’t enough. We all wanted more so I think we’ll be doing this recipe again. (The original recipe has a link to a reduction recipe Sarah made.)

What you’ll need:
1 1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut lengthwise
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup balsamic reduction glaze
1 TBS light brown sugar
What you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt and pepper until well coated.
Arrange sprouts on a foil covered baking sheet, cut side down.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until tops begin to brown.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip sprouts over.
Drizzle the balsamic reduction evenly over the sprouts.
Give each Brussels sprout a tiny pinch of brown sugar.
Return the baking sheet to the oven and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Keep a close eye on them so that they don’t over cook as the sugar will help with the caramelization.

Serve immediately and have seconds!

Remember my egg photographing obsession? I think Brussels sprouts are right up there too with their pretty shades of green and lovely textures.

Test Kitchen # 62 ~ Baked Beans

I do not normally like baked beans. Not for any good reason…they just don’t float my boat.

But then one day my friend Christy brought a batch to a gathering and oh, my goodness they were so good. I was skeptical that it was some sort of fluke so when we recently had her family, along with some other friends, over for a pool party/cookout  I may or may not have strongly hinted that she should bring her baked beans.

simple baked beans recipe

I am happy to report that the beans were just as good as before and she was willing to share her recipe too.
So be sure pin this recipe because it is a keeper and the perfect addition to any end of summer or back to school cookouts you have coming up!

What you’ll need:
6 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic, or about 1 or 1 1/2 TBS of minced jarred garlic
3/4 cup barbecue sauce (may substitute with ketchup if needed)
1/2 cup molasses 
1/4 cup brown sugar (if you don’t use Blackstrap molasses you can omit the sugar) 
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS yellow mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
a dash of liquid smoke
6 cans of your preferred beans (she uses 1 each of navy, northern, kidney, black, pinto, and baked)
What you’ll do:
Saute your onion and garlic using a little of the bacon grease.
Combine with the bacon pieces and all of the other ingredients except the beans in your crock pot.*
Rinse all of your beans and then add them to the crock pot.
Cook them on high for 1 to 2 hours.
Turn the crock pot to low and continue to cook for two or three more hours.

Serve hot and delicious with burgers and brats or whatever grill goodness you have going on.

baked beans, simple easy baked beans

*You can bake these in a 9×13 pan at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. Also, you can apparently add in a pound of sizzled Conecuh sausage and really up the taste factor.


Tuesday’s Table

Pinterest Test Kitchen #36 ~ The Power of Bacon (Tossed Spaghetti Squash)

The first time I made this recipe I had the most amazing light filter into my kitchen. Now to be honest I do have one of those solar tube lights so having really great natural light in my kitchen is the norm. (My Mother has actually spent five minutes trying to figure out which light she needed to turn off 🙂 But, as I was saying, on the day that I made this recipe for spaghetti squash the light had a just a little extra somethin’ something.

Sadly I made a terrible mistake though.

It was tragic to say the least.

Somehow I was so carried away with the light that I forgot one of the main, if not the most important, ingredient.

I forgot the bacon.


Shocking isn’t it? It was still quiet delicious with the feta and vidalia and my family gave it the thumbs up as a make it again recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 medium size spaghetti squash, baked and shredded
1 vadalia onion, sauteed
1 small container feta cheese
6 to 8 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Here’s what you’ll do:
Toss spaghetti squash with onion.
Sprinkle feta and bacon on top.
Serve and enjoy!

Let me tell you, it was good before but with the bacon? Absolutely fabulous! And I kid you not…there was a rainbow in the sky when we sat down to dinner. Coincidence?

I think not.

Test Kitchen #20 ~The I Don’t Know Where It Came From Edition (Baked Sweet Potatoes)

Hello, my name is Marty and I like to cook with butter.

There I said it. In a world obsessed with olive oil, coconut oil, and all natural good for you oils, I am declaring my love for real butter. Not like Paula Deen just eat the stick of butter like it’s a candy bar kind of love but I do like my butter.

It sort of makes this simple recipe as far as I am concerned. And by simple, I mean s.i.m.p.l.e. but such great flavor! I like to pair it best with pork.

What you’ll need:
about 4 to 6 good sized sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 to 3/4 a stick of real butter (depending on the number of potatoes you use)
Italian seasoning
What you’ll do:
Melt your butter in a 9×13 baking dish
Stir your seasoning into the melted butter
Add your sliced sweet potatoes making sure to coat them well with the seasoned butter
Bake at 350 degrees until potatoes can be pierced with a fork easily (about 30 to 45 minutes)
Serve as a side to your favorite chicken or pork dish and enjoy!

Linking up with This Gal Cooks, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, and Monday Funday. And now with Try a New Recipe Tuesday.