Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fall Fried Rice, American Style

Fried Rice, American Style at Paprika Red

Brussels sprouts are a vegetable I wrestle with. You see, I don't dislike many veggies. I like tiny veggies quite a bit - baby artichokes, small potatoes, tiny pickled cucumbers. And I love cabbage. So naturally, I should love brussels sprouts, seeing as how they're really like tiny cabbages. What's not to love? Well, I just usually don't like them, they taste funny and bitter and off to me, unless they're doused in butter and cream at Thanksgiving, and I am just not going to do that the rest of the year.

When given the option from my local CSA to get local, organic brussels sprouts on the stem, I jumped, thinking I should give them another chance, and this was a good way to do it. If I didn't like a gigantic spear of fresh, local, on-the-stem sprouts, I probably wasn't ever going to like them. I also jumped, like I am wont to do, with other seasonal goodies and overfilled my fridge. So there my sprouts sat, sad and lonely at the bottom of the fridge, until all the other vegetables were exhausted and they were the last things left. It had been over a week, and it was time. There I was, staring at the refrigerator, wondering how I was going to make this work for dinner. What else masks, err I mean, goes well with the flavor of sprouts? Well I had bacon, and leeks. Ok, good start. But I needed a starch. "Honey, do you want brussels sprouts, bacon, and leeks with pasta, rice, polenta, or potatoes?" "Rice", he replied. Of course he picked the one item I had no plan for. Was I going to have to make some sort of sauce with this? Then it hit me - we make fried rice, and that has has similar bits - veg, onion, and cured meat. I could hit this up with some more American type seasonings - Worcestershire and Frank's hot sauce, perhaps? A little thyme? Why does soy sauce get to have all the fun? So something new and delicious was born, my husband and I had a great and quick dinner, and I conquered the sprout.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hearty Autumn Salad with Bacon, Egg, Cornbread Croutons, and Artichokes

I'm back! It's been a long while, and the weather has changed drastically since I've been gone. But I have good reason - two good reasons, actually - for being gone so long. First, my hubby and I took a two week whirlwind trip to Europe, staying in Amsterdam, Brussels, and Zurich. There was much good food, much good beer, a whole lotta walking, wonderful weather despite it being October, and in general a good time was had by all. I ate lots of delicious new foods (Dutch pea soup! Deer sausage! Stoemp! Waterzooi!), and will be posting the recipes here as I make them and can get them close to what I remember having. But besides being gone, there was a lot of planning. It was my first time to Europe, and I planned it myself. Every little bit. Lodging, transportation, train tickets, local metro passes, museum tickets, everything. It was intimidating, and time consuming, and occasionally stressful! But it all turned out well.

Secondly, I've been devoting time to one of my other passions - namely all things design. I'm a bit of an obsessive when it comes to well-designed cookware and serveware (and decor, and... ok, modern and well designed ANYTHING really), and I've been delving in headfirst scouring through thrift stores and other sources, trying to find the good stuff. The good news: I've been finding good stuff! Though it takes time. The flipside is I've been finding TOO MUCH good stuff, and I can't just let it sit there, so I take it home, and well, I've opened an Etsy shop with all my goodies. If you like unique and modern home stuff, check out my shop at