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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Brussel Sprouts - - revisited!

Over the New Year weekend, we went up to Pittsburgh to spend time with our families.  At one meal, my sister-in-law made some really awesome brussel sprouts, roasted on the grill with olive oil drizzled on top.  Now, I have to confess, that as a kid I did not like brussel sprouts.  Who could like those watery things that came frozen in a bag?  But, if you can find them fresh in your supermarket, they are most definitely worth a second try.  (Some super markets sell them on the stalk even!)

 Lately, I've been roasting veggies along with our main meat dish.  You can choose any combinations of vegetables you like.  With the brussel sprouts, I threw in some green beans and carrots.  Typically, I like potatoes, green beans, onions, and carrots, but for dinner, I decided on mashed potatoes with our roast chicken, so I left them out this time.  (The kids love mashed potatoes!) 

After you wash and cut the veggies, place them in a baking dish.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with any combinations of spices you like:  garlic powder, pepper, rosemary, oregano, etc.  I save the salt until they come out of the oven. Trust me, if you didn't like brussel sprouts before, you may just change your mind!  They come out kind of sweet and definitely  not water-logged!

 For our meat, I made roasted chicken breast.  It was on sale this week.  Yes, you see only three chicken breasts for our whole family.  These days, when I buy chicken breast at the super market, it seems as if they are extra large.  A serving of meat is about 4 ounces, a little smaller than your fist.  As part of our cutting back, I've been trying to cut back on portions.  I serve lots of veggies, salad, or sides, instead.  Or I will think of creative ways to stretch smaller amounts - - cutting it up usually helps.  To roast the chicken breast, I softened about 1/4 cup of butter.  I added a Swanson flavor booster and some rosemary to the butter and mixed it up.  Then I gently placed it under the skin of each breast.  I know this is probably a lot of butter, but I was guessing.  You could probably get away with about 2 tablespoons.  The chicken pretty much self-bastes and comes out moist and delicious. 

Both were roasted in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until done.  It was definitely delicious and quite easy to prepare.

This morning, Alex and I made this quick treat for breakfast.  It can also be a yummy dessert.

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

1 can 8 or 2 cans of 5 biscuits
1 cup cinnamon sugar
1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp milk (possibly more)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray loaf pan with baking spray.  Cut biscuits into quarters and dip in butter and dredge in cinnamon sugar.  Place pieces into the loaf pan.  Be sure to layer the bottom and then top.  Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes.  Turn out loaf onto platter.  Prepare glaze and drizzle on top.  Serve and enjoy. 

I was thinking this would be totally yummy with pecans added.  Too bad my people don't like pecans!  You can also do this with thawed frozen bread dough (or a homemade white or sweet bread dough).  The biscuits were something I had on hand since they were on sale earlier this week.  Makes it quite convenient.

Lastly, I wanted to share a secret with you that we have been doing for a couple of years now.  It is part of tonight's dinner plan.  My husband loves grilled ruebens.  He will often order these out when they present themselves on the menu.  Typically to make them, one would purchase corned beef from the deli counter.  This gets terribly expensive - - as most lunch meats are costly and laden with salt.  What I have done is to purchase extra Corned Beef Briskets while on sale around Saint Patrick's Day and then freeze them.  Last year, they got as low as $1.49/lb!  There are two cuts - - point and flat and both make rather good corned beef for sandwiches.  To cook the corned beef, I take it out of the freezer and place it right into the crock pot in the morning.  (Yes, it is still frozen!)  I add a some water and the spice packet that comes with the corned beef and by dinner time, we have a yummy corned beef to use for grilled ruebens.  Most of my kids like at least some semblance of the rueben - - some with sauerkraut, some without, some without the swiss cheese, some with, or any combination thereof.  So, there you have it.  Another way to satisfy a craving without breaking the bank.

Enjoy & God Bless,

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