Mediterranean Brussels Sprouts

P1020140

If you hate Brussels Sprouts then I’m going to try and change your mind. As I mentioned in a previous post, Brussels Sprouts really got the worst PR of any veggie out there. They were always characterized as mushy, stinky green orbs that children all over the globe vehemently rejected. I too rejected the poor little guys until I was enlightened a few years ago at a trendy restaurant somewhere above the Mason Dixon line. Lately I’ve been seeing these guys fried into oblivion and smothered with some sort of shallot/ olive oil/ bacon/ salt mixture. While that sounds tasty I wanted to try something a little different that wouldn’t cost me more calories than a double cheeseburger.

I love mediterranean food, especially small plates and tapas where you can indulge in several little bites, all jam packed with flavor. This recipe incorprates the perfect balance of sweetness, bitterness and irresistible crunch. The combination of sweet figs and tart greek yogurt brings these sprouts head and shoulders above your childhood nightmare. I’m thinking these would be awesome for a tapas dinner party of sorts– hummus, lamb meatballs, zucchini fritters and of course plenty of wine. Sounds good right? Maybe I’ll have one just because! Friends, standby.  

Ingredients

  • 1 lb brussel sprouts, stalks removed and cut in half ($2.50)
  • 1 tbs olive oil ($.10)
  • 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar ($.05)
  • 4 tbs lightly toasted walnuts, chopped ($.25)
  • 5 tbs sliced red seedless grapes ($.25)
  • 3/4 C light plain Greek yogurt ($.75)
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs minced mint ($.20)
  • 1/2 c fig jam ($1.50)
  • 1/4 c water

Total: $5.60

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 500

2. Toss sprouts with 1 tbs olive oil and place cut side down on baking pan. Roast 17 minutes or until crispy and cooked through

3. While sprouts are cooking blend fig jam and 1/4 c water in blender until smooth. Cook over medium heat in saucepan until reduced in half

4. Mix together yogurt, mint and salt. Set aside

5. When sprouts are finished, splash with sherry vinegar and mix until well combined

6. Put sprouts on serving dish and sprinkle on toasted walnuts and grapes. Using a fork, alternate equal drizzles of fig mixture and yogurt mixture. Be careful not to add too much as you can serve additional sauce on the side. Season with more salt to taste, if needed,

Brown Sugar Snaps

cookies

Can I give you some advice? None of which has to do with cookies.

1) Never laugh if someone asks you on a date. They will mistake your “nervous/ I’m about to explode with excitement/ awkward” laugh for being incredibly rude. They won’t understand that you’re actually flattered.

2) Don’t trust your car when it says you have 10 miles worth of gas left. It is lying. You really have two. Sigh…

3) NEVER. I repeat NEVER wash your jeans with your passport in the back pocket. Especially if you plan on traveling internationally anytime soon. You might be royally screwed.

I’m happy I could share these words of wisdom with you. I love you for reading my blog, and life is really to short and beautiful to make these mistakes.

Can you tell what kind of week I’ve had so far? It’s only Tuesday and I’m exhausted. There is one thing that could solve my Tuesday blues: cookies. I raided my pantry and to my horror discovered that I am completely out of sugar. It’s been raining  in DC and the last thing I wanted to do was go out to buy a bag. One thing I do have, and lots of it, is brown sugar. I also have an incredibly random collection of spices– most of which I rarely use.

I have to admit that I’m not the best baker in the world. I wish I was blessed with this culinary skill, but it’s always felt a little too scientific to me. I get worked up when my cake is lopsided, my brownies don’t rise, or if the cookies are dry. I think I’m improving, though and I’ve learned a few tricks of trade to ensure consistency and a successful result.With that said, these cookies turned out awesome– the ratio of sugar to spice is perfect. They sort of taste like chocolate chip cookies sans chocolate, plus  a touch of spice that isn’t completely obvious with the first bite. I think these would also taste good if you added some toffee chunks. Next time!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour ($.25)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda ($.05)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon ($.03)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger ($.05)
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (not melted) ($.50)
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar ($.50)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ($.10)
  • 1 egg ($.20)

Total: $1.68

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl. blend the softened butter and brown sugar. Mix for 2 minutes until smooth and well combined. Add in vanilla and egg, mix well.

In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar/ egg mixture and stir until well combined and you can no longer see the flour. Put the dough in freezer for 5-10 minutes so the dough can firm up.

Roll the dough into one inch balls and place two inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes and let cool on wire rack.