Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Can someone please tell me I’m not the only person still putting together their Thanksgiving menu?

It’s not a matter of procrastination. In fact, I’ve been planning our menu for weeks. Pumpkin scones, bacon wrapped dates, butternut soup… no, it’s not procrastination. It’s indecisiveness. I want to eat all the good things.

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and going halfsies on the menu. This is always easiest for us considering we have multiple food allergies to consider. I was given the go-ahead by my new allergist to start reintroducing a few of my weaker-positive foods but they want me to hold off on any wheat items until we can do an in-office food challenge in December. Knowing that the weight of dealing with multiple food allergies may soon be lifted from my shoulders is thrilling. Because really? One allergy is enough for this family.

Anyway, the one item I know I’ll be bringing to our shared table is roasted brussel sprouts. This dish has quickly become a hit and it’s my new go-to for potluck celebrations throughout the holidays. The recipe is so simple! I know some people are initially turned off by the thought of brussel sprouts but I promise that the combination of bacon and roasting changes the flavor from bitter to savory.

Did I mention how clean this recipe is? It’s paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

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Ingredients.

3 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (nitrate-free is preferred)
1 yellow onion, chopped
salt, pepper, garlic powder as desiredMethod.

In a large skillet, brown the bacon over medium heat until cooked but not crispy, stirring frequently. Remove the bacon and leave the grease. Add in the onion, cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the trimmed brussel sprouts and sauté for about 15 minutes or until the outside begins to brown. Combine the bacon with the brussel sprout mixture and spread evening on a roasting sheet. Cook at 350° for 10-15 minutes.

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Really, does it get simpler?

So, what’s on your Thanksgiving menu?

Are you traveling or sharing your table with friends?

Thanksgiving Photo Dump

With a title like that, how could you not read?!

Pardon my lack of creativity. We’re on holiday hangover and the girls gave their Momma a run for her money today.

Last week, J had a glorious break from work and while I could have used the extra time to update Ye Ole Blog, I unplugged for a few days and spent some much-needed QT with J and the girls. My brain has been scattered and jumbled as of late, so sit tight for a massive photo dump to recap the holiday.

Since the Christmas season is officially here, I need to talk about Thanksgiving before it’s nothing more than a distant memory (despite extra three pounds I’m carrying courtesy of the muffins, dressing and apple pie)

We stayed home for Thanksgiving but despite our small family, made enough food for about 10 people. We never learn.

We spent most of the afternoon cooking and sweating up a storm (our kitchen was not designed with the serious chef in mind) so I called halftime and uncorked a bottle of wine. I thought, “why don’t I always cook with wine?!” Because you’d find me asleep on the couch while dinner burns.

Friends came over for dessert and the girls had a blast. We all went to bed with uncomfortably full bellies. Ah, excess!

I can’t properly recap a Thanksgiving weekend without talking about shopping, right? I fully intended to skip over the whole Black Friday disaster but I did find an amazing deal on E’s Christmas gift at Target that I couldn’t afford to pass up. No really, I couldn’t afford to buy it for her at regular price. So we all ventured out around 11 a.m. and J dropped me at the door so I could run in and snag it while they parked. Surprisingly, Target and the attached mall weren’t that busy so we let E take a ride on the world’s most obnoxious holiday train.

 

You know I couldn’t not support Small Business Saturday so after our last CSA pickup we went downtown. I scored an awesome deal on these Livie & Luca shoes at Savannah Baby Co. before heading to Half Moon Outfitters to find a Christmas present for J. Instead, Chunk and I had a photo shoot and J browsed with his little shadow.

Although I love spending time with my incredible husband when he’s off of work, early morning runs may be my favorite part of his vacation days. I love running pre-dawn but it doesn’t get to happen very often. So I took full advantage and ran a few days through the neighborhood with just my obnoxious flashing red light for company.

Saturday morning, I met up with the MRTT ladies for a 6 a.m. run on the Talmadge bridge.

Bridge in Savannah (Panorama)

Bridge in Savannah (Panorama) (Photo credit: Ben Beard)

Two thoughts on running the Talmadge:

1.) Although it’s fewer than 6 miles to run it over and back (from where we started), that      bridge is no joke. I have no idea what the incline is but my legs and butt were sore.
2.) I had no idea the severity of my fear of bridges. I’ve never been a fan of driving over them so I’m not sure what I thought it’d be like to run one with traffic. Needless to say, I will not be doing the Enmark Bridge Run 10K next weekend. I’ll be keeping my feet running on solid ground.

I rounded out my 6 miles at Wright Square which is always a lovely spot for a photo op.

How was your weekend? Any big travels? Tired of eating turkey?

A Thanksgiving menu.

I’ve been meaning to write a long, detailed, photo-heavy post about all of the glorious dishes I plan to make for our Thanksgiving dinner.

But here we are, 4 days before the big turkey day and that post is yet to be written and time is a-tick-tick-tocking away.

I had the best of intentions and that should count for something, right?

So, how about a shorter post with zero pictures and a nice mashup between recipes and links to recipes that are close enough to my favorites?

Good.

I had a baby shower this morning (I swear, I know so many pregnant women!) so J and the girls picked up our heritage turkey from Hunter Cattle at the Forsyth Farmer’s Market. The market itself will be running through the spring but according to my husband, the vendors and selection was fewer courtesy of some inland frost. Regardless, he picked up our 9 pound beaut of a bird and she’s currently making herself comfy in the deep freeze for a few days.

I’ve gone back and forth about having a dairy- and gluten-free Thanksgiving meal. We won’t be traveling for the holiday so I’ll be cooking for just our family of four so it’s possible to do an entire meal with these dietary restrictions. But it’s Thanksgiving and arguably the holiday most associated with food and their traditions.

With the exception of one dish, our meal will be dairy-free because of B’s dairy allergy. But for one day (and the three days following with all of the leftovers), I’m okay with B having a bit of gluten since that isn’t an allergy. We tried a gluten-free dressing (of the stuffing/bread – not salad – variety) last night and while it tasted okay, it wasn’t great. If I’m going to spend hours preparing a meal, I want it to be the real thing. So, gluten is on the table for Thursday.

Here’s our Thanksgiving menu – recipes at the end of the post:

  • TurkeyThis is a great overview of why I prefer heritage and farm-raised turkeys over your typical grocery store Butterball. Know where your meat is coming from. She’ll be oiled and stuffed with all sorts of delicious rosemary and thyme.
  • Mashed potatoes – Made with your typical russet potato, original almond milk and coconut butter. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Sautéed green beans with almonds – I start with about 3 cups of fresh and snapped green beans. Sauté with coconut oil, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), salt and pepper for a few minutes and then add about 1/2 a cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Cover and let simmer until soft. Remove lid and cook off any remaining liquid before serving. Toss in 1/4 c. slivered almonds.
  • The Dressing – This deserves a formal title because in my holiday lineup, the dressing reigns supreme. Because we cook it outside of the turkey, it’s considered dressing instead of stuffing. While I have you here solidly in the middle of a bullet point and rather tucked away, I have a confession. I’ve lost my husband’s absolute favorite dressing recipe. I made it two years ago and tried to cover my bottom last year by cooking from memory but it wasn’t the same. So I need to do some serious research in the next few days to try to save face. This recipe has the same solid basis but I’ll add thyme and two or three fresh rosemary sprigs. To make it dairy-free, I’ll be subbing coconut butter for the regular butter. I’ll get my bread cubes from the bakery on Tuesday so they’ll have a day or two to stale.
  • Cranberry-nut muffins – this is a recipe (found at the bottom of the post) from J’s childhood and courtesy of his mother. While I wasn’t a fan the first few years we were together, this little fellas have grown on me. The tartness from the cranberries tasted wonderful against the sweetness of the muffin. This recipe is about has fat- and gluten-filled as they come but it IS dairy-free. Small victories!
  • Candied sweet potatoesA traditional way to use the plethora of sweet potatoes we still have courtesy of our CSA.
  • Sour cream lima beans – Don’t let the name fool you; this dish (recipe below) is ah-ma-zing. Delicious! This is one my favorite of Grandma Irene’s recipes. I’m only on the fence about making it because a.) it’s not dairy-free and b.) it makes a 9×13 dish and that’s a lot of buttery, creamy, sweet goodness for just our little family. But it’s so delicious – I can’t resist!

That’s our main menu. I’m still on the fence about dessert. While I love pumpkin pie – who doesn’t?! – B definitely couldn’t partake because of the condensed milk. But, most generic pie crusts are dairy-free to cut costs, so a pie is still an option.  I’m thinking about a yummy, deep-dish, crumb-topped apply pie made with coconut butter, perhaps?

My stomach is rumbling. After writing a post like this, I definitely need to get a post-dinner snack.

What is on your Thanksgiving Day menu? Are you cooking or joining in with family and friends? Traveling or staying home? Who has a delicious and dairy-free dessert recipe to share?

Cranberry-Nut Muffins

– 2 c. flour ( 1 c. whole wheat, 1 c. all-purpose)
– 1 c. sugar
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 2 tsp orange zest
– 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ginger
– 1/2 c. Crisco
– 3/4 c. orange juice
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1 1/2 c. cranberries, chopped
– 1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (original recipe calls for nuts but I prefer pecans)

Combine dry ingredients, nuts and berries. Blend in Crisco. Add liquid ingredients. Either liberally grease muffin tin with additional Crisco or line muffin tin with aluminum liners and fill tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. 

Sour Cream Lima Beans

– 1 pound of dry lima beans, cooked per bag’s directions
– 3/4 c. butter
– 3/4 c. brown sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp dry mustard
– 1 tbsp molasses
– 1/2 to 3/4 a pint of sour cream

Cook lima beans per the instructions on the bag. Add the butter to hot beans, let melt. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and dry mustard. Put beans in a 9×13 baking dish, add brown sugar mixture. Fold in sour cream and gently mix in molasses. Bake uncovered at 350° for 40-60 minutes or until top bubbles and begins to lightly brown.