Lemon Dill Carrots

This was my other side dish contribution to thanksgiving -lemon dilled carrots. This recipe came from a little Barnes and Noble cookbook I bought for $2.98 on the clearance rack years ago. It is small and basic but this book has earned it's keep -I have several recipes I have lifted from it. I had some multicolor carrots that I bought a while back that needed to be used, so this recipe I had always wondered about seemed perfect. 

Adapted from: Barnes & Noble Basics in the Kitchen by Pamela Richards 

6 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 table lemon juice
1/2 cup water 
1/2 tbl butter
1tsp dill
Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
2tsp honey

Steam the carrots until tender but firm/crisp. Set aside and keep warm. 

Meanwhile combine the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small pan. Mix until combined and add water. Heat over medium. Keep stirring until mixture thickens slightly. 

Add the remaining ingredients, stirring until he butter is melted. Pour over the carrots, toss to coat, and enjoy. 

These were quick, easy, and delicious. My critic called them A+ :).  Definitely repeatable and I loved using the tricolor carrots  they made it feel fancy!


Bacon and Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts. I remember thinking they were ok when we had them when I was younger, not really liking them, not really disliking them. They were a huge treat for my mom - not exactly something you could force on a meat lover and three kids. She delighted in getting the steam in a bag kind with a butter sauce on special occasions. 

Last year I really discovered how much I love Brussels sprouts. My go to became shredded Brussels sprouts sautéed with a little garlic and pancetta. Launched it was thanksgiving I decided to raise the taste bar and drop the health bar :). 

4 slices of bacon, coarsely chopped
1/2 -1 lb of Brussels sprouts
Balsamic vinegar 

1. Start cooking the bacon in an oven proof pan. More surface area is better here

2. While the bacon is cooking, prep the sprouts - wash them, rtmove anything undesirable, and cut in half lengthwise. 

3. When the bacon is mostly cooked remove most of the bacon grease from your pan, leaving some drippings for roasting. Add the bacon and Brussels sprouts to the pan, cooking on medium for about 5 minutes. 

4. Here is where it gets fun. Add a splash or three of balsamic vinegar - probably a couple of tablespoons worth - enough to really get the good bits off of the pan  toss to coat and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400F. I like to use the big pan because it allows me to place the sprouts cut side down for maximum roasting at this point. 

Time to get done delicious roasting going on. 

Final product:

Verdict - Seriously amazing. 3 simple ingredients - who would have thought they could taste so good?  I actually followed slightly different directions, starting out bacon and sprouts together. Because of that I wound up roasting way too long. Even mushy these were amazing. I can't imagine how tasty they will be when they are firm and crunchy with that balsamic carnelization!  Even mushy they got an A rating from my FIL at dinner. Add in a good excuse to use the fancy wedding pans -  what more could a girl want? 


Pumpkin Sones

I remember the first time I even heard of a scone. I was in high school, on a plane to Europe. I had my scone, thought it seemed such a fancy treat, and didn't think about them again for a decade until I discovered owners pasterirs. They always have seemed so exotic - something a regular girl like me could never make on her own. Most of my baking history has been cookies and cakes. However, I'm a sucker for what I believe to be a challenge.   So when I saw one of my favorite food blogs, Our Best Bites, published a pumpkin scone recipe I marked it for Thanksgiving. So Wednesday night since everyone else was traveling rather than going to the Saloon I started my baking!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbl baking powder
3 tbl brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkn pie spice
1-2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbl COLD butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tbl vanilla extract
1 egg
2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp maple extract or pure maple sugar
2 tbl milk

Start with combining the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamonin a bowl, mixing well.  

Cut the butter into the bowl and break the butter up into small pieces (I did this by hand), making sure not to over mix the butter.  Chunks are good!

Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix the milk, vanilla, egg, and pumpkin.  

Add the wet to the dry and mix to combine.  I had to add a little extra flour to mine.  Next, dust your work surface with a little extra flour.  Pat the dough into a round, approximately 1 in. thick.  Cut (i used a pizza cutter) into 6-8 pieces.  Seperate them brush with milk and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350F until the scones pass the toothpick test.

Meanwhile, mix glaze and drizzle over the scones as they cool.

So i'm going to admit -- the original recipe called for cream.  But let's be honest, I barely keep milk in the house. Cream is beyond pushing it.  Even without the cream these were awesome.  I ate them for several days, warming them up for a few minutes in the oven and adding butter for consumption of the yum.  David wasn't too impressed, but he had just brushed his teeth.  The only thing I would do differently is I would use the entire glaze rather than only using some.  The glaze did get into the crannies, just like OBB suggested it would.  It gave the exta little bit of sweetness that made these shine.  Now that the guantlet is thrown, I have big plans for more scones this Christmas!  I know my sister is excited.

Daisy was really excited by my cooking, hoping I would drop some pumpkin her way.  I plead the 5th.