Remember when brussels sprouts were that food you would use to describe what could only be the worst possible meal someone could possible force upon you as a child? Like, ugh, I’ll eat anything but brussels sprouts, yuck! And now I’m 30, and brussels sprouts are having their moment, and I’ve probably said out loud at some point in the last 6 months: “you should really order the pancetta skillet brussels sprouts, they’re the chef’s speciality” or,I can’t stop thinking about those fried buffalo brussels sprouts with whipped blue cheese mouse from last night’s menu.” Funny how things like that work out, right? So while b-sprouts are in my culinary spotlight, I thought it would be a good time to mix up how I make them at home and tested this recipe with the intention of it being a Thanksgiving side dish.
Brussel Sprout Salad 1It’s *almost* a salad — a way to get a little bit of green onto my gravy-soaked plate on Turkey Day. The good thing is that you can make it all on the stovetop — it’s always smart to have dishes that don’t take up precious oven-room on Thanksgiving. The dish also tastes great served hot or cooled down to room temperature. So go ahead, make sure you eat your veggies! Full recipe below:  read more

The other day at work the topic of Thanksgiving foods came up, and while it’s not a traditional Thanksgiving food, I mentioned that we always have a mac and cheese at ours because my siblings aren’t big on turkey. One of the best mac and cheese dishes that I’ve ever eaten was on our honeymoon, and the dish came served with a side of homemade applesauce — delicious. My wheels started turning for how I could combine these flavors in a new way, and I came up with this cute little idea for a savory and sweet side dish: mac and cheese baked apples. I love the idea of offering these in small apples as an appetizer, or as a bigger portion for a side dish at dinner — either way, they’re a super tasty treat. Full recipe below!

Mac and cheese baked apple Mac and cheese baked apple1 mac and cheese baked apple2 mac and cheese baked apple3 mac and cheese baked apple4 mac and cheese baked apple5 mac and cheese baked apple6Ingredients:

  • 4-5 large apples (honey crisp apples worked great)
  • 5 cups of cooked pasta (elbows work great!)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (plus extra for garnish)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Cook pasta as directed, removing from water when still al dente. Clean apples and slice their tops off; using a melon-baller, scoop out the insides of the apple leaving a half-inch rim around the edges. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and begin to whisk in flour until a roux forms, then slowly whisk in the cup of milk and heat until the sauce thickens. Next, mix in the cheeses and combine until the sauce is a consistent texture. Remove from heat fold in pasta until fully coated; salt and pepper to taste. Fill the hollowed-out apples with macaroni and cheese mixture, and top with additional sharp cheddar cheese. Bake in a baking dish in a 400 degree pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.