Thanksgiving Recipe

November 22, 2011

Creamy Brussels Sprouts Gratin ♥ Recipe

Oh my, what heat and cream don't do for Brussels sproutsOh my, what heat and cream don’t do for Brussels sprouts
Today’s Thanksgiving recipe idea: A simple gratin of fresh Brussels sprouts, first roasted, then braised in cream, then finished under the broiler.

Oh. My. MY.

What heat and cream don’t do for baby cabbages. In fact, this might be my new most-favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts, simple and decadent both at once. The sprouts are elevated to a whole new experience, perfect for special occasions.

And they couldn’t be easier to make, so for anyone who has room for the calories, this is a great recipe for everyday, too.

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T LIKE BRUSSELS SPROUTS? Not everyone likes Brussels sprouts. But the reason may not be about ‘picky eating’ — but instead about chemicals called glucosinolates. If someone in your family is hesitant, resistant or outright militantly in opposition to Brussels sprouts, know that the trick is to break up the center of the sprouts by cutting them in half and then, to leach out the chemicals, to cook them in a lot of well-salted water.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 8

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, stem ends sliced off, outer layer of leaves removed, sprouts halved lengthwise through the core
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted in the microwave in 10-second increments
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup panko
1/4 ounce fresh Parmesan, grated
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the butter, salt and pepper. Arrange in a shallow baking dish just large enough for a generous single layer. (The sprouts do shrink while roasting so some overlap is good.) Roast for about 35 minutes (stirring well after 15, 25 and 35 minutes) until the sprouts are very nearly cooked through and brown in spots. Pour the cream over top and return to the oven for 5 – 10 minutes (stirring after 5 and 10 minutes) until cream thickens, coats the Brussels sprouts and darkens slightly. Remove from oven, switch oven to the broiler.

Mix topping ingredients and spread evenly over top. Place under broiler for 5 – 10 minutes until topping turns crisp and golden.

DAY BEFORE Mix the topping ingredients.
MORNING OF Prep the Brussels sprouts, toss with butter, salt and pepper.
BEFORE DINNER Roast and finish.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 207Cal; 14g Tot Fat; 9g Sat Fat; 49mg Cholesterol; 320mg Sodium; 16g Carb; 5g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 6g Protein; Weight Watchers 4 points (technically 4.5 points)TODAY’S VEGETABLE RECIPE INSPIRATION
Adapted from a 2007 seasonal publication from Fine Cooking. This issue features all side dishes but if there’s another this year, based on this one, I would much recommend it.

 I don’t recommend using frozen Brussels sprouts for this recipe.
 Choose Brussels sprouts of any size for this recipe. That said, do make sure that all the Brussels sprouts are roughly equivalent in size. In addition, smaller Brussels sprouts will cook somewhat faster. If what you find are large, you might consider quartering rather than halving.
 Note: If you or your Thanksgiving guests are watching carbs, skip the topping. It’s largely a superfluous finish, though does offer some small texture contrast too.
 To reduce the calories, you might try half ‘n’ half (half cream, half milk) but I don’t recommend using fat-free half ‘n’ half, as it doesn’t seem to have thickening properties.
 By accident, I learned that these Brussels sprouts are very forgiving. They were already cooked when I popped them into the oven to reheat for a few minutes. Instead, they were in the oven for nearly an hour and emerged looking completely burned and inedible. Instead, the cream had just turned very dark, the Brussels sprouts had turned into soft bites of amazing flavor.


Pumpkin Recipe

October 25, 2011
Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes Recipe


Ginger Cupcakes

Prep Time:
20 Min
Cook Time:
20 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr 30 Min 
Original Recipe Yield 24 cupcakes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Healthy Granola Bars – Ask The Kids To Help

September 4, 2011


Power Bar

From EatingWell:  January/February 2010

Great for breakfast on the go! Golden roasted nuts, seeds and oats are enveloped by flavorful almond butter in these delectably chewy, no-fuss energy bars. Unrefined turbinado sugar adds a deep caramelly undertone. Feel free to use light brown sugar instead. Bars stored at room temperature will be softer than those that are refrigerated.

Almond-Honey Power Bar Recipe

8 bars

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour (including chilling)


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, preferably golden
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened whole-grain puffed cereal (see Note)
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup chopped golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.
  2. Spread oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the oats are lightly toasted and the nuts are fragrant, shaking the pan halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cereal, currants, apricots and raisins; toss to combine.
  3. Combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles lightly, 2 to 5 minutes.
  4. Immediately pour the almond butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula until no dry spots remain. Transfer to the prepared pan. Lightly coat your hands with cooking spray and press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes; cut into 8 bars.


  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month; thaw at room temperature.
  • Ingredient notes: For this recipe, we like unsweetened puffed multi-grain cereal, such as Kashi’s 7 Whole Grain Puffs.
  • Almond butter can be found at natural-foods stores and large supermarkets, near the peanut butter.
  • Turbinado sugar is steam-cleaned raw cane sugar. It’s coarse-grained and light brown in color, with a slight molasses flavor. Find it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets or at natural-foods stores.


Per serving: 244 calories; 10 g fat ( 1 g sat , 5 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrates; 15 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 3 g fiber; 74 mg sodium; 313 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Magnesium (19% daily value).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 2 fat

Food Swaps That Fight Belly Fat

July 18, 2011

Don’t eat less—eat smarter. Try these ridiculously easy food trade-offs to banish your gut for good

Food Swaps That Fight Belly Fat // bowl of nuts and seeds c Thinkstock 

Nuts and Seeds for Pretzels

Instead of mindlessly munching bite-sized twists, snack on nuts or seeds to satisfy your craving for something crunchy. Both are loaded with gut-busting monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and research shows that people who eat two or more servings a week are less likely to gain weight than those who don’t. “You need to watch your portions—nuts have lots of calories,” says Palinski. “But they’re loaded with protein and fiber, so they’re more filling.” Her favorite: omega-3–rich walnuts. If you must satisfy a craving for pretzels, choose a whole grain or pumpernickel variety, she advises.

Bonus tip: Make this swap when you reach for a TV snack.

Food Swaps That Fight Belly Fat

July 11, 2011
Don’t eat less—eat smarter. Try these ridiculously easy food trade-offs to banish your gut for good
Food Swaps That Fight Belly Fat // avocado cubes c Thinkstock 

Avocado for Butter

This may sound a little adventurous, but you won’t taste the difference: Switch out half of the butter in a cookie recipe for mashed avocado. This simple change will reduce fat content by 40% and cut the number of calories by nearly as much. You’ll still get the creaminess of butter and the fatty taste, but this substitution knocks out some of the saturated fat in favor of the belly-flattening monounsaturated kind. Sure your cookies might have a green tinge, but they should also be chewier and softer.

A Healthy Valentine’s Day Treat

February 14, 2011

Our Favorite Guilt-Free Ways to Eat Chocolate

Dark Chocolate?Pistachio Apricots

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Apricots

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
24 dried apricots
4 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Melt chocolate chips. Dip half of each apricot in chocolate. Place on waxed paper. Sprinkle with pistachios. Let chocolate set in fridge.

Get the nutrition info


Warm up your family with this new recipe.

December 22, 2010

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 4hr 20m



  1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water.
  2. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours (total time is 8 hours, 20 minutes) or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Serve the chili with the sour cream, scallions, radishes, and tortilla chips.

For nutritional information see the recipe at