From Brussels with Love

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Admittedly, selling Brussels sprouts to kids is not like giving candy to a baby. Sprouts might look cute, and kids are impressed when they see how they grow on a stem in a circular pattern from largest to smallest, but when all things are said and done, making sprouts palatable for anyone may take some ingenuity. Look no further. This dish of caramelized Brussels sprouts has been a huge hit everywhere. Here is how we prepare this nutritious produce and hope that it will become a main stay on your dinner menu, too. Come and cook with us!

First, let’s clear up some confusion. Brussels sprouts are not really sprouts at all. Rather, they are members of the cabbage family, which is actually what they look like – on a miniature scale. As a cruciferous vegetable, Brussels sprouts are a superfood packed with many nutritional benefits including good amounts of folate, potassium, and bone-building vitamin K as well as a small amount of beta-carotene and plenty of antioxidants. They als contain cancer-fighting chemicals such as sinigrin, which suppresses the development of precancerous cells. It’s also what’s responsible for the smell. Overcooked Brussels sprouts, need I say more? Furthermore, Brussel sprouts contain isothiocyanates and sulforaphane, which are two additional cancer-fighting compounds known to inhibit cancerous cell proliferation and to detoxify nasty environmental toxins.

Honestly, I love my Brussels sprouts steamed and dressed up while still warm with a little vinaigrette. This was one of my go-to dishes when I was working in London right out of college. Paired with cocktail tomatoes and some mozzarella they made for a great light meat-free weekday dinner. But if that does not sound appealing, fry up some bacon, ham or pancetta alongside slivered Brussels sprouts instead and sprinkle with a squeeze of lime and you’ll see that the end result is simply delicious. This is yet another dish where type of preparation – caramelizing instead of steaming – makes a world of a difference. And while it may sound all sophisticated, it’s actually super-easy! Give these little juicy crisped up tangy bites a try and let us know what you think. You’ll see, they’ll go like hot-cakes! Come and cook with us!

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

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Baking while Waiting

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Wednesday night is blog posting night at Come and Cook with Us. Usually, I’m refining a recipe write-up or reviewing my post. Tonight, instead of doing any of that, my mind is with the upcoming storm. I’m not one to worry, but when even the kids’ school decides to close due to potential wind and flood hazards, I think we better prepare for what’s ahead. Nothing calms one’s nerves more than baking Christmas cookies. After all, we are in the holiday season. Here’s to my favorite of all times: Lebkuchen. Come and cook with us!

Lebkuchen is a little like ginger-bread in the US and while the witch’s house Hänsel and Gretel came upon in the woods is indeed made with ground ginger, my childhood’s version is packed with spices but short on ginger. It is also made of 100% rye flour, which behaves differently when used in baking recipes. I guess that kind of makes it a non-ginger-bread cookie, but I still love the taste of it and wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

Baking Christmas cookies with my kids takes me right back home. This time of year, it truly is a winter-wonder land and wherever you go, you will find a platter of typical holiday cookies including Vanillekipferln, Spitzbuben, Makronen and, of course, Lebkuchen. My mother would bake them early in December, keep them in a tin in the cool pantry and hope that by Christmas, we hadn’t eaten them all and left at least some for the extended family who would come and celebrate Christmas day with us.

As you know, cookies aren’t high on my list of things to make in the kitchen, but this is a special season and baking certainly helps to keep the boys happy while we wait out the storm. Stay dry and Come and Cook with Us!

Lebkuchen (Rye Holiday Cookies)

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An Ode to Oats

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I like a personal challenge, particularly when it involves food. So when my son invited a few friends to a sleep over, I resisted the immediate gratification I would receive from indulging them with a breakfast of pancakes, doused in syrup with a side of bacon. Imagine those happy faces. Instead, I decided to make oatmeal. And guess what? They all loved it! Yes, sure, bacon sells, but so do oats! Come and cook with us! Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving

IMG_8252What you do in the kitchen plays a huge role in driving a continued love for good food in your families and for that, you have our thanks. As you gather today to celebrate this iconic American holiday, we wish you a warm, healthy and delicious Thanksgiving. May your dinner plate be filled with all the colors of the rainbow.

Thank you for your continued support of Come and Cook with Us!

Kathrin

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