Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I don’t know why there’s such a prejudice against brussel sprouts in this country.  Maybe it’s because the traditional American way of preparing them–and vegetables in general–is very bland and devoid of depth and flavor. Raw or plain baked vegetables are not extremely flavorful, but simply sautee or roast any vegetable with a little olive oil or butter and magic happens.  These brussle sprouts are a treat, and warm out of the oven they make a perfect side on a snowy night. Chop off the ends of the sprouts and cut them in half. Place them in a baking pan and drizzle generously with olive oil. Add a tablespoon of butter, as well as salt and pepper, then pop them in the oven at 375 degrees.  I leave them in the oven for about an hour, as I like them crisp. Enjoy!

  

   
 

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

 

These are my brother Sasha’s absolute favorite cookies (he literally eats them by the dozen) and they’re also the first thing I ever helped my mom to bake, so they’re sort of sacred to me.  They’re a go-to dessert for parties, because everybody likes them and they’re super easy to make.  Also, they’re cute and the sprinkling of sugar on the top gives them a festive flare.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Mix the butter and sugar util light and fluffy, then add the remaining ingredients.   Mix well.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Roll dough into small round balls and place on baking sheet.  Fill a small bowl with sugar and wet the bottom of a glass.  Dip the glass in the bowl to coat with sugar and press onto each of the cookies, coating the tops with a light layer of sugar.  Bake 6 to 10 minutes, until tops begin to crack slightly.

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Chocolate Lumps

I’m not sure why, but when we were little my brother and I called these brownies ‘chocolate lumps’.  That doesn’t sound particularly appetizing, but that’s what they are: lumps of chocolaty goodness.  They manage to be both chewy and gooey, making them the perfect comfort snack.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

Butter a 13 by 9 inch pan.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat.  In a bowl, whisk the eggs, then add salt, sugar and vanilla.  Stir in the melted butter mixture, then fold in flour until just combined.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

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Blueberry Walk-Away

This morning I woke up to this lovely surprise…thank you Mom!  I can’t wait to try this recipe myself (and share it with you, of course) but for now I couldn’t resist posting these pictures.