Well, we’ve made it to post #13 and I am guessing that by now you are thinking, “OK, Michelle, where are all of the vegetable recipes on My Veg Table?” Thus far, I’ve introduced many of my favorite recipes to you and most of them haven’t had a speck of a vegetable in them. Fear not, the wait is over! Now I get to share one of my favorite veg recipes that receives the most skeptical looks: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Red Grapes with Walnuts. That’s right; the grapes are roasted in the oven alongside those tiny cabbages. Did you just raise your eyebrows, too? Trust me on this: if I can take a table full of the pickiest people I know and get them to not only taste this, but also agree that it’s good, well, I think that I just might convert a few of you as well.
My Veg Table Posts
…he just might ask you to marry him. At least that’s how it happened with us. Ok, now a marriage proposal may not come as a result of just any pancakes, but these were oatmeal pancakes. Oatmeal honey pancakes. Alright, so maybe that’s not entirely the reason that I got a ring, but my husband, Ed says he’s pretty sure these flapjacks definitely cinched the deal.
I spent years perfecting my homemade tomato sauce recipe using the “little bit of this, little bit of that” technique. To this day, I don’t know that I could write an actual recipe for it since it was a tad different each time. What was consistent with my sauce was the incessant tasting, tweaking, and babysitting it required. Despite how involved it was, it was always better than the jarred stuff.
All of those years spent honing my sauce now seem futile: I have found a new favorite that requires far fewer ingredients, zero babysitting time, and even more flavor than the sauce that I lovingly toiled over.
Now that the weather here in Florida is finally getting colder, it makes me want to go to my kitchen, grab a mug, and brew myself up something piping hot. My first choice is always tea–my tea selection rivals that of Teavana–coffee falls in as number two, and a close third is hot chocolate. I just love a steamy cup of hot chocolate with mounds of whipped cream or a dollop of marshmallow fluff floating on top. I grew up adding Ovaltine to my milk–to this day, it is still a staple in my pantry. When I want something extra special, I make myself a cup of drinking chocolate.
Today, my son says, “I don’t like corn anymore”. To which I respond, “Everett, you just had corn the other day”. His facial expression tells me that that is irrelevant. Lately, we seem to be in an aversion cycle that changes almost daily: yesterday tomatoes and today corn—who knows what will be on the list tomorrow! Today’s Tidbit is all about the loophole I have discovered to get around his newfound dislike of corn–Hominy! As my husband always jokes, “How many?”
Let me just start out by saying that I don’t like banana things; by things, I mean “things” made from bananas. I like bananas straight from the peel or in smoothies, but that’s about it. When I eat banana things, there is almost always an artificial banana-y quality about it that my palate immediately rejects. My husband, Ed, doesn’t understand it. In addition to eating a banana every day–yes, EVERY DAY–he loves all things banana. This brings me to my story of the infamous banana bread and the recipe that made me a convert.
Smoothies are pretty popular in my house. Sometimes, it is much easier to drink your nutrition than to eat it. Take kale smoothies, for instance: kale on its own can be bitter and overpowering. On the other hand, mixed up in a blender with some fruits and coconut water, it is downright delicious–and nutritious. When my son, Everett, was young, we purchased our Vitamix blender so that we could maximize his veggie intake: green smoothies were served up daily. Now that my kiddo is in school all day, we have dialed it back to about three times per week.
As I sit here in the middle of the night, I look at the Christmas decorations still adorning my living room–my tree would still be lit if the clock didn’t read 1:00am. Although it is now the fifth day of the new year, I am still reveling a bit in the holiday season and reflecting on the year that has so swiftly passed us by.
Traveling is my second favorite thing to do–eating is my first. My husband, son and I travel quite a bit and one of our favorite places to visit is Saint Augustine, Florida. Saint Augustine is one of those cities that not only is rich in American and European history, but also full of history for my husband and I as a couple. It was one of our first trips together when we were dating, it was the place that he proposed, it was the city where we spent our first anniversary, and now it is one of my son’s favorite places to visit. As you walk down the streets of this “ancient” town–ancient by American standards–you can palpate the history. Despite the seemingly endless list of things to see, we have found ourselves on multiple visits without agenda and meandering through the brick streets while taking it all in. Even if you had an agenda, it’s hard to do it all: the Castillo de San Marcos Fort, the art museums, the history museums, the lighthouse and beach, the shops, and wait…did I mention the food?
A box arrived via UPS today and I figured it was just another Christmas present that my husband ordered from Amazon; except that the sender was Big Sur Bakery. Our friends live in Napa, CA and were just married in Big Sur, CA in August. Their reception was held at Big Sur Bakery and Café. The wedding was lovely, the scenery was amazing and the food was fantastic. So, we ripped open the box to find a loaf of sorts in a cloth bag tied with string. It was a stollen: the topic of today’s Tidbit. Stollen is a German sweet bread that contains nuts, fruit, and/or raisins. The label read that it was brushed in butter and coated in sugar–and I do mean coated. I had envisioned a cloyingly sweet “fruitcake-like” bread. After cutting into it, I was pleasantly surprised. It was more bread than cake, and despite the copious amount of sugar on the outside, there was a subtle sweetness. The rum soaked raisins lent just a hint of rum and the candied citrus gave a “pop” to nearly every bite. There were no nuts in this version.