Roasted vegetables are a time-honored classic, and green beans are a regular part of our side dish rotation. Over the Christmas season, we enjoyed our take on green bean casserole. While we’re often utilitarian eaters, having our green beans with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, we occasionally like to jazz things up.
Recently, we were gifted a jar of Tin Star Food’s Organic Grassfed Brown Butter Ghee from our friends at Real Everything, and we knew we needed to do something special with it. Brown butter sauces are rich, and complex, and brown butter ghee kicks that up another level. This was a side dish that became an entrée when we made it, and we think you’ll eat it up just as quickly. Check out Tin Star’s other products; we’re fans of quality, lactose-free dairy products.
I can’t remember why, but a couple of weeks ago Brent and I thought it would be a good idea to buy one of those 10-lb bags of carrots at Costco. I had visions of carrot juice in the morning, carrot soufflés, and finding other creative ways to use the carrots. Admittedly, we have made neither juice nor soufflé of carrot.
Fortunately, Brent remembered that during our first trip to Germany, we enjoyed a carrot salad that was bright and tangy as we sat on a bench outside Nymphenburg Palace. In our research, we found quite a few varieties but we settled on keeping our version simple. We’re enjoying it now, and I think we’ll be making it more often once spring time arrives. It’s a perfect side dish for a picnic or cookout!
We may or may not have mentioned before that we enjoy cooking for others as much as we enjoy it for ourselves. We’ve made a habit of cooking food for new parents we know, either by taking over their kitchen for a meal or dropping off batches of food.
One of our neighbors recently had a baby, and they’re similarly focused on eating real food. We did what we do best and took them a batch of this soup after they came home from the hospital. The next day, while out walking our dog, their oldest son ran up to the fence and said, “I really liked your soup!” With eight nieces and nephews, I know how hard it can be to get kids to eat. So, unsolicited praise must mean we did something right!
Just this weekend we made another batch for ourselves, and froze more than half of it. As we look forward to our own baby’s birth in June, we are slowly planning ahead for the inevitable weeks of exhaustion that will follow bringing the baby home. Batch cooking now will save us time and money in the future. We hope you’ll like this soup as much as we and our neighbors do.
Pickles—just thinking about them makes my mouth water. They’re easily one of my favorite snacks, and I’ve been known to sit down on the couch with one of the gigantic jars you can buy at Costco and put a serious dent in the supply. We’ve also come to love local pickles as well as craft pickles. Brooklyn Brine makes some amazing flavor combinations, especially spicy ones, that we love, but our wallets do not (plus, they’re not quite gluten-free).
Making pickles with a traditional brine is fun, and like craft cider or wine in a lot of ways (fermentation), but it is definitely not an immediate reward. When we made our own pickles back in 2012 based on another recipe, we waited a good 5 days before trying them and had mixed results. We also did something similar with Brussels sprouts a little while back. Even with this recipe, it took the better part of a week.
We have more than a handful of Brussels sprouts recipes. But, we love them so much, we’re always looking for creative ways to make them. A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, Brent’s mom saw a Brussels sprouts slaw at Wegmans and told us about it. We agreed that it was an interesting idea, but there were a few ingredients we wouldn’t usually incorporate into our cooking. So I took the premise and made my own, fall-inspired salad. We served it as part of our Thanksgiving dinner and it was a unique and refreshing vegetable on the plate. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!