Tag Archives: holiday

Homemade Corned Beef

This time of year, every year, corned beef brisket returns in force to the butchers section of your local grocery store. Corned beef is a guilty pleasure of mine, and we’ve gone through 10-15 lbs every March. The pink interior of the brisket you’ve known and loved is from using either pink salt with sodium nitrate or other added nitrates/nitrites. Skipping this will result in a grayer brisket, but still great flavor.

This year, we decided to take the plunge and figure out how to make our own corned beef. Fun fact: the “corned” in corned beef has to do with salt-curing, or brining, the brisket. We experimented with a quick corning, and while the flavor was good after 24 hours, the brisket was dry and less tender. Make sure to allow the brisket to brine for at least 5 days, if not 6-10 days. If you don’t have that kind of time, find an already corned brisket and throw it in your Instant Pot—you’ll be up and running for St. Patrick’s day in record time.

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Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

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!

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Dairy-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

One of our dirty, little secrets is that we have always had a weakness for cheesecake. There’s something about it that helps us celebrate or cope with stressful situations. Despite our love, it does not love us back; congestion and an overall feeling of lethargy are common side-effects. This Thanksgiving, we decided to give this staple a shot with Kite Hill Cream Cheese. This stuff is awesome and it allowed us to celebrate with a great dessert to finish up a great meal.

This is definitely a special occasion treat, but it was too good not to share. With more holiday celebrations to come this month, we hope you’ll give this a try.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Heather didn’t add a lot of sweetener to the batter of this cheesecake. The cheesecake was perfectly savory with a hint of sweetness. If you prefer a slightly sweeter dessert, you could easily serve it with a sweet whipped cream of coconut milk (or real heavy cream, if you can tolerate it) or a light drizzle of maple syrup.

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Easy Pesto Egg Bake

If you’re like us, you’ll have a full house this Thanksgiving for the holidays. This means you need more food for each meal of the day—breakfast, lunch, dinner (and snacks). Most days I don’t eat breakfast, so Heather makes something for herself. With at least two more people in the house, we love having options for bigger and easier breakfast meals.

This pesto egg bake is one of the easiest things we’ve ever put together, and it’s awesomely tasty. Regardless of whether you use a pre-made pesto, or make one of your own (we have a few!), you’ll be ready to go in no time.

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Cranberry Brussels Sprouts

With the holidays upon us, I have been eager to cook festive foods that reflect the cheer of the season. We recently bought cranberries with the intention of making cranberry sauce, Orange-Cranberry Bread, and Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Salad. One day, I noticed the bag of leftover cranberries next to a bag of brussels sprouts and I realized they might work well together.

Most recipes online that combine cranberries and brussels sprouts involve using the sugar-sweetened dried cranberries or add lots of sugar or honey to mix to counter the tartness of the cranberries. I was determined to create something that tastes great without the added sugars.

This recipe came together after just one less-than-perfect experiment and a few recommendations from Brent. As the whole dish cooks, the balsamic reduces and adds its own sweetness. Coupled with the sweet and nutty pecans, the whole dish comes together with a nice balance of sweet, savory, and tart. Plus, it’s beautiful!

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Sour Cream and Chive Cauliflower Mash

It’s hard to believe that it’s Thanksgiving week again; in the past 6 weeks we’ve gotten married and put in an offer on a few houses(!!). This past weekend we had amazing time with our friends Matt and Stacy of Paleo Parents and Nicole of Merit + Fork to celebrate Friendgiving. There was a gigantic spread of food, and you have to check out the Thanksgiving roundup! If you’re doubtful, check out the amazing prime rib that Matt cooked.

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Grandma Dean’s Oyster Stew

Oyster stew is one of the few things that I normally refused to eat growing up—until I was in college, I was confident that oysters were the last thing I should ever eat. Thankfully I’ve lost that perspective, and Heather and I go out for raw oysters fairly regularly at a local raw bar happy hour. This recipe is based off of my late Grandma Dean’s, who I remember for infamously “teaching me my first word: mine.”

Oyster stew is a big tradition in many households, and has roots in the Americas going back to the late 19th Century. Dishes like this one are especially popular for those who celebrate a meatless dinner on Christmas Eve—you may know Italian families that celebrate the Festa dei sette pesci, or Feast of the Seven Fishes. This is an amazing fresh first dish for a meatless dinner, a special occasion, or a light yet savory treat.
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