Posts made in October 13th, 2011

roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and apples

37

Posted on Oct 13, 2011 in Food

roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and apples

When I posted my recap of our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, I was pretty shocked to see that the recipe people were most interested in was my Brussels sprouts recipe. Oh how the kid version of you guys would be disgusted!

I’m relatively new to the world of the B-sprouts. I’m sure my parents had me try them as a kid and I said, “YUCK!” and spit them back out. But as an adult? I just started to get on the Brussels train last year. I love how sweet, crunchy and caramelized the little leaves get when roasted. They are amazing roasted on their own with just a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, but I wanted to up the ante a bit for Thanksgiving.

Because Brussels naturally get sweet when roasted, it works well to pair them with other sweet foods like apples and maple syrup. A little bit of salty bacon helps keep the flavor from tipping too far to the sugar-y side. While I used this as a side for Thanksgiving, it comes together in a flash and would be a great veggie side for any dinner.

To prepare Brussels sprouts for cooking, I like to lop off the stem end of each sprout with a sharp knife and then half them. By halving them, I find that the roasted yummy flavor gets in every little crevice of the sprout. It is worth the extra time it takes to slice and dice ‘em. When looking for Brussels in the store, look for smallish, tightly packed sprouts. You’ll lose a few leaves when trimming, but ideally, the sprout should mostly stay together.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

Sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, and like most cabbage, contain sulfur. The longer the Brussels cook, the stronger the sulfur smell and taste become. Not good eats for kids (or adults). Avoid the dreaded kid spit out by roasting these babies until they are just tender and brown.

Serves 4-6

Print this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 1 large tart apple, cored and diced
  • 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In a large bowl, combine sprouts, apple and bacon and stir until evenly distributed.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Pour olive oil mixture over sprout mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Pour out the sprout mixture in one layer onto a greased cookie sheet. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, or until sprouts are tender and brown.

Did you like Brussels sprouts as a kid?

oh, the internets.

43

Posted on Oct 13, 2011 in Career

Welcome to this week’s installment of “Unpopular Opinions”…

In the past six weeks or so, a bit of a revolution has been taking over the referral lists for a lot of healthy living bloggers—a little website called Get Off My Internets. The bulk of the site is made up of two different parts. The main site is a well-written, comedic blog spotlighting the best, worst and most hilarious of blogs out there. I’ve found myself laughing out loud more than once.  Partially because they tend to like to bash on Bloomington because my hometown is apparently big enough for both me* and one of the most popular fashion bloggers on the internet.

*Who am I kidding, really? This town is home to Nobel Prize winners and John freaking Mellencamp, neither Jessica Quirk nor I are really a blip on the Bloomington, Indiana radar.

I digress, the second, and what I find most helpful, part of GOMI are the forums. They are 100%, at their core, snark forums. Lots of negativity being thrown around. Some decidedly mean-spirited words that hurt a hell of a lot more than a stick or stone would. It is not a happy-go-lucky place to go if you are a blogger.

But that being said, I think every blogger should go, read and learn. Even if you are bashed to smithereens. And end up in a ball rocking back and forth in the corner.

I’m not saying every word written in the GOMI Healthy Living Bloggers forum is golden advice. What I am saying is that as bloggers, we are here to interact with readers. If you didn’t want to be public and popular, then I’d venture a guess that’d you’d be writing in a pink Barbie diary hidden under your bed instead of on the internet for everyone to see. And guess what, the people writing in these snark forums are your readers, too. And I’d say they are some of the more intelligent ones.

I’ve alluded a few times on this little blog of mine about frustrations with the most popular of blogs. I don’t agree with everything said about everyone on GOMI, but I think a lot of the commentary, while harsh, is spot on. Sure, I’d prefer a kindly-worded e-mail, but I find myself agreeing more often than I’d like admit.

And those are the kind of readers I want. The kind that can see through the veil of celebrity and B.S. to actually recognize the difference between good and bad content. Being Positivity Polly (wow, that’s annoying, I’m never saying that again) means that I wish they could go about it in a less scathing way, but hey, at least they are saying something instead of pandering to the celebrity of popular bloggers. I don’t have the balls to call out people on BTHR.

Honestly, I haven’t made it into the GOMI forums in a snarky way. In fact, I managed to make it into the SOMI (Stay On My Internets) section. But I figure it is only a matter of time, before I make it on there for a terrible picture or a big ass typo (both of which I have a ton). And I may change my tune when someone starts bashing my gray hair.

But for now, I read and absorb. Do I plan on dressing differently just because some snarker says I look like an idiot? No. That’s absurd. But will a pay closer attention to my writing if there is a post with hundreds of responses chiming in about how they hate slang in blog posts? You bet your ass.

Through the harshness, there is a lot to learn. And I think an opportunity to become better at what I do. And for that, I am thankful. Even if it stings a little a lot.


How do you feel about snark forums/communities?

things i’m digging.

14

Posted on Oct 13, 2011 in Fun

1.  Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

After a month of no alcohol (thanks to the elimination diet), I was so happy to welcome it back by diving face first into a pumpkin beer this past week. I love micro brews and I love drinking local, but I cannot deny the deliciousity of Blue Moon, even though it’s owned by Coors. I’ve loved the Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale since college and my love for it continues this fall.

2. Runner’s World

I’m not a “big” runner. I’m a running dabbler, really. But man, I love this magazine something fierce. Of course, there are a lot of running specific articles, but there are also a lot of just general fitness and lifestyle articles. I find it so inspiring! Plus, I promise, if you read Runner’s World in a waiting room or at the gate at the airport, you’ll make a new friend. Reading Runner’s World is like wearing the gang colors for runners.

3. Chair sits

For some reason, I decided to bring back the ole invisible chair sit from the depths of 5th grade P.E. at the gym last week. I’m a big fan of body weight strength tests (like planks, too!) and this one is my newest challenge. And it burns so good! I was able to do 25 seconds my first go ’round. I’d like to work up to 3 minutes eventually. Gosh, just typing that sounds painful.

4. Honeycrisp Apples

Are they organic? No. Local? Absolutely not. But they are seriously the most delicious apples on earth. If you’ve never had a Honeycrisp apple, I highly recommend running to your grocery store and picking some up. They are crisp, juicy, tart and sweet. And they only show up in the stores for a few weeks around this time every year. They are totally worth the pesticide.

5. Water

I’ve always been a big water drinker, but I’m starting to really grasp how important staying hydrated is to my body. I used to treat my headaches with caffeine or Excedrin, but the last few times my head has started pounding, I’ve been able to get rid of the pain by drinking a glass of water. When I get fatigued in the afternoon, I drink water and feel more energetic. I know there are a lot of special “waters” out there, but plain ole tap water will always and forever be my favorite.


 What are you digging right now?