Brussels Sprout Slaw...finally

I have a story to tell you, but I'm going to save it for when I have more than five minutes to write it out.  As a spoiler, the title is The Christmas Mouse.  Is your interest peaked?  Good, then I hope you come back in a few days to read it. 

Today I do have something exciting to tell you about, but there has been so much build up to it that I don't think it will take me very long to say it.

Brussels sprout slaw.

You may have been wondering why it took me a month to finally post it here, after many broken promises that it was coming soon.  Well, the truth is, I liked the original, but I didn't love it.  I felt like it needed something so each time I opened my blogger account to describe it, I just stared at a blank screen.  I write this little blog to tell you about the recipes and food that teach me to appreciate what I eat in new ways.

So I waited until I had the opportunity to make the slaw again and fix what I thought needed tweaking.  Before I give you my new, improved recipe, I did want to say that this was just to my taste and you should feel free to make this as the original recipe suggests. 

Brussels Sprout Slaw
adapted from food52
serves 2-3 as a side dish

The issues I had with the original were only small.  The biggest one was the even though the recipe suggest soaking the red onion to soften the bite, I still felt like the onion flavor was so intense that it overpowered the rest of the flavors.  As a result, I swapped the red onion for green onion.  I also thought that the slaw needed more sweetness to balance the sharp acidic flavors so I balanced the amount of honey and whole grain mustard.  And lastly, I just didn't feel like buying Pecorino just for this slaw, so I used Parmesan and thought it was perfect. 

For a more colorful salad, add some red cabbage or toasted nuts like almonds.  They would also add nice texture, and I would have thrown them in if I had them lying around.  This recipe would easily double or triple for a large group but I warn you that the slicing of the sprouts is tedious even if you use a mandoline!

Ingredients for the slaw
1.5 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (about 10 sprouts)
2 or 3 green onions, sliced and using both the white and light green
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Ingredients for the dressing
zest of 1/2 a lemon
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp honey
1 tsp whole grain mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

In a medium bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, green onions, and Parmesan cheese.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, mustard, and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the dressing to the slaw and toss.  Chill for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Will store covered for 8 to 10 hours in the refrigerator. 


It's Hard to Imagine

Before I tell you about the Brussels sprout slaw (which I promise I will tell you about this week), I want to turn your attention to something else:  whole wheat chocolate chip cookies.  

I know--it's hard to imagine that these are as good as I'm going to tell you that they are, but you're going to have to trust me on this one.  I will give you a few reasons why you should:
  1. I test all of the recipes I post and only give you recipes for the winners.  
  2. You probably wish you used whole wheat flour more often.
  3. It can be our little secret that these are whole wheat cookies.
  4. No one will ever guess that these are whole wheat.
Is that enough to sway you?  I can give you a few more if you need them!

When I came home from Whole Foods with a tiny bag of King Arthur white flour and a big bag of King Arthur premium whole wheat flour, Tim immediately began reciting his usual speech about how he detests the flavor of whole wheat foods.  Then he started quizzing me on reasons why whole wheat flour is better for you than white flour.  He brandished the bag in front of me saying, "Whole wheat flour has more fat in it than white flour, see?"  It's hard to explain to someone how whole wheat flour also has more good-for-you-stuff in it than white flour, so I allowed him to have his rant. 

My only response to him was to suggest he use the flour to make a cookie and see how he liked it.  He originally balked at the recipe, but not one to turn down something sweet, he agreed.

These were the type of cookies you would hope to find in a gourmet bistro.  They were crunchy on the outside and so thick and chewy on the inside that you never wanted it to end (so you had to eat another one).  They were extremely buttery and rich and you would never know that it was whole wheat flour that gave the cookie its nutty flavor, incredible texture, and beautiful color.  Hands down, these were the best chocolate chip cookies ever made in our house and they even converted my husband into a believer in whole wheat flour. 

I won't lie to you and tell you they are healthy (with 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar).  But if you're going to indulge this holiday, it might as well be these cookies rather than the same old boring sugar cookies you always make.  They may even make a believer out of you

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Kim Boyce's book Good to the Grain, as seen on Orangette
as written, makes 25-30 cookies

Since these cookies will make such a whole wheat flour believer out of you, I highly suggest you do as I did and put Kim Boyce's book on your Christmas/Birthday/New Years/Valentines Day wish list.  If it doesn't make it under my tree on Christmas, I will be buying it for myself and teaching my family about alternative grains in 2011 and beyond. 

Also, the recipe called for 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie, but Tim felt that 2 tablespoons was plenty enough to make a large cookie.  If you are looking for a really large, impressive cookie, I suggest going with the 3 tablespoons.  It may slightly increase your cooking time so be watchful of your dough.

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
16 tbsp cold, unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 ounces semi-sweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Make sure your racks are placed in the upper and lower thirds of your oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Whisk together until combined.  Put butter, sugar, and dark brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on low, until the sugars are just blended, about 2 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix to incorporate after each.  Then add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined (do not over-mix!).  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again.  Add the chocolate chips and beat on low until just distributed. 

Using your hands, reach into the bowl and turn the dough, kneading it lightly until any extra flour is incorporated. You could also do this on a lightly floured counter. 

Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie onto each baking sheet.  You may only fit 8 or 12 mounds on the sheet, depending on how heaping your tablespoons are.  Refrigerate extra dough while baking.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.  Repeat with remaining dough.

These cookies were best when eaten within 3 days. 


OGFL Recipe Archive

Have you ever looked up at the top of my page to the tab that reads Good Recipes?

I can't tell through the computer screen if you are nodding or shaking your head.  So while I am still waiting on our computer to be repaired, I thought I could ask you to take a walk down memory lane with me through my past recipes.

Too lazy to scroll up?  Here's the link:  Good Recipes. 

Happy eating!


2010 Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

I have a friend who has already completed her holiday shopping.  She posted on facebook that she was going to spend the rest of the holiday season sipping wine by her decorated tree while the rest of us frantically shop until the last moment.  The image of me with my hair in a tousled side-bun in my sweatpants on Christmas Even waiting in endless lines at the mall is frightening so I decided I don't want you, my dear readers, to be in that predicament either.

In the spirit of giving, I'd like to offer you a list of 10 gifts you can consider giving to your dearest Foodie Friend/Family Member/Spouse/Boss/Secret Santa.

OGFL 2010 Foodie Holiday Gift Guide

1.  For the Hostess with the Mostess

If you know he or she loves to entertain, then gift them a set of holiday place card holders in a neutral color to go with any kitchen or dining room.  It will add an elegant touch to any dinner party. 

2.  For the Newlywed's First Holiday

Monogrammed towels are so last year.  Any couple would enjoy this set of  monogrammed black leather coasters, and these are just masculine enough that a guy would like them as much as a gal.

3.  For the Tree-Hugging, Animal Loving, Picky Eater

It ain't easy being vegan, so buy them this cookbook to make it easier.  If you flip through the book before you wrap it up, you might even whip up a few meals of the veggie persuasion yourself. 

4.  For the Family Pet (Who Eats Well, Too)

I admit that Tim and I treat our dogs like they are our babies, but that is because they bring me so much happiness.  I think any animal lover would howl with glee if they received a canister for their dog treats that matches the current trend of stainless steel appliances and accessories in the kitchen.  

5.  For Someone Who Appreciates a Nice Presentation

If the receiver is a terrible baker, these won't help.  (Sorry!)  But if he or she generally has more hits than misses, I think a beautiful plate might make a great dessert taste even better.  And if they love having uniquely mismatched dishes, then you will score even more points. 

6.  For the Hunter and Gatherer

This person likes everything else from scratch so why not make their own hard cider or beer?  Tim's friends are all enthusiastic home brewers and have gatherings specifically to sample what the others have been brewing lately.  While we have not started this tradition at our house (yet), I think that this is a great gift for someone who is interested in a simple introduction to zymology

7.  For the Bookworm Who Also Cooks

If he or she has already read A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, then definitely pick up The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz.   After they devour this book in a few days, invite yourself over for dinner and dessert. 

8.  For Someone Who Doesn't Take Things Too Seriously

A bottle of wine is a nice gift, but if you added this sock monkey wine sleeve, I think the wine would be even more appreciated (and so would your sense of humor). 

9.  For Someone Still Mourning the Loss of Gourmet Magazine

Even if he or she doesn't sleep with an old copy of Gourmet on their nightstand, any fan of the magazine would love to receive The Gourmet Cookie Book.  I've already read a review of the recipes and I think you can trust Gourmet. 

10.  For the World Traveler (or World Eater)

If you know the receiver is an adventurous diner, a thoughtful assortment of spices will can be a fantastic gift.  If you aren't lucky enough to have a gourmet herbs and spice shop near you where you can get an expert's advice, then try ordering a gift box of regional spices.  Are they a glutton for spicy punishment?  Give them an assortment of fiery spices.  Do they love Indian food?  An assortment of curry powders will do the trick.  Unsure what kind of spices they would like?  A gift box of assorted sea salts would be a safe choice.

I hope that my gift guide will inspire you to thoughtfully consider what your Friend/Family Member/Spouse/Boss/Secret Santa might like to receive. 

Now, it's your turn.  Have any great ideas for a foodie gift this holiday?  Please share your ideas! Did you make your own list?  Link to the list in the comments! 

Lastly, I know you may be waiting on my Thanksgiving re-cap (or maybe you've forgotten already that you begged me for the results of my Brussels sprout slaw) and I assure that it is forthcoming.  I've just hit a bit of a technology snag--as in, our computer where I upload and edit my photos is in the repair shop and so I'm without any evidence of how wonderful everything went.  I promise that as soon as it comes back I will share my successes--and there were oh so many. 

Happy Holidays to you and yours!