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Monday, March 29, 2010

Baked Pasta with a Turkey Meat Sauce

Winter will soon be a distant memory, and before we are enjoying the comforts of spring, I thought I would share a great cold weather comfort dish. I challenged myself to truly follow the limits of the amount of cheese in the recipe. If my husband is anywhere near me while cooking, I feel compelled to add more because he always looks at me like he's thinking, "that's all?"


However, precisely one cup of cheese worked out perfectly for this dish!  I swapped out the asparagus for some zucchini, which worked great.  This is a delicious, hearty, comforting meal!

Baked Pasta with a Turkey Meat Sauce
Source: Clean Eating Magazine, January/February 2009
Serves: 6

12 ounces whole wheat penne or pasta of your choice
3/4 lb thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into two inch pieces, or 2 small zucchini, washed and cut into 1/2" quarters
olive oil cooking spray
3/4 lb lean ground turkey
3 cups no salt added tomato sauce (Muir Glen recommended)
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt or coarse kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.  When pasta is one minute from being done, add the asparagus or zucchini and boil for 1 minute, then drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium high; add turkey and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and simmer until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add turkey meat sauce to pasta and stir to combine.

Lightly coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray; add 1/2 the pasta mixture and sprinkle with 2/3 of the mozzarella.  Add remaining pasta mixture and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional information per 1 1/2 cup serving:
Calories: 400
Total Fat: 6 g
Sat Fat: 3 g
Carbs: 56g
Fiber 8 g
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 28 g
Sodium: 270  mg
Cholesterol: 40 mg

Friday, March 26, 2010

Marshmallow Fondant


These were my first roses, so be gentle. ;-)
Here are the instrucions I used for making marshmallow fondant. I found it to be easy, fun to work with, and delicious!

Marshmallow Fondant
Source: Peggy's Baking Corner

  • 16 ounces white mini-marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons water 
  • 2 pounds icing sugar (recommended: C&H Cane Powdered Sugar)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening, in a small bowl

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler: Put the bowl in the microwave and heat for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until marshmallow is just melted (usually about 2 1/2 minutes total).


Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix. Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (I think I misinterpreted here and added 3/4 cup sugar, rather than 3/4 of the sugar.  I just kept adding it and eventually got to something workable, so it's definitely forgiving).


Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and then knead it in). It usually takes about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.  It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar).  If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.


Prepare the fondant icing for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow fondant icing will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks.

To make the decorations for the cake, I first colored the fondant by separating it in to smaller balls, and adding small amounts of Wilton food coloring.  After kneading the dough, the color becomes incorporate and uniform throughout the fondant.


Then I selected cutting implements to make the sized circles that I wanted.  I don't have an array of circular cookie cutters, but I found a shot glass, my 1M tip, and another smaller tip worked just fine! I rolled out each color on a silpat with a plain wooden rolling pin, and for me no additional powdered sugar or cornstarch was necessary. If your dough is sticking, either of those will help. I simply cut the fondant like cookie dough, and pulled up the scraps for re-rolling and repeating the process.


Afterwards, I let the circles air dry on parchment paper on a baking sheet, covered lightly with plastic wrap until I was ready to decorate the cake. The pieces will stiffen as they dry, so if you want them to hold a different shape on the cake (such as draping them over the side), that shape should be set before the fondant dries.

For the leaves, I used a leaf cutter and pressed into the fondant with a toothpick to make the veins.  I made the roses following this method.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Strawberry cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling

A recent baby shower for a friend gave me another chance to bake a cake. I always try to do something different and after some mulling around, I decided on strawberry cake with chocolate mousse filling.


I also decided that this cake would be my first leap into fondant. I planned on icing the cake with regular buttercream, but I wanted the decorations to be in fondant. I found a recipe for marshmallow fondant and had a blast working with it! More on that tomorrow.


The strawberry cake part didn't turn out quite as I'd planned, as the cake looked more like a whole wheat cake than a strawberry cake! Thankfully, the strawberry flavor came through ever so delicately. The chocolate mousse filling was truly fantastic, and I was definitely excited that I had a little bit left over to save for dessert another night.


Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Source: Slightly adapted from Good Things Catered, here and here

For the cake, I modified Angie's Strawberry Cupcake recipe to use pureed strawberries since mine were frozen and I didn't think they would work well, chopped. I also baked it in two 9" round pans rather than in cupcake form. For the mousse, I cut the recipe in half.

For the cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (or a little less)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9" or 8" round cake pans by spraying with baking spray.  Sift flour, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl.  In bowl of mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until combined.  Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined.  Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Stir in pureed strawberries.

Divide batter between two cake pans.  Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool cake in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove cake from pans and continue to cook on wire rack until thoroughly cooled. 

For the mousse:
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
In large double boiler, add chocolate, 2 tablespoons cream and butter.  Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until melted.  Let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add egg yolks, sugar and 2 tablespoons cream. Whisk to combine over heat, stirring well, until mixture reached 160 degrees, about 2 minutes.  Remove saucepan from heat, add chocolate mixture and set in saucepan in ice.  Stir mixture until cooled, about 7-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in bowl of stand mixer, whip remaining 3/4 cup of cream until just forming stiff peaks.  Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture.  If not filling cake right away, place into bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place into fridge overnight.

To assemble the cake, place one layer on serving platter, and pipe a border of icing around the edge of the top surface of the cake (to build a well for holding in the mousse).   Generously top bottom layer with chocolate mousse.  Apply top layer of cake, then frost cake as desired. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownie Cake

I have been ooo-ing and aaahhh-ing over have cake, will travel for a few weeks now.  The recipe offerings are vegan, but I noticed many of them call for the clean eating ingredients that have become a staple in my kitchen.  I was in the mood to bake this weekend so I perused the dessert offerings over there and decided on this brownie cake.  I've been getting a little tired of cookies, and I wanted to open a can of pumpkin for some baked oatmeal, anyway.   It smelled delicious coming out of the oven, and the 30 minutes of cooling was pure torture.


One bite of this heavenly, soft, delicious cake and I was seriously concerned about how to prevent myself from eating the rest of the pan before bedtime.  The pumpkin flavor is very light, the cinnamon is warm and inviting, and the chocolate chips add just enough to keep it chocolatey.  I'm in love!

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownie Cake
Source: slightly adapted from have cake, will travel
Yield: 6 to 8 servings  
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (120 g) whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (128 g) Sucanat
  • 2 tablespoons (10 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (122 g) pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (58 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Lightly coat an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with spray. Combine vinegar and soymilk in a medium bowl: it will curdle and become like buttermilk.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sucanat, cocoa, spices, and salt.

Whisk pumpkin purée, applesauce, oil, and vanilla into the buttermilk mixture, until combined.  Fold wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over mix. Fold in chocolate chips and place batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan, on a wire rack. Remove from pan after at least 30 minutes. Enjoy at room temperature or cold.

Nutritional Information, per serving (1/6th of recipe)
Calories: 263
Total fat: 7 g
Sat fat: 0.3 g
Cholesterol: 1.3 mg
Sodium: 419.6 mg
Potassium: 28 g
Carbohydrate: 46.9 g
Fiber: 4.6 g
Sugar: 28.3 g
Protein: 3.4 g

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Black-Eyed Pea Stew

This is a delicious, light soup that comes together in just about 30 minutes. A few simple ingredients is all you need for a healthy, fiber packed snack or lunch. I punched up the flavor a little bit by adding some ground coriander, though red pepper flakes would be a nice addition, too.


Black-eyed Pea Stew
Source: slightly adapted from Clean Eating Magazine, March/April 2009
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 8 ounces collard greens or your favorite greens (I use kale), chopped
  • 1 14.5 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounces red potatoes, 1/2 inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained (scant 2 cups)
  • ground black pepper

Bring broth and 2 cups water to boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add greens, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.

Add tomatoes, potatoes and coriander, return pot to a simmer. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes. Stir in peas and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with pepper to taste, and serve.

Nutritional Information:
Per 2 1/4 cup serving

Calories: 180
Total fat: 1 g
Sat fat: 0 g
Carbohydrates: 37 g
Fiber 8 g
Sugars: 5 g
Protein: 10g
Sodium: 710 mg
Cholesterol: 0 mg

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jalapeno Poppers

Peppers, of any kind, are just not my thing. It just so happens that I married a man who grew up eating hot chili peppers off the vine. I have slowly learned to adapt my cooking so his taste buds are still happy (without killing mine in the process!). I have also challenged him to try meals that are not blazing hot, hoping he will realize that there are other flavors out there to be enjoyed! I do think I have been moderately successful in this venture. ;-)


This recipe was from the February newsletter of Clean Eating magazine (which you can sign up to receive free by e-mail through their website). Knowing I'd have no interest in them myself, I thought my husband would enjoy them and decided to give them a whirl.


Curiosity killed the cat here, and I couldn't resist trying one when he said how good they were. Much to my surprise, I thought it was really good and reached back for another one! Is there hope for me, yet?

Jalapeno Poppers
Source: Slightly adapted from Clean Eating Magazine
Yield: 40 poppers

  • 20 medium jalapeño peppers
  • 1 cup spelt flour or whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal, finely ground
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 3 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/3 cup cilantro sprigs, chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream (optional)
  • 1/3 cup all-natural jarred salsa (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. 

2. Cut stem end off each jalapeño and discard. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and, using a small paring knife or a teaspoon, carefully cut or scoop out seeds and discard. Place peppers cut-side-up on a parchment-lined baking sheet; set aside.

3. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, chile powder and coriander; set aside.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg whites and honey. Add yogurt mixture, plus cilantro, green onions and 1 cup cheese to dry ingredients and mix well until just combined.

5. Spoon about 2 tsp mixture into the center of each jalapeño half. Smooth tops of mixture and place jalapeños back onto baking sheet, filling-side-up.

6. Place tray into oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle stuffed jalapeños with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and continue to bake for 2 more minutes or until top is golden brown and cheese is melted. Let cool at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately with sour cream and salsa for dipping, if desired.

Nutrients per 2 poppers (2 stuffed jalapeño halves):
Calories: 82, Total Fat: 1.5 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 13 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 4 g, Sodium: 171 mg, Cholesterol: 3.5 mg

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pumpkin French Toast

Though pancakes are my favorite, I decided to change it up last Sunday and make french toast. I modified this recipe from allrecipes.com after opening the fridge and seeing some leftover pumpkin puree. This french toast is delicious, filling, and thanks to the secret ingredient - not at all soggy!


Pumpkin French Toast
Source: Adapted from allrecipes
Serves: 4

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup eggbeaters
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 8 slices of whole wheat bread

Add flour to a large bowl. Whisk in milk, then eggbeaters and pumpkin puree. Whisk in spices, vanilla, and maple syrup. Dip bread slices into egg wash, and place on a heated griddle or pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook until golden brown on one side, then flip until other side is golden brown. Serve with pure maple syrup.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cooking Tip: Freezing Garlic

When it comes to garlic, there are usually two options. Buy fresh and grate/mince/whathaveyou as needed, or buy the jarred garlic. My husband is a huge fan of the jarred kind, but I find it less than appealing. I much prefer the taste of fresh garlic, and I love grating it on my microplane for a truly pulverized result.


But sometimes, I go to cook and discover that the garlic has been sitting in the cupboard too long and is sprouting or just plain gone bad.  I think I have finally found a solution to circumvent that problem. A friend and reader of mine recently suggested that I grate up a bunch of garlic, the press into a ziplock freezer bag and store in the freezer. When you need garlic, just break a piece off and throw it in the pan, or let it soften on the counter before using in your recipe.

I've been doing this for a few weeks (and went through the entire bag of garlic pictured below!) and it has been working out great!  The only undesirable thing I noticed with the first batch was that the garlic was very quick to turn green - a merely cosmetic problem that usually happens as a result of contact with something acidic, but can also be due to the age of the garlic.  The heads of garlic that I used definitely were not the freshest, so that could have contributed to my issue.  


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sesame Chicken and Noodles

I'm not quite sure where to begin, as my love for these recipes is overwhelming.  Katie first posted the sesame noodles over at Good Things Catered, and I was instantly smitten.  Then the sesame chicken appeared and the two recipes immediately went on the menu.  I knew they would be great, because a) they are from Katie, and b) hello, sesame anything is awesome!   


Little did I realize the joy that would befall me when I had the first bite of this chicken.  It was out-of-this-world-good!  There is something magical about this simple combination of ingredients, and I happily made the same chicken again the very next weekend! 
Sesame Chicken
Source: Slightly adapted from Good Things Catered
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Chinese garlic chili sauce (I improvised with 1 tablespoon good quality hot sauce and 1 clove worth of grated garlic)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (Katie lists 1 cup, but I found it was way more than I needed)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp olive oil
-In medium bowl, combine chicken, sesame oil and garlic chili sauce.
-Toss to combine well and place in fridge.
-Marinate chicken for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
-Remove from fridge when ready to cook and place a nonstick pan on stove over medium heat.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Place olive oil into pan and heat until almost smoking.
-Meanwhile another shallow bowl, add bread crumbs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sesame seeds and toss to combine.
-Using tongs, place chicken breast into bread crumb mixture and coat well.
-Place into hot pan and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
-Cook until golden in color on one side, about 2-3 minutes and flip.
-Cook an additional 2-3 minutes and place pan into preheated oven.
-Bake until internal temperature of 160 is achieved (do not over cook) and remove, about 10-15 minutes.
-Place chicken on warm serving plate, let rest for at least 10 minutes and serve.



Sesame Noodles
Source: Slightly adapted from Good Things Catered
  • 1 (8oz) package whole wheat thin spaghetti (we use Barilla Plus)
  • 1 large carrot, ends removed and sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 1 cup snow peas, rinsed
  • 1 heaping Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp good quality sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 green onions, sliced thinly, dark green ends removed
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
-Cook pasta according to package directions.
-Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine tahini, peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and green onions.
-Stir to combine well and set aside.
-In last 2 minutes of cooking time, add carrots and snow peas to boiling water.
-Remove 1 cup pasta water from pan and set aside.
-Drain pasta and vegetables, and place into large bowl along with other ingredients.
-Add 1/2 of reserved pasta water and toss to combine all ingredients.
-Add sesame seeds, let sit for 1 minute and add additional pasta water to obtain desired consistency
-Serve warm or cold.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Cinnamon Honey Ice Cream

Do you love cinnamon Teddy Grahams? If so, this ice cream is for you!  It tastes exactly like the cinnamon Teddy Graham snacks I remember from my childhood.  I think that's all there is to say here!


Cinnamon Honey Ice Cream

8 ounces heavy cream
14 ounces 2% milk, whole milk, or half and half (Depending on your preference)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup honey
2 egg yolks, beaten

Heat cream, milk, cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until simmering, but not boiling. Turn off heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and return cream mixture to heat.

Bring back to a simmer, then add honey and whisk until dissolved. Add 2 tablespoons of heated cream mixture to beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Repeat 3 more times, then add tempered eggs to the saucepan with the heated cream mixture.

Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon (approximately 160 degrees F). Strain mixture, if desired. Cool thoroughly, at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream maker.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mashed Potatoes


Another simple recipe, we also enjoyed mashed potatoes at our Christmas dinner. My favorite recipe is more of a favorite method, and it comes from the editors at Cook's Illustrated.  The focus of the method is to prevent the starch molecules from absorbing too much water and exploding, which is the cause of gluey mashed potatoes.  This method calls for steaming the potatoes, which introduces less water to them.  The result is perfectly creamy mashed potatoes (never gummy) that you can flavor however you like best.

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
Source: Cook's Illustrated, March/April 2008
Serves 4

  • 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes (4 to 6 medium), peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks, rinsed well, and drained.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I omit when I want lighter mashed potatoes)
  • table salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, warm (we never have whole milk in the house, I just use skim or 2%. Having it warm is the key here)

Place a metal colander or steamer insert in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add enough water for it to barely reach the bottom of the colander. Trun heat to high and bring water to a boil. Add potatoes, cover, and reduce heat to medium high. Cook potatoes 10 minutes. Transfer colander to sink and rinse potatoes under cold water until no longer hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Return colander and potatoes to pot, cover, and continue to cook until potatoes are soft and tip of paring knife inserted into potato meets no resistance, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Pour off water from Dutch oven.

Set a ricer (preferred) or food mill over now empty pot. (I'll admit hear that I just smoosh most of the potatoes through the holes in my steamer basket and call it a day). Working in batches, transfer potatoes to hopper of ricer or food mill and process, removing any potatoes stuck to the bottom. Using a rubber spatula, stir in melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt until incorporated. Stir in warm milk until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Brussels Sprouts Braised in Butter


For Christmas, my (culinary idol) aunt sent me Julie & Julia along with Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I was eager to dive in until I realized that almost every recipe had butter. If not, it had cream. These aren't exactly clean eating approved ingredients. However, I had some brussels sprouts that I planned on preparing for Christmas dinner, so I decided to make an exception for the holiday.

Of the 7 brussels sprouts recipes in the book, I chose brussels sprouts braised in butter. It seemed easy enough, and it was! It was easy to get then started just as the turkey was finishing, and then bake them while the turkey rested and was carved. The brussels sprouts were tender and delicious!

Brussels Sprouts Braised in Butter
Source: Slightly reworded from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child
Serves 6

Preliminary cooking:
1-2 quarts (1 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds) brussels sprouts, trimmed and washed
7-8 quarts water
1 1/2 tsp salt per quart of water

Bring water to boil in a large kettle, then add salt. Drop brussels sprouts into the rapidly boiling salted water. Bring to a boil again as rapidly as possible.

Boil slowly, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes, or until almost tender. Immediately remove with a skimmer and drain in a colander.

1 1/2 Tablespoons softened butter
1 1/2 quarts partially cooked brussels sprouts (prepared by following instructions above)
salt and pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat overn to 350 degrees F. Smear butter inside the casserole dish. Arrange brussels sprouts heads up in the casserole dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and with the melted butter.

Cut a round of wax paper to the shape of the casserole dish, and lightly butter the paper. Lay the paper over the brussels sprouts. Cover and heat on top of stove until vegetables begin to sizzle, then place in the middle level of the preheated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender and well impregnated with butter. Serve as soon as possible.