Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Brussels sprouts.

You probably either love ’em or hate ’em, eh?

If you’ve never tried them, or the last time you tasted them you said ‘blech’, I would hope that you would give them another chance.

I like brussels sprouts and always have, but introducing them to my kids wasn’t a huge success…..until I jazzed them up. After trying some roasted brussels sprouts made by my sister in law, I will never steam them again.

I made up my own simple way of roasting them and now 6 out of my 8 kids really like them!

Lots of  people are into EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), but I have a real thing for real butter. Thankfully, pure butter is seen across the health board as a healthy fat. (Finally.)

I have matured a bit about how I consume butter seeing as when I was 5-6 yrs.old I’d actually steal the stick of butter from the dining table and just chuck it in my mouth.

Yes, I was a chubby child.

Anyhow, here’s a simple and delicious way to make brussels sprouts especially tasty:

Print this>> Roasted Brussels Sprouts Printable Recipe

 

 Start with a bag/package or two of fresh brussels sprouts

 

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Take a dicing knife and slice those little heads in half (and maybe even fourths if they’re large).

This will help give you a thoroughly tender bite

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Place them in a baking dish like this:

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 Grab that butter full of good fat

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Melt the stick of goodness and drizzle that over the sprouts

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Take  some fresh garlic and a dicing knife and dice away as finely as possible

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Sort of like this

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Now sprinkle the garlic over the sprouts. Uh huh, now it looks like this

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 Take 1/2 of  your fresh lime (or lemon) and squeeze it over the dish of green goodness

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Next, I like to sprinkle one of my favorite healthy seasonings called Herbamare (found on Amazon and at most health food stores) generously over top

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I finish it off with a light sprinkling of salt and then place in the oven to bake @425 for about 25-35 min. Maybe more depending on your oven and personal opinion of what “tender and delicious” is.

 

Voila! Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

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I’m not sure about you, but homemade bread has become a regular food in this house. I’m not some crazy bread baking lady, but when you’ve got 8 kids and want to be semi-healthy, bread making becomes a norm.

Our family happens to be 110% gluten TOLERANT, so my recipe is made with whole wheat flour and is really quite basic.

This recipe is simple, fairly cheap and is a great sandwich bread. I’m sure you could heft it up a bit with your own special twist of ingredients.

I grind my grains here at home and use a fabulous little machine that is ridiculously loud. There’s such a thing as a ‘whisper mill’, but due to me generally taking the cheaper route I go with a louder machine that costs just a little bit less than the quieter one. If you don’t have a grain mill, just use whole wheat flour found at your local grocer.

Check out the product here: Blendtec Grain Mill

Here is the local source of where I buy my grains from:  Whole Grains

Gone are the days of having to knead bread dough with our hands. There are Kitchenaids, bread makers, and the one I personally like is a bread mixer called the Bosch. Basically it’s a fancy electric mixer that has an attachment dough hook.  I have an older model and it’s lasted me for 14 years so far. The newer ones are available online if you’re looking for a high quality (albeit it is expensive) bread mixing tool. And like a Kitchenaid, the Bosch can be used for all sorts of mixing/baking.

Click to view an awesome kitchen appliance: Bosch Mixer

Okay, so now for the bread recipe. Btw, down below I have a printable pdf recipe. I haven’t taken the time to figure out the coolest way to do blog recipes yet, so bear with me.

Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Makes 3 loaves 

Estimated bread making time: 3 hrs.

*I double this recipe and make it into 5 loaves

3 1/4 cup hot water (from tap is fine, or you may microwave filtered water  to get it warm)

1 Tablespoon yeast (active dry yeast vs. instant yeast is best. In my opinion)

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup honey

9 cups flour (4 of those cups are for sponging)

2 Tablespoons salt

Place hot water and yeast in mixer and let the yeast dissolve for a minute or so. Blend together. Add honey and oil. Add 4 cups of wheat flour and mix together. Let this sponge for 15-50 minutes. (Do NOT add your salt yet)  ‘Sponge’ really just means to let it sit in the mixer, covered. It’ll start rising and aerates your dough for extra special softness.

After sponging, add the remaining flour (5 cups) and the salt. Knead in mixer on med-high setting for 5 minutes. Remove dough from mixing bowl and place in a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. You should see a nice rise happening at the end of 30 minutes, now just punch it down and pat it all nice like. Separate into 3 equal amounts. Roll out and roll up into loaf form and place into greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise AGAIN for 45 min.-1 hr.

Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and tap the bread out of the pans onto a cookie rack. Butter the tops for a nice sheen and it will also keep the crust soft.

Here’s the printable recipe Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Some time ago this was Gavin’s first attempt at making bread completely independently. It turned out great. And he was oh, so happy. As was I!  I’m getting spoiled having so many capable kitchen hands. :)

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Maya took a loaf of bread and turned it into some fabulous French Toast

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Another great thing about this recipe is that you can take a portion of the dough and make some delicious cinnamon rolls along with your regular bread.

 Like what I just did today.

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For Cinnamon rolls, just roll out the bread dough, spread some soft butter on it

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and then drizzle with honey and cinnamon or sugar/cinnamon mix.

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Roll up the dough as tightly as possible, pinch the ends and tuck in the sides

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and then have fun slicing through the dough with a long piece of string (I use floss).

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Place the rounds on a greased baking sheet and allow to rise for  15-20 min. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until done.

They’re extra yummy with a powdered sugar glaze

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Meal Planning: Saving Husbands and Kids From Starvation

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Why plan meals?

Because we all have hopes of eating every single day for the rest of our lives.

Having food on hand for 10 people without planning doesn’t work very well for me, so meal planning has become a way of life

Even when there was just two of us I remember a weekly plan being beneficial.

Cooking isn’t one of my favorite things to do. Over time I’ve found ways to take something I didn’t love to do and turn it into something I’m beginning to like more and more.

Trying new recipes, training my kids to work in the kitchen, coming across a delicious dinner meal that costs less than $7 to make for 10 people, watching cooking shows, reading food blogs, and  inspiration coming from one of you are ways that have brought delight to me in the kitchen.

It’s great!

Gone are the days of not having the right ingredients and making a quick run to the store and still being able to have dinner on the table at a decent time.

Now that I have 8 kids and moved to a more rural area where the grocery store is 20 min. away, when I forget an ingredient…..

We don’t eat.

 

3 reasons that meal planning rocks

1. You always have something on the menu
2. You stay within your food budget
3. You eat better for you and better tasting food

 

I have one small freezer/refrigerator combo and a less than spacious pantry, so I only plan food  for one week at a time.

When I gain space for an extra freezer. Oh. My. Gosh. I’m going to have a meal freezing/planning party. At my house. You and I. Making a mess. Finishing with 10-30 meals to store in our freezer(s).

Doesn’t that sound awesome???

Anyways, back to reality.

This is my grocery/meal plan:

1. Get on a food budget. This will help you know what kind of meals you are able to afford and will also stop you from grabbing groceries willy nilly.

2. Pick a day of the week that you’re going to do your grocery shopping. I do mine on Wednesdays. Try to stay consistent with the day that you do your main grocery shopping trip.

3. Plan your menu  the day before you go grocery shopping It will give you a little bit more time to look at recipes online, cook books, etc.

4. Have a list A menu without a detailed grocery list can be virtually worthless. Document every ingredient you’ll need for every meal as you’re writing down the menu.

5. Involve your kids Some weeks my meal inspiration tank is really low. I’ll call on the kids and have them give me some ideas. As my kids have grown older, they are often on cooking duty and when they get to pick the meals that they help cook, it makes it a genuinely positive experience.

6. Plan snacks I didn’t used to  think ahead  about what food my kids would eat between meals because I’d just grab something we had and bam! snack consumed.

But when you’re planning for meals and you don’t buy the whole grocery store anymore, sometimes an easy to grab snack is part of something you needed for a meal, and when that’s gone, your meal plan is altered. Therefore I like to have some sort of snack plan.

It’s really pretty simple: Budget. Pick Meals. Write a list. Buy the food.

By implementing this I:

  • Only go to the store ONCE A WEEK (Except for those times I run out of Talenti gelato and/or milk, and when that happens I text Bryan. He’s obliging. Most of the time.)
  • I’m not scrambling around trying to decide what’s for dinner (and breakfast and lunch)every single day
  • I stay within my food budget (most of the time)

 

 

Yes, I made a PDF weekly menu document that you can print out. Just click on that link below and download it. Sure, there are thousands of them online, but this one I made, so it’s custom and quite possibly lame. BUT, if  you’re OCD about neatness, it’s ‘fillable’; meaning you can fill it in with computer text.

Weekly meal planner

I also made a ‘printable’ for my waffle/pancake mix recipe below:

Waffle Recipe

WAIT! There’s more. One of my favorite recipes from allrecipes.com is  Curried Coconut Chicken. It’s simple to make and bursts with flavor.  Here’s a link to the recipe on their website:

Curried Coconut Chicken

I hope this helps you get your weekly meal planning going. It has aided me greatly in being more organized. There are  times I still forget stuff, run out of planned food, spend more money than I had hoped, and don’t do what I say I’m going to do, but thus is life.

If you’d like to share any helpful tips and ideas for meal planning, or have a favorite recipe, feel free to comment on the blog . (And if you want a weekly update on posts, sign up/subscribe with your email and they will be sent to you directly.)

I always enjoy hearing your feedback.

Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease,

Leilani