dinnertime sizzle: brussels sprouts and steak stir-fry

I’ve posted a number of stir-fries (a couple of chicken dishes and pepper steak), but I try out way more stir-fries than I share. I’m particular about the flavors (they’d better be big) and the textures (crisp veggies, small pieces of meat, and a thick sauce), leaving many lackluster dishes to fall into the recipe compost bin of not-quite-good-enough. This spicy stir-fry featuring a ton of veggies and satisfying steak has been on repeat for over a year in our house, so I figured it was time to share.

brussels steak stirfry
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new traditions: sausage + peppers 

Just a few weeks ago, Hal and I celebrated two years of marriage and four years together (we organized our anniversaries very efficiently: first date on November 7th 2012, engaged on November 9th 2013, and married on November 8th 2014!). In the time that we’ve been building our relationship, we’ve of course started to create traditions for our little two person family. We watch Die Hard every Christmas, we go back to the bar where we got married on our wedding anniversary, we exchange teeny gifts on New Years (brought by the New Year’s Elf, of course), and when we get back to my childhood home after celebrating Thanksgiving with my extended family, we have a second dinner of sausage and peppers.

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thanksgiving favorites

I love to try new Thanksgiving recipes every year and I especially love sharing my fresh discoveries here (like this corn pudding, these sweet potatoes, and this corn casserole). But there are also many turkey day recipes that I’ve made over the years and haven’t yet had a chance to share. Rather than continue to hoard these half a dozen tried-and-true dishes, I decided to share them all at once below. If you’re still scratching your head for Thursday’s menu, I very much recommend these recipes.

thanksgiving-faves

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thankful for corn and cheese

I finally found a Thanksgiving dish that has Ed looking forward to turkey day. I’ve written before about how Ed’s chief Thanksgiving complaint is that the food doesn’t have enough crunch or heat. This dish, an easy-breezy, decadently cheesy corn casserole, has crunch and spice to spare. It’s one of the simplest, but most satisfying holiday sides I’ve made and I have a feeling it’s going to be in the rotation for years.

spicy corn casserole

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uh oh, spaghettiOs!

As I’ve said before, I’m not eager to make traditional Italian meatballs for my husband. Traditional-ish, though. I can get eager about. Especially if the traditional-ish is an updated version of a weirdo food I loved as a child–canned SpaghettiOs (and yes, the O really is capitalized–I checked the official SpaghettiOs website). As soon as I saw the Bon Appétit recipe for Adult “SpaghettiOs” I wanted to make it. It looked homey and fun and tasty and I Ioved the description: “extra saucy and a little sweet.” Sign me up.

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rye me: experimenting in baking local

This is a story about a cooking experiment. I won’t call it a total failure, but it certainly wasn’t a success.  It started yesterday at the last farmers market of the year (tear). I was browsing the locally produced flours and the rye flour caught my eye. My mental Pinterest board flashed to all of the buzz I’d read about the rye chocolate brownies from The Violet Bakery Cookbook. People loved them in the Piglet, the New York Times praised them, and there was a lot of discussion about them in the comments on Lottie and Doof. The interplay of dark chocolate and rye was something that took bakers by pleasant surprise and it made me very curious. I’d wanted to make them, but I never thought I’d find rye flour in Springfield. But here it was!

so promising hot from the oven

so promising hot from the oven

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chocolate dipped chips

Other than popcorn–which is a necessary and always stocked staple–Hal and I don’t really keep snacks in the house. This is a departure from how I grew up, when we almost always had chips and cookies and probably half a bag of peanut M+Ms in the kitchen cupboards. My mother had the kind of willpower that allows a person to eat half a single serving bag of candy and put the rest away (she also had a wonderful habit of having a teeny dish with just one or two dainty little spoonfuls of Breyers chocolate ice cream before bed)…something I did not exactly inherit from her. So, in my own home, I tend to mostly stay away from having snacks hanging around. But sometimes and on some occasions, a really snacky snack is called for. Say, for example, when you’re getting ready to watch the second debate in an increasingly horrifying presidential election, and need comforting treats to get you through. Times like that call for the snacking big guns: chocolate dipped potato chips.

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