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Sauteed Brussel Sprouts


I know, you just hate Brussel sprouts, right?  When you were a kid you had the most awful experience with them and never want them to come near your plate or mouth ever again.  Here’s the thing, Brussel sprouts are actually quite yummy when prepared the right way.  This recipe is one of those ‘right ways’.

The first step to making a good batch of Brussel sprouts is to make sure that you’re picking up good sprouts at the store.  Look for Brussel sprouts that have a rich green color- you don’t want sprouts that are too pale looking or ones that are way too dark.  So a rich, somewhat bright green is good.  You also want to pick ones that aren’t blemished and don’t have holes in the leaves.  Finally, you want Brussel sprouts that are heavy feeling for their size and are firm to the tough- no mushy ones here!  Your Brussel sprouts should be okay in the fridge for 3 to 5 days after you bring them home, however I would recommend cooking them the day you get them or the next day.  To prep your Brussel sprouts, pull off the first few outside leaves.  These leaves should be fairly loose and easy to pull off.  They are also the ones most likely to look a little bit dirty.  Once you’ve pulled off the leaves, you’ll have a little bit of the stalk exposed.  You can just chop this off.  Then you can chop your Brussel Sprout in half from top to bottom.  Doing it this way allows the leaves to remain attached to the rest of the stalk.  At this point you can rinse them under some water.  If you have a larger sprout, you can quarter it instead of halving it.  (For this recipe I recommend this anyway since you’ll be shredding them).  Along the way you might loose a leaf or two and that’s okay!  Your Brussel sprouts are now ready to cook.

One final note before the recipe.  I originally saw this in the Food Network Magazine (Dec. 2011).  I’ve changed it up just a little bit to make it more WW friendly.

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

You also need Olivio or butter- I forgot to add it in the picture!

  • 1 lb Brussel Sprouts, shredded in a food processor
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 T. light Olivio (original recipe called for butter)
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 1 T. sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Saute the shallots in 1 T. Olivio over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add cider vinegar and sugar and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes.

    Here are the shallots on a plate- I totally forgot to take a picture in the pan 🙂

  3. Transfer shallots to a bowl or plate and wipe out pan with a paper towel.
  4. Put about 1 T. Olivio in the pan and increase the heat to medium high.  Add the Brussel Sprouts and salt and pepper to taste.  Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. After 5 minutes, add in remaining Olivio and  1/2 cup water.  Cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Finally stir in the shallots and you’re done!

    Time to eat!

For those of you playing the home game, everything in this recipe is gluten-free and WW friendly.  If you divide this into 4 servings, the WW calculator puts this at 4 points per serving.  If you do it at 6 servings, then 3 points a serving.  Please let me know what you think of this recipe.  I think it’s great.  It’s a very easy dish to prepare and tastes fantastic!

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Butterscotch Candy


I love the taste of butterscotch.  In fact, I think it’s hard to find someone who really doesn’t like it!  Like the candied walnuts, I’ve been wanting to try to make hard candy for a while now.  This recipe is very easy to make.  The only special tool that you need is a candy thermometer that has a clip on it.  It’s best if you can move the clip up and down to adjust how far into your pot the thermometer rests- you don’t want the tip to be touching the bottom of the pan as you can get an inaccurate temp. reading.  Another helpful hint is to check your thermometer before you use it to make sure it’s reading the proper temp.  If you boil a pot of water with the thermometer clipped to the side of your pot and with the tip in the water, the thermometer should read 212 degrees Fahrenheit when the water boils.  It’s a little tip that I picked up in the Taste of Home magazine.  You can then adjust your recipe temp. up or down depending on the water test.  (i.e. if the water test tells you that the water is boiling at 202 instead of 212, subtract ten degrees from the recipe temp)

So on to the recipe!  It sounds kind of weird that these simple ingredients will make up such a yummy candy but I swear it works.  The recipe was published in Taste of Home Homemade Food Gifts and is by a woman in Indian named Edna.  I want to give credit where credit is due but don’t want to put her whole name and location out on the internet.

Butterscotch Hard Candy

yeah, I know my pieces aren't perfectly square! 🙂

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened (plus a tiny bit to grease your pan)
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. light corn syrup
  • 2 T. water
  • 2T. white vinegar
  1. Line a 15 inch by 10 inch pan with foil. (I used a small cookie sheet).  Use your tiny bit of butter to grease the foil to prevent the candy from sticking.  I imagine you could also just use non-stick foil without the butter but I haven’t tried that yet.  Set your pan aside.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, combine all of your ingredients.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Cover and cook for 3 minutes- this helps to dissolve the sugar crystals.
  3. Uncover;  cook without stirring, until your candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees (this is hard-crack stage).  Remove your saucepan from the heat and immediately pour onto the prepared pan/cookie sheet.  Do not scrape the saucepan and do not spread the mixture. (don’t ask me why you shouldn’t, it was just in the original article!)
  4. Cool the candy for a few minutes.  You want to take a sharp knife and score the candy when it’s cool enough that the score lines don’t melt back together but warm enough to actually make the score lines.  I scored mine into 1 inch sections- this will give you about 130 pieces of candy (roughly 1 pound).  Allow the candy to cool completely.  Once cool, you can simply break it apart at the score lines.  Store your candy in an air-tight container.  I will tell you this- if you used the butter, your candy will feel a little bit greasy from it.  That’s why I’m trying the nonstick foil next time!

I highly recommend that you immediately put your saucepan in hot, soapy water to keep the leftover candy that you don’t scrape out from hardening in your saucepan.  This makes clean-up so much easier!

Like the walnuts, this recipe is also gluten-free.  I would encourage you to always check your ingredients though with any recipe just to be safe.  If you’re doing Weight Watchers, I plugged the recipe into the tracker online and it comes out to 1 point for every two pieces which is really more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth!  🙂  This is another recipe that would make a great gift for the holidays. Let me know how you make out with this recipe!

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Candied Walnuts


I’ve been looking to make candied nuts for quite some time.  I bought a bag of walnuts ages ago and finally found a recipe a couple of weeks ago to use.  I’ve modified the recipe to change the spices up but the original recipe can be found here.  (And seeing as how that’s the first time I’ve tried to link another site in a blog post, we’ll see if it works!) I’ve also changed the amount of ingredients used because Jim loves these walnuts.  So do the ladies at work- one even said she could just sit and eat all of them up!

So here goes!

Candied Walnuts

  • 4 cups of walnuts
  • 2/3 c. of margarine or butter (this is approximately a stick and a couple of tablespoons, you don’t have to be perfect with it!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 2/3 c. brown sugar
  1. Melt the margarine or butter in a medium to large skillet over medium heat.

    I know, looks like a ton of butter, right?

  2. Once melted add in the brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.  Stir the mixture to combine all of the flavors.  Keep over medium heat, stirring occasionally as the sugar melts.

    smells so delicious!

  3. The mixture will begin to bubble up- at this stage be very careful not to burn yourself!

    trust me, it's bubbling 🙂

  4. Add in the walnuts and stir gently to coat them.  Continue to cook for about five minutes over the medium heat, stirring to keep mixing.

    already looks yummy, doesn't it?

  5. Dump the walnuts onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or non-stick foil.  Separate the walnuts so they don’t harden into a clump.

    let them just sit there for a little while- try not to eat them right away!

  6. Allow to cool and enjoy!

The walnuts can be stored in an air-tight container but they probably won’t last too long!   This recipe is gluten-free but not Weight Watchers friendly.   Also, with the holidays coming up, these nuts would make a great hostess gift or just a gift for someone at the office.  I’m not fond of Martha Stewart but some of her current holiday packaging is really cute and these nuts would look great packaged up with it.  You could also just package them in a tin.  I would recommend putting them in a bag first and then using a bit of tissue paper to dress up the tin.  Another idea for packaging them would be to fill up a mason jar.  You could then just use a square of fabric and some ribbon to decorate the lid.  A tag could be easily attached to the ribbon.  These ideas would work for pretty much any food gift or really any gift that is small enough to fit in the container.

Next time- a recipe for homemade butterscotch candy- it’s easier then you think and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry!

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