Monday, January 17, 2011

Birthday Dinner

Every year, my birthday sucks. Not because anything goes wrong, but because it never feels special enough. Maybe it's because my birthday is right around the corner from Thanksgiving and no one is around to celebrate. When I was younger (read: still able to stay up past 2am) I used to throw these wild parties. Every person who walked in the door (and there were dozens) would wish me a happy birthday, and look honestly happy to say it. Now, I get one real smile (my husband) and one excited phone call (my mom) and two pages of "happy birthday" on my facebook wall. Um, that doesn't count. So I tried to make my friend Kaitlin's birthday a bit exciting for her. With cake. YES!
She watched our cats while we were stuck in the blizzard over Christmas break, so we had her and our friend Jen over for dinner. I tried an old recipe I had never used before, "chicken pilaf" and it had way too much tomato paste. Also, in my excitement, I forgot to take pictures while I cooked, or even before I ate, so here is my half eaten plate:
And here are the half gone serving dishes
The chicken may not really be that exciting, but the Brussels sprouts were very tasty. So far, I have converted two people to a vegetable they thought they hated with this recipe. I always feel so powerful when that happens.

Golden Brussels Sprouts
1. Clean up the sprouts by rinsing them, and peeling off the outside layer of gross leaves. Cut out any other gross bits, and trip the ends.

2. Cut sprouts in half. This makes caramelizing them in a pan easier.

3. Steam sprouts for about 5 minutes. They should still be a bit crunchy.

4. BUTTER! Put some butter in your sauté pan. If you really want to be healthy, olive oil works OK too, but it doesn't taste nearly as delicious.

5. Sauté the sprouts for 5 to 10 minutes, until they've gotten nice and golden brown in spots.

6. Season to taste: I used salt, pepper, and slivered almonds, but you can use whatever you like best.

That's it! If you have always hated Brussels sprouts, consider giving this recipe a try. I have never witnessed anyone not like these.

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