Happy New Year Y’all! I hope everyone had a great 2013. I know I sure did. It was an awesome year, full of big exciting changes and personal growth, for both me and some of my closest friends and family. I had all sorts of wonderful adventures, hung out with a lot of awesome people and ate all sorts of delicious food. The later half of 2013 was especially great, with a whole bunch of exciting things going on for me and some big life events for some of the best people in my life.
New Years Eve was a lot of fun. I got together with a small group of friends where we spent the evening enjoying some super tasty home-made sushi (which I need to re-create for the blog), a surprisingly delicious cocktail (due to the fact that the only “grocery store” I could find that was open was Shoppers Drug Mart) and a whole lot of laughter (drawing cake pops, 2 naked people in a hot tub or a playground for animals in Whatchama Draw it). It was a great group and the perfect way to ring in the New Year!
I am so excited for 2014… I feel like life is bursting with possibility and adventure. Right now, I am most excited for my vacation in February. I will be headed to Hawaii with the whole family, for over 2 weeks, and I can’t wait! It’s been almost a year since I had my last vacation and I know it’s going to be awesome relaxing and exploring Hawaii with some of my most favourite people.
Now to backtrack a little bit, as I still have a couple posts left for my 12 Posts of Christmas. But, hey, I think that’s ok, because my Christmas tree is still up, so technically it kind of is still Christmas. Right?
I was assigned to make the vegetables for Christmas dinner and I decided that I wanted to take on Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are usually my least favourite part of Christmas dinner, but with them being so trendy for the last while, I thought there had to be some great recipes out there that would actually make everyone want to eat them.
How do you make just about anything taste good? Add bacon, of course!
And how do you make just about anything taste even better? Add a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese!
And that pretty much explains why these Brussels sprouts were so darn tasty.
It seemed to me that one of the reasons I don’t usually like Brussels sprouts, is that they are often cooked whole (or sometimes halved) and by the time the inside is cooked, the outside leaves are overcooked. I’d seen recipes for shaved Brussels sprouts before and that seemed like a good way to cook the sprouts a little more evenly so I took to the internet to search out a solution. I came across this one and after making a few tweaks as I went along, I think I ended up with a pretty killer recipe.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
– 2 lbs Brussels sprouts
– 8 strips of bacon
– 1/4 cup of toasted cashews
– crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Using a sharp knife or mandoline, thinly slice Brussels sprouts crosswise, discarding root ends. The “shaved” sprouts should resemble confetti.
Cut the strips of bacon to small pieces and add to a hot pan. Cook until crisp.
Drain out a little bit of the bacon fat, if there seems to be too much.
Turn the heat to medium-high and then add the shaved sprouts. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, chilli flakes, cashews and the lemon juice. Toss to warm.
Put the Brussels sprouts into a serving dish and top with the parmesan cheese.
These Brussels sprouts were awesome. I know, what a weird thing to say about Brussels sprouts, right? But it’s the truth! Everyone was raving about them and they might actually have been one of my favourite parts of the meal. I would not hesitate to make these again and I don’t even think I’ll wait for another holiday dinner! I really recommend you give these sprouts a try!
Before I sign off my first post of 2014, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who comes here to Life is Better Red and supports me and my blog. I love eating and cooking, especially when it’s with my friends and family, and I absolutely love sharing my passion with all of you. As always, please continue sending your emails and commenting on posts. If you have any suggestions or requests, just let me know!
Happy New Year (I just know it’s going to be a great one) and Happy Thursday!