March 30, 2013

Frosted Oatmeal Cookies

Thursday was one of the greatest nights of my life. My very first concert!! The Geologist is a concert veteran,  he went to dozens in his crazy teenage years, but I've never had the chance. In fact, he invited me to a Collective Soul concert once, but I was babysitting that night. Sigh. So he bought me tickets to see Lindsey Stirling for Christmas!! True, I had to wait 4 months to actually see her, but it was worth the wait!

March 28, 2013

Chocolate Strawberry Muffins

Okay, so you probably don't care about my opinions of certain TV shows, but I've got no one to share them with except the Geologist, so you get to read them today!

March 27, 2013

Clementine Upside-Down Cakes

Ahh!! I'm fallin' behind again! Blame it on spring break. And excitement. And trampolines. And husbands leaving for the weekend. He keeps trying to convince me to just take yet another break, because he's leaving, but this time I don't want to!! No worries, I'm not abandoning him for you guys, he's off on an excursion to "The Manly Store" (aka Home Depot) with the boys. We never call it Home Depot anymore, it's officially "The Manly Store". The boys love it.

March 26, 2013

Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos

Oh man, was I lazy today. Second day of spring break, and we declared it an Extra Lazy Day. We watched movies and ate popcorn and I played way too many games of mah jong on my ipad... Bliss. Why? Because there was nothing else I was supposed to be doing. I even had a workout this morning! So I could revel in our couch-potato-ness. Tomorrow we'll go to the library and go swimming. But today was just what we all needed.

Biscoff-Stuffed Snickerdoodles

Better late than never, right?? :)

March 23, 2013

Small and Wonderful Things 22

Spur-of-the-moment candy store sprees

Sleeping in

My Bookworm

March Madness!! The only time of the year I watch sports, and actually get excited!

Our "expected 3-5 inches" of snow... (10 inches and counting!)


My sparkly concert shoes! I couldn't wear them last night though, black shoes required.

Have I mentioned my camera in the last five minutes?

Stickers, especially on noses

March 21, 2013

Sweet Cream & Chocolate Marble Loaf

Source: Pinterest

It's that time of year again, folks! The Anne of Green Gables marathon has begun. For those of you tuning in lately, Anne of Green Gables is my second favorite book of all time, a very very close second to Jane Eyre. As a series, it's absolutely my favorite. And I usually read it all the way through once, sometimes twice a year. I'll finish a book, and for some reason, I just need some Green Gables time. And I love her so much that I have to then finish the whole series. 

As I started it last night, and got through the scene where they tell Anne she can't stay because she's not a boy, "lightning struck my brain." 

Anne is an orphan.

Most of you are thinking, "Well, yeah, and?" But sometime in the next few months, I'm about to adopt a little girl. And she will be exactly Anne's age. 

If you've ever had a book make itself at home in your heart and soul, you might have an inkling of what this means for me. Growing up, I wanted to be Anne. She was a core influence in my love of the fanciful, mystical, and joyous. The little wonderful things all around us. I know, I know, she's not real, and life isn't that perfect. But the thought that I could give a little girl like Anne a home, and help her bloom, and become herself, and heal her lonely little heart... Honestly, I don't really have the words to describe how incredible that is. 

Sorry for getting all deep on you two whole days in a row! I'm an emotional rollercoaster. :) Besides, seeing as how I have no experience with either adolescents, girls (besides being one), adoption, etc, I'm pretty sure I'll be sharing more and more of that journey with you, and asking for help and input, so might as well start now! After all, what are blogging friends for?? Because I firmly believe we are for more than just making each other feel good about our recipes and pretty pictures. :)

Sweet Cream & Chocolate Marble Loaf (adapted from Pinch of Yum)
Printable Recipe

1 ¼ cup flour
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ can sweetened condensed milk
⅓ cup milk (I actually used half milk, and half heavy cream)
1 beaten egg
⅓ cup melted butter, slightly cooled
1 1/2 Tb cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and/or line a loaf pan with nonstick spray/ parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, milk, egg, and melted butter. Stir until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, reserving about ½ cup of the batter. Whisk cocoa powder into the remaining ½ cup batter. Pour the chocolate batter over the regular batter and marble with the tip of a knife, making “s” motions throughout the batter until the two batters are swirled together in a nice pattern. Tap a few times on your counter (or table) to release any air bubbles, and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.
All right, so I didn't do the greatest job of swirling... But it still turned out yummy! I also flattened the top a bit... I decided to add chocolate chips when I started, then forgot as I put it in the oven... so when I yanked it back out 6 minutes later and sprinkled them on, well, it flattened. That's okay, they were necessary!
I've never baked anything with sweetened condensed milk, so I wasn't sure what it would be like, but it was yummy! Creamy, sweet, and vanilla-y, with plenty of chocolate flavor in the swirl (or puddle, in my case!) Not rich and decadent, but definitely chocolate.
The bread is soft and delicious. This is a perfect after-school-snack kinda bread. Not super duper sweet, but special. And of course, topped with chocolate chips!

March 20, 2013

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Something clicked today, and I am so grateful it did. The last few weeks have been pretty rough on our family. Stressed, busy, painful, disappointing, frustrating... with one kid trying out new obnoxious personalities and another reverting to bed-wetting, (Clarification: it's not the bed-wetting I mind, it happens. But it gives him the most horrific rash, and I feel awful for him!) we haven't always been the most peaceful, happy, united family. We've tried, really really hard, but it's been a bit strained. I've been terrified. 4 years ago, after losing Autumn, I hit rock-bottom as a Mom, and ever since then, when I get cranky and easily frustrated, I am so afraid I could end up back there. Logically, I'm pretty sure I won't, but I can't help but fear the worst in me.

Today, somehow, I wasn't angry. I was frustrated, but I didn't snarl at anyone. I was exhausted, sore, sick, overwhelmed, and spent. But I liked my kids again. I let the little battles go. I thought before I spoke, and only raised my voice so Joe could hear me over his own screaming. I don't know how I did it, there was nothing different about today; if anything, it was the perfect excuse of a day to lose it. I could be so proud of myself, and think, "Well! That's the good Mom in me finally resurfacing!" and to a certain extent, I am! But I also know, somehow, that I had help. I didn't ask for it, I didn't even pray or read my scriptures today, yesterday... No one knew about this particular struggle and prayed for me (though I thank all of you for the prayers and good wishes for my wisdom teeth!! They're doing MUCH better!) and yet somehow, my Father knew I needed it. Just a little push to remind me that I can do this, that I do love it, and that I can add another hurt, lonely little soul to this family, and not fail her. He loves me, and her, and my family. And I am grateful.

I am also grateful for cake. :)

Lemon Olive Oil Cake (from Splash of Something)
Printable Recipe

¾ cup olive oil (I used extra-virgin for its fruitiness, but regular olive oil works, too.)
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
5 eggs, separated, reserving 1 white (you’ll only need 4 whites)
¾ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons sugar

Put oven rack in middle position, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with oil, then line the bottom with a round of parchment. Oil parchment, too.

Whisk lemon zest together with flour. Reserve juice for later.

Beat together egg yolks and ½ cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric or standing mixer on high speed until the mixture is thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, drizzle in olive oil (3/4 cup) and reserved lemon juice, and beat until just combined. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in flour mixture (do not beat) until just combined.

Beat eggs whites (from 4 eggs) with ½ teaspoon salt in another bowl with clean beaters until foamy, then add ¼ cup sugar a little at a time while continuing to beat until eggs whites just hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Gently fold one-third of whites into yolk mixture to lighten, and then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. (The batter should look like it has about doubled)

Transfer batter to springform pan, and gently tap against work surface a few times to release air bubbles. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 1 ½ tablespoons sugar. Bake until puffed and golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. (Keep an eye on it after 25)

Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around edges, and remove side of pan. Cool cake to room temperature (takes about an hour), then remove bottom of pan, and peel off parchment. Transfer cake to serving plate. Serve dusted with powdered sugar, or with berries and whipped cream, or plain. Your choice!
This is one of those recipes that I would call simple, yet technical. It isn't hard, nor does it take a long time, but you do need to be careful, and pay attention. That said, this is one of our family's new favorites! The boys asked for seconds, The Geologist said, "It's weird... but it's really good."
I think he meant the texture. This cake does not taste like olive oil, I promise. If no one told you there was olive oil in it, you would never know. The texture, on the other hand, is a change for these-here parts. We usually like our cakes moist as can be. This cake is closer to an angel food cake, really! Light as air, yet a bit dense, fluffy, but not at all dry!
It's our new favorite cake to have with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream, which is really our favorite dessert. We have it all the time during the summer! Shortcake, move over, there's a new favorite! (That's a lot of favorites) Speaking of favorites, Splash of Something (where I saw this recipe) is one of my favorite food blogs. My friend Katrina writes it, and she's fabulous. She's one of the people I want to be when I grow up. And she has the most adorable little girl I think I've ever seen!
Basically, it's downright delicious. Yes, I know you have to beat the eggs, separately, and fold things together. It's okay. You can do it. Be brave, and give this one a try! You might just love it. :)

March 19, 2013

Thai Chicken Noodle Salad

My hubby loves me. He takes care of me through all my medical mishaps, takes care of my boys, picks up my slack, and puts up with my silliness. Take last night for example. With a half-numb face and mouth full of gauze, there was no way I could eat this salad. So he taste-tested it for me. Not only that, he let me dress up his bowl, even with lovely, photogenic scallions (which he HATES). I picked them off, but still. He's a good husband. I love him too.

This is NOT the richest, most filling meal in the world. But if you're looking for something light, refreshing, and tasty, this is it! I can't wait to try it this summer and grill the chicken!

Thai Chicken Noodle Salad
Printable Recipe

For the chicken:
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 Tb fish sauce
6-7 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2-1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp curry powder
Juice of one lime
2/3 cup coconut milk

For the salad:
thin rice noodles (vermicelli) prepared according to package instructions (check if they're don enough for you, we liked them soaked longer)
chopped peanuts

Slice the chicken breast across grain into chunks, 3-4 per chicken breast. Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Toss chicken in marinade in a bowl or ziploc bag, making sure all pieces are well coated. Marinate the meat for at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Get all your toppings ready for your salad. Chop nuts and basil, dice scallions, slice cucumbers, and peel carrots. We liked "carrot ribbons"; I just peeled the carrot then used the peeler to slice the carrot into ribbons. Have sliced limes for squeezing over the salad. Of course, all these toppings are optional.

Cook the chicken (reserve the marinade!!) on a rack in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet under the broiler for about 10-15 minutes, or thread onto skewers and grill. Let rest a few minutes before serving. Collect all juices on the foil from under the chicken, and add to a small saucepan with leftover marinade  bring to a simmer on medium heat for a few minutes, until it thickens into a sauce. Serve over the salad!

Top individual servings of noodles (warm or chilled) with veggies, chicken, and sauce. Enjoy!
Okay, so it's not quite as pretty as the picture that inspired me, but I'm pretty happy with it!! And boy, my new camera is seriously helping my dinner pictures, huh?? :)
This is seriously yummy. I didn't have nuts or basil to put on it, sorry. But they'd be awesome. And I didn't show you the sauce, because we discovered and created it halfway through dinner. It's okay, you'll be glad we did! The sauce takes it over the top!
The chicken is creamy and coconutty and packed with spices and a bit of tang from the lime, a hint of heat (or a kick!!) and the contrast with the crisp, cool veggies is the kind of combo I cannot get enough of. I took little, itty-bitty tastes. I picked the wrong meal to make the night I couldn't eat!!
Thank goodness there were leftovers! :)

March 18, 2013

Weekly Menu March 18

Source: crushculdesac

This week we have:
Gruyere & Lemon Herb Artisan Bread
Biscoff-Filled Snickerdoodles

For today, March 18...
Outside my window... It's bright and sunny today! Looks can be deceiving though, because even though we had temperatures in the seventies last week (I know! Craziness!!) it looks like winter is back this week. It's chillier than it looks out there!

I am thinking...
Oh goodness, my mind is all over the place today! Unpacking the house, planning my organization (time for all those homeless piles to have a home!), planning my cooking and menu, getting all services up and running (yay for internet!), worrying about my appointment... yeah, crazy mental state over here.

Around the house... it's a disaster, of course! The kitchen always takes the longest. I have so much kitchen stuff! And figuring out where all the food is going to go... I think we'll have to get an extra shelf... Our bedroom is always the last to be put together. The boys' room is pretty much done, so Joe is taking a nap while I tippity-tap away on here.

In the kitchen...I've got to knock out most of this week's recipes today! Start the bread tonight, make the salad and cake for dinner, and fill my new cookie jar!

I am creating... Well, not much right at the moment, but lots of planning. I finally bit the bullet and bought a cookie jar. I've never been able to find one exactly the way I wanted, so I picked a big, thick, glass apothecary jar, and I want to find a stencil and frost the word "cookies" on it. I'll show you how it turns out!

I am looking forward to... Bollywood night!! First try here, with my new group of friends! I've discovered through extensive research that Bollywood has about a 75% conversion rate. So I have a good chance of getting a couple of ladies who fall in love! I can't wait!! :)

One of my favorite things... Mah jong. Let me clarify: not the solitaire version, the stacking tile game most people play on apps or the internet. I'm talking about the ridiculously complicated original version. Now, I don't know how to fully play it yet. I'm learning. And I have an app that lets me practice and put together simple hands. I'm starting to learn the full game, and its crazy!! But I love it, I'm not sure why. It's fascinating! I first got hooked through an anime (surprise surprise!) about competitive mah jong. Does that make me sound like an old lady or what?!

I am thankful... for The Geologist's lenient schedule! He's coming home early so I don't have to take the boys with me to my appointment. Trying to keep an eye on them while getting my mouth cut open?? No thank you!! We're so lucky that his schedule allows him some leeway to help me out!

Source: weheartit

Guilty Pleasures... French Fries. A classic, right? I inherited this one from my Mom. I remember going through the drive-through at McDonalds just for fries. No reason, no real food, just fries. In fact, does anyone remember when the major fast food chains had the competition for best fries? Burger King won, but they don't make them like that anymore. They probably used something terrible and delicious, like lard. Fresh, hot, crispy, salty fries. Mmm, I think I need to go get some today... they count as soft food, right??

Source: tumblr

Something new about me... I love mice. Not the big ones that might as well be rats, just the teeny ones that are all ears. I know they're supposed to be pests, and I definitely don't want them in my house!! But they're just so cuuuute!! When I was little, and we lived in Michigan, I caught a mouse in our basement in this yellow plastic ball thingee. I wanted to keep it forever and ever, but of course, had to "release it into the wild". I'm sure it probably just came right back to the basement, and avoided the crazy little girl with the plastic ball... I saw a mouse on our patio last night, and it made my day. He can't get into the closet, or the house... I might have to feed him birdseeds...

Try your own Daybook! Get ideas here!

March 17, 2013

Raspberry (formerly known as Blueberry) Muffin Cookies

So, I have awesome news, and not so awesome news. Awesome news first: I saw my oral surgeon again, and he packed my mouth with painkiller-soaked gauze, so I got to sing in my very first concert!! Hooray!! It was glorious. I cried, just a little at the end. I am so thankful I was able to participate. I may have looked funny, with my lopsided face, and maybe I couldn't smile as much as I usually do, but there were moments when I sang like I haven't sung in years. Our choir is fabulous, and I am so blessed to be a part of it. And because I shouldn't be moving away for years and years, I get to stay with them! I wish you could all come listen. If any of you live in the Denver area, let me know, and I'll tell you where our second concert is next week!

Well, now the not-so-awesome news. Turns out I have infections, in both sides of my jaw. So I have to go back in Monday, and they have to open things up again... sigh. My medical curse strikes again. If something can possibly go wrong, it will. I should have left the dang things in. Oh well, thanks for following my tooth saga!! :)

I like the name of these cookies. I had the batter all mixed up, opened the freezer... and that bag of blueberries I could have sworn was waiting there for me... wasn't! So, the blueberries were replaced with raspberries, and I'm glad they were, because they're awesome that way. I like them better.

Raspberry (formerly known as Blueberry) Muffin Cookies (adapted from Baker's Royale)
Printable Recipe

Streusel Topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup (8 Tb) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

10 Tb of unsalted butter, browned
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 oz of cream cheese
1 1/2 Tb cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (I recommend frozen, they'll hold up better)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and grease or line a large baking sheet.

Streusel First: Whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add cold butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until it clumps together in small pea-sized lumps. You can do this in a food processor, but be careful not to over mix or it won't have any lumps! You need lumps. :) Set aside. (I put mine in the fridge so the butter wouldn't soften.)

Place butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat and heat until butter darkens and smells toasty. I liked it dark gold instead of fully brown. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Combine sugars and mix well. Drizzle in melted butter and beat until combined. Add in egg and beat on medium high until mixture becomes lighter in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in vanilla and cream cheese and beat until combined.

Sift together cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt, add to the batter, and beat until combined. Turn mixer to low and gradually add in flour, beating until combined. Add half of the raspberries and give mixer two to three turns to crush raspberries into the dough. Turn off mixture and fold in the rest of the berries. You want these to stay whole.

Drop cookie dough onto your baking sheet in about 2 Tb scoops. Bake for 8 minutes. Take the cookie sheet out and generously sprinkle streusel on top of cookies and gently press onto cookie, about a tablespoon per cookie (don’t worry if it spills onto the bake sheet). Cover those suckers with with streusel! Return baking sheet to oven and bake for another 4-6 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on bake sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
They look just like the tops of streusel-covered muffins! The fun part is, they aren't just muffin tops.
They have a very unique texture! Some of the chew of a cookie with the moist, tender crumb of a muffin. Not as dense as one, not as fluffy as they other, but definitely scrumptious!
Golden, buttery, crunchy, chewy cookies with bright, sunny, tangy raspberries. Just plain yummy! The Geologist loves them too, and at this point, he's becoming hard to please! I wish I'd thought of these...

March 16, 2013

Small and Wonderful Things 21

Berries of all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. My favorite form of fruit. 
Source: marcusnilsson

Popcorn. And the way The Geologist chases Bracken around, shaking the bag at her. She hates the sound, but as soon as he stops, she's at his heels, begging for a piece! She loves popcorn almost as much as I do... Oh popcorn, how I miss you!

Source: novemberchild

Groomers who are inexpensive and make my beastie look gorgeous!! And lose about 10 pounds of hair :)

This sign. I need one for my kitchen. Except it should be a muffin instead of a cupcake...

What am I going to to when this kid goes to school next fall??

March 15, 2013

Biscoff Crunch Banana Bread

I am SUCH a silly girl! I was so proud of myself for getting all the utilities changed over to our new apartment, switched cable and internet providers to save us money and wasted channels, then set them up to start on Monday. Whoops!! I forgot our current services aren't just going to follow us over to the next building. :) So, since I won't have internet over the weekend, I'm setting up my next few posts tonight, in a marathon blog-writing event! We're going to watch/listen to the last few episodes of American Idol too. I'm losing all of my saved shows, after all! Must keep caught up! Although I have to say, this season is seriously lacking in unique, original talent. Not like the last two seasons. And from the judges' comments, it's pretty obvious what they're looking for, and it's NOT another Phillip Phillips. They are on the prowl for a Pop Star. "The whole package." Oh well, there are a few people who are definitely worth watching, and cheering!!

Enough about American Idol. Sorry for the tangent. I'm so excited about this recipe. I told my Mom it was the BEST banana bread EVER, and she laughed at me. She said, "Well, you've made so many banana bread recipes that its pretty impressive if something tops the old ones!" (or something like that, sorry Mom) And she's right. This is awfully impressive. And it's going to take a lot to top it.

The Geologist is popping popcorn... I miss popcorn...

Biscoff Crunch Banana Bread (adapted slightly from Table for Two)
Printable Recipe

3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Biscoff spread (you can use crunchy or smooth, I used crunchy and LOVED it!!)
3 Tb melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
12-18 Biscoff cookies, broken into chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease/line a loaf pan and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine bananas, yogurt, Biscoff spread, melted butter, and eggs, and mix until well blended. (Yes, I know, my eggs aren't beaten. Which is why I'm telling you to beat yours first, it's easier.)
In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly add to the liquid ingredients, beating until batter is mixed well. Gently fold in 3/4 of the cookie pieces with a spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, use a spatula to smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cookie pieces.

Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or with moist crumbs. Let cool completely before removing from pan and slicing.
I had 13 pictures of this bread after I was done editing... And I didn't want to get rid of a single one... isn't it fun how you can see bits of the letters on the cookies? I don't know why that detail makes me smile, but it does. 
I know I promised that I wouldn't always give you a zillion pictures now that I have a new camera, but it turns out that snowy days, just the right kind of snowy days, can give you killer light!!
I love to leave my bananas a little lumpy, it's so delicious to get a pocket of warm, gooey banana in there...
See the dark spots? Those are the cookie chunks, they disintegrate into soft little chunks of Biscoff deliciousness. They don't stay crunchy, but it doesn't matter. Really.
The toasty, brown sugar-with-a-hint-of-cinnamon flavor of those Biscoff cookies is a perfect pair with bananas! I never would have thought it, but it reminds me of the cinnamon sugar bananas I used to get at a Brazilian grill in Utah. 
Fantastic. Track down these cookies and make this, you may never make banana bread without them again! I won't. At least for a while... :)

Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts

I have learned that I love Brussels sprouts! And I always knew I loved asparagus. Aren't those supposed to be the two most hated vegetables? Spinach probably makes the list too... Unfortunately The Geologist isn't quite as forgiving as I am. He absolutely loved the Brussels sprouts with bacon, we've had it half a dozen times and it's his favorite thing... until the sprouts are no longer "in season". Then it's a no-go. I can tell the difference, but I don't mind it. Hey, at least he likes them for a few months a year!

Sorry for not posting yesterday, the day kinda got away from me. Wednesday night was heart-breaking; I realized I had an infection in my jaw. I had to go to the tech rehearsal for my very first choir concert, which is tonight, knowing there was no way I'd be singing in it. It was awful. We aren't having a rehearsal between this and next week's concert, so I had to go to learn all the logistics and things... but it was miserable. The very faint silver lining was that I got to listen to the choir... when you're singing in one, it's kind of hard to really hear how it sounds, all together... and we are fantastic.  I'm so lucky to be part of this choir, and I hope I can sing next week! I might go to the concert tonight just to listen. Anyway, the point of all that was yesterday I had to find a doc who would see me (mine wasn't in the office) and give me antibiotics, was recovering from the emotional exhaustion of the night before, making phone calls to prepare for the move, then go to adoption training. Brussels sprouts slipped my mind. So I'm posting 2 today, because this is honestly too yummy to skip!!

Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts (adapted from Daydream Kitchen)
Printable Recipe

about 2 lbs Brussel sprouts
2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb butter (you can skip the butter and use more oil, but I like the flavor)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
grated sharp, nutty cheese, like Gruyere, Parmesan, or Asiago
salt and pepper

Prepare the sprouts by trimming off the ends and peeling off the outer layer of leaves. Cut each one in half.
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sprouts to the pan and saute for about 7-8 minutes on each side until the outer part is a caramelized brown and the inside is soft and fully cooked. Add the garlic half way through the cooking. Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. Add the cheese on top and serve.
I never knew there were so many delicious ways to cook this under-appreciated veggie! Honestly, I like this one even better than the bacon one, but that's the light-and-lemon lover in me. 
These are delicious!! Tons of flavor, the sharp garlic and tangy lemon with the nutty cheese... Cheese and sprouts, who knew?? I could eat the whole batch myself, they're that good. I'll be back later today, with the BEST banana bread I have EVER had. And that's saying something!