Saturday, November 28, 2009

It is a Wonderful Life and I am Thankful

I have been cooking, some good and some not so good (but I'll save that for another blog entry.) We had thanksgiving dinner with friends so I only had a few things to prepare. First of all and by request of the hostess, I made cheddar cheese coins. I add a little more cayenne to the recipe but every cook that eats them wants the recipe. They are a great snack with wine and maybe a few olives. Best of all they are easy to make.

Next assignment was a green veggie. We eat just about all of the vegetables so I'm always surprised when I find that lots of people I know don't eat a wide variety of vegetables. Brussel sprouts is one of those that a lot of people are on the fence about. Nevertheless, I chose brussel sprouts and I used a new recipe and it turned out really good and it was pretty for the holiday.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Cranberries and Pecans from Fine Cooking Magazine
Makes 4 servings
2 slices bacon (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
1 shallot (diced) (I used regular onion since I didn't find shallots at the mercado.
1 pound brussels sprouts (cleaned, quartered, blanched and drained)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dried cranberries (I soaked them in warm water and rough chopped them)
2 tablespoons pecans (chopped)

1. Cook the bacon in a pan and set aside reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease
2. Add the onions/shallots to the pan and cook in the bacon grease and saute until tender about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the brussels sprouts to the pan, season with salt and pepper, toss in the grease and saute for a minute.
4. Remove from heat and mix in the cranberries and pecans.

I doubt that the Pilgrims sat down to such a beautiful table but I appreciated the friends and the beauty of the setting.

Now that was Thanksgiving day and the food but I also took time to think about all we have to be thankful for. Inspite of the health issues in our family this year we still have so much for which to be thankful. The grandsons are doing so well. What a blessing they are to us. Our sons and daughters-in-law are also doing okay and I mean in the way of building their family, cherishing friends and enjoying life. Ned's cancer was a surprise but we are blessed because we can get good medical treatment and the cancer has responded to the treatment without too many side effects. We are blessed that we can live where we want to live and still keep close contact with the family and we are blessed with friends both in Mexico and Texas.

It is a wonderful life.


Alfredo said...


Happy life, happy times. Looks wonderful! Your table looks as a five star restaurant, very nice. I want to be a pilgrim at your table, lol.

Happy times,


Billie said...

Alfredo, the table is beautiful but our dinner was at my friend's house. My table seats six, eight if we squeeze in but you can be a pilgrim at my table anytime.

Sam and Bob said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Brusssel Sprouts are a favorite vegetable of ours. Your friends table setting is beautiful. Glad to see that there are some people who still set a fine table.

The Cheddar Cheese Coins look very yummy. I'll have to get the recipe from you when we get to SMA.

God bless both of you.

Susan said...

Are cheese coins like flat cheese straws? They look as if they would be similar in flavor/texture. Going off my love for crumbly, rich cheese straws, I think I could eat that whole tray full!

Leslie Limon said...

It is a wonderful life indeed! I have one question, maybe two...Were you celebrating in the States or in Mexico? If you were in Mexico, where did you find brussel sprouts? (I love vegetables.)

Billie said...

Sam and Susan, I'll post the cracker recipe soon. It is similar to cheese straws but I think a bit more cheesy and delicate.

Leslie, We were in San Miguel in MX. Here in SMA there are several organic farms that grow brussel sprouts and broccoli...some for Whole Foods. And we have a high enough concentration of gringos or wealthier Mexicans in San Miguel and Queretaro who will buy these veggies. So I can find them in the mercados sometimes or in the Mega type supermarkets most of the times. Then there are a couple of small veggie markets that cater to the gringos. I can even get fennel and leeks most of the time. That was not the situation until the last few years.

Steve Cotton said...

I find that am constantly translating my recipes into somewhat-equivalent ingredients. And they usually work just fine.

glorv1 said...

It looks great Billie. I'm happy that your life is great and happiness abounds. You are deserving of everything good. Have a great week. Take care.