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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon, Parmesan & Cranberries

Brussels sprouts raw and thinly sliced are delicious… who knew? Surprisingly very mild, the Brussels sprouts in this slaw-centric recipe are paired perfectly with some salty bacon, sweet dried cranberries and crunchy nuts. Mix and match what you have on hand – walnuts, feta, goat cheese, golden raisins or cherries – it all works.

Tip from my kitchen: Slicing little Brussels sprouts on a mandolin is dangerous work (I have 3 fingers to prove it). Opt for the slicer blade on your food processor – it’s quicker and safer.


  • 1/4 cup (1/8 ounce) tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crispy & crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or Craisins)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper


Holding each Brussels sprout by stem end, cut into very thin slices using a mandolin or the slicer blade in a food processor. Toss in a bowl to separate layers. Add pine nuts, bacon, cranberries and parmesan cheese.

To make the vinaigrette whisk mustard and vinegar together. Drizzle in olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Pour over salad and toss to combine.

Mufasa Corn

Mufasa was one BIG goat…. here is the story.

There is a sweet lady named Susanne who once lived near Tyler and had many goats. I see this sweet goat-raising lady a few times a year and a meal is always in the story. I seem to always bring a dish with goat cheese and like clockwork she politely declines to indulge in my creation. She came clean and explained the taste of goat cheese smells just like those stinky goats!

The last meal we shared I made what I was calling a “corn and tomato succotash”. She officially renamed the dish in honor of her biggest goat (who was quite popular with the ladies)… Mufasa.

It works… and it tastes incredible.


  • 5 ears sweet corn, cooked and kernels removed
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced medium
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


Boil corn for 7 minutes. Cut kernels from ears of corn. You can also use a large bag of frozen corn. Be sure to defrost, drain and dry the kernels (try to get the water off so they will brown in the pan). Add corn and onion to skillet over medium heat with 1-2 T olive oil. Cook on medium high until the corn has slightly charred. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and add tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes just to warm through. Stir in goat cheese and cream. Serve warm or room temperature.

Bok Choy with Shiitakes and Oyster Sauce

I can’t say enough about my friend Catherine… whom I adore. Not only is she the kindest person with the sweetest smile, she is not afraid to give anything a try in the kitchen. We had a girls night in to catch up, drink wine and cook some things on our “blog list”.

She brought Mark Bittman’s Bok Choy recipe and I did my mom’s Beef Stroganoff (recipe coming soon). As an appetizer we devoured brussel sprouts glazed in maple syrup with bacon and for dessert we munched on squares of dark chocolate. Life is good.

Recipe by Mark Bitten for The New York Times


  • 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 pounds bok choy, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup commercial oyster sauce



Soak shiitakes in one cup of very hot water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Trim mushrooms and chop. Separate leaves and stems of bok choy; cut stems into 2-inch lengths and slice leaves into ribbons.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, add bok choy stems, garlic if you are using it, reconstituted mushrooms, and about 1/4 cup reserved mushroom water. Cook, stirring frequently, until stems are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil; sauté fresh shiitake mushrooms over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until they begin to brown and crisp on edges.

Into the large skillet or wok, add bok choy leaves and oyster sauce and toss vegetables gently to combine; continue cooking until greens wilt, about 2 more minutes. Serve immediately, topped with crisp mushrooms.

Brussel Sprouts with Shallots, Bacon and Maple Syrup

This past weekend I took my beautiful friend, Jen from upstate NY, to one of my new favorite restaurants in Dallas: Neighborhood Services. I’ve dined at Neighborhood Services several times and am always impressed with the creativity of the chef & owner: Nick Badovinus.

I’m a lover of brussel sprouts IF they are roasted in the oven. I do not care for the boiled to death green balls of bitterness. These were so fabulous and the entire table raved about how delicious they were. So I set off to recreate them as best as possible and they are almost as tasty as Nicks.


  • 1 shallot, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup: Grade A Vermont preferred
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 strips thick cut bacon
  • brussel sprouts (as many as you want)


Cut bacon into small dice – about 1/4 inch. Place in saute pan and cook over low heat. When crispy, drain bacon on paper towels set aside to cool. Keep bacon fat in saute pan for later.

Boil pot of water. Drop in whole brussel sprouts for 2 minutes. Remove from pot and place into bowl of ice water. Cut brussel sprouts in half, and spread onto flat baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and lightly salt. Place on high shelf in oven and broil for about 7- 10 minutes or until lightly blackened.

In the saute pan with the remaining bacon fat, add 1 tbsp. of butter and melt over over medium heat. When melted, saute shallot until tender. Add maple syrup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar and stir until slightly thickened. Toss in brussel sprouts and toss until coated.

Serve topped with bacon.

Green Bean Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

A guy at work says it isn’t fair when Bobby Flay adds pancetta to his dishes on Iron Chef… in fact he says it’s cheating. Everything is better with pancetta.

I agree.

Green beans are so good for you… but gosh they can be boring. I’m not a huge fan of the green bean casserole with the styrofoam onions… and I wasn’t cooking Asian food or I had have gone the stir fry green bean hoison route… so I decided to try this combination.

I was really surprised how well this turned out and I couldn’t keep dipping into the bowl for more. I’ll be buying more green beans and preparing this all summer. There is no dairy so it would make a perfect BBQ side dish.


  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 – 1/4 inch thick slice pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add green beans and parboil for about 4 minutes. Transfer to a cold water bath and drain. Add to serving bowl.

Dice pancetta into small pieces and add to a COLD skillet with a little olive oil. heat the skillet over medium heat and cook pancetta until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

In the same pan as the pancetta, toast the walnuts over medium heat until they become fragrant, about 2 minutes, and then transfer them to a small bowl to cool.

Add the onion, walnuts and pancetta to the beans and stir to combine.

In another small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and mustard. Toss the dressing with the green beans and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.