Tag Archives: date night

AHDN: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

February 2, 2016

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Brussels Sprouts Gratin

1- 9oz bag of shaved Brussels sprouts
4 tbsp butter; divided
2 tbsp flour
1 cup grated parmesan; divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tbsp paprika
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 cup half and half
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil

Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a large, high- sided skillet and add shaved brussels sprouts.  Saute about 3 minutes over medium until brussels sprouts are a vibrant green color.  Remove from the skillet.  Add the additional 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and melt.  Stir in 2 tbsp of flour.  Gradually whisk in 1 cup of half and half until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan, along with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella.  Add salt, pepper. and paprika and combine.  Return the brussels sprouts to the skillet and fold into the cheese sauce mixture.   Pour into an 8 or 9 inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of breadcrumbs with remaining 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese and enough olive oil (approx. 2 tbsp) until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.  Sprinkle on top of the brussels sprouts.

Bake for 40 minutes @ 375.

This side dish was a perfect compliment to the chicken, and the left overs heated up nicely to go with some broiled flounder.  Whip up a double or triple batch with a bit of pancetta, and you have a GREAT holiday side dish!

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AHDN: At Home Date Night

February 2, 2016

When you have a life with littles, sometimes “date night” can be few and far between.  With baby sitters and broken routines, cries for mama and good night kisses…well, sometimes is it just plain hard!  To help alleviate some of the pressure, but also keep our time as just us, Mr. Twice Around and I have started implementing AT HOME DATE NIGHT, or AHDN as we call it.  The thought is that once munka is in bed, we have the rest of the evening to ourselves and can enjoy a “date” together.  No phones, no distractions – just time shared together.

The only real RULES that we have for AHDN are as follows:
1) Real clothes (with the occasional exception for PJ’s- when appropriate)
2) No cell phones
3) It has to be more than a Netflix binge on the couch

This past week was my turn to plan, so I decided on a kicked up version of dinner and a movie.

Act 1- Dinner.  Stone ground Mustard Chicken Thighs with a Brussel Sprout Gratin and White Wine

Act 2- Cozy Movie Time with snacks,  Tomato Cheese Crackers, prosciutto, grapes, brownie bites, and of course, champagne.

Now, the thing that really makes this ‘not your average movie night’ for us is the location of our movie.  Typically, we only have 1 TV in our home, and that is in our main living area.  We like it that way.  We prefer it that way. BUT- it makes it fun to bring out our second TV from storage and create a new ambiance for movie watching.  I decided that for date night, I’d set up our TV and Apple TV in our bedroom, and that we’d watch the movie from the comfort of our cozy bed, stacked high with extra pillows and cushions.  Add a tray for our snacks, and we were all set!

Stay tuned for more AHDN ideas!

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza

January 3, 2016

What better way to start of a new year than with an old love?  I LOVE pizza.  In fact, I could probably eat pizza every day of my life.  It can be such a simple pleasure, and you can make it a thousand different ways that always seem to jazz it up.  Recently, our area got a new Pizza place called “MOD Pizza” – essentially, a made to order pizza place.  Seeing all of the toppings and combinations got me thinking about pizza night in my own household, and a new go- to was created.  Hearty and wholesome, it combines the perfect amount of salty with savory into one bite.  This is Roasted Brussels Sprout and Prosciutto Pizza.

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2 Cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 small package of prosciutto (about 5 oz), roughly chopped
1 cup freshly grated smoked havarti cheese
Your favorite pizza dough
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Salt
Pepper

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.  Trim and roughly chop 2 cups of brussels sprouts.  Toss onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pop into the oven for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up an entire small package of prosciutto (If you’re like me, you eat some of it and wash your hands before moving on).  You can also grate your cup of smoked havarti.

On a separate baking sheet (or on your baking sheet that had your brussels sprouts if you hate dishes and are a patient person!) spread out your favorite pizza dough.  Lately, I’m really into the refrigerated Bistro Style Pizza Dough from WeWalka.  It’s good stuff- gets a really great crispness to it that I really desire in a pizza.  ANYWAY, once that’s spread out, top it with your cheese.  Now, this won’t be a typical cheesy pizza that oozes cheese.  Smoked havarti has a flavor that doesn’t demand as much as a typical mozzarella made pie.  Sprinkle and spread it so that it lightly covers your dough.  Do the same with your prosciutto and brussels sprouts, then return to the 400 degree oven for approx. 15 minutes.

If you like, you can finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar once it comes out of the oven.  Truth be told, we forgot that step, and just went about devouring the pizza.  Obviously, it wasn’t missed too much since we ate the entire thing!

Note: If you have left over brussels sprouts from a previous dinner’s side dish, go ahead and use those babies!  Just skip the roasting step, chop them up, and toss them onto your pizza dough.

This pizza is perfect with a glass of wine on a fall or winter night.  It made a nice at home date night dinner with my guy, who suggested that next time, we crack an egg over it.  We’ll see how that goes and get back to you!

I’d love to hear from you- What pizza toppings top your list for pizza night?
J