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A sweet take on Brussels Sprouts

November 30, 2010
By Wendy Monro

All of the build up and Thanksgiving is over as quickly as it came. Luckily, it will be back around in no time since years seem to fly by. I am still basking in the glow of all of the delicious food... and so are my thighs, butt, and belly.

I had to eat everything as I was cooking it. A good cook has to sample everything before she serves her guests. So, by dinner time, I had been eating all day long, for two days. Then, I just piled everything on my plate, poured on the gravy and ate even more.

Claud made the most amazing gravy. It was well worth it. I read recently that it is OK to let yourself go as long as you can get yourself back. That is the philosophy I am living by for the holidays. Sure, I will be able to get myself back, right?

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Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Maple Syrup

At my mom's house, everything went smoothly. The food looked beautiful and tasted even better. I spent two days cooking pies, cheesecake, biscuits, ham, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, spiced carrots, brussel sprouts, and more. I had the best time cooking dish after dish. Some people enjoy watching movies, reading books, taking walks, etc... For me, the best relaxation is cooking food. So, I was in heaven. You can see all of the food on my Facebook fan page, "Simply Foodify." If you see a photo of a dish which you would like the recipe for, just comment and I will get it to you. I am also going to be posting holiday ideas each day leading up to Christmas on this page.

Thanksgiving 2010 is officially over; but, this is just the beginning of the holiday cooking season. Thank goodness for that. I don't even want to talk about the shopping that needs to happen. I am putting that out of my mind for the time being. That's another great thing about Thanksgiving, no gifts. It's all about the eating and the drinking. Unless, of course, you went Black Friday shopping, which I never do. I saw some of the car lines piling out of the malls on Black Friday and didn't envy any of those people. Some people love the holiday shopping and need to get started straight away.

I like to go Christmas shopping a day or two before Christmas. Yes, I am one of those crazy people you see in Target at the last minute. You might be picking up some last minute tape or wrapping paper and I am just getting going on the gifts. I do get going early on the food planning and preparation. I also get started early on the Christmas music. Last week, I had a few complaints from people at my work telling me that it was too early for the Christmas music which was coming from my office. I shrugged it off, sang quieter, and smiled. I love Christmas music. There is nothing like a little Nat King Cole to lift my spirits. I also like spending the whole of December watching Christmas films like: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, White Christmas, Four Christmas', Elf, and It's a Wonderful Life, to name a few favorites.

Fact Box

Brussel Sprouts w/Pancetta &?Maple Syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound Pancetta, thinly sliced and cut into ribbons

2 pounds brussel sprouts, stems trimmed and cut in half

1/4 cup maple syrup

A pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Fry the Pancetta for about ten minutes, until it is crispy. Pour the brussel sprouts in the pan with the Pancetta and mix together. Pour this mixture onto a cookie sheet. Pour the maple syrup onto them and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake for twenty minutes.

I have four weeks of food articles to write until Christmas day. I plan to write about recipes which are holiday inspired. This week, I am writing about the brussel sprouts we made for Thanksgiving dinner. These would be a great dish to bring to a holiday pot luck, to cook for Christmas dinner, or to make any time. They are so simple to cook and taste delicious. It's the Pancetta that really makes them delicious. The Pancetta is salty and crunchy. Besides, what doesn't taste better with bacon? Pancetta isn't really bacon but it is pork belly which has been salt cured and spiced. It is a combination of the salty pancetta and the sweet maple syrup that makes these brussel sprouts so delicious. You won't believe how good these taste.

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