Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon and MORE

Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon

For 4-6

[Leaf Parade. Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon.]


  • 4 pieces of uncured bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1-1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ~6-1/2 ounces cooked chestnuts (I used a vacuum-sealed package from Trader Joe’s that measured about 1 cup)
  • Sea salt + cracked black pepper
  • ~1-1/2 cup hard apple cider (a bit less than 1 bottle)


In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is crispy. Set the bacon aside and drain all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the pan and reserve for another use.

Add the garlic and saute for just a minute, until soft. Add the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts and a big pinch of salt and saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the sprouts begin to brown just a touch. Add the cider and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and braise the sprouts and chestnuts uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the sprouts are fork tender. Add more cider as necessary. Crumble the bacon and add it back to the pan, mixing all the ingredients together until the bacon is warm. Serve as a side or as a poached egg-topped entree.

Stir-fry rice with shrimp, vegetables & soy lime sauce

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 16 pieces shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups green peas
  • 5 cups steamed white rice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  1. Over medium heat, in a wok or large saucepan, saute the onions in olive oil.
  2. After about 2 minutes, add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and green peas. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and mix well.
  5. Add the soy sauce, sugar and lime juice. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  6. Garnish with the parsley.
  7. Serve warm.


Prawn and Cashew Vindaloo


500g prawns, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup cashew
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds, ground
2 tsp chilli powder
6 pcs green chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 red onion, thinly sliced
chopped cilantro, to garnish


1. In a pan add oil and then cook onions until soft.
2. Add the turmeric, mustard seeds and chilli powder, continue to cook until fragrant.
3. Add the coconut milk, desiccated coconut, honey and green chillies, bring it to a boil then simmer for two minutes.
4. Add the prawns and cashew then simmer until prawns are cooked, it will take roughly around 5 minutes.
5. Add vinegar then season with salt. Turn heat off then serve garnished with cilantro.

Mulled Wine


  • 1 bottle of Cabernet Savignon (or your favorite red wine)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large orange
  • 1/4 cup brandy (more or less to your taste)


  1. Zest the orange skin (by using a vegetable peeler or knife) into thick slices.
  2. In a medium sized pot, add the orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, and sugar together.
  3. Pour just enough wine to cover everything (in a medium pot, this was a little less than 1/4 of the bottle for me).
  4. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil for about 8-10 mins while stirring occasionally. This will thicken it a little bit and create a flavorful syrup.
  5. Bend head over mixture and smells like winter!
  6. Once the syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low. Add the rest of the wine. Squeeze the juice out of the orange you zested earlier into the pot.
  7. Let the wine slowly warm up. You must do it at a low temp so that the alcohol doesn’t burn off.
  8. Once it’s warm enough, add the brandy and serve immediately.


Quick Crockpot Fondue


  • 3 cups dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1.5 lbs processed Swiss cheese, shredded or finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg


  1. Plug in a small slow cooker (such as a Crockette) and set it to the “warm” setting.
  2. Place the white wine, crushed garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. After five minutes, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the processed swiss cheese into the slow cooker and cover with the lid.
  4. After the wine has reduced for 10 minutes, pour it directly over the cheese in the crockpot (you may want to remove the crock from the heating element before doing this, so you don’t spill liquid over the electric parts).
  5. Use a whisk to combine the cheese with the wine mixture. It will seem like it is not working at first, but it will soon come together. If after a few minutes there are still large chunks, turn the heat up to high and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Serve with pretzels, sourdough or rye bread, or sausage.

Laksa nom nom



3 tablespoons oil
1/2 pack (120g) Malaysian instant curry paste (you can get it
2 cups chicken stock (1 can)
2 cups water
2 stalks lemongrass (white part only, pounded)
5 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
10 tofu puffs, cut into pieces
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
Salt to taste

Other Ingredients

Yellow noodles
Bean sprouts
10 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cooked
3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
Fish cakes, cut into pieces


  1. In a stockpot, add the oil and sauté the instant curry paste until aromatic.
  2. Add the chicken broth, water, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tofu puffs and bring the stock to boil.
  3. Lower the heat to simmer. Add the coconut milk and evaporated milk. Add salt to taste. Keep the stock on simmer.
  4. Rinse the yellow noodles, drained and set aside. Soak the dry vermicelli with some warm water until soft, drained and set aside.
  5. To assemble a bowl of laksa for serving, bring to boil some yellow noodles, vermicelli, and a handful of bean sprouts. Drain the noodles and transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Top the noodles with 2-3 shrimp, a few pieces of fish cake, and 1-2 egg quarters.
  7. Using a ladle, pour the laksa broth and a few pieces of tofu puffs on top of the noodles.
  8. Serve immediately.

Filled Paprika

This is what I will make this Wed. Ha ha… So excited.


  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked white rice (starting from about 3/4 to 1 cup raw white rice)
  • 4 to 6 bell peppers (red, yellow, or green), use 4 large, or 6 medium sized
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb of ground beef (ground chuck, 16% fat)
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry summer savory
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped)
  • (Can substitute herbs with other herbs such as an Italian herb mix)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Paprika
1. If you haven’t already made the rice, start cooking the rice following the package instructions (usually 1 cup of raw white rice plus 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.)

moms-stuffed-peppers-1.jpg moms-stuffed-peppers-2.jpg

2. Cut the tops off of the bell peppers. Remove and discard (compost) the stem and seeds. Place bell peppers cut side up on a steaming rack over an inch of water in a large covered pot. Bring to boil, let steam for 10 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, basil, summer savory, marjoram, salt, several turns of black pepper, and rice.

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4. Remove bell peppers from steamer pan. Place cut side up in a pyrex or other oven-proof casserole. Gently stuff the peppers with the ground beef rice mixture. Drizzle olive oil over the stuffed peppers, along the outside of the peppers, and into the pan. Rub the oil over the outside of the peppers; it will help with browning. Sprinkle the tops generously with paprika.

5. Place on middle rack and cook for 35-50 minutes, or longer, until the meat is cooked through.

Serve with sour cream.

New York Cheesecake

My favorite cake is cheese cake, maybe chocolate cake as well. Open-mouthed smile so I Got this recipe from to cook for Emily and Katie. Hoping it will turn out well.


· 15 graham crackers, crushed 酥饼干无糖最好

· 2 tablespoons butter, melted 黄油

· 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese=228Gram

· 1 1/2 cups white sugar

· 3/4 cup milk

· 4 eggs

· 1 cup sour cream 酸奶油

· 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 香草精

· 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 面粉

· Aluminum foil 锡纸


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.

2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.

3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.


  • Grease the sides of your pan, it will not crack, since cracking often happens in the cooling process as the cake pulls away from the sides. Since I began greasing the sides,I have not had a cracked cheesecake.
  • A couple of things you should know about cheesecakes: OVERBEATING WILL CAUSE A CHEESECAKE TO CRACK. Beat cream cheese with sugar only until smooth. Proceed with a wooden spoon for the rest of the recipe. OVERBEATING WILL CAUSE A CHEESECAKE TO HAVE THE “WRONG” TEXTURE. Air bubbles, gritty/not creamy texture, etc., are fixed my the same instructions above. OVERCOOKING WILL CAUSE A CHEESECAKE TO CRACK. Do NOT cook this cheesecake until it’s set. Matter of fact, don’t check it at all. Put the cheesecake in the oven, set the timer to 60 min., turn the oven off, and forget it. I mean it! Don’t open the oven, just leave it alone to do its thing.
  • Make sure that your ingredients are around room temperature, not cold, otherwise your batter will be lumpy.
  • Wrap your springform pan with 2 layers of aluminum foil to prevent water in the bain marie (water bath) from seeping in.
  • Place your springform pan in a water bath in the oven, filled with 1 inch of very hot water, then proceed to bake as instructed in the recipe.

Baked Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Onion Dip

Found this recipe on pinterest, cannot wait to try it out. Open-mouthed smile 

Forwarded  here: Nom nom nom!

Cut each zucchini into 3″ sticks about the diameter of your finger. Cutting each zuke into 9 sticks lengthwise, then cutting into 3″ lengths, works well.

Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let them drain for 1 hour or longer.

While the zucchini are shedding their excess liquid, make the dip.

First, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-sized frying pan over moderate heat, and add 1 medium sweet onion (about 1/2 pound), sliced.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, then caramelizes. This should take between 20 and 25 minutes, at medium-low heat. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions.

When the onions are medium brown, remove them from the heat.

Place the following in a small food processor or blender:

all of the caramelized onions
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Process until fairly smooth.

Remove from the processor, and stir in 1 cup mayonnaise.

The resulting 1 1/2 cups dip can be used not only for these zucchini sticks, but as a tasty sandwich condiment.

OK, back to the zucchini. See how they’ve started giving up liquid?

Rinse them thoroughly; you want to get rid of any excess salt. Then pat them dry.

Next up: the bread and cheese coating. But first, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spray the parchment with olive oil.

Combine the following:

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Pizza Seasoning or mixed Italian herbs

Mix until thoroughly combined.

Beat 2 large eggs; or pour 1/2 cup egg substitute into a dish. You’re going to dip each zucchini stick in the egg…

…then roll it in the crumbs.

Warning! Warning! Do as I say, not as I did here.

I figured, heck, just lay ‘em all in the crumbs and toss ‘em around, right? Never mind this coating one-by-one stuff…


About midway through, the crumbs had gotten so much egg splashed onto them they were sticking together in a solid mass. So I had to add a lot more Panko, and that still didn’t really help.

Trust me, these will look a lot nicer if you take the time to dip-and-roll one by one. Maybe you could divvy up the egg and crumbs, and get one of the kids to help you…

My fellow baker, Susan Reid, is editor of our print newsletter,The Baking Sheet, in which this recipe first appeared. She says, “There’s a basic restaurant tenet about  breading: ‘One hand wet, one hand dry.’ It makes the difference between getting through them all in one go, or having your hands end up looking like catcher’s mitts.”

She adds, “If you happen to have a convection oven, this is the ideal sort of recipe to put the fan to work. Faster, more even browning.”

Thanks, Susan!

Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the sticks for about 12 minutes, until they’re starting to brown. Remove from the oven, and turn them over; you may actually need to do this one by one, or you may be able to turn several at a time using a spatula. Bake for an additional 12 to 16 minutes or so, until golden brown and crisp.

These baking times don’t match those in the recipe; I realize that. Bottom line, bake until the sticks are a speckled golden brown…

…like this.

Now, put the sticks on a plate, the dip in a nice bowl…

…and dig in! With guests, of course.

Any leftover sticks can be wrapped and stored in the fridge. Reheat at 350°F for about 10 to 15 minutes, if desired.

Print just the recipe.