Step away from the…amazing seasonal Pita Crisps

I finally broke down and picked up one of Trader Joe’s seasonal items.  Their Pita Crisps with Cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds.  Good/bad idea.  Addictive!  They are nice and crunchy and have something like cinnamon sugar on the outside.  I have tried to put them out of my direct line of sight so I don’t finish the whole bag immediately.  I recommend giving them a try before they are off the shelves.

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Brussels Sprouts Actual

After testing a Brussels Sprouts recipe last week I opted for a standby for Thanksgiving dinner.  It has veggies, fruit and nuts.  Had made it a few times and it’s quick, easy and delicious and would be better for Turkey Day.   What do you need?  Can’t ask for many fewer basics:

-Brussels Sprouts
-Dried apricots, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
-Pistachios, coarsely chopped — if you even want to (about 1/3 cup)
-S&P
-olive oil

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Have some fun getting those apricots ready.

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Cut the Brussels Sprouts in half.

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Blanch the Brussels Sprouts for 3 minutes and rinse.

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Heat some olive oil in a pan, throw all ingredients (Brussels Sprouts, apricots, pistachios, S&P) on top.

IMG_2284Heat for about 5-7 minutes until nice and browned.  Serve and enjoy.  I love them and there sure weren’t many leftovers.

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Tired of Mashed Potatoes?

As I was going for new dishes this weekend, I came across a recipe that sounded delicious that I had to try.  With Thanksgiving around the corner, I like testing recipes and/because my family definitely doesn’t stick to conventional dishes during the holiday.  This recipe could definitely replace mashed potatoes!  I found a Cooking Light recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Cranberry-Chipotle Dressing.  What a blend of flavors.  From a little sweet to a bit of heat.

Ingredients
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons honey
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkinseeds) — I used almonds because I couldn’t easily get pepitas
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

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Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Place sweet potatoes on a large jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until tender, turning after 15 minutes.

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3. Place remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cranberries, water, and honey in a saucepan. Remove 1 or 2 chiles from can; finely chop to equal 1 tablespoon. Add chopped chipotle and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce to pan (reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use). Place pan over medium-low heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 10 minutes or until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Mash with a potato masher or fork until chunky.

4. Place pepitas in a medium skillet; cook over medium heat 4 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently.

5. Combine potatoes, pepitas, onions, and cilantro in a bowl. Add cranberry mixture to bowl; toss gently to coat.

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Great, great recipe!  Will totally make this again and it will likely be on Turkey Day.