Are you ready for the holidays? Well, ready or not here they come, starting next week! Yikes- Really? Already?? I think I'm there, but I could certainly use a few extra pay checks and some more hours in a day.
First of all, Stefanee over at It's All in My Head posted her Harvest Blessing Mix recipe that she found online along with her own darling way to wrap it up. Love it!
For those of you who've been asked to bring a vegetable dish to the turkey feast, instead of the typical green-bean casserole why not surprise everyone with something a little different this year? Here's a recipe for Cheesy Gratin of Brussels Sprouts. I dare you to try it! Dont' worry... you'll be surprised how many will come back for seconds.
Cheesy Gratin of Brussels Sprouts:
4 slices of bacon
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pounds (about 7 cups, halved) fresh Brussels sprouts
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
5 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
Paprika, for garnish (optional)
1. Heat a large skillet and crisp-cook the bacon. Transfer it to a plate and set it aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan. Add the onion to the pan and saute over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes; add the garlic for the last minute. Scrape the onions and garlic into a large, shallow casserole and spread them around evenly. Set aside.
2. Trim the Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half (or quarters, if very large) lengthwise. Bring a large soup pot of well-salted water to a rolling boil. Add the Brussels sprouts. Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain immediately in a colander for 5 minutes. Transfer to the casserole, spreading the sprouts evenly in the dish. Set aside. Heat the oven to 375°.
3. Combine the milk and chicken broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring over medium heat, for about 1 minute, until the flour is light golden brown. Whisk in half of the hot milk and broth. Heat and whisk for a minute or so, until thick. Add the remaining liquid and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
5. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, mustard, salt, thyme, and pepper. Pour the sauce evenly over the Brussels sprouts. Mince the bacon and sprinkle it over the sauce. Sprinkle evenly with the Cheddar cheese and dust lightly with paprika, if desired.
6. Place the casserole on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Makes 10 servings.
This recipe is from Family Fun- one of my fave idea spots! They also have tons of Thanksgiving and Holiday ideas, crafts and activities for kids, and fab recipes...
Here is one great activity idea to keep the kids occupied and out of the kitchen while you finish preparing the turkey trimmings:
This easy game is called Where Did the Turkey Lay It's Egg?
All you need is ONE hard-boiled egg and some eager kids.
To start, one guest leaves the room while a hard-boiled egg is hidden. The others then call the seeker back and direct him toward the egg, saying "gobble, gobble" instead of "warmer" and "giblet, giblet" instead of "colder." Once the egg is found, a new seeker is named, and the game repeats.
Go to Family Fun for lots more ideas!