Brussels sprouts with pecans and cranberries

Raw brussels sprout

When I lived in New York, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family every year.  Truth be told, I was pretty excited to do it.  : )  Thanksgiving is a great excuse to try out a bunch of new recipes and not feel guilty about tossing aside the non-fat cooking spray in exchange for a little butter.  It’s only once a year, right?  But anyway, although I moved to Boston last year and haven’t be able to make it home for the past two Thanksgivings, I’ve still been cooking up a storm, albeit a slightly smaller one than usual.  You know, fewer power outages, less news reporters flying away.  This year I whipped up some of Alton Brown’s brussels sprouts with pecans and cranberries – a super easy recipe that has all the Thanksgiving food requirements: (1) can pass as a traditional Thanksgiving dish; (2) uses butter; and (3) contains enough greens to pass as healthy.

The recipe is a piece of cake.  First, get yourself a bunch of fresh brussels sprouts and chop them up (see above).  My local supermarket was amazing this year – there was a seemingly unending stream of gorgeous sprouts appearing in the produce section on the day before Thanksgiving.  I was impressed. Next, toast some chopped pecans until your kitchen smells nutty and delicious.

Toasted pecans

Next, throw in some butter.  Important: here is where you absolutely must stop for a second and let it sink in that you’re actually using real butter for a change.  Mmmm.  Butter.  Full fat, salted butter.  This is what Thanksgiving is all about.  : )  When you’re done savoring and the butter has melted and coated all your nuts, toss in your sprouts.

Brussels sprouts and pecans

Cooking time will vary based on how vigorously you chopped your sprouts.  The recipe says to chop them pretty finely into little strips with a very sharp implement.  Since I lack both fancy chopping implements and patience, I just cut mine into quarters.  Thus, the 6 minutes in the recipe turned out to be more like 15 or so.  No big deal.  It was Thanksgiving, I was home from work, and daytime tv was on in the background.  While I was waiting, I took some leftover pecans and a handful of cranberries (coming in the next step) and made a nauseatingly-cute food heart.

Happy Thanksgiving

Aww, I know.  It’s almost too adorable.  Almost.  Anyway, when the sprouts have finished cooking, you just throw in some dried cranberries and a little salt and pepper and call it a day.  So easy!  So delicious!  I took a fuzzy picture to show you just how delicious my sprouts came out.  Can you tell how yummy they were?

Brussels sprouts with pecans and cranberries

Ah, Thanksgiving.  I cooked, I drank, I ate, and most importantly, I didn’t do any work.  NONE.  I’ve had a hell of a semester and really enjoyed a little down time.  Oh – I also made some turkey!  Not a whole bird, but turkey chili instead.  Chili isn’t exactly the most traditional of Thanksgiving dinners, but it contained the requisite turkey and was a lot less work.  And it was delicious.  : )

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with delicious home-cooked food!

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