Maple Mustard Pecans

I was bringing some snacks into work for one of the departmenst that met a goal they’d been working on.  I knew that at least one of the individuals in the department didn’t eat carbs and ate a mostly paleo diet, so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was a great opportunity to make these pecans and make sure that this person also had a snack they could enjoy.  I found this in the Catholic Daughters Cookbook.

Maple Mustard Pecans

Maple Mustard Pecans

2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/8 c maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 1/2 c pecans

Mix together all ingredients except pecans.  Stir in pecans to coat evenly.  Spread on a lightly-buttered baking sheet.  Bake approximately 25 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring often.  Cool and break apart.

Bacon Maple Sprouts

Have you seen Alton Brown’s new cookbook?  I’ve been a fan of Alton’s for a long time.  I enjoyed his show Good Eats on the Food Network and continue to enjoy his work.  I also really enjoyed the Alton Browncast Podcast when he was making that.  It was a delightful listen in on things he enjoys.  I really like hearing about the science behind food preparation, and Alton does a great job of explaining that.  As I was putting together my menu for Thanksgiving, I knew I wanted to put brussels sprouts on the menu and as I was dabbling through his cookbook, this seemed like an excellent pick.  So, from Alton Brown: Everyday CookI bring you bacon maple sprouts.

Bacon Maple Sprouts.jpg

Bacon Maple Sprouts

4 rashers bacon
1 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts
1 large apple, chopped
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bacon on a half sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, flipping once, until crisp.  Remove the pan from the oven and the bacon from the pan.  While the bacon is making the kitchen smell awesome, trim and split the sprouts.

Toss the sprouts and apples with the bacon fat and spread in an even layer on a half sheet pan, placing as many sprouts cut-side down as possible.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sprouts are browned and tender.  Crumble the bacon while the sprouts roast.

Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard and syrup.  When the sprouts and apples are brown, put them back in the bowl you seasoned them in and toss with the maple mustard and bacon.

Red Cabbage Glazed with Maple Syrup

Doesn’t December sometimes feel like a never-ending dessert buffet?  Scratch that.  For me, it’s felt that way since Halloween.  I think I’ve made more cookies, bread puddings, desserts, bars, and other sweet treats in the last two months than I have for years.  Now it’s time to  have some more vegetables inserted into the diet and I thought I should move to a different vegetable in the cabbage family than Brussels sprouts.  The Essential New York Times Cookbook provided a recipe for cabbage that looked worth throwing together.  And, since there is some maple syrup in it, it’s just sweet enough to help ease off the holidays and into the new year.

Red Cabbage Glazed with Maple Syrup.jpg

Red Cabbage Glazed with Maple Syrup

5 slices bacon, minced
1 onion, minced
1 medium firm, tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 lb red cabbage (about 1/2 head), cored, outer leaves removed, remainder shredded
1 bay leaf
1/2 c maple syrup
salt and ground pepper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  In an ovenproof saucepan or casserole large enough to hold all the ingredients, saute the bacon until crisp.  Add the onion and saute until translucent.

Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and transfer to the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Cranberry Wild Rice Muffins

I once read that to enter something into the Pillsbury Bake-Off, at least 4 ingredients need to be changed within a recipe.  I have no plans to enter this recipe into the Bake-Off, but I would match those qualifications for the adjustments I’ve made to the Blueberry Wild Rice Muffin recipe I made about a year ago.

After making a bunch of wild rice and going through a few recipes, I had some leftover rice and decided that these muffins would be a good use of the rice.  I didn’t want to go get blueberries, though, since I had cranberries on-hand.  I remembered these not being especially sweet muffins, and wanted to make some other adjustments to enhance the flavor and complement the cranberries, so the adjusted recipe is below.

Cranberry Wild Rice Muffins.jpg

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Maple Nut Bars

Fall always has me looking for comfort food, and new takes on comfort food.  As a result, I’ve spent the last few weeks looking through church cookbooks, midwestern cookbooks, and other spaces to find the foods that are going to serve as comforting foods.  I was looking through Savoring the Seasons when I saw that I had flagged this recipe for Maple Nut Bars some time ago, but had not yet made the recipe.  No time like the present, so one weekend morning I found myself throwing together the recipe.

The recipe calls for black walnuts.  I know a lot of people in my family who adore black walnuts, but I’m not one of them.  And, the cookbook acknowledges that black walnuts aren’t for everyone, “If the distinctive flavor of black walnuts is too strong for you or the nuts are not readily available, substitute pecans, almonds, or walnuts.”  My modification used chopped walnuts.

Maple Nut Bars.jpg

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Roasted Maple-Chile Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes

To join the Maple-Brined Pork Tenderloin made last weekend, I decided to try out a recipe from The Vegetable Butchera great new cookbook that is all about the vegetables.  I was paging through the cookbook and knew that with the maple flavoring I was using in the tenderloin, this would be a great compliment.

After a long afternoon of pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and power washing the porch, this relatively low-intensive recipe.  We all agreed this was a keeper of a recipe.  Besides the brussels sprouts, I had everything on-hand, which is also a plus.  I had found a package of farro in the cupboard as I was cleaning it out a week or so ago.  So, there was additional benefits to making it.  Next time, I would add more red pepper flakes, as there was not much heat to the recipe.

Roasted Maple-Chile Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes.jpg

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Maple-Brined Pork Tenderloin

Recently, I have found myself reading, looking at, and sometimes purchasing cookbooks that are a compilation of cooking magazines throughout the year.  I have frequently read and used Cooking Light annual recipe collections.  For this particular recipe, I found myself looking through a collection of Food and Wine recipes.  The recipe appeared to have an additional step (brining) that I don’t often take the time to do, but this one turned out quite nicely.

I did make a couple adjustments to the recipe — primarily in that I (with the help of my dad), grilled the tenderloin at the end instead of following the recipe instructions: to brown and then bake them.

Maple Pork Tenderloin

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