Embracing the Holidays, and Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Salad

It’s the new year! Happy new year. I have a few different posts to get through over the weekend. We’ll see what I actually accomplish. I have big plans for this weekend that include lots of reflecting, intention-setting, shopping, eating, planning, cooking, and relaxing. And one or two other blog posts I’ve been meaning to get to. For now, I’m enjoying sitting in my new chair from West Elm, listening to a Spotify playlist of 30th and Weldon’s top albums from 2015, and getting this one out.

I had a draft post started from several weeks ago about Embracing the Holidays, but I never got around to writing it. As I think I mentioned, I really tried to embrace and experience Fall this year, which often manifested in consuming all things pumpkin: puree (and things made with puree), lattes (two or three, before deciding again that they’re just too sweet), beer (which was new for me this year – I’ve never cared much for pumpkin beer, but I found several I liked this year), etc. I had similar intentions for the Christmas season… and I have enjoyed the past few weeks, but now that they’re over, it seems they kind of passed me by. Still, it was overall relaxing and enjoyable and filled with loved ones and (now that I’m going back through photos and remembering) fun events – like decorating the tree, the Baltimore Washington Monument lighting, Dan’s annual work holiday party at Rusty Scupper, the White House holiday tour, and Christmas dinner at Dan’s parents’ house.

My contribution to the holiday meal was to help with the roasted vegetables, which, if you haven’t realized already, I make a lot. I don’t have any photos of the food, but I do have a photo of cooking eggs the next morning with leftover roasted vegetables. Yum.

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For Christmas, from Dan’s family, we received a new blender/food processor. The La Machine food processor (renamed ‘The Love Machine’ by a grad school friend that borrowed it, because she thought that’s what it said) I inherited from my mother is missing pieces and not really very effective anymore, and the Cuisinart blender I bought right after college and use multiple mornings a week for smoothies just doesn’t blend very effectively. Despite generally being opposed to replacing anything that still works at all (however ineffectively), Dan witnessed the lack of adequate functioning of these things enough times to support a replacement. I am super excited.

The first thing I used it for was a bacon, brussels sprouts, mushroom, apple, and almond mixture that then became the main content of my jar salads for the week. I also used the excess that wouldn’t fit into the jars for dinner by sautéing it and adding a couple fried eggs. Yum.

I generally followed the recipe for the Apple, Almond, Bacon, and Brussels Sprouts salad from Iowa Girl Eats, adding mushrooms. I clearly chopped things up much more than in her pictures, mostly because I didn’t think to add the apple or mushrooms until after I’d already done most of my chopping, so I had to chop chop more. And then the bowl was too full, so I had to remove some stuff and do it in batches. Which I didn’t mind. Using my new toy was quite fun.

The end result was really delicious salads. I also baked some chicken breasts that I added the morning of the day I planned to eat them. I don’t have a photo of the mixture with the fried eggs I ate for dinner, but as I said, yum. Not bad stuff just to have around and add to things. Noted.

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