1005 Brussels Sprouts and Kielbasa

I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve felt really off my game since getting back from San Francisco.  I’m not motivated to cook, but then I’m frustrated with the poor food choices I make instead. Now that we’re both home and both feeling better, I’m determined to get back on track with both cooking and eating.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Chips
Photo by mkosut

Dinner tonight was the first stab in that direction. I halved a pint of Brussels sprouts and sauteed them with butter and garlic until golden, then added a turkey kielbasa, sliced crosswise into bite-sized pieces. The kielbasa was already fully cooked, so it only needed about five minutes to go warm and crisp at the edges. While all of this happened in one skillet, I prepared some Israeli couscous to bulk out the meal and ensure that we’d have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Polska Kielbasa
Photo by tombothetominator

Holy delicious, you guys.  Turkey kielbasa packs most of the flavor of the traditional recipe, but with fewer calories and a lot less grease.  When paired with the Brussels sprouts, you get a hearty and filling dinner – that also manages to be pretty healthy.  We’ll be making this again.

0711 Our Grill Situation + Squash Math

I sort of feel bad about having people over for dinner these days. It’s just so damned hot in our house, and there’s no escaping it, no matter how precisely we angle the fans.  So kudos to Dave and Juli, who braved the heat to hang out with us tonight!

I had intended to make the beer can chicken recipe that Sarah keeps raving about, but decided against it after assessing our current grill situation:

  1. Grill #1 was, I assume, left by a previous tenant and is in a pretty sad state.  We considered taking it to the dump when…
  2. …we purchased grill #2 over the winter for $25, which included an almost-full propane tank and a bunch of grill rocks.
  3. Grill #2, despite being in much better shape than grill #1, is not operational.  I’m not sure why that is.
  4. Grill #1 is missing the front tempered glass panel, but is otherwise operational.  Lacking really solid grill tools, we’ve stuck to covering the racks with foil.
  5. Grill #1 has a hinged rack that is attached to the lid which, when closed, doesn’t provide enough upright space for a chicken on a can of beer.  Grill #1 also wouldn’t be able to trap the heat and smoke necessary to make the savory bird.
  6. We could do all of those things on grill #2, except that it is not operational.

Long story short: no beer can chicken.  I did, however, take apart the chicken and dress it inside and out with a basic barbecue spice rub.  While I boiled a couple of ears of corn and sauteed vegetables for a couscous salad, Shane grilled up the chicken.  Juli and Dave brought zucchini bread and fresh berries from the market, all of which added up to a really delicious seasonal dinner.

So where’s the squash math?  See, I had a zucchini and a small summer squash on hand, for a total of 2 squashes.  I used the zucchini in my version of Sarah’s seven vegetable couscous, leaving 1 squash.  Then Juli brought the zucchini bread (containing unknown quantities of squash), as well as 2 bonus zucchinis that she had purchased in a fit of zucchini enthusiasm, bringing the net total squash to 1+ in the food and 3 in my crisper.  Squash: the gift that keeps on giving!

Recipes:
Beer Can Chicken and All-Purpose Barbecue Rub from The Barbecue Bible
Moroccan Seven Vegetable Couscous from Vegetarian Times (heavily modified, but I’ll save that recipe for another day)

0710 Spontaneous Dinner

Today was pretty much the perfect summer day.  I was up early, so while Shane slept in, I ran to the market and bought peaches! and corn! and lots of other stuff, then finished up our errands and was home with a donut before Shane rolled out of bed.  We spent the early afternoon at the Shadow Art Fair in Ypsi, where Shane purchased bespoke haiku I used the Cupcake-o-Matic to get a wee chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and coconut sprinkles.

Cupcake-O-Matic

Cupcake-O-Matic Success!

Shane spent the rest of the afternoon brewing with new friend and neighbor Karl, and I took a long nap and then spent a very happy hour and a half in the garden. At some point in there, however, we missed all normal mealtimes, and so found ourselves peckish as the sun started to go down. While the guys finished up the brewing stuff, Karl’s wife Cara and I threw together a spontaneous and casual dinner – sun-dried tomato couscous with raisins, beet salad with feta, slices of salami, sauteed greens, soda with a homemade berry-peach syrup, and the first incredibly sweet corn on the cob of the year. Everything was delicious, and we retired, full and happy, not long after.

So like I said, pretty much a perfect summer’s day.