Indulge

Deep Dish Pizza with Brussels Sprouts & Bacon 11

Deep Dish Pizza with Brussels Sprouts & Bacon

I’ve been waiting for months to make this pizza.

There’s a restaurant around the corner from our house that serves a pizza topped with brussels sprouts, pancetta, and brie. I excitedly gave it a try over the summer but was pretty disappointed. It just wasn’t right – the flavors were too flowery, the crust was too delicate, and the brussels sprouts were too small. Plus, who eats brussels sprouts in August anyway?

I promised myself that as soon as the weather was a little more appropriate, I’d make my own version of the pizza at home. It was hard to wait, but I didn’t want to start eating all of my favorite all foods too early because I was afraid that I’d get burned out on them before the cool weather even started to set in. Finally, I decided that it was sufficiently Fall enough. This version is everything that I had hoped the restaurant’s would be: the dough is thick, chewy and charred; the meat is smokey; and the brussels sprouts are slightly caramelized and abundant.

Ginger-Coconut-Dark Chocolate Bark 12

Ginger-Coconut-Dark Chocolate Bark

Have you ever made chocolate bark? It’s super easy and you can customize it in an almost endless number of ways. I’ve been snacking on this dark chocolate bark studded with candied ginger, coconut flakes, and macadamias nuts all week and I couldn’t be happier. In fact, I’ve barely even touched the big bowl full of Halloween candy that we bought for trick-or-treaters (usually by this point I’ve eaten so much that we’ve had to buy more… please tell me I’m not the only one with this problem!)

This ginger-coconut bark would be perfect for holiday entertaining, or just to have around to snack on with a mid-afternoon cup of coffee or tea. Tied up with a pretty ribbon, it would also make a great  gift for unexpected guests or last-minute get togethers. Let the kids have all the Halloween candy – it will just mean the grown-ups will be able to keep this all to themselves.

Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese 13

Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese

jalapeno popper mac and cheese on blue plate

This jalapeno popper macaroni and cheese is probably the best thing that’s ever come out of my kitchen.

There’s not much more to say about it than that. I mean, I could go on about how how rich and creamy and cheesy it is. How the thick sauce that clings to each piece of pasta tastes like someone just squeezed the guts out of your favorite bar poppers and called it “sauce.” How I kept running back to the kitchen as I waited for the pasta to finish cooking because I couldn’t stop sneaking tastes.

Ropa Vieja with Olives and Capers

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Ropa Veija is a traditional Cuban dish featuring beef that is slowly stewed in a sauce of tomatoes, garlic, and bell peppers until it falls apart into shreds. With the texture of pulled pork and the comforting flavor of pot-roast, Ropa Veija is a real crowd pleaser!

Although it does take a while to make (about 3-1/2 hours), the recipe couldn’t be simpler and it doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time. It’s also the kind of dish that tastes even better the next day, after the flavors have had more time to meld. I like to make a big batch on a lazy Saturday afternoon, then make Ropa and Swiss Sandwiches – a dish I fell in love with at New World Bistro Bar – to eat while we watch football (go Bills!) on Sunday.

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Click to get the recipe for Ropa Vieja with Olives and Capers –>