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Sauteed Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts

Up until a week ago, the sons had never taken a single bite out of a Brussel sprout. Still, they had an instinctive hatred of them, refusing to try a single bite of their side of ‘roasted’ Brussel sprouts they were served with dinner. Yet, how can I blame them? Up until this recipe last week, I too had always steered clear to them, to the point or stubborn out-right refusal of even considering to try them. Even when my mantra to the sons is try new things. Brussels sprouts probably have the worst reputation of any vegetable. As you’ve seen, they’re the classic example of the vegetable hated by both kids and adults, only eaten because they’re so good for you. However, we were able to use this awesome recipe to change our whole familiys’ minds. A lot of the issue with people who have tried Brussel sprouts and hated them, is that they are a naturally bitter vegetable. And I do mean, bitter! However, roasting them (whether in a pan as in this recipe, or even in the oven) allows the sugars to break down and caramelize, nicely balancing out and breaking down their originally bite.

Sauteed Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts

4 Sons 'R' Us: Sauteed Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts

recipe adapted from Favorite Family Recipes

1 lb Brussel Sprouts
4 Tbsp butter
5- 6 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Clean the brussel sprouts by trimming off the ends and peeling the outer layer of the sprout off. Cut each one in half.
2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
3. Once heated, add the halved brussel sprouts to the pan and saute for about 8-10 minutes on each side until the outer part is a caramelized brown and the inside is soft and fully cooked.
4. Add the garlic half way through the cooking.
5. Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
6. Stir to combine and taste. Adjust seasonings if needed. Add the cheese on top and serve.

Note: So if you need to convince someone stubborn to like Brussel sprouts or it’s their first time trying them; the best way to have brussels sprouts is to roast them, and this is the only recipe you will ever need.

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Red Enchilada Sauce

Is it normal for someone to get insanely excited about homemade enchilada sauce? Is it? Come on, tell me the truth; you don’t have to spare my feelings. I must be really comfortable with myself to confess that I think I let out a little scream of joy when I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade red enchilada sauce. I don’t think I knew until that moment that I’d been waiting my whole life for this. <Insert choir of angels singing>

I’ve always been a fan of canned enchilada sauces, since they were easy and inexpensive, but then I went homemade. I’m never going back. Believe me, people. This recipe will knock your socks off. Make up a batch and store it in the fridge for later use, or make several and freeze them, thawing as needed.

Be still my enchilada sauce loving heart.

Red Enchilada Sauce

4 Sons 'R' Us: Red Enchilada Sauce

recipe originally from Gimme Some Oven

2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
2 Tbsp. flour
4 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 cups chicken broth

Directions

1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add flour and stir together over the heat for one minute.
3. Stir in the remaining seasonings (chili powder through oregano).
4. Then gradually add in the chicken broth, whisking constantly to remove lumps.
5. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until thick.
6. Use immediately or refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.

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Sous Chef Sunday: Cheesy Garlic Sticks

We’re a family who loves good food and I want my sons to not only know their way around a kitchen and a recipe when they are grown, but to be at home in the kitchen. The sons are my biggest fans & biggest supporters with everything I do so, naturally, I’m really excited to be including them in this adventure. So, without further adieu…

This week we’re introducing Sous Chef Sundays! 2-3 Sundays a month we will be bringing you kid friendly recipes that one or more of my own 4 sous chefs have helped me create & prepare. Tried and true dishes that we’ve made sure are appropriate for getting your own kids in the kitchen and involved.

This week we’re introducing you to Cheesy Garlic Sticks. The sons love these! They know it’s going to be a great day if they see pizza dough thawing before they leave for school and ‘pizza’ isn’t on the dinner menu. That’s guaranteed to mean these oh-so-yummy breadsticks will be waiting for them when they walk in the door after school. These come out piping hot with that perfect amount of stretchy, melted mozzarella. Son # 4 (4) enjoyed using a rolling pix to stretch the dough out (by himself) into the pan and sprinkling cheese everywhere. And I do mean everywhere, but it was kind of freeing to just go with it and see his little face lit up with joy. I also reminded myself I could fix it to my satisfaction before we actually put it in the oven.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cheesy Garlic Sticks

Son # 4 insisted I ‘hold on’ when it was time to start on this recipe. I patiently waited as he climbed up on his step stool and grabbed a white paper lunch bag. He then ran into his room. This is how he came back into the kitchen. Ready to rock!

4 Sons 'R' Us4 Sons 'R' Us

The little ‘chef’ had even found his own photo prop! All cuteness aside, let’s dig into this Sunday’s recipe.

Cheesy Garlic Sticks

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cheesy Garlic Sticks

recipe adapted from Jam Hands

1 can of refrigerated pizza dough, or one loaf of homemade pizza dough
olive oil for brushing the dough
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded provolone, optional
1 tbsp minced garlic
1-2 tsp Italian Seasoning

Directions

1. Roll out pizza dough on a baking pan.  Brush dough lightly all over with olive oil.
2. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and provolone, if using, all over the dough.  Use your fingers and sprinkle minced garlic all over the dough.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning on the top, as desired.
3. Bake at 425 for 12-18 minutes.
4. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting. Use a pizza cutter to cut into breadstick-sized strips. Serve with marinara sauce, if desired.

Copy-Cat ‘Frosty Paws’ Frozen Dog Treats

Copy-Cat ‘Frosty Paws’ Frozen Dog Treats

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than a nice cold and frosty treat to help keep cool. Think of a glass of ice-cold lemonade, or a frosty popsicle fresh from the freezer. While we all have our own favorites and readily use them as part of our summer arsenal to stop the heat’s oppressive assault, pets are often left out of this kind of treat. ‘Frosty Paws’ offer an ‘ice cream’ type treat for your K-9 friend that’s perfectly safe for their consumption. However, even though our Bentley is very near and dear to my heart, I couldn’t bring myself to continue to pay the high costs just for a bag of frozen dog treats, especially when I read the ingredient list and realized how simple it would be to make my own. It was simple, easy peasy. Now Bentley is happy, healthy, and not nearly as hot after a romp outside. These are really versatile as well, and easily adaptable. While the recipe I’ve given you today is how I make them most often. I have made these with finely ground chicken & chicken broth, and I’ve also included pulverized egg shells as a calcium supplement with great success.

Copy-Cat ‘Frosty Paws’ Frozen Dog Treats

4 Sons 'R' Us: copy cat frosty paws

  •  32 oz yogurt (I’ve used plain, strawberry, and vanilla before)
  • 1 mashed ripe banana, or 1 babyfood jar of fruit
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ice cube tray

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a mixer or a blender until evenly combined. 
  2. Spoon the batter into the ice cube trays.
  3. Freeze.
  4. Pop out and store in a zip locking bag in your freezer.
  5. Give your fur-baby a treat!
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