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{day 9}: meal planning, sprouts, giveaway

Author’s note: This post includes the Day 9 instructions for those following the 12 Days of Minimalist Holidays series, as well as a recipe for Firecracker Sprouts, and a review and giveaway of a Craftsy cooking class. Enter the giveaway below and then scroll to the bottom to find out what it’s about.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Day 9: Create a holiday meal plan
Check out the 12 Days of Minimalist Holidays series to catch up! 

Figure out 3-5 dishes that can be made and frozen in advance. Good possibilities are mashed squash (steam squash, then mash & add white pepper, brown sugar, cinnamon, and lots of butter), cranberry sauce, pie fillings, pie dough, and stuffing. If you follow Pinterest, it can be a good source of inspiration but also can be overwhelming. Save your sanity and improve your spirits by keeping a minimalist holiday meal Pinterest board. Better Homes & Gardens has a fun menu planning section where you can find out your foodie personality and get holiday meal tips.


firecracker sprouts

serves 4
4 c. tiny Brussels sprouts (about the size of a grape is good)2 c. oil with a high smoke point (I like a combo of peanut and sunflower oil)1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour2 eggs, lightly beatensalt & pepperhot wing sauce (heat level is to your liking)2 oz. feta cheese1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced into small pieces (optional)

  1. Cut end off Brussels sprouts. If they are larger in size, cut them in half. 
  2. Blanch them in salted boiling water for three or four minutes and then shock them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Leave them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. 
  3. Meanwhile, prepare two bowls, one with flour, salt, and pepper, and the other with the eggs. Heat oil until it shimmers (to about 350 degF) in a wok or other deep, heavy-bottomed cooking vessel, like a Dutch oven.
  4. Dredge sprouts first in egg and then in flour.
  5. Fry 7-8 sprouts at a time in the hot oil for four minutes or until crispy and browned. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and salt as they come out of the fryer. It will take approximately 5-6 batches to cook them all, but each batch should only take four minutes until the sprouts are crispy and brown, so the whole process only takes about 20 minutes. 
  6. Once they are all cooked, toss them with wing sauce in a large bowl and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and apples, if desired. Serve immediately.

I had these firecracker sprouts at a local restaurant in town, and it’s one of the only times I can remember going home and immediately taking notes on how I thought they made it. I knew as soon as I spied the bags of seconds sprouts at a buck a piece that I would be testing out the recipe at home, and it only took two tries to perfect it. Nate and I love trying out a new Brussels sprouts dish at every Thanksgiving, and this one just soared to the top of the list. Sorry for the bad photo, but my external flash died, and it is killing my food photography skillz.
imageCraftsy: review, discount, giveaway, & contest
imageHave you been on Craftsy yet? Craftsy is a craft site offering online classes; a patterns marketplace; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects community where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. They even have a DIY Wedding section that is sure to be popular if my Pinterest feed is any indication. I first discovered Craftsy as a place to take sewing and knitting classes. As we recently discussed, I’m attempting to learn to use my sewing machine that I’ve owned for approximately three years and used approximately zero times.

Craftsy’s categories ranging from quilting to sewing, knitting, painting, photography, and cooking; you can even try out food classes for free, including this pizza-making class. They are also offering one of you lovely readers a free cooking class via giveaway! See the Rafflecopter widget above to enter for your chance to win (update 4:12pm: If you are having trouble getting the widget to work, just leave a comment, and I’ll be sure to enter you myself!)


Right now they are also offering 25% Off Food Classes during November

Craftsy Cooking Class Review

I just finished their mother sauce class, A Modern Take on the Mother Sauces, which is run by seven-time James Beard Award winner James Peterson. Saying it was fantastic is an understatement! The whole experience was eye-opening, like watching a Julia Child show, except I was given a list of the tools, ingredients, and steps I needed to complete the recipes, and he slowed the process way down to explain everything from the particular type of pot to the whisk motion. Some part of me always wanted to attend French culinary school, and this class fulfilled that desire well.

The instructor pauses during cooking to provide anecdotes of his own experiences and cooking style. It reminds me of being taught by my dad, if he were a trained chef. He’s very personable and actually quite reminds me of Julia Child because of his willingness to shrug off mistakes as part of the process. As far as a general review of the class goes, I found the class style easy to fit into my lifestyle. I watched a few 20-minute lessons while folding laundry. I even plugged my computer into the TV so I could watch them in widescreen. I also love that I can stop and do what I need to do and come back to it days later. There’s no requirement for speediness and no test at the end. My kind of class!

Recipe Contest

Craftsy is also running a recipe contest. I’m going to submit my firecracker sprout recipe. You can submit your own recipe on the Craftsy Recipe Sharing Submission Page. The best recipes will be selected by Craftsy to be featured on, and the recipe-winners will win a free Craftsy food class

Below is the giveaway entry form. You have a week (until November 28th) to enter. I’ll announce the winner here and on Facebook next week.

Author’s Note: Craftsy gave me a free cooking class in exchange for my review, but my opinion is my own. I shared this post with The Homestead Barn HopPennywise Platter Thursday, and Fight Back Friday