Jalapeno Chips.

I hate to term myself a foodie because of nights like tonight. Currently, I find myself consuming jalapeño kettle chips from the bag and sipping on hot chocolate. Yeah, I’m eating those two things together. No, the hot chocolate isn’t made from scratch. Swiss Miss never did me wrong.

Jalapeno chips and I became friends during some tough times in grad school. My study buddy Megan and I would stay up into the wee hours of the morning studying and studying for exams. We didn’t like the buzz of coffee late at night and I got sick on an energy drink the first time I tried it. Our drug of choice? Jalapeño kettle chips.

Yah, it was weird. And not very conducive to super secretive and sneaky library food consumption. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.  I’ve always had a bit of a wild side.

Work has been crazy crazy lately which has me reverting to my jalapeño chip ways. This is why the jalapeño chips, the hot chocolate, and the why you can’t really consider me a foodie… at least not anymore. But, did you ever?

As I sit here, mouth on fire because of the jalapeño dust, I am watching one of my least favorite shows on TV: Masterchef Junior.


I said it.

Maybe you were thinking it.  Were you? Maybe you are so mad at me right now because that is your favorite show of all time and you love those talented kids like they are your own children. Maybe those kids are your children, which would have me questioning why you are reading this lowly blog.

The only thing that can make me feel worse than sitting inside alone eating jalapeño chips wallowing in my own postwork sadness would be watching a bunch of young chef geniuses cook salmon to perfection and invent dishes I can’t imagine even replicating with the help of Julia Childs herself.

These kids…


Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

This recipe is a little bit foodie in my mind (which, as you may remember, is not that foodie-oriented). We ate this as a side on Thanksgiving, but it would be perfect for Christmas, New Years, or for a weeknight side if you’re feeling fancy. It is roasted brussel sprouts topped with a sweet and tangy mustard sauce and garnished with crunchy walnuts and crispy apples. Take that, masterchef junior.


Roasted Brussels Sprout and Apple Salad with Black Walnuts
Source: Williams-Sonoma
Printable Recipe

For the mustard sauce:
1/4C dijon mustard
2T whole-grain mustard
1 1/2tsp apple cider vinegar
2T light brown sugar
1/8tsp hot sauce

For the salad:
1 shallot, caramelized (or 2T Blackberry Farm smoked onion jam)
1T sherry vinegar
5T olive oil
salt, pepper
1lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1/2C black walnuts, toasted
1 apple (Gala or Fuji), cored and thinly sliced

For the mustard:
Whisk together mustards, vinegar, sugar, and hot sauce. Refrigerate. You will need 2T for this salad – leftovers are great on EVERYTHING.

For the salad:
In a bowl, combine caramelized onion, 2T of mustard sauce, 3T olive oil, pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Whisk and set aside.
In a nonstick pan, heat 2T of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook brussels sprouts, seasoning with salt and pepper, until tender and lightly browned. This will take about 10-14 minutes.
Once tender, remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl.
Combine sprouts with apples, walnuts, and vinaigrette. Toss and serve immediately.

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