Happy Two-Thousand & Twelve, everyone! I hope you all had an immensely fun and beautifully festive time during the holidays, and are now enjoying this new year to its very
fullest. I am such a huge fan of New Years. I love that fresh optimism that never fails to follow along with the resetting of the calendar. I love how enthusiastic and invigorated I always feel, waking up to that very first morning. I love making a long, detailed list of resolutions. I love the excitement that comes from believing, for at least a while, and no matter how impossible certain goals may be, that I’ll follow through on every last one. And I love those impossible resolutions most of all. At least, of course, until I actually prove their impossibility.
One of my goals for 2012: Write blog post every single week. Well, take a quick look at today’s date at the top of this post. January 12. Yep. Already, I’ve not quite followed through with this one. And oh geeze! That wasn’t even one of the more impossible-sounding resolutions this year! Shoot! :) Oh well, lucky for me, I tacked one last goal to the very end of my list: Don’t be too disappointed if/when (but more likely when, of course, because come on face it, Kate, this is, as always, a wicked crazy list) you don’t actually cross-off every item on here. And on this point, my friends, I’m happy to report that I’ve followed through completely!
I had to, you see. I just wouldn’t have been able to face the horrible shame and disgrace of utterly failing at not one but two resolutions, and so pathetically early in the year! I tease of course, I do hope you’re picking up on that. :)
Honestly, friends, I’m not being hard on myself at all for falling behind on this one. Actually, I could hardly care in the least. Because, you know what, I’ve got a really, really good excuse. Just about the cutest, cuddliest little excuse ever – a brand new nephew, Elliot Anders Smigelski! My sister Molly and her husband David welcomed this adorable little bundle of sweetness into the world last weekend, and he is oh so amazing. Being there for the very start of his brand new life, well, something like that is worth more than a million silly resolutions marking the start of a measly year! And so, at the earliest hint of Elliot’s eminent arrival, I tossed this first week’s deadline into the wind, and we packed right up and drove straight to Toledo. I told you. Really, really good excuse!
And now, days later, having given Elliot’s forehead one last good bye kiss, then making the trip back home, I’ve finally settled into my desk chair, set my fingers to home row on my lap top keyboard, and am diligently typing out this post. But of course, I’m distracted now and again by the blustery blur of white that’s whipping past my office window. Because finally too, it's started snowing here in Chicago. Really snowing! The first legitimate snow all season, I do believe. And somehow, this first total blanketing of white – pure, absolute freshness resting on all the sidewalks and trees and windowsills – it makes it seem like new year’s day all over again. It kind of makes me feel like this post made it just in the nick of time, after all.
So let’s get to it! Let me tell you about this first recipe of 2012! Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes. A wonderful, wintery side dish. A side dish so wintery and wonderful, it doesn’t need to stand aside anything at all, which I illustrated last week, as I gobbled up a pound’s worth of sprouts and their sweet, wrinkly pink side kicks, fresh out of the oven, before Ben even arrived home from work. My belly full and appetite spoiled, I contentedly kept my husband company through dinner, a plate-less placemat in front of me, hardly missing my pork chop at all. (Or, I should say, Ben’s bonus pork chop.) Really, it’s a rare vegetable dish that gets me so greedy. Something about this though, was just beckoning me to keep eating. A bite of buttery Brussels sprouts made my want the sweet juiciness of a roasted grape, which made me need another taste of golden cruciferous goodness, which begged to be followed with a shot of bright fruitiness. And on and on it went. Quite the tasty cycle.
I hope you’ll give this one a try. It’s quick and easy to throw together, nearly as healthful as it is tasty, and if I do say so myself, it really is quite a looker! So pretty, I think, don’t you? Ben reports that it’s a great pairing for pork chops. And while I’m sure he’s right, I just may have to go through the motions of proving him so, and sometime soon. This time though, I’ll make a new resolution, and won’t have a single taste, ‘til my husband is home, the table is set and the pork chops are done! (No excuses for this one, no matter how cute and cuddly they may be!)