I admit it...Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite things!
And this fresh salad is no exception to the rule. Fresh ingredients and a wonderful blend of flavors makes for the perfect side dish or main dish.
I opt for nitrate-free bacon, Beelers is my bacon of choice, but not always available. It crisps up nicely in the oven (which is how I cook bacon for less mess) but also has a nice texture and taste.
I paired this with smoked chicken thighs in my Trager smoker. Took them about 2.5 hours on 220 to get to the perfect temp of 165.
My little piece of chicken had a funny little piece of skin hanging off of it--which I left for this picture because it reminded me of my own sagging skin in places. I like the imperfect. I celebrate differences. It is what makes us unique.
This meal was delicious.
Try the salad recipe and let me know what you think!
Lavender petals dot my countertops and float lazily in dishwater. I've just finished steeping the delicate petals for about an hour. My anticipation of my first ever London Fog is building.
There is actually snow on the ground today. The sound of dripping water from the rooftop, spilling over the tops of my rain gutters that need desperately to be cleaned is methodical and random all at the same time.
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Dribble, dribble dribble. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.
Typically, on a day like today, I would prefer a warm drink, but I've been up working and my body is warm. But don't think for a second that this perfect cup of comfort has to be enjoyed over ice. You can choose what delights you.
Today, it was iced for me.
I'll share a little secret though; this recipe made enough for my husband and I to enjoy it several times. So tomorrow, I may serve myself self a cup of comfort in a warmed mug.
Time will tell.
The first clue I had that this cozy afternoon tea was going to be heavenly, was the minute I opened this bag of lavender flowers. The fragrance overwhelmed my senses, the kitchen transformed into an almost spa-like environment, and I felt an immediate sense of calm fall over my mind.
Lavender has a way of soothing the nervous system naturally. Some of the other benefits include reducing anxiety, relieving pain, improving sleep, promoting relaxation, and freshening linens, laundry, and entire rooms.
The particular flowers I purchased were not only food grade, but organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and highly recommended.
My recipe only called for 1/4 cup, this left quite a bit of dried flowers for other projects in the future. For the actual infusion, I used the purple package of flowers, but for the final product and garnish, I also purchased the dried bundles. They did not say they were food grade, but I used them in my tea. It was beautiful and I will definitely serve it this way for company in the future. Before bedtime tonight, I plan to place a small amount by my bed to offer an extra dose of relaxation as I drift off into La La Land.
Speaking of La La Land...it happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies. No, I didn't love the ending, but geez Louise, the singing, the dancing, the flirting, the magic. Sigh...it might be what we stream later on tonight. If you are in need of some "feel good" in your life, click here and indulge yourself for two hours.
Now, for the main ingredient, my London Fog Latte called for a good Earl Grey tea. I happened to have the pretty little sachet tin from Harney & Sons, but I've included several links here for you to choose from. To be honest, the sachet bags are easy, but I do love the process of using loose leaf as well. And if you have the patience and time, it just adds to the relaxing process.
While waiting on my lavender infusion to take place, I actually snuck in a few minutes to do a little bit of writing in my gratitude journal.
I find that journaling is one of the best ways to stay grounded, thankful, looking up, and living more in the moment than in the past or future.
This has been instrumental for me in not only keeping my head grounded during uncertain and stressful times, but it has also been vital for me to lose over one-hundred pounds and keep it off for almost three years.
Journaling is magical. I have hand-made journals here in my shop. Each one is unique and made upon order, so it takes a few days, but it is well worth it. If you don't have one you love, check them out here.
The background to my recipe photo hints of a few of my favorite things. I have had these canisters for years, but they still make me smile. Many times they are holding onto my favorite coffee beans, dog treats, or a half-eaten bag of Cheez-Its. Their happy black and white pattern seems to accent everything in my kitchen.
And this onion. Oh this onion! It has been in my life since my children were young. It has lived in Post, Texas, and then in Lubbock, Texas. It made the journey to our stint in St. Augustine, Florida for a year, and travelled back to good ole West Texas again. She has been broken, glued, dropped, and used. I've looked on our travels for a replacement, though a new one has evaded my searches. Maybe she doesn't want to be replaced. Maybe she is a reminder that the good ones in our lives stick with us through the good times and the bad times.
You might just want to add a little black and white to your decor, and if so, here is a link to these canisters. You won't regret the amount of joy they bring to a space. Especially to one little black and white doggy who knows her favorite biscuit is waiting inside one of them.
Speaking of dog biscuits, this little dumpling is tuckered out. She spent the last six days at the pet hotel while Benny and I went to market. It was rough on her and rough on us.
We don't like boarding her anymore than she likes being boarded, but sometimes, duty calls.
So, as I'm writing these words, she is snoring at my feet, snuggled in her little donut bed, and sporting her new little pink jacket.
Looks like life is all good again.
I will say she loves this fluffy bed. It was a bit smelly when I picked her up from "camp" today, but it washed beautifully, and she is snoozing quite regally. I hesitated about purchasing this bed due to the price tag (after all, she is a dog,) but we both love it. She loves its comfort and I love the ease of care. Please don't tell her I said she was "just a dog." She absolutely doesn't know this.
Now for the good stuff. This recipe was simple and delicious. If you have never tried a
London Fog Latte
treat yourself to its comforting, yet subtle flavors. The Earl Grey gave me a boost of caffeine for the afternoon, but the lavender kept me grounded and relaxed. It truly was the best of both worlds.
Let me know what you think!
HUMOR-IST (is that a word?) I can find and expel (the word expel makes me think of passing gas) humor in most moments of life