Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?

Does your family have a Sunday dinner together?  My family struggles to eat together any night of the week let alone Sunday.  But I love what this book is about.  Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner by Lisa Caponigri is not about slaving all day in the kitchen to cook for your family.  Instead, this cookbook encourages cooking together, eating together and just being with family at least once a week.

The book is broken up in to a menu for every week of the year and generally includes a starter, a pasta, a meat, a veggie and a dessert.  The menus do not have to be made all together but are equally as good when mixed and matched.  My husband’s family is Italian so I can’t wait to try out some of these amazing dishes on them.  I am pretty darn excited about the desserts.  As usual.

Lisa shares family stories along with her recipes and quotes in Italian.  I found the recipes very easy to follow and using fresh, easy to find ingredients.

As you can, see I like an awful lot of recipes from this book.  I made sure I flagged the ones I wanted to try, and well, looks like I’ve got several Sunday meals taken care of.  I can’t wait to try out crunchy toasts with white bean puree and basil pesto, green beans with mozzarella and tomatoes, asparagus torte, glazed carrots in marsala wine, spaghetti with cheese and black pepper, macaroni with ricotta (with cinnamon and sugar!), nana’s rictotta cake and of course the wine and nut cake.  What should I make first??!

Buy Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner here.

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*I was sent a copy of the book for review.  All opinions are mine.

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{Recipe} Apple Juice Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Please forgive my food photography.  I made this brussels sprouts recipe twice in 4 days and just have to share it with you.  This was the second time that I made it so I just took the pictures while I was getting dinner ready.  Which means there were screaming matches to contend with, toys to step over and other dishes to make sure I didn’t burn.  I tried channeling Lisa and Bev to no avail.  But seriously.  Go make these.  My parents had been telling me how good theses brussels sprouts were for months.  They finally wore me down and I made them.  And now I want them all the time.

Did I mention they are super easy?  Did I mention they have bacon?  Ok then.  Wash your brussels sprouts and cut the stalk end off and cut them in half.  Brown the bacon in a pan and then transfer to a plate to drain.  Reserve a tablespoon of the bacon grease and add the brussels sprouts.  Saute the brussels sprouts to give them a little color.

Be sure to keep your eye on the bacon.  It starts to disappear.

Add the apple juice to the pan.  Cover and let them steam until tender.

Let the rest of the apple juice cook out and then add the bacon back to the pan.  And then proceed to eat the entire batch.  What?  It happens.  If by chance you happen to have some leftover (which I did but only because I doubled the batch the second time I made it) it tastes delicious the next day.  Even cold.  It took a few minutes of coaxing to get my boys to try them but they did.  One of my picky eaters really liked them and ate all of them on his plate.  My youngest didn’t eat them.  But he only likes gummy snacks.  So you can’t let him be the judge.

These are SO good!

Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon {adapted from Cooks.com}

3 Slices bacon coarsely chopped {I do at least 6.  So}

1/4 cup chopped pecans {I leave these out because nuts are the devil at our house}

2 boxes (10 oz) frozen brussels sprouts, thawed and halved or 2 cups fresh brussels sprouts, halved

1/4 cup apple juice {I use 1 cup – this probably helps to remove any healthiness that was in this recipe}

1/2 tsp salt

In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp.  Stir in pecans and cook for 1 minute, until toasted.  With a slotted spoon, remove bacon and pecans, if using to paper towels to drain.  Drain all but 1 to 2 TBSP of bacon grease from the pan.  Add brussels sprouts and stir to coat with fat.  Saute for a few minutes, mixing gently to get some nice brown color on the brussels sprouts.  Stir in apple juice.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 8 – 10 minutes (for frozen) or 10 – 12 minutes (for fresh) until brussels sprouts are tender.  Allow for the apple juice to cook almost all the way off.  Before serving, add bacon, pecans and salt and pepper.

Put them on a plate, bowl or trough and cram as many in your mouth as you can.

You’re welcome.