Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving dinner was a big hit!  We had 17 people (including ourselves), with my sisters and their kids coming up from San Diego (my brother and his family couldn't make it because of work), and then two families from up here joined us too.  It was a lively day!  The company was great, the conversation was engaging and the hike after dinner was much needed!

I managed to take a few shots of our desserts...but not one shot of the entire meal.  Oh well, some things are better left to memory anyway!

Here's the main table...before eating.  One of my sisters made the wonderful centerpieces for all the tables.  They were quite beautiful!

We had this amazing Bordeaux with dinner...a gift from our French friends that we brought back from France.  It was earthy and deep and beautiful and when I closed my eyes, I felt like I was right back in the French countryside.  Thank you Johanna and Laurent for this wonderful bottle!

And now for the desserts!

Caramel Pumpkin Pie (with "Good for almost anything" pie crust), both from Dorie Greenspan's Baking, From my home to yours.  This pie had a deep caramel flavor that worked so well with the pumpkin.  And the crust??? Don't get me started.  It is an amazing pie crust and I may never use another pie crust recipe again...ever!

Pumpkin Cream Pie with a graham cracker crust.  You can get the recipe right here from The Pioneer Woman.  This is an unbaked pie, creamy, light & fluffy...with just a hint of whiskey.  
Can you say YUM!

Then we had this incredible Dreamy Apple Pie, also from The Pioneer Woman (but with Dorie's crust).  St. James gave this pie two big thumbs up!

Our final dessert (because you can just never have enough dessert) was an incredible Heath Bar Crunch Trifle with white cake, chocolate pudding, whip cream, Kahlua, and crumbled heath bars.  Cynthia made this delightful dish and it really is an amazing experience in your mouth!

I have to say, dinner was so darn good that folks didn't have a lot of room left for dessert.  I have some amazing leftovers that we are trying to work our way through.  Pie for breakfast is not a bad thing.  I hope everyone had a great holiday and here's to a fabulous December! pictures of people...when I was taking pictures, everyone was complaining saying that the photos were going to end up on my blog and that I really needed to get permission from people (ie...they wanted to review and approve the photos) before I post than go through an entire process of obtaining each person's blessing on any photo that they happened to be in (which you know I'd never be able to get)...I people pictures (unless you count the person's arm next to the wine bottle)!!!!

PPS...I completely forgot to mention the oven mishap!  Three weeks ago, my lower oven went out.  St. James called a repair person who came out and said that the circuit board had gone bad.  So he ordered it and said it would take 5 - 10 business days.  I had St. James call and make sure it would be in and installed before Thanksgiving.  Finally, the part came on Monday and the service guy came out on Tuesday (yes, cutting it close)!  When I walked in from doing errands, the service guy and St. James were shaking their head.  Now, not only was there a bad circuit board...but there was a bad clock too.  We needed another part that was going to take many days to come.

I was not amused....I was so not amused that St. James told the service guy he'd better leave and St. James would handle me...and boy did I need handling.  Many curse words left my lips...but since my nieces and nephews (oh, yeah and my son) read this blog...I won't share them with you.

Interestingly, as I had been doing my errands that morning, I'd heard a couple of people on the Martha Stewart radio channel talking about doing their turkeys in an electric roasting pan.  The first time I heard this, I thought...gee what loser would do their turkey in an electric roasting pan?  Of course, this was before I knew about my loser oven.  I was at Target and had seen these pans, but walked right by them.  After finding out about my oven, I then heard another person talking about this roasting pan, and the chef who was answering questions on the radio said he uses one all the time and explained how to do it.  Aha...I thought....I'm going to go get an electric roaster pan.  And, I did.  It was on sale for $22 and it was perfect!  The turkey came out great and the it was really no fuss.  I recommend it to all you other losers out there who can't get their broken ovens fixed in time for the holidays!!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie - pommes dauphinois

While in France this summer (yes, I like to drop that at factoid anytime I can...mainly because it reminds me that I actually did spend two months in France this summer and often wish I was right back there, at any given moment), we had pommes dauphinois several times.  Each time we had them, they were incredible.  One time, my sister was expecting them with her dinner and she didn't get them and was quite upset.  (You can even read about that dinner in Chablis, if you like, where I had the most fabulous Oeufs en Meurette.)

I was thrilled to see that this recipe had been selected for one of the November choices.  I had high expectations of this dish.  I've made scalloped potatoes a gazillion times (ok, maybe only 100 times...but who's counting).  I don't use a recipe...I just slice up my potatoes, make a bechamel sauce that I add cheese to (more commonly known as a cheese sauce) and layer everything together.  My scalloped potatoes are pretty darn tasty, if I do say so myself.  However, the pommes dauphinois that we had in France were sublime.  Really, they were incredibly delicious, delicate, creamy and a little cheesy.  But they were subtle, they didn't hit you over the head with cheese.  Comfort food at it's best.  I was very hopeful that Dorie's recipe would give me the same result.

I'm so happy to report that her recipe lived up to and surpassed my expectations.  It is simple, elegant and truly delicious.  Each bite is a joy.  In fact, my taste buds were so happy, I thought they were never going to stop singing!

For me, the star of the show is the garlic infused cream.  While it was simmering on the stove, the house smelled heavenly.  I could not resist taking a few spoonfuls straight from the pan.  As it was cooking, I knew the final dish was going to be terrific.

Alas, I have no process photos for this recipe, as I made it with the chicken from last week, when I had company and no time for photos.  Only a couple of shots of the final dish before it was devoured!  And devoured it was.  Our company loved it, as did my boys!  To see what everyone else at French Fridays with Dorie made, take a peak here.  Also, if you'd like to purchase Dorie's cookbook and cook along with us, go to Dorie's website.

On a side note, I got to use my v-slicer (mandolin) on the potatoes, which made beautiful, uniform 1/8" slices.  I was very careful with it, so I wouldn't slice anything other than the potatoes.  I used my food processor to grate the Gruyere (to save a little time).  I, of course, sliced my thumb something awful cleaning the food processor blade.  You, lucky reader, are spared the gory pictures (just joking, there are no pictures...too much blood, didn't want to get it on the camera).  After I cut it, I still had to finish dinner (since I had company), so St. James just super glued the cut together.  After a week of it not really healing, I realized it probably should have had a few stitches...but at that point it was too late!  Ah, the things I do to ensure a great meal!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies...hard to resist

Yum!  I saw a picture of these on Tastespotting and when I clicked on the poster's website (Fakeginger) and saw how simple the recipe was (and that I actually had all the ingredients in my pantry), I had to make these immediately.  Even in the middle of the all the Thanksgiving prep that I've been embroiled in all day, I whipped these out in no time.  The boys LOVED them!  St. James said "I've actually been thinking about a cookie like this."  I even got to use my Citrus Sea Salt that I just made.  The perfect touch on this delicious cookie.

What I'm really excited about is that I got an almost good picture, with the look I've been trying to get!  (The only issue I have with this picture is that the right side of the second cookie is not as sharply focused as it could be...but I like the lighting!!!)

You can get the recipe by clicking here.  Make them tonight for someone you love!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My favorite time of the year!

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I really do.  At least, I love the image of the perfect holidays that I imagine I will create for my loved ones each year.  Needless to say, I fall a bit short of perfection each year.  But that doesn't stop me from striving for perfection the next year.  I remember one year, I had purchased and wrapped all my holiday gifts by November 1st.  Boy, I thought I'd hit holiday perfection pay dirt that year!  I even got Christmas cards out to everyone and their brother...before Christmas!

I think what I'm actually trying to recreate is that magical feeling I had as a child.  At Thanksgiving, we'd go to my grandma's place and all my aunts and uncle and cousins would be there.  Grandma would cook for a couple of days and we'd have an amazing meal.  As I got older, I got to help with the cooking.  I learned a lot from my Grandma.  I learned how to mash potatoes and make gravy and read a recipe and tinker with a recipe.  I learned that when you cook with love in your heart, you can taste it in the food.

Kind of like that book that's out now, where the main character can taste the emotions of the person who cooked the food (I loved this book...The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender).  I'm definitely one of those people who feels that a great home cooked meal is a perfect way to show someone how much you care about them.

Obviously, I know striving for the perfect holidays is elusive and kind of silly.  Inevitably, each year, something will mar what could have been perfection.  Sometimes it's a squabble among my siblings (all who feel the same pressure to create perfect holidays), or illness (one of us usually has some nasty cold/flu/bronchitis crap) or a failure to get everything on the list done (what, no Christmas cards sent for the fifth year in a row?).  I also know that in the end, whatever gets done is great, whatever doesn't really didn't need to happen and we always have great holidays anyway!

This weekend I started on my quest for perfection by working on handmade Christmas gifts and preparing for Thanksgiving at my house.  We usually go to San Diego for the holidays, but this year the gang is coming to my house for Turkey Day.  We'll have 17 guests and my plan is to make everything from scratch, including all the pies (well, except for the butter...haven't figured out how to churn butter yet...thank goodness!)  Hopefully, I'll have time to take a few photos along the way and share the fun and festivities!  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week and get to share the holiday with someone you love.

Friday, November 19, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie - roast chicken for les paresseux

It's Friday...yippee!  That means it's time to share another French Fridays with Dorie adventure with all of you.  Since we are still in November, that means we still get to choose which of the four recipes to make.  I've already made the caramel-topped semolina cake and the pumpkin-gorgonzola flans and had the roast chicken and the pommes dauphinois still to choose from.  Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I decided I'd better make these two together, just in case I run out of time (or energy) near the end of the month.  Today I'll share my roast chicken experience and next Friday I'll share the pommes dauphinois.

Since I started doing the FFwD blog posts, I've been exposed to all sorts of wonderful blogs about cooking, food and eating.  Some really talented folks are sharing their creations with us (you can see them here).  After looking at many, many food blogs...I realized that my photos are just not up to par.  For one main!  I know not to shoot with my direct flash, so I'm trying to use ambient light.  The problem with that is I'm often shooting the final product after the sun has gone down.  So my ambient light consists of my overhead kitchen lights.  Just not as nice as sunlight.  I'd just like to say that I realize my photos aren't that great yet...and I'm working on it.  Soon, my photos will look as good as my food tastes (oh yes, don't be food does taste great!  I'm not being immodest...since I'm just following a recipe...I'm not really giving myself that much credit...pick a great recipe...end up with great food!)

I've told you this long sob story about my pictures because this week and next week I don't have any process photos.  I was setting up to take a series of process photos in my living room (where the natural light was fabulous), when company arrived (you know who you are)!  So, I had to stop taking photos and just get on with the cooking.  The lesson I learned is if I'm cooking a FFwD recipe to blog about it, I shouldn't cook it when company's coming (unless it can be made in the morning).  Because I can not cook, take good photos, and entertain company all at the same time.  Ha!

What I can do is cook very tasty food and have a good time with my friends and family.  The roast chicken for les paresseux (lazy people) is hands down the best damn chicken I've ever eaten.  Hands down!  And I think I know the trick that made it so darn good.  Following Dorie's instructions, I flipped the bird over, after it was done, and let it set while I finished cooking the rest of dinner.  The slice of breast meat that I got was succulent.  It was so tender and juicy and tasted like pure essence of chicken.  It was like I had used the sous-vide method to cook it!  I fell in love with this chicken.  Even St. James said "you know, we eat a lot of chicken, so I'm not so crazy about chicken, but this was a good chicken!"  I count that as high praise.  If you want the recipe (and trust me, you want this recipe), you can find it in Dorie's book.

Chickie for lazy people, half way done

Chickie for lazy people, all the way done

Also, did I mention that I had 11 folks for dinner and only cooked one chicken because my lower oven stopped working and I could only fit one chickie in my upper oven.  So, I grilled bone-in chicken breasts on the grill also, to fill in.  When I passed the roast chicken around, I told folks they could all take a little bit, so everyone could try it.  I felt like a terrible hostess...but no one seemed to mind.

I bet many of you are wondering about the bread trick.  Well, I hate to mention it, because I did not share it with my guests.  I put 4 slices of baguette under the chicken and what came out was so close to heaven that I gobbled it all up myself (without the chicken liver...because I'm just not much of a chicken liver kind of girl).  I did take a photo of it, but I'm not sure it does it justice (plus, it's not in focus...bummer).  It was crispy and full of chicken flavor (I did let St. James have one bite and said it was good, but that it was just like eating chicken skin...which I absolutely adore, so no wonder I liked it so much).  For my guests who are reading this, sorry I didn't share.  It's clear I don't really love you enough, and for that I'm sorry.  For eating all the chicken bread myself...I'm not so sorry.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Soup & Homemade Egg Noodles

Tonight I decided to make Chicken soup with homemade egg noodles.  I had a bit of roast chicken and vegetables left over from Sunday night and stock that I had made from the chicken carcass (isn't that a nice word?).  Which is the only reason I decided to make homemade noodles, since all the hard work for the soup was already done.

I heated up the broth, added the chicken and veggies and let them simmer while I made the noodles.  This was my first time making egg noodles and it was a little more difficult than I anticipated.  I followed Pioneer Woman's recipe.  You make egg noodles just like pasta...put flour on a board, make a well, add two eggs for every cup of flour and mix gently with your fingers until the dough comes together.  Then you knead the dough until it's smooth (which breaks down the gluten and makes the pasta tender).  Let the dough rest for a few minutes and then roll it out until it's thin enough to see a magazine cover through it (that's pretty darn thin)!  Cut the dough into thin strips of whatever length you want.

This sounds so darn simple, and I'm sure after I've done this ten or twenty times it will be...but my first time it wasn't too easy.  The dough was VERY sticky after everything was mixed together.  So sticky that I couldn't get more flour out of the container.  Thank goodness Ethan was practicing his Science presentation in the kitchen and could scoop more flour for me!  As he watched me enmeshed in the sticky goop that was hopefully going to become his dinner, he said "I really would like to learn to cook Mom...but I don't think I'll have a stove in my dorm room.  Are dorm rooms kind of like hotel rooms?"  He's definitely a non-linear thinker!

I continued to knead the dough, adding a lot of flour to get it to stop sticking.  After it seemed pretty smooth, I let it rest (and me too!), then rolled it out and cut it with a pizza cutter (cool trick!).  Notice how there are no pictures of all this fun?  With all the sticky dough all over my hands, there was no way to take pictures until the end.  Sorry about that...sticky dough pics would have been nice.

Here are the noodles after I've cut them.  I definitely did not get them rolled out thin enough...couldn't read anything through the dough!

Here's the chicken soup before adding the noodles.

And here's the final product.

The noodles really expand when you cook them, so I could have sliced them a lot thinner.  Even though the noodles weren't fabulous, they were ok and the soup was good.  Ethan ate three bowls of it (growing boy that he is)!

I'm sorry about the pictures...I'm having lighting issues that I'm working on this week.  I hope by next week I'll have a better lighting set up so my pictures will be a lot better!

PS...anyone want to take a pasta making class with me?  I'd love to learn how to do this well.  I have a feeling it could be oh so delicious!

Friday, November 12, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie - Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flan

It's that time of the week again!  I'm loving November's FFwD because we get to choose when we cook which recipe.  (OK...I kind of love it...part of me would rather not have to decide and just be told what to cook when...but I'm coping!)(See what everyone else is making here.)

Have you ever wondered how many pictures a crazy person takes while cooking one of these recipes so that she can then write an interesting blog post about said recipe and cooking experience?  Well, if I told you how many pictures I take on average for just one would definitely think I'm crazy amazing!  So, I'm not going to tell you how many total I usually take, but I thought I'd share with you how many pictures I took for the opening shot.  (This is the total after I deleted all the badly out of focus shots and the ones with terrible glare and the ones I just didn't like at you're still not getting an accurate number, but you're gonna get an idea of how many shots I take.)

Yep, I took 8 shots (plus several really bad ones) to get one I kind of liked.

And, I only liked this one because of the greenery from my backyard sneaking a peak through the window...every thing's not as focused as I would like.

Okay, enough of my boring process stuff.  Here's the good stuff.  This week I chose to make Dorie's pumpkin-gorgonzola flans.  For me, these were a no-brainer.  Everyone here likes loves Gorgonzola, we all like pumpkin and we are HUGE fans of flan!  I figure, put them all together and we're going to have a home run.

Dorie's recipe was super easy!  If you want it, buy her fabulous book!  Heck, it's only $24 on Amazon.  I paid full freight ($40) at Borders.  You won't be sorry you added this to your collection.

Basically, you put the base ingredients in a blender (here's my new one...which I had to buy because St. James broke the blending jar on hoo!).  Then fill up your ramekins, add gorgonzola & walnuts and bake in a water bath.  Seriously, it took me longer to remember how to use my tripod than to actually make this recipe!

Ooh...yummy gorgonzola...I had quite a few nibbles as I was cutting and crumbling it.

Dorie's recipe called for a generous 1/2 cup of gorgonzola...I'm a very generous person!

Before adding gorgonzola & walnuts
After adding gorgonzola & walnuts

So I thought I had enough natural light streaming through the window for these shots, but discovered I really didn't.  Sorry about that!

And the verdict is.....I liked the flan...especially after a few bites.  Neither of the boys liked bite was all they would take.  Which totally shocked me because of their love of the base ingredients.  Oh well.

Anyone want to help me eat flan???

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Fall - Mac & Cheese and Pumpkin Caramel Bacon Bars

I can tell Fall is here.  I have the baking bug something fierce!  First it was pumpkin cream cheese bread, now it's The Barefoot Contessa's Mac & Cheese and Pumpkin Caramel Bacon Bars from Spike.Bakes.  When I saw the recipe for these Bars, I knew I had to make them...immediately!  If you'd like the recipe for the Mac & Cheese or the Bars, just click on the links!

I have to thank my friend Cynthia for turning me on to Ina's Mac & Cheese recipe.  It is soooooo delicious!  I made a huge pan of it and since there are only three of us at home, it means I can eat it for lunch all week (and breakfast too...yep, I'm that kind of left overs for breakfast!).

Just in case the Mac & Cheese isn't enough decadence...I then made Pumpkin Caramel Bacon Bars.  What could be wrong with this?  Not a thing.  The pumpkin bar itself had the texture of pumpkin cookies (I love pumpkin cookies) and the frosting was incredibly yummy.  Before I read the whole recipe, I thought I'd have to find a way to add some of the bacon drippings into the recipe (wouldn't want to waste any of that goodness).  I had to laugh when I saw the recipe for the bars called for some of the bacon drippings!  I wanted to add it to the frosting too, but thought that might mess up the frosting consistency and maybe give it a bad mouth feel (you know, kind of like eating Crisco).  So I restrained myself.  Here are the "bars" out of the oven, before frosting and cutting which would make them actual bars!  Definitely not the greatest subject to photograph, but oh, just you wait until you see the picture of the bar iced, with bacon.  You'll be asking to stop by tonight!

To make the frosting, you have to make honest to goodness caramel.  The kind with sugar and water and cream and butter.  I was scared!  I've never made actual caramel before.  Last week I made a simple caramel for Dorie's cake, but it wasn't full fledged caramel.  I'd heard so many horror stories about caramel seizing and sticking to the pan and destroying lives (well not really destroying lives, but destroying good pans at least).  And, when you want to make hand made caramels at little bakeries, they are always so expensive.  I assumed making caramel was really hard, so I've avoided it.

Guess what, not so much!  It was actually a breeze.  I love that after it's boiled away, you put it in your kitchen aid and whip the snot out of it until it turns into a creamy, lovely caramel.  Then you add lots of cream cheese and've got a decadent, caramelly (not an official word) tangy frosting that you could eat straight out of the bowl (not that I would do such a least not while anyone is looking).

I did not take pictures while I was making the caramel, having to concentrate on actual cooking...but the next time I make it I will definitely take a few pictures.  Here's what the frosting looks like in the bowl.  I tell you, in real life it looks a thousand times more tempting.  Notice there are no finger prints in the frosting?  Those came later!!

And, for the grand's a bar, iced with bacon on top.  Do you think this tastes good?  Let me tell you...oh boy does it!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Treat yourself!

Today, I was working on my project for next week's French Fridays with Dorie and had some extra pumpkin (hmmm, wonder which FFwD recipe I'm making this week?).  So, I decided that I needed to make some pumpkin bread.  But not just any pumpkin bread...I decided to try a new recipe for Pumpkin Bread with a Cream Cheese filing that I found at Joy of Baking.  I always put cream cheese on my pumpkin bread, so why not bake it in?

    Before                                 After

My cream cheese filling seemed quite runny, so it was hard to cover it up with the rest of the batter.  But guess what?  It still looked cool and tasted great!

I also wanted to share something that I bought for myself at Costco that I highly recommend to any and all cooks.

These 4 stainless steel bowls fit neatly inside each other and have a black, rubber bottom.  So, they don't slide around when you are whisking or stirring or doing whatever else you'd like to do in these bowls.  They are beautiful to look at and have a great weight to them.  How things feel is as important to me as how they look.  These just have a really wonderful feel...made me feel like a professional baker when I used them today to make my bread.  They were about $30.

PS...I don't get commission from Costco, just wanted to share a great find!

Friday, November 5, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie...caramel topped semolina cake

For the month of November, we get to select the order in which we make our FFwD recipes.  I decided to start with cake!   I think that's probably a metaphor for my life.  When I saw this recipe in Dorie's book, I was excited to try it, as I'm a closet Cream of Wheat lover.  Growing up, my mom made Fried Mush for breakfast on weekends.  If you've never had Fried Mush, you actually haven't lived.

It's easy to make.  Friday night, cook a pot of cream of wheat and then pour it into a rectangular buttered pan and put it in the fridge overnight.  Saturday morning, slice the now firm cream of wheat into 3 inch squares and remove from pan.  Dip each piece in an egg wash and then in flour.  Fry in a skillet with oil and/or butter until golden brown on each side.  Serve slathered in butter and syrup.  Prepare to be kissed by whoever you have served it to.

Dorie's cake is a little more sophisticated than my mom's Fried Mush, and it's every bit as yummy.  You just make the cake batter, make caramel...put them together in a baking pan and bake.  If you want the full recipe (which you do, trust me) Dorie's book!

Making caramel turned out not to be as hard as I thought it would be.  Just let the water, sugar and lemon boil for a few minutes.  When it starts to turn color, you want to watch it closely.  It only takes a few moments and then it's ready!

Cake batter ready for the oven

Baking, starting to rise
Waiting to be flipped

Isn't that lovely!
I was a little skeptical at this point as to whether or not the cake would actually come out in one piece when I flipped it.  I was very happily surprised when it did and admonished myself for even doubting Dorie!
Up close, and oh so personal!
Once again, I used a 9" pan instead of an 8".  I guess I don't have any 8" pans in my house...hmmm.    I also used these beautiful princess sun dried raisins that I picked up at the farmer's market last weekend (rather than golden raisins that were called for in the recipe...which probably would have been a little prettier in the recipe.) This is a fairly simple recipe, reminiscent of flan and bread pudding (both huge favorites in our house) and I think it will become a new staple.  So, if you come to dinner, don't be surprised if you get this for dessert!

Wondering what everyone else at FFwD made this week?  Check them out here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brussel Sprouts & Bacon...some say yeah...some say nay!

I am a brussel sprouts lover. Always have been. I was the only one of my siblings who liked brussel sprouts growing up. Good for me, my mom and I got to eat them all! Unfortunately, James has always HATED brussel sprouts. He calls them nasty, bitter little cabbages. I've always maintained that he's never tried one properly cooked. In all our years together, I've not been able to convince him to try my brussel sprouts. That is, not until tonight. Tonight I cooked my beloved brussel sprouts with bacon (a food beloved mightily by James and Ethan), in an effort to get the boys to try them and actually like them. I was partly successful. The boys both tried them. Ethan said they were ok and ate all of his...James said they were still bitter and if he could infuse them completely with the bacon flavor, maybe he'd like them then. Oh well, I thought they were totally yummy & beautiful and at least I got James to try them!

If you want to make them yourself, here's all you need: 
6 ozs thick cut bacon
1 lb brussel sprouts (cleaned and cut in half)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 dash of sugar
Salt & Pepper

Cook the bacon in a deep skillet over medium heat until crisp, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and put on a paper towel to drain.  Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Remove from skillet, if there's not enough bacon fat left, add a couple of tablespoons of butter.  Add brussel sprouts and saute until golden brown, about five minutes.  Add bacon and onions/garlic back to pan and a dash of sugar, season with salt and pepper, mix and cover pan.  Cook 8-10 minutes until brussel sprouts are just tender, stirring occasionally.

Yummy Goodness!