Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Leeks and Bacon

 OK, yes, I HATED brussel sprouts growing up. HATED. THEM. I was pretty picky (so weird considering I love to try new things now) but that was, like, top of the list. I had no idea why anyone would ever choose to eat those things. Well, one day in recent years, I just decided to try them again. I had never had them roasted, only steamed, which could have been the problem. I am not a big fan of steamed veggies period. I LOVE them raw, grilled and roasted, but spare me on the mushy steamed version.

 Anyway, I LOVED these little guys roasted. I came up with this recipe for Thanksgiving a couple years ago and it was a big hit.

Marinated Skirt Steak and Chimichurri Sauce

Like most of the recipes here at McMillen Kitchen... yea it sounds fancy. Is it difficult to pull off? Not at all. This recipe is a summer favorite. A simple marinade and a quick sauce that makes for a vibrant and delicious meal, trust me when I say you will want to make enough for leftovers!

Creamy Garlic and Parmesan Polenta

To me, polenta was always this fancy, daunting, impossible dish. It seemed like it was a ton of work, easy to screw up and honestly, I was intimidated. For the sake of my ego, I decided to show polenta who is boss. Things worked out well for me and everyone who ate dinner at our house that night. Not only is this the perfect side dish to just about anything, it really is EXTREMELY easy and insanely inexpensive. This makes a huge batch... you could easily cut it in half for 2-4 people.


Crispy Garlic and Herb Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are easy and inexpensive enough to throw together on a weeknight, but juicy and tender enough to be the star of the show at a dinner party. This is a recipe I have come up with after ending up with rubbery baked chicken FAR too many times. These go great with my parmesan polenta, a simple green salad or whatever veggies you have in the fridge.

Italian Pressed Sandwhiches

This one is definitely a splurge but an easy and delicious way to feed a lot of people. I've made these on two different occasions to bring along wine tasting in Napa. After the 4th winery, these little guys probably saved some lives. I love that they are compact and not too messy, great to bring to potlucks, BBQs, picnics and parties. I have yet to meet someone who didn't love them... although that could be the wine.