oh joy of joys! food processing is no longer a dream (a lovely dream at that)! but rather, a reality: it sits so stately on my kitchen countertop, proud and so smooth.

we celebrated the lawrence family christmas this past weekend in ada, ohio. from the corners of the midwest we trickled, happily snuggling into my nanny and poppy’s cozy house.  this is the first in a number of years we’ve not congregated in chicago for a post-christmas eating, shopping, going-to-see-a-show frenzy. 

of course, we orchestrated our weekend together around our food: cookies from detroit and wausau cookie exchanges, mock-cinnabon rolls and kringle for christmas eat-in at church, and our big meal of mixed baby green salad with blue cheese and dried cherries, home-made pierogies from the miller family, blackened steak (which i heard was quick fantastic). we topped the night off with the family classic, home-made crème brûlée.

and while this was all good and fun, my excitement came somewhere between the kringle and the salad… the family collaborated and cooperated and got me my very own CUISINART! oh me, oh my!  as i opened the box and gasped, jumped, and carried on like a four-year old, i began to smell fresh garlic sauce emulsifying in the heart of this machine. then i saw pie dough pearling up perfectly.  and then i imagined that bewildered amazement at the consistent size of my chopped carrots and squash and potatoes for soup. oh, the recipes and the produce and the pastries! i was quickly overwhelmed.

yesterday, upon arriving back to my house in detroit, i decided i had to break this baby in with something  delicious and new for my roommates and myself.  but as we are all slipping out of town today and tomorrow,  my goal was to make something with out tons of leftovers.

so sit back and enjoy the creamy texture of this green herbed salsa, more like a sweet and tangy pesto, and raw brussels sprout salad.

green herbed salsa
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 small red onion
1 ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
a good sprinkle of dried basil
1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

put all these in the food processor and run until smooth! mine turned really creamy, into more of a pesto or peanut butter-esque consistency, but was delicious with carrots, tortilla chips, and crackers. the original recipe called for 1/2 cup fresh cilantro and 1/2 cup fresh basil. also, this would be even creamier with oil, but i was trying oil-free for this portion of my snack!

raw brussels sprout salad
1 1/2 pound brussels sprouts fresh off the stalk
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 scallions
1/2 small red onion
2 pinches of salt
1/4 cup toasted almonds
crumbles of goat cheese

shred the brussels sprouts very thinly (by hand, mandoline, or… food processor!).  

set the shredded sprouts aside.  place remaining ingredients (minus the goat cheese) in the food processor and process with the pulser until chunky, or alternatively chop.
toss the dressing with the brussels.  overly excited about using the slicing attachment, i processed too much brussels for the amount of dressing made.  it was a bit dry, but still delicious, and easily fixed with an extra squirt of lemon and drizzle of oil.  sprinkle with crumbles of goat cheese and enjoy!

(can you my glee, my pleasure, my thrill with this machine?)