Last weekend I was able to get away for a girl’s night in Frederick, Maryland. My sister was turning thirty and decided a trip out of town with her closest girlfriends would be a fun way to ring in the milestone birthday! I have to admit, the thirties are my favorite thus far. I would hear people say the same when I was in my twenties and couldn’t help but imagine that their twenties were not nearly as adventurous as mine (ah…the guileless arrogance..). How could it get any better than the free and explorative years of the twenties? But they were right…thirty brings a certain maturity and wisdom gained through the roller coaster years that passed.
I undoubtedly, know myself much more than ever before and feel comfortable in my skin. The thirties have brought a knowledge of my strengths, an appreciation for my weaknesses and a love for the simpler things in life (hence, the start of this blog). Snuggles with my children, sipping sweet tea on the front porch on a gorgeous day and enjoying a delicious meal I prepared with my entire family are all moments I live for.
My appreciation for food (and good food for that matter) has certainly grown over the years as well. I’ve not only learned that I can hold my own behind a stove but my gratitude for a perfectly seasoned and well-prepared dish has multiplied. This makes traveling even more fun as my palate has the pleasure of being introduced to new cultures and regional specialties.
Our trip to Frederick proved no different as we explored a local winery and a downtown restaurant. The winery, Links Bridge Vineyards, offered a few varietals I had never experienced and paired our selections with an Ash Goat cheese (yes, there was ASH in the goat cheese!). The accompanying salami plate was amazing and the atmosphere picturesque. I was personally giddy over the five Rhode Island Reds clucking around the property!
Our evening accommodations were at an air B&B walking distance to downtown Frederick. The house was perfect for the five of us and allowed us to enjoy the walk through Frederick Park to downtown. The city has an artistic flair and had we not spent so much time relaxing on the front porch or primping for dinner, I would have loved to explore the shops strung along the cobblestone roads. Dinner at Brewers Alley was equally enjoyable and where my inspiration for this post was drawn from. We selected a few appetizers for the table, and as per my usual preference, I suggested the brussels sprouts. Well they were out of this world!! The entire table loved them and I came home eager to reinvent what I had eaten! Guided by my ever-maturing taste buds I whipped this up and feel like it was pretty darn close to what I ate in Frederick. Exact or not, its delicious and worth sharing! Did I mention, it’s easy?!
Take a trip to Frederick if you can…and in the meantime, try this and enjoy!
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and quartered
4 slices of bacon, chopped
Balsamic Vinegar, barrel aged
Place Brussels sprouts in a roasting pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add chopped bacon, drizzle with olive oil and toss. Roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes (until sprouts are tender). Remove from oven and immediately toss with syrupy balsamic vinegar. Serves 4.
**I used Hare Hollow’s Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar and it was perfect. The company is local in Towson, Maryland. You can find their products at harehollow.com.