Monday, August 29, 2011

Robin O'Bryant Makes You Want to Eat Brussel Sprouts

 Hello everyone! Get ready to meet an awesome writer folks. Robin O'Bryant is the mother of three daughters, the wife of one husband, and a syndicated humorist, author and blogger. She (barely) survives the hilarity of motherhood by pretending twitter is her house and by making fun of herself on her blog, Robin's Chicks. There she writes life-changing posts for mothers on the relevant subjects such as: *how to breastfeed behind your back, how to talk to your daughters about man parts, and how to write a proper goldfish obituary.

*Only applies to lactating woman with a DD cup or larger.

So Robin, let’s say a couple of your characters are raiding your fridge right now, what are they most likely to eat? Are they disappointed or excited about what they find?

I write non-fiction humor about my family, so my husband would be stoked to find leftover Beef and Broccoli using The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Beef and Snow Peas. It's so good I've eaten it for breakfast before.
Aubrey, my 7-year-old, is my pickiest eater so she would be most impressed by the over-processed chicken nuggets in the freezer and the gallon of ketchup I just bought. Emma, my 5-year-old and Sadie, my 2-year-old, love to eat and eat well. They would be stoked to find leftover barbeque chicken, homemade scalloped potatoes smothered in cheddar cheese and green beans I *snapped myself.
(*While cussing. It took FOREVER and a day.)

My oldest boy would love those potatoes as well. Oh, and the ketchup is a must at our house too. What are three must-have foods/seasonings in your kitchen?
Salt, pepper, & fresh garlic.
When we moved to Mississippi my best friend, a.k.a. Sister Wife, helped me unpack my kitchen and she openly mocked me for the hundred jars of spices I own. A few weeks later we were in a cooking class at theViking Cooking School here in my new hometown of *Greenwood, MS and the instructor said, “You can always tell someone is a good cook by the number of spices they own. A good cook knows how to properly season food.” Which I used as an opportunity to maturely turn to Sister Wife and say, “BOOM! In your face!”
(*Fun fact: The Help was filmed here last summer and tons of my friends and their kids are in the movie as extras.)

Speaking of something fun, can you share a bit about your next project?
I've written two books, the first is a completed collection of non-fiction humor. My work in progress is a collection of essays about how my relationship with God has changed and deepened as a result of reaching rockbottom becoming a mother. But there is still PLENTY of funny. (Trust me on this.) I am in the editing, revising & rewriting stage which is about as fun as cooking collards. (See below.) Hopefully this book will be completed by the end of the year and ready for her to sell! If you want more info about my book/writing sitch, you can check out this post I wrote for my agent's blog.

You have talked about food on your blog many times can you tell us about your edible specialty, and rate your skill in the kitchen: novice, not bad, or nominate me for a Michelin star.
My specialty is definitely Southern soul food. My chicken fried steak is legendary- the meat is tender but the edges are crispy and golden brown. My meatloaf is mixed with sautéed garlic, bell pepper and onions and topped with a homemade balsamic barbecue sauce that will make you want to slap yo Momma. I've had grown folks lick their plates to get to the rest of my garlic mashed potatoes. (It was me, but that still counts, right?) I'd say go ahead and give me a Michelin star. I started out cooking like I'd seen my Momma & my Grandmother cook, but things quickly escalated to full-on foodie DEFCON-1 when I got my own kitchen.

Fill in the blanks:
Writing and editing books is like cooking collard greens from scratch. You have to clean all the dirt of them by wash them dozens of times, chop them up and stuff them bit by bit into a stock pot. The pile of collard greens you start with looks too enormous for the largest pot in your kitchen. You look at them and think, “This will never work.” But leaf by leaf, you add them to the pot. You cook them slowly and eventually, the pile of greens is no longer on the counter but stewing in the pot. The process is painstakingly slow and makes your entire house smells like a fart. You know it's worth it when you get taste the final product. Spicy and savory, with a depth of flavor you can't get out of a can and the satisfaction of knowing, “I made this.”
If you were marooned on an island, and Pots 'N Pens granted your wish for only one book and one food, what would you choose?
Pizza--magical gluten-free pizza that tastes just like the real deal, with pepperoni and sliced banana peppers.
As clichéd as it may sound, I'd say the Bible. If I'm going to be stuck on an island with one book, I'd want to read something that would give me strength and it's the only book I've read on a regular basis my entire life. Unless Bear Grylls has written a book entitled, “How To Get The Hell Off That Island You're Marooned Upon,” then I would definitely want that instead.

HA! The second choice would be beneficial.

What favorite recipe do you have for us today?
The Best Brussel Sprouts in The History of The World
(If you think you don't like brussel sprouts then you haven't tried mine.)

You need:
1 lb of brussel sprouts, rinsed
3 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
4 strips of bacon
1/4 cup of beer, white wine or chicken stock (Do what you want, but I say BEER ME!)
Chop the tough stem off the bottom of each sprout, then cut them into quarters. The brown outer leaves will naturally fall off, discard only the yuck ones. (That is a technical cooking term.)

Chop 'em up.

Cook the bacon in your great-grandmother's black skillet until crisp.
If you don't have one, I'm sorry. You're great-grandmother probably loves you just as much as the cousin she left her skillet to after she died. Do the best you can. Then get one. (Seriously, check estate sales and antique shops. Don't buy one new.) Take the bacon out of the grease. Chop it up and set it aside.

Then dump your quartered brussel sprouts into the bacon grease. Did I stutter? Brussel sprouts. IN THE GREASE. Do it.
You're going to want to stir them but don't. Let the sprouts cook without stirring for 4-5 minutes on medium high heat. NOW you may stir them. Cook for another 2-3 minutes then add your minced garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 more minutes, add your liquid of choice. (That sounded nasty, didn't it?) Then cook until the liquid is absorbed/evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. NOW you may dump your chopped bacon on top and toss in the browned, yummy, garlicky goodness!
Thank you so much! To have more laughs with Robin O'Bryant click on over to


  1. I actually love brussel sprouts and have 4 stalks in my garden waiting for me to pick them. I love this recipe. I totally plan on trying it out. I currently do something similar with garlic, chix stock and when that evaporates I finish the sprouts off with some seasoned rice wine vinegar. yum.
    I have to say, bacon sounds better! :)

  2. I love brussels sprouts! And just had to tell you that Pioneer Woman's Beef and Snow Peas is absolutely the most amazing to die for dish I've ever made from a recipe off of her blog. It is seriously delish!

  3. Ansha let me know what you think and Kimberly, that stuff is AMAZING. We are addicted.

  4. like the comparison of editing to cooking collard greens!

  5. This post totally cheered my up. Anything with bacon is just a beautiful thing.

  6. Ha, Robin! I love your sense of humor. I think we're kindred spirits. :)

  7. I was totally not on board with the brussel sprout thing until you brought bacon into the mix... and then it was a totally different story;)

  8. I make these all the time, and even my three-year-old loves them! So good, and Robin is a hoot!