Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Hash

Hi friends! I’ve had a few hiccups in my life this month, but I’m back- with tons on my mind. Most urgently, I’d like to discuss Brussels sprouts.

Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Hash 3
I may have mentioned this before, but I absolutely adore Brussels sprouts. They’re adorable mini cabbages, they’re a little trendy, but most of all- sprouts are insanely delicious. When you caramelize some sprouts and add bacon and sautéed onions, it’s a feast! And when you addsome eggs and bake for a while, you have the most amazing breakfast hash.
Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Hash 2
Seriously, I’ve made plenty of sprouts-and-bacon combinations for dinner, but the eggs were an unexpectedly tasty edition that moved my side dish into breakfast territory (or, let’s be real, a perfect duty-day dinner). Though this hash is the result of a happy accident (why on earth were there three pounds of sprouts in my fridge?) it will absolutely be in heavy rotation this winter- it’s tasty, filling, and a great way to sneak some veggies into breakfast. Even folks who don’t share my irrational passion for Brussels sprouts will enjoy this dish- the bacon and sautéed onions are the most dominant flavors. Give it a try- I’d be surprised if this dish didn’t inspire an appreciate for sprouts in anyone.
Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Hash
– 2 dozen or so Brussels sprouts (about 3 cups chopped)
– 6 slices bacon
– 1/2 sweet onion
– salt and pepper
– 3 eggs
Prepare your ingredients: rinse the sprouts, and then slice them into quarters. Slice the bacon into very thin strips, and julienne the onion. Crack the eggs into a bowl to make sure that they’re all good, and set aside (don’t stir). Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare the hash: heat a cast iron (or other oven safe) skillet on medium high. Add the bacon and cook for a minute or two. Add the onion, and stir to coat with bacon grease. Cook the bacon and onions for three or four minutes, until the bacon is nearly cooked through and the onion is getting translucent, or beginning to get some color. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan, and stir to coat (at this point, you may also need to add some olive oil, depending on the fat content of your bacon- you don’t want standing oil, but you also don’t want dry sprouts). Let the sprouts stand for about two minutes, then turn. Allow to cook about two minute more and turn again. Repeat once or twice more, until the sprouts start to gain a bit of color. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add eggs: once the sprouts are a bit golden around the edges and are seasoned appropriately, pour the eggs over the top and move to the oven. Now, I like my eggs to be pretty firmly set, so they were in the oven for about 16 minutes. For normal people, who like soft cooked eggs, that time will, be closer to 10-12 minutes- adjust to your preferred level of done-ness. Remove from the oven, and serve with hot sauce or salsa, if desired. Enjoy hot with some toast for sopping!

After the Wedding: How the Gloves Split Their Finances

Well, hello again, hive! In my last ‘after the wedding’ post, I explained that McGlovin and I are most effective when we work independently towards a shared goal. Once we are clear on our objectives, there’s no need for either of us to micromanage because we’re pretty clear on the division of responsibilities and we have absolute faith that we’re both doing our part. This style has worked for us when we were planning our wedding, when we arrange vacations, when we embark on home renovations and when we handle our finances. Yep- we know it’s uncommon, but McGlovin and I still have separate finances and no plans to combine them anytime soon!

So here’s some back-story: when McGlovin and I started dating, we immediately fell into a pattern of alternating who paid for dinner or movie tickets or things. When we moved in together we continued to split things somewhat evenly- I think he paid for our rent, and I paid for insurance, utilities and groceries. We bought a house, and now he pays the mortgage and insurance, and I continue to pay for utilities, our car insurance, groceries, etc. There’s just never been a real reason to combine finances, and keeping them separate seems to work for us.

When people learn about this arrangement they usually have tons of questions- I’ll try to answer some of those now!

Q: So, wait, your money stays totally separate? A: Yes. My paycheck goes into my bank account, his goes in to his. We each have health insurance taken out (somehow, it’s cheaper for each of us to have our own insurance) and we each have money put into retirement accounts. I don’t have access to his bank accounts and he doesn’t have access to mine. We could, but…why? We check in pretty regularly about whats in each of ours.

Q: How do you control discretionary spending, then? A: Well- we each spend whatever we want on whatever we want to buy. We don’t have a rule about telling each other when we’re buying things, but we would never hide it or judge…he knows that I spent some dollars on a bag a few months ago, and I recently learned about how expensive chain saws are…it’s crazy! And we usually talk about bigger things, like computers or other big ticket items. But we each use our own money, and stay on track with our financial assignments, so we’re good.

Q: Ok, so you each spend all of your money? A: No. Although all of our money is separate, we do tons of planning for our dollars. McGlovin is responsible for savings, and we check in regularly with that. We are saving for the long term, but also for shorter term items like vacation and a kitchen renovation. As for me…I’m responsible for paying my debt. I went to a private Catholic school for undergrad, and graduated with a serious amount of student loans, so a huge amount of my money goes to paying back those loans. Any money in our checking accounts after paying what we’re supposed to is ours, though.

Q: How does everything balance out? A: surprisingly well. McGlovin makes more money than I do, so he’s responsible for paying for more things (I count our mortgage and savings as paying for things, in addition to paying for date nights and vacation spending and things). He also tends to spend a tiny bit more money than I do, because he has it; for example, he has a higher car payment, because he was okay with budgeting that. I bought a less expensive car, because I’d rather spend my money on things that aren’t car payments. So we’re each pretty happy with our standard of living.

Q: That’s all well and good for right now, but what are you going to do when you have kids? A: I have no idea how that will affect us. To be honest, I imagine that we continue to each pay for some things- he’ll be the one taking them to the doctor, due to his schedule, so he’ll probably pay for that and likely childcare. I’m the one with a Prime membership, so I bet that I pay for diapers and things that need to be shopped for, like clothes.

Q: I still don’t understand why your finances are separate, since you are open about your spending and seem to be on the same page. Wouldn’t it be easier to just put everything together? A: Ok, here’s the thing: I bank with USAA. I love their customer service, their fee free ATM situation, and the fact that I never need to go to a bank for anything. McGlovin loves his local bank- he likes the people that work there, he likes to go in for his transactions, and he likes knowing that he has a local contact for any financial need. Neither of us wants to switch to the other, so we keep our banking separate. Yep- we’re a married couple with separate finances due to our irrational banking preferences.Our financial planner has approved this 🙂

So that’s what we do. Neither of us has direct access to the other person’s money, but we still consider all of the money in our relationship “one pot”- it just lives in difference places. If we ever needed to reallocate dollars from one account to the other it would absolutely not be an issue. Mostly, though, we just regulate our allocation by adjusting who pays for what. We know it’s not a conventional way for couples to handle things, but our separate finances has been working for us so far!

Tell me, hive- do any of you maintain separate finances, or plan to after marriage? Is there a specific reason why, or why not?