Flour and Flowers | A Kitchen and Garden Blog

Posts tagged “dinner

Smitten Kitchen’s Broccoli Pesto and a new website discovery

I know it seems like I’ve stopped eating, but I promise I haven’t. I even still take pictures of most of the things I cook (usually), they just never make it this far. This one I just took with my phone as I reheated last night’s leftovers for lunch today – but that counts, right?

First, the exciting news. I’ve discovered my new favorite website/tool – Pepperplate – which basically consolidates recipes from the internet or inside your head and lets you tag them, sort and search them, meal plan, and make shopping lists from the ingredients.  For free.  It has a few quirks, and things I think it’s missing (I’ve annoyingly emailed them every time I find something), but it’s a great tool and it’s allowing me to move away from my immense piles of printed recipes that I can’t ever find or remember I have to something much more useful.  It also partners with Smitten Kitchen, which is both awesome and dangerous, because it means I am spending inordinate amounts of time on her site looking through all the billions of recipes I want to make.  Which leads me to the Broccoli Pesto.

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Broccoli is one of those things.  I love it.  Calin does not love it.  We agree to disagree, but he still has to eat it sometimes, so I’m always on a quest to find broccoli recipes that he will eat and hopefully enjoy at least a little bit.  When I discovered this recipe, I immediately added it to Pepperplate (see where that comes in?) to make soon – because pesto! and pasta! and broccoli! and kind of easy!  Well, the reality didn’t come out quite as well, but it was absolutely worth trying, and I’m definitely going to tweak it for us in the future.

Problem 1: My garlic and onions were both sprouting.  In garlic, I think that makes it stronger, but apparently in onions it makes them more mild, because the onion flavor was minimal.

Problem 2: I lost the garlic.  Seriously, one minute it was there, and the next minute it was gone.  I finally found it hiding in with the broccoli, dutifully steamed.  Weird.  So I added another clove, but that one didn’t get cooked long enough, so I ended up with this weird combo of faux-roasted and raw garlic.

Problem 3: I didn’t have any heavy cream.  I used half 1% milk and half plain yogurt instead.  Definitely different, and less flavor, but better for us…

Problem 4: I overcooked the broccoli.  There’s no getting around this one.

So the pesto was tasty, but a little bland (I also didn’t measure the salt or pepper, because I’m lazy), and Calin’s verdict was that he would probably rather just eat broccoli.  Or, preferably, not eat broccoli at all.  So, success for me but still a no-go in the “eating more broccoli” department.  Oh well.  The leftovers were actually pretty good, too.  I think I’ll try fixing the problems first, and then maybe see if I can add some other things to make the flavor stronger if that isn’t enough.

Do you have reliable go-to broccoli recipes you’d recommend?

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Caramelized Brussels Sprouts – Joy of Cooking

My relationship with Joy of Cooking got off to a rocky start, but things are definitely looking up.  I don’t think I ever got around to telling my Joy of Cooking story, so now’s as good a time as any.  And then I’ll get around to the Brussels Sprouts.

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Super Bowl Cooking Extravaganza

I’m slowly easing my way back into this here blogging thing…  And by “slowly” I mean “sometimes I get around to it”.  Anyway, back in February there was this thing called the Super Bowl, or at least that’s what they told me.  I have no interest in football at any point, and not a whole lot more when there’s a trophy at stake (although the Idaho Potato Bowl, which has a bowl of potatoes as a trophy, is pretty awesome), but I do like excuses to make tasty food.  And what better excuse to invite people over to eat said tasty food than this once-a-year commercial party that apparently people like to watch?

This year we ended up with more people than usual, because that’s the way these things seem to be going in my life (check back for the Easter post in about two months, there’ll be more of that).  I’m going to assume that’s because people like it when I cook things for them, and that it makes me a good party host, because that’s nicer than assuming that people just don’t say no.  But regardless, we had lots of mouths to feed this time around, and we decided to go a bit overboard.  The menu included Stuffed Baby Potatoes, Slow Cooker BBQ Cranberry Meatballs, Artichoke Spinach Dip, and Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes (which I’ve been promising for a while). I’m actually going to give the cupcakes their own post, since they were featured on Cupcake Friday with the original recipe, and they deserve the honors of their own Cupcake Friday now that I actually made them. But the others I’ll write about here.

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Most Excellent Pot Pies

In honor of the first day of Spring, I’m posting a recipe for a classic fall dish. Figures…

This was meant to be a collaborative post with Alimonkee, but sadly I wasn’t able to get the pictures put together in time. So I think we’re both going to be posting our own versions of the same cooking event. (And by “going to” I mean that Alice posted hers *months* ago, and I never finished my draft until now.) Also, due to some mishaps with lighting and trying to use a camera-phone, less of the documentation turned out well than I’d hoped, so the pictures are a little different.

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Thanksgiving: Broccoli Cheese Casserole

This year for Thanksgiving (yes, I’m finally getting around to the Thanksgiving posts), we initially decided we would be making “green bean casserole that doesn’t suck”. Two years in a row we have made green bean casserole that does suck, and for some strange reason for the third year we decided maybe we should do something different. Who knows – maybe we’re just tired of not wanting to eat our greens?

The broccoli casserole is on the right side, around the middle.

I looked around for alternative recipes and actually found a few that looked promising, but then I found this recipe in my new Joy of Cooking cookbook (there’s a story behind that – I promise I’ll tell you later) and thought maybe the solution to green bean casserole that doesn’t suck was to skip the green beans! We all love broccoli (and anyone who doesn’t should learn – it’s the vegetable of champions), and we definitely all love cheese, so really how could we go wrong?

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Thanksgiving 2012: A Survival Guide

Well, we made it.  I feel a bit as if I’ve just emerged from a food-coma-induced cloud, only to discover that someone filled my fridge with delicious leftovers.

Since this is my third annual Biggest Little Thanksgiving, I thought I had this down.  I thought that making a ton of food was making a ton of food; because it is, isn’t it?  I failed to take into account two important factors: 1) the size/quantity of the bird(s), and 2) people, and therefore time.

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Pumpkin in Many Forms: Drunken Pumpkin Chili

Thanksgiving was yesterday, but Calin and I celebrated with his family, which this year meant that I didn’t cook anything.  I showed up in my apron and looked busy staying out of the kitchen while everyone else did the hard work.  We did bring cream cheese and some of my pepper jelly as appetizers for the chefs and onlookers, which I suppose counts for something…

Don’t worry – we are doing my family’s Thanksgiving on Sunday, so I’ll have loads of things for you next week. But since I didn’t do any of my own chefing, I don’t have a real Thanksgiving post for you today.  But I don’t want to leave you with nothing to read on this beautiful no-work Friday, with your full tummies and relaxing souls, so here’s another episode of Pumpkin Love.

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Continuing my fall obsession with pumpkin, I found this fantastic recipe for pumpkin chili.  This is perfect because 1) chili is the easiest, tastiest soup I know, and I make lots of it in cold weather, and 2) it has pumpkin in it, which makes it feel even more seasonal.  I wasn’t 100% sure how the flavors would work out, since I don’t usually combine pumpkin with savory things (other than ravioli, which I haven’t made but I really want to), but love of pumpkin and love of chili combined to make this something I just had to try.

Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t quite go as planned, and I didn’t have an evening where we would actually be home to eat chili! So I decided to make it as an all-day crockpot extravaganza and have a week night dinner instead.  This, of course, meant that I had to modify the original recipe, because it was designed for real cooking rather than slow cooking. (more…)