Flour and Flowers | A Kitchen and Garden Blog

Posts tagged “recipes

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?


Potatoes In Many Forms: Easy Roasted Potatoes

It’s a nasty day outside – cold, wet, grey, miserable – and I’m sitting inside in the almost-dark thinking about Thanksgiving and all the intense cooking and eating in the next few days.  Most years, my sister and I go all out and make a feast, regardless of how many people we’re expecting.  This year my sister can’t come home and I have a newborn, so Thanksgiving will be in the capable hands of my in-laws and I’m only a contributor.  I am contributing my famous Caramelized Brussels Sprouts (easy), and a pumpkin cheesecake (easy).  Which is making me think about all the incredibly easy recipes there are out there and how, even with a new baby, I should be cooking more.

Potatoes are one of the most versatile and comforting foods there is.  They can be prepared in so many ways, some healthy, some not so healthy; they can be simple or supplemented with delicious additives (like ranch dressing – thanks to Hidden Valley ads during Agents of Shield on HuluPlus, I’ve been craving mashed potatoes with ranch dressing for weeks).  Every time someone fixes them for me, I remember how much I love them and how I should make them more often.  Potatoes last a really long time, so they aren’t one of the “emergency – eat these now” vegetables, which also makes them a good stand-by.

This “recipe” could not be easier.  It’s so easy that I wouldn’t even call it a recipe – I’d call it a cooking style.  (I do actually apply this general style to almost all the veggies I cook – it’s excellent for broccoli and brussels sprouts also.)  Since there’s no real measuring, you can make as many or as few potatoes as you want.  These potatoes make a great side dish for dinner, or a simple substitute for fancier hash browns at breakfast.  And if you’re like me and you like to use your hands rather than utensils, the olive oil is great for your skin!

Easy Roasted Potatoes

  1. Cut up some small potatoes, however many you have or want (I had about five yukon gold here).
  2. Toss them in some olive oil, salt, and chopped rosemary (or whatever herb/spice you have around).
  3. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes, until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. (You should be able to stick a fork straight in with no trouble.)
  4. Serve hot.

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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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…)


Sweet Potato Fritters

This is another case of a recipe I found by accident that I had to make immediately. I love sweet potatoes, and Calin generally doesn’t, so anything I can do with them that I think he might actually eat is always welcome.  Also, fritters are some of my favorite things – probably just because of the word – so they’re high on my list of things to learn how to make.  If I’d known before I became an addict just how fried these little buggers are, I might have tried to stay away…

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Cupcake Friday: Better-Than-Box-Mix Cupcakes

Happy Cupcake Friday!

I made these cupcakes ages ago, and somehow managed to save them until I had started a Cupcake Friday feature on my blog.  How appropriate! Don’t they look delicious?  Now I want to make more this weekend… (more…)


Tomato-Glazed Meatloaf – Smitten Kitchen

For my first Smitten Kitchen recipe, I decided to go with savory. We needed dinner. I actually meant to make the Roasted Fingerling and Carrot Coins, but then I decided we needed a main course, and by the time I figured that out, it was too much food to have both. So instead we had the Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves.

They were supposed to be made with brown butter mashed potatoes, but I lost a little momentum by then, so I just made regular mashed potatoes, with the yukon gold potatoes I had been planning to use for the roasted fingerlings.  I’ll make the brown butter ones for another post.

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