Flour and Flowers | A Kitchen and Garden Blog

Posts tagged “sauce

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.


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?


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.


Apple Picking is Good for the Soul: Part 3 – Apple Butter

My grandmother used to make my sister and I “sandwiches” of cream cheese and apple butter on what our friend Laura called “tissue bread” – wonder bread.  Not only was it wonder bread, but she cut off the crusts for us – how decadent!  I’m not big on wonder bread, but I did love those sammiches (they’re one of my fondest memories of my grandmother), so I have a serious soft spot for apple butter.

cream cheese and apple butter english muffins

When I had the overabundance of apples recently, I decided that along with applesauce and apple crisp, I should probably try making apple butter.  I didn’t have a go-to recipe, because I’ve never made it before, but I thought I’d try out an old reliable – Joy of Cooking.  (In retrospect, this was a mistake.  I love cookbooks, but sometimes a recipe with comments and ratings is more reliable.  But how was I to know?) **Please see the note with the recipe – this might not have been such a mistake if I’d actually read the recipe correctly…  I’m going to put this one down to half Purple-fail and half Joy-of-Cooking formatting fail.


Indonesian Peanut Chicken

I was scrolling through my recipe books last weekend when I found some copied pages out of the Mount Dessert Island Cookbook.  We’re always looking for new chicken recipes, so I filed this one away for memory after writing down a few random ingredients (chunky peanut butter, cilantro) to get at the store. (Oddly, I didn’t write them all down. Just a few. Which is why we didn’t have peanut oil or garlic – see notes on the recipe.)  Then I forgot about it.  A few days ago, I found the cilantro in the fridge and remembered that there was something I meant to make with it.  But I didn’t remember what, so I had to go trolling through my recipe books again.  It took two passes by this recipe to catch on that it was the right one, but I’m glad I finally got it!

This chicken, by experiment standards, was fast and easy.  Despite my half-hearted efforts, I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I faked it (as usual), and it still turned out remarkably well.  And we got to eat dinner before 7:00, which puts this solidly in the “try this again” recipe category. (more…)

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple and Soy

Calin’s mom and stepdad came over for round two of Calin’s birthday dinners.  Charlotte brought chicken and salad fixings, but I offered to try out another of my new experimental recipes to go with it, since I already had the squash on hand.  The recipe was up in the air, but when I realized that the chicken was in a ginger sauce, I realized I had to go ahead with the real recipe in the cookbook – maple syrup, soy sauce, and fresh grated ginger.



Mustard has long been my mother’s Christmas gift of choice, especially for family. I’ve been an appreciator, but never a participant in the process.  But suddenly, this year, I found myself in the middle of holiday chaos – New family! Extra gifts needed! So much to do and so little time and money!  And my  mother said “Why don’t you make mustard with me?” And a new tradition was born.