Monday, May 30, 2011

Grillin' & Chillin'

It's memorial day weekend which means the grills are firing up and the smell of burgers and hot dogs are in the air.  My house was no exception!!  My Saturday started off with a nice trip to the broadripple farmers market with Lauren.  We found out that a lot of the arugula and turnip crops were damaged due to the rain we have had.  That is so upsetting to me.  These farmers work so hard all year round and then in just a few days it is ruined.  My main reason for going to the market was to get some arugula and pea sprouts.  Needless to say no arugula for me.  I did walk away with some yummy pea shots, local spicy mustard, fresh strawberries and asparagus.

All in all I would say a pretty decent trip to the market.  Lauren picked up some local pork bratwurst (we wanted the patties but they were out), asparagus, strawberry pie, fresh garlic bread and spinach.  The night before Lauren had requested that I make a broccoli puree I had made a couple weeks ago.  It was delicious, however I went a little overboard with the pepper flakes and it was just to hot for us. 

Dinner Saturday night dinner consisted of our Farmer's Market pork bratwurst with spicy mustard, broccoli puree and garlic bread.  I took pictures of our plates but somehow the picture did not save and we had demolished our plates by the time I realized it had not saved :( 

The broccoli puree I make is as follows:
  • 1 large stalk of  broccoli (florets and stem cut into uniform pieces)
  • 3 Tablespoons of pine nuts (toasted)
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed and skinned
  • 1 large shallot sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes (less if you don’t like spicy)
  • 1 Teaspoon of chopped and grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Heat a large pot with olive oil, add the pepper flakes, garlic, shallot, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Once the garlic and shallot are “soft” add the portioned broccoli. Stir until evenly coated.
  3. Add 1/2 a cup of water and put a lid on the pot.
  4. Cook the broccoli until the water evaporates about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Once water is evaporated add the lemon zest.
  6. Puree mixture with an immersion blender, potato masher or whatever you have on hand


This time around my puree was super thick.  I added about 1/2 cup more of water and a couple more Tablespoons of lemon juice to loosen up the mixture a little.  This really can be made with any mixture of veggies.  The last time I made this I also used carrots and cauliflower.  This time I just had broccoli so pure broccoli puree it is.  No picture of it pureed as it didn't save.  BOO!  But I served it with toasted pine nuts.  We warmed up the garlic bread on the grill and cooked the pork brats until the skin was nicely charred and crisp.  It was the perfect meal to a fun day. 

Dessert was a little slice of the local strawberry pie and grilled pineapple with whipped cream.

Oh and we officially found a place to live.  We will be moving to broadripple June 17th.  We are really excited to get that stress done with.  Now onto the stress of packing and actually moving.  OYE the joys of moving!  Hope everyone is enjoying their memorial day weekend! :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peanut Butter and Brownie paradise!!!

Happy Friday my friends!!

I know I know, you have missed me.  I promise this post with make up for it :)  I have been slacking on the cooking front and if I do cook I haven't taken the time to take pictures or even think about writing about what I cook.  I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off and typically have just been throwing together fast meals.  I don't think things will settle down anytime soon and I am going to be moving in about a month.....hopefully.  Lauren and I have been roommates for years and typically bunker down to one place until we get sick of it.  Well that time has come.  Our lease ends in exactly one month from today and we have already told our complex we are not resigning.  That being said.....if we don't find a place soon we will be homeless! I am so stressed about this and hope we find something soon. 

I am looking forward to the long weekend as it is Indy 500 time!  WOO HOO!! I am typically not a race fan but last year I had the opportunity to go and LOVED IT.  I loved the loud cars and the people watching.  My oh my.....the people watching.  There is such a wide spectrum of people that go to the 500 and it is unbelievable to just watch them.  Last year it was over 130 at the track and I felt every degree of that.  I HATE to be hot.  It is one of my least favorites things in the world.  This year they are calling for 90 degrees and near 140 at the track!!! COME ON!  So not cool.  My friend Christi's mom gave her some tickets at turn one (no clue really what that means lol) so we are heading over there early Sunday morning with 2 of her other girlfriends.  I have my insulated backpacks ready and hoping that the cold beer will keep us from dehydrating ;)

Did I mention its Friday and I am so excited.  I need an extra day off to just relax.  Sunday is my boss's birthday so I made her a treat for today at work.  Her favorite is dark chocolate and she loves brownies.  So why not make dark chocolate brownies with reese's cup, dark chocolate fudge frosting and reese's pieces?? I know right!! SHUT UP!  I didn't go completely better crocker and make the brownies from scratch but they still tasted oh so yummy.  I used 1 box of dark chocolate brownie mix, mini reese's, and reese's pieces.  Yep.....i know.  Are you drooling?

I spread half of the batter in a 9x13 pan then layered it with the mini reese's cups cut in fours.  Next I poured the remaining batter and baked at 350 for about 28 mins.  Once the brownies cooled I spread them with dark chocolate frosting and reese's pieces.  The edges were crunchy and center was gooey.  Something for everyone right!!! :)  The batter was pretty thin and barely was enough to cover the entire pan.  Realistically 1.5 boxes would have been perfect.  But in the end they were delicious and my co-workers seem to be enjoying them.  Be safe this weekend and enjoy the sun while it lasts :)


Monday, May 2, 2011

long cook

It has been almost a month since my last post.  Oye!  I have cooked but have been lazy about taking the time to take pictures and actually sit in front of my computer to type.  I sit in front of a computer all day at work and sometimes the last thing I want to do when I get home is more sitting in front of the computer.  And with the weather finally starting to warm up...forget about it.  I figured I would share my lunch today as it is delicious, healthy and different from the boring salad I have.  Last night I boiled some artichokes to have this week.  These little suckers can be oh so intimidating but they are well worth the work.

  Artichokes are spiny and rough.  Your first step is to remove the first couple of layers of leaves.  These are tough and don't have much "meat" in them. 

You next step is to trim the stem.  I typically trim the end and then use a veggie peeler to get rid of some of the stringiness of the stem.  Next I chop off the top part with the sharp tips.  Throw the whole choke into boiling water.  Make sure there is enough water to cover them and then place something heavy on top of them.  They like to float. My favorite method is a plate with a canned good on top :)  I also add about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to the water to give them a little extra flavor.  Boil them for for about an hour and let them cool.  Once they are cooled chop them in half.  In the middle there are purple leaves and a hairy portion at the bottom.  THIS IS NOT EDIBLE.  Remove all the purple leaves and scrape off the hairy portion.  The portion below the hairy portion is what is called the heart.  This is edible and in my opinion the most delicious part!

I made a little dipping sauce for mine as I like to eat them mostly plain.  Today my sauce is simply olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Mango on the side and lunch is served :)