Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Roasted Broccoli with Preserved Lemon Garlic Aioli

My hubby and I have been eating very healthy for the new year, hence the lack of yummy cooking posts lately. We've been following a very low-carb lifestyle, sort of a Keto/Atkins thing and it's made us both feel immensely better.

That doesn't mean I don't feel like this when I want the bad stuff...

But last night I JUST may have found something that's VERY close: Roasted Broccoli with Preserved Lemon Garlic Aioli.

I know what you're thinking, "Shut up Kathy. NOTHING will replace cake!" and you're right, but there's something about this recipe that is so very defined and luxurious that you might even feel better about eating it.

I found it in this month's Food and Wine magazine. Remember how I showed you how to make preserved lemons last year? Well, hopefully you've made another batch this year because this recipe is surely going to be a staple in your house.

The aioli is especially amazing and versatile. I see this being used with roasted asparagus, roasted brussel sprouts, even with baked salmon. It's THAT good!

Roasted Broccoli with Preserved Lemon Garlic Aioli
Recipe source: Food and Wine magazine

2 heads broccoli
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
6 T Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
2 T mayonaise
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. minced preserved lemon
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 475°. Place baking sheet in oven while pre-heating. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli lengthwise into 1/3-inch thick slabs (or "steaks"), reserving any florets that fall off. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with oil.

Remove baking sheet from oven (careful, it's HOT) and place broccoli "steaks" on sheet. They will sizzle. Sprinkle kosher salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Place baking sheet back in oven and roast for 20 minutes, flipping the "steaks" halfway through, until golden and tender.

In a small bowl, mix yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, preserved lemon, lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired (I didn't do this, but added more lemon juice.). Aioli can be made and refrigerated in advance.

Remove broccoli from oven. Transfer to serving plates and top with Parmesan cheese. Spoon aioli on the side and serve.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Gratuitious Kitteh Monday

Just in case there is any question as to what team we're cheering for the Superbowl this Sunday...

Friday, January 29, 2016

Winter Sowing 2016

I apologize for the lack of content for the past two weeks. I've been super busy with work and other things. And besides, it's hard to come up with a lot of content when you're trying to dig yourself out from a blizzard.

I started this year's first batch of winter sowing today. I decided to try those compostable, peat pots versus styrofoam or plastic cups and this year I am using a soil-less, seed starting mix. Besides being able to plant them directly in the ground, I'm also hoping the peat pots will help with maintaining moisture when the weather heats up.

If you'd like a little more information about what Winter Sowing is, check out the WinterSown website.

If you can remember, last year's attempt at using a potting mix and planting directly into my winter sowing tubs was a flop.

I'm not going too bonkers with perennials, as we are putting the house up for sale in about 6 weeks (eeek!), but mostly I am doing this for science to see what combination of growing medium and container works best.

Here, I have mostly columbines, poppies, and nasturtium. These perennials need the longest stratification time in the cold weather.

I started one other tub along with this one which had some borage and Giant from Italy Parsley. I remember last year I didn't winter sow the parsley and I was sorry for it because the seeds didn't sprout when I planted them later. I sure did miss that parsley last year! I'm going to winter sow some more of it in March, as my previous notes weren't clear on whether I started it in January or in March.

Oh well, we're almost into February, so it's not that far off anyway!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gratuitous Kitteh Monday

So, um, yeah...we had a bit of snow this past weekend. You may have heard of it?

Back to shoveling...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Gratuitous Kitteh Monday

Boyle's Law of Cat Thermodynamics:

"Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat."

Brrrr...we have frostbite warnings for today and the temps will barely get out of the teens.

I don't know how he does it, but Leo LOVES to lay right in front of the fire. Occasionally, me or my husband will sit on the stone hearth to warm up after a chill, but we can only take a few minutes of it as it gets HOT.

Neither Chaz or Miss Thang does this, but Leo seems to relish in roasting himself for as long as he can take it. I half expect to smell burning fur at any time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ugly Furniture Series: Blue Chair After

This past weekend, hubby and I drove up to pick up my reupholstered ugly blue chair. But before the reveal, a reminder of what we were working with:

That fabric, those flappy pieces of whatever on the front arms, that squattable height. UGH! This chair was certainly an ugly duckling. I originally purchased it off Craigslist last year and it has sat in my basement since then. That's were all my old, ugly furniture dirty, little secret. 

But, I saw potential in those big, beefy arms and that masculine frame and this is what it looks like today:

I decided on a dark blue microfiber, as it was very durable and reasonable in price. I was initially looking at velvet or mohair, but I wasn't feeling it and I think that it would make the already beefy chair look more bulky. I hindsight, I might have gone with a more masculine, weave-type fabric like tweed to make the chair look more unique, but for a no-name, mid-century ugly duckling, this is a HUGE improvement. 

Besides updating the fabric, springs, cushions and padding, I changed out the old legs to these beautiful, walnut ones I purchased from a craftsman in Vermont. It sounds fancy, but the price was extremely affordable. 

The old legs were pretty beat up and were missing some of the ferrules. Plus, the old legs were only 5 1/2" long and made it hard to even sit in and get out of the chair, so I had the new legs made at 7".

I am still on the fence if these legs are TOO long. I dunno...I reached out to some of my peeps on Houzz for feedback and it's been mixed. 

What do you think? Are the legs too long?

As it is, the chair kinda reminds me of one of those bodybuilders who forgets leg day at the gym.

The seat height is 19" at the top of the cushion and it is comfortable to get in and out of. I've thought of either shortening the current legs by 3/4" or ordering newer, bulkier legs to match the chair's style. For now, it is growing on me and I do love it. 

But overall, I am thrilled with how it came out. It was a little more expensive to have done than my last chair, but I definitely paid less than what I would have for a real, reupholstered mid-century chair from a showroom or designer.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Gratuitous Kitteh Monday

Well, Leo is just a tad over 7 months old and is drop-dead gorgeous, dontcha' think?

First off, can I just say how weird it is that it was warm enough over the weekend to let the kittehs out on the back patio porch IN JANUARY???!!

Anyway, back to the cute kittehs...

This one has definitely been the most destructive kitteh I've ever owned, by far. I feel guilty to admit that it's been touch-and-go on many, many occasions on whether we should give him back up for adoption with our veterinarian.

He's broken a few (expensive) things and ruined a few (expensive) things, most recently he's had an elimination accident that we are accounting to recovery from surgery (standard surgery). We had to throw away a $200 memory foam mattress topper and have some professional spot cleaning done on the carpet. Knock on wood that it was that only time and he hasn't had any issues since.

There were actually two other times where he did not make it to the litter box: When we first brought him home, he was playing with Chaz in our master bedroom with the door closed and he peed on the bed. Second, when we moved his litter box from his "kitten room" down to the basement, he got confused and peed on his plastic kitty tunnel toy. This last time, he had surgery and was quarantined in his "kitten room" (our spare bedroom) and must have not liked the temporary litter that he had to use, so he peed on the bed and in a corner. 

I have never had a cat that had an accident outside of their litter this makes me very, very nervous. I've heard horror stories of people who own cats that are notorious "pee-ers" and I'm ashamed to admit that I won't keep a destructive cat in my house. 

On top of this, I've noticed that he has a very different temperament than Chaz and Miss Thang. He's more skittish and not as sociable, plus Chaz and Miss Thang still really don't care to hang out with him. All of this combined makes me really nervous about the cat he will become and the voice in the back of my head tells me that he'd be easier to re-adopt out now while he is a kitten, than as an adult with issues.  

For now, I am taking it one day at a time and I'm praying these 3 incidents are isolated and explainable. About once a week, I take my CSI black light and go through the house to check, which has also led to some very "interesting" conversations with my husband about his...umm...aim in the bathroom. 

What is seen cannot be unseen. LOL!
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