Tuesday, June 16, 2009

RECIPE: Broccoli (bonus 2 amazing recipes!)

In effort to eat healthier (and enjoy it), I continue to explore interesting vegetable dishes, ones that are preferably not drenched in soup or cheese! The best part about these 2 recipes is that are simple and quick!

~Click on the recipe name for an easy download version!

Crunchy Broccoli Bake
Kids and adults alike love this one - buttery flavor, Yum!
  • 1 head fresh broccoli, Or 1lb Pre Cut
  • 20 butter-flavored crackers
  • 3 Tbl water
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 3 Tbl butter
  • 1 Cup grated cheddar
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Wash broccoli and cut into bite-size florets. Place into a 1 1/2-quart, microwave-safe baking dish. Add water, and microwave on high for about 8 minutes, until broccoli is tender but still slightly firm. Drain well. Rinse and dry the baking dish, then lightly butter it with 1 Tbs butter. Arrange broccoli in a single layer in the pan.
2. Put crackers into a resealable plastic bag, and pound until they're crushed. You should have about 2/3 cup of crumbs.
3. Sprinkle the broccoli with salt, and top with the cheese. In a small saute pan, melt remaining butter, then remove from heat. Add cracker crumbs, and stir until coated. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the broccoli.
4. Bake about 20 minutes, or until browned.

Roasted Broccoli with Shallot, Fennel Seeds and Parmesan
I was recently introduced to using fennel seeds on a pizza rather than sausage and loved it - so I thought I would give it more consideration. I was not let down - this recipe is amazing! My husband said it was the best broccoli he has ever ate! FYI - you can substitute onion/garlic if you dont have shallots, see recipe notes.
  • 1 large head broccoli (about 1 3/4 lbs)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp table salt
  • 1/2 Tsp sugar
  • 2 large shallots, halved and sliced thin lengthwise
  • 4 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tsp fennel seeds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan, Shaved
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Cutbroccoli at juncture of florets and stems; remove outer peel from stalk. Cut stalk into 2- to 3-inch lengths and each length into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Cut crowns into 4 wedges if 3-4 inches in diameter or 6 wedges if 4-5 inches in diameter. Place broccoli in large bowl; drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil and toss well until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt,
sugar, and pepper to taste and toss to combine.
2. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully transfer broccoli to baking sheet and spread into evenlayer, placing flat sides down. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until stalks are well browned and tender and florets are lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes.
3. While broccoli roasts, heat remaining oil in 8-inch skillet over medium heat until just shimmering. Add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and beginning to turn light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add fennel seeds and continue to cook until shallots are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove skillet from heat. Toss roasted broccoli with shallots, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve immediately.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our family grows - Meet Ziva!

So the time came... we were ready to bring another dog back into the house. I must say I was enjoying the break from vacuuming the carpets on a near daily basis.. but I did miss having someone to clean up the crumbs from the base of Sophie's highchair and in the kitchen :)

I awoke that morning to find Scott had found a breeder with pups that were ready.. so I read and called to find out they had females available. No better time than the present I said! So by noon we took off for a 3 hour drive to a little town near the South Carolina border - Royston, Georgia. www.jandafarmandkennels.com was quite a place - beautiful farm. They are 3rd generation breeders .. all chocolate and yellow labs (among a couple of other breeds). I decided this time around we should get a yellow... I've had one black one years ago, and well now.. I think another brown would simply make me feel sad comparing her to Sisu.

The pups were 6 wks old and we had 2 yellows to choose from. One was rambunctious and almost golden, and the other was near white in color and rather shy. After spending about 15 minutes playing around in the grass we chose.... whitey goes home with us! The seller was watching her take abuse from the girls .. and gosh that near white fur, and even blue eyes! She was born to be my daughter :)

So off we go ... yet another girl added to the Scott Becker family! Her name is Ziva (sounds like Zee-va). She's precious.. and so far a pretty good pup! We are crate training her and of course the whole potty training thing. She does good most of the time, I'm just thankful we have hardwood floors! The biggest challenge is training the girls in how to treat, touch and play with a puppy! Caroline is absolutely obsessed with her at times!

And a few on the the truck ride home... and chilling on the couch.