June 25, 2014

Roasted Broccoli Grilled Cheese

Hello hello hello everybody! I'm back! Well, I'm not back back, since Viola's not up and running, I don't have my measuring spoons, and my light tent is still packed somewhere, but I'm back. And this is the first thing that I cooked in my new house so I'm sharing it with you!

And I also want to apologize for the pictures. I only had one sliver of countertop to take them on, and the window was a lot higher than I would have liked, so some of the lighting got a bit wonky. Oops. This is why I have a light tent. :D
So, I'm not usually a huge vegetable eater, but broccoli is one I usually like, and I definitely like roasted broccoli. I've had this recipe from 2 Peas and Their Pod pinned forever, so when I was looking for a recipe with easy prep (and basic ingredients, since I still have to finish stocking the pantry) so I could eat something other than pizza, I remembered this.

And the prep really is super simple. Just chop a head of broccoli into small florets, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and stick it in the oven for 10 minutes. Butter two slices of bread, add cheese and broccoli, and grill in a hot pan. Voila: healthy, wholesome, tasty, and not pizza.
I put a yellow cheddar slice on the bread, added the broccoli, and then sprinkled it with shredded white cheddar, then topped it with another slice of yellow cheddar. This not only adds extra cheese, but keeps the broccoli from falling out of the sandwich.

If I was fully back up and running, I would have buttered the outside of the bread as per usual, but buttered the inside with roasted garlic, because garlic and broccoli are best friends and that would have been amazeballs. But I'm not at that point yet, so I had to make do with some garlic on the broccoli itself. Dipping it in tomato basil soup helped, too.
I wish I could tell you I had a recipe for the soup, but I don't. It's Campbell's. And it was tasty, so don't hate.

Roasted Broccoli Grilled Cheese
Yield 3-4 sandwiches

Florets from 1 medium head of broccoli, chopped small
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
6-8 slices of bread
Butter, softened
Cheddar cheese (I used a combination of yellow slices and shredded white)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a sheet pan, mix the broccoli, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, if using. Roast for 8-10 minutes, until the broccoli is evenly roasted, but not burnt. Allow to cool.

Heat a skillet on medium-low heat. Generously butter the bread on one side only. On the unbuttered side, layer cheese, broccoli, cheese, and another slice of bread (buttered side up). Grill in the heated skillet, flipping once, until both sides are golden brown. Serve hot.

Recipe adapted slightly from 2 Peas and Their Pod

June 20, 2014

Stuff and Things 6/20/14

Life as I Know it
Happy summer! Is it summer yet, or is tomorrow the first day of summer? I always get that confused. Regardless, it's hot, and it's therefore summer, amiright.

I know I've been on total radio silence for a while. I really thought I'd be back up and running by now-- or at least at a place where I could cook dinner and put it in my light tent to photograph it. But, as you may have already guessed, I'm not. Still, the kitchen is on it's way to being functional. I got my awesome vintage kitchen table:
It even extends for if I have guests or need more work space

I found a kitchen island at Christmas Tree Shops that was a) the right price, b) the perfect size, and c) even matches my current cabinets and countertops. It was kismet.
I need a smaller microwave, though. It takes up half the countertop. But it was free, so I can't complain.

My floors have been refinished, so that's one thing I won't have to worry about for a long time:
I still want to redo the kitchen floor, but that's peel and stick laminate tile, so I should be able to do that all by my lonesome

My cousin's hand-me-down couch ended up being almost perfect and super comfy:
While brown isn't quite the color I would have chosen for my gray and yellow living room, it's neutral and it matches the buffet that I'm using as a media cabinet, so it all works together. Also, free, so yay.

My estate sale rug is looking bright and purty after the rug cleaning place never called me back, so I went and did it myself. Srsly, rug cleaning business, how do you stay in business? If you don't call back the people that want to give you money, you won't get their money. Simple concept.
It's got the yellow and gray of the living room, the blue of the dining room library, and even the brown of the couch. And also red, but almost every rug I looked at was either solid (boring), neutral (bleah), or had red. Apparently, it's a thing.

I still need to paint the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom, finish painting the stairwell, get blinds for the bedroom and kitchen, and get bookshelves (I miss having my built-in bookcase. T-T). Oh, and unpack my three thousand boxes.

Since I'm living on take-out at the moment, the kitchen is most definitely top priority. Fingers crossed, I'm hoping to at least get to simple things next week. Mug cakes, ice pops, grilled cheese, that sort of thing. No pizza, though. I'm pretty tired of pizza. That's what I get for buying extra so I can have leftovers.

I'm doing my best to keep my Facebook page updated, so tune in there to find out how soon I'll be back to blogging.

June 4, 2014

PB&J (with Bananas) Smoothie

Hey guys! So, the floor guy is coming to refinish the floors tomorrow, and that'll take 3 or 4 days, so after that, I can finally move in. I still got painting to do, but that can wait until I'm actually in the house. In the meantime, I'm in a kind of limbo. Half my stuff is packed away, half of it still needs to be packed. I have a maze of boxes. I want to buy things but I can't really buy things until I can put them in the house and I can't do that until the floors are done.

I did buy a rug and some pyrex at an estate sale, so there's that. (Except the rug cleaning place hasn't called me back. Seriously. Do you not want my business?)

Anyway, the long and short of it is, I kind of unpacked my blender just to make this smoothie.
To be fair, it wasn't premeditated. I already had some frozen banana in the freezer. We already had a big tub of strawberry yogurt in the refrigerator that didn't really look like it was getting eaten. So I was like, oh, I'll make a strawberry banana smoothie. And then I added peanut butter to it because peanut butter. So it became a peanut butter and jelly (with banana, because bananas are cool) smoothie.

And I liked it, because really, what's not to like? So I made it again, this time taking measurements instead of dumping things willy-nilly into the blender so I could blog it, and here we are

The peanut butter and strawberry flavors are definitely the most prominent; though you can taste the banana, it's there mainly for texture. And between the banana, the peanut butter, and the yogurt, this sucker is filling, which makes it a great option for breakfast. It's probably the healthiest thing I've ever put on this blog, and I-- butter and sugar and cream loving I-- made it for dessert. O.o
This smoothie, make it. Dessert, breakfast, snack, anytime. It's thick and creamy and sweet and cold and has peanut butter. It's exactly what every smoothie should be.

PB&J Smoothie
Yield: 1 smoothie

1 small banana, chopped and frozen
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt (I used Stonyfield Farm Smooth & Creamy)
1/4 cup lowfat (skim) milk
1-2 heaping tbsp. peanut butter (I used White Chocolate Wonderful)*
Splash of vanilla extract (optional)**

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

*I didn't really measure the peanut butter. I just took a big spoonful and plopped it in there. You can never have too much peanut butter
**Or replace the skim milk with vanilla soy or almond milk

Recipe by Kim