Roasted Garlic & Broccoli Spread

I am painfully punctual. To the point of being neurotic. Save for me being two weeks late with the whole being born thing, I’ve been an early bird for majority of my life.

Except. Except when it comes to holidays. I just can’t seem to get the timing right for holidays. I always have these grand plans for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and so on. What to make, what to buy, what to DIY (hey, cool, that rhymed).

Anyways…I have all these plans but what I lack is follow-through! I’ll carve a pumpkin like you wouldn’t believe, but it’s going to be on November 1. This does come in handy when shopping though, I have many a holiday-themed napkin/cupcake wrapper/tea towel that I’ve gotten a day or two after on clearance for 75 cents.

So, me posting a recipe that is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day a full FIVE DAYS BEFOREHAND is virtually unheard of. New leaves people, I’m turning them over.

roasted garlic broccoli spread 1

This spread. Oh-ho this spread! Roasted garlic meets steamed broccoli and just a weeeeeeetle bit of olive oil to keep things smooth. It’s a fresher, lighter take on pesto. The secret? White miso! I know, it sounds crazy, but Jenna turned me on to it and you cannot go wrong! It adds body and moisture like olive oil would without all the extra calories or a strong taste.

It’s so versatile too. Add a little grated cheese (I used an amazing aged Dubliner to keep the St. Paddy’s theme going) and slather on bread for a fantastic grilled cheese. A mixture of half spread and half Greek yogurt make an excellent dip for veggies. Or, last but not least, stir a tablespoon or two into scrambled eggs and served with bacon – green eggs and ham, yo! The possibilities are endless, make it yourself and find out!

spread grilled cheese 1

Roasted Garlic and Broccoli Spread (makes about 2 cups)

1 – 16oz. bag of frozen chopped broccoli, steamed

2 heads roasted garlic

3 TBSP olive oil

3 TBSP white miso paste

salt, to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse broccoli and garlic to form a thick paste. Add in miso and olive oil, pulsing again until smooth. Add salt to taste.

Spread will keep in fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

grilled cheese fixins

Roasted Garlic and Broccoli Spread Grilled Cheese (makes 1)

2 pieces hearty bread

3 TBSP spread

¼ cup grated cheese (I used an aged Dubliner, but white cheddar or even provolone would work well too)

butter or butter spread (I lo-ove Brummel & Brown’s whipped yogurt spread)

Heat pan over medium-low heat.

Mix together spread and cheese, spread over one slice of bread and sandwich together. Butter both sides of the sandwich and cook first side in preheated pan until dark golden brown (about 4 minutes). Flip, and cook the other side. Enjoy immediately!

melty cheese

Now this is the luck of the Irish.


Apple Tart with Oat Crumble and Apple Infused Caramel

I accidentally made a tart. Yeap, you read that correctly. I accidentally made a tart.

Initially, I was trying to make hand pies. But my first attempt at those failed abysmally. And they didn’t even involve apples. I was trying a new recipe for dinner with my neighbors and it was the dough and the oven versus me and the timer. Sadly, I was on the losing team. Something, somewhere just didn’t quite go right. My neighbors still ate them, bless their hearts. And, they inspired me in the process!  

With a mouth full of less-than-impressive hand pie one said, “How quickly do apples go bad? You’ve got, like, eight sitting here.” He motioned to my overflowing fruit bowl. Apparently, no proper single gal has eight apples sitting on her counter. I decided not to tell him I had more apples in the fridge…

I knew that despite eating one or two apples a day as a snack, they were going to go south before I got around to finishing them. I figured baking with them would be the best use of my time, but I couldn’t stomach the idea of more cake. Then I remembered the extra pie dough sitting in my fridge and knew exactly what I would do. An apple tart!
When the going gets tough, the tough make tarts.

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Pest-faux: Kale and Roasted Garlic Pesto

I’m in a chilly community center gym. The smell of burnt coffee, thick in the air, barely covers the stale sweat still lingering from basketball games gone by. Metal folding chairs groan with the tiniest of movements. I stand up nervously, my palms slick with sweat.

Hi, my name is Amanda…and I have a problem. I…I am addicted to beauty products.

Hello, Amanda! A chorus of similarly inclined individuals greets me.
While this scenario is completely imaginary, my affection for, and obsession with, beauty products is not. I often open my bathroom cabinets looking for something specific only to have different bottles, tubes, and jars come toppling out. Naturally, what I was searching for is nowhere to be found. Right there I swear to myself that I am done. No more. I am through buying these stupid things!
And then, one way or another, I find myself sidling up to the makeup counter. Again. Greeting an eager saleswoman while ogling the latest shade of eye shadow.

Or meandering along the hair care aisle. My fingers lightly tracing the brightly colored bottles. Fluorescent lights buzzing overhead, just begging me to buy yet another bottle of thermal styling spray.
But I don’t cave. I don’t. I think about the drawers in my bathroom, the stacks in the hall closet. Teaming with products I could never hope to finish in this lifetime, no matter how much hairspray I use.
Lately, I’ve been feeling that way about kale. I buy a bundle at the grocery store because it is cheap and delicious and filling. Yet, no matter how much I eat, no matter how much I sauté with garlic or throw in salads it is still there! Kale. Looming in my crisper drawer. The bunch never getting any smaller.

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