Tag Archives: broccoli

Grillin’ it

14 May

The past few weeks have been just short of chaos at our house.  I attended the OLA annual conference in Bend in the end of April and did a poster session on some work I’ve been doing on using popular culture to teach information literacy.  The whole conference was a blur of engaging sessions, library-related swag, and watching late night TV with my friend and hotel roomie Amy.  Overall, it was a great experience and I would absolutely recommend participating in the poster session to any interested students.

That said, I would recommend that you do not wait until the last minute to create your poster board.  I believe that poster boards are actually portals to alternate dimensions where time moves at a much quicker rate.  You would be amazed at the amount of time it takes to make a mediocre poster board.  Hours and hours and hours.

Also don’t wait until the last minute because as you’re finishing up your poster board at 11pm in the hotel room, you might realize that you forgot to print off half of your reference list.  Not that I know this from experience…

OLA was also cool because Amy and I got to eat here:

Why, yes, that is an old double-decker bus that has been converted into a food cart called “The Codfather.”

The only problem with the OLA conference is that it was scheduled for the second half of my dead week in school, taking up very valuable studying time.  This term I was far less organized than usual; finals week this term definitely tested my studying abilities.  Miraculously, I survived!

Thankfully, that means that this past week has been my summer break.  My school program goes through the summer so as of today I’ve started new classes and my summer vacation is through.  I definitely milked the blessed seven days off of school for all they were worth with plenty of gardening and relaxing.

Summer vacation culminated with the annual Librarian Prom on Saturday night.  I made a giant batch of sangria based off a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.  The sangria was well received at the party but not so well received the next morning, from what I hear.

I wore too much eyeliner and my favorite dress: a red caftan with Egyptian motif and many, many sequins.

Thankfully, Nate and I weren’t too hung over after the prom so we were able to spend some time with our mothers the next day for mother’s day.  The weather was beautiful, so we cooked up a great dinner on the grill for my momma.

burgundy plate with grilled broccoli, veggie couscous, and grilled chicken

Grilled chicken with a curry yogurt sauce, grilled vegetable couscous, grilled broccoli with feta, and flat bread made on the (you guessed it) grill!  Nate was responsible for the broccoli and it was truly out of this world.  I’ll see if I can convince him to share the recipe.

burgundy plate with grilled broccoli, veggie couscous and grilled chicken

What is it about eating outside that makes food taste so dang good?  My summer vacation may be over but I’m looking forward to more of this weather!

Cold and spicy – roast broccoli

22 Jan

roast broccoli with flecks of red chili

A few weeks ago as I was making dinner for a get-together with a friend, Nate informed me that we would be having a few more guests than I had originally planned for.  Thankfully, we had some good looking broccoli in the fridge that I quickly prepped and threw into the oven.  Despite taking the shortest amount of time to prepare and being made of the cheapest ingredients, the broccoli stole the show.  Everyone who has eaten this has asked me how to make it; it’s so easy that I can’t help but feel somewhat embarrassed when I give them the directions.  If you make this, you will probably be surprised when you taste it.  In a good way.

roast broccoli on a plate, covered with specks of red chili

The secret to both the ease and the big flavor of this recipe is this pre-made chili garlic sauce.  A bottle of this stuff costs around $3 and you can buy it at pretty much any grocery store that has a mediocre Asian food section.  You can put it on just about anything, but for now I’m sticking to broccoli.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut your broccoli into florets and place in a medium to large bowl.  You can also slice up the stem and add that if you so desire.

Mix a spoonful of chili garlic sauce in a small bowl with high temperature cooking oil (veggie, canola, or peanut).  The sauce by itself has a chunky consistency; you should mix it with enough oil so that it resembles a thick salad dressing.

Pour your chili oil mixture over the broccoli and toss until fairly evenly coated.  Dump the broccoli onto a baking pan and roast in the oven until the edges of the broccoli are brown and crispy, it should take somewhere between 25-35 minutes.

roast broccoli with flecks of red chili

I think that this kind of cooking is really more of an art than a science.  If you like things hot and spicy, use more chili garlic sauce.  Add a little soy sauce if you want.  Have tons of broccoli?  Go for it.  It will shrink in size as it cooks anyway.  Add a little sesame oil when it comes out of the oven.  And a little salt and black pepper never hurt anyone!

It’s taken me a while, but I’m finally becoming comfortable enough in the kitchen that I don’t always have to follow recipe.  I don’t know about you, but I think that cooking becomes so much more interesting when you give yourself the freedom to experiment a little!