Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Roasted Broccoli & Some Other Randomness

The last few days I've been attending an online prep course to prepare me to take the Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM) certification exam that I have tentatively scheduled for mid-February. I've also had to squeeze in some work-work in the evening so that my email inbox isn't backed up to 400+ unread messages by Thursday when I return. I have been meaning to get certified for the last 16 months since I graduated college in May 2013! But regardless, you know that I'll give out any excuse to avoid completing many domestic activities around the house - I will 100% admit it out loud, so there you have it!

Even if I was busy doing other career-oriented things, we still need to eat - like every, single, day. Thats really unfortunately for those of us who don't thoroughly enjoy cooking 24/7 (even though I thoroughly enjoy eating 24/7... ha). But last night, Brad cooked some skinless chicken breasts on our Traeger smoker. Do you see how quickly my efforts at domestication are side-tracked by other things going on in life? And how quickly Brad jumps in to save the day? He does an excellent job feeding our family of 2 (+ 3 pets; he even cooks our dogs food every week!). Getting side-tracked is primarily one of the reasons why I have committed attempted to commit to this blog and now you know why this "domestic lifestyle" of mine is only part-time ;) That sounds like a good new years resolution for 2015 - do more things in the home.

Back to the chicken... when its cooked on the smoker, it's the most DELICIOUS, juicy and mouthwatering chicken you've ever had. If you've never heard of a smoker (like me 3 months ago), it cooks smokes meat very slowly (wait, can "smoke" be used as a synonym to cook?) and some how keeps all of the juices and natural flavors of the meat. I don't really understand how it works, but that thing pops-out delicious tasting meat.

PLUS, it reheats in the microwave perfectlyWe do a little bit of "food prep" in our house (or maybe we just cook more than we can eat in one sitting so that we have tons of leftovers). We do this primarily because:

a) Brad and I don't mind AT ALL eating leftovers (some people are picky about this)
b) We make a commitment to pack lunch every-single-day (this saves us TONS of $$! & we are pretty frugal)
c) Brad and I don't have the time or energy to cook everyday; we usually start our weekdays around 4am 

To pair with the chicken, I cooked a box of Zataran's Black Beans & Rice (yum!) and I made some roasted broccoli in the oven. Thank you Natalina for introducing me to Zataran's, this cook-from-the-box stuff is right up my alley! And it's got great flavor. Plus, I had a pretty big bag of broccoli from Sam's sitting in the fridge that needed to be cooked. So, I looked up a recipe by Alton Brown - he never disappoints! 

Okay, so I was hungry!
Don't judge the portion size :)
I've never made roasted broccoli before but this was easy-peasy, even rookie Chef Stephanita could have made this :) Here it is:


1 pound broccoli, rinsed and trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or sharp Cheddar


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices. Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and pepper and set aside.

Spread the panko into a 13 by 9-inch metal cake pan and place into the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine. Return the mixture to the cake pan, place in the oven and roast just until the broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the cheese and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2007

P.S. I ran 12 miles in the last two days. 7 miles yesterday at 6AM (9:22 pace) and 5 miles this morning at 5:20AM (8:46 pace). I may not cook everyday, but I'm definitely keeping up with my running... unless its 35 degrees outside. But that skip-my-run confession will have to wait for another day.


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