In My Kitchen ~ March 2021

In My Kitchen… the only new thing I’ve acquired lately is a potholder. I liked it’s cheerful colors — and more importantly, its message. Hope it brings joy to you, too!

Gratitude is up to us. Blessings, not so much. Wherever and however they’re dispensed is beyond our control, but I’m thankful for each and every one of them — even something as unexpected as a potholder at the Dollar General store in their clearance aisle section. Kitchen “cheerleaders” are welcome anytime. Bonus points for the bargain price.

If you’re in need of a lil’ cheering up too, please visit my friend Sherry MacKay at http://sherryspickings.blogspot.com/2021/03/in-my-kitchen-march-2021.html for more blessings from around the world. Her In My Kitchen posts and those from her participants (via easy access links) continue to tickle my fancy, even when I don’t participate regularly. Plus, they’re just plain fun! Lots of good ideas, great writing, photos, recipes, and more. Just click on her link above. Thanks, Sherry and all y’all!

In My Kitchen… I haven’t been very “vocal” lately — not because I don’t have anything to say, but because my simple lifestyle seems almost too good to believe mid-pandemic. (That, or it’s incredibly boring!) Still, I’m grateful for blessings like the ones above — Jammy Eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Apparently, they were a foodie phenomenon a few years back, but I only recently discovered them. Faster than poached eggs with less clean up, they live up to their name in ten minutes or less. The recipe? Bring an inch of water to a boil in a saucepan, carefully add eggs in the shell, cover, and simmer for seven minutes. (More or less, depending on your yolk preference.) Cool under cold running water, peel, and eat. Easy, peasy.

And then there’s this…

In My Kitchen… is Pasta with Broccoli and Goat Cheese. (Pine nuts, too — oh my!) During the past few months (year?!) of my pandemic hibernation, I’ve been reading through my cookbook collection again. What a blessing to see how many recipes I’d tagged, flagged, or Post-It noted for future reference, intending to make them “some day.” Why not now? Here ’tis…

Pasta with Broccoli and Goat Cheese (adapted from Wolfgang Puck’s recipe)

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. pine nuts

1-1/2 cups good quality chicken stock, store-bought or homemade (I used homemade)

1/2 lb. tiny broccoli florets, cut from the crowns (frozen “steamer” style works in a pinch)

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish (dried ground thyme works, too)

Freshly ground black pepper (always in stock…)

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (which I left it out due to dairy allergies… but have at it!)

4 oz. goat cheese such as Chevre’, crumbled (all our grocery store had was crumbled)

Kosher salt

12 oz. spaghetinni, angel hair, or other thin dried pasta strands (I used rice noodles)

  1. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tsp. EVOO. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a skillet over low heat, stirring constantly until light golden (2-3 minutes); transfer to a bowl to cool.
  2. Bring stock to a boil. Reduce by half (12-15 minutes); set aside.
  3. Heat a large saute’ pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining Tbsp. of EVOO, and broccoli florets. (If using the “steamable” kind, nuke as directed, cool, and drain before adding to skillet — I’ve used both with equal success.) Saute’ for a minute until bright green and crispy. Add reduced stock and bring to a boil. Add thyme, pepper to taste, butter, and goat cheese. Whisk or stir until cheese melts. Taste and salt to taste. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
  4. Add a Tbsp. of Kosher salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. Cook until al dente per package directions. Drain and add to the pan of sauce. Toss with a pair of tongs to distribute sauce and broccoli evenly. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Plate, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, garnish with fresh thyme (if using), and ENJOY!

Seriously, it was soooo good I’ve made it three times so far...

In My Kitchen… or just outside, we had an ice storm — typical of Oklahoma this time of year — followed by 10-inches of snow. (NOT typical for Oklahoma.) While I enjoyed the winter wonderland, it meant not being able to drive up “The Hill” for another two weeks. Thank goodness for the blessings of being prepared and being content to be stuck at the bottom once again. I really didn’t mind — especially with such good food.

Make the most of your pantry when life presents obstacles. Re-read a cookbook or two, and/or get creative in your kitchen. Above all, be grateful for your many blessings. They’re everywhere you look.

Even on clearance sale racks.

In My Kitchen… is another potholder I couldn’t resist buying. (It matched my kitchen.) But, ’nuff said. Have a good day — no, a GREAT day! Praying you’re safe and well, xo.

Enjoying unexpected blessings,

~ Kim

37 thoughts on “In My Kitchen ~ March 2021

  1. Oh your pot holders are so cute! I’m a big fan of putting veggies in my pasta, something real comforting about a big bowl of creamy goodness!

    • Yes indeed, Nancy! (Re: the potholders and pasta with veggies.) Thank you. I loved your description of “a big bowl of creamy goodness” too — so true! Thanks again, xo.

  2. I am so happy to read this conversation with Mimi. I also can’t use mitts. Lots of problems with my hands and I drop things all the time. I will be heading to the dollar store soon.

  3. Glad we’re out of that typical (and atypical) Oklahoma weather now. Hasn’t the past few days been lovely? Thanks for sharing the good thoughts! I LOVE that pasta dish. May be making it soon here.

    • Debra, I’m still shaking my head over that winter blast. Whaaat?! Thankfully, it didn’t interrupt life too much… then again, that’s been my modus operandi for the past YEAR. (Whatever… lol!) Glad you’re enjoying the lovely weather now. Me, too. Let me know how that pasta turns out for you if you make it! xo

  4. Hi Kim
    I just can’t imagine that amount of snow. Sydney is temperate and we are at late summer here. I love broccoli pasta so I’ll definitely give your version a try. My 3 teenage sons love it too
    Enjoy the pot holders. I love new kitchen textiles of any kind
    Katie

    • Thank you, Katie. Hope you and your sons enjoy the broccoli pasta! Our snow finally melted (at last) and we’re about to enter the warm season — Spring — before the HOT weather shows up. Glad you’re transitioning into Autumn. That’s my favorite time of year! Take care, xo.

  5. your potholders are too pretty to use. Pasta and goats cheese, must admit i have not had that combo together. I will have to try.

    • Shaheen, your powers of observation are asute. I haven’t used my new potholders yet, but, I’m enjoying their uplifting message until I do. :) Wolfgang Puck’s pasta/goat cheese combo was an unexpected winner — hope you try it and like it. I did. (Three times!) Lovin’ your photos and recipes from afar too, xo.

  6. That is so much snow! I love the photos but wouldn’t want to do that shoveling. Hope you didn;t have to! I love pasta and the broccoli and goat cheese would certainly be a great addition.

    • Tina, we gave away our snow shovels when we moved to Oklahoma from Minnesota, LOL — mostly, we just wait for it to melt now. :Funny “kitchen utensil” story… my hubby used one of my old spatulas (pancake turners?) to scrape his windshield until the edge of it finally wore out. Whatever works! The goat cheese added a surprising “tang” to the pasta sauce and I enjoyed it tremendously. Hope you try it. Thank you!

  7. hi kim
    thanks so much for joining IMK this month. so lovely to have you. It’s funny about square potholders; you can get them here easily enough but i prefer my silicone gloves whereas hubby likes the potholders. i had a bit of a giggle about the jammy eggs. I had no idea they had been a ‘thing’. I mean, we just call them soft-boiled eggs, and they are as familiar and ubiquitous as – well, anything. we all grew up with them; you know, eggs and toasted soldiers for breakfast. Gotta love broccoli but i’m not sure about goat’s cheese. I know hubby wouldn’t go for it:) have a great month.
    cheers
    sherry

    • Sherry, it seems I started a bit of a debate about square potholders… and jammy eggs.I hear ya on “soft boiled” but the method differs slightly (submerged vs. 1″ of water.) Either way, they’re delish! Loved your “toasted soldiers”, too — U.S. English is so banal at times. One of the things I’ve loved learning “IMK” is how folks describe food around the world. Always something to learn, and always a delight! Glad to rejoin you, and don’t give up on goat cheese. :)

  8. Your pasta salad looks so delicious, I adore eggs in salad, anyway, anyhow.What a Winter wonderland you are experiencing, just as here in North Queensland we are wondering if that cyclone will actually venture down the coast. A well stocked pantry is essential. Enjoyed your IMK post

    • Hi, Pauline! Thanks for your compliment on my pasta. We’re about to enter “tornado season” here, too — I imagine it’s similar to cyclones coming down the coast — and I hope you ‘n’ yours remain safe and well. Here’s to “preparedness” and well-stocked pantries!

  9. Hi Kim, thanks for the look see into your kitchen and current goings-on. I’m with you, I don’t like the mitts as they are too bulks and I can’t get a good grip on things. I like the idea of collecting them on travels (whenever that starts again) and with uplifting messages. I have a good friend who makes them and usually sends me one each Christmas. I like that the things in our kitchen, the ones that we use everyday, have a story to tell. Thanks for your positivity and graciousness. Stay well.

    • Liz, so true about things in our kitchens with stories to tell — if only they could speak..:) Glad you have a good friend to keep you supplied with potholders in the meantime. Mae (see below) mentioned finding souvenir potholders, too — I’ll have to take a look once I’m able to get out ‘n’ about. Best wishes to you, too, xo.

  10. I had no idea square potholders were so hard to find! I buy mine at a local kitchen store, they are the old fashioned woven ones exactly like the ones we made as a kid. A woman makes them for the store and they last forever! If she ever stops making them, I’m going to have to find a little loom!

    • Dorothy, thank you for your comment! So far my “shopping” has been limited to one or two local stores (thanks, pandemic…) but I’ll take what I can get — or find. Thankfully, a dear cousin gave me several of her crocheted ones to tide me over in the interim. Sturdy, homemade, stalwart — sounds like you’ve got a few of those, too. :) Hope you find that little loom! We’re all doing the best we can these days, xo.

  11. Well, you’ve done it again. Two beautiful recipes, but, for me, what hit were the words that you’re doing exceptionally well during this pandemic. That’s the mindset of someone who sees the good in every bad, the cup half full, the sunny side of the street. Your words inspire, my beautiful friend. Thank you. And, love those eggs…that’s almost precisely how I make mine! Yummmmmm! xoxox

    • Awwww, thanks Ally! We may live in strange times, but cooking makes them more tolerable. “Attitude is everything” right? Thanks again for your positive vibes, xoxo.

  12. Broccoli is a surprisingly versatile ingredient for salad or for mixed vegetable stir-fry dishes. Your pasta salad looks quite nice. My simplest one is with hard boiled eggs and olives.

    I didn’t know it was hard to find square pot holders — mine are mostly from souvenir stands and have the name of a place on them. My favorite at the moment is a silicone mitt. Very protective.

    be safe… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Hi Neil! Thanks for the Shakshuka recipe. I liked the combination of seasonings they listed and also their make-ahead tip. (Why didn’t I think of that? ha!) Hope you’ll try it — it’s really tasty. I’ve made Shakshuka a couple of times and love it. You say you’re not much of a cook, but I’d say you ARE! Best wishes on your kitchen adventures. :)

    • Our local Dollar General Store — after I asked. All they had were “mitts” in their kitchen section. These beauties were “end cap finds.” I felt lucky — or blessed — to find ’em, Mimi. My old ones were wearing out fast. There’s only so many trips through the washer and dryer (or oven blips) they can take. Hope you can find some square ones, too!

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