Welcome to a new year! I hope you had a good winter holiday. While my own pack passed an uneventful end of 2017 and start of 2018, some of the people in our lives suffered unexpected losses, got bad news, or have been dealt some tough circumstances. Let’s face it, Life doesn’t care about arbitrary calendar boundaries. Whether you are or are not the type of person who makes resolutions with the new year (I am not), I think it’s fair to say that the world can always use more compassion and kindness starting any time, but especially starting now. Maybe it means donating to charities that matter to you, or offering to help someone who is struggling, or volunteering your time. Whatever it is you do, I hope you do it with an open heart. And I thank you.
neva wishes you a happy new year
torchlight parade and fireworks on new year’s eve under a nearly full moon (composite)
more pretty fireworks
new year’s eve dinner: potstickers and chinese cellophane noodle soup
Santa Ullr brought a nice dump of snow on Christmas Day, and we’ve been trying to squeeze as much as we can from it because we have returned to the sunny and dry weather which has dominated much of the early season. The lack of snow meant that we hadn’t been logging many ski days until we got to Crested Butte. It also meant our bodies were not as ski-ready as they would normally be by this time on any given winter. We’ve been rotating through telemark skiing the mountain, uphill skiing, and skate skiing. And when the snow gets old and tired, I tell myself that this is still better than living almost anyplace else (except those mountains with more snow right now!).
jeremy is about to dive in on christmas day
early morning colors on our way to the mountain to uphill ski
skating the handful of open trails
There was a full (super) moon on New Year’s Day, so we thought it would be neat to skin (ski uphill) up the mountain to a good location and capture moonrise. When we left the house, the eastern horizon was clear of clouds. Of course, by the time we climbed to the top and unpacked and assembled all of my photo equipment, weather started spilling over the mountains where the moon was supposed to be. That was a bummer, but the mountains were still beautiful and the sunset in the opposite direction did not disappoint and it’s kind of amazing to be able to do this at all, right?
no moonrise, but such pretty alpenglow on the elk mountains
here’s the sunset opposite the clouded out moonrise
meta: my camera pointed at sunset while the groomer works the snow
skiing out by headlamp in the dark
I think my past self might have been super bummed over missing out on moonrise, but my present self didn’t miss a beat and captured the other magic going on around us. When we realized the cloud bank was too thick, Jeremy said he was sorry about that. I told him not to be sorry. I said it was fun to go on an uphill ski at sunset with him even if we had schlepped the gear up for nothing. Am I mellowing with age? Probably. I think more importantly, I have learned to savor the ordinary for being anything but.
That includes broccoli. What are your feelings about broccoli? I mean your true feelings? I grew up eating bright green, crunchy broccoli sautéed Chinese-style with garlic at home. I never understood the ubiquitous sad, boiled florets slapped onto cafeteria trays as the token green in restaurants or in the lunch room. If you wanted to dishonor a vegetable, that was certainly the way to do it. Lately, one of my favorite ways to serve broccoli is by simply roasting it.
broccoli, salt, pepper, olive oil
Roasted broccoli is the easiest recipe and winter is the perfect time to make it. If I buy bunches of broccoli, I cut the florets off and reserve the stalks to use in stir-fries, salads, or soups. Lately, I’ve been grabbing a three-pound bag of broccoli florets from Costco, cutting the large ones into manageable sizes, and roasting the whole batch. Since these florets don’t come pre-washed, I rinse them and then shake out as much excess water as possible, then I let the broccoli sit out to dry for an hour. The less water on the broccoli when you roast it, the more browning and crisping you will achieve rather than steaming.
drizzle with olive oil
season with salt and pepper
I spread the broccoli out on a large (2/3-size) rimmed sheet pan and pop it into a hot 425°F oven. In my oven, it takes about 20 minutes for the pieces to brown where they are touching the baking sheet. At that point, I take the pan out of the oven and flip each piece so that a new surface can brown on the baking sheet. After another 20 minutes, the broccoli is done.
spread in a single layer on a baking sheet
turn after 20 minutes
What you get is broccoli that is crisped on the outside, tender inside, and deliciously nutty. Some people like to add lemon or cheese, but seriously, roasted broccoli is incredibly satisfying as-is. I can eat these right off the pan the way some people eat m&ms. It’s great for weeknights, as a side dish for dinner parties, chopped up as a pizza topping or tossed with pasta, included with a hearty salad (lentils, beans, grains), or straight up. I’m constantly astonished at how many people actively avoid vegetables. Everyone could use more vegetables in their lives. If more folks knew how easy and tasty roasted broccoli is, I think we’d be halfway there.
the crisp bits are the best
lemon wedges for an optional hit of acid
3 lbs. broccoli florets, cut into large bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup olive oil (more as needed)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli florets with half of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Toss with remaining olive oil. Spread the broccoli into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (I line mine with aluminum foil). Roast for 20 minutes, turn the broccoli (to increase the surface area of browning) and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 8-12.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
|roasted broccoli and farro salad with feta||broccoli salad||roasted asparagus||roasted brussels sprouts|