Hello all and happy Thursday! This week I wanted to showcase two things that have been almost a daily staple for my life this Fall: cast iron and broccolini. In recent months we’ve obtained a few cast iron skillets as a gift from my grandmother, and now don’t know how we lived without them. Our poor pots and pans are gathering dust in the cupboard, wishing for a new life somewhere where someone will use them.
Cast iron can be used to make almost anything and we’ve seen a huge increase in home-cooked meals. Since we’ve been using these on the daily, we’ve also seen an increased amount of burned fingers. Skillets and dutch ovens are meant to be used on any surface, in or out of the oven, and along with that, don’t have all the little melty plastic parts that usually protect your hands. Let’s just say we learned to keep away from the handles the hard way (a few times).
That was, until, I found this great crochet pattern for handle covers created by Tasty Crochet. It’s a super quick project and a great gift for the cook in your life. Pair it with this dishtowel or the hot pad pattern, written below, and they’ll have a set! Farther below you’ll find my favorite recipe for this season’s favorite veggie: Broccolini. A fancier version of broccoli, this works great as a side dish or lunch when topped with an egg.
Quick Crochet Hot Pad Pattern:
- worsted weight cotton yarn (acrylic will melt under heat)
- size F crochet hook
- tapestry needle
- Chain 31
- Rotate work and skip 1 stitch
- Single stitch 30
- Rotate and single stitch 30 each row until hot pad reaches desired length or 30 rows
- Weave in ends
Quick Broccolini with Garlic and Red Pepper Flakes: Serves 2 as side dish
- 1 bunch broccolini
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon juice* (toss in lemon juice before sautéing to give it a little zing if desired)
- In a pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Remove and discard 1-2 inches of stalk. Cut very thick stems in half lengthwise.
- Once water is at a full boil, add broccolini, bring back to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and submerge in ice water immediately to stop the cooking process. Drain.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in (lemon tossed) broccolini, adding red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Heat through and serve.
- Serves 2 as a side dish
Looking to put those cast iron skillets to good use? Look below for links and great books!
- Ella of Naturally Ella has some great skillet recipes among an array of great homemade condiment recipes and more!
- Cast Iron Skillet: Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen has great recipes ranging from brunch and baking to full-on dinners.
- And my personal favorite One Pan, Two Plates is a cookbook dedicated to quick meals for two that uses only one cast iron skillet. Written by a cooking instructor, the directions are clear and thorough, and offer dishes that have a little flair but aren’t too complicated to whip up on a weeknight after a long day’s work.