Toots & Kakes Explore Post-Grad Boredom

Culinary Adventures by Amateur Chefs

Posts tagged garlic

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Artichokes with Roasted Garlic and Lemon Butter Dip

I have fond memories as a child having artichoke night. These nights were rare on occasion, only eating them once or twice a year. The tradition may be reason for my nostalgia and why I felt the need to have an artichoke night in my west coast studio. My parents prepared the artichokes simply by steaming them, microwaving a bit of butter, and scooping some mayo for a dipping sauce. They were perfect combinations. But regardless of their perfection, I wanted to jazz up the recipe for some extra goodness.

Indredients: For two! 


  • 2 artichokes
  • 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled  

Roasted Garlic and Lemon Butter Dip 

  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/2 bulb garlic, roasted and smashed  
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed 

Preheat oven to 450 degree.

Cut the bottom stems off. If there are any prickly thorns at the end of the leaves cut those off and discard. 

Add the artichokes, lemon, and garlic clove to about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil then lower to  a simmer and let artichokes steam for about 20 minutes. Check to see if the artichokes need more or less time by poking a fork into the center. The fork should come out clean and easy. Also, carefully try to pull of a leaf towards the center. If the leaf has any resistance keep steaming. Once steamed, let cool and set aside until butter sauce is ready.

Meanwhile, once the oven is preheated cut the garlic bulb in halve horizontally and transfer to a baking pan placed on dash of olive oil. Roast for about 20 minutes or until squishy. Make sure not to burn the garlic or remove any brown parts and discard. Not very tasty. Let garlic bulb cool enough to handle and squish out the cloves and discard the skin. Mash cloves with a fork until pasty. 

In a small sauce pan add the butter and melt. Add in the garlic and lemon juice. Mix and let flavors combine then enjoy with the artichoke leaves.

Love and team toothpick,

Toots and Kakes 

Filed under veggies artichokes dinner food recipe garlic

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Balsamic Roasted Green Beans, Mushrooms and Garlic

One of my favorite recipes, for its simplicity and deliciousness, is sauteed green beans with toasted almonds. Since I have prepared green beans in that manner many times I wanted to amp up my side dish to draw out different flavors and experience the combination in a new fashion. 

Also on this dinner occasion, I was feeling to lazy to bike to the grocery store for ingredients so I prepared a dinner featuring all green vegetables. Yum! I made these balsamic roasted green beans, along with steamed artichokes with a roasted garlic and lemon butter dip. For additional vitamins I tossed a green salad and heated some leftovers (thyme mashed potatoes and a herb focaccia).  

Ingredients: Servings for two people. 

  • 1/2 lb green beans, ends chopped and discarded  
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 garlic bulb, roasted or 4 garlic cloves diced (I roasted mine before to prepare the roasted garlic, lemon butter sauce for the artichokes) and threw in the smashed garlic at the end but you can also chop the garlic and toss in with the fresh veggies and roast together.   
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 tablespoon parmigiana, grated

If roasting the garlic click here for the recipe. Be prepared to spare about 20 minutes for this recipe until you can roast the green bean mix. While the garlic is roasting you can prep the green beans and mushrooms. 

Preheat the oven to 450.

Combine the green beans and mushroom in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and vinegar to evenly coat. Add in the chopped garlic or wait to add the roasted garlic until the end. Season with salt and pepper then mix. 

Discard excess oil vinegar liquid and transfer green beans and mushroom mix to a baking tray. Roast for about 20 minutes. 

Note: I realized my oven is finicky. It doesn’t like to be heated to 450! I turned by oven down to around 400 to finish roasting. My fire alarm went off two times while I was cooking these! Eventful. 

Meanwhile, in a small saute pan toast the almonds on medium heat until effervescent and golden. Set aside. 

If adding the roasted garlic (the bulbs should be cool enough to handle by now if you cooked them before this) squeeze out the bulbs from the skin and smash with a fork. I would smash at least half the bulb for the recipe.  Then go ahead and eat a few of the cloves because they are delicious!

With about 5 minutes left of roasting remove the green bean mix from the oven and mix the garlic. The cloves are sticky so it will take a minute to get garlic evenly dispersed. Put back in the oven and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes. 

When done remove from oven toss with almonds and parmigiana. Yum Yum! 

Love and produce heaven, 

Toots and Kakes 

Filed under roast sidedish dinner vegetables green beans mushrooms garlic food

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Roasted Garlic

This post makes us realize that we are pretty much the same person since we both decided to make roasted garlic, over the same weekend, without any contact about our plans.  Crazy train.  But enough about our oddities, on to the garlic!

Roasted garlic is simple to prepare and adds a scrumptious sweetness and creaminess to the garlic cloves.  Kakes roasted hers to make a roasted garlic and lemon butter dip while Toots mixed hers into her potato mixture that became her roasted garlic and parmesan twice baked potatoes.  But roasted garlic is so delicious you can simply spread it on some crostini to make a garlic bread or even sneak a couple cloves plain since they are that delicious. Mmmm.

Below is Kakes’ version of how she went about making her scrumpdidilyumptious roasted garlic!


  • 1 bulb garlic
  • Dash olive oil
  • Pinch Kosher salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. 

Cut the garlic bulb in half horizontally. Slash a wee bit of olive oil on a baking tray or glass baking dish. Place bulb halves cut side down in the olive oil. 

Bake for about 20 minutes. Note: My oven is temperamental so I checked my garlic every 5 minutes to ensure there weren’t burning. If you poke a garlic clove with a fork and it slides in and out clean and easy then the bulb is done roasting and it should smash easily with a fork. 

Take out and let cool and enjoy how you please! 

Love and garlic breath forever, 

Toots and Kakes 

Filed under garlic sauce dip food