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Cass in the Kitchen: Boiled Peanuts and Broccotatoes

:kitchen: This week we have another old southern favorite, and then a new thing. You will love them both, I promise!

Have you ever had [tag]boiled peanuts[/tag]? I ate them all the time growing up. A few years ago, I got desperate for some, and bought them in a can. They were a horrible substitute for the real thing, and all my kids hated them. But this weekend, I was cleaning the freezer, and took some out. I shared them with the children, and this time I had to beat them off with a stick just so I could get a few for myself. They really are that good, and not hard at all to make.

Boiled Peanuts

Here’s how to cook them: Rinse the dirt off, and boil them long and hot with a lot of salt. You want to boil them until the nuts are tender. You’ll have to test them the first time you make them, but there is a definite smell of “just right” that you will recognize when you cook them again. It’s not a smell that I can describe, except to say that it is pleasant and “smells like boiled peanuts”. That’s not very helpful, is it? Cook some, and you will know exactly what I mean, though.

Broccotatoes

First off, I can’t take credit for this idea. I got it from Rachel Ray’s magazine. As you may know, I am watching my calories in an attempt to lose the weight I gained when I quit smoking. Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite foods, but they come in at an astounding 200 calories per cup because I use whole milk and real butter when I make them. I’m not budging on the milk and butter, so when Rachel wrote about making them with broccoli, I thought that sounded like win/win deal. I actually made mine with broccoli and cauliflower, and they were totally yummy. They actually taste like mashed potatoes, if you can get past the little green flecks, and since broccoli and cauliflower only have about 25 calories per cup, it saves quite a few calories. Almost enough to have a little cheesy gravy. Just sayin’

Here’s how I did it:

Peel and boil 2-3 pounds of potatoes. After they have cooked 10 or 15 minutes, add a 2 pound bag of broccoli ot broccoli and cauliflower and cook for another 5 minutes. Drain. Add a stick of butter, and a half cup of milk. Beat/mash/mix, however you usually do it. Add salt and pepper to taste and a bit more milk of you need it, and mix again. Serve plain or with gravy.

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