Roasted Artichokes with Garlic and Chive Aioli

Wow, it has been a hot minute since Troy and I have had a date night. And not just a night on the town date night, but even a stay in and have some wine with a nice dinner date night.

Life has been very unpredictable lately…to say the least. I will be jumping back into the swing of things here pretty soon (hopefully).

With school being out and Troy going into the office, I am on my own during the day. Trying to find a schedule for myself, as well as activities to do, has been difficult. With the pandemic still in full swing, and quarantine still a very real thing, I am stuck at home majority of the time. This is definitely not an easy transition and I need to stay on top of it to make sure I’m not in pj’s all day, eating chips in bed, and watching reruns of my favorite food and design shows….hypothetically speaking…*ahem*.

When Troy and I see artichokes on a menu we almost ALWAYS order them. They sound like a daunting task at first, but when you become familiar with the process of making them it becomes an easy feat and makes you look like you worked really hard…and who doesn’t like that, right? I will for sure be making these again for our next stay at home date night!

How to break down an artichoke:

It sounds harder than it actually is–I promise! And if you need a visual there are lots of videos and websites that have a step by step process.

Step 1: Peel any leaves on the stem of the artichoke.

Step 2: Using a sharp knife, cut about an inch off the top of the artichoke.

Step 3: Cut the pointy part of the leaves off around the artichoke with scissors.

Step 4: Cut the artichoke in half lengthwise and drizzle with lemon juice. This will keep them from turning brown while you work with them.

Step 5: Using a spoon, hollow out the artichoke to remove the “choke”. This is the fuzzy part at the stem. Rinse with water to make sure it is removed.

Step 6: Rub the cleaned artichoke with a lemon to keep it from browning. Repeat with these steps with remaining artichokes.


2 artichokes, whole

1 lemon, cut in half

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/3 cup Toum (Mediterranean Garlic Sauce)-recipe coming soon– or 4 garlic cloves microplaned

4 tsp Italian seasoning

4 teaspoons dried dill

Salt and Pepper


Roasting the artichoke:

Prepare the garlic and chive aioli- recipe is below.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Rub the artichokes with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper all over.

Working with the flesh side up, evenly distribute the Toum or microplaned garlic into each of the artichokes cavities.

Top each artichoke with a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and dried dill. Flip the artichokes over, flesh side down on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes cover the pan with foil and continue roasting for 25-30 minutes until a knife can easily pierce the stem.

Serve artichokes with garlic and chive aioli and lemon wedges.

Garlic and Chive Aioli: Mix 1 cup of mayonnaise with 1/2 tbs lemon juice, 1 large microplaned garlic clove, and 1/2 tbs of fresh chives. Salt to taste. Leave aioli in the refrigerator while you prepare the artichokes. If you are a big fan of garlic, feel free to grate an extra clove in there! We are BIG fans of garlic in this house so there is always more, lol.

Spanish Tapas- Potatoes Bravas with Lemon Garlic Aioli

New Years Eve in our household was full of relaxation, watching the countdown, and comforting our fur babies from the sounds of the fireworks.

Our last appetizer of the night were these tasty fried smashed potatoes. Fried in herb infused oil and topped with a smokey tomato sauce, it was just what the hunny wanted! My spin on this classic Spanish Tapa is smashing my potatoes. Smashing the potatoes allows for more of everyone’s favorite part- the crispy edges! The smokiness from the smoked paprika plays nicely with the bright acidity of the lemon garlic aioli.

I hope 2020 brings you more yummy food, laughter, and happily ever after!

Potatoes Bravas with Lemon Garlic Aioli


For the potatoes

10 small red potatoes

3 tbs avocado oil

3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

2 sprigs rosemary

2 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

For the Bravas Sauce

2 tbs avocado oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves chopped

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like a kick!)

salt and pepper to taste

Lemon Garlic Aioli can be found here


In a large pot of salted (like the sea) boiling water, drop potatoes and cook until fork tender-about 15 minutes.

While potatoes are boiling, prepare the rosemary and garlic infused oil. In a large saute pan, put avocado oil, garlic, rosemary, and smoked paprika on medium low heat. Let the ingredients simmer until the garlic and rosemary become nice and crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, roughly chop them (remove leaves from stem and discard), and reserve for garnish. Remove pan from heat as you wait for the potatoes to finish.

Once potatoes are tender, drain, and place them on a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Now it is time to smash the potatoes! Using the bottom of a coffee mug, gently press down on each potato. They should resemble fat disks- this allows for more surface area to crisp up when pan fried in the infused oil. Salt and pepper them before placing in the pan.

Bring the infused oil to medium high temperature. Once the oil in glistening, place potatoes in the pan and fry on both sides until nice and brown. Remove from pan, finish with salt and pepper, and garnish with reserved rosemary and garlic.

For the Bravas Sauce: In a medium pot, saute onions, garlic, and smoked paprika until onions have softened. Add in tomatoes, cayenne, salt and pepper. Taste, taste, and taste again- do not be afraid to experiment with your food! I am a big supporter of seasoning to your liking. In my recipes you will notice that I do a lot of “salt and pepper to taste” and that is because our love of salt will always differ. So go on, do your thing! 🙂

Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before blending into a smooth sauce.

To assemble: Spoon Bravas sauce to the bottom of a small serving dish. Place fried herb potatoes on top. Finish with a drizzle of Bravas Sauce and Lemon Garlic Aioli.

Extra Bravas Sauce is super yummy when spooned over fried eggs, omelets, fish, and chicken. OooOoo I might need to play around with this more and add a leftovers recipe :).

Spanish Tapas- Cherry Pepper Rellenos

When Troy and I thought about our plans for New Years we decided to stay in and bring in the new year with our fur babies, a glass of wine, and an array of small bite appetizers. One of our favorite places to go here in San Antonio is a Spanish tapas bar. Every single item we have tasted there has been amazing! Guys, Every.Single.One! Since we decided to stay in, we thought it would be fun to recreate our experiences from there for New Years Eve.

Cherry Pepper Rellenos is a spin on a dish that I absolutely love. Traditionally used with piquillo peppers, I swapped them for cherry peppers because their shape makes it easier to enjoy as an appetizer. This dish marries different flavors and textures. They are sweet from the peppers, salty from the Serrano ham, creamy from the different types of cheese used, and crunchy from the bits of toasted walnuts. I picked up my peppers from the olive bar at my local grocery store.

Tonight we opened a bottle of Becker Vineyards Cabernet-Syrah and it paired perfectly with our appetizer extravaganza!

Spanish Tapas-Cherry Pepper Rellenos


14 cherry peppers, de-seeded

2 oz garlic and herb goat cheese

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

2 tbs almond milk (or regular milk)

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and crushed- reserve a bit for garnish

4 slices Serrano ham, diced

salt and pepper to taste

chives to garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cherry peppers into a small oven safe dish.

In a small bowl, mix together goat cheese, mascarpone, and milk. Whip until smooth and slightly fluffy.

Fold in the toasted walnuts and Serrano ham. Salt and pepper to taste.

To fill the cherry peppers: spoon the filling into a zip top bag. Push the mixture into one of the bottom corners of the bag. Snip the tip of the bag and squeeze the mixture into the cherry peppers.

Place peppers into the oven for 5-8 minutes until heated through.

Garnish with reserved walnuts and chives.

Spanish Tapas- Pulpo a la Gallega (Poached Octopus with Potatoes)

Happy New Years Eve! As I reflect back on 2019, I am honestly grateful for everything I was blessed to give, have, and experience in all aspects of my life. I am growing more confident as an educator, I am finding balance between work and home life, and life is allowing me to pursue my passions beyond teaching. Overall, 2019 rocked!

This New Years Eve Troy and I will be celebrating from the comfort of our sofa in our jammies. Troy is not much of a champagne man, so red wine will be our toast of choice. I can not wait to ring in the new year with the love of my life, our fur babies, and these Spanish Tapas! The ball drop is going to be happening with a delicious assortment of appetizers!

Tonight we will be enjoying Pulpo a la Gallega, Potatoes Bravas, and Cherry Pepper Rellenos alongside a bottle of Becker Vineyards Reserve Cabernet-Syrah.

Pulpo a la Gallega (Poached Octopus with Potatoes)


2 cups thawed frozen octopus (found precooked in frozen section of seafood department)

1/4 cup avocado oil

1 tbs smoked paprika

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbs chopped parsley +more to garnish


In a heavy bottom saucepan, add the avocado oil, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add in octopus and lemon juice and saute until warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste. To finish, toss with reserved lemon zest and parsley.

Serve on a bed of Paprika Dusted Potatoes and lemon-garlic aioli:


1 cup mayo- I use Primal Kitchen Mayo

1 lemon, zested and 1 tbs juice reserved

1 garlic clove, grated

salt and pepper

1 russet potato, peeled and cubed

1 tbs ghee

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste


Make the garlic aioli: Mix together the mayo, 1 tbs lemon juice, 1 tbs lemon zest, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil- water should taste salty like the ocean. Add potatoes and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain and return back to pot. Add ghee, paprika, and garlic. Saute on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Place potatoes in a tapas bowl (or any small plate), top with lemon-garlic aioli and then spoon the octopus on top. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges on the side.