Kale Pizza

Kale + pizza = best thing ever.

Kelly over at Just a Taste knows how to get my attention.  She posted this recipe last month and I about jumped out of my seat when I saw it.  I’ve been thinking about kale and how to use it other than just making chips.  My first chip experience was a disaster and haven’t tried it since.  But this?  This I had to have.

I like to use my cast iron pan for pizzas.  Whether it’s a pre-made or homemade crust, using the cast iron pan is the way I roll.


Slap some mozz on that crust.


Cook up some bacon and reserve the fat.  Toss in some chopped up kale with the bacon and it’s fat and coat it well.


Dump that on top of the mozz, add some sliced red onion and anything else you fancy.


Bake and enjoy.  I drizzled some balsamic glaze on top as soon as I pulled this out of the oven.  This might be one of the best ways to sneak kale into your food.  Man was this AMAZING.  If you’re not the kale type, I think spinach will sub well here.

Go check out the full recipe over at Just a Taste. I’ve made a few things from Kelly’s blog and they’ve all turned out delicious.  You can’t go wrong with her blog! And make some kale pizza!

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Fried “Rice”

I finally bought a wok.

This is pretty exciting and intimidating at the same time.

I’ve never owned any fancy kind of cookware.  Granted, I bought it at Marshall’s for $10, but I still bought a wok.

I let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few days, price sticker still on it.  I’d look at it and think, “Do I really this?” I mean, it was only $10 but … do I need ANOTHER cooking vessel?  (Brad’s answer – No) But it’s a wok! Shouldn’t every kitchen have one? Sure!  After a couple of days I finally took the sticker off and threw the receipt away.  No turning back now!

I let it sit for a few more days.  I’d stare at it and think, “What am I going to make?”

Yes. I seriously asked that.

I’ve never made fried rice.  I love ordering it.  But I’ve NEVER made it.  So fried rice is the first thing up in the wok.  But not just any fried rice.  I’ve had my eye on this recipe from Rosie the Londoner.  She has a guilt free egg fried “rice” recipe that sounds amazing. And since it’s a new year, might as well be healthy (just to start eating delicious trash later).

Bust out that wok I know you all have tucked behind all of your pots and pans and preheat that sucker.  No oil just yet.

The “rice” is not just rice, though.  Cauliflower, friends.  Cauliflower.  You take that cauliflower and zip it through your food processor with the grate attachment.  Chop up some onions and garlic as well (but don’t mix them together).


Once the wok is hot, drizzle some oil (not olive oil, something with a higher smoking point so you don’t fill your kitchen with burn) down the sides of the wok and toss in your onions and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes or until they start smelling delish.

Toss in your shrimp if they’re raw.  If they’re cooked, skip this step and add them in last to warm them up.  Cook your shrimpies until just cooked – they’ll stay in the pan so you don’t want to over cook them.

Dump in your “rice” and stir, stir, stir! After a few minutes, drizzle in some soy sauce and continue to stir.


I also added in a little bit of rice vinegar. Once everything is incorporated, make a little well in the center of your wok and crack an egg.


Let the egg cook a little bit until the white starts to set and then break the yolk.  Stir that around a little bit and then stir the whole thing again. Once the egg is cooked, remove from heat and serve.  That’s it! So simple!


It doesn’t look glamorous but man is it tasty.  And not bad for you at all.  Serve it with some sweet chili sauce or sriracha, depending on how you like your heat.  Don’t forget the cilantro! Because that makes anything delicious.  Experiment with your proteins.  Chicken, steak, tofu.  Add more veggies – snow peas, shredded carrots, peppers.  You really can’t go wrong with this basic fried “rice” recipe.

Now I want to stir fry EVERYTHING.  This wok is fun!

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Sound Off Saturday – Birchbox Product Review

So food isn’t my only jam.  (groan – sorry, I’m a sucker for cheesy jokes.)  If you were to look at my pins on Pinterest you’d see that besides all of the foods, I like other things.  I cross stitch, I picked knitting up again, I try to be healthy and am a beauty product sucker.  My sister signed me up for a Birchbox subscription for my birthday and this little monthly box of sample goodness is just FUN.  In my stalker ways, before I got my first box I liked them on Facebook, followed them on Twitter and Instagram and tweeted/IG’ed the CRAP out of them.  And when I get my box, I tweet/IG photos of the box like I’ve won a million bucks. It’s been great getting samples of things I would never think to buy, especially skin care and hair care products.  I’m 28 and I think I’m invincible to wrinkles and damaged hair, amongst other things.  Moving to the coast has been a reality check and I’ve been more thoughtful about those things.  Birchbox has sent samples for my face and hair in recent boxes and I have been enjoying trying them out.

While in the process of stalking Birchbox, I signed up for birchbloggers.  I got an email asking the birchbloggers what we think the next Beauty Protector product would be. 10 will be selected to receive it and review it. My thought was a dry shampoo.  I love me some dry shampoo.  I was wrong, but I was selected! I won! The product came in the mail and it was time to sample.

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The product that I got was the Beauty Protector protect & oil*.  I normally don’t put much in my hair and you can tell.  It’s damaged.  I really beat it up this summer between the ocean water, pool water, the sun and all of that dry shampoo.

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I’ve used something similar to this WAY back in the day and I don’t know why I stopped using it.  But I’m so glad protect & oil is in my life now.  Three drops is all you need.  Slap it on your hands and apply to your hair after shampooing and towel drying, style as usual.  I saw an immediate difference.

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This is me, not on protect & oil.  Frizzy, messy (yeah I need a hair cut) and just meh.  Wear and tear of the Atlantic Ocean and pool water right there, folks. This is also just after a blow dry sesh.  No flat iron, which I normally do.

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And this is me on protect & oil.  Such a major difference.  This, too, is just after a blow dry.  No flat iron.  Not as frizzy (I’m sure if I get that over due hair cut this will look WAY better) my hair was shiny and the oil did not make my hair feel weighed down or oily.  It has a nice scent to it.  Kinda vanilla sugary, maybe coconut.  It was definitely nice.  I’ll be trying my flat iron out after I use this oil.  I am also looking forward to using this product for another beachy summer :)  Thumbs up, Beauty Protector! I’m hooked.

As i said before, I like things other than food and like to babble.  So I’m thinking this Sound Off Saturday will happen.  Not weekly (cause I’m bad at that gig) but every so often. Yay new things!

*I wasn’t paid to do this review. I was selected from my tweet to review a product – good or bad.

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FFwD Dressy Pasta “Risotto”

AKA Fancy mac and cheese!   I enjoy risotto and was slightly disappointed when I read through the recipe to find out it’s everything but.  But man do I LOVE mac and cheese.  Like LOVE.  It is just the definition of comfort food.  This fancier version might now be my go to for mac and cheese.  I normally make a roux, dump some cream in, melt the cheese and add the pasta.  This was SO much easier.  Dorie calls for chicken stock – lucky for me I made chicken stock earlier in the day.  I had chicken parts in the freezer and was looking to free up some space.  It’s getting colder here at the beach thanks to snow storm Hercules, so homemade soup will be happening later this week.  The local fish market is having a HUGE sale on clams so I’m also thinking clam chowder is going to happen in the very near future.  The perks of living at the beach!

Back to that risotto … Onions, butter, chicken stock, pasta, cream, fresh grated parmesan and mascarpone.  MMM. Dorie.  It’s like you wrote this recipe just for me.  Taking one of my favorite things to eat, making it fancy AND it’s a one pot wonder.  Gah! I served mine up with some pork chops (thanks for the chops, Mom!) and greens.


This was a hit all around.  I will make this again that is for sure.  Check out what the other Doriesters are doing with their dressy pasta risotto here.

Now I will stay indoors all day.  It’s cold here!


So pretty!

Update — Beach snow photos! :)

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Apple Turnovers

So over the weekend I made the compote de pommes as part of French Fridays with Dorie.  The bonne idee for the compote was to use it in some turnovers/hand pies.  What a bonne idee it was.  And so stinking EASY. The compote was super easy to begin with and why not make two things out of one recipe?  Consider me sold.

Thaw the puff pastry, roll it out and cut some circles.


Stuff this with some compote, close it, crimp it and add a little egg wash for shine.


Let it do it’s thing in the oven for 20-25 minutes and boom.  Turnovers/handpies.


So simple! The puff pastry had a lightness to it but still buttery and delicious.  The apple filling is simple and tasty.  Personally, I enjoyed this turnover cold.  There’s something about cold applesauce and that buttery crust that makes me happy.  Now, what else can I stuff in these?!

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French Friday with Dorie – Compote de Pommes

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a French Friday with Dorie recipe. I could list excuses but I’m not going to.  I’ll just get back in it! I love reading the posts the others in the group share and the camaraderie this group has created and I’ve missed contributing to it.  This past Friday’s FFwD recipe is Compote de Pommes two ways.  That is applesauce for you who don’t know the lingo.  There is a straight forward recipe and the second one is a thicker, gussied up version with butter.  I opted for the first go at it and will make the turnovers tomorrow for a fancy breakfast.

Apples, peeled, cored and chopped up.

About halfway there.

Dorie suggests milling, pushing the apples through a sieve or leave them whole. I don’t have a mill, no patience for the sieve and I don’t like an overly chunky applesauce. To the food processor it goes!

Finished compote de pommes.

I took a taste. Delish.  I didn’t add the butter or vanilla, which were optional.  I thought this was good as is.  The compote is now chilling in the fridge waiting to be tucked in some puff pastry and enjoyed as a hand pie.  But Dorie also suggests adding some creme fraîche and enjoying it as a delicious dessert.  Perhaps I’ll do both.  Perhaps I’ll try to nestle this in to something for thanksgiving … Hmm… Posts to come!

Check out the other FFwD compote de pommes posts from fellow bloggers!

PS – It feels good to be back to FFwD! :)

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Raisin Bread

Raisin bread? Yes.  Raisin bread. I’ve been wanting to make another bread and raisin bread spoke to me.  I don’t know why, but it did.  So I went with it.  My grandfather also likes a good raisin bread so why not make something that I can share?

I found this recipe on food.com.  Yes, world’s best raisin bread, NO bread machine!

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup warm water (must be between 110-115 degrees)
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted (approx.)

Directions:

  • Warm the milk in a small sauce pan on the stove until it just starts to bubble, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm, about 120-125 degrees.
  • Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside until yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes or so. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter, salt and raisins. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until smooth.
  • Place in a large, buttered, mixing bowl and turn to grease the surface of the dough.
  • Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick.
  • Moisten the dough with 2 tablespoons milk and rub all over the dough with your hands.
  • Mix together 1 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon and sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the moistened dough.
  • Roll up tightly (the long way).
  • The roll should be about 3 inches in diameter.
  • Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends and pinch bottom together.
  • Place loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans and lightly grease tops of loaves. Let rise in warm place, uncovered, again for about an hour.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and let cool on rack.
  • Take melted butter and spread over tops of loaves.
  • After about 20 minutes, lay loaves on their sides and remove from pans. Allow to cool before slicing.

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The loaf.

20130127150456298The loaf, upon sharing.

This was the first time I made any kind of sweet bread.  I liked it! A lot! And so did my grandfather and other family members that were able to try it.  Although it was time consuming, it was pretty simple.  If you’re looking to try a sweet bread, I suggest making this one.  Try subbing the raisins for other dried fruit if you’re not a raisin fan.  This went well with a little bit of butter and a cup of coffee.  Just thinking about this makes me want to make it again. Here’s to sweet breads! :-D

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