Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas here. There was plenty of family and good food, not to mention the Christmas day snow that made it actually feel like Christmas. I'd put up a picture of one of our two Christmas trees, but I've already dismantled them both. We even went out into the woods and cut our own this year. When I say "we", I really mean my husband. I was there to pick which ones I wanted, while he did the cutting, dragging, lifting, trimming, etc. It's the perfect partnership. Anyway, here's a picture of the chickens enjoying a leftover gingerbread man.
You can see the brown hen pecking at a gingerbread man, which kind of blends in with the leaves.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Experiments in the Kitchen Part II.

     My experimenting with Kale has taken a yummy turn. Unlike the failure that was Kale Chips, North African Chickpea and Kale Stew from the was a success. It has a delicious combination of flavors including cinnamon, allspice, and saffron. Saffron is expensive so get ready to shell out a pretty penny for this recipe. It is, however, totally worth the expense. The chickpeas and kale provide plenty of protein and substance to the soup, which can be eaten as a full meal with a nice hunk of bread. I only had three-ish cups of chopped kale left but the recipe calls for 8 cups. Personally, I think that would have been way too much. Either way, I'd definitely recommend this recipe. You'll also have plenty of left overs for at least a couple days. You can find the recipe here.
North African Chickpea and Kale Stew- Delicious and full of veggies.
     Since soup will be my lunch for the rest of the week, I made a BBQ Chicken Pizza for dinner. I got the recipe from Heather Van Vorous' Book Eating for IBS. It's so good, even my husband had several slices. Before I could even get a picture, half the pizza was gone. One thing I like about the recipe is that it calls for you to make your own BBQ sauce (easy and quick). It's sweet, spicy, and tangy all at once. I also cut down on cooking time by buying pre-made pizza dough and a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Then I just shredded two cups of the breast meat, instead of buying raw chicken breast and having to cook it. I'd definitely recommend buying her book or at least visiting her website for this recipe.
Half of the BBQ Chicken Pizza.
Moses really wanted some of that pizza.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kale Chips-Experiments in the Kitchen

     Kale is one of those super-foods you should definitely be eating. It's a great source of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, protein, folate, and just about everything else. It's also a very fibrous vegetable and holds up better to heat than spinach, which seems to wilt the second it hits the pan. In an effort to eat more vegetables, particularly green vegetables, I decided to try making kale chips. I'd been hearing a lot about them and had seen recipes all over the web, so I finally picked up some kale this week and made a batch of chips. This was the first time I'd baked a leafy green vegetable as well as the first time I'd eaten kale. The verdict. . . .it could have been better, but it definitely could have been worse. You can find the recipe I used here.
Homemade kale chips. . .meh. . . 

     Part of the problem was me not reading the recipe correctly, while the other problem, I think, is that kale chips are just not that good. First, I read the recipe as calling for a tablespoon of seasoned salt, which I used, but it actually only called for a  teaspoon. My bad. Second, the recipe said to bake them for 10-15 minutes. I took them out at 10 minutes and they were still kind of mushy with a little bit of crispiness on the edges so I put them back in for another five minutes. They came out much crispier, albeit a little salty. Even after they were crispy to the touch though, the chips still had a chewy kale-ness to them once in my mouth. They were edible, however, so I put them in a container and will eat the rest. I wouldn't necessarily suggest making them unless you just want to get experimental in the kitchen. My next attempts at kale will definitely be in soup or smoothie form. In fact, the best thing to come out of this whole kale chip business is that the chickens will be munching on the kale scraps that didn't become chips.