Kale chips ~ you have my heart and soul.

Kale

ALL SUMMER I waited. And waited. It felt like I was living in limbo – a world after graduation and before your first career choice, whatever it turns out to be. Stuck somewhere between the concrete and the unknown I felt like it might never end. And then it all changed within a span of two weeks, funny how things work. Long story short I have moved from Georgia to New York. A very drastic change to say the least, though people do say they never took me for a true Southerner. This may be a shocker but I have never been a fan of fried chicken, biscuits, and sweet tea so my departure can’t have surprised all that many. I am very excited to be in a city with every type of ingredient you can imagine and hope the future posts begin to reflect it. I am sad to leave loved ones but look forward to all the adventures that lay ahead!

And now this is where the kale, a vegetable I feel does not get the recognition it deserves, comes into play. When first being considered for this position in NY I had gone up to Atlanta for a weekend of dancing. Swing dancing. The one thing I thought would always be my number one. Then while eating dinner with family my last night there we decided to try something different. My Aunt was describing how no one in her house will ever eat cauliflower, but if she tosses it with a little olive oil and seasoning and bakes it…..there is never a morsel left. Upon hearing this I realized this is how all those raving food bloggers make kale chips. That very second we decided to make them ourselves and see what all the hype was about.

Needless to say it was AMAZING! The smell alone…….. I wanted to take the entire three baking sheets of kale, pour them into a large bowl, and run off. God save the person who tried to take even a piece away from me…

You have no excuse not to try these crispy and nutritious treats! But beware: You better make enough!

First you must exert great amounts of patience as you wash, pat dry, then proceed to shop the kale into bite size pieces. Depending on the type of kale you are using the lower/thicker part of the stem can be discarded, I have found sometimes that it can remain a bit chewy. OR you can go the easier route by purchasing a large bag of already washed and chopped kale. Oh modern marvels.

Once you have all you kale chopped and ready to go spread it out evenly on a large baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil, or oil of choice, remember a little goes a long way. Sprinkle with salt. Toss, by tossing you end up giving the pan a good coat. Then bake at 325 for around 12 minutes or until crispy.

As you take your first delicious taste of a kale chip any misconception you might have had will dissapear. Angels up above will sing. And it will take immense effort to offer the rest of the batch out to lucky onlookers.

Kale chips will quickly become one of your top favorites AND you can really get a bit creative with them too. I like sprinkling parmesan cheese on top right before I put them in the oven. I’m sure other cheeses would be amazing, or maybe even something spicey? No matter the flavor one thing is for sure. North or South I will always love my kale chips 🙂

Summer Morning Oats

I’m back….back with some oats for you on this lovely and HOT summer day.

While I am basking in the glory that is post-graduation I am trying to stay motivated. It is so easy to fall into a routine, which I can not do. So here is a way to jumpstart your day 🙂

Despite the Georgian heat I wanted a hot and hardy cereal – Welcome: Oat Bran

This bag of Oat bran has been sitting in my pantry FOREVER and it was screaming out for attention

In a small pot bring 2 cups water and a good pinch of salt to boil, then turning the burner off, slowly stir in 2/3 cup of oat bran. Leave everything to sit for about 2 minutes. Then [with a rustic wooden spoon if your feeling in the mood, which I was] scoop out half the oat bran mixture into a bowl. Add 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 or 2 tbsp ground flax seed, large dash of cinnamon, and a decent swirl of honey. I proceeded to add a new dried berry mix with golden raisins, cherries, cranberries, and blueberries.

STIR. and ENJOY.

You have two options for what is left in the pot.

1 – prepare a bowl just like yours for a fellow lucky companion…

OR

2 – prepare a bowl just like yours and put in the fridge to have the next morning.

The choice is yours ~ too a happy and productive day

JUMP for cookies

Get ready to rock your socks {…}

These cookies are amazing, and contain no butter or eggs. A ‘healthy’ chocolate chip cookie if you will. But to me it tastes like a brown sugar, peanut butter, maple, dark chocolate, sea salt, cookie of goodness.  🙂

The recipe is amazingly simple to go along with these tasty treats. Mix your dry, mix your not dry, then combine and bake.  You have no excuse not to make these and feel awesome about yourself. {recipe at end of post}

First mix together the dry:

Mix together the not dry:

Make sure you mash and mix up the peanut butter so all the wet ingredients are completely combined.

Then combine and mix. When everything is blended throw in the chocolate chips and form into balls.  Place on a sprayed cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

You can flatten slightly for a thicker cookie or flatten completely for a much thinner cookie. I chose a happy place in-between the two.

If you like before baking the cookies sprinkle a little sea salt and/or brown sugar on the tops of the cookies.  Salt especially is such a good flavor addition to a sweet snack.

These were absolutely delicious right out of the oven, which is when most of my desserts are eaten…, but if you can save a few they are even better the next day.

Recipe for JUMP cookies ~

1 and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

about 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1.5 tbsp chunky peanut butter {or nut butter of choice, any will work}

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup maple syrup

3.5 tbsp canola oil

as much CHOCOLATE as your heart desires

Rosemary Salt and Pepper Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

Oh Boy ~ is that a mouthful to say..

But OH so worth it.

Remember how I said it would be in your best interest to keep the seeds from the butternut squash?  Well this is what you do with them 🙂

Unfortunately one squash does not yield a large portion of seeds, but enough to make a small batch with.

Rosemary Salt and Pepper Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

This recipe is a short one

Once the seeds are rinsed, all squash flesh removed, and patted dry place them in a small bowl.  Add oil of choice, I used grape seed again, about a tbsp until covered.  Then add a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a healthy tbsp of rosemary (dried or fresh, whichever is on hand).

Place on a small baking sheet lined with foil or oil and bake on 300 for 10-15 mins.  Times will differ but seeds will brown on the outside, and will begin to pop when they are ready to come out.

Though I am sure when your house starts to smell like heaven you’ll know they are ready.

Bon Appétit!

Chocolate PB Salty Squares

At the very last minute a dessert was needed…

So I introduce to you the ~ Chocolate PB Salty Squares

Chocolate PB Salty Squares
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar  [regular or brown]
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tbsp chunky peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup local honey
3.5 tbsp canola oil
handful of chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, and salt.  In a seperate smaller bowl combine chunky peanut butter, honey, canola oil, and vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until well combined.  The gently stir in chocolate chips.

My batter was very crumbly, not like a cookie dough at all.  Maybe my oil measured in wrong but with wet hands I preceeded to dump everything onto a sprayed rimmed cookie sheet and flatten it out with my hands.

bake for 10-13 minutes, until the edges are a dark brown.  Remove from oven, with a knife slice into squares and then leave to cool for a few minutes.

The dough set after cooking and made for a marvelous after dinner treat.  We ate ours hot and straight from the oven.  If left to completley cool they become a crunchier cookie.

😉