Kale Salad Perfection

I know, I’m losing credibility because every salad I make is like the best salad ever. But this one is no joke. I have made it 3 times in the past 2 week, so easy, gets rave reviews. Part of what I loved about this recipe was discovering the method used for de-stemming and slicing the kale. It’s not life changing, but close. Seriously, thanks to Jackie of Marin Mama Cooks for the kale prep tutorial. My blog totally loves and admires your blog.

Kale Salad

Lacinato Kale Salad, courtesy of Marin Mama Cooks

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch lacinato/dinosaur kale, de-stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese – I used a bit less

Directions (you gots to check out her pics to follow this properly)

1) To de-stem the kale as well as cut it into thin strips:

  • Grab a stalk of freshly washed and dried kale, holding it by the stem with one hand while placing the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off.
  • Here is how to cut your kale into thin strips. You can also use this technique for any sort of lettuce and herbs. Take the kale leaves and lay them on top of one another and then roll them up tightly.

2) Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

3) Pour the dressing over the kale and make sure to massage it well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing. When I say, “massage” your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it.

4) After your kale is well tossed, add the parmesan cheese and toss again. Let the salad rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Bonus, it tastes just as good the next day, not soggy at all.

I just have to say, today’s post is one of the reasons I love blogging. Yes, I love blogging because of a goddamned good kale salad. I discovered Marin Mama Cooks through my friend Michele’s blog and now I am sharing with all of you! Happy Monday folks.

Devirginizing the Kitchen – Skillet Rosemary Chicken

Yesterday was the first Sunday in a while that felt normal. Oliver and I woke up, snuggled on the couch for a movie, had my friend Courtney and her little guy Luca over, and did our Sunday grocery shopping. For dinner, I decided on one of my old faves, Skillet Rosemary Chicken and served with roasted kale.

One of the best additions in my new house is speakers in the kitchen and living room. I got the Sonos hooked up and had a little dance party while cooking. Oliver has some sweet moves, just sayin. I cannot even describe how much I love my new kitchen. It is so functional and beautiful and spacious, I feel like the luckiest lady ever. Cooking is a dream.

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Skillet Rosemary Chicken (courtesy of Food Network Kitchen)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1lb cremini mushrooms, halved

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.
  2. Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon. Stir things around so mushrooms and potatoes get coated by the sauce.
  4. Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

I can’t wait to see some of the search terms that come through after adding “devirginizing” to the post. Actually, I’m scared. You have no idea how many “best bloe job” (yeah, people who are searching for porn aren’t the best spellers) terms I see.

Sunday Dinner – Roast Chicken & Veggies

All of Seattle is watching the Seahawks play the 49ers for a shot at the Superbowl. I, however, am listening to Jake & the Neverland Pirates as I am home with a sick little guy who has commandeered the TV. I am making one of my fave Sunday dinners, roast chicken and veggies. Until about 5 years ago, the thought of roasting a chicken was completely intimidating. In hindsight, I have no idea why. It is seriously easy, and one of those dinners you just throw in the oven and let ‘er rip. Perfect for company, makes your house smell amazing.

I have been doing various versions of roast chicken, one of my favorites is Ina Garten’s Engagement Roast Chicken. I love the gravy you make at the end, it’s the best part. I have also been digging Smitten Kitchen’s Flat Roast Chicken, where you remove the backbone from the chicken (or have the butcher do it). This shortens the cooking time to about 45 minutes rather than 75 minutes. Both are totally fantastic recipes. Staples. But today I felt like getting crazy today and trying something new. Enter Martha Stewart’s Perfect Roast Chicken. What I like about this guy – you pierce a lemon all over and insert the entire thing into the cavity, as well as garlic cloves, fresh thyme, salt & pepper. Gives the final product such great flavor.

Veggies on the menu tonight are Yukon gold potatoes, parsnips, yellow onion and carrots. Also planning to roast a little kale to green things up.

Sunday Roast Chicken & Veggies

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Perfect Roast Chicken (so, I guess it wasn’t quite perfect)

Ingredients

  • 1 4lb organic chicken
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large cloves garlic, peeled (plus 4 more to include with veggies)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme (plus more to include with veggies)
  • 1 medium onions, peeled, cut in half width wise, then sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 bunch carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into even chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Let chicken and 1T butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes
  3. Cut up all veggies and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Make sure the veggies are all around the same size.
  4. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body.
  5. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  6. Place the lemon on the counter and roll back and forth, this softens the lemon and allows the juice to flow more freely. Pierce entire surface of lemon with a fork. Using the side of a large knife, gently press on garlic cloves to open slightly. Insert garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and lemon into cavity. Place chicken in large roasting pan. Cut about 18 inches of kitchen twine, bring chicken legs forward, cross them, and tie together.
  7. Spread the softened butter over entire surface of chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Spread veggies evenly around the chicken in the roasting pan, if they are too crowded, they will steam, not roast. Place in the oven, and roast for 15 minutes.
  8. Reduce temperature to 350º after 15 minutes.
  9. Continue to roast until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when pierced, about 1 hour. When chicken seems done, insert a thermometer into the breast, then the thigh. The breast temperature should read 165º.
  10. Remove chicken and place on a platter to rest for 10 – 15 minutes. Raise temp back up to 425° and throw the veggies back in to continue roasting for an additional 15 minutes.

Pretty exiting, Oliver let me turn on the Seahawks game and we got to watch them beat the 49ers and get their 2nd chance to play in the Superbowl!! Dinner was delish as well. Good Sunday in Seattle.

Faves of 2013 – Here’s What Worked for Me

I’m back at work after what seemed like a very long, almost too long, break for Christmas and New Years. Oliver is also back in school this week, my routine is being revived, my weight will hopefully go back down, and I’m ready to conquer 2014. As we kick this year off, I have been doing some deep soul searching and reflecting on 2013, but I’ll save that for my therapist. For you, I present my list of what worked best in 2013!

Books – both on the heavier side, stories that completely immerse you and characters that are deep and layered. My kind of reading.

Songs – Clearly, I like pop music. I swear, I have more depth in my musical repertoire than my selections show. For example, when my collection is on shuffle, you might hear Pearl Jam followed by Miley Cyrus followed by Led Zeppelin. But these are my fave jams of the year. Sorry not sorry.

TV Shows (New) – I know, I know, I had a really hard time narrowing down to 1 here, and this is limited to new shows only! Ray Donovan is really the top of my list, and not just because Liev Schreiber is the hunkiest man I’ve seen in a long time. Jon Voight is amazing, as is the rest of the supporting cast, it’s gritty and violent and funny and dark. Love it. The rest of the list are also must-watches. There is so much good TV to be seen! Get out there and do something about it!

Binge TV ShowI couldn’t not mention this show. If you are a human being with a heart and a family, you should watch this show because you will love it. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t cry every single episode. Note, I do not recommend watching multiple episodes during Christmas when you don’t celebrate and your son is with his dad. Just sayin.

Parenthood

Denim – Jeans are my favorite article of clothing and I never seem to have too many pairs. I am lucky enough to dress casually for work, which only makes my habit worse. These were my fave pair of the year. Love the light rinse after all of my dark denim. Skinny, not too skinny. Can wear with Nikes or booties or heels.

Citizens of Humanity Racer
Citizens of Humanity Racer

Restaurant – I had 2 of my best meals here this year with friends. One sitting outside in the summertime on their lovely patio and one with a larger group of ladies inside. Both fantastic. The Roasted Chicken and the Filet are both musts as entrees, they are staples on the menu.

The Whale Wins

Recipe Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad – I discovered this Bon Appetit salad via my friend Jenny and it has been such a hit, it has been all over Pinterest lately too. I made it for the Pi Phi Christmas party and several of my friends ended up making for their Christmas dinners. This salad impresses and even makes for good leftovers! NOTE – I subbed toasted hazelnuts for the almonds and highly recommend.

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Accessory – I’m not gonna lie, this bag has brought me some legitimate happiness and I have no regrets about the splurge.

balenciaga
Balenciaga Giant 12 Velo

Movie – I. loved. this. movie. I watched it twice in 48 hours, it’s that good. It might have something to do with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and that he is ridiculously hot/adorable and talented to boot. He wrote, directed, starred. Impressive. The story ends up being a really sweet love story and it got me.

Don Jon

Beauty – This has been the year of Laura Mercier. Skin, lips, eyes – all my new fave beauty products are Laura.

 

I am so excited to see what works in 2014 and hope you will be coming along for the ride!