Roasted Kale

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Roasted kale is a favorite snack food in our home.  It is ridiculously easy to make and if you’ve ever seen how expensive it can be to buy in the snack food section at your local grocery or health food store, you’ll definitely want to turn on your oven and get to roasting!  We typically use olive oil, but I imagine any other cooking oil you prefer will work.  This is a basic recipe that works great and you can mix it up by changing out spices or making with different oils for a unique twist on this simple recipe.  My favorite is a blend of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  As soon as the chips are removed from the oven, I shave a sprinkling of fresh parmesan over the top.  The heat of the chips causes the cheese to melt and adhere nicely to the kale.  We also love roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes!  Any other foods you think we should be roasting that are must to try?  Please share!

 

 

christmas wish list: for the kitchen

What a whirlwind the past few months have been!  I hope you, your family, and friends have been able to enjoy the holiday season this year.  After the past few years with my gourmet food business, I had decided that this year would be different!  I wouldn’t be working up until Christmas Eve and I would actually get to enjoy the time with my family and not be surrounded by jars.  I set a date to be finished up with business by and that day was today.  With the exception of a few orders, I actually met my goal!  A goal that was only met with the help of my husband and mother! I am thankful for a busy and productive holiday season, but now am ready for the slowness that Winter brings.

Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing a few last minute gift ideas that you should be able to get just in time for Christmas if you hurry and click “order now”.  Today’s wish list is filled with items for the kitchen.  My favorite kind of gifts!  I don’t personally own any of these items, so if you happen to have, let us know if we will love or should try another product.

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1. I am not sure why I’ve never invested in a potato ricer, but I haven’t.  The truth is, I’d love to try making cauliflower mash with this tool!

2. I am a huge fan of the William & Sonoma Goldtouch baking pans .  They not only work better than any other pans I’ve used, but are reasonably priced.  And who doesn’t love a festive red cake pan?!

3.  Lattes are my favorite and I think the key to a perfect latte is frothed milk.  The Epica gets rave reviews on Amazon.com and is almost 1/2 the price of it’s more expensive competitor (I actually owned the Nespresso version at one point, but never had reliable results and eventually sent back).

4.  I’ve never owned expensive cookware, with the exception of my beloved LeCreuset dutch oven that my husband got me last Christmas.  I really, really want great pans!  I have read and read reviews about several brands, but have never taken the plunge to invest in a set.  This pan looks like a great place to start and is also made in the U.S.A.  Plus, it’s currently 25% off and will ship for FREE!

5.  I love a good teakettle!  The problem is, I have literally been searching for one for almost 2 years and haven’t found one yet that I think would be perfect.  I’ve decided this All-Clad version might be the one!  It is also 25% off and will ship for FREE.

6.  If you have a large Christmas budget, put these on your list!  The steak knives from Cutco.  We own a few of their knives and a pair of scissors.  All are amazing!  The company’s customer service cannot be beat!  These knives have a lifetime warranty and are made in the U.S.A.  I have owned the scissors for 21 years and sent back a few years ago to have them sharpened.  The company actually sent me a brand new pair of scissors to replace mine.  These are definitely an investment item, but one you won’t regret!

How about you?  Any great items on your Christmas {kitchen} wish list this year?

Vicki-Signature

 

 

 

 

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH SOUP

WELCOME FRIENDS.  I THOUGHT I’D SHARE A FEW THINGS ABOUT WHAT THIS WEBSITE IS AND WHAT IT WILL NOT BE IN THIS FIRST RECIPE POST.  I, LIKE MANY OF YOU, AM AN “AT HOME COOK”.  I HAVE NO FORMAL TRAINING WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A FEW FUN COOKING CLASSES HERE AND THERE.  IT IS MOSTLY TRIAL AN ERROR IN MY HOME KITCHEN.  I SHARE THIS BECAUSE THE RECIPES I WILL BE SHARING ARE GOING TO BE RECIPES THAT DON’T REQUIRE A CULINARY DEGREE.  ALTHOUGH I SECRETLY WISH I HAD ONE, NOT BECAUSE I WANT THE DEGREE PER SE, BUT BECAUSE I WANT ALL OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE THAT GO ALONG WITH IT.  I LOVE TO COOK!  AS IN, IT IS PROBABLY ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO.  I COULD COOK AND BAKE EVERYDAY, ALL DAY LONG, BUT ONLY IF I HAD A HUMAN DISH WASHER TO CLEAN UP AFTER ME.  WASHING DISHES IS MY LEAST FAVORITE THING TO DO IN THE KITCHEN.  MOST OF THE RECIPES I’LL BE SHARING HERE WILL BE RECIPES THAT OTHERS HAVE CREATED.  I WILL BE SHARING MY EXPERIENCE WITH CREATING OTHER PEOPLES RECIPES, ALONG WITH MY OWN PHOTOS.  I WILL ALWAYS LINK TO THE ORIGINAL RECIPE AND GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.  I THINK IT IS SIMPLY A WASTE OF TIME TO RETYPE SOMEONES ORIGINAL RECIPE, ONLY TO SWITCH OUT A FEW WORDS HERE AND THERE, MAYBE TINKER EVER SO SLIGHTLY WITH INGREDIENTS, AND THEN TRY TO PASS IT OFF AS MY OWN.  AFTER ALL, THE RECIPE IS THEIRS AND THEY SHOULD RECEIVE THE ACCOLADES AS SUCH.  MY HOPE IS TO SAVE YOU TIME.  YOU SEE, SO MANY RECIPES ARE ON THE INTERNET TODAY.  AND SEVERAL ARE ACCOMPANIED BY GORGEOUS PHOTOS OF WHAT LOOKS LIKE THE MOST AMAZING BITE OF FOOD YOU COULD POSSIBLY EVER WANT TO CONSUME.  UNTIL YOU DO, ONLY TO FIND OUT A. THE RECIPE IS A FLOP OR B. THE TASTE WAS HARDLY WORTH THE COST OF INGREDIENTS.  AS A MOTHER, WIFE, AND SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, I DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR EXTRA MONEY FOR COSTLY MEAL FLOPS.  WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE REASON I’LL BE SHARING RECIPES WITH YOU:  I WILL ONLY SHARE RECIPES THAT I HAVE TRIED AND KNOW ARE SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS.  AND NO, I WON’T BE SHARING THE ONES I DON’T LOVE.  SORRY, BUT I’M NOT HERE TO TRASH OTHERS WORK, RATHER TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO TRY NEW RECIPES THAT I KNOW WILL WORK AND NOT LEAVE YOU FRUSTRATED AT THE SUPPER TABLE.  AND LETS NOT FORGET, I LOVE TO BAKE!  I WILL PROBABLY SHARE MORE BAKING RECIPES THAN ANY OTHERS.  BAKING COMES NATURALLY FOR ME AND ITS WHAT I LOVE.  LAYER CAKES ARE MY FAVORITE DESSERT TO BAKE AND THE MORE RUSTIC IN APPEARANCE, THE BETTER.  MY CAKES ARE NOT FANCY AND I AM IN NO WAY A DECORATOR OR AN ARTIST IN THIS AREA. NOR AM I A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER.  I HAVE NO TIPS OR TRICKS AND CAN BARELY FIGURE OUT HOW TO EDIT MY OWN PHOTOS.  BUT- I LOVE {REALLY LOVE} FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY.  I LOVE TO LOOK AT OTHERS WORK AND TO READ ALL OF THEIR TIPS AND TRICKS.  I HAVE SEVERAL THAT I’LL SHARE WITH YOU IN FUTURE POSTS.  I HOPE YOU WILL ENJOY THIS SPACE AS MUCH AS I ENJOY CREATING IT.  AND IF YOU EVER HAVE A RECIPE YOU’D LIKE ME TO TEST, SHOOT ME A MESSAGE WITH THE DETAILS.

THE FIRST RECIPE I’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU IS THIS ACORN SQUASH SOUP RECIPE FROM FOOD NETWORK.  THIS IS THE PERFECT SOUP FOR FALL.  IT IS SIMPLE TO MAKE AND YOU COULD SERVE WITH A VARIETY OF GARNISH OPTIONS.  WE ROASTED THE SEEDS AND SERVED ATOP THE SOUP.  THEY ADDED AN EXCELLENT TEXTURAL BALANCE TO THE DISH.  CREME FRAICHE OR SOUR CREAM WOULD ALSO MAKE A NICE ADDITION.  RIGHT BEFORE SERVING, EACH MUG WAS TOPPED WITH FRESH, CRACKED RED AND BLACK PEPPER AND A LIGHT SPRINKLE OF MALDON SEA SALT (MY FAVORITE).  A QUICK TIP: IF YOU HAVE AN IMMERSION BLENDER, A SMOOTH SOUP RECIPES IS WHERE IT WILL SHINE.  IF NOT, NO BIG DEAL, SLOWLY LADLE INTO YOUR BLENDER AND IT WILL DO THE TRICK.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS SOUP AND IT WOULD BE THE PERFECT RECIPE TO SHARE WITH YOUR GIRLFRIENDS ALONG SIDE OF FRESH, CRUSTY BREAD AND GLASSES FILLED WITH GINGER BEER TO TOAST IN THE AUTUMN SEASON. OR EVEN FOR A LIGHT LUNCH ALONG SIDE OF A SALAD LOADED WITH CRISP, TART APPLES AND DRIED CRANBERRIES, WITH A SIMPLE VINAIGRETTE .  I AM NOT SURE THIS IS NECESSARILY A KID FRIENDLY RECIPE, UNLESS YOUR KIDS LOVE A SMOOTH SOUP.  MY KIDS PREFER THEIR SOUP TO HAVE A “MEATIER” TEXTURE WHICH MEANT, I HAD PLENTY OF LEFTOVERS TO LAST ME FOR SEVERAL DAYS. PLEASE SHARE, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FALL SOUP RECIPE?