Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Crunchy Kale Chips with Soy & Sesame Seeds

I seriously can't believe it has taken me THIS long to blog about kale chips!!!! I do appologize; I know you all expect more of me! These kale chips are down right scrumptious (even though I'm not the world's biggest kale lover). Two out of three of my kids love them, too (and the third one doesn't like them ONLY because he won't even let one near his mouth- he screamed when I offered him one). 

Please check out this website, Refinery 29. I found this site via Pinterest. This blogger has 10 different flavor combos for kale chips- awesome!!!!! The one below is her soy & sesame seeds recipe. I cannot wait to try some of her other recipes, too!!! These kale chips are going fast in my house.....

1 bunch of kale, washed, DRIED, and cut into "chip-sized" pieces
1 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl soy sauce <I used Tamari & I also think 1 1/2 Tbl would be sufficient>
1/2 Tbl sesame seeds

 Preheat oven to 300F

Pour olive oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds into a large ziplock bag. Add kale pieces and shake well making sure the kale is evenly covered with the olive oil mixture.

Place a cooling rack on top of a foil lined cookie sheet* (this helps cook the kale from under too- giving you a nice crispy "chip"). Put half the kale on the cooling rack/cookie sheet (try not to overlap pieces) and cook for 30 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and repeat with the rest of the kale pieces. Try not to eat them all as you transfer them from the cookie sheet to a container.

*If you do not have a cooling rack, just put the kale on a foil lined cookie sheet. I think the cooling rack on top helps with the crispy-ness, but, it isn't necessary.

I had to show you this picture of my daughter sneaking a kale chip as I was trying to take a photo! She LOVES these!!!! You will too!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Good Morning Pear & Celery Juice

I haven't blogged a juice recipe in quite a long, I thought I'd share this little gem today. I have been making an apple celery juice every week for quite some time now. Last week I decided to switch things up a bit by using pears instead of apples. WOW! How can one little orchard fruit make such a difference? I'm not sure, but, it does!! This juice is just yummy. My daughter was stealing sips of mine today after I made it. Fresh squeezed juice is a great start to the day!! Enjoy!

4 pears
4 mini cucumbers OR 2 large cucumbers
2 celery hearts
1 lemon, peeled

Run everything thru the juicer. Serve with ice if you like it cold. Place any extras in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Juice should be consumed within one or two days max*.  This recipe makes enough for three 8 oz glasses. If you want less, just cut the ingredients in half.

*I drink a glass of fresh pressed juice every morning for breakfast, but, I don't have time to juice every day. So, I pick one day a week (usually Sundays) to make myself enough juice for the whole week. I put 5 days worth in air tight, plastic jugs and freeze them. I defrost as I need them throughout the week. It isn't ideal, but, it's what works for my busy schedule and guarantees me a glass a day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shannon's Dreamy Ice Cream Cake (EASY!!!)

My friend, Shannon, has made this ice cream cake countless times for me. It is so dreamy. It is dreamy for two reasons: #1. It is crazy good and #2. It is CRAZY easy!!! I love recipes that take very little effort and culinary skill, yet impressive the pants out of friends and family (and I'm sure you do, too). This recipe is also very versatile. You can use any flavor of ice cream you like; you can also use any type of "fudge" (think caramel sauce) or Oreo cookie. The possibilities are endless yet the result is always the same = delicious! Thanks for sharing this with me, Shan!

To make a 9X13" ice cream cake:

1 whole package of Oreo cookies
1 jar of hot fudge
1 1/2 gallon of your favorite flavor ice cream
1 regular size container of Cool Whip, defrosted in the refrigerator overnight
1 container of sprinkles (I only used 1/2 because it was all I had)

Take the ice cream out of the freezer. Let it sit on the counter while you prepare the crust. Put the entire package of Oreos into a large Ziplock bag and crush them into small pieces.

Transfer the crushed Oreos to a large bowl. Heat the fudge in the microwave (lid off) for 45 seconds. Pour the hot fudge over the Oreos and stir to combine. 

Pour Oreo mixture in the bottom of a 9X13" baking dish. Cover the Oreos with a large piece of wax paper. Use your hands to press into the bottom of the dish so the crust is even and smooth. (This is how I make Rice Krispie Treats- I love using wax paper). If you don't have wax paper (and you really should) you can also spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and do the same thing. It works almost as well. 

Remove the wax paper. You should have a nice evenly spread Oreo crust. 
Rinse out your bowl (no reason to dirty up a ton of bowls). Put the whole tub of ice cream in the bowl and stir it up until it is smooth. 

Very carefully smooth the creamy ice cream over the top of the Oreo crust, trying not to disturb the crust. 

Very carefully smooth the Cool Whip on top of the ice cream layer. I had the best luck using a frosting knife. When I tried using a wooden spoon, the Cool Whip kept pulling the ice cream into isn't the end of the world, but, it just won't look as pretty. Sprinkle with sprinkles!!!!

Cover cake with a layer of plastic wrap (careful not to touch the cake with the plastic) and then a layer of foil. Put back into the freeze for at least two hours so everything can firm up. When you are ready to serve, remove cake from the freezer and let sit for just a minute or two to soften up before slicing. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ann's Incredible Crunchy Asian Salad

My friend, Ann, a long time vegetarian, shared this amazingly easy, yet incredibly delicious, salad recipe with me last month. I am seriously, I am HOOKED on this salad! I have made it for dinner twice in the last week and a half. The thing of it is, it is crazy easy!!!! So many times people equate easy with mediocre.....and often, that is the case.....but, not with this gem of a salad. It is easy and just so yummy. The thing about this salad (and most salads, really) is you don't have to measure anything. Just throw in as much or as little as you want. Use my recommendations as a guide, not a rule. You can't mess this salad up unless you buy a crummy tasting dressing.  I like the Brianna's Ginger Mandarin dressing in the picture below.  Ann uses a great Wegman's brand ginger seasame dressing.

You can easily add chopped rotisserie chicken to it if you want a little meat. But, I think it is perfect just the way it is! Simply scrumptious!! Enjoy!

1 package of your favorite salad <I used this half spring/half spinach mix. I have also used a butter lettuce and red cabbage mix that was delicious>
1 package of broccoli slaw <I used this rainbow slaw once when I couldn't find the broccoli slaw. It was good, but, the broccoli slaw is better. Use the rainbow/coleslaw mix when in a pinch>
1 large cucumber (or two small cucumbers), chopped
Green onion, around 3, chopped
1 perfectly ripened avocado, peeled and chopped
Almond Accents <I love these guys so much I used half a bag on one salad>
La Choy Rice Noodles <You can easily find these in the Asian section of your supermarket. Do not omit- these make the salad. Again, I used half a can on one salad....I have no control>
Ginger Sesame Dressing of your choice <Brianna's Ginger Mandarin is quite good>

*If you want to add a little protein, try chopped left-over or rotisserie chicken

Mix, dress, serve! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pioneer Woman's Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pasta

You all know how much I love The Pioneer Woman's blog. I cook her recipes often. This one is a must share since it took so very little time to make and tasted oh-so-very-delish! The only problem was it was so well liked by myself and my family that we *almost* didn't have enough. So, with that said, if your family members are big eaters, then I suggest making 1 1/2 to 2 times this recipe.  Serve with a side salad and a nice crusty bread. Enjoy!


This recipes comes directly from The Pioneer Woman's blog:


  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta Of Your Choice (I Prefer Short Ones Like Rigatoni, Penne, Etc.) <I used Orecchiette pasta>
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Finely Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 jar (15.5 Ounces) Roasted Red Peppers, Drained And Roughly Chopped
  • 1 cup Vegetable Or Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream (more To Taste) <I only used 1/4 cup and it tasted great>
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Shavings (more For Serving)
  • Finely Minced Parsley <I omitted the parsley>
  • Chopped Fresh Basil (if You Have It!) <definitely add the basil!!>

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will still be some texture to the peppers.)
Heat the other 2 tablespoons butter back to the skillet over medium heat. Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet. Add the broth, salt, and pepper, and stir until heated. Splash in the cream and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add Parmesan and parsley/basil, then stir it together to coat the pasta.
Serve in bowls with extra Parmesan and a sprinkling of parsley on top.