3/28/12

Kale chips, finally


Tonight, I finally made kale chips. My reason for not having made them yet is honestly that I love raw kale so much that I never wanted to risk wasting a bunch for a snack I may not like as much. For my chips, I translated my favorite kale pasta salad dressing into a sauce to coat my chips before baking them.


I loosely followed this recipe from A Farmer In The Dell, using a quarter of a cup of extra virgin olive oil, and a half of a cup Parmesan (... I know, it's OK.) to dress one bunch of kale. I also squeezed lemon juice onto the entire mixture. I cooked it in two batches in a 350 degree oven. The better batch was the one I took out after 8 minutes.


While I really love kale as a raw vegetable, I guess I thought baking it would magically turn it into potato chips. It didn't. Once my expectations were adjusted, these were alright.
Next time I would add some garlic, and maybe make them be potato chips.

3/25/12

Sunday Fixes: Mad Men and Chocolate Cake


I promise I do own more than one cookbook, but since the arrival of my copy of Joy the Baker's new book coincided with the creation of this little blog of mine, my weekends and my posts have been perhaps inordinately dedicated to chocolate, flour, sugar and butter. Sometimes, that's just all you need. Well, that and Don Draper.


In honor of tonight's return of Mad Men (finally!), I decided to get my Betty Draper-Francis on, and bake Joy's chocolate bundt cake with chocolate sour cream glaze.


The perfect chocolate fix to compliment my Mad Men fix. Cheers, Don.
You have an Old Fashioned, I'll have this glass of milk.


3/24/12

Cherry Blossoming


As I mentioned before, warm weather came to Washington early this year, and the boy and I made our third annual visit to the cherry blossoms. A gift from Japan in 1912, this year is the centennial celebration of the trees lining the tidal basin at the Jefferson Memorial. With a stormy weekend on its way, we rushed to see the blooms before it was too late.




Looking forward to the cherry blossoms makes it easier to get through the winter here. They always arrive by late March or very early April, so when you wake up in on February 1, having not seen daylight outside of the office since October, you know there are only two months to go.



And you can do anything for two months.

3/21/12

Beach Beauty


We skipped spring this year in Washington. We never really had a true winter either. We went from fall, to slightly chillier fall, to summer, complete with window rattling thunder storms and bugs. Oh, the bugs. 
This Mid-March faux summer has me dreaming of a warm weather beauty routine. I enjoy wearing less makeup and not having to dry my hair every morning. And since I'm not one who can achieve a nice glow from a few hours at a patio brunch, I will be finding more ... artificial ways to look sun-kissed. 
To get me started this "summer," I would like to try out some of these products to help get me out the door with no foundation, no blow dryer and no sun damage.

// 1. Bobbi Brown's beach Body Oil will make your clavicle glow from the neck of your favorite boat neck dress. And you'll smell like the Coppertone Baby to boot. // 2. At 24 your tan is sexy, at 42 your age spots are not. This summer I'll be replacing my tinted moisturizer with a facial SPF like Clarins Sunscreen Care Cream. // 3.  Sunburned lips can really cramp your style, if you catch my drift. Protect your pucker with Shiseido Sun Protection Lip Treatment. // 4. Help the humidity help you, with Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. Ocean water is the best summer hair product, but sprays like this are a close second for when you're landlocked. // 5. Even your cutest new shades can't hide the effects of too much fun and too little sleep. I'd like to try out L'Occitane's 'Regard Radieux' Eye Roll-On to help hide just how much fun I've been having. // 6. I may be vigilant about sun protection, but like I said, I still like to look like I leave the office sometimes. Nars Illuminator might be a more dewy look than my regular bronzer.



3/19/12

Saturday Morning Pancakes


On Saturday morning we decided to take a break from the bagel shop and stay in for breakfast. Besides, the pancake recipes from Joy the Baker's new cookbook were so tempting.
These are a variation of her blueberry orange and almond pancakes with orange maple glaze. Ours had no orange maple glaze because we had no real maple syrup, and the fake kind doesn't blend as well with powdered sugar. Go figure. These were still delicious, sans orange zest (I really need to buy a zester) and glaze (ditto maple syrup).




My tiny kitchen gets nice light in the morning, and only in the morning. But these beautiful berries didn't need much staging. I am so glad it is spring and there is fresh fruit again.



We kept them warm in the oven as we baked. The recipe probably made about 12 pancakes and we used about 50 percent more blueberries than it called for.


They were delicious. The almond extract brought out a tangy flavor in the batter. I wish we had used the buttermilk the recipe called for (add that to the list with a zester and maple syrup) instead of non-fat milk, which is all we had. Still, they were a perfect weekend treat.