It was only a matter of time until I had a detailed post about kale. And at what better time than to ring in the spring (with an impending St. Patrick’s Day!) Seems like mostly everyone is talking about the health benefits of kale. The ubiquitous term ‘superfood’ is thrown around quite a bit, along with smoothie after smoothie after smoothie. And why not?
I happen to enjoy the richness in the flavor of kale. Kale is the star in an article in Chef Fabio’s magazine. While my wife feels that kale should be relegated back to its historical place as buffet decoration, I can say there will be some in our garden this year (for some kale chips!) Kale chips are really easy to make and can be embellished with any number of spices. I also like that kale holds up well in soups, as other greens don’t, and is simple to use as a base for a salad. And that’s not all… If you haven’t tried this veggie yet, now’s the time; make some space in the garden!
Almost there- midway through February. While the winter weather still hasn’t broken (we are getting warnings about water lines to homes freezing in the area!- due to extended cold), we can have some hot cocoa to warm ourselves up in the meantime. But perhaps we can do a little better- or a lot better than Brand X Powdery Cocoa mix, and make it ourselves! It’s easy to put little twists on cocoa to make it unique- mint, marshmallows, caramel, spice… and so on!
If you are a football fan (or a commercials fan), you might be watching a certain game today. If you are having/going to a party, it’s not too late to make a tasty snack! While this one likely won’t win any health awards, we’ve made it several times. (We received the recipe from a friend.) It’s quick too: Chicken Wing Dip! While no actual chicken wings were used in the recipe, it has the flavor.
Chicken Wing Dip
1 cup ranch dressing (or blue cheese dressing)
1 cup Red Buffalo Wing sauce (any wing sauce of your choice will do)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 bricks softened cream cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (chicken breasts work well)
Bag of sturdy chips/crackers for dip (we use pita chips)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Set a pot of water to a roiling boil and boil chicken breasts for 20 minutes. Break apart so chicken is shredded.
Mix all ingredients and put in a 13×9 pan. Sprinkle extra cheddar cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Use chips/crackers for dipping. Enjoy!
As the latest instance of the polar vortex moves away, I am left to re-ponder my understanding of the concept of ‘cold’, as the temperatures now seem almost spring-like in comparison! But more seriously, the seeming antithesis of everything warm and green has left me increasingly anxious for spring. (I do enjoy living in the Midwest… I do enjoy living in the Midwest…)
We are just leaving soup month, but winter is still staring intently at us for the near future. So- perhaps we need a de facto extension to soup season! As I have written before, I love soup. What a better way to fight off a vortex than with a bowl of hunger-sating warmth? Chef Fabio has some options for soup, as well. I just defrosted some eggplant chili and some mixed vegetable soup from this summer. What’s your favorite soup to beat the cold?
There has been a lack of new content, but good things are in store for spring! I will be moving to a new house and new (relatively blank slate) outdoor space. Look for some additional content before then, but some additional photos on getting things growing as soon as possible!
- As in the ‘Food for Thought’ Lecture Series theme at UW-Whitewater. Though the lecture series was in the spring, all of the lectures are saved as videos for viewing at any time.
From the description: “Do we eat simply for sustenance or is there more to think about this everyday activity? Food fills our bellies, brings families and cultures together and is the center of many traditions which remind us of our shared past. Food also is a source of power and struggle. The way our food is grown, manufactured and marketed can be controversial. What do we need to know about the food choices we make?”