Between two of us, hubby more cares about our CSA vegetables. He picks up the veggies from the drop off place, puts them in the refrigerator, and often washes them. This past few weeks, I caught him several times was spraying kale, a curly leafy vegetables he loved, using a spray bottle I usually use for my potted basil. One time when he was in the middle of something, he suddenly panicked because he forgot to spray the kale. He didn’t want the leaves to droop.
Kale is my favorite green too. It tastes great and nutritious (and the texture of the leaves is an added bonus). Last week, we had food for dinner already but still had a bunch of kale. I knew I wouldn’t had chance to cook it since we were going out of town two days after, then I was going out of country. I looked for a snack recipe and found kale chips recipe.
The chips were easy to make. I had confident that we would have a great snack that evening. I mean, what could go wrong with kale? Well, something apparently could. I was baking three different recipes that time and was swamped with homework. When I checked the chips, they were overbaked! I set the time less that what the recipe suggested, and the kitchen timer hadn't gone off yet but the chips were overdone. I shouldn't have but put the pan baking on the lower rack. I got rid of some that were awfully brown, and enjoyed the rest.
Roasted Kale Chips 1 bunch of kale
1-2 Tbs olive oil
Remove the ribs from the kale and wash and dry the leaves using a salad spinner or paper towel. Put them in a Ziplock bag and add the olive oil. Shake the bag, squeeze and massage the leaves it until they are well coated with oil.
Arrange them on a greased baking pan. Sprinkle with salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 300F until the leaves are crispy turning the leaves halfway through, for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Hubby laughed when he saw pink bread on our kitchen cabinet. He said that I was having beet fever. Some time ago, I cooked many things with green tea powder, and now I like to cook things with beet puree. The puree was made out of our last few week's beet supply from CSA. To make the puree, I steamed the beets (with skin) for about 45 minutes then puree them using food processor.
I made this bread using a recipe from More with Less Mennonite cookbook called "Edna Ruth Byler’s Potato Dough Baked Goods", but I used pureed beet instead of mashed potato. The recipe is very easy and apparently multipurpose. It is a base recipe for rolls, donuts, cinnamon rolls, and other things. So, the base dough by itself is kinda plain. The original recipe yields 100 rolls, so I made only 1/3 portion of it.
I thought of my prego friend when I made this. She was miserable with nausea and very sensitive to strong taste, so I thought this bread would be great for her. I was happy when she told me that she liked it. I made another batch the weekend after, but using golden beet. From that experiment I found out that for coloring agent, color golden beet isn't as intense as the red one but the taste was still obvious.
Mix in large bowl: 1/3 quart milk (I used almond milk) 2/3 cups pureed beet
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
Let cool to lukewarm, then add:
Yeast mixture 2 cups flour
Let stand until mixture foams up (about 20 minutes)
Add: 1 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
3 to 4 cups additional flour
Mix the all of the ingredients until satiny. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk. Divide the dough to 30-33 rolls. Fill each roll with filling or just plain rolls. Arrange them on a greased baking pan. Let rise again until almost doubled in volume. Bake rolls in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes, or until done.
Granola bars had never been our favorite until Earth Fare gave away a coupon entitled "Breakfast Revolution" couple weeks ago. The coupon included a granola bar for a dollar. We bought the bar and brought it on our hike the weekend after. Since then, hubby loves granola bar. Unfortunately, granola bars aren't inexpensive especially the good ones.
So, I decided to make them myself. After I found the recipe I liked, we went to the store to get the ingredients. Little did I know that the ingredients for the bars could get so expensive. I then realized that those were mostly oats, organic nuts and organic dried fruits; and some ingredients are sold in packages. So I have to make more and more batch to decrease the cost per bar
We brought our first bars to our hiking trip last weekend. That was our fourth hiking trip this past month. Note: The picture above shows a view along Alum Cave Trail. It was a dark and cloudy day when we were there.
Homemade Granola Bar
Ingredients: 2 cups oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup chopped pecan
3/4 cup chopped sliced almond
2 Tbs flax seed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz. chopped dried cranberry
4 oz. chopped prunes
Mix the oats, nuts, and flax seed in a baking dish lined with a parchment paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oat mixture. Add the dried fruits and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan lined with parchment paper. Using finger or parchment paper, hardly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares.
We were invited to a halloween party at our friend' house, so I baked these cupcakes. I was in the mood of making dessert using pureed beet because I was crazy about the color. Since there would be a lot of kids in the party, cupcake was the first thing I had in mind. A week before, I have tried making red velvet cake using fresh beets, but the amount of cocoa was too overpowering, making the cake dark brown instead of dark red. So this time, I looked for a fresh beet cake recipe that required much less amount of cocoa powder.
I was excited when I took out the cupcakes from the oven. The color was just as I expected. Yes! What a great natural red color! My excitement dimmed when hubby and I took a bite. It tasted like beet. Hubby and I loved the taste but I knew the people at the party wouldn't eat those cupcakes. I knew a lot of people don't like (and it is an understatement) beet. Without thinking twice, we decided not to bring the cakes, and I was glad we didn't. I told my friend at the party what I made and why I didn't bring those, and she nicely said that I made a great decision. I wasn't too disappointed because we got a dozen of red cupcakes for ourselves