Kale Chips

For the last year I’ve read and wondered about Kale.  I’m not a big salad person, sure I enjoy salads and occassionally crave something green but for the most part Kale didn’t sound that appealing.  Well, I’ve tried it finally and I’m jumping on the Kale train cause these chips were amazing!

Raw Kale tastes like grass to me.  These chips taste nothing like grass.  Instead they took on the flavor of the topping.  Light, crunchy bite size chips with tons of flavor and no guilt.

The salt kale chips almost taste like popcorn.  I think I’ve found a new movie snack.  And the sesame seed chips were even better; flavorful, crisp and so good.  I can’t wait to try more toppings like Parmesan, curry, or red pepper.



Roasted Tomato Soup

Yum.  I kept saying this last night as I savored this delicious soup.  This soup has me thinking of curling up in blankets and sitting in front of a fire on a rainy day.  This is comfort food.

The original recipe is from Smitten Kitchen.  R and I made a few alterations.  We used our own blend of herbs: thyme, paprika, dill, and chili powder.  R also added some oil from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes.  Then I topped the bread with a 4 cheese blend.

When you pull this soup out of the oven after the broiling process the cheese and bread create a wonderful cap, trapping the flavor and warmth of the soup under it.  The roasted tomatoes give the soup a fiery sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the herbs.  The bread soaks up the flavor of the soup and really adds a nice substance to the recipe.

As we sat there, enjoying both the soup and our new kitchen table, I imagined this soup appearing on an upscale “comfort food” restaurant.  While I still love classic American cheese and the red and white can, this recipe is going to replace that staple whenever I have the extra time.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Yogurt Sauce

I am in love with sweet potato fries right now.  Sweet potatoes are much better nutritionally than normal potatoes.  They are low in sodium, low in saturated fats and cholesterol in addition to being a good source of various vitamins and minerals.  Plus they are delicious!

This is a super easy recipe to put together as a side or afternoon snack.

Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato
Olive Oil non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rinse and reel the sweet potato (alternatively leave the skin on).  Cut the potato into desired shape and size of fries.  (I find 1/4 inch width results in fries that are crunchy and still tender on the inside).  Spread fries out on a baking pan and spray with cooking spray, coat all sides.  Sprinkle on salt to taste.
Bake in preheated oven until desired crispness, 30 minutes is how long I like mine, turn at least once to prevent burning.

Enjoy plain, or as I like them, with this Yogurt Sauce.

Homemade Pizza

Sorry I’ve been MIA for over a week.  A little thing called tech week happened.  And I had to tell my kitchen “I can’t.  It’s tech.”

For those of you non-theatre folk out there tech is short for technical performance.  It’s the time when all the elements come together.  The actors get on stage, lights and sound cues are written, set changes are fine tuned.  In many theatres this process only lasts a week or less.  “I can’t. It’s tech.” is an understood excuse for almost anything when you work in theatre.

So apologize for the lack of posting.  Homemade pizza is my apologetic offering.

The dough is soft and chewy.  Topped with creamy mozzarella and spicy tomato sauce.  Make one with someone you love, or someone you want to impress.  Even if you don’t get it quite right there’s something about homemade pizza that’s better than any delivery or frozen recipe.

Oh and spring for real mozzarella cheese, trust me on this one.

Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)*
2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar

*If the temperature of the water is below 105°F the yeast won’t activate, hotter than 115°F and the yeast will be killed.

In a small bowl mix the yeast and the warm water.  Let sit at least 5 minutes, you’ll see bubbles forming.  In a large bowl mix flour, olive oil, salt, sugar and water/yeast mixture.  Turn out onto a well floured surface and kneed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

At this point extra dough can be frozen.

Remove plastic wrap and punch dough down.  Divide dough into 2 balls.  Place each in it’s own bowl, cover, let rest 10 minutes.  Turn dough out onto well floured surface.  With lightly oiled hands, start at the center working outwards, flatten the dough down to 1/2 inch.  Stretch dough.  Let relax 5 mintues. Stretch dough.  Repeat relaxing and stretching until pizza dough is 10-12 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle baking sheet with cornmeal and transfer dough.  Top with sauce and toppings.  Bake in a 450°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until dough is browned and cheese is golden.  Enjoy!