Monthly Archives: January 2013

9 Delicious Kale Recipes

In her book, Seriously…I’m Kidding, Ellen DeGeneres has a chapter called, “The Secret to Life”.  The page simply reads, “Kale.”

Known for its numerous health benefits and mineral content, kale has become a favored wonderfood for everyone and anyone who is trying to eat healthy or lose weight.  It’s packed with vitamins and nutrients, it’s versatile and delicious, and best of all…very forgiving.  It’s pretty hard to screw up a kale recipe…so it’s a great ingredient for those who are a bit intimidated to start cooking more “exotic” dishes.

My relationship with kale is fairly new…I only recently discovered it and the bond was instantaneous.  If you’re looking for some easy and delicious starter recipes to see if you have a taste for kale, check out Kale Tortellini Soup and Fettuccine with Sausage and Kale.  Both are easy and quick to make, so they’re great for weekday meals and last minute dinner ideas.

If you already know that you love kale, you HAVE to check out these other amazing recipes.  Who would have thought that kale would be the perfect addition to everything from mashed potatoes to avocado dip!

kale-recipes

1.  Quinoa and Kale Patties from Yummy Supper

2.  Moroccan Kale Salad from Pure Wow

3.  Trapanese Pesto Pizza with Shrimp and Kale from Bev Cooks

4.  Crustless Kale Quiche from Ingredients, Inc.

5.  Kale Pesto from Weelicious

6.  Tropi-Kale Stuffed Avocados from Natalia

7.  Kale Mashed Potatoes from Food Loves Writing

8.  Baked Egg and Kale Cups from One Hungry Mama

9.  Creamy Kale & Avocado Dip from Sweet Sugar Bean

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under recipe collections

Wait Out the Rain

Tom-Paxton

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

Confetti Heart Cookies

These adorable confetti cookies give a whole new meaning to “exploding flavor”!  Filled with colorful Valentine’s Day sprinkles, these cookies are literally filled with love.

Confetti cookies are so fun to make, and they’re great for getting kids involved in baking.  You can make these cute cookies for any season or reason, and you could even fill them with candies, jam, fruit, caramel, or whatever your heart (cookie) desires!

I made these with some sprinkles I found at the dollar section of Target.  I also filled some with ice cream for a delicious after dinner treat.  You can decorate the outside of the cookie if you’d like, but I figured I’d leave them as is, since I already went through the trouble of dying the cookies pink.

Heart Cookies

These cookies would make adorable favors for weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, and more.  Be creative and have fun in the kitchen with these adorable confetti cookies!

heart cookies 004
heart cookies 007

Hearts Full of Love Confetti Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp meringue powder (for icing)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (for icing)
  • 4 tablespoons warm water (for icing)

Directions:

Beat butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium and add egg; beat until combined. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour in two parts. If desired, add 4 drops red food coloring.

Shape dough into two disks, wrap and refrigerate 1 hour, or overnight.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out 1 disk between 2 sheets of wax paper to ¼ in. thickness. Remove top layer of wax paper and cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before decorating.

To make the icing, beat meringue powder, confectioner’s sugar, and warm water in a bowl with a hand mixer for 10-12 minutes, or until icing forms peaks.

Place a cookie top side down and pipe a border around the edge of the cookie. Fill with sprinkles and place another cookie, bottom side down, on top of the decorated cookie to create a sandwich. Decorate the top of the cookie if desired (you will have plenty of frosting left over. If desired, you can double the cookie recipe and make the original amount of frosting without any problem).

1913 016

Let your icing dry overnight before transferring your cookies to an airtight container. Once cracked open, they should explode with confetti sprinkles!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

Leave a comment

Filed under cookie recipes

My Love’s Like a Red, Red Rose

Scottish poet Robert Burns was born on this day in 1759. The day is still celebrated by Burns fans across the English-speaking world, with high-spirited “Robert Burns Night” feasts, featuring haggis and other Scottish delicacies, as well as enthusiastic drinking, toasting, and speechmaking.

A well-known Scottish poet, Burns published his first poetry collection, Poems, in 1786, and he quickly became the darling of elite Edinburgh intellectuals.  He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism.  In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

All sorts of authors, musicians, and writers have been influenced by the words of Burns.  John Steinbeck’s famed title Of Mice and Men was taken from a line of Burns poem, “To a Mouse”.  And when singer songwriter Bob Dylan was asked for the source of his greatest creative inspiration, he selected Burns’s 1794 song “A Red, Red Rose” as the lyric that had the biggest effect on his life.  The author J. D. Salinger used protagonist Holden Caulfield’s misinterpretation of Burns’s poem “Comin’ Through the Rye” as the title of his most famous novel, Catcher in the Rye.

Perhaps more famous for his lively lyrics in the Scottish dialect than for his longer, more literary poems, Burns is still beloved and celebrated today as the author of the New Year’s anthem, “For Auld Lang Syne.”

red-red-rose

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes

12 Clever Uses for Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a common ingredient in the kitchen. Perfect for thickening up everything from soup to pudding, cornstarch is a wonderful go-to product that can do wonders for your favorite recipes. But don’t limit yourself to gravies and sauces…

Cornstarch can also be used to make face paint, untangle knots, clean oily hair, fight tough stains, and so much more. One box can last you for months, and you’ll love how easy your cleaning (and cooking) routine becomes with the help of this wonderful ingredient.

corn-starch

  • Use cornstarch to make face paint for Halloween, birthday parties, and more. Simply mix two parts cornstarch with one part white vegetable shortening to make a non-toxic grease paint. Add food coloring to change the color.
  • Make your old silverware sparkle like new with a simple combination of cornstarch and water. Use a soft cloth to apply it to your silver, let it dry, then buff each piece for a beautiful shine.
  • Late night poker game leave your cards gross to the touch? Dump those cards in a paper bag, along with a couple tablespoons of cornstarch. Shake the bag to coat the cards, then wipe them down to clean.
  • If your carpets are smelling a little musty, you can sprinkle cornstarch over the surface and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Vacuum as normal.
  • You can use cornstarch as a dry shampoo. Between regular shampoos, a sprinkling of cornstarch can help absorb excess oils. Brush thoroughly to remove excess cornstarch. This is also a great temporary method to help clean dogs as well.
  • Use cornstarch instead of flour to help thicken gravies, sauces, casseroles, soups, and stews. When your recipe calls for flour, use ½ as much cornstarch and your result will be much creamier (so for 2 TBS flour, use 1 TB cornstarch instead).
  • Untangle knots in strings and shoelaces by sprinkling the trouble spot with a little cornstarch.
  • Create your own streak free window cleaning solution by mixing 2 TBS cornstarch with ½ cup ammonia and ½ cup white vinegar. Combine everything in a large bucket containing 3-4 quarts of warm water. The solution should look milky when ready. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray on car and home windows to clean. Rinse with warm water and wipe with a paper towel.
  • If you have a roach problem and want to take matters into your own hands, combine equal parts of cornstarch and Plaster of Paris and sprinkle into any crack and crevice in your home. The roaches will eat the fatal mixture and you should be roach free!
  • Need some spray starch for collars and shirts? Mix one tablespoon cornstarch and one pint of cold water. Stir to dissolve. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and use normally as you would any starch.
  • Sprinkle cornstarch on furniture, clothing, briefcases, and shoes to help eliminate stains. This method works especially well for oil stains. Let the cornstarch work its magic overnight and rub the stain out the next day.
  • You can use cornstarch to prevent and kill mildew in your old books that may have had water damage in the past. Just sprinkle the cornstarch all throughout the book to absorb the moisture and let it sit several hours before wiping the book clean.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

Leave a comment

Filed under clever uses

Crocheted Bows

Need a yarn stash buster project?

These adorable little crocheted bows are great for using up that leftover yarn that you’ve been hanging on to for all this time. You can make one bow in as little as 30 minutes, so it’s a quick and fun way to work through any leftovers you may have lying around.

This is a great pattern for beginners and a fun way to create adorable accessories for your hair, purse, scarf, or hat! Make bows of any shape and size by simply increasing or decreasing rows and stitches on your foundation chain.

For my hair bows, I started with a foundation chain of 11 stitches. For the bow on the headband, I did 16 stitches. The amount is up to you. Play around with it to get just the right sized bow for you!

crocheted-bows

Crocheted Bows

Materials:

  • Yarn, in the colors of your choice
  • Small crochet hook (anything smaller than a 6.5 sized hook should be fine)

Instructions:

  1. For a smaller bow, chain 11. For a larger bow, chain 16.
  2. Single crochet in second stitch from hook, and in each stitch following until the end (10, 15 single crochets). Turn. 
  3. Chain 1, single crochet in second stitch from hook and in each stitch following. Turn.
  4. Repeat step three 4 more times, or more if you want a larger bow.
  5. To assemble, fold bow in half hot dog wise and wrap yarn around the middle of the bow. Tie off to secure. 
  6. If you want to wear the bow in your hair, just wiggle a hair clip through the back of the wrapped part of the bow. I don’t glue mine to the barrette, but you can if you want. I like to switch out my bows to match my outfit, and using a strong barrette like this works great for my thick hair.
    crocheted-bows3
  7. If you want to make a headband, create three chains of 70 stitches each, or larger to fit your head. Simply sew the bow in place and you’re ready to go!
    crocheted-bows2

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

2 Comments

Filed under crocheted tutorials

The Music of the Night

Phantom-of-the-Opera-quote

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

Leave a comment

Filed under quotes