Kale & Apple Salad with Candied Almonds

That last bunch of kale I bought was huge; too much for my little household to consume
in one recipe, so here's what I made with the other half.  

I've never been very fond of raw kale (unless a little is added to whatever I'm juicing), but
I'm a FAN of this recipe adapted from "Oak at Fourteenth"  the restaurant
located in  Boulder, Colorado.

I changed it around just a little bit; and it received great reviews and thumbs up here . . .

You can prep all but the sliced apples up to a few hours ahead, refrigerate, then right before serving slice the apples, toss with the dressing, 
then toss dressing & apples to the sliced kale and serve.

The original recipe called for the following ingredients:

Candied almonds
Granulated sugar
Honey Crisp apple, cut into thin rounds
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups finely sliced kale
1 lemon, juiced
olive oil
Togarashi chile powder *
Salt to taste

Here's what I did differently ~

I omitted the grated Parmesan
Added the zest and juice of one very sweet orange
Reduced lemon juice to 1/2 of a small lemon
Added a scant 1 Tablespoon of organic vinegar
If you cannot find a sweet apple and a sweet orange,
add honey, sugar or other sweetener to make the dressing
pleasantly sweet.

The first thing to do is to make the candied almonds (or you can use
commercially prepared almonds like Honey-Roasted.) But I have to tell
you the homemade candied almonds are very excellent (and addictive!) --
so you'll probably want to double the batch for munching while
you're putting together the salad, and extra to serve alongside at serving time.  :)

The next step is to remove the tough stem from each kale leaf (discard), then slice
each leaf crosswise into thin strips (about 1/4 to 1/8-inch), and give them a little
chop to the kale pieces fork-managable.

I like to use my Kyrocera ceramic knife* for prepping this salad ~ it's razor
sharp blade and makes quick work of the kale (and the thinly sliced apple.) 

Next prep the dressing~

Zest the orange, then squeeze the juice and pour into
a small mixing bowl.

Then juice 1/2 of the lemon, (reserve the other half for another use.)

Whiskthe juices together with the vinegar, taste and add honey or other
sweetener to taste, then whisk in the olive or grape seed oil.
Season with sea salt  and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Slice the sweet apple into thin slices and toss with the dressing.
Pour dressing and apples over the sliced kale and mix thoroughly.

Plate up, scatter almonds over the top of the greens, pass
the  Togarashi seasoning at the table for each diner to add to taste.

I hope you'll give this recipe a try, even if you're skeptical about raw kale,
prepared this way even those who don't care for kale just may become

Thanks for stopping by today, friends.


Source List

Links to some ingredients and tools used in this post:

*Nanami Togarashi or
Shichimi Togarashi

 Either of these two Japanese seasonings are what make this salad unique.
Nanami Togarashi contains: Chili powder, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed.
Shichimi Togarashi contains: Orange peel, sesame seeds; (black, white and toasted),
cayenne, ginger, Szechuan pepper, nori (seaweed.)

OXO Good Grips Zester
 (click to learn more)

Eco Friendly Glass Citrus Juicer

OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Whisk

Kyocera Knife

Spectrum Organic Brown Rice Vinegar

Eden Foods French Sea Salt

John Boos 18-by-12-Inch Reversible Maple Cutting Board


Soup: Sausage & Vegetable with Kale

Some crazy weather going on here lately ~ I spied
the first of the daffodils in the garden. 
This, after a few consecutive days of nice weather and
hope of an early spring. However yesterday we awoke to a thin layer of wet,
heavy snow. Happily, the day redeemed itself 
later bringing brilliant sunshine early in the afternoon, but not before I
had begun last evening's dinner... having anticipated a snowy
day.  It was good an comforting just the same.

See the grass moss  outside the window? 
The snow had melted by early afternoon!

A simple pot of soup, this time with a half a bunch of chopped
kale added for a nutritional boost.

I hardly make vegetable soup the same way twice, 
and I really never use a recipe for this kind of soup.  If
you've been cooking for any length of time, you probably
don't either. :)

But if you'd like a description of how I usually
make it, (with a link to a printable recipe) please see below.

I'm ready for SPRING!  How about you? :)


When making soup I usually follow these general steps
 depending upon the type of soup I'm making:

This time I started out by browning some pork sausage,
(about 4 to 5 ounces of bulk breakfast sausage simply 
because I had it on hand.) *
After it it was lightly browned and no longer pink,
 I drained the fat and removed the sausage from the 
pot.  Next I added a little olive oil to the pot, added
chopped onions (use as many or as few as you like,
I like lots), cooked until translucent, then added a
couple of cloves of minced garlic; stirred for a moment.
Sliced carrots went in the pot next, along with sliced
celery, some Italian seasoning, a bay leaf, 
then added enough low-sodium chicken broth to cover 
the veggies by a few inches. 
(I used low sodium-canned, but if you have homemade, 
by all means use it!)
 I brought that to a boil, reduced the heat to a simmer, 
added the cooked sausage to the pot along with 
a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (I like Muir brand), 
a can of undrained Cannellini beans (white kidney beans), 
and some frozen petite green beans 
(simply because there was half a bag languishing in the freezer.)
You can add a couple of teaspoons of "Better Than Bullion"
(Chicken flavor soup base), to enrich the chicken flavor.

I simmer until the firmer vegetables (carrots, potatoes, or
other root veggies) are just tender.

Add salt & pepper to taste, and garnish of your choice;
chopped parsley or other herb, a grating of cheese
or croutons, etc.

* Beef, chicken or fish can be used instead of your favorite
sausage.  If using already cooked meat, or leftover meat,
add it at the end, just to heat through to avoid making
it tough by overcooking.

If you would like a printable copy of a basic
vegetable soup that is very similar to mine
you can find it here.

These types of soup recipes are very versatile and
are particularly helpful if you belong to
a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). You will likely 
will be presented with an assortment of vegetables
in your box.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit today ~
Blessings to you and your loved ones.

xo ~m.


Chicken Meatballs with Mozzarella

Chicken Meatballs with Mozzarella Centers

I've long been guilty of subscribing to food/recipe oriented magazines,
and with good intentions I read them and earmark recipes I'd
like to try. Unfortunately too often time gets away
from me and before I know it the next issue has arrived
in my mail box.

This year I'm trying to improve this habit ~ 
For starters I've pared down
the number of subscriptions and I'm making an effort to
actually make at least one or two recipes that I've

Maybe you've found, as I have, that with access to the 
internet the number of great recipes available to us is
seemingly endless. So if you're not a magazine subscriber or
cookbook-collector there is no need to be concerned about
finding great recipes when there are so many available
 at the touch of our keypads.

These are also delicious served as an appetizer with marinara (skip the pasta)
or served with cocktail picks and your favorite salsa.

This recipe is from a fall 2012 issue of Everyday Food.

The changes I made to the recipe:  

1.) I did not deep fry the meatballs before baking; 
I shallow fried them in a skillet with about
1/2-inch of oil, then drained well before baking to
finish cooking them through.  You can skip the
frying step, but the meatballs will be a rather unappealing
pale gray color, and they won't have the pleasing thin, 
crisp coating.

2.) I made each meatball about 1 1/2-inch in diameter;
3 or 4 meatballs of this size (with pasta) seemed
like a generous portion. 
3.) I grind my own chicken (boned, trimmed and skinned
thighs) with the  KitchenAid Food Grinder (attachment
for KA stand mixers).

If you haven't tried grinding your own meat, I urge you to do
so. You can control the grind that you prefer, you'll know just
what goes into your ground meat, and the quality is far
superior to that which you can buy.  It's a very simple
process and only takes a few minutes for worthwhile results.

A nice melty surprise when the meatball is cut open.
The meatballs above were cooked right after assembly.

These were frozen after shallow frying. (Cooled then frozen, to be baked later.)

I froze half of the meatballs after shallow frying, cooled (before baking),
they freeze beautifully ~ I thawed them for about an hour
before baking.  The only difference I noted is that the mozzarella
chunk left an exact impression after baking. 
The melted cheese is not quite gooey as those freshly 
assembled then cooked immediately, but I doubt anyone but
you will know the difference!  ;^)

Note: You can also make these using ground turkey.

If you try this method of preparing meatballs, I hope it will become a favorite.

Thank you for stopping by today!



Crepes with Berries and Ricotta-Mascarpone Cream

I love the versatility of crepes, served plain with just a dusting
of powdered sugar, or filled with savory or sweet
fillings, they are always popular at my house.

And the good news is that you can make the crepes
ahead, stack them and seal in an airtight container
(I use resealable freezer bags) then store them
in the refrigerator for a few days, or freeze for
longer storage. (Thaw in the refrigerator and
they are ready to assemble with your filling of choice.)

I have used Julia Child's master recipe for crepes for
years, it's my favorite and it's foolproof. The number of
crepes the recipe will yield depends upon the diameter
of the pan you choose. You don't need a fancy
crepe maker, a traditional (well seasoned) crepe pan will
do, or a non-stick shallow pan (8 to 10-inch diameter)
is the easiest size to work with.

This time for the filling I simply blended ricotta cheese 
(or cottage cheese), some mascarpone and a 
little drizzle of pure vanilla extract in the food processor. 
Then thinned it with a little cream (about a tablespoon or two)
to make the mixture silky smooth.

You can sweeten the mixture with a little sugar, honey,
maple syrup, or agave syrup if you like

I simply piled the fresh berries around the filled crepes,
then added a drizzle of seedless raspberry sauce* over the crepes,
then sifted confectioner's (powdered) sugar over.

*Shortcut Raspberry Sauce
A little raspberry jam thinned with some Orange Liqueur
(or orange or apple juice) heated in a small pan on the
stove top, stirring for a few minutes until
the mixture reaches drizzling consistency. 
You can add a little water to
thin if the sauce seems too tight.

If you try these, I hope you enjoy them.

For a printable copy of Julia Child's
Master Crepe recipe, please click here.

Thanks for stopping by today friends!

Blessings to each of you! ~ Mari xo

A Sampling of my food . . .


 Subscribe in a reader...or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner