Kale and Eggs! A breakfast (or lunch!) of champions!

Kale was the first thing we bought in our new house. It was the first thing I made that was from instinct of taste rather than a recipe in a long time. The bag, split down the middle because I tore it too fast, rustled against my hand when I would reach for a yogurt, half and half for my coffee, or a stray piece of fruit that rolled away from me earlier. It was something I wanted to try. It was on sale that week. I wanted to impress Nolan when he came home, and so I started to cook.

I am no cook by trade, or even by accident. I did not come about cooking the way I did about baking. It was not by need or necessity or for pleasure. It was, and sometimes still is, a means to an end. I did not always enjoy the cleanup; and I very much less enjoy the lack of control and tactility involved versus when I make a cake. But I work from home and I have free time and so I cook for the boy I love.

I make simple dishes. Things I like. Nothing too complicated and a varietal of five rotating flavors that work in an interchanging meander on my otherwise underdeveloped savory palate. Starting out, I never want to get too complicated. The whole chickens are still in the freezer for another day. For now, I want declaratives and not interrogatives.

“This is good.”

“Make this again.”

“I’m getting seconds.”

Kale and Eggs

Because dishes like the below are so simple, I need to make sure my utensils are the best I can have for starting out. American Kitchen Cookware is perfect for me. Made in West Bend, Wisconsin, each piece is durable, unforgiving in its exactness of preparation, and carefully constructed to last. A company that is over 100 years old must be doing something right, and I believe that using this pan was the reason this dish has come out so successfully the last few weeks.

American Kitchen Cookware is also part of my Instagram giveaway for this week! Head on over to Instagram for more details, where you and a friend could win either of the pans featured in this post (the 10-inch stainless steel casserole pan or the 10-inch stainless steel skillet) for you and a friend!

Kale and Eggs

Kale and Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 6 cup kale
  • ½ teaspoon flaked sea salt, or more if desired
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, or more if desired
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. In your casserole pan (I used the 10-inch stainless steel casserole pan) or covered skillet, heat your oil on medium-high
  2. Add garlic and allow to cook for a minute or until it becomes fragrant
  3. Add your kale, salt, and pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon to coat the leaves with oil and garlic
  4. Allow to cook on medium-high until kale begins to get tender
  5. Crack your eggs evenly on top of the kale and cover your dish
  6. Turn heat to low and let cool for 6 minutes
  7. Uncover and check your eggs. This dish is really dependent on the natural liquid from the kale escaping and making steam, so it is, in turn, dependent on your kale and the oven temperature. If eggs are have not set to your desire, replace lid and continue cooking for a minute or two
  8. Remove from heat, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve immediately
Kale and Eggs
Kale and Eggs
Kale and Eggs
Kale and Eggs
Kale and Eggs
Kale and Eggs
Kale and Eggs
Kale and Eggs

Toasted Cornmeal "Dutch Pancake"

Toasted Cornmeal "Dutch Pancake"

It's been unseasonably warm lately. The dogs are learning to play Frisbee and I am learning to play Monopoly (I haven't won, but I have a rematch with Nolan tonight). We ordered a rug; we are decorating slowly. We are researching composting and burned all of our trash in the firepit just off the trail to our creek. The smoke still stuck to his hair while we watched TV last night, I could smell it on my fingertips this morning, too.

Or maybe it was the brand of Camel he likes to smoke. A pile of them, stubbed out at different angles, hide under rocks and in porch crevasses like small mushrooms. He'll stop when things slow down. I only smoke to look cool to strangers. It's never worked, but I keep trying.

I'm writing to the local papers more, telling them how I feel about the world these days. My best friend is going to London in May. I traced my mother's grandmother's grandmother back to Ireland and bought three pairs of reading glasses with a coupon I had in my email. Life keeps moving forward, slowly but surely. I keep baking, I keep drinking more coffee than I should. I keep forgetting to pay bills and I sleep to pass the time. But I'm happy. Happier than I have been in years and years and years.

Toasted Cornmeal Dutch Pancake

Toasted Cornmeal "Dutch Pancake"

This recipe is if a Dutch Baby and a cornbread had an affair in a skillet. It's eggy, sweet, nutty, and light. It's not dense, but is denser than it's dutch baby cousins, so will not puff up to the same extent. It's perfect with lemon, cherry jam, or even just more sugar on top.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cornmeal, as fine ground as you can get (but not flour)
  • 2 TB butter, unsalted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*F
  2. Pour your cornmeal into a dry cast iron skillet (11 or 12 inches) and heat on medium-high
  3. Stir once or twice so as to prevent browning, but allow your cornmeal to toast and give off a nutty-sweet scent
  4. Now, pour your toasted cornmeal into a bowl and replace with your butter in the pan
  5. Put pan into oven to melt butter
  6. Whisk all remaining ingredients together vigorously. Remove pan from oven for only a second to pour batter into skillet and then return to oven
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. As the ingredients are slightly heavier, they will not puff up, but dish will still be light
  8. Enjoy immediately
Toasted Cornmeal "Dutch Pancake"
Toasted Cornmeal "Dutch Pancake"

Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake

Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake!

Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake with Staub

Being a feedfeed editor means that I was gifted this lovely Staub cocotte featured in this post.  I was so happy to use it to make a cake for you guys, which was (heavily) adapted by this Sweet Paul recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 TB unsalted butter
  • 8 oz good quality milk or dark chocolate
  • 2 egg
  • 1 TB pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TB Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 TB cornstarch
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup flavorless oil
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

 Directions:

  1. Grease a small dutch oven or a 10 inch springform pan with butter and flour
  2. Preheat oven to 350*F
  3. In a double boiler, combine your butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally until fully melted
  4. Allow to cool slightly, add in your eggs, vanilla and liquor
  5. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, cornstarch, baking powder and flour
  6. In a separate measuring bowl, whisk together jam, sugar, oil, and milk
  7. Now, alternate between adding the milk mixture and the chocolate mixture until all ingredients are combined in the flour
  8. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake
  9. For the dutch oven: keep covered, will be gooey inside and ready at around an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes
  10. For the springform pan: will be less gooey on the inside and ready at about 50 minutes
Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake with Staub
Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake with Staub
Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake with Staub
Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake with Staub
Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake with Staub
Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake with Staub
Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake with Staub

Post-Vacation Funnel Cake

There are 5 inches of snow on the ground and I just bought a new coffee pot yesterday, our old one from California broke. After being in storage for a year, I'm not surprised. I'm happy, in fact, to get rid of something else from our time on the West Coast. We're different now, simpler. We bought a Mr. Coffee for $21 and it does the job. I'm content with the bare minimum now.

There are three dogs on the couch next to me. A girl that lopes in the backyard and barks at scents she finds in the wind. Two boys that sit on our lap, our stomachs, our chests to stay close, stay warm, stay within eyesight and earshot for treats and kisses and words of comfort when the wind blows too strong.

It's been two days since we got back from Cancun. A world so apart from where we are now. Five hour naps and three course meals. We talked to no one and turned off our phones for the weekend. We fell in love with the beach, the coati, the people. The language and the lilting way I speak it nervously. A world so different than where we live now; we spoke about how it is not right to build the wall. We spoke about how to be more active in what we can do now, when we got back to our real lives.

This week has been full of numbers, questions without answers. Even though I love this cold, sometimes when the snow falls, I dream of warmer weather every once in a while. I dream of more pools and more margaritas. The wild flowers that grow by our creekbed and the dogs lying in the shade. Of barbecues and fair foods. Of ballpark lemonade and fried dough covered in sugar.

Funnel Cake

Funnel Cake

With the addition of the whipped egg whites and cornstarch, these are lighter versions of your favorite fair food. And you all know how much I love fried dough by now (see here, here, and here)!

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites + 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 TB white vinegar
  • 3 cup AP flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • A flavorless oil, for frying dough

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whip your egg whites on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Set these aside
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together your whole eggs, milk, vanilla, butter, and vinegar
  3. In a separate bowl, stir flour, sugar, and baking powder
  4. Add your milk mixture into your flour and stir with a rubber spatula
  5. Fold in your egg whites and stir until completely mixed
  6. Now, fill an old bottle or a pastry bag
  7. Heat your oil to 375*F in a large Dutch oven
  8. Line a couple plates with paper towels to soak up the grease
  9. Now, squeeze some of your batter right over the hot oil and allow to cool for about a minute, flip over to finish frying on the other side
  10. Remove from oil and allow to drain on prepared plate
  11. Repeat with remaining batter
  12. Cover with confectioner’s sugar and enjoy!!
Funnel Cake
Funnel Cake

Valentine's Day Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats!

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

We leave for Cancun tomorrow, so I wanted to get this last Valentine's Day post out for you! While I have a few more surprises up my sleeve for Nolan, this one came a little earlier in the week and we snacked on them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sweet, nutty, and memorable, these rice krispie treats should be just another reminder of why you're with your loved one this Valentine's Day!

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

As with many of my recipes, this one, too, is versatile. Use the add-ins you want, change up the white chocolate to dark, and write whatever message you want to convey to your baby boy. 

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 12 oz marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 12 cup rice krispies
  • 1 tablespoon red sprinkles
  • Pinch of flaked sea salt
  • 12 oz white chocolate (chips are fine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red dye (plus more for writing, amount may vary by quality of dye)

 

Directions:

  1. In a dutch oven, melt your butter on medium-high, allow it to cook until brown and slightly nutty
  2. Immediately add your marshmallow fluff and begin stirring
  3. Add sugar and continue to melt your marshmallow down
  4. When completely melted, take off heat and stir in your cereal, sprinkles, and salt
  5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, press down with slightly oiled hands
  6. Allow to cool and harden slightly and cut into hearts with a cookie cutter
  7. While these finish cooling, melt your chocolate in a large bowl
  8. Divide your treats in half. For the first half dip into the white chocolate and return to parchment to cool 
  9. When you've done your first half, now mix red dye into the remaining white chocolate and mix to create a pale pink
  10. Dip remaining treats into the chocolate
  11. Finally, using a toothpick, paint with more dye saying on the hearts and enjoy!
Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats