All Hail Kale – Kale is King!

Maybe it’s because outside it’s white and windy.  The grey and brown skeletons of the trees rise up against clouds filled with coming snow.  The only green to be seen in our landscape is from the frost-tipped branches of evergreens.  Perhaps this is why this season brings such a strong craving for greens.  If it’s not in our landscape, we want it on our plates?

Potato, Cheddar & Kale Souffle

I don’t know.  What I do know is that I need to honor the instincts of my body and have created a number of recipes for cooking winter greens, this time for kale.  Potato, Cheddar and Kale Souffle; Thai Peanut Shrimp with Kale; and Tuscan Kale, Chickpeas and Olives are all in the Maine Ingredient column this week.

Annie
Kale is King

Spinach Smoothie – Green AND Tasty

A good friend of mine often shows up to our meetings together with her breakfast – a bright green drink so brilliant, it’s hard to know how she got it to be that green.  We are talking neon, nuclear green.   So one day, I asked her.  Spinach, she says, is the key, without the purple or red colored fruits which muddy the hue.  She then goes on to tell me that she adds kale, celery, cucumber and cilantro to her morning beverage.  I’m skeptical.  Until I try it.  It’s actually not that bad… and then I get used to it and it’s pretty good… and then I look forward to it.

There are mornings when I feel I’m drinking salad, but hey, I feel good, it tastes good and my pants like it too.  Win, win!  This one is one of my favorites and for more smoothies, click on over to the Maine Ingredient.

I’m not sure what I’ll do when we go sailing and the cord for the blender doesn’t reach the plug on shore.  Maybe Jon will rig up a human run generator where everyone can take a few spins around the deck while the blender is going and then we roll it up until the next morning.  Or maybe I’ll just have an apple for breakfast.

GreenSmoothie

Spinach, Celery, Kiwi Smoothie
2 cups lightly packed spinach
5 ounces partially peeled cucumber; about 1/3 of a cucumber
1 stalk celery
1 peeled kiwi
1/2 ripe banana
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon raw honey

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until completely combined and smooth.

Makes 3 cups

Annie
Salad, it’s what’s for breakfast

Families Dinners – It’s a Team Sport

Whether it’s for the holidays or just normal meal times, how families split the work load of getting dinner on the table is as varied as the domiciles in which they reside.  How does your family split the work load? – and ordering pizza doesn’t count!   In our family if one cooks, the others clean.  I do most of the planning and the shopping, but that’s because it’s a part of my writing and catering world too.  Since I do the lion’s share of the cooking, there are other things that Jon does that make our household run smoothly.

When I was marching for women’s rights in college you would have never been able to convince me that our roles would be so traditional.  Now I find that I care less than a whit about who’s a man and who’s a woman and what jobs they are doing as long as everyone’s pitching in somehow to make the household run well.

In any case, when we were away for Thanksgiving, I found myself bumping up against the typical family dynamics and share a little of that with everyone in this week’s column.  I know I’m not the only one who had to decide between a football game and doing their part to clean up the dishes after a big family meal.  Oh, and a brunch recipe for a Healthy Strata and one for Parmesan Potato Gratin.

Annie
Just doing my share

Baked Brie – Holiday Appetizers for a Crowd

Wow!  The response to the Orange Marmalade Pound Cake post was serious.  Ya’ll really like your citrus, huh?  Thanks for all the emails and comments.  It’s always fun to chat with everyone.

Today my Maine Ingredient column ran and it’s on all different kinds of baked brie.  Who doesn’t love that?  My favorite (today at least) is the Walnut and Lemon Marmalade Bake Brie.  Are we seeing a citrus trend here?

PretzelGarlicBakedBrie

This one is the Crushed Pretzel and Garlic-Crusted Baked Brie

Annie
Getting ready for a couple of catering jobs and then the Dinner Subscriptions begin!