Sunday, January 29, 2012

almond butter

I had never heard of almond butter until last week. Wow...had I been missing out! I wanted to make some protein bars for Ryan for after his workouts and it called for 1 cup of nut butter (almond, cashew, sunflower seed, or peanut). I was almost out of peanut butter, so I thought I'd try something new.

So glad I did!

It is so good and super easy to make!

Toast 2 cups of almonds in the oven at 350F for 10-15 minutes. Then I put them into the food processor for about 10-15 minutes more.

About halfway through it will look like this. At this point I added 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp honey.

Then I ran it until it was smooth and creamy. If it seems too dry just run it for longer and the natural oil in the almonds will break down a little more and make the almond butter creamier. 2 cups of almonds makes about 1 cup of almond butter. Jar and store in the fridge for 1 week.

Enjoy it on toast with some so so good!

Love, K

Saturday, January 21, 2012

the best mac & cheese

I usually don't like restaurant and/or homemade mac & cheese. It's hardly ever actually cheesy and usually is more rubbery than creamy. However...about a month ago, our family went to Tartine and Eliza got the mac & cheese and it was A-mazing! So (of course) I've been trying to make up the recipe for it and I think I'm pretty close!

Warning: This recipe is SUPER delicious...but not so healthy! Please make it in moderation!

Entertain your child. (Hint: This is the most essential step!)

Boil enough noodles for 4 people.

When you begin to boil your noodles, in a large skillet, melt 6tbsp butter, 3/4cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup gruyere cheese. You can add about 1/4tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt if you'd like.

It should take about as long as it takes the noodles to cook to melt everything. Let the sauce thicken until it starts to bubble then remove it from heat. If you cook it for too long the sauce gets grainy and starts separating.

Mix cheesy sauce with the drained noodles and enjoy! Doesn't it look so good?!

Eliza thinks it's wonderful!

Love, K


Before Kim & I went to India, way back when, our roommate at the time, Meggan, introduced us to a lot of delicious Indian recipes. She had been to India twice and spent a lot of time getting recipes when she came back. One of the first foods she made for us was chucumber, or Indian salsa. Now, apparently we'd been saying it wrong for the past 6 years, because it's really called kachumber. Oh well.

Super delicious! It's basically diced veggies + lime juice and salt with amazing spiced peanuts on top. My friends and I can't get enough of it! After making it a few hundred times, I decided I should probably share the secret. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Chop about 2 cups of raw Spanish peanuts using a food chopper.
  • I like to put them in a colander or fine mesh strainer after I chop them to get rid of
    some of the peanut dust. (See how much dust I got rid of this time?!)

  • Peel, seed and dice 2 large cucumbers. Pick cucumbers that are firm and still have some bumps on them, that way the seeds won't be too big. To seed, I like to quarter the cucumbers, stand them on their ends, and slice all of the seeds off with one cut.
  • Seed (or de-gut, as I like to say) 3 large roma tomatoes and dice.

  • Dice 1/2 a red onion (I forgot to buy one, so I used a yellow onion)
  • Chop 1/3 cup cilantro
  • Optional: You may seed and dice a green chili if you want some spice (I never do because I'm a weenie)

  • Mix veggies and cilantro in a large bowl.
  • Add juice of 1 lime (~4tbsp) and 1 tsp kosher salt and mix well.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat, up to 24 hours.

  • Heat 1tsp peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet and add chopped peanuts.
  • Fry peanuts until warm, about 5 minutes.
  • Add 2-3tbsp chat masala (Indian spice blend) to taste and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, stir well.
  • Remove from heat and place peanuts in a bowl.

  • Plate a scoop of veggies and top with a scoop of peanuts. Serve when peanuts are warm.
  • Enjoy with an outrageous amount of tortilla chips.
Love, K

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

kale chips


So my friend Chrissy has been trying all sorts of new foods and I'm very proud of her for it. Recently she made kale chips and said they were irresistible. So...copycat that I am...I decided that it would be a good snack for Eliza and I to make.

Wash and dry your kale

Cut/tear the kale from the thick stem and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.

Put the kale into a bag, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt over the top

Close the bag and shake it all up!

Put parchment paper into a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 5-15 min.
(Mine took 12 min.) Until the edges are browned and the leaves are crispy.

Mmm...looks good!

Enjoy. And eat them all at once...they don't store well.

Eliza approves. :)

It was a lot of fun making them. My only three disclaimers:
1. You should use the whole batch of kale if you're going to use the whole tbsp of oil and tsp of salt. I didn't use the whole thing and they were pretty salty. Still good, but I had to drink a lot of water with them.
2. I would like the call them kale crisps instead of kale chips. I had envisioned myself replacing tortilla chips with veggie chips for my salsa, but that, sadly will not be the case. The kale "crisps" are pretty delicate once their cooked. Enjoy it like you would enjoy popcorn.
3. Leave them uncovered and eat them all the same day. I tried to put them in a plastic bag and they lost the crispiness.

And...apparently kale is one of the healthiest veggies you can eat, so I'll be buying it more frequently in the future! Enjoy!

Love, K

Sunday, January 08, 2012


Well hello there! Don't worry, I'm still alive! Just been very busy with life and work and baby Eliza for the past year and a half!

Brief life updates:

1. I went PRN (as needed) at work and am now working 4 hours every Monday night so I can stay home with Eliza!

2. Ryan is now working for Zirous and loving it! He's working on his PhD after he gets home from work at night. Hopefully another year (or so) and it will be completed!

3. Eliza is 19.5 months old now! She's such a funny little thing and I really enjoy being able to stay home with her!

4. I have been crafting in my spare time and have decided to open my own Etsy shop! My shop is called Vow of Sparkles and I sell things that I sew, knit, crochet, etc! Stop by and check it out!

And that's about it!

Ok, so maybe this is a silly reason to blog after 1.5 years, but I was pretty impressed with myself for thinking of this and had to share my idea!

We really love smoothies in our house. And I also am a horrible judge at how much to put into the smoothie to make 2-3 cups. So I usually end up with about 8 cups of smoothie by the time I'm done.

Not that this is a problem...but I have never thought of a good way to save the leftovers before. In the fridge it all starts to separate and looks too nasty to eat the next morning. In the freezer, I usually put it in a tupperware and it was hard to blend back up when I wanted some again.

So as I looked at the remaining 6 cups of smoothie that I'd made the other day, a brilliant idea suddenly came to me...individual frozen smoothie portions! Let me show you what I mean...

I did it again...made WAY too much smootie!

Stuff a freezer bag into a cup.

Pour the smoothie into the "cupped" bag.

Now you can freeze your smoothie for later! (Am I a genius, or what?!)

Stack them in your freezer and blend whenever you want a delicious smoothie! Enjoy!

Love, K