Turns out, I may not cook as much as I like to think I do. (Wasn't this going to be easy?)Read More
Blog: Random Acts of Deliciousness
Recipes and other delicious discoveries, served randomly.
In the groove, and cooking from the freezer and pantry.Read More
Off to the races! It's all about the groceries. And the strategy.Read More
For the month of January, I'm cooking every breakfast, lunch and dinner for my family of four. It's called #cook90, and YOU can do it with me! Here's how...Read More
There's never enough time to cook! (In fact, there's never enough time for anything.) A strategy for busy people to tackle that fridge full of food when there's not enough time to cook, with recipes. (And can we all please stop feeling guilty?)Read More
Reflections on a recent camping trip (and the state of the world). It turns out there is some magic happening around us....Read More
If you want to understand children, read to them. Do the voices. Emphasize the emotions. Get (a little) scared at the scary parts, and be joyful at the happy parts. Stories are the window to a child's soul. On Friday, I read the original Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter to the children at a local nursery school. Then, the kids and I used blackberries....Read More
When Three Kings Day arrives in Mexico, it's party-time. And the celebration wouldn't be complete without the Rosca de Reyes (literally "ring of kings"): the Three Kings Cake. If you'd like to enjoy this cake in the United States, unless you live near a Hispanic bakery you'll probably be baking it yourself....Read More
Kids in our safe neighborhood run free, and their parents are a diverse lot who come together over food, even when they don't see eye-to-eye on everything else.Read More
Lowly kale is hot, hot, hot. In case you haven't heard, it's the super-est superfood out there right now, boasting more nutrients per calorie than anything else known to man.
It's so chalk full of goodness, we're told it will lengthen our lives, improve our eyesight and even make us more beautiful. Most astounding of all its super-feats, kale has recently crossed the health-food/fast-food barrier and can now be found on the menus of such hallowed eateries as Chick-fil-A and McDonald's. Yes, really.
It certainly wasn't always like this. In my very first waitressing job at a Phoenix-area diner chain in the 1980s, a leaf of curly kale was the garnish on every plate. A little homely to my young eyes, the dark green leaves nevertheless added a much-needed dash of color to an otherwise pale plate of eggs or omelets.
To be perfectly honest, as I spent my high school days slingin' hash after school, it never crossed my mind that you could eat the stuff. When my mother once murmured, "Oh, that's kale. It's very good for you," and took a bite, I thought she was nuts.
Now, of course, I see that she was right. (For the record, she was also right about reusing things, not screaming in the back seat of the car, and Burt Bacharach. But perhaps that's another post.)
But as we now run around adding kale to everything from smoothies to salads to pasta, are we doing it because we love it, or just because we like the virtuous feelings and bragging rights it entitles us to?
Look, eating kale should not a noble cause, to be enjoyed only by health nuts and foodies. Kale should be delicious! It should be so scrumptiously mouthwatering, that it leaves you wanting more.
But kale does best with just a bit of nurturing. Like a certain 9 year-old girl who lives in my house, kale is a bit more strong and assertive than most and if you're not on your toes, can leave you with a highly creative mess to deal with (even though it probably sounded like a good idea at the time).
In this salad, the peppery garlic and bright lemon juice in the dressing stand right up to share the spotlight with Lacinto kale, and the creamy pecorino-romano cheese, toasted almonds and the punch of juicy nectarines are there to grab your attention. The kale is cut into chiffonade (very thin strips) instead of standard salad pieces, to help it mingle more evenly with the other flavors in each bite.
In the end, this salad is so good you'll forget about the rest of the meal. I can barely stop myself from licking the plate clean. I humbly hope it has the same effect on you. My mother would be so pleased.