February 27, 2011

Kale Chips

Thanks to my friend Marlena I discovered this great snack!  If you are on a limited diet and need a quick and tasty snack, try this!  Kale is chocked full of nutrients and it's super cheap.

1 Bunch Kale, remove stems and tear leaves into pieces
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread kale leaves on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil until every leaf is slightly "wet" looking.  Sprinkle with a little salt.  Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how crispy you want your "chips."  I would also recommend taking a spatula and turning them halfway through baking.  Be careful not to burn these as they get a little bitter if you do.

Ham & Bean Soup

Soak the beans and chop the vegetables the night before to save on prep time.  This soup is so rich in flavor, warms you from your toes, and is the PERFECT meal for a cold night.

Serves: 8

1 (12 oz) package dried seven-bean mix
Cooking spray
1 c. chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 c. chicken broth (go with the low sodium one)
1 c. chopped carrot (about 2)
1 c. chopped celery (3 ribs)
1 c. chopped red bell pepper
1 c. chopped orange bell pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
3/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 c. chopped cooked ham
1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 T. fresh lemon juice

Sort and wash beans; place in a large pot.  Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours.  Drain beans.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion and garlic to pan; saute 3 minutes.  Add beans, broth, and remaining ingredients except juice; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours.  Discard bay leaf.  Stir in juice.

February 12, 2011

Shortcake Cinnamon Rolls

These have to be one of my favorite things to bake.  They are super easy and melt-in-your-mouth good.  I usually make them when we have chili... a little sweet, a little savory.

4 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 egg white
1 c. milk

1/2 c. butter, melted
Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in medium size bowl.  Pour 3/4 c. melted butter and mix with a fork until it forms small clumps.  Make a hole in the middle and pour in egg white and milk.  Stir with a fork until incorporated.  (If mixture is too dry, add milk 1 T. at a time.  If too wet, add flour 1 T. at a time.)  Place dough on a lightly floured surface and either press with hands or use a rolling pin to form a rectangle.  I usually make mine about 24 x 12 inches.

Pour 1/2 c. melted butter over top of dough and spread to edges.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon to your liking. *Get as creative here as you want... add raisins, walnuts, dried cranberries, orange zest, or fresh berries.

Now, taking the long end, roll to form a log.  Take a knife or pastry scraper to slice the log into 1 inch pieces.  Depending on how long your rectangle is, you will get anywhere from 20-26 cinnamon rolls.

Bake on a cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes.