One Pot Chicken Root Vegetable Stew

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Chicken Root Vegetable Stew One pot meals are always my favorite kind. With the busyness of the holidays all around us, I’ve been relying on simple meals to get us through. And really, I think simple meals are the best way to go most of the time anyway – holidays or not. I’ve also really been making an effort (thanks to Andrea’s inspiration) to focus on the quality of my ingredients. We don’t eat a ton of meat or poultry at our house, but when we do, I’m trying to seek out local organic, free-range sources. (This time I went with what I could find at Trader Joe’s out of sheer convenience. The quality and flavor are still great.) Because it’s winter, I’m also pulling out my Dutch oven for just about every meal. I love the way it can go from stovetop to oven and back again. This Chicken Root Vegetable Stew is all about using simple flavors to create something really satisfying and delicious. One of my very favorite cold weather veggies is celeriac, or celery root. It cooks up with a texture similar to a potato, but with the flavor of celery. I also added some cubed turnips, carrots, and potatoes.
Chicken Root Vegetable Stew-2 This stew has a lot going on in the flavor department. It starts by building a good base flavor by searing the chicken pieces in butter. Then onions are added along with some white wine to deglaze the pan. That is followed by adding all the root veggies and chicken to the pot, chicken stock is poured over the top, it’s seasoned well, and everything goes into the oven for about an hour. By the end of that time, the broth is bursting with the flavor of the chicken and veggies, which are both tender and flavorful as well. We also like to add a little heavy cream at the end, or right before serving, but it’s completely optional. It just adds another level of richness to the broth. If you’re like me, you’ll be slurping that broth straight from the ladle just to make sure it tastes okay before placing it on the table. (wink, wink) I could drink that broth! Chicken Stew with Root Vegetables Chicken Stew with Root Vegetables-2 Now, I always like to give a few notes to the recipes. If you don’t care for the veggies listed, totally substitute them with the ones you do like. Rutabagas could be added in. You could use all potatoes. Chopped kale could be added at the end. It’s totally up to you. This can also be made in a slow cooker, which is a great tool to utilize anytime, but especially during the holidays. Just sear the chicken in a regular frying pan in the butter. Add the onions and wine like the recipe says, then transfer that to the slow cooker and add everything else in and cook on HIGH for 2-4 hours, or LOW for 4-6 hours. It could maybe go for a little longer, but the vegetables will start to fall apart if they’re in there for too long. If you want to speed up the cooking process, use boneless, skinless chicken and cut the veggies into smaller pieces. I prefer using the skin-on, bone-in chicken because the flavor is superior. Totally up to you and what you can find or have access to. Root Vegetables and Chicken Root Vegetables
To serve the stew, ladle it up into bowls with crusty bread on the side, or with a scoop of rice in the bowl, or eat it as is. We are usually so hungry and the anticipation is so great after that hour of delicious smells wafting through the house, it’s all we can do to actually use a bowl. Ha! But seriously, this stew is so good. It’s the perfect thing to make for a small crowd and it’s really hearty and satisfying.

Chicken Root Vegetable Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Make this hearty one pot meal for busy weeknights and during the holiday season.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 whole free range, organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or 8 chicken thighs), bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large or 2 small turnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2-3 large red potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups organic chicken stock
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup organic heavy cream (optional)
  • For serving - crusty bread or cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it foam and melt. Place the chicken pieces skin side down in the pan, working in two batches, if needed. Cook for 3-5 minutes then turn over and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm. Add the onion to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, allowing the onion to soften. Scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Next add the wine to deglaze the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes, then turn off heat. Some of the wine will remain.
  2. To the Dutch oven, add the cubed vegetables and garlic. Place the chicken pieces on top. Pour the chicken broth over the top Season well with salt and pepper, and add the thyme sprigs. Cover with lid. Place in oven and cook for 45-60 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. The internal temperature should be between 160-165°F and juices should run clear. Remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. If using, gently stir in the heavy cream. (The veggies will be very tender, so don't stir too hard!)
  3. To serve - ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread or rice.

 



Great Cookbooks to Give and Receive

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best-cookbooks-of-2014 In my imaginary dream kitchen, I have a bookshelf just to hold my cookbooks. Like many people, I love collecting cookbooks, and I won’t stop, can’t stop. Cookbooks keep me excited about cooking, and they’re there for me when I’m feeling in a cooking slump, quickly offering mew new-found inspiration and gusto to pick up my spatula and dirty more dishes. Last night over a quick dinner with my guy, I rattled off a wish list of several easy-to-find items, including several cookbooks. These are books that I’d love to receive and gift, and since there’s always a Barnes & Noble open late, or Amazon 2 day shipping to save your life, there’s still plenty of time to order up before the big day next week.

Plenty More – “Ottolenghi is a genius with vegetables—it’s possible that no other chef has devised so many clever ways to cook them.” writes one reviewer of this follow up to his Plenty cookbook. Ottolenghi is an Israeli chef living in London. He’s said to be a genius with vegetables and because of his background, his flavor profile is both interesting and intense. A friend owns Jerusalem and swears by it, and his newest cookbook Plenty More is supposed to be his best book yet. Bring on the cumin and coriander!

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace – I’ve owned this cookbook of sorts for over a year, and I’m asking for it again though because I made the mistake of ordering it on my Kindle the first time around. My kindle edition has notes and highlights marked on almost every page, and when a book is that noteworthy, you just need an actual hard copy in hand, because it will never run out of battery life.

The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook – I’ve had this book on loan from a friend for about a month now, and while some recipes require work, something quite inherent in gluten free baking, most of them are worth it and I trust that for the most part, ATK won’t steer me wrong. I’ve baked several things out of this book, and as a result have dirtied up my friend’s pristine copy. This is therefore added to my wishlist so I can hand her over the new copy and I’ll keep the tattered one for myself.

Every Last Crumb: Paleo Bread and Beyond – I’m not trying to go Paleo, don’t you worry, but I am trying to maintain gluten free status, and from the reviews and buzz I’ve heard all around social media, Brittany Angell is a genius with gluten free and grain free baked goods. I’m intrigued.

Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings – While the IG of Sunday Suppers reads a bit like a Kinfolk mag, the reviews on this book are much more positive and it promises to deliver simple yet good tasting recipes to serve around the communal table.

Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence – Because one cannot subsist on Paleo treats and healthy treats all year long, Joy the Baker is here to rescue us. I’ve wanted this book since it came out because it looks stunning, and also to support Joy, a sweet and kind gal, who is also insanely talented.

Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship – Intended to be a date-night at home guide for couples, this book, out December 30th, features meals for two, and sounds like it was written for tired parents and busy working couples. Sign me up!

Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen – I love the concept of this book, which was written by the editor of Food & Wine, and is centered around her confession of being terrible in the kitchen. The book is a crash course in cooking from some of the world’s best chefs, and is supposed to include both tips and recipe from the pros. While I’m a decent cook, I could always use some new pointers.

Meals Made Simple: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime – I already own this book and cook from it quite often, but I’m including it as a great recommendation for gift giving, to anyone who just wants to cook healthier, not necessarily Paleo. While the book is meat heavy, it is super well organized, many of the recipes are really easy to make, and yield great results.

For other great cookbook recommendations, this list from Bon Appetit is quite interesting, and this list on Good Reads includes cookbooks and books on food. The Calorie Myth may need to be my next food book read.



Good Deals To Be Had

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In case you’re still only half way done with your Christmas shopping, or you need to offer some suggestions of things you’d like to see under the tree, here are a few of my favorite things which I’m personally adding to my wish list, and they all happen to be on sale. A girl can dream, right? Seriously though, in my quest to find our family photo outfits last week, I spent a lot of time trying things on and window shopping. These pieces all look as cute in person, and fit well, as they look online. Lots of plaid, sequins and metallics. gooddeals-GAP GAP 40% off with code FESTIVE. Sequins sweaters, SEQUIN SWEATPANTS Y’all! And a leather jacket that is gorgeous and somewhat reasonably priced (for leather)  gooddeals-JCREW J. Crew 30% off with code GIVETHIS. Buffalo check vest, the most perfect statement necklace to gift to a sister or girlfriend, and their sweater leggings are the bomb, I have a clearance pair from last year which I LOVE! gooddeals-LOFT LOFT has all their sweaters and tops on sale for 50% off no code needed. Jewel sweater, rose sweater & open front cardi gooddeals-MADEWELL Madewell is offering up to 30% off with code GOFORIT. The perfect plaid shirt and an oversized blanket scarf gooddeals-SAT SATURDAY is all about party looks, which are 25% off with code RSVP. This metallic gold bomber jacket is so rad. The polyhedron ring is a fun gift. And gold, pleats and a midi length skirt? This dress is all sorts of fab!



Knott’s NYE Celebration Plus a Giveaway

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Fireworks1 As a Southern California native, I’ve enjoyed going to Knott’s Berry Farm for as long as I can remember. My parents always took us here at least once or twice a year, since it was so close and so affordable, and it’s been fun to see the changes and evolution the park has gone through. Of course some features and attractions are still the same, like the Log Ride and Montezuma’s Revenge, but others have long gone to make way for bigger, better roller-coasters, however nothing will ever replace the good old fashioned Parachutes.

Whether you have longstanding fond Knott’s memories of chicken dinners and train robberies, or you’re new to the park, I wanted to let you all know about their upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration. It’s a totally family-friendly event, complete with live entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show, all for the price of regular admission. The park will still be decorated for the holidays, so it will be fun and festive, and The Howe crew will be there on New Year’s Eve, and we can’t wait to ride our favorite rides and gorge ourselves on funnel cakes, gluten-free diets be banished for the day! You can also be sure I’ll be buying a new ride picture, a tradition I’ve come to love. Here are a few of our recent pics from visits to Knott’s this year. Scan035 Scan036 Scan037 If you’d like to visit Knott’s in 2015, I’m giving away 2 tickets to one lucky reader! You can use them anytime in 2015, and to enter to win, just follow the prompts below. You can enter to win through December 31st, and I’ll announce the winner on January 2nd. Good luck! If you’re planning to visit Knott’s NYE celebration, please use the #KnottsNYE hashtag if you share on social media.

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2014 Family Photos

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holiday-family-photos1 I don’t believe I have a single staged family photo from my childhood, not even one of those awkward family photos from the Sears portrait studio. I think I’ve seen an intermittent photo of just myself as a baby, sitting in Santa’s lap or atop a pony, maybe even on a carpeted backdrop from KMart, but the point was, we never did family photos. I’m sure it had something to do with the rather chaotic, dysfunctional state of affairs our family was in for many years, and when things were good, we were more apt to take a random Easter photo standing out front of our house, than getting dressed up and hiring a photographer to take tastefully staged pictures. No matter the state of dysfunction your own family may have been in, I’m sure this is the same for many of you, am I right?

holiday-family-photos13 But family photos are sort of a big deal now, especially since digital took over and families could get affordable, fun, less-uptight photos taken just about anywhere. Miranda of M.Shanti Photo took ours again, and found a great backdrop in Signal Hill, a little subcity in Long Beach. We’re not really sure what the building is used for, as we saw an older lady open it up and feed several cats while we were there, so maybe it’s just an old building she holds on to as a shelter for stray cats from all over the neighborhood? Who knows really, it looked cool in photos so that’s all we were concerned with, but if it doubles as a sanctuary for homeless cats, all the better. holiday-family-photos3

holiday-family-photos12 The kids know Miranda just as well as a family member since they see her on an almost weekly basis. Getting them to loosen up for her is always a problem. Not really.

holiday-family-photos5 She had some ideas of poses she wanted to see us in, so once we arrived we got those out of the way first, and then we sort of just had fun. It was sprinkling during most of the shoot, and at the end it began pouring rain, so towards the end we were sort of just frantically running around trying to get some decent photos captured. For a twenty minute shoot, I think she did a damn good job.

holiday-family-photos4 Coordinating our outfits is always an interesting and time-consuming venture for me. I really should try to plan earlier or try not to worry so much about it, but at any rate, I’m happy with how all our outfits came together this year. The day before Thanksgiving I went to the mall by myself and searched around, as I was uninspired this year. Usually I have an idea of where I want to go with the outfits, and center them around something I already own, but I was coming up blank. So I just started looking around, and came across the patent leather red boots Taylor is wearing, and I knew I had a starting point.  holiday-family-photos10 After finding the red boots, I still wasn’t sure how we were going to go, so I just walked out of Zara and started going to different stores. I went into Gap Kids and found the plaid dress, and the combo of the boots and plaid reminded me so much of the style I loved from my youth, I went with it, adding in the leather jacket for some warmth and texture. So Taylor’s outfit was really the jumping off point for the rest of us. holiday-family-photos11 I couldn’t find anything I loved for Hayden that was red. All was either red plaid, red stripe, all patterns that just felt overdone, so I decided to go more black and white for the boys, and add in pops of red. Note the red piping on Hayden’s cardigan, and of course his Converse. holiday-family-photos9 Had I found bright red jeans for Syd, I would have went with those, but then I saw this scarf and knew it was just enough. He also had a bit of red trim on his black hi-tops.  holiday-family-photos8 Art’s outfit was the hardest and easiest to put together. Red for guys is sort of hard, you’ve either got a red sweater or scarf, but red vests or red jeans just aren’t him and I knew would be too much, so I settled for the tiniest hint of red in his shirt. Good enough.
holiday-family-photos7 My outfit was the only one which used items I already had on hand. I did buy a plaid shirt in case I didn’t like the way the blazer looked when I got home, but I ended up loving it so took the plaid shirt  back.  holiday-family-photos6 The end result is a look that coordinates, blends in together without being too matchy-matchy, but also stands out because of the subtle pops of red. We’ve done jewel tones before, brights, standard white and denim a long time ago, so even though black, white and red is a very typical holiday look, it was new for us this year.   holiday-family-photos14 holiday-family-photos15 Miranda asked us to dance here, and all of us had no problem with that, except for Hayden. He just stared at us.  holiday-family-photos-14 Finally towards the end of our dance sesh, he did a little half-turn, either to try and get in the groove or to ignore us, still not sure. Our Christmas cards from Paper Culture came today and I love how they turned out so much. For the first time I ordered two different styles to mix it up, and will give the card with the funnier poses to friends and close family, and the more simple, kid-centered card will go out to extended family and work clients.  holiday-family-photos16 I can’t wait to turn these photos into prints for our wall and frames. How about you guys? Are you big on the family photos, or do you think they’re too much work? They are fun to have when all is said and done, but they’re certainly a lot of work and stress to prep for, I don’t disagree. My goal for next year is to somehow take the stress out of the prep process so I can enjoy the actual shoot more.

Outfit details:

Andrea – tuxedo blazer old from Club Monaco, similar here, blouse J. Crew, jeans Elizabeth & James, heels Shoemint

Art – shirt Grayers from Nordstrom, jeans J Brand Kane style, boots old from Nordstrom

Taylor – dress and jacket Gap Kids, boots Zara

Syd – pants, shirt & scarf Zara, Supra hi-tops already owned from Nordstrom

Hayden – pants, sweater & shirt Zara, hi-tops Converse



Week In Review – So Much Good Stuff

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new-puberty-corbis_custom-51c80e1a4cdb2b9bd7c78d1a95683ef1485d69a3-s1100-c85 I stayed up late ordering Christmas cards and making photo books for each of the kids this week, which left plenty of time online for my twitter and facebook feed to fill me in on some excellent reads. Some of my favorites are below, quotes from each article italicized. By the way, I had asked friends on my FTLO of Facebook page for recommendations on photo books, and I discovered some new companies, so thanks a lot! I decided that for this round of books, just to go with Artifact Uprising. I have so many photos that it gets overwhelming trying to decide which memories to capture and feature, so in the end I decided to just focus on IG for the past year. I created “All About Me” books for each child, for the year 2014, and the AU program was really easy to use. I can’t wait to see them in real life.

1. Celebrating Bad Food: An Interview With Christopher Kimball – hands down my favorite read of the week, just because I am fascinated with Christopher Kimball, founder of Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen. The interview discusses the myth of food as art, print media, obesity in America, current hipster food trends, and the driving marketplace for junk and fast food. Basically, all of my favorite things! “People always go, “oh, my grandmother never used a recipe.” Well, that’s because she cooked ten hours a day or whatever, so she had it down cold. If you only cook three hours a week, you need a recipe. So I’m a big believer in: you’ve got to have technique, you’ve got to have experience. Because you can’t be an artist in the kitchen, assuming that’s something you want to be in the first place. I’m not sure I agree with that anyway. The objective is to turn out good food that’s healthy, that people enjoy then you sit around the table.”

2. How Girls Are Developing Earlier In A New Age Of Puberty “The family can serve as a huge buffer against some of those negative effects of early puberty,” she says. “There’s also been some research to show that certain aspects of the neighborhood context and also schools can be protective. … It can completely mitigate the risk associated with early puberty on girls’ emotional and behavioral functioning.” So thankful we’re not here yet, however the emotions are rnning wild these days…preteen angst is not far off, I can smell it!

3. Is the Food Babe A Fearmonger? Scientists Are Speaking Out – an interesting critique of the Food Babe’s use of science to back her claims and grow her army. Look, I don’t think I need to state I’m a real food advocate, and while some may believe we should all stick together, no matter what the methods, I don’t necessarily agree. I appreciate what she’s trying to do, but I don’t agree with much about how she’s doing it, by instilling fear into the average person who just needs some lessons and cajones in the kitchen. I have personally seen so many people, friends, readers get so overcome with anxiety about what they should eat, because of so many outlandish claims out there, that they don’t do anything to change. I just wish she would tone down the fear rhetoric and offer viable solutions for people, real people with food budgets and families and busy lives who can’t fastidiously pore over every ingredient list. “I personally think this is largely a distraction from more real concerns about the food system, like advertising aimed at kids, the environmental impacts of food production, food waste and hunger.”

4. Contemporary Christmas channel on Spotify so good, and so telling of my age. Fellow mid-late thirties out there, I think you’d really appreciate this playlist

5. NPR’s Best Books of 2014 – still going through both of these to note the overlap, if any. What are some of your favorite books of 2014?

6. NY Time’s 100 Notable Books of 2014

7. Typical of a high speed car chase in LA – make sure to note the red truck and skateboard.

8. Athleta Downalicious Vest is everything to me right now. I wear it almost every single day, no kidding.

9. Tarte Fiery Lip Tint is also everything to me right now, I also wear this almost every single day and my kids still ask if I’m going out somewhere when I put it on.

10. A Guide to the Terrible, Delicate Art of Making Parent Friends I’m lucky to have found a good group of mom friends, and their spouses have also become my spouses friends, but I appreciate how hard and delicate it all is. There are several friendships that have dissolved over the years because of either schedules, or we discovered eventually, that we didn’t have as much in common as we previously hoped for. “Now consider that, in order for this budding friendship to last more than one playdate, all four of you must jibe somewhat as people AND as parents, which means that at least in some small way, your general interests, taste and socioeconomic standing must gel, but critically, so must your general approach to parenting.”

11. The Secret to Homework We are in a big battle with homework over here, with Taylor getting upwards of 2-3 hours of homework a night, it’s frigging ridiculous and I’m fighting back. In current discussions with the principal and teacher, so wish me luck. More and more evidence these days is showing that homework for the sake of homework doesn’t work, and can actually be a hindrance to learning. If you have or have had a 4th grader, I’m curious what your child’s homework load looks like each night. Please share!

12. The Red Tent was made into a Lifetime mini-series, airing December 7th and 8th! One of my favorite books of all time, I hope Lifetime doesn’t screw it up ;)

And that’s all she wrote folks! Have a great weekend. Taylor marches in the town’s Christmas Parade tonight, and tomorrow we get our tree! Tis the season!

image credit 



DIY Leather Chain Necklace

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Leather and chain DIY necklace

Lately I have been experimenting more with jewelry making. I love crafting handmade items as much as the next self-proclaimed-DIYer, but when it comes to crafts I am usually more comfortable with a power tool in my hands rather than delicate jewelry pieces. When a friend gave me a piece of lovely black soft leather that was too small for any project but jewelry I put my crafting skills to the test. For thisfrte3 season I really wanted a necklace that was equal parts masculine, feminine, and chic. With this leather chain necklace I think I got pretty close! Additionally I was surprised by how easy it was to make, and here is how…

Supplies you will need:

Leather and chain DIY necklace

– A scrap of soft leather in the length of the necklace swoop you are wanting to create. Mine was about 16 inches long.

– Fabric scissors.

– Jewelry chain that you can buy in a role. I used 60 inches for this necklace.

– Jump rings. I bought a bag of 30 but used 16 for this project.

– A lobster clasp. Who knew that was what they were called??

– Hammer and nail or a hammer and small circle leather punch.

– Pliers to cut the chain.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Step 1: Begin by cutting several strips of leather to the length you desire (Mine were cut to 16″ each). I cut 4 strips but I think more or less strips would still have a lovely effect.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Step 2: Next, using the hammer and leather punch (or nail) punch one hole in both ends of each leather strip.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Step 3: Through each hole in the ends of the leather strips attach a jump ring. The trick with jump rings is to twist them open, not pull them apart. That way it can twist back closed without loosing the shape of the jump ring.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Step 4: For step four, cut 3 chains to the desired length using pliers. I cut them in varying lengths: one at 16″, one at 16.5″, and one at 17″. That way they hang staggered on the necklace.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Step 5: Then attach the ends of the three chains with a jump ring, attaching three ends together on one side and the other three ends together on the other side.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Step 6: This step is a little tricky. Using a jump ring attach one end of each leather strip and one end of the chains that were connected in step 5 all together. Repeat this on the other side of the necklace with the other end of each leather strip the chains.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Step 7: Next, create the two ends of the necklace by cutting two 6″ sections of chain. At the end of one section connect a lobster clasp using a jump ring. Then at the end of the other chain connect a jump ring.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Step 8: For the final step attach the two ends to the necklace body with a jump ring.

And bam! There you have it! A fun chic necklace to add to your winter wardrobe.

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Leather and chain DIY necklace

Leather and chain DIY necklace



Savory Parmesan Kale Spinach Bites

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kale-spinach-bites-appetizer I rarely go to Trader Joe’s anymore for the simple fact that each time I go in, they always steal too much of my money. They’re deals on cheese, some produce and various jarred items like honey and coconut oil make it feel like you’re going to walk in and save a ton, but they make all their margins on all the snacky packaged items. Veggie chips, all sorts of combinations on pita chips, tortilla chips and so many trail mix combinations it will make your head spin. But why am I going on and on, you know all this already. And let’s not even talk about their frozen foods section, because we could write a soliloquy to all the convenient options available. kale-spinach-bites So on my quarterly shopping trip to TJ’s last week, I got reacquainted with some of their items thanks to my new commitment to eat gluten free, which is mostly going okay. I  discovered some new to me items, and was happy some of my old favorites were already gluten free, and while browsing the frozen foods section, I discovered these little kale and spinach bites. They looked delicious, only problem was they were pricey for the quantity, and they were made with bread crumbs. All the other ingredients looked and sounded delicious and simple enough, and since I’ve gotten fairly used to subbing bread crumbs with almond meal, I figured I’d be able to recreate these bad boys to be gluten free. Turns out, I was right! It took a couple of tries to get the texture right and bitterness to go away, and I also got a little help from this Two Sisters recipe, but eventually we arrived at these little morsels of delight, and I’m very excited to serve them up on Thanksgiving.  kale-spinach-bites-ingredients In addition to the ingredients you see above, I also added in half of an onion and some lemon juice to help with the bitterness. So grab your kale, spinach, onion, garlic and green onions, and get cooking.  kale-spinach-bites-cooking Melt some butter or ghee with olive oil on medium high heat, and first saute your onion. Add in your spinach and kale, along with your seasonings, and saute a few more minutes, just until your greens are wilted. For my seasonings I added in about 1/2 tsp each of Flavor God Everything Seasoning and Garlic Lover’s Seasoning, but if you don’t have those at home, add in 1/8 tsp each of any combination of the following: onion powder, garlic powder, chili pepper, basil, coriander, parsley and thyme. Add in all of them if you have them on hand, or just a few if you’re pressed for time or short on seasonings. Finish off with a big pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  kale-parmesan-spinach-bites Once your onions and greens are nice and cooked, toss them in the food processor with the chopping blade, along with one roughly chopped green onion, and pulse for several seconds to get a nice creamy texture. I originally just minced my onions and greens, which left for an unpleasant texture. The food processor method is the way to go. If you don’t have a food processor, I recommend just chopping the cooked mix as fine as you can over and over again, or even add it to the blender for a few short seconds, scraping the sides to get an even grind.  kale-spinach-bites-mix Dump the processed greens and onions into a mixing bowl, and add in your egg, ricotta, almond meal, parmesan cheese, and a good squeeze of lemon juice, which I found helped eliminate any bitterness that may remain from the spinach and kale. I had received adult spinach in my produce box, which tends to be stronger. Had I used baby spinach, the bitterness may have been minimal, but either way, the lemon juice guarantees a balance of flavors.
kale-spinach-bites-raw Take a small spoonful of mixture and roll it into a ball, then roll into your almond flour/Parmesan cheese mixture to evenly coat. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. You will notice that the mix is very moist and gooey, that’s okay. As long as it sticks together and can form into balls, you’re fine, but if you can’t get them to bind together at all, simply add some more almond meal.

kale-bites-with-parmesan Bake them for about 15 minutes, and set them under the broiler for about 1 minute to increase the browning process. The one side will be really crispy because of the browning process, the other side will be a little less crispy but that’s okay. kale-bites These are rich and creamy and fill a cheesy savory craving without feeling overly indulgent, a perfect treat for the season of celebrating.

Savory Parmesan Kale Spinach Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 balls
Ingredients
  • t tbsp each olive oil & butter or ghee
  • 5 ounces of spinach
  • 3 large kale leaves, preferably lacinto kale
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond meal or hazelnut meal, plus 1 cup more for the coating
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, plus ½ cup more for the coating
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of desired seasonings, see note above
  • Juice of ½ lemon, about 1 tbsp
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop the onion, kale and spinach. Heat the oil and ghee or butter in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add in the chopped onion and garlic, and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add in the spinach and kale and seasoning, and cook till wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. When cooked through, transfer kale spinach mix to the food processor, along with the green onion, and using the chopping attachment, pulse until mixed and finely chopped, about 10 seconds.
  3. Transfer contents to a medium bowl and mix in the lemon juice, egg, ricotta cheese if using, ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of the almond meal, along with a big pinch of salt and some pepper. Mix until well combined.
  4. Combine the remaining almond meal and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl, along with a bit more salt and pepper, and set aside. Begin rolling 1 inch balls of the kale spinach mix, and then coat thoroughly in the almond meal/Parmesan mix. Place coated balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, and then allow them to cook under the broiler set at high for 1 minute.
  6. Serve immediately

In addition to this party-perfect holiday recipe, I’d like to recommend some other savory and sweet treats that other talented bloggers across all types of cooking, have created. Whether you’re looking for the perfect appetizer or something to satisfy a sweet tooth, there are plenty choices below. Take a look and stop on by some of these other great sites:

Savory Treats

Holiday Sweets



Daily Style – Boho Redefined

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IMG_8988 IMG_8981 As I near 40, my closet continues to shape itself up in a way I’m happy with. Never one to identify with a “signature style”, my shopping habits, and therefore my closet, has always been a mashup of both feminine and boyish styles; some bold prints tempered back to a endless sea of grays, blacks and browns, and very few pops of color, but the color that exists has proven itself to time and time again, make me feel my best. It’s not like I’m some mystery when it comes with defining my style, it’s more that I can’t make up my mind, and so you’ll often find a little bit of everything hung in closet and folded in my drawers.  IMG_8986

This pretty floral dress is not something I’d typically buy for myself, but both the combination of the color and print, made me feel completely me. My husband agreed, and kept telling me throughout the day how much he loved the dress on me. I rarely dress for my husband, but when we both find something he loves as equally as I do, it’s definitely a nice perk.   IMG_8999

I initially thought I’d wear the dress back to some more masculine motorcycle boots, to add a touch of edge to the soft ruffles and print. But after a few changes, I landed on these very old riding boots, and it seems they do the dress the most justice. As it gets colder though, I think some cable knit sweater tights and those moto boots I was originally thinking of, would be a fantastic way to style this.

In partnership with Zappos, myself and a fellow style-loving blogging buddy, Jennifer of Just Add Glam, did a little shopping for each other. We used Zappos’ site to pick out a couple of pieces we felt would complement their signature style, and hopefully be something they would love. I browsed her site and within 15 minutes, I had a pretty good idea of what Jennifer’s style was all about; feminine styling, colorful pops of color, polished silhouettes and bold accessories. She loves to wear hats and statement jewelry, and she’s got a killer shoe and handbag collection. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit envious of her wardrobe and her ability to wear heels and dresses, without worrying about chasing after a toddler.  IMG_8991

I initially thought I would gift her a cute handbag and maybe a hat, but since her handbag collection seemed to be vast, and hats can be tricky, almost as personal as finding the right pair of sunglasses, I took my chances with a dress. I chose a knit jersey dress from BCBGeneration because it looked really polished and put together, perfect for Jennifer, but the asymmetrical hemline added a touch of uniqueness to her usual mix of dresses with fuller skirts or bold colors. To complete the gift, I thought this beaded Kenneth Jay Lane necklace was spectacular and would really stand out against the black dress. You can see how she styled it in her post here.

In return, Jennifer gently nudged me out of my comfort zone by gifting me this gorgeous dress by Free People, along with the prettiest complementing accessories. The necklace is by Vince Camuto and is a simple long gold pendant, and I’ve been wearing it daily back to a simple white tee or as seen here, dressed up a bit more. The infinity scarf  by BCBGeneration is a great add-on that works perfectly with the colors of the dress, and works just as well with a chambray shirt and comfy jeans.  IMG_9015

Zappos offers free (2 day!!) shipping and no hassle returns 365 days of the year. You can find a heck of a lot more than shoes on Zappos these days, and they’ve curated one of the most well-thought out collection of brands and items I’ve seen on a shopping site in a very long time. Ordering couldn’t be easier, as are returns, so rest assured that whatever you gift to your family or friends, can easily be returned for something else they love or need. To find great gifts for everyone on your list, in every budget category, visit the Zappos gift guide. Also, for the first 500,000 orders placed between Black Friday and the end of business today, Zappos will donate $1 per order to Feeding America, so you know I love that. That’s up to 5 million meals!! I love doing good while shopping all at the same time.

This post is sponsored by Zappos, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make this blog possible.



Daily Style – Perfect Pleat

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IMG_8790 Midi Pleated Skirt – Target; Short Sleeve Tee – Splendid; Bag – Nordstrom, also seen here and here; Shoes – Shoemint Faith, on sale for $34.99!; Necklace – Vince Camuto

I’ve had a love interest in midi skirts for a couple of years now, as evidenced here and here. The problem is, it’s hard to find a good midi skirt that is both flattering and affordable, and most mainstream stores don’t regularly carry them in-store to try on for yourself. So I’ve ordered several online, and most go back because the fabric is weird or the waistband is too poofy or whatever. For years I longed for a good midi skirt to be carried someplace like The Gap or Target.

Finally, my wish was granted and I happened on this cute burgundy midi skirt piece of perfection at Target, for $19.99!
IMG_8799 There’s a lace slip underneath so just the tiniest bit of lace peeks out along the hemline. and the fabric is lightweight so it moves beautifully. Granted, the fabric is a little on the cheap side and I don’t anticipate this skirt lasting me for years and years, but I should get some decent mileage out of it.
IMG_8805 I love a full midi skirt back to a sleek top, but decided to try it here with a looser fitting tee, and I love how it worked together. Added a simple skinny black belt and it was the perfect little outfit. I think I’ll wear this for Thanksgiving in fact. IMG_8809 IMG_8810 What are you all planning for Thanksgiving this year? Staying close to home or traveling? Anyone in charge of cooking the big feast? We’re going to my sister’s house and I’m luckily only in charge of bringing a couple of sides and the fixings for my Apple Cider Moscow Mules. I think I could bring those alone and everyone would be happy! IMG_8818 Wishing you all a wonderful week and a lovely holiday with family or friends, or both!