Archive for June, 2013

Kale Chips – Once you start… you can’t stop!!

So it is a new family favorite in my house… Kale Chips! I had heard about using kale to make homemade alternatives to chips, but never tried it – until now!! We gave this a go a few weeks back with kale from our garden, and this week we purchased a bundle from the market – our poor plant was harvested down to the inner leaves and couldn’t feed us and our guests.

Here’s what we did…

Kale Chips
Harvest, or purchase at your local market, as much kale as you feel you need to feed everyone you are intending to serve.
Wash the kale well and place aside to dry OR wash and then cut it into chip size pieces and sit it aside to dry.
Once your kale is dried (this is to make sure it doesn’t steam in your oven, but actually bakes and gets crisp) spread it out on a cookie sheet (if it wasn’t previously cut then cut into bite sized pieces prior to spreading on the cookie sheet – we have done whole kale chips but it wasn’t as easy to “pop” in your mouth). A single layer of kale is better than stacking layers – this again is to make sure it is crispy.
Spray the kale with some olive oil and sprinkle salt/pepper on top.
Bake at 375 until crisp (this took our gas oven about 10-15 minutes).
Serve and enjoy!

We have also found this recipe to work on collard greens!!

**Note – unfortunately there are no photos for this recipe since they fly off the plate as soon as I serve them. Our oldest son can not get enough of these when I make them. Once he starts poppin them (in his mouth) there is just no stoppin him! 😉


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SUPER easy family burritos…

The end of the school year is here, which means my house is crazy. To make things even more crazy we had a family funeral this past week. I needed something quick, easy and cheap to make for dinner that used up my lettuce that is GROWING galore in my container. I didn’t want to turn on the oven, but I couldn’t come home and cook so I turned to my faithful friend – the crock pot. I have a new cookbook my aunt got me for Christmas that I wanted to try out. A few minutes of searching… BAM I found my simple recipe!!

Easy Family Burritos
1-2 lb roast (pork or beef – we used beef)
1 jar 16oz salsa
Crock pot
Lettuce – optional to use in your burrito/tacos/or in place of a tortilla
Sour cream – optional to top your burrito/salad/taco
Cheese – optional to top your burro/salad/taco
Tortillas – optional to form your burritos/tacos

… as you can see there are many ways you can do this, lots of add on options.

roast in the crock pot with salsa

roast in the crock pot with salsa

1. place your roast into the crock pot
2. pour salsa on top and place on low heat for 8-10 hours
3. shred meat (it says to take it out of the crock pot to do this, but I did it inside with plastic forks and it worked great and LESS dishes, always a plus)
4. continue cooking on low for another 1-2 hours
5. serve as you see fit

**adapted from Favorite Brand Name Slow Cooker Recipes – page 150

So there are a few ways you can do this… serve on tortillas, serve on lettuce as wraps, eat plain (I did this and it was good), drain and let cool and serve on top of a salad (I also did this, but I didn’t drain mine – hence my recommendation of draining)… endless opportunities.

garden lettuce - mixture of green, red and a bit of spinach

garden lettuce – mixture of green, red and a bit of spinach

If you are growing your own lettuce, and live here in West MI, it’s still cool out and your lettuce might not have bolted yet. However, when the heat comes you can extend the life of your lettuce by making sure on hot days it has some shade. Containers is the best way to do that – they move!! Check out some helpful tips and great heirloom lettuce varieties to think about in your future:

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funeral… sick child (again)… and end of the school year – don’t worry though, I’m feeding everyone dinner

So a lot has been happening in my neck of the woods. Our little one still routinely gets sick and did so this past weekend when we drove down to Ohio for a family funeral. 😦 Our oldest is finishing sixth grade, OMG he is going to be a teenager and in seventh grade… where has the time gone? So with the above, my two “independent” home jobs and my part time “go into a physical building” job, I’ve been busy. I’ve been cooking though, and taking pictures.

How things are going to start working on my blog is… I’ll first post on the website of the non-profit I work with ( then I’ll repost here about a week later. I want to make sure I tailor my meals this season to our growers and market participants. So if I mention a local place or highlight something from my current town, I am sure you’ll understand and go looking for something similar where you are. Keeping it local is my goal. 🙂 Easy Family Burros will be making its way to the blog this weekend.

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