Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

the accidental kale chip recipe

Kale chips are one of my favorite snacks. Salty, crunchy, garlicy… mmmm. I have a batch in the oven right now. Here’s the trick, though… they’re not actually baking.

Here’s where the “accidental” part of my story comes in. Several weeks ago, I was all set to make a batch of kale chips. The kale was prepped and on the baking sheet, ready to go in to the oven. Oven was preheated. And then, a phone call. I had to run out… what to do with the kale? I turned off the oven and threw them in, thinking I would just fire the oven up later when I got home.

A few hours later, I came home to find… crispy, perfectly cooked kale chips!

I’ve made a few modifications to my kale recipe and technique –

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Remove stems from kale, tear leaves in to small pieces (place in baggie)
3. Drizzle oil & spices over kale, toss the bag to coat
4. Place kale on baking sheet

Here’s where you can choose your technique…
5. Bake for ~15 min (until edges start to brown)
6. Allow to cool – kale will continue to crunch up as it cools

– OR –
5. Place kale in oven, turn off oven.
6. Come back in a few hours for crunchy kale chips!


c’s artwork

I’ve started a project of digitizing C’s artwork. She has a large file of artwork that has grown since birth. Daycare & preschool are fantastic about keeping her busy with art time, but that means we have a lot of paper – and need to figure out what to keep a physical copy of and what to digitize.

In the meantime, I’m digitizing everything. I’ll go back through once this project is over and figure out what to keep. My hope is to take these images and print a large collage that we can hang on C’s wall.

Here’s a sampling of some of her recent work…

2012-07-15 10.17.16
2012-07-15 11.31.47

2012-07-15 11.08.11
“Soduku” (this is a drawing of a handheld soduku game we have in our coffee table – she even drew “numbers” on it)2012-07-15 11.35.45“Cloud & Birds”

2012-07-15 11.34.46

2012-07-15 11.34.55

2012-07-15 11.19.32

2012-07-15 11.07.43“Egg & Milk”
(view from the top)2012-07-15 11.30.14

2012-07-15 11.31.18
“Monkey Bathtime”

2012-07-15 10.18.30
“Mommy & C”

2012-07-15 11.28.04
2012-07-15 11.35.10“C” (her teachers were so impressed with this one that it was displayed on the wall all day when she drew it!)

I’m probably a bit biased, but I’m pretty impressed! Not too shabby for a two and a half year old, eh?

getting back on track

About a week ago, I started the 21 Day Sugar Detox. It’s not a whole lot different from what I’ve been doing, with a few exceptions. No peanuts, no starchy veggies, no oats, no honey (or any form of sugar), and no artificial sweeteners.

I’ve seen other people’s blogs mentioning that they cut out coffee, too… which I didn’t adhere to today or yesterday. I don’t see anywhere that coffee is prohibited, but I get why you’d want to stay away from it during a “detox”. Still, I’ve left it in my diet… being back at work mandates it. :)

All in all, the information included in the 21 Day Sugar Detox (I purchased the pdf version) wasn’t mind blowing stuff. I’d come across most of the same information elsewhere from various sources. It is nice, however, to have it all in one place and spelled out clearly for you. The Yes/No foods can be printed out to post in various locations throughout your house and there are some fantastic recipes at the back. I’ll let you know after day 21 if I think it was worth the $21 I paid… I must admit, though, that paying that sum of money did motivate me a bit more to actually do the program.

Need recipes?

More posts about the 21 Day Sugar Detox:

And finally, I found this interesting…


I woke up craving eggs benedict this morning. My first thought was to seek them out at a nearby restaurant… followed shortly by the thought that we should use up some of the eggs from the farmers market yesterday and make our own.

2012-07-15 09.53.03The recipe for hollandaise was simple enough – complicated only by the fact that I decided to pasteurize the egg yolks and clarify the butter prior to blending them up. I used a microwave method for pasteurizing, which worked ok, except it made the end result far too lemony. I also found a double boiler method for yolks. And a saucepan method for the whole egg. Or maybe I’ll just use them raw.

With the egg yolks taken care of, now I had egg whites to play with. What to do… what to do. I took them and decided to create a low carb waffle concoction. It turned out pretty yummy! It was the perfect base for our eggs benedict.

Low Carb Waffles2012-07-15 09.42.11


  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 Cup almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp coconut unsweetened milk
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 3/4 Tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp coconut flour


  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. Using a blender or electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the almond butter, coconut milk and butter.
  3. Mix the salt, baking soda and coconut flour in a small bowl, then pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
  4. Mix for 30 seconds until all lumps are gone and the almond butter is incorporated.
  5. Oil the griddle on your waffle iron to avoid sticking.
  6. Pour the batter on your waffle iron and cook as usual.
  7. Enjoy!

The only change I’d make for next time is perhaps adding some cinnamon and vanilla extract to give it more flavor. The waffles worked fine as a base with other toppings, but needed a bit more flavor to stand on its own or to be eaten with just butter.

C approved! Of course, hers was covered with maple syrup and whipped cream, so it would be hard not to love them. :)

2012-07-15 09.53.10

Leave a comment if you try it out! Let me know how it worked for you and if you came up with any great modifications.

favorite things friday: banana cream

2012-07-13 21.44.13Ah, yes… it’s been a while since my last "favorite things friday" post… but this one? this was worth the wait.

I’m six days in to a 21 day sugar detox. So far, so good. What it boils down to (in case you couldn’t tell from the name) is very, very little sugar for 21 days. Absolutely no forms of processed sugar, processed carbs or artificial sweeteners. I’m surprised that going cold turkey is actually easier than trying to reduce carbs or use artificial replacements. There’s a small amount of wiggle room – in the form of one green apple and one green tipped banana allowed daily. For best results, these, too, can be avoided, but in a pinch, they are a fantastic treat. Especially when you do what I’m about to describe…

1. Start with a green tipped banana, a pint of organic heavy whipping cream and a green apple.

2. Using a blender (I used my immersion blender), whip up the banana and heavy whipping cream until light and fluffy.

3. Slice up your apple.

4. Dip apple slices in to the banana cream and enjoy!

The banana adds just enough sweetness to the cream to make it a light and lovely treat! It reminds me of a banana cream pie.

2012-07-13 21.44.45

This is best enjoyed freshly made. After a day, the banana in the cream starts to oxidize and turns a bit brown, as shown above (it also kicks off a bit of excess liquid). It still tastes ok, but just doesn’t look as pretty. Really, it’s such a breeze to make, that small batches made fresh is the way to go!


*Note: I just re-read the rules… and you’re limited to EITHER one green apple or one green tipped banana per day. Considering mine had two fruits, but I stretched it over two nights (had half last night, half tonight), I still technically stayed within the rules… just barely, though!

climbing a rock

Tsk, tsk. What ever happened to those aspirations to write more? Where are all those posts that you planned to write? Those ideas that come to you in the shower? The project and craft ideas I’m so inspired to write about? I don’t have any good excuses, so I’ll just move forward.

This past weekend, I climbed up a rock. A really BIG rock. A mountain, in fact. Saturday afternoon, under the heat of the sun, I stood atop the amazing mountain known as Half Dome. It was truly an amazing experience. The sheer physical exertion, mental determination and will power needed to make it to the top can be daunting. Actually making it happen, finding myself at the top made me question…did I really just do that?

Ben and I teamed up with my brother, Chris, and our friend, Michelle, for our trek. We made our way down to Yosemite early Friday morning, and started our long hike in to Little Yosemite Valley (the backpacker’s camp) early afternoon. The hike in was around five miles, which would normally be a decent workout, but adding in the altitude, elevation gain and 20+ pound backpacks made it rather grueling. Still, we trudged on and found ourselves at camp in about four hours. It was a slow pace, but we intended it that way, so none of us were feeling too badly that it took us so long. We set up camp, ate our dinner, played a few games of “Blisters” and called it a night early.

Saturday morning, we got up early, ate our breakfast and made our way out for the three and a half mile hike to the top of half dome. Sounds pretty easy, right? No, I didn’t think so either. We made it to the subdome around 9am, give or take 30 minutes. From there, the cables present both a mental and physical challenge. The sheer pitch of the mountain is nauseating. The narrow cables affixed to the mountain and guiding the way are equally sickening. Still, we pushed on. Pulling on our gloves and starting from the bottom, we went up the mountain one step at a time.

The view from the top was simply breathtaking. Simply. Breathtaking. (photos to follow)

We made our way back to camp Saturday afternoon, took naps, had dinner, then hung out at the communal fire pit with some of our fellow backpackers.

Sunday morning, we had breakfast, packed up camp, then put our (slightly lighter) packs back on and made our way down the mist trail. At the end, pizza and beer awaited us. And let me tell you, it was The. Best. Pizza. Ever.

It’s now late Sunday night, and time for me to shower and wash the trail dust off. Hope your weekend was as awesome as mine.


Fruity beverage in hand, I write to you from the depths of vacation. We headed to the mountains for a few days of relaxing – renting a cabin with some friends and enjoying time away from the norm. Even with only working a few days a week, I still feel that sigh of relief that comes from a few days off. Our friends have a small child as well, so C and J have kept each other entertained for much of the stay, and where that’s not happening, the parenting forces are doubled against the wiles of active toddlers… whatever variety they might be.

The days have passed by too quickly – chopped up by accommodating nap schedules and bed times. Yesterday, we had an early bird dinner at a local favorite, Sunnyside, then collected the girls to get them to bed at a reasonable hour. Here they are, plotting as they walked up from the beach. Can someone please tell me what goes on in the minds of a two and three year old? Man, they are going to be trouble when they’re older.


Today, we went for a fantastic hike and got some awesome photos of the lake. The girls even held up their end pretty well – trudging along with minimal complaint and just a bit of slipping and sliding on the hill. The payoff at the top was worth the hike – simply amazing views of the lake, mountains and trees.

Hope your weekend has been as awesome as ours!

ikea hack: underbed storage boxes

I <3 ikea. They have great storage solutions at affordable prices and, for the most part, their products are well thought out.

The underbed storage boxes we bought didn’t meet this “well thought out” criteria. Although they fit perfectly under ikea beds in the showroom, where all the floors are flat and hard, they just don’t fit when your bed is in a carpeted room.

My solution? I took the boxes apart and trimmed them down. Here’s the play by play project:

1. Turn the boxes inside out (your cut will be on the inside of the box). Use an exacto blade to cut the nylon about an inch from the edge. For the sides that are flaps, cut on the side that will be hidden when the box is assembled, and cut close to the “hinge” side of the flap.



2. Inside, you’ll find a corrugated plastic material. Pull this out.



3. I needed the box to be about 1 1/2 inches shorter than they were, so I measured it out and cut the plastic. At this point, it probably would have been a good idea to check the fit by placing it under the bed – I lucked out, and my trimming worked great, but I’d suggest this step for next time!.



4. Slide the trimmed plastic piece back in to the nylon.



5. Pull the nylon edge back over the plastic so it’s concealed.



6. Use packing tape to secure the cut edge. Repeat this process for the remaining 3 sides.



7. Here’s where I finally checked the fit. Phew! It fits! And now, fill it up!


how to: make spreadable butter

Tired of pulling rock hard butter out from our fridge, but not thrilled about buying a spreadable butter filled with a bunch of unpronounceable ingredients, I came up with my own solution… a homemade spreadable butter.

It’s really quite simple…

1. Grab some room temp butter & oil. I like the flavor of grapeseed oil, but you can use whatever kind you like best.

I use a ratio of about 1 to 1 butter & oil. More oil gives you a softer butter, less gives you a more buttery flavor.


2. Blend together. I’ve used the Magic Bullet for this, but my hand held blender also did a nice job. My guess is that plain ole egg beaters would be fine, too.

3. Put in the container of choice, label it (if you’re so inclined) and refrigerate. When you’re ready for some spreadable butter, just pull the jar out of the fridge, plunge a knife in and spread away! It’s really quite lovely to spread on toast.


I haven’t priced it out, but I imagine the cost is lower than buying the tubs of imitation stuff from the store, and I like knowing exactly what went in to it! The added bonus to this is that the blend gives you a lower cholesterol butter option.

password protected

Sorry for the annoyance of the password on certain posts. As this blog has gained more followers recently, I’ve removed C’s real name everywhere I could. However, in the videos, C’s name is still quite obvious, thus, the password protection, limiting most videos to friends and family only. Sorry blogosphere, gotta draw the line somewhere.

Standard password is ben’s last name and my former last name smushed together as one word (yes, this is a memory and spelling test as well). Know us personally, but still need the password? Email me at

Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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