Throwback: Kale Salad with Man Candy and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

kale salad with roasted bruschetta 1 - My Daughter and I

Hey there,
Well we’ve been a bit distracted around here by fires burning all around us. It’s hard to get anything done when you’re constantly checking the news, Ham radio, responding to sweet phone calls and texts etc. So I completely forgot to do Monday’s post. Here it is a bit late-

Several weeks back, after dropping Travis off at school, Jordan and I had an epic food afternoon. First we stopped at this amazing bakery called SweetItaly (their website must be brand new, but the address and phone number are at the bottom) and had a cannoli and an eclair. They were both delicious and worth the drive to Point Loma. Not only were the desserts delicious, but the atmosphere was great – we felt like we had been transported to Italy. Needless to say, we plan to visit that bakery again.

So onto the main course. We headed to Liberty Station to see if we could find some dinner. I know weird – we ate dessert first. Ok, really it’s not that weird for us! We found this cute place called The Fig Tree Cafe. It was adorable. We both loved the interesting decor. We were there a bit early so we had the inside to ourselves. Several people were outside enjoying the patio. We decided to split the kale salad and split the bruschetta- it was the perfect amount of food. The kale salad had something called man candy on it. It is bacon that is cooked with brown sugar and cayenne pepper. I knew we had to try this at home (if nothing else because of the name. I mean, come on- how could you not want to know more?? ;)) It also had a light vinaigrette dressing on it that was just delicious and perfect with the other flavors. The roasted tomatoes on the bruschetta were so sweet and flavorful – it was just an amazing meal. Normally I don’t dream of salads and roasted tomatoes, but have been dreaming of this meal and was excited to recreate it at home. So below is my version of that incredible meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. This recipe was enough for two of us for lunch. We gobbled up the leftover man candy after we finished our salads.

kale salad with roasted bruschetta 2 - My Daughter and I

Kale Salad with Man Candy Bacon
Kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces – approximately 4 cups
4 to 6 slices of man candy, recipe below
1 green apple, thinly sliced
1/8 -1/4 cup Manchego cheese, thinly sliced. Manchego is a slightly sharp sheep’s milk cheese. If you can’t find it, I would substitute fresh Parmesan, sliced.
Citrus vinaigrette dressing, recipe below.

Wash and tear kale and put into a medium sized bowl.

Start cooking bacon. Put slices into skillet and cook over medium heat until one side is completely cooked. Flip bacon over and top with brown sugar, cayenne pepper combo. I just mixed 1/4 cup brown sugar with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper. Using a teaspoon I carefully coated the top/cooked side of the bacon. I continued to cook the bacon, not turning it again. Remove from pan and place on a plate until you’re ready to use it.

While bacon is cooking, slice apple and cheese. Prepare citrus vinaigrette dressing. Once all the elements are ready, toss kale with dressing and serve onto two plates or in two bowls. Top with chopped man candy, sliced apples, sliced cheese. Enjoy!

Citrus vinaigrette dressing
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a jar and shake to mix.

kale salad with roasted bruschetta 3 - My Daughter and I

So the second part of our delicious meal was the roasted tomato bruschetta. When you roast tomatoes they get so sweet and wonderful, but I don’t like to overcook them. They tend to get sort of mushy. With the toasted french bread this was a wonderful addition to our salad lunch.

Roasted tomato bruschetta
4 slices French bread
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
A bit of salt
Basil
Balsamic vinegar

Wash and slice tomatoes. Put into oven safe pan. Add olive oil, garlic and salt and mix well. Cook at 450* for about 10 to 15 minutes until tomatoes soften and sort of pop. Stir and check frequently.

Remove from oven and add about 1 -2 T fresh chopped basil and about 1 T balsamic vinegar. Give it one more quick stir. Serve immediately over freshly toasted, warm fresh bread.

To prepare the French bread, slice 4 thick hunks of french bread from a loaf. I just picked mine up at Walmart, nothing fancy. Mist with a bit of olive oil and put in oven or toaster over until just slightly crisp. You don’t want this to be hard and crunchy- it will be too difficult to eat. Just watch carefully as it is toasting.

Top with the fresh tomato bruschetta mixture along with additional fresh basil if desired and a bit of fresh Parmesan shavings.

This was wonderful with our salad, but would have been a great appetizer on its own.

Cindy & Jordan 

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Throwback: Chicken Sausage Kebabs + Roasted Cauliflower

My Daughter and I- Chicken Sausage Kebabs + Roasted Cauliflower

So I mentioned awhile back that we were eating a bit differently lately. While I feel like I’m mostly healthy eater, I enjoy pizza, pasta and bread often! And don’t even get me started on beer!

The gym where Jordan and I work out offers these weight loss challenges on a regular basis and even though I’ve worked out there for almost three years, I’ve never taken part in one – until now. However, I didn’t do it to lose a bunch of weight. I did it to see if I could actually do it, and also to try something new with my eating. I went through a difficult period of time where I was bedridden due to chronic pain issues. After months on pain meds and more tests and doctor appointments then I care to recall, I was still in pain and my liver was damaged due to the meds. After months of pain, tests and meds; one doctor suggested that I might have an autoimmune disease. By then I was so over doctors and I decided to do something different. I started moving more – moving even though I was in agony, and you know what? It worked! I’m off all meds and feeling really well. I remember about four years ago going to my first stand up paddle board class and crying because I was able to do it. It was such a turning point for me. I started walking slowly around our house, and then eventually adding more distance and speed and after almost a year of that I got up the nerve to join a boot camp for one month on a Groupon. I was weak and so afraid to get hurt, but I kept going. It’s been the best thing for me. I love it and I feel like it has made such a huge difference in my overall health.

Over the past several months I have really increased my training. I still go to boot camp four mornings a week but I started incorporating yoga once or twice a week along with some serious hikes. Jordan and I are heading out on the JMT in July and I needed to get trail ready. We did a portion of the JMT last summer, but our goal this year is to do the whole thing. So I needed to get myself ready. One of the ways I am doing it it is by eating as healthy as I possibly can – fueling my body well for all the hard workouts. We cut all processed sugar, flour, grains, pasta, beans etc. I was a little worried if I’d be able to do it, but it was easier than I thought and the results have been amazing. I feel so much better. I don’t have the stomach aches that I had before, my energy level is higher and I’m drinking less coffee. My pain levels are much lower too. The six week challenge ends this week, but I plan to keep up a lot of the dietary changes. I will still eat pasta, bread and pizza – but just not as often as I did before the challenge.

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So with all of that said – here is a recipe I made the other day to go along with our new way of eating. We roast a lot of veggies, eat a lot of salads and grill fish and chicken. But I got it in my brain that I wanted to make kebabs but with sausage pieces. I found some amazing and delicious chicken sausages at Costco that were organic, gluten free and nitrite free. They were flavored with spinach and red peppers and were delicious.

Chicken Sausage Kebabs
1 bell pepper (any color), cut into 1″ pieces
1 red onion, cut into large pieces
1 package sausage of your choice

Thread the chicken, peppers, and onions onto water soaked wooden skewers. Spray lightly with olive oil or coconut oil spray and grill until everything is heated and has a bit of grill marks on it.

You can add any veggies you like such as squash, mushrooms etc. Because the sausage is precooked, this meal just takes minutes to heat on the grill.

Roasted Cauliflower

You can make this recipe with almost any veggie – it is definitely a favorite around here. I have made a yummy combination of cauliflower and broccoli before and we also follow this basic recipe when roasting asparagus, Brussels sprouts and even butternut squash.

I started the cauliflower first and got it roasting so everything would be ready at the same time.

1 head cauliflower, cut into chunks.
Minced garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Creole seasoning
Parmesan cheese

Preheat over to 425* and put the oven rack on the upper third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil. Put washed, cut veggies on tray. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle on the garlic, seasonings of your choice, grated Parmesan cheese. Toss to cover and stick into a preheated oven. Stir veggies after about 10 minutes and keep checking on them. You want them to brown up a bit – but don’t over cook them. I usually cook mine for about 20 minutes.

 

Cindy

Eggless Cookie Dough

Eggless Cookie Dough 1 - My Daughter and I

I considered titling this post Eggless, edible, ready-in-ten-minutes, make-it-now-and-eat-it-all-in-one-sitting cookie dough, but I felt like the amount of punctuation could be a bit overwhelming. I mean HYPHENS.

But, seriously, this stuff is amazing. I am such a huge fan of regular cookie dough, that it takes a lot to convince me that an eggless version is just as good as the real deal. Oh, but it is! I wasn’t able to tell the difference between our original chocolate chip cookie recipe and this one- which is quite impressive. In order to keep myself from eating the entire batch, I wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap, put it in a Ziploc bag, and stuck it in the freezer.

Eggless Cookie Dough 3 - My Daughter and I

^^^All wrapped up and ready for the freezer. 

The fact that the whole recipe took about 10 minutes to whip up makes it that much more dangerous. So what are you waiting for? You’re ten minutes away from a bowl of totally delicious cookie dough.

Eggless Cookie Dough 2 - My Daughter and I

Eggless Cookie Dough

1 stick butter, softened

6 Tbsp brown sugar

6 Tbsp white sugar

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 Tbsp milk (I used 2%)

2/3 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate, but milk chocolate would be great too)

Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in a stand mixer. Add flour, baking soda, and salt to wet ingredients and mix well. Add milk and mix until dough is firm and smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

recipe credit to: Kailley’s Kitchen

Jordan

Easter Breakfast Casserole

easter breakfast casserole 1

Easter is such a great holiday and such a wonderful time of year! We often go to a sunrise church service and by the time we get home, we are all ready for a delicious breakfast. This breakfast casserole is so simple and delicious and we all love it! At Christmas time, this recipe was our most popular post ever and I can understand why.

You mix the casserole up and leave it in the refrigerator overnight and then pop it in the oven the next morning. We serve ours with fruit and either muffins or cinnamon rolls. Listed below are a few of our favorite breakfast sweets. Enjoy your Easter!

easter breakfast casserole 2 edited

 

1./ Blueberry Muffins 2./ Fresh Blackberry & Lemon Cake  3./ Apple Crisp Muffins

easter breakfast line-up

 

Easter Breakfast Casserole

4 cups of shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
10 eggs
8 pieces of cooked bacon,chopped
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/3 milk
4or 5 green onions, chopped
Hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of additional shredded cheese for top of casserole

Mix all the ingredients together except the 1/2 cup of cheese. Pour into a greased 9×13″ pan. Top with the shredded cheese. Cover and put into refrigerator overnight. Let sit on counter for 5 to 10 minutes and then bake uncovered at 325* for about 45 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.

Cindy

 

Throwback: White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

white chocolate dipped pretzels 1final

You might have noticed that I didn’t post a Treat of the Month for November. I was late, but I finally made Danae apple crisp, which was super yummy. But I never got around to posting the recipe- sorry!

To make up for it, here’s the yummy December Treat of the Month recipe. These are so delicious and simple! A perfect treat to wrap up and give instead of Christmas cookies.

white chocolate dipped pretzels 2final

White Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

1 bag of pretzel rods

1 bag of meltable white chocolate pieces

sprinkles

Melt chocolate on low heat in microwave- I heated it for 30 seconds at a time and stirred in between- it took a bit, but I felt like it was easier than doing it on the stove-top.

Once chocolate is completely smooth, dip individual pretzels and sprinkle with sprinkles. Place on wax paper lined cookie sheet and refrigerate until chocolate hardens.

Jordan