Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quick 'N' Easy Kale Chips

I'm not gonna lie ya'll, I've been feeling pretty crummy. Lots and lots of pain... Lots and lots of tiredness... resulting in days where I accomplish lots and lots of a whole lot of nothing. I dealt with a tough bout of depression while my oldest two were away for the summer so I did a whole lot of self medicating. My drug of choice: Food.

Now that the kiddos are home, I'm naturally a little more conscious of what I put in my mouth. I tend to buy less easily accessible junk food when they're around cause I don't want them filling up on junk. Not only that but they eat all the good stuff before I could even get a lick at it anyway and that just leads to feelings of rage and resentment at the nerve of them having left me with less than a teaspoon of Nutella after scraping the side of the jar. So ya know what? If I can't have it... they ain't getting it either and in the long run it works out best for ALL of us. (Don't judge me.)

Anyhow. I know part of the reason for my feeling less than %100 (and having locked myself out of the house twice in less than a week) is because of what I'm putting into my body. And since forbidding myself of the occasional junk food snack has never worked in the past...


 ... I keep my eyes and taste buds open to discovering equally delicious yet nutritious snacks to replace the stuff I crave on my crummy-I-don't-give-a-danm-about-nothing-but-this-bag-of-chips-so-don't-touch/look/talk-to-me days which just leads to even MORE feelings of cruminess. 

Like I mentioned in past posts (like this one HERE)... I have a major weakness for salty snacks. Especially when I'm feeling down. One of the alternatives I've read about to reaching for a bag of chips is to eat kale chips sprinkled with sea salt. Except... I think this stuff is disgusting. Why do I buy it? While juicing didn't work out for me, tossing it into my fruit smoothies has. And then I consider that I thought all veggies were disgusting at one point, that is until I found a way of preparing them that suited my taste buds until I acquired a taste for them and even craved them without all the extra flavoring. Kale might just be one of em. I read a little about some of the benefits of eating kale chips HERE and figured it was worth a try. 

Here was the end result:


Now, I'm not gonna sit here and tell ya'll it was JUST like feasting on a big ol' bowl of Cheetos but better. It still tasted like... well... kale. Just a lot more tolerable version of it. And for those who love this stuff already in it's raw form... these might be heaven in a bowl. I sprinkled mine with a little extra sea salt (YEAH it WAS just a little extra salt, cut me some slack ya'll I'm tryin' here) and Parmesan cheese and I left them out on the table for everyone to try. Each time I walked past them I couldn't help picking at them. My love for new veggies usually begins with an appreciation for certain aspects of the veggie, such as the scent, color or texture before I begin the appreciate it in it's entirety. In this case I like the texture of the curly, brown, leafy part of the kale in it's baked form. Not only did it hold most of the flavor of the olive oil, sea salt and Parmesan cheese... the CRUNCH is unlike anything you could find in a prepackaged bag. Now, I probably would have finished off the bowl had it not been for the pesky little fruit fly I caught landing in my friggin snack. After that, I just couldn't bring myself to continue eating them. -__-


Moving on...

Even though these days it's been extremely difficult to stick to a meal plan or a permanent change in diet... it's not to say I won't find the motivation to stick to it someday without missing all that is sugary and salty. When that day comes, I could see these kale chips becoming a regular go-to snack. This first time around, my concern was burning these babies. Now that I had a crack at em, next time I'll be baking them long enough for all my leaves to turn into that nice crispy-looking brown. 

So here's a quick and easy how-to on making kale chips:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. I usually buy kale in 16 oz bags. Where the fruit flies won't touch it. I used half a bag of kale. (So... approximately 8 oz or just 2 handfuls of the stuff...) and drizzle with 1 to 1.5 tablespoon/s of olive oil. Toss. 


3. Sprinkle evenly with sea salt to taste. ('Bout a tsp should do.)


3. Pour onto a cookie sheet. 


4. Spread out evenly.


5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the super curly edges are a toasty brown color. 


DONE!

Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese or whatever else your little kale baking heart desires and ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday [Night]

So as a little way of celebrating our last day of summer vacation before the kids hit the books tomorrow... we decided to make a beach day of it. Now, when I say "decide" I mean I had to drag my teenager out of her cave and achieved this with a quick but effective guilt trip. The other two were crazy to get outta the house so all I had to do was mention "agua" and they were in bathing suits before I could order them into their bathing suits.

But since this post was supposed to be wordless Wednesday but technically it's almost Thursday... Okay, okay... Here's a little look at our day =]












How did you mark the end of summer break?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dearest, Lucas...

"He might only be here for a part of your life...
But to him, you are his entire world."
-unknown

In honor of National Dog Day, I'm going to turn the spot light over to a very special member of this family that doesn't get nearly in return what he gives us...

This is our miniature poodle and youngest son, Lucas.

Say "Hey" Lucas!

Lucas came to our lives May-ish 2012 when he was just a couple months old.

Lucas' First Baby Picture

With our little one being just 6 months at the time and the closest human to the ground- Lucas and baby became instant best friends and partners in crime.

Baby and puppy getting acquainted

Little did I know at the time the responsibility I had taken on. For having a puppy was nothing like having a puppy at all- but more like having another baby. 

Lucas first home haircut/Youtube tutorial fail... PetsMart saved this day.

But the decision to bring you into our home was ours, and raising you was our promise to keep.

Lucas sharing his home in return.

And while being your mom hasn't always been easy...

Lucas and baby cuddled up after a fight.

We wouldn't trade you for any other. (I was joking about the pug that one time.)

Halloween 2013

See, the truth really is... 
Playtime.

That the more I acknowledge how loved you really are... the harder it is to imagine having to go on without you someday- whenever that day comes. 


Like I tell all my kids when they misbehave... "Momma was joking about the whole adoption thing." Believe that even if I don't always like you- (like when you've peed our bed after laundry day... or when I slid on your poop in the dark... or how you bite the ears and limbs off all the kids new toys and annihilate the eco-friendly wooden ones...)

I still love you.

Thank you for being our loyal friend and companion. For being babies first best friend, co-conspirator and for keeping the monsters away at night. For always coming back no matter how much we push you away and for not leaving our side when we're in need of a friend. For nudging our hands with your cold nose in the summer and keeping our feet warm in the winter. For loving us on our worst days and loving us even more on the good. Thank you for forgiving us when we've been mean and not judging us when we're wrong. For the heads up when solicitors come knocking and alerting potential burglars that they won't be climbing through our windows at night without first being announced. There aren't many friends out there in the world that possess all of the qualities I've found in you- in fact, none. And this, my friend, makes you priceless.

Most of all, thank you for making our family COMPLETE. 

Love Always,

Mom.





Sunday, August 24, 2014

Trash to Treasure Coffee Table

For the sake of saving myself a whole lot of headaches, I like to keep things simple. With the amount of traffic we have going through our house any given day, that means keeping furniture to the minimum and making sure that whatever graces our space serves multiple purposes.

Which leads me to the coffee table. Without it, I have one less surface to rearrange and wipe. One less piece of furniture to trip over, bang up your big toe, slide back into place or take up needed space. But now since our living room is free of playpens, walkers and ride-ons... I've been keeping an eye out for a low priced coffee table. Since kids tend to jack your stuff up- the cheaper it is, the lesser it'll hurt when they crack the corner during a wrestling match.

So we took a trip to Goodwill to see what treasures we could find. We came across an old wicker trunk. A little beat up on the inside but for $5, it had a whole lot of potential. It sure beat the $90 for a footstool with storage we were eyeing a couple nights before.


A few small nails for reinforcement, a $3 can of spray paint, and a few little decorative touches later... We have our coffee table! Big enough to serve it's purpose, sturdy enough to hold our feet up, small enough to allow plenty of traffic space, and it provides some much needed storage for extra throw pillows and winter throws when not in use.



I mean, for $8 total- What do ya'll think?!