settled.

sometimes being settled is a good thing.

spending 2016 on the move was a great thing.

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spending 78.5% of 2017 in a constant state of flux was a not-so-great thing.

 

so, this thanksgiving, being settled in our own place feels kinda great.

 

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gluten free all the things (except those darn crescent rolls. not that I couldn’t have made gf crescent rolls (I totally planned on it but ran out of energy.)

Anyway, it proved a good time to teach a couple of young men exactly how to roll triangles of refrigerator dough into crescent shapes.

(I think they did a pretty good job)

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being back in my own kitchen is helping me get back on the eating right train. would you believe I made a kale lasagna today? yes. kale, once my sworn enemy, occasionally finds a place in my diet (trader joe’s broccoli and kale slaw is downright addictive) 

this kale sausage lasagna was super easy to throw together and a low-carb dish to warm you up on a chilly winter weekend. *recipe adapted 

ok in complete honesty, calling this a lasagna might be a bit of a stretch. it’s more of a casserole. 

IMG_0320Ingredients:
1 lg bunch of kale, washed, stems removed, cut into 2″ pcs

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb bulk italian sausage (hot or sweet)
1 jar pasta sauce

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

preheat oven to 375 degrees. spray a 9″ x 12″ glass pan with non stick cooking spray.

heat the oil in a large heavy sauce pan, brown the sausage until cooked thoroughly.

when the sausage is done, add the pasta sauce, and let the sauce simmer 20-25 minutes, or until it’s thickened and the liquid is reduced.

 

add about a teaspoon or so of salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.  drop the kale into the boiling water and cook until barely wilted. this should take between 1-3 minutes depending on the kale, so keep an eye on it. drain kale into a colander in the sink and toss it to remove as much moisture as possible. dump the cooled kale onto a clean cotton dish towel, roll up and squeeze out remaining moisture.

begin layering the ingredients in your prepared pan, starting with half of the kale. then half of each of the sauce, the parmesan, the mozzarella. then repeat. you’ll have two complete layers.

cover with foil and bake, covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for an additional 20 minutes.

let casserole sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

enjoy!

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All images © 2013-2017 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

corn dogs and craziness.

Well, it has been a month. 

One of those, “I hope I don’t have to live through that again” months. Packing, moving, unpacking, planning a party for a graduating son, dealing with crazy ex-landlord. You know, “that” kind of month.

But that is all behind me, and now it is time to think about the summer. And that means great food, right? I had a hankering for a corn dog last night, so I pulled out my mini-loaf pan and whipped up these fast, delicious, oven baked corn dogs. They were just the ticket, with a side of pickle and pepper relish and big glass of lemonade.

Summer has begun.

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recipe:

1/4 cup butter, softened

3 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 Nathan’s Original All Beef Gluten Free Hot Dogs

Heat oven to 425°F. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in sour cream and milk. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining ingredients. Beat just until mixed.

Pour 1/2 of batter evenly into greased mini loaf pans. *I used my 4-loaf pan and it was just the right amount. Cut about a 1/2” off each end of the hot dogs and nestle one per loaf into the batter. Spread remaining batter to cover the dogs.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm; with ketchup, relish, mustard or whatever your heart desires.

(serves 4)

springing into spring.

it’s been one of those weekends. one where I thought I was going to accomplish many great things, bake many delicious cakes (failed!) instead I spent a lot of hours on the couch on Saturday putting way too much stress on myself for not doing things I felt I should.

why do we do this to ourselves?

we really should let ourselves off the hook now and then.

so, today, the sun came out. literally, and figuratively. I was able to go outside, take some photos of the lovely flowers in my yard, and get a new glimpse of the world.

take a breath.

then make dinner.

a nice light dinner adapted from smitten kitchen and it just hit the spot.

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons pitted, chopped black olives
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
the zest and juice from half a lemon
a pinch of salt
a handful of black pepper

1 tablespoon tahini

A splash of olive oil

a few dashes of hot sauce (optional, highly recommended)

Mix everything but the olive oil in a small to midsize bowl. Very lightly smash the chickpea mixture with the back of a fork or a potato masher. I made it like a coarse chop with a few smaller pieces and some whole beans still in there. Add the olive oil, tahini and hot sauce (if using) mix it lightly and enjoy.

I served mine open faced on gluten free bread that I toasted. Lined up some thinly sliced cucumbers on top, and the contrasting flavors were perfect together.

enjoy!

and don’t be too hard on yourself.