Monday, October 31, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Pretend he's a black cat. Pretend he's scary. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

(Hubby and I sleep on a grass mat out in the garage. We're just thankful he lets us live here.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup

There are only two people who know how much weight I've gained since I quit smoking last December. I've kept this information reigned in from the general public for two reasons. First and foremost, because the Macy's people are really adamant about us not giving out our weight information before we fly in their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Look for me floating behind Goofy, like a big turd.) And secondly, because the fewer people that know that weight gain number, the fewer people I have to kill if the word gets out. I've always been the kick-ass-first, take-names-later kind of gal.

With all that in mind, you'll forgive me for posting this diet recipe please. I made it for the first time a month or so ago and liked it so well that I wrote it down so I could make it again. Yesterday I bought some kale and cleaned out my veggie drawers (not my vegan panties; my other veggie drawers) and made this soup a second time. I decided to blog about it so I would have the recipe at my fingertips whenever I wanted to give it another go round.

For all of you who are new to kale, you're not alone. Until I made this soup the first time, I hadn't tried it either. It's so full of fiber and nutrients it'll grow knots on your knuckles and bunions on your behind if you eat it too often, so be aware of that fact and also remember that I lie often. Additionally, there is a fair amount of beans in this recipe so......forewarned is forearmed. (In other words, stock up on toilet tissue, if that's not TMI)

Regarding the preparation of the kale, the tough stems need to be removed before using. Just tear or cut them out before chopping the kale into bite-size pieces.

Mag's Pound Droppin' Kale and Cannillini Bean Soup

2 TBSP olive oil
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped first then rinsed well to remove dirt and grit
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 carrots, diced
salt and pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 quarts chicken broth
3 cans (15.5 ounce each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, DIVIDED
12-16 ounces of kale, thick veins and stems removed, chopped

In large soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, bell pepper and carrots. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and thyme. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Add the broth and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Place TWO of the cans of cannellini beans in a blender or food processor. Add a cup of liquid from the soup pot and puree the beans. Add the puree back to the soup pot and then stir in the remaining can of beans. Add the kale. It will seem like a lot, but it reduces quickly. Simmer for 10-15 additional minutes.

Remove bay leaf before serving.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm in mint condition. (But for a limited time only)

I know I'm not the only one who hates the fact that the stores are already filled with Christmas crap when we haven't even properly celebrated Halloween. I mean, it's tough to get into the spirit of buying your annual ugly Christmas sweater when you haven't even carved your annual ugly jack-o-lantern, right?

Know what though? As much as I detest early Christmas decor, I adore early holiday baking products.

And they're back. My favorite baking chips!!

Get 'em while they're hot folks, because in just 2 1/2 short months, these babies will not be found in any grocery store and will be selling for $5.00 a bag on Ebay, the exploiter of all things not available elsewhere.)

And yes, I do have a problem with dark chocolate mint ANYTHING.

You might want to try these dark chocolate mint cookies. They take chocolate chip cookies to a whole new level. Like heaven, maybe.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

... when first we practice to deceive. (Walter Scott)

I'll admit it. I lie like a fly in July when it comes to my weight, my natural hair color, my age, how much wine I drink, etc. I'm not proud of it, I'm just saying that if I think I can get away with it, I'll lie. Now, let's all keep in mind however, that I'm talking about little white lies, not the really, really big ones that'll put you on a fast track to hell. To those of you who don't think there is a difference between a little white lie and a fast track to hell lie, just recall the last time you renewed your driver's license and they asked if your weight was still the same. Think about it.

OK, back to my original point about telling a lie if I think I can get away with it. You tell me if I'm going to get away with this one: I made this chocolate cake for hubby to take to work tomorrow to celebrate his birthday with his co-irkers. (downcast eyes and nervously chewing on lower lip here. Hey, I never said I was a good liar.)

*SIGH* Such a far cry from when I made this chocolate peanut butter layer cake (AND homemade ice cream) for his birthday two years ago.

I'm going to hell in a hand basket, aren't I?

Happy Birthday hubby. You know I love you with all my heart and that's NO LIE.