Kale Salad

Kale is such a powerhouse of nutrients. I’d tried so many recipe with kale, and while many of them were okay, none were wonderful. I’ve finally found a recipe that we love and make often.

Ingredients

Salad ingredients

  • 1 or 2 bunches of Kale torn into bite size pieces (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large apple peeled and sliced (honey crisps are great in this salad, but any variety will work)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (I usually use no sugar added, organic dried cranberries but was out, so instead I used Craisins. I think you could even use raisins in this recipe and it would be good.)

Dressing ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced with juice included)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Wash kale then mix with 1/4 cup olive oil in large bowl and massage the kale until fibers are broken down. (A good massage for about 2 minutes will do the trick.)

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Add apple, toasted pine nuts, and dried cranberries.

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I toast the pine nuts ahead of time. Turn the oven onto broil. Place pine nuts on a cookie sheet. Put them in the oven and then watch them carefully. They burn very easily. You have about ten seconds between just right and burnt. I’ve burned them enough times that I’ve learned my lesson. (Pine nuts are pretty expensive, so I couldn’t afford to risk it anymore.) I do a whole cookie sheet at a time and freeze what I don’t use immediately.

I use a garlic press for the ginger. You have to score the ginger a bit so it’s not too hard to press. This works great and lets you keep all the ginger juice as opposed to leaving it on the cutting board.

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Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together and pour over salad. Toss well.

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Now your salad is ready. We eat it just like this if it’s a side salad. On other occasions we eat it as our main dish. In that case I usually grill some chicken breast, cut them up, and add them to the salad.

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Fabric Rescue

I like to think of myself as a rescuer of fabric. Bolts and remnants waiting to become something beautiful that little boho girls wear in the course of their lives. Twirling, catching frogs, reading books, and hugging their mommies. Fabrics that breathe and move and metamorphose, just like the wearer.

I had a great day rescuing fabric today. I spent the afternoon with my sister and her husband moseying through antique stores. I love finding vintage and antique fabrics in these places. I always wonder what the original owner intended to make with it and if somehow it will become that very thing.

I found this wonderful remnant of fabric with the prettiest little green peacocks on it.

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My sister found this fantastic bolt of mid-century modern fabric that I’m in love with. She’s got a great eye and I wish she lived closer so we could do this more often. 8 ½ luxurious yards of it! Every detail is just perfection!

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And then I came across this exotic piece of fabric from Indonesia. It’s a beautiful batik by Danar Hadi with birds and flowers on it.

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What do you think they should become? Rompers? Skirts? Flutter sleeve dresses? Should I add some antique lace or leather braids? So much fabric… so little time!!!!

Tess, the Red Tick Coonhound

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Tess today

Let’s start our story with the funniest in our little family, Contessa Louise …Tess for short, and Tessie Lou when she’s feeling playful. I saw Tess on the Arizona Humane Society website one day. I don’t know what made me look at dogs that day. We weren’t thinking about getting a dog. I just felt compelled to open the site and look through the dogs.

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Humane Society picture

There she was, a beautiful Red Tick Coonhound. I closed the site but couldn’t stop thinking about her. Every day for the next few days, I would open the site and look at her picture. I kept thinking she’d be long gone, she was such a beauty, but every time I opened the page, there she was. By the weekend, I showed Mace, my husband, her picture. Really I just wanted him to marvel with me at how such a beautiful dog could be at A.H.S. all week without being adopted. He wanted her immediately, and I was already in love with her. So we got in the car and went to meet her. She wasn’t what I expected. She didn’t care anything about us even though we were in love with her. She was indifferent! She didn’t care if we petted her or liked her or wanted to spend time with her. She just ignored us. But…neither of us could walk away from her. So we did the only thing we could. We adopted her! I have to believe she was meant for us. Had we waited one more hour, she would have been gone. As we were adopting her, the phone at the A.H.S. kept ringing with people wanting to know if she were still available. She had been featured on TV at the very time we were adopting her.

the ride home

the ride home

On the drive there I was thinking about how nice it would be to have the unconditional love of a dog, and on the way home I was thinking about how much this dog needed our unconditional love. It was hard in the beginning months with her, to keep reassuring her that she was ours and we would not let her down. To watch her fear every time we took out a broom or mop. She would curl into a little ball and shiver. The abuse she suffered must have been bad. She had so much fear and she was 15 pounds underweight.

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Daddy hugs

Now, two years later, she’s used to all the hugs, and rarely ever flinches. She knows no one in this household will ever hit her. She was definitely a dog in depression that day and now she has a hard time being morose. Her tail wags at everything, and we are still so in love with her. There will be many of tales of Tess and her adventures on this blog. She’s such a big part of our lives. But this was her start.