Kale Caesar Salad

I frequently order a kale salad when I see it on a restaurant menu, especially a kale Caesar salad. I just think that kale is sturdy enough to stand up to a tangy, creamy dressing. It’s pretty great. That’s why it’s a  trendy cliche, right? So I made it at home. I think that’s where my culinary creativity is right now: recreating stuff I already know I like.

20170209091215.jpg

This is obviously a super simple dinner, but what makes it great, is the quality of what you use. I hate that I went all Ina Garten on you, but when you’re  just eating greens, chicken, croutons and dressing, you’re gonna notice if your dressing sucks, you know?

My go-to Caesar dressing:
-1 egg
-1/4 cup lemon juice (1 juicy lemon’s worth)
-1t Worchestershire sauce
-1t anchovy paste
-3/4 cup grated Parmesan
-2 cloves of garlic
-1/2 cup olive oil
-salt and pepper

Just blend that all in a blender and stick in the fridge for a half hour or so. Give it a quick whisk before using.

The croutons are so good. I just make a loaf of bread. I swear it’s easy. I wouldn’t lie on the internet. My go-to, super-easy recipe is the master recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, and I pretty much exclusively use the dutch oven method. Once the bread is cool, cut into 1″ cubes and toss with olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. (If you’re really like, as if Victoria I would never make my own bread, that’s fine. At least promise me you’ll buy a crusty loaf from the bakery section of the grocery and make you’re own croutons.) Bake the cubes at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes, tossing once halfway through. They are crunchy, salty cubes of deliciousness. I could just eat toasted homemade bread all day. But try to save some for the salad.

I’m going to assume you all know how to cook chicken? Or buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. Whatever, I don’t judge. (Sometimes, I judge. I’m working on that.)

Thinly slice the kale. I like the curly kind over the dinosaur variety for salads. Toss the kale with some of the dressing. I give it a quick massage with my hands to fully coat the kale. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? Then add in the croutons, chicken, and a few Parmesan shavings. Enjoy! And then go ahead and give yourself a little pat on the back. Kale. Freaking. Salad. You’re basically the healthiest person ever. Go you!

Snow Day!

We had a real, legit snow day here yesterday! I know all you mid-westerners and north-easterners are rolling your eyes, but it just doesn’t happen here much. We got 4-6″ in Issaquah, and I didn’t see any snow plows. They preemptively cancelled school at 8pm Sunday night, my yoga studio closed for the day, and our grocery store wasn’t open! Crazy.

I woke up at 7am to this.

20170206013152.jpg

The trees looked mighty pretty.

20170206013155.jpg

Of course, as it always does, the snow was ugly within an hour – yay black slush. Luckily, we were prepared. The boys’ received snowsuits for Christmas from grandma, grandpa and Aunt Sharon.

20170206013157.jpg

So after breakfast I got everyone dressed and plopped them out in the backyard.

20170206013159.jpg

Cormac loved it, but Teddy has like almost no ability to walk in giant snow boots and he was over it after 15 minutes.

Fortunately, Brent also took a semi snow day and suited up to play with Cormac.

20170206013539.jpg

Cormac’s idea of a “snowball fight” was lightly tossing snow in Brent’s direction. It was pretty adorable.

And he built his first snowman! This was the first time we’ve received enough snow to do so in the 6 years we’ve lived here.

20170206013757.jpg

He’s kind of an ugly, muddy snowman, but that’s alright.

20170206013800.jpg

Cormac was quite proud of him, regardless.

20170206013802.jpg

And what’s a great way to refuel on a snow day? Cupcakes!

20170206013201.jpg

I got everything set up and Cormac went to town.

20170206013203.jpg

He’s gotten really proficient with the stand mixer! Makes my heart proud. Plus, yay for cupcakes!

20170206013534.jpg

Even though the grocery store was closed, I had enough ingredients, food coloring and sprinkles on hand to make things festive. As if there were ever any doubt.

20170206013536.jpg

I just used the vanilla cupcake recipe from Williams-Sonoma, and made a quick buttercream with butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and lilac food coloring.

I just got an email from the school district and Cormac’s school is cancelled again today. One snow day was fun in a “oh this never happens!” sort of way, BUT two in a row might just kill me.