When I started this blog nearly five years ago, my goal was to share some recipes from my newly-published cookbook The Summertime Anytime Cookbook: Recipes from Shutters on the Beach and connect with a few like-minded foodies. I had been wielding pens and knives for years, but the blogosphere was completely out of my realm.
Some of my favorite food bloggers (thank you, Heidi and Tori) provided the encouragement I needed to jump in. My first post didn’t even come with a story; I hadn‘t figured out that part of WordPress yet.
One of my early posts back in 2009 was a three-ingredient recipe for kale chips. It was a riff on a recipe for baked kale that I had stumbled upon in a magazine. After some tinkering and parmesan-sprinkling, I knew I had a keeper. When I pulled a tray of paper-thin, crispy cheese-flecked leaves from the oven, my usually green-phobic family gobbled them up before they could make it to the table.
So I typed up the recipe. And I sent it off into cyberspace.
I kept writing, cooking, testing and tweaking. Some days I wanted to throw my computer against the wall. There were lots of late nights and uneaten experiments. But my fledgling blog was becoming a virtual hub in my daily life. It was a place to compose my recipes and thoughts, to find and give nourishment. My kitchen in the clouds.
Fast forward to this week, when I happened to be experimenting with kale again. (Is kale still the new black??) I did a Google search just to be sure my new version hadn’t been blogged about a hundred times already (it had). But when I came across my own recipe on one of my favorite websites, I had to laugh. The vast cyber universe had brought me full circle back to the beginning, reconnecting me with my virtual self.
These may not be as decadent as Oreo-stuffed Confetti Cake Batter Cookies (yes, that happened), but they’re ridiculously addictive and healthful. Place a big bowl on your dinner table and watch what happens.
The only trick to making kale chips is to pull them out of the oven at just the right moment. You don’t want them to brown or they will taste of char. I found 22 minutes to be the sweet spot for these, but my oven cooks differently from yours. So remove the leaves one by one as they crisp up. Try to serve them straight away…if they make it into the bowl.
This holiday week, I hope you’ll embrace your own labors of love. Thank you for embracing one of mine.
3 tablespoons white miso paste
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 heads (about 1 pound) curly kale, rinsed and dried well, thick center stems removed, cut into cracker-sized pieces
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 275˚F. In a small bowl, combine the miso, sesame oil, and maple syrup.
2. Place the kale leaves in a large bowl. Using your hands (I recommend these cooking gloves), massage the miso dressing into the leaves, coating them evenly. Taste for saltiness, adding more dressing if needed. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
3. Transfer the kale to two Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheets, spreading them out in a single layer. Bake for about 18 – 22 minutes, until the leaves are crisp. The leaves bake unevenly (depending on their size), so watch them carefully, removing the crisp ones as they are done and returning the others to continue baking until done. Serve warm, with lime wedges if desired.
Here are some more recipes to make for Rosh Hashana or any feast…
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