blueberry pop tarts

Pop Tarts.  The boys always ask for them and then complain they aren't very good.  I am uncertain what the appeal of these bland, mealy little pastries is. To make matters worse, both boys refuse to toast them.  Excluding maple and brown sugar ( the only passable variety in my humble opinion ) the flavors are eerily similar.  Perhaps they should just go with a more honest approach like "sweet flavored" or "SUGAR!".  Actually, I am fairly certain I answered my own question about why they are a coveted breakfast treat...

Anyhow, I decided it was time to take matters into our own hands. Every Sunday we have brunch, and this past weekend we had our version of pop tarts.  They were flaky, and gooey.  Full of blueberry flavor and very little sugar.  I wouldn't say these are healthy, but they are made with real ingredients.  This recipe definitely takes longer than opening a package.  I won't lie.  But the dough can be made ahead of time, and these can be stored in the freezer until ready to use.  All in all, a happy little compromise.

pâté sucrée
( from earth to table,
by )

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar + more for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 2 egg yolks + 1 egg for wash
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.   Use a box grater and grate butter into flour mixture.  Toss together with your fingers.

In a glass measuring cup, whisk together egg yolks and water.  Add ice.  Add to flour / butter mixture a few tablespoons at a a time, kneading until dough comes together.

Shape in a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.  ( This dough will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks)  Make filling while dough chills.

Roll it out to 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired rectangular size and shape. Push together scraps and repeat.  Mine were about 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches. You should get 6-8 pop tarts at this size.  Place bottom layers on cookie sheet.

Place filling in the center and brush egg around edges. Place top rectangle over filling and seal edges with fork tine. Poke em' with holes to let the steam escape, and brush tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Repeat with remaining tarts. Pop into freezer for 10-15 minutes while oven preheats.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake for 18-25 minutes or until golden brown. ( Although we made these for breakfast, general consensus was that these would be delicious straight from the oven with a scoop of ice cream) Store in an airtight container...if there are leftovers.

blueberry filling

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 pint of blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
Combine ingredients in small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and the consistency of jam, about five minutes. Set aside and cool.


cooking + baking dudes >> roast chicken

Finn has been asking me to record him making a roast chicken for quite some time.  I am not sure what made him settle on this particular dish, but he has been adamant. Maybe it is his love of  "chicken bones" or perhaps it was the fanciest dish he could think of.  Somewhere along the way, Gavin decided to participate and make it a polished affair.  So, here is the first installment of cooking + baking dudes.                             

roast chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, guts removed
  • rosemary, sage and thyme
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, smooshed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
Preheat to 425 degrees.
Rinse chicken and pat dry.   Combine butter, chopped rosemary and lemon zest.  Smear on chicken.  Sprinkle liberally with salt.  Fill cavity ( Or chicken's butt) with herbs and halved lemons.
Bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.  Skin will be golden and crispy. The juices should  run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone, should read 165 degrees )  Enjoy!

best days.

Maybe we have finally fallen into the groove of winter weekends. Not really sure where this one even went! Just kind of meandering along, enjoying ourselves, and each other. No cares, just relaxing and trying to keep warm. Then all of a sudden, it's Monday again, and we are back at it. No more sleeping in, wearing pajamas all day, big family meals or leaving the hide-a-bed out all day just because. Nope, gotta wait five whole days to get our fix again! So cheers, to a speedy and pleasant work week, and a fantastic weekend to come!

1 >> the boys roast a chicken.  look for their first vlog tomorrow.
2 >> aftermath of blueberry pop tarts.
3 >> cake on top of the teepee.
4 >> art makin'.
5 >> f and  a clue from the book of spyology.
6 >> a boy and his dogs.


tgif >> sriracha + wasabi bloody mary

So, here is the deal.  A bloody mary is like chili, everybody makes the BEST one.  Often there is a secret ingredient, or a special technique.  I suppose somewhere out there a magical combination may exist, but honestly it's not that hard to make these flavors taste good together.

That being said, it's definitely not an everyone in the pool" type of thing either (the same goes for chili). 
There are rules.  Too much of any one thing can turn a good drink really bad.  So, it's all about the ratio.  This is a ratio that works for us.  Maybe not as good as yours, but we like it pretty well.  Cheers to the weekend!

sriracha + wasabi bloody mary ( for 2)

  • 4 oz vodka
  • 12 oz tomato or v8
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon wasabi tt (we use 1/2)
  • 4- 6 dashes sriracha depending on your preference
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 4 dashes worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pinches celery salt
Combine all ingredients in pitcher.  Stir well to combine.  Strain into a glass with ice and garnish with celery, spicy pickle, olive, deviled egg or whatever you fancy.  Enjoy!


farro arancini w/ chiles & parmesan

Not entirely sure of the origin of my obsession, but lately I cannot get enough grain. I would like to say it's because they are a fantastically healthy addition to your diet. While that is true, and I really do appreciate it, that's probably not it. More realistically, I just love eating them! Not only do they taste amazing, but they have so much texture. Yes, texture. If it makes me odd that I sometimes crave foods based solely on how much I enjoy the physical act of eating them, so be it. I am a total sucker for that chewy, snappy texture that you can only get from perfectly cooked grain. Blah, blah, blah, grains are great, I love grains, blah, blah....who cares.

In truth, they really are not that exciting. Not even for me (and I love them, remember). Ancient and a little dull (still tasty). That about sums them up. Well, that is, until you fry them........

farro arancini w/ chiles and parmesan

  • 3 cups cooked farro ( about 1 cup uncooked)
  • 3/4 cup jalapeno + pasilla, minced
  • 1/4 cup white onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • panko, for breading
  • canola or vegetable oil      
Combine all ingredients (except for panko, and oil. duh) into a large mixing bowl. Gently mix until combined. Place bowl in freezer for 10 minutes. Remove bowl from freezer, form mixture into balls about 1 1/2" in diameter. Roll in panko. Place on cookie sheet, return to freezer for 10-15 minutes. This step helps maintain the shape during frying. In a large pot, or high walled skillet, heat 2" of oil over med/high heat. Working in batches, fry arancini until golden brown on all sides. Sprinkle w/ salt and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. 


    spicy black bean + quinoa soup

    There are times when you make a dish and immediately know it will become a recipe you make all the time.  The kind that you can't stop thinking about even though you are already full.  The "just one more spoonful before I put it away" type of dish.  This (at least for us) is our newest addition to that list.

    The broth is spicy. The soup is satisfying, but not heavy.  And everything in it is good for you.  Hearty but not dumpy.  Perfect for an easy mid-week dinner, or quite possibly the new magic cure-all for over imbibing (assumption. not proven).

    spicy black bean + quinoa soup

    •  6 cups stock ( we used chicken but feel free to use veggie )
    • 2 tablespoons salsa verde
    • 1-2 tablespoon lime juice tt
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 teaspoon cumin 
    • salt tt
    • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked
    • 1 1/2 cups black beans, cooked
    • 1 small, thinly sliced jalapeno, divided
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced grape tomatoes
    • 1-2 ripe avocados
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
    • cilantro
    • plain yogurt, optional for garnish

    In large pan, combine stock, salsa verde, lime juice, garlic, cumin and portion of jalapeno (we used half because we wanted it spicy.  feel free to use as much or as little as you wish).  Bring to a simmer.   Add quinoa, black beans and green onion.  Continue to simmer until heated through.  Add salt to taste.

    Fill bowls with soup and add tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro and yogurt for garnish. 


    best days.

     The last couple of weeks have been really exhausting. As much as we will try to tell you we are spontaneous, fly by the seat of our pants kind of people, we really need a routine to keep us grounded. If we get out of sorts, all bets are off. Thankfully, it looks as though things are getting back to normal. Well, at least our normal. We really don't need to go into the details any further, but we seriously needed this weekend. Nothing fancy; just a lot of relaxation and doing what we do. Pretty amazing what a little extra sleep, a little more time, and an abundance of good food can do. Cheers, to another great weekend and feeling like ourselves again!

    1 >> sleeping in the teepee.
    2 >> french toast breakfast.
    3 >> a forgotten christmas decoration.
    4 >> sunset.
    5 >> being silly.
    6 >> lazy bums.

    chicken // feta meatball + tomato jam + arugula sandwich

     Sometimes (not often), we just want to forgo the big production of a Sunday dinner. Last week, this was definitely the case. We had no plans, unless you count ignoring all the household chores that needed done. So, If we were going to be successful in our efforts, we needed a dinner with minimal effort. Enter, the sandwich.

     This particular sandwich may not win any beauty contests, but it sure is tasty. Perfect for a night when you just want to hang out and play games with your favorite dudes.  Pair with a frosty beer, "root" or otherwise, and get on with it.

     tomato jam

    •  1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    In a sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft and translucent.  About 5 minutes.  Add remainder of ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Turn heat to low and reduce until most of the liquid is gone.  Mixture will look like jam. Remove from heat and set aside.

    chicken meatballs

    • 2 pounds ground chicken. If you have the means, grind your own. (Yes, this still fits into the easy category.)
    • 1 cup panko
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 cup feta
    • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 egg
    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix gently until totally combined. In  a large skillet, heat 1/4" oil over med. high heat. Form meat into 1"-2" balls and cook in batches until browned and cook through. About 6-8 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels.

     Additional ingredients:
    Favorite crusty bread

    Cut bread to desired sandwich size. Smear jam on top and bottom. Stuff with as many meatballs as you can fit in. Top with arugula. Stuff in face.


      the kitchen >> cauliflower + leek soup >> winter salad

      This entire series was based on the idea of teaching basic fundamentals and techniques to my dear friend Nicole, who is not so knowledgeable in the kitchen.  Recently, the idea of learning to how to cook came up in conversation.  Whether it was something that could be learned or some people were just born with an intuition about.  A natural predetermined talent which allows some to instinctively know how to choose produce or what flavors mix well.  While I do believe that some people may have an advantage in this department, I  think that if the desire exists, anybody can learn how to cook.  Nicole has proven this.

      In my personal opinion, in this food crazed culture we live in, sometimes we need to ditch the fancy cookbooks and roll up our sleeves and cook.  Just cook. I will be the first to admit that I get caught up in it all sometimes, and then I have a meal like this.  Simple. Rudimentary. Delicious.  It's a reminder of why we cook in the first place.

      cauliflower + leek soup

      •  1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 2 large leeks, sliced and cleaned
      • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
      • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
      • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
      • salt tt
      • pepper 
      • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
      In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add leeks and cook until soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes.  Add white wine and stock to the pan.  Bring to a simmer.  Add cauliflower and thyme.  Cover pan and reduce heat.

      Cook until cauliflower is fork tender.  This should take 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool until you are able to puree it.  You can ladle it into a processor or blender, or use an immersion blender.  Process until completely smooth.

      Return to pan and heat.  Season to taste. Serve alone or garnish with olive oil, thyme, chive, shaved parmesan and red pepper.

      winter salad

      • radish, thinly sliced
      • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
      • arugula
      • shaved parmesan
       Arrange ingredients on a platter.  Dress with simple vinaigrette.

      simple vinaigrette

      • 1/4 white wine vinegar
      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 2 teaspoons honey
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • pepper
      • handful of favorite herb (we used fennel frond)
      In a jar fitted with a lid, combine all ingredients and shake until emulsified.  If making ahead of time, be sure you shake before serving.


      roasted root vegetable + barley salad

      With the help of a healthy dose of morning sunlight and a perfect fried egg, this dish certainly looks much grander than when it was created. It started out like this..........

      The house was very dark, and very quiet. Both boys were in bed. Television was even more terrible than usual. Lindsay was out with some friends. So, I was all alone with nothing to do. Of course, there was only one logical thing I could do. Go into the kitchen and prepare an entire meal that I had no intentions of eating at that moment; out of random ingredients we had laying around. Cooking a filling winter meal, all alone in the darkness (dramatic effect). Perfectly reasonable.

      Despite how it was conceived, this dish is no slouch. It could stand on its own as meal all by itself. As a hearty breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or I suppose, if you are so inclined, you could use it as a side dish. Whatever you decide, it's good. Really good. So, if you find yourself all alone on a Saturday night with nothing to do, I have got you covered.

      roasted root vegetable + barley salad

      • 4 cups fingerling, or other small potato. Cut into 1/2" pieces
      • 2 1/2 cups assorted root vegetables (carrot, parsnip,turnip, beet, etc.) cut into 1/2" pieces
      • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, halved
      • 4 cloves garlic, whole
      • 3 cups cooked barley (about 1 cup uncooked)
      • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
      • olive oil 
      • salt & pepper  
       Preheat oven to 425. Combine potatoes, vegetables, garlic and mushrooms together in a shallow baking dish. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-50 minutes, until vegetable are tender and beginning to brown. Remove garlic, set aside. In a large bowl, combine vegetables, barley, chives. Add dressing 2 Tb. at a time until you reach your preferred taste. Garnish with parsley (and an egg, if you're into it). Serve.

       cider vinegar dressing

      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
      • 2 tsp. dijon
      • 1 tsp. sugar
      • 1 tsp. kosher salt
      • reserved garlic
      In a small bowl, smash reserved garlic with tines of a fork until totally smooth. Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, and mustard, mix to combine. Whisk in oil until mixture is totally emulsified.


      cranberry compote cookies

      According to my husband, these are the cookie equivalent of meth.  Strong words, I know. But he did consume an entire platter of these guys in one evening.  I had to restrain myself after eating two, because I am not blessed with John's insane metabolism.  What I am trying to say, is that these cookies are crazy good and worth the bit of extra effort.  If you're not a fan of cranberry, substitute some raspberries or blackberries.  You really should give them a try.  You can thank me later.  Or not. They may become habit forming.

      cranberry compote cookies

               for the dough:
              (recipe from Earth to Table)

      • 1 1/4 cups of AP flour
      • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup cold butter
      • 1 egg yolk + 1 egg for wash
      • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice water
             for the compote:
      •  1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
      • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      • zest from 1 lemon
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1/4 cup water

      Combine flour, sugar and salt. Using a box grater, grate butter into flour mixture. Toss together.
      In another bowl, combine water and egg yolk. Add to flour mixture a tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together.
      Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour.

      While dough is chilling, make compote.
      Combine ingredients in sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat until sauce is reduced and jammy.  This took me about 10 minutes.  Make sure it is not runny and holds it's shape.  Set aside and cool.

       Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      After chilled, roll dough 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick.  Use a biscuit cutter to cut into rounds. Remove a 1 inch hole from the center of half of the rounds-you want them to look like doughnuts. Now you will glue the two halves with egg wash.  The plain round on the bottom >> egg wash >> the round with no center.
      Place on parchment lined cookie sheet, fill with compote, egg wash the top and put in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.

      Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy!


      woolgathering // forgive me, son, for I am a sap.


      So, you turned 6 yesterday. That must be pretty damn cool! Since you are still working on your reading skills, and this is not a real letter, I can say things like damn to you. But seriously, 6, how awesome! Spending your days without a care, beyond what snacks to eat, and choosing a correct older human to pose your wild questions to. God, it must be great!  And you are so happy, and that makes me glad.

      I have never told you (and probably never will), that when we found out you were going to be born, we were really kind of planning on your brother being an only child. Your mom and I had talked and talked about it, and kind of decided that was the way we wanted our family to be. Obviously, that is not how it worked out. It was the day after your mother and I's anniversary when she told me. She said she thought it would be corny if she sprung it on me during our romantic dinner (which she barely stayed awake for). You know how she is. Anyway, she told me in her very nonchalant way "we are having a baby", and waited for my response. And by wait, I am talking months. Of course, just like any surprise, I was outwardly ecstatic. But, she knew I was unsure about the whole thing. Your mom knows everything. Seriously, if you didn't already know this, now is your chance to wise up. After my initial hysteria wore off, the realization of what bringing another person into our little unit would actually mean set in.

      I know this is probably sounding a touch cold right now, just keep reading, kid.

      In truth, the decision about your brother being our only child was probably mostly my choice. Even though I was already a dad, it put it into perspective that there was still a whole lot I didn't know. Since your brother was 2 when I met him, I had never gone through the experience of a baby before. In truth, I was freaked out. I was very concerned that I would not be good at taking care of it/you. Since you are just like me, I know you know how I felt when I was put into a situation where I felt my performance would be less than amazing. I want to be the best, always. It is a characteristic that is a blessing, and also terrible flaw that I am both sorry for, and proud that you have inherited. But, like it or not, a baby was coming. So, how to be the best?

      As it turns out; get freaked and pretend nothing is happening is not the answer!
      My experience was drastically different than the one your mother had during your time in the womb. The way she tells it, I slept soundly every night, and puttered around in an oblivious haze all day. I knew things were going to change, but unless something is effecting me in the here and now, I have a pretty good way of pushing things way down deep and ignoring them (Sorry for that one too). Your mother unfortunately had to bear the brunt of your vigor for 9 long months. I can attest that your energy levels in there had me genuinely concerned for your mama's personal safety, on the daily. However, I do have to say that being able to deduce that all of your fingers and toes were present and accounted for by seeing them pushing from the inside out made me feel pretty good. Not sure your mom agrees, but I am very grateful for (and still, often surprised by) your energy.

      Fast forward. You were born. I will spare you the long drawn out version, and condense:

      You popped out. I saw your beautiful, icky, olive colored, little face.
      I realized I am not olive skinned. Briefly traced the branches of my family tree.
       Realized, that despite the fact that you were not alabaster white, you looked just like me.
      Had my first freakout moment. (Silently, of course)
      Proceeded to wander back and forth from our room to the cafeteria for 2 days, while critiquing the ineptitude of the hospital staff under my breath (because obviously, now that I had a baby, I was an expert).
      They got tired of us asking to leave every 5 minutes, and sent us home.
      After getting home, I was a ball of nerves and left every 20 minutes to go to Target because I had forgotten something to make you or your mama more comfortable. Good lord, I don't know how your mom put up with me being so fucking weird!
      Somewhere in there, I fell in love with being a baby daddy. Pretty sure it was in the first 2 seconds of all of that. Not sure.

      Anyway. You were a difficult little dude. You never slept. You were always alert, and deeply curious. You had to be a part of everything going on. Despite how it may sound, I wouldn't trade it for the world. You have been you, since the day you were born. And so you've remained.

      I was so concerned with all the things I would do wrong, that I almost forgot about the possibility I could do something positive. You remind me of this every day. I am constantly surprised by you, son. Never have I met someone with a more infectiously kind, compassionate, and supremely fun personality as you. You make me so proud. I am so glad you are here, and part of our little unit. It wouldn't be complete without you.




      Not So Niçoise Salad

       There was a question, "How does Niçoise sound?". There was an answer, "Oooh, that sounds great! I'm excited for dinner now". An additional retort, "Well....It sounds good to me too, but I don't think I want to prep that much. Nevermind." A disappointed sigh; "sigh". Obligatory response; "Don't worry, I will come up with something good, you big baby."

      And she did. And really, what is there to say? It satisfied my craving (and by satisfied, I mean I ate an entire serving bowl full. Judge away.) for the dish I was denied.  It consisted of considerably less prep for her, on one of those nights where you could just as easily throw something frozen in the oven. Another winning compromise. Go, us!

      Not so Niçoise Salad

      • approximately 1/2 of a 16 oz box of cooked barilla orzo *as with most of our recipes, there is room for flexibility.  I made the entire box and used about half.  Use more or less depending on your preference
      • good quality jarred tuna -12oz
      • 2 cups green beans, cooked
      • 2 large tomatoes, diced
      • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
      •  1/4 cup kalamata or nicoise olives
      • 1/4 cup feta cheese
      • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped 
       For Vinaigrette:
      • 1/4 cup lemon juice
      • 1 tablespoon honey
      • 1 small garlic clove, minced
      • 1 teaspoon oregano
      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • salt TT
      Make vinaigrette:  In small bowl combine lemon juice, honey, garlic, and oregano.  Slowly stream in olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified. Add salt tt.

      Layer ingredients in large bowl, individual bowls or small jars with lids ( these make great containers for individual lunches or a picnic).  Add vinaigrette to taste. Enjoy!


      best days.

       This weekend was the perfect end to our holiday break.  It was relaxed and fun.  We really slowed the pace down and focused on what we wanted to do as a family.  No expectations or obligations.  Perfect!

      We had F's birthday party yesterday.  It was fun to have one last hurrah before the return to reality.  He wanted a rainbow themed party and we all had fun making decorations, and hanging streamers.  It was a small gathering, with just our closest friends and their kids, but it was the perfect group of people to help him celebrate.  There was a dance party, limbo and even (an almost indestructible) piñata.  Lots of laughing, too much sugar and the best of times.

      1 >> juice and the start of a piñata.
      2 >> pear tart with thyme.
      3 >> sriracha bloody mary with spicy pickle.
      4 >> rainbow party.
      5 >> birthday cupcake.


      Dirty Rice Kale Rolls

       Up until this moment, I thought I would call this dish a Dirty Dolma. After writing it in the title bar, I reconsidered. Don't want to confuse anyone already well on their way down the Google rabbit hole. Godspeed, fictitious pervert, godspeed. I sometimes forget, we're trying to keep it moderately family friendly around here. However......... I can't say that the benefits of a slightly more "sensual" cuisine have not crossed my mind. Remember George Costanza and that pastrami sandwich? Possibilities, possibilities. 
      Or, not.
       Moving on.

       As I was saying, trying to keep it simple. I know everyone and their brother probably has a dirty rice recipe. I am no exception. I would also surmise, there are infinite Dolma recipes out there. Well, here's another one. Or two.

      Dirty Rice Kale Rolls
      • 1 1/2# ground pork (or any combination of meats, beef, bacon, chicken, giblets, etc.)
      • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
      • 1/2 cup celery. diced
      • 1/2 cup green onion, diced
      • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
      • 4 garlic clove, minced
      • 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, rough chop
      • 3/4 cup chicken stock
      • 1 Tb. tomato paste
      • 2 tsp. paprika
      • 1 1/2 kosher salt
      • 1/4 cup white wine
      • 2 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
      • 3 1/2 cup cooked rice (we use basmati. Any long grain rice will work fine. )
      • Large bunch kale cleaned and long stems and ribs removed

      In a large high walled skillet, cook meat until just beginning to brown. If using leaner meats, use a few Tb. of olive oil. When just starting to brown, add in all vegetables. Cook together until just soft. In a small bowl, combine stock, tomato paste, paprika, salt, and wine. Add mixture to meat and vegetables. Combine and cook over med. high heat for 5 minutes. Stir in cooked rice, cover and remove from heat.

      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working  in batches of 5-6 leaves. Blanch kale until just tender, 1 1/2-2 minutes. Remove from water with tongs and place immediately into ice water bath. repeat with remaining kale. Drain on paper towels.

      Gather two roughly similarly sized leaves. Overlap in the middle and place filling directly on top.  Fold in sides and roll up like a burrito.  Repeat.

      Serve with your favorite hot sauce, preferably Louisiana style. Enjoy!

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