Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Impromptu dinner #2

Hey guys! Tonight I'm on my own, and there is a giant bag of kale haunting my refrigerator. Let's make some kale chips!

This is an easy way to use of the rest of your kale (if you happen to have a large quantity and don't know what to do with it...) without feeling like you're eating a giant soggy bowl of greens. I've never done this before, but I'm told it's easy.

All you do is trim the stems and cut them into chip-size pieces. Like so.

Toss them in a freezer bag with some olive oil.

...and lay them out on a parchment-papered cookie sheet and add some seasoned salt. Then bake for 10-15 minutes.

A side note about kale: In case you haven't cooked with it before (I hadn't until recently), kale is a firmer, leafier cousin of spinach and escarole. It doesn't cook down as much as his relatives, so it I wouldn't recommend it as a substitution unless you really enjoy kale. A couple weeks ago I substituted it for escarole in a soup, and it was over-powering, in my opinion.

While those are baking, I'm going to start dinner...

Warnings: The following meal was pulled out of my ass (not literally, gross). Also, I realize that the pictures get blurrier as the night goes on and my wine glass empties. My apologies.

This is how I normally cook. Recipes stress me out. It's easier for my brain if I just focus on what I'm doing and not bounce back and forth between a book and the stove (ADHD, remember?).

I had some chicken, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, pasta, capers. So, obviously, Italian is what's for dinner tonight. I wanted a white wine sauce, but all the recipes called for heavy whipping cream. I don't have any of that, so I'm a-fixin to wing it.

I worked from a basic white wine sauce recipe that I found on the web. I started by heating a tablespoon of butter (which in the Land of Paula Dean, where my people come from, translates to a couple of heaping tablespoons, y'all)

Then I added some white wine and cooked it at medium heat. I don't know how much, so don't ask. I tend to keep adding things until it looks and tastes right. Try it. DSM-IV calls it Impulsive. I prefer spontaneous.

Oops, I burned batch #1

This photograph really captures the speed at which I whisked the flour, also, a metaphor for life. Thoughts?

Once that cooked down, and after I added more and it cooked down too, I reduced to a simmer and whisked in some flour.

When it became clear that I didn't ruin the sauce, and it looked the way I thought it should look, I added the mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and a little Parmesan cheese and left it on low heat while I cooked the chicken and pasta.

Here it is guys, and it's really good. Seriously, if you had doubts that the sauce would turn out okay, it did. Next time I might add some fresh herbs, or maybe a little lemon juice. If you want to try this at home but my sauce approach stresses you out, then find a recipe that you can follow to your type-A personality's content. Far be it from me to cause anyone an anxiety attack. Don't forget to finish off your white wine (like I did)!

Oh, and the kale chips are delicious too!!

Have you ever cooked an amazing impromptu meal? Do you want us to stop using the word 'impromptu'? Does your ADHD hinder your cooking abilities? Do you think Paula Dean uses too much butter? Tell us about it in the comments below! Don't be shy!



  1. This pasta dish looks very good. I would have to agree w/ Paula that you can never have too much butter! It just adds a richness to any dish. Also, my impromptu dinners have also included pasta because your combinations are endless. I must admit I've never heard of Kale chips, but must think about that....only heard of fried spinach, which is really good from what I hear. Another dish to add to my wishlist.

  2. Hey Mandi! This is Erica...Kelly told me about your blog. Anyway,I am so happy I just read your post about kale chips. I bought Kale yesterday with the intent of making chips. I had seen the recipe on another blog a few weeks ago..will prob try it out tomm with BBQ seasoning. Hoping for the best, glad yours turned out well!!!

  3. Hi Erica!! Thanks for reading! Barbecue seasoning sounds tasty, let us know how it turns out!