How to: Easy Kale Chip Recipe

I honestly could not tell you why it took me so long to attempt this recipe. I’ve been wanting to try kale chips pretty much from the first moment I knew they existed. (A new way to eat veggies? A crunchy, healthy snack? I’m on board.)

Even more embarrassing, the recipe is beyond simple. Like, you’re pretty much done making them before you even have a chance to worry if you’ve messed them up.

Let’s begin. I started by following a recipe by my blog/Twitter friend, Madison Mayberry. I highly recommend her tip of cutting out the stems from the kale leaves. It would probably be ok with the stems, but they’re definitely tougher and take away from the whole “chip” feel.

First, place your de-stemmed and torn leaves on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. You can follow Madison’s steps of mixing olive oil, minced garlic, and parmesan and then drizzling over the leaves, which was quite tasty, or you can try this slightly accelerated version (if you’re like me and are too impatient to get to the eating).

I have a Misto, which is basically an olive oil sprayer, but you could also use any old spray bottle filled with olive oil. Mist the leaves, sprinkle with garlic (or garlic salt if you’re really in a rush), and add a dash or parmesan.

Then bake the chips for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I recommend checking on the chips often because they can cook pretty quickly. A little bit of char isn’t bad, but if you want them to look a little fresher, you can shorten the cooking time.

And that is literally it! And guys. They are so good. I literally ate that whole bowl myself, then had to make a second batch to share with the hubs. He doesn’t even love vegetables the way I do, and he was still impressed with how good the flavor was.

Has anyone ever attempted these before? Any tips or variations to suggest?

The Office Sweater

So, we all remember the Office Poncho, right? (RIP, Office Poncho.)

Well, that little beauty officially has a successor: The Camping Sweater.

How you doin?

I call it the Camping Sweater because that’s really the only place I’ve ever worn this sweater in public — in the middle of the woods. I bought it years ago for like, $8 because it was warm and nubby and wonderful, but upon arriving home and trying it on again, I realized it is in no way flattering and probably shouldn’t see the light of day very often. But it’s still warm and nubby and wonderful, so it has lived in my closet ever since. (A few jaunts to the wilderness aside.)

Which, incidentally, is why it makes such a perfect office sweater.

The office sweater can be difficult to select because you have to not mind wearing it in front of your coworkers, but not like it enough that you want to wear it often and need it at home where you’ll have regular access to it. It’s a delicate science.

In my case, Camping Sweater is almost perfect. The thing is, I don’t mind sitting at my desk wearing the old gal. My back is to everyone, and people are rarely swinging by to shoot the breeze, so for the most part, I would doubt would even notice if I was sitting here in a shapeless sweater or a lobster suit. (Well, maybe the lobster suit.)

The problem arises when I have to go to the bathroom, or refill my water bottle, or generally leave my desk area. I’ll usually opt to abandon Camping Sweater on my chair until I return.

Fact is, I’m clinging tightly to my title as most fashionable employee. (Not that it’s a difficult standard. I braid back my bangs and suddenly I’m the hippest one in the joint.) And waltzing around in a green dress, black tights, and navy Camping Sweater is the surest way to wave the proverbial white flag that I’m resigned to dowdy, corporate life.


Which isn’t to say I don’t plan on living in it every second I spend at my computer. It’s freezing in here.

To sum up a lame week…

Ohhh me. Remember all those promises I made to you about what I planned to clean every night before going to bed? I’m a dirty, dirty liar. (Literally!)

My only excuse is that this whole week has been fairly…gruphsntl. That’s a word I made up. This week was so “blech” that I had to make up a word to truly describe it.

Gruphsntl-ness aside, this weekend I’m going to step it up. Promise. (AS IF THAT MEANS ANYTHING NOW.)

But seriously. I’m going to pretend I have people coming over Sunday night to motivate me.

Hope everyone else has a more exciting weekend than I have planned! (Oh who am I kidding, you guys know a clean apartment is thrilling to me.)

I’ll wear the pants

I don’t wear pants very often.

No, I’m not walking around in my skivvies. I’m just more of a dress and skirt kind of girl. Outside of jeans, I don’t really feel like myself in pants. Weird, huh? (Ok, maybe not that weird for me considering how much my hair alone can affect my attitude. But I digress.)

What I mean is that I really only own about two pairs of pants (that aren’t jeans). I mean, technically I have three, but one of them is fairly ill-fitting, so I don’t count that pair. (And I should probably just get rid of them already.)

HOWEVER. Now that the weather is taking a turn for the frigid, it seems like a good idea to invest in some warmer attire. Something that covers my legs. Namely, pants.

Here are two pairs that have me saving my pennies these days:

The Kate Spade Broome Street Colored Jeans in Lacquer Red:

I mean, I have made no secret of my love for Kate Spade. And I’ve been wanting red jeans for about six months now. It’s just hard to find a pair that fits properly. Not unlike real jeans. But I have a good feeling about these.

J. Crew Minnie Pant in Bi-Stretch Wool in black:

My only other pair of black pants are a little big on me, and the wide-leg trouser thing does nothing for my height. I need a fitted pair like these that are solid enough not to be confused for leggings.

Plus, I should probably buy another pair of my favorite jeans, Banana Republic’s Dark Wash Skinnies. Sigh. Love those gals.

Anyone else have a certain article of clothing they never wear? Ever find yourself suddenly craving it?

How fascinating.

Do you ever get fascinated by certain people?

I don’t want to use the word “obsessed.” Because obsessed implies something insidious or evil is going on.

I’m talking about fascination. When there’s some fringe person in your life (because if you know this person too well, fascination is officially obsession) who you just want to know everything they do so you can study it.

Because that’s really what makes fascination different from obsession. You don’t really want to be involved with the person. You just want to know everything about them. It fascinates you.

And don’t go getting all judge-y on me about how you wouldn’t dream of doing something as creepy as “studying” a person, because I know everyone does it. EVEN YOU.

So come on, ‘fess up. Who gets fascinated now and then?

4 Steps to Sanity

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have control over anything. Which is probably true. But it doesn’t mean I like to feel like it’s true.

It’s not even that I’m a total control freak. I’m just a little bit of a control freak. And honestly, it’s not even that I care what other people do. I just like to be a control freak over myself. Which…just makes me sound like a weirdo.

Anyway, the point of that accidental revealing of my inner psyche is that one of the main things that starts to make me feel out of control is when my apartment is out of control. When the coffee table starts getting a little too cluttered. When there is one too many pairs of shoes just…sitting there not put away. When there is one too many piles of papers sitting on every available surface. (Joey is the piler, for the record.) When the laundry hampers actually reach the point when they could be described as overflowing. When I kind of start to freak out.

Sometimes I get really jealous of some the women whose blogs I read. The ones that always seem to have a place for everything and everything in its place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m insanely inspired by them and I love seeing the clever storage solutions they come up with (and then stealing them for myself). But the thing is…I just don’t have the time to do what they do.

As much as I like to pretend to be the perfect “housewife,” the fact is, I’m not a housewife. I work full-time. And then I cram meetings, service, errands, the gym, family time, writing, cooking and cleaning the house in around that. Oh yeah, and sleep.

I have officially become one of those people who walks around thinking (in earnest), “Well, gee, there just aren’t enough hours in the day!”

And since, as we learned yesterday, it doesn’t look like my schedule is going to let up anytime soon, I figure it’s time to find a way to take more control over my life. Or, at the very least, my apartment.

So I’m making a promise to you right now. Every night, I will at the very least do these things (so when I come home from work the next day, just walking into my apartment doesn’t stress me out):

1. Swiff the floors. At the very least the kitchen. Because there are always an assortment of crumbs and things on the floor that just make me feel gross if I step on them.

2. Clear the coffee table. There’s usually a collection of glasses on the table each night, but from now on, they sleep in the sink.

3. All shoes get put away. Floor space is limited enough as is.

4. Go through the mail. No more piles.

It’s only four things, but I think it will help. As long as I keep the surface stuff under control, I’ll only have to do a deeper cleaning on the weekends to keep anything from getting away from me.

Do you have rules for what needs to be done every night? One blogger I read has a husband who insists on cleaning off the kitchen table every night. Anyone else have something like that?

Lesson learned: Baby steps are better than tantrums.