Category Archives: General Interest

the Un-Potato Chip

Since I got back from Little Cayman – the ending of a terrific holiday season – I went on this no-white-carb, hardly any other carb, eating plan.  It’s been surprisingly  drama free, which is why I did not expect the weekend’s  potato chip fit.  It came out of nowhere and surprised me with its intensity.  I had to have them.  I started to get into the car, to drive to the gas station and buy just a small bag, maybe two small bags, because if I ate one and it didn’ satisfy me, I’d eat another because I’d not had any chips for so long and obviously my body was telling me to get them.  I justified it every way I could think of and then I stopped.

What I did instead was make kale chips.   They satisfied my urge for oily, salty, crispness.  I have no idea if they’re good, they keep me from eating potato chips. I will not assign any holy status to kale and its healthfulness; I make these purely to stay the hell away from potato chips.

I will never make them with parmesan, cinnamon, ancho chile powder, barbecue rub, cocoa, Essence of Emeril, Old Bay, or garlic salt.  I will never make anyone eat them nor will I say that I eat them for any other reason than this:  they keep me the HELL away from potato chips.  For now.

Kale Chips the way I do ‘em.

  • One bunch of kale*
  • Some olive oil – maybe 2 tablespoons.
  • Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 250.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

By knife or with your hands, remove the tough stems from the kale and put them in the compost.  Wash and dry the Kale leaves.  Dry them completely, a salad spinner helps but nothing works like using cloth or paper towels to blot out all the moisture.  They need to be dry, as in dry, not dry-ish.

In a large bowl, drizzle the kale with the olive oil and then with clean hands, rub the oil on the leaves.   None of this drizzle’n’toss stuff.  We’re not making a salad, we’re making chips.  The leaves should not be drenched, but there should be no oil-free spots.

Spread the oiled kale in a single layer on the baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and put into the oven for, oh, 30 minutes.  The kale will go from bright to dark green. If you test one of the leaves, it will be very crisp while still holding its curly-kale’ness.  Store at room temperature.

(*My son the organic farmer brought me organic dinosaur kale today, and the pesticide lecture was free of charge.  I prefer the curly stuff, pictured here.)


C’est Cheesy!

Ah, NYT.  We are amazed that this is news, but glad that you didn’t get gross about it.  It used to be we only got flowery, rather purple prose for wine. Now,  cheese?  For god’s sake, put this in perspective.  Of course, I’ve been to numerous wine tastings that made me want to cry with boredom, and laugh at the one-upmanship, so I think a cheese tasting is in order.  However, if we were charged with describing our favorite fromages, it would go something like this …

GorgonzolaGorgonzola … our favorite of the Bleu (rhymes with bleah).  It is strong and veiny, like the one that nearly got away, who comes back 25 years later and says he’s never stopped loving you, and hopes you feel the same, and all you remember about him is that he had more hair stuff in his bathroom than you.

gruyereGruyere …  Baby Swiss. What is not to love about this tender little morsel?  It’s mellow, a little bit nutty, genial, tranquil, amiable, balmy, calm, tender, forgiving, benign, mild, civil, vague, faint, bland, feeble, weak, wimpy, wussy. Come to think of it, it’s the pushover of cheeses.  Never mind.

GoatGoat cheese … from the most sarcastic farm animal, a cheese that is SO happy to have you eat it, really.  By a person of your discerning tastes, it’s such an honor to be chosen. And that bit of bread you wish to smear this upon?  As glutinous and, well, bready, as it is appropriate.  Last, may I say that is one NICE shirt you’re wearing, very flattering.  Really.  Most people of your girth can’t wear that particular pattern without looking like a Viking.  If you like this cheese,  DO twitter about it.  Tout America is waiting to hear.  Ta.



Happy Newish Year!

Getting back to reality after a great holiday season and wonderful vacation is always, well, productive in a way that doesn’t seem productive at first.  Cleaning my inbox has taken  90 minutes and 90% of it was spam.  I hope I didn’t toss anyone’s email by accident - if you titled your message FAT LOSS FOR THE NEW YEAR or NO WRINKLES IN 2013, resend, please?

This year I’m all about the food, the eating, and to that I’ve added not-looking-like-a-beach-ball and not going broke in the process.  Cooking classes in January-February-March will focus on good meals that don’t break the bank.  Meals that eliminate or greatly reduce white, refined carbs and sugars (flour, rices, corn, potatoes) are now being tested and should be ready to teach in a few weeks.

Check the calendar for special classes for Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, and early Spring.   Dryer air means it’s Macaron season, too.  As for the Super Bowl, well, since it’s Manning-free this year (sob), who cares.  Okay, me.  We’ll squeeze in a class for an app party for that, complete with shopping list.





Learning Curves

I’ve always believed that there are a few things in the world that one can spend a lot of time on and never be quite satisifed with the outcome, no matter how great it is:  Food.  Golf.  Writing.  And to that I add, websites.   I’m getting there … but even if the site is not quite where I want it, I am ready to start teaching again. Check out the class calendar, and let me know what you’d like to see offered if you don’t see it already.

Check out today’s New York Times:  Jose Andres shows us the method for the perfect fried egg.   It looks a lot like the method we used in food styling class, to make a perfect egg-while-it’s-frying, with the whole bathing-in-oil thing.  Somehow, I can’t see the legendary Egg Men in Las Vegas hunched over a single egg in a pan like this, but no doubt they could if they wanted.