Fresh Squeezed Salad and Bucket-Filling

As we were driving home from school the other day I overheard my kindergartner talking about bucket-dipping. Hmmmmm? Have you heard of this before?

“What’s bucket-dipping?” I asked.

Here’s how she broke it down for me:

“Mom, if someone is being mean to you or if they say they don’t like you, that’s bucket-dipping. If you want to have fun and be happy with lots of friends you have to have a full bucket. You can be a bucket-filler too. If you see someone who’s sad and you ask them if they want to play with you, that’s bucket-filling.” [Read more…]

Orecchiette Pasta with Kale, Sausage and Garlic Chips

There’s no real reason to beat around the bush, so I’ll just come out and say it. I’m sorry. I’ve been a terrible food blogger lately. I know you count on me to deliver stunning recipes with sharp wit straight to your inbox, and I have let you down.

You have probably been checking your email everyday and wondering,”Where in the world is Maui Flour Child?” By the way, if you didn’t notice I was gone, no need to say anything.

So it’s kind of a long story… Let’s just say, my life got hit by a hurricane and then I went to Las Vegas. Yikes!

What’s important is that I’m back. I’ve picked up the pieces of my scattered life and put everything in it’s rightful place. (Well, except the laundry.) I’ve even made a few changes. Like for example, my New Year’s Resolution of being more free-spirited. Yeah, that was a terrible idea. My new February resolution is to be more structured, and disciplined. Righteous path here I come!

So I don’t know about you, but after a hurricane hits my life I want to eat something hearty and nourishing. Like pasta! Like a big steaming bowl of sausage, kale and Orecchiette pasta garnished with garlic chips, parmesan, red pepper flakes and a squeeze of lemon. Like the kind of pasta your Grandma would make you if you were lucky enough to be Italian!

Ingredients:

1 lb Italian Sausage, casing removed (I used turkey sausage)

6 stalks organic kale

1 package Orecchiette pasta

1/2 onion, diced

5 cloves garlic

8 TB olive oil

Parmesan

1 Lemon

What to do:

Start by making your garlic chips. Thinly slice your 5 cloves of garlic Goodfellas style.

In a small pan arrange the garlic slices in a single layer and cover with olive oil.

Bring to medium heat. Keep a close eye on the garlic. The goal is to flavor the oil and also to make garlic chips, but you have to be careful not to burn the garlic or it will taste bitter. So as soon as you see the garlic slices turning golden, strain, reserving the oil. Lay out the chips on a paper towel and set aside. By the way, if you don’t like garlic, skip this step.

Next, cut, wash and dry your kale, removing the stems.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta. The reason I use salted water is one, it makes the pasta taste awesome, and two, I love to use the salty, starchy water the pasta cooks in to create a pasta sauce. I know all that salt is probably not good for you, but that stuff is seriously magic! Cook your pasta and reserve 2 cups of that magic water.

In a large pan, heat the reserved garlic oil (you don’t have to use it all) and add the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. When it is almost done and starting to look nice and browned, add the onion. Continue to cook for a few more minutes, then add the kale, slowly stirring and working it into the mixture.

Add one cup of the reserved magic pasta water and cover, stirring occasionally until the kale is tender. Add the cooked Orecchiette and mix everything together. If you want the pasta to be looser and have more moisture, add more of the pasta water.

Serve in a large family style bowl and garnish with the garlic chips, parmesan, a squeeze of lemon and red chili flakes.

Feels good to be back,

Jessica’s Montana Kale Salad

Montana Kale SaladOne of my favorite things about going to the mainland is ROAD TRIPS! Yes, we torture our children with long drives, loud music, scenic¬†routes, and stops at strange stores in strange towns. We have no interest in making good time and whenever asked, “Are we there yet?” we preach that the journey is equally important to the destination. I like to think they will look back on these adventures with fond memories, but time will tell.

We went on a spontaneous road trip from Idaho to Montana to visit our favorite family friends. All kinds of exciting things happened.

For one, my Mom was able to handle 3 non-stop hours of our music cranked up to road trip volume, and I even think she genuinely enjoyed some of it. Well done Mom, Montana playlist coming your way soon!

We saw 6 moose, a bald eagle nest and a yard sale that would put every episode of hoarders to shame.

We got to go wake surfing which is good fun if you haven’t tried it yet. Flathead lake was warm and glassy and Jacks boat makes an amazing, never-ending wave. The best part is when you fall in the middle of the lake and you are waiting for the boat to come back around and pick you up, you don’t even have to think about sharks.

I did think a bit about bears though later on by the campfire…

My daughters got to see hail for the first time! We were making s’mores and watching a storm get closer and closer. Everyone kept commenting on how loud the rain sounded. Surprise, hail! All 10 of us had to run for cover and wait out the storm crowded together in a small boat house. This was obviously very exciting for us Maui people, we even kept some hail and put it in the freezer.

And of course we had an amazing Montana dinner. Grilled spice rubbed pork tenderloin, homemade baked beans, and a kale salad we have been recreating every night since. Jess, I hope I do it justice!

Ingredients

3 C chopped Kale

2 C chopped Spinach

1 C chopped Red Cabbage

1 large diced Tomato or 12 small tomatoes

1/2 Avocado

1 cup sliced Hearts of Palm

3 slices Crumbled Bacon

2 T Blue Cheese

Balsamic Dresing

1 t Dijon mustard

3 T balsamic vinegar

1/2 C olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Trim the kale off the stems and cut it up with the spinach and cabbage. The trick here is to cut your greens small! Like your making a slaw. Put it all in your handy salad spinner and wash and spin. Cut up the rest of your salad ingredients and artfully arrange. I like to make my salad dressing in a mason jar and shake it up. Toss the salad with the salad dressing about 30 minutes before eating. The vinegar helps to tenderize the kale.