Friday, January 1, 2016

A little wrap-up of these finals days of the year and a recipe

Ah, these final, busy days of the year.

Christmas doesn't mark the end of celebratory preparations around here because we have a late December baby in this household.

Jacob's 9th (!!) birthday was Monday.  Since his birthday is only three days after Christmas, we always hold it on the exact day it falls. And we try our very best to avoid wrapping birthday presents with Christmas-themed wrapping paper. ;)

This year, the party was at the local bowling alley's arcade.  There was pizza, a Star Wars Kylo Ren cake and much game-playing (and running around.)

This boy has grown up so much in the last year!

Since Jacob's birthday, we have enjoyed quiet, restful days. And it's been especially easy to laze about when we've gotten nothing but rain for nearly a week straight!

These days are my favorite.  We relax, read, watch TV and movies, write, draw.  I love the fact that all pressure is off and we can simply BE in all the post-holiday glowiness. 

No school, no work, nothing pressing but petting kitties and doing whatever it is that we desire!

In addition to all this doing-whatever-we-wishness, eating has also been a frequent activity.

My mom brought over for Christmas dinner an incredible and addictive kale salad that I've made twice in the last week.  It's lasted maybe 24 hours each time.  

Since it's a tradition in the South to eat greens on New Year's Day for good financial luck, this seems like a perfectly reasonable (and let me assure you, *much* tastier) substitute for collards.

The lady who gave my mom this recipe calls this the Convert Kale Salad because it'll convert anyone who tries it to liking kale! It's wholesome and full of delicious flavors.  Thus far, I've doubled the following recipe both times.

I've also eaten this salad for breakfast on two occasions. And I'm one who usually makes plenty of poor food decisions in the morning--such as skipping breakfast altogether or going straight for doughnuts.  

Convert Kale Salad
Serves: 6-8
 Time: 15 minutes prep, overnight marination

5-6 cups kale, washed and chopped
1/2 cup dried currants or coarsely chopped raisins
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon honey
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix kale, fruit, lemon zest and nuts in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and honey to make a dressing.  Pour dressing over kale.  Using your hands, massage dressing into greens to coat evenly and reduce overall volume of greens by about half. (This step is weird but important--do not skip it!)  Refrigerate overnight or for six hours minimum.  Toss and serve.

Since pine nuts are pricey ($7.99 for 8 oz. at Trader Joe's and that's a good price), I'll be subbing toasted pecans the next time I made this.  So, on like Sunday.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hope you rung in the New Year in the way you like.  We bade 2015 farewell with friends, card games and various libations. 

And now it's back to a few more days of delightful lounging.

Happy New Year, friends!

1 comment:

  1. looks like the best kind of Christmas and birthday season! Hannah's birthday is always within a day or two of Thanksgiving, so I understand the importance of celebrating and separating the two to make it special. ;) I'll have to give the kale salad a try! thanks for sharing it!