No kale no sale

3 Oct

 Hi all!

One of my fest friends from college in on Friday afternoon. We met up at my place then walked over to East Blvd Bar and Grill before taking her to the airport. I love when I see friends who I haven’t seen in a while and it feels like just yesterday you saw them. It was great catching up with her and reminiscing about our crazy times in college and I miss that. Yeah, I’ve made friends here but not like the friends I made in college who know me so well,  feel like I confide in as much, who really get me and I can be myself around. I just miss that.

They have a pretty awesome appetizer special until 6p everday with a mini appetizer menu. I was milling over the selections but knew I wouldn’t be eating later that night. I decided on the classic of chicken tenders and fried potato chips with a dijon honey mustard sauce and it was great. Sometimes you just can’t go wrong with bar food.

She got the nachos. I love when friends are down with me taking pictures of their food. And wtf, that is the small portion. I need to go back there again just for that.

Saturday, I went to Great Grapes wine festival I’ve wanted to attend this for a while and seem to miss it every year so I was excited to finally try it out. It’s a wine festival featuring North Carolina wineries along with other vendors such as food, jewelry and more. It was gorgeous when we got there but soon it was almost unbearable with the sun beating down and barely any shade near the vendors. It would have been perfect on an overcast day when it was cooler out but if I would have known it was going to be that hot out, I wouldn’t have gone. I am such a diva when it comes to hot weather and was just miserable.

 With wine, I am more of a dry wine girl and alot of the vendors where more sweet so I only found a few that I liked but it was nice to try new stuff. I thought I could handle a few sips of the sweet wines they offered but it was too sweet for me then stuck with dry’s. Had I know it was going to be so hot and more sweet wines, I would’ve stayed home but it was a good time regardless.

Wine slushee? Yes please. This was refreshing and tasty and totally worth the $5 (free tastings but $5 if you wanted a full glass of a drink)

The pretzels and crackers we ate in between tastings didn’t keep us too full so we went looking for nourishment afterwards. We went to Paco’s Taco’s, a new Mexican inspired restaurant in the South Park area. So the name seems like a Mexican place but  I was confused by the theme of it. It had a menu full of Mexican food, the decor seemed more Western Route 66 -sh and the music was random as well. Being one that loves random stuff, I enjoyed it even if I was perplexed Service was great and the manager even stopped by after to see how everything was and how we thought everything tasted and if it needed any more flavor or seasoning. I thought that was really awesome that they asked our opinion (even if they really didn’t care). I got the ceviche which was served like a parfait in a dessert cup so I found that different but it tasted fresh as well did the chips and salsa.

I woke up this morning (no hangover thankfully) and you can tell fall is definitely her! That being said, I was in a soup making mood today. I was toying with the idea of making chili but I’ve made that tons of times and decided to try a new soup recipe that I saw in a Rachael Ray Everyday issue I had sitting around from last winter. I tried the Bacon and Kale Minestra because I love bacon and wanted to try kale since I’ve never cooked with it. I see raves all over the blog world regarding kale–in stews, kale chips, etc. so I have been anxious to try it and figured this would be a flavorful and seasonal recipe to try it in. Everytime I hear the word kale, I am taken back to waitressing at Applebee’s in college where they would never let a plate leave the expo line without kale. They always used to say “No kale, no sale” and now I have that running through my head.

I also wanted to try this recipe because I am a sucker for all kinda of stews and thicker soups. I really don’t make brothy soups that much so figured it would be nice to mix it up a bit and the fact that it’s a healthy recipe made it even better! I made a few modifications—I used turkey bacon instead of regular (I had a coupon that allowed me to buy it for $.41 yesterday so I am using that up), I only used six cups of chicken stock instead of the called for eight because I mentioned, not a huge fan of the brothy soups and added black pepper to taste.

I love that the finishing garnish was grated parmesan—funky? I was like parmesan on kale and bacon soup and didn’t think it could be good but it was the perfect finishing touch! I recommend this recipe–it was easy to make and it made about six servings as opposed to the recipe which said it makes four. As always, you lie Rachael Ray. I have a love/hate relationship with her. I love her ideas but hate the cutesy names she calls things—stoups, sammies, etc. I love her personality but hate the overexaggeration that comes with it. I have  a subscription to her magazine which I absolutely love but hate that it’s only her on the cover most of the time. It’s annoying and creepy in a Oprah kind of way (don’t get me started on Oprah-I think I’m the only white woman who doesn’t love her). Anyways,  someone (not me) wrote a letter saying how they would like to see some variety on the covers and not just Rachael Ray and they actually put kids on the cover with her the next month after that so cheers for variety.

After slurping one and a half bowls down, I went to Freedom Park and walked for 35 minutes. I am going to try to start running again when it gets a little cooler. I can’t believe it’s been since April since I’ve ran and I’m looking forward to starting up again.

I found some canned pumpkin this morning and got to cooking. I was going to make muffins but didn’t have all the ingredients so I went with the pumpkin bars I made last week. I make a few modifications with this as well–I used whole wheat flour, added chocolate chips (because chocolate makes everything better) and used 1/2 apple sauce and two tbsp butter instead of half a cup of butter.

After I made these I saw Brittney’s post with her recipe for pumpkin cookies. I will be making those next time around!

This afternoon consisted one one thing: Entourage marathon. I was so happy to see it on Spike since I haven’t had HBO for a couple of years and it’s one of the shows I miss.

Dinner was a quarter chicken leg that I got on sale at Harris Teeter last night ($2 for 2 legs) along with roasted potatoes and kale chips

I love this sauce and the fact that it’s only $.92 makes it even better.

So, why didn’t I try kale chips before?? These were fabulous and were crispy just like a potato chip. I added extra virgin olive oil and oregano to mine instead of the standard salt and pepper. I will definitely be making these again!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend-how is it over already? Anyone do anything fun? My weekend was kind of laid back again which I am starting to dig. I don’t need to be going out every weekend, spending tons of money and being hungover.

15 Responses to “No kale no sale”

  1. Amy @ Second City Randomness October 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    I’m totally with you on liking the dry wines. Sweet wine (in mass consumption- maybe that’s my mistake? oops) really doesn’t agree well with my tummy.

    • simplyshaka October 4, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

      Tell me about it. I made that mistake too many times when I was younger. But then again, I thought Boone’s Farm was a real wine!

  2. sheila @ girl on the couch October 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Hey! Finally got my new blog 🙂 This is a great post! I looooove kale and so it makes me sooo happy to see some recipes with kale in it. That stew looks awesome! Bacon + Kale= LOVE. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I’ll be making this soon! Btw, I love it when you cook and post recipes! Most of the homemade meals you’ve posted on here have been great!

    • simplyshaka October 4, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

      Thanks girl, it was a fabulous soup and cannot recommend it enough! Try it out soon 🙂 I can’t believe it took me so long to try kale, what was I waiting for??

  3. dianacheung October 4, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    damn you! now that you made kale chips I want to make kale chips…since I think we secretly have the same food loves. BTW hahaha I hate the heat as well but at least you got to try the wine festival. And rachael ray? I watch and read all her sh*t but can’t stand the pda that goes down between her and her robot I mean HUSBAND on her travel shows..I’m like EWWWWWWW do your thanggg in private! have a lovely week! I wanna hear all about your new team!

    • simplyshaka October 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

      They were fantabulous and see myself making them lots in the near future!

      OMG her and her hubs are disgusting. I feel like anytime I watch them they are going to break out the whole Lady and The Tramp spaghetti scene. Gag.

  4. October 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    mm i made a similar dinner just in a stir-fry form instead last night ❤ it was so yummy 😀

    i have to say that a god dressed as a grape is brilliantly adorable 😉 haha i just went to look at it again, omg LOVEEEE!

    wow u made the pumpkin cookies in big fat delicious bars!! i really like how moist they look, and how nummy the crumbling ontop is!!

    • simplyshaka October 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

      Well dog is god spelled backwards! 🙂 They were so cute and of course, had some of them up for adoption. I had to walk away before I made a foolish decision due to too much wine.

      The pumpkin bar recipe was fabulous–I will need to stop myself from making it more.

  5. Laury @thefitnessdish October 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Looks like you had a great weekend!!!!

    That stew really does look great! Kinda reminds me of my great grammy’s escarole soup…yummm!!

  6. Kelly Olexa October 4, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    Okay. First of all, I am another white chick that doesn’t watch Oprah!! I will say I have her magazine, it has good clothes for old hags like me that don’t wanna shop where Britney does. 😉
    Also- I find the weird-a** names that RR makes up very queer. It makes me feel uncomfortable.

    • simplyshaka October 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

      Thank God, there is another out there! And shut your mouth with the old hag stuff right now! I still cannot believe the age you claim to be but whatever, now I just sound like a suck up!

      The names make me uncomfortable now–sammies being the most uncomfortable one. I just can’t say it aloud and feel like an adult at the same time.

  7. Ashleigh October 4, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    That wine event looks like a ton of fun. Slushie wine for only $5?? Amazing!

    I can’t decide if I like Kale or not. Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t!

    My weekend was boring… lots of cleaning and lifetime movies!

    • simplyshaka October 4, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

      It was superb…thankfully I didn’t have a lot of cash on me b/c I would keep going back there for another refill after that.

      Lifetime movies are the perfect way to end the wknd. I need to catch up on Drop Dead Diva soon!

  8. Brittney October 6, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Ooooh, your pumpkin bars look yummy! I also just made a batch of soup that looks a lot like yours- only with spinach and white beans. I’m digging this weather for soup!


  1. All Over The Place « Simply Shaka - October 12, 2010

    […] Lunch was basic yet yummy-salad topped with leftover rotisserie chicken and soup that I made last week. […]

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