Kale Chips

I know I am a little late on the whole kale bandwagon here butttttt..better late than never, right?

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

I have heard rave reviews from multiple bloggers about kale chips and have been meaning to make them since like for ever. Kale is not something that we typically have in our house, as I tend to avoid bitter, spiky-looking lettuce type leaves.

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

Side-note: One of my biggest pet peeves is when restaurants serve all the purple and spiky, scary looking leaves in their house or side salads. YUCK! I know that the darker leaves tend to be healthier for you, but bleeeck, I am either forced to drown them in dressing or completely avoid them. So they really do not end up being any healthier for me. Please note this fancy-pants restaurants!

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

This is the kale before baking, look at the next picture to see how much they shrink!

Back to kale, I decided to give this one a go the other day when I saw that they actually sell already-made kale chips at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. My thoughts were if people are really buying this stuff, then it must be tasty.

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

This is the kale after baking, they shrink a bit! Beware of over-seasoning

Guys, if you haven’t been convinced by the bajillion kale chip recipe pins on pinterest, or the other gazillion bloggers who have raved about kale chips, listen to me. These are the bomb.com.

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

No, they aren’t something you could eat for lunch (as NO chip should be ate just for lunch!); they will not leave you feeling full. What they are absolutely perfect for is when you are craving something salty or just a crunchy snack. These babies will do the trick and leave you feeling food that you got your crunch and veggies in!

Baked Kale Chips

(serves 1-2)

about 5 oz. kale, cleaned and hard stems removed

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Clean and remove stems from kale. Place kale in large bowl.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over kale, sprinkle chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt over kale. Mix everything together until kale is coated with oil and spices.
  3. Arrange kale in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 18-20 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from oven, let cool on rack, and enjoy!

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: A violin contains about 70 separate pieces of wood!

Pregnant Goldfish and Taco Seasoning

I’d be willing to bet you that you couldn’t guess what the top search term was on the blog the other day. Any guesses? I seriously doubt you will guess this. Unless your guess involves fishes. And baby fishes.

An image of a Common goldfish

An image of a Common goldfish (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here it is…”how to tell when a goldfish is pregnant”. Seriously? LOL. Why would you think I would know when a goldfish is pregnant?! Little fact about myself: I have never owned a fish in my life. I once wanted a fish, but I think my mom said it would get smelly  or something. Or that could have possibly been when I asked for a turtle. I was/am a HUGE animal lover.

Well are you interested in finding out how to tell when a goldfish is pregnant? I feel slightly obligated since it was the top search term. After a little research, I have found that, like humans, their bellies swell. You can also usually see lumps in their tummies from the eggs, and their tummies are a slightly lighter color due to the stretching. So there you go goldfish lovers. Your little lesson on how to tell if your goldfish is pregnant.

Now that we have that cleared up, let’s talk food, shall we? I made some a taco seasoning mix. As you may know, I love mexican and southwest flavors. Hello? Remember my taco salad, Mexican Lasagna, the salsa I made for SRCMexican flair wraps, Spanish rice, or the Cheesy Chicken tortilla bake? I think I’ve proved my point. I love mexican food and flavors. So here we go, super simple. Just mix up these spices right here, rub them on some chicken and cook it, or you can mix it into some brown rice to flavor it up a bit. Be creative! You can even use it on oven baked fries to give them a little mexican flair.

Taco Seasoning Mix

(from Brown Eyed Baker)

4 Tablespoons chili powder

2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon paprika

3 Tablespoons onion cumin

1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container and rub seasoning on any meat, tortillas, or anything else you choose!

Random Fact of the Day: Sarah Bernhardt, a famous 19th and 20th century actress slept in a coffin that she took every where with her.

Week in Review (5/7-5/11)

What a busy week! Sorry for just posting one little recipe this week, but I was BIZ-eeeeee!

Monday I showed you guys some yummy banana baked oatmeal, or as Katie from Chocolate Covered Katie likes to call it-boatmeal. This stuff is so yummy and a delicious way to start any day. I have yet to tried real oatmeal, you know the goopy looking kind, but I for sure love this baked version!

Tuesday I had a soccer game against our school’s rival. They are the one other high school in our town, so it’s a pretty big deal. We had our largest crowd ever, and it was also our team’s last home game of the season. It’s always fun to play our rivals because there’s a couple girls from my travel team on there so it’s pretty major to be able to have bragging rights for the next year. We ended up just beating them 1-0, an awesome way to end our home games for the season! Next week the road for play-offs begins

Wednesday I showed you guys Part One of my prom weekend. It was a weekend that surely did not disappoint, that did not have many moments that weren’t exciting.

Thursday I volunteered at an elementary school nearby and babysat a bunch of kids. I have to say, I had an awesome time. Being the youngest child in my family, I have very little experience with babysitting, but being a swim instructor helps quite a bit. By the end of the night, I had suffered a few battle wounds. Including a large bump and bruise on my hip from a crash in “Duck, Duck, Goose”. Those kids are quick! And FULL OF ENERGY! Seriously, where does it all come from?!

Friday I showed you all Part Two from my prom weekend. It was fun to have a weekend of just straight-up fun, but I’m looking forward to catching up on a bit of sleep this weekend. VERY much needed!

Random Fact of the Day: About 75 acres of pizza are eaten in in the U.S. Everyday.

Promming! (PART TWO)

Note: This is part two of “promming!”, which is my adventures of last weekend with.. guess it. prom! For part one, click here

Once I got home I looked down the street and saw one of the girls in my prom group already taking pictures with her date. I was still in running shorts and a zip-up… so I kind of flipped out and ran all around the house getting ready. I threw on my dress, threw some make-up on my face and called it a pretty. I think my mom photographed every second on me getting ready. I’m honestly a little shocked she didn’t catch one of me in my underwear. *phew!*

We then proceeded to take more pictures than anybody ever would have thought possible. We were a little unfamiliar with the lens on our Nikon, so a bunch of our pictures turned out fuzzy, but we still ended up getting some good ones. We took pictures of just me at the house, pictures with my date at my house, pictures at this garden place with my whole group. It was one big picture frenzy. My mouth and cheeks got the workout of a lifetime.

After pictures we headed over to the dance. FINALLY! It was awesome!! It’s funny how similar prom is to a wedding. They served up salad, chicken, veggies, potatoes, and a choice of chocolate cake or cheesecake. I got the chocolate cake. If you know me at all, you know that’s like a total no-brainer question. And then we finally got to go on the dance floor and shake our bootys. It was an awesome time…my legs were actually sore the next day! (embarrassing) After the dance, we headed over to the post prom party at the park district, where they had tons of rooms with games and prizes and food and pictures. Sooo much stuff to do there. My date and I got a caricature drawing that turned out awesome. I look pretty great, if I say so myself. Hopefully he’ll give me a copy soon, I seriously wanna frame the thing!

Confused as always

They had loads of prizes they were giving out every half hour like $50, $100, $250, $1000, iPads, beats by Dre headphones, gift certificates, you name it. I didn’t win anything but a few of my friends won money and gift certificates. The whole post prom party ended at 3 A.M. I was ex-hausted! I got home, took a shower to get all the yucky hairspray out of my hair, then passed out on my bed. I knew I had to get all the sleep I could because…

Me and a few friends headed over to Six Flags Great America for the day. We left around 9 A.M. and took the hour drive to get there. We got in the park, got in line for our first roller coaster, were soooo close to the front of the line, then an announcement comes on. “We’re sorry, but due to severe weather conditions, we’re going to have to close down this ride”. So we’re like, okay this sucks but at least we can go on some other rides. All of a sudden lightning comes from like every direction. I have never seen so much lightning, so close, in my entire life. The ground was literally shaking and it felt like the earth was going to crack. Needless to say, we took off in a dead sprint to the car. It was a total bummer that we just drove all that way to not even get to go on one roller coaster, but luckily we had a plan B. We headed over to one of my favorite places in the world, Lake Geneva (where my friend/date has a lake house) and ate lunch there at this incredible little place called Popeyes, not to be confused with the fast food restaurant, Popeyes.

After lunch, we decided to head back home and watch a movie at my house. We picked “Drive”, it’s got something for everyone. Blood and action for boys, Ryan Gosling for girls. #winning. Overall it was an awesome weekend that I would never trade for anything in the entire world. Maybe some mint chocolate chip ice cream….but probably not.

Random Fact of the Day: An Astronaut can be up to 2 inches taller returning from space. The cartilage disks in the spine expand in the absence of gravity.

Week in Review (3/26-3/30)

Ahh, what a relaxing week I had this week. So nice to take a break and spend the week in beautiful Florida for spring break!

Monday I shared with you guys my SRC post which featured Homemade salsa! Such a yummy and handy thing to have in the house. I’m so happy I made this and was so shocked at how easy it was! Once you have all the ingredients prepped, you are literally less than a minute away from fresh salsa. YUM

Tuesday I enjoyed the beautiful sunshine in Florida and started my day off with a nice run a little over 6 miles. Such a good feeling. Then…Then, I went up 14 flights of stairs. Yes, 14. FOURTEEN PEOPLE FOURTEEN! That’s insane! But you know what? It motivated me to where I ended up doing that the rest of the week.  FYI: It never got easier..

Wednesday I shared with you guys the sights of Ft. Lauderdale…this place sure has proven itself to be one ca-razy, unpredictable place!

Thursday was just another lovely day spent in sunny Florida. Ran. Laid out. Ate dinner. Repeat. Pretty much the same thing everyday, but hey, that’s how I like it! So nice getting a break from the busy school-soccer life and just veg out for a week.

Friday I showed you guys a post that I dug out from months ago! It actually made me a little proud of myself to see how far my photography has come. But the main reason I pulled this guy out was that I have been meaning to post it but it just kept slipping my mind and so it was just perfect timing to share it while I was out of town and soaking up the ray on spring break! :) Besides…you can never go wrong with any post that involves peanut butter!

Oh and another great thing that happened Friday? Well, we had our BEST, BEST, BEST meal of the week. We went to the Chart House, yes I do know it is kind of a chain. But ohmygawd after a week of on and off, kind of disappointing food, we had our BEST food that night.

We decided to try an appetizer, and we ordered the Oysters Rockefeller, which were fantastic. For the main course, I ordered grilled swordfish, and it was fantastic. It had the perfect char on it from the grill, but still was super moist and maintained it’s awesome fishy flakiness. There was delicious rice on the side as well as yummy green beans. Yes, yummy green beans, they do exist!

To finish off the meal, we ordered two lava cakes. (We always have a separate section reserved in our tummies for desserts!) The lava cake was awesome! Perfectly warm, and super chocolatey. It was topped with vanilla ice cream and bits of chocolate and chocolate sauce. I can not even put this dessert into words. I might try to recreate it, but if I fall short, I may just cry. It was so good. The whole meal was just the best possible way for us to end the week. I would not have changed a thing. Great food. Awesome service. Beautiful restaurant and view.

Best picture...now you can't tell me you don't want some of that!

Today I am sadly coming home. It’s such a bittersweet moment leaving lovely Florida. I’ll miss the beach, sun, and fish, but it sure will be nice to get back home and in the kitchen!

Random Fact of the Day: The average cough comes out of your mouth at 60 miles per hour.