Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Kale, a crock-pot and a ukulele

Week one of my challenge and I’d say I faired pretty well. Three for three, actually.

The kale is the challenge to which I feel most accountable. We’ve been getting a bunch of kale each week from our local winter farmer’s market, and knowing that I’ll be getting another bunch each Sunday challenges me to use it up by the end of the week.


 On Tuesday, I simply sautéed some kale with mushrooms. It was alright. But nothing special. I know, I know… it’s kale. How exciting can it get? We’re eating it for its nutritional benefits, not its taste.

On the recommendation of another market volunteer, I used up the rest of this week’s ration but chopping it thinly and adding it to our chili con carne. I was also inspired to add some thinly sliced radishes which worked well, but next time I’ll skip the thinly sliced parsnip. As for the kale, it was picked out by the girls, but enjoyed by me.  My husband was a little less convinced and suggested blanching it first.  Maybe.

Using the slow cooker is an amazing dinnertime saviour during the work week. All day long, I pat myself on the back, knowing that dinner is preparing itself at home while I am at the office. I’ve received a few new slow cooker cook books lately, and since my husband professes that all crock-pot meals taste the same, I’ve been both limited to using the crock-pot more than once a week, and challenged to find some good recipes.

This week I chose Chicken with Baby Portobello Stroganoff:

Of course, I adapted the recipe.  I rarely follow a recipe exactly.  I used normal mushrooms instead of portobellos. Chopped fresh onion instead of frozen pearl onions.  And since I couldn’t find cream of onion soup, I used cream of mushroom. Plus, I only had half as many chicken thighs as the recipe required.

But it turned out fine. Tasted decent. Definitely acceptable for a weeknight crock-pot meal. Although, as far as crock-pot meals go, I prefer the ones that require little, if any, last minute preparations before eating. For this recipe, I had to cook the egg noodles, of course, but it also required about 20 minutes of thickening with the flour and butter mixture, and then with the sour cream.

However, the girls mostly ate it. There was some mushroom- and onion-picking out, needless to say.  I ate everything.

Finally.  I did it! I played and practised my ukulele at least twice this week. And it reminded me how much I enjoy it. Enough to make me want to do it more.

And maybe learn some new chords.  I think I'm ready to graduate from "Skip to my Lou" and "You are my sunshine".  

Suggestions for kale and crock pot recipes and ukulele songs welcome.


  1. Hello! Have you tried making kale chips? They are DELICIOUS! Here's a quick link....I like to add a little garlic powder as well...or sometimes a little chili powder for kick!

    1. Thanks for the recipe link. I tried kale chips once before, and they didn't go over so well, but I'll give it another go.