Thursday, October 13, 2011

Of Kale and Baguettes {Try New Adventures Thursday!}

I cooked with kale for the 1st time this week. But don't go thinking I was all health-nutty about it. I cooked it right along with 4 cups of half and half. And some whole milk. And some sausage. But no butter (can you believe it?).

Yes, obviously I had some help from the Pioneer Woman.  She seems to make her way into the menu plan every week, and we are never disappointed. But this meal was of company-impressing caliber.

Sausage, Kale, and Potatoe Soup
The delightful soup, somewhere in the simmering process.
Sausage, Potato, and Kale soup...a copy-cat of sorts of The Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup (I think the homemade version is even better!). It's loaded with red potatoes, fresh kale, and Italian sausage in a rich, creamy broth. It's worth eating salad every night for the rest of the week if the fat content makes you feel guilty. My conscience, however, felt quite clean (maybe I'm crazy).

I've found an easy and quick recipe for homemade baguettes, and I've been tweaking it to our liking. So far, for this recipe I've found that you actually need around 5 cups of flour (not 3-4...the dough is way too wet with only that amount) and this time I did a ratio of 3 1/2 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups wheat flour. It's fabulous to be able to make a yummy yeast bread without having to wait for it to rise. It's healthier than biscuits, but just as fast.

A deceitfully humble-looking meal.
A deceitfully humble-looking meal that will actually knock your socks off.
I'm looking forward to the day when I can grind my own wheat and slowly move my family away from refined white flour. In the meantime, I'd like to try some white whole wheat flour in some of my recipes and see how they turn out. Have you ever used it? What ratio of white to whole wheat flour to you usually use in your recipes?

Also, do you have any yummy kale recipes to share? I know many of you put it in smoothies, but I'd love to hear what else you do with it.

That's all the adventuring I've been up to this week (besides a few things that are in the works). I think it's time to brainstorm some fun adventures for the future and see what I come up with. For now, it's your turn. Link up your blog post below, link back to Alicia's Homemaking, and then leave some sweet comments on some other people's adventuresome posts.



  1. I use all King Arthur's White Wheat Flour in almost everything. One thing I've found I don't like all wheat in is french bread, and I use about 1/2 white wheat and 1/2 white bread flour (Gold Medal's Better For Bread), or whatever I put in :P This week I ran out of white wheat and made some blueberry muffins with regular white flour... they are so pale looking :P But really, you almost can't tell a difference when using the white wheat. Maybe if you did a side-by-side test, but with pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, we don't notice the wheat.

  2. Grr! My name's not "Welcome!" I don't know why it comes up like that every time. LOL!

  3. My midwife told me I need to eat more leafy greens, so I keep looking at the kale at the farmer's market. But I don't think I've ever had kale before and was clueless about making it, so I haven't had the courage to try it yet. But your meal looks delicious (I'm a vegetarian though, so I'll have to see if there are similar recipes.), it might actually inspire me to buy some Kale this weekend at the farmer's market!

  4. I was planning on some type of soup with kale in it for dinner tonight -- thanks!

  5. Yum! I haven't cooked with kale, only used it in salad/smoothies.

  6. Looks yummy! I've been wanting to try making homemade zuppa toscana for awhile...

  7. Looks like some yummy recipes linked up this week.

  8. In Holland we eat a lot of kale and potatoe mash (boerenkoolstamppot) during winter. Cook your peeled potatoes (cut into pieces) together with the cale until the potatoes are soft. Drain and mash with some butter and milk. Season with salt, pepper and freshly grind nutmeg. Stir through some baked diced bacon and serve with gravy and "rookworst" (dutch smoked sausage) or another sausage ;-) Eet smakelijk!
    Love Amelie

  9. Oh this looks so delicious!! I have only cooked kale a few times but this recipe sure looks worth trying.Thanks!!

  10. I'm drooling! That looks amazing! I have only tried Kale in our juicer, but never in soup...your menu planning gets me inspired every time :)

  11. You'll be making kale chips in no time. ;)

  12. Oh, that looks yummy (& a good way to get the good stuff from kale without it being quite so...kale-y...). I'll have to try it out! So far, I've only used kale in juice & smoothies (this past week, in fact, during my juice fast). I had a friend, however, who used to saute it with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and various other veggies as a side dish.

  13. The most amazing thing about kale is that it freezes really well. I buy a huge bunch, tear it up and cook it w/ some veg. broth in a pan w/ the lid on. Once it is soft, but still bright green, take it off the heat and let it cool. Put in freezer bag and freeze. Anytime you want some for a soup, you have it ready. It retains it's green color and tastes great. I keep a bag on hand for a fast meal of lentil, rice and kale w/ cumin. Quick and yummy!


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