Bites of My Life

Que post-holiday weekend depression. Friends, fireworks, sunburns and food babies, it was a splendid 4th of July in Annie world. It was a low maintenance and relaxing holiday, just what I needed. Coming up this week, we have a special roomie birthday to celebrate! This summer has been all about celebrating the big and little things. A celebration a day keeps the doctor away!
-Favorite part of my evening walks is being constantly smitten by adorable houses. This cutie had monogrammed cushions on their porch chairs, swoon.
-Fish tacos for dinner taken up a notch with grapefruit salsa and candied jalapeños! Salsa made by roasting corn, red onion and green bell pepper together mixed with cut grapefruit, salt, pepper and lime juice!
-The feedback to my Perfect Green Smoothie is making my heart smile and tummy growl! Nancy, your smoothie is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! See more green smoothie makers on my Facebook!
-Real world life=tupperware lunches.
-Got to get back together with my Yelp crew for a night of bites and wine tasting, not a bad mix!
-My bestie turned 22 and she deserved all the celebrations!
-Toasted the holiday weekend with a glass of rose' and an amazing dinner at Kitchen No. 324! Got to pick up the new issue of Edible OKC too. Look at that cover!
-A few more swings at Topgolf and I'll be ready for a real course...wishful thinking!
-#tradition. This recipe is a clear winner. 
-Ulti pool day with our new friend! 
-4th of July pre-burger bites. Spinach dip and baked artichoke pesto!
-We may not have been at the lake, but we made up for it with our 4th of July staycation!
Annie

Kale Yeah!

So remember my February failures? Well, I vowed to make March more successful, starting with cooking more from my cookbook collection. Check! I made two cookbook recipes recently that I know you're going to love. First up, I'm sharing this recipe for Kale Pesto from True Foods. If you've ever eaten at True Food Kitchen then you now what kind of deliciousness I'm talking about. If you live in a city with one I am extremely jealous of you. This recipe is from the cookbook of this amazing restaurant. 
Before I left for Vegas it was my normal routine of me being my parent's kitchen at all times. When I'm home I think I spend more time in the kitchen than my own room...ya, I definitely do. So to kick off the season of spring cooking I made these scallops with kale pesto and a side of pepper jack grits. Highlight of the meal was the pesto. It went a long way so we grilled it on shrimp the next night and used it in our favorite Barefoot Contessa salad

I quickly made another batch once home in Norman and I've been enjoying it on spaghetti squash and salads! Like your average pesto it has similar ingredients such as parmesan cheese, pine nuts and olive oil, but instead of basil you replace it with kale. This gives it dense flavor and tons of nutrients!
After a quick process of boiling the kale, cooling it, then straining the excess water from it, it is ready to be turned into pesto. 

Kale Pesto
yields 1 cup, adapted from the True Food cookbook

Ingredients: 

1 bunch of black kale
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 red pepper flakes
1 tsp. salt
Directions:
Boil a large pot of water over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Cut off the ends of your kale and plunge into the boiling water for 3 minutes. Using tongs, quickly transfer to ice water for 3 more minutes to stop the cooking. Strain the kale in a colander then squeeze between paper towels to get all the excess water out.
In a food processor (or magic bullet in my case, my college kitchen isn't very equipped) blend the kale, parm, pine nuts, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil. 
Pesto will last 3-5 days in the fridge or longer in the freezer.
I don't think I've ever met someone who doesn't like pesto. Here you can see my pesto spaghetti squash with avocado, tomatoes, pine nuts and extra parm! Put it on fish, salads, pasta or my favorite, use it as a dip by spreading over goat cheese and serving with crackers. Bottom line-just make it and I'm sure you can find some ways to use. By the spoonful is also acceptable.
Annie