Oh Kale Yeah!

Good morning! It’s Monday, it’s sunny & I have a day of chores ahead of me. Everything from planting seeds to harvesting greens, catching up on the weekend’s mountain of laundry, cleaning up the garage & cleaning out our disgusting fridge. Don’t be jealous folks… You too, can clean anytime you wish.

Well the flies are back. The kind that try to kill you & eat pieces of flesh off of your person & the regular old house fly variety, both of which almost pushed me to the brink of insanity last spring. Basically we had a breeding ground for flies in our kitchen & garage for about 3 weeks. Thankfully we are yet to be forced into battle again with that nightmare situation, but hey there’s still time. I’ll keep you posted.

In other insect related news, the mosquitoes are still massive around here & the ticks are plentiful. But, that’s to be expected this time of year. Pretty much I am the target. The mosquitoes love to suck my blood because it apparently tastes of strawberry bliss. I’ve tried every deterrent imaginable – store bought name brands, essential oil blends & the “old fisherman’s” homemade Listerine concoction we learned about while living down in Mississippi. Some are relatively effective, while others are pointless. I have two favorites. One is called “No Bite Me” & is made from all natural ingredients. It can only be purchased online or in specialty shops. The other brand is called “Liquid Net” & is made of botanical oil blends (among other things, I’m sure) but it is deet-free which is a plus in my opinion. Josh brought it home to me at the beginning of spring this year & I believe he received it from one of his suppliers at work. I’m forever sold on this product. It’s truly the best stuff I’ve used & it works for deer flies, mosquitoes, ticks, gnats & no-seeums. Neither of the two products smells too terribly horrific, but they’re not going to land you any hot dates either. So for all you youngins out there, I’d refrain from drenching yourself in either concoction prior to going clubbin’ this weekend. If you work outside or if your name is Shelley & you are pregnant with your 5th child & you happen to be my sister & there is still the (albeit small) threat of the Zika virus in our universe, I highly recommend buying the deet-free Liquid Net spray. It’s light, airy & pretty dag’gone effective. That’s the end of my insect repellant review for today. You’re welcome.

The arugula has gone to seed & as the heat intensifies, the lettuces are likely on their way out as well. However, the kale & chard… Holy mackerel. I’ve shared countless bags with friends & family, and I’m getting pretty darn creative in the kitch y’all! Kale chips, chard chips, green juices, endless salads, kale egg bakes, kale pizza, baked feta & chard bites, chard & leek & kale soup, chard-baked chicken breasts, ad infinitum. Hell, I’ve even started tucking some kale leaves into my backyard bouquets. They only stay perky for about an hour or so before they bow down into the deepest depths of droopsville, but at least I used them for something & enjoyed them for a day & didn’t have to find a way to eat them. I think I’ll go easy on planting the kale next year. At any rate, I created a new recipe for scratch egg noodles with (yep, you guessed it!) CHARD & KALE. I even added arugula to this recipe a couple times & it gave the noodles as slight peppery flavor, which everyone really enjoyed. It’s a bit of a strange combination, but again I’ve been forced to get creative as to not waste all of these wonderful, healthy greens. And in all honesty, I’ve made this recipe several times, used the noodles just as I would regular homemade egg noodles & the kids never even noticed that the greens were incorporated. So the family gets comfort food on a rainy day & we all get an added boost of nutrition in the process. Most importantly, I get rid of some of this KALE. It’s a win, win! Oh kale yeah!

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks, beaten

4 cups of kale, chard, arugula or a combo of all

2 Tablespoons of milk or water

 

PREPARATION

  • Add greens & water to food processor. Blend into a fine green smush slush.

 

  • Pour greens into sieve & press out excess water with cloth or paper towel. If you don’t have a sieve, you can line a colander with paper towels or cheese cloth & press excess moisture out that way.

 

  • Place flour & salt, eggs, yolks & smushy greens in mixing bowl. Blend well until dough forms. If your dough seems to crumbly & dry, add a couple drops of water or milk. If it’s too sticky & wet, add a pinch of flour.

 

  • Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Make sure your workspace is well floured so dough doesn’t stick. Dust your rolling pin with flour & roll out dough to desired thinness. GO THIN. Some folks like to cover their flattened dough with plastic wrap & let it sit for an hour or so. I don’t ever do this.

 

  • Take pizza slicer or well-dusted, sharp knife & cut dough into long, thin strips of noodle. Remember, as soon as you place these bad boys into a pot of boiling stock, they are going to expand & get super fat & a lot thicker. They’ll grow right before your very eyes so be sure to slice them thin & roll out the dough even thinner.

 

  • After you’ve cut your dough into noodles, hang them to dry. You can get creative with this. I literally have hung them on kitchen drawers, door knobs & on the edge of my sink. I’ve even written a children’s story about drying egg noodles on the kitchen door. It’s fun and makes your kitchen look crazy busy! Let noodles dry for a half hour or longer.

 

  • Boil up a nice pot of chicken stock, beef stock or whatever sort of stock you prefer. I typically boil up a whole chicken or use left over drippings from a pot roast as my stock. You will need at least 8 cups of liquid, maybe more depending on how many batches of noodles you make. You can always add store-bought broth or even just some extra water if you start running low on liquid.

 

  • Add your noodles to pot of boiling stock & let them hang around in there until they’re nice & plump & al dente. You can also added shredded meat if you wish.

 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:

  • Add veggies & shredded chicken (carrots, celery, onions, garlic, etc) for a nice, homemade chicken noodle soup.
  • Serve over homemade mashed tates.
  • Serve over slice of fresh baked bread.

 

IMG_2673ABOVE: Greens in the food processor.

IMG_2676ABOVE: Smushy greens, pushed out all of the liquid.

IMG_2679ABOVE: I typically prefer to use whole milk over water, but either is fine.

IMG_2680ABOVE: Blend well.

IMG_2681ABOVE: Add your 2 cups of flour to the mix & blend well until dough forms.

IMG_2682ABOVE: Turn dough out onto well-floured surface.

IMG_2683ABOVE: Roll out flat & thin.  Look at those lovely flecks of green goodness!

IMG_2685ABOVE: Slice out thin noodles with pizza roller or floured knife.

IMG_2687ABOVE: Give some to your toddler to play with.

IMG_2689ABOVE: Keep him or her away from your couch fabric… Trust me.

IMG_2688ABOVE: Find a way to hang your noodles out to dry for a bit. Then add them to your bubbly stock & prep them as you wish. (See serving suggestions above)

IMG_2693ABOVE: A warm, hearty, late lunch on a rainy, drizzly day. Enjoy!


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