Nothing like a good head cold to throw you out of the blogosphere for a solid week. It also does nothing for my desire to cook, so this week was a bit of a wash in terms of kitchen time. I ate a LOT of soup for the most part.
But I'll get to that later. Today I'm finally feeling the effects of a week's worth of sudafed and can fill yall in on this past week's adventures.
Prior to being taken out by the rhinovirus, I made it up to New York to visit (1) my younger sister and (2) my buddy, Matt, who did time with me in New Zealand as a Fulbright grantee. I was particularly looking forward to seeing Matt (not that I don't love seeing my sis!) because homeboy had discovered a bar that was completely NZ-themed.
Nelson Blue is nestled in the South Side Seaport and has kiwiana for days. They even serve draft Steinlager and 42 Below Vodka, which Matt was practically giddy about. (We drank it with apple juice - VERY tasty.) We had several drinks (and I had a fried egg sammie) and then it was time to hit the town. We had a nice walk to the subway before heading to Matt's place in Hell's Kitchen.
The Brooklyn Bridge. And Matt's friend, Mike, in his very, very, very bright hoodie.
Little Sis left us to attend a separate event while the rest of us headed for follow up eats/drinks at Vinyl, where we noshed on 3-cheese Mac n Cheese and I completely went over my fill line finishing off an impressively yummy steak salad.
Vinyl is entertaining for numerous reason, not the least of which include the musician-themed dolls on display in the dining room. We were seated by the Notorious B.I.G.
The Beatles a la Yellow Submarine were on the other side of the room.
The bathrooms are a treat as well. Each one is designed as an homage to a single music icon. While I had my choice of Elvis, Cher, or Nelly, I opted for the Dolly Parton Lounge:
Music, needless to say, was included.
We rolled out of the restaurant and hit two more bars before I punked out for the evening. I managed to squeeze in brunch with my sister and her best friend the next day and then headed home. The rest of the weekend was pretty breezy. Pool and drinks on Saturday night, laundry and movies on Sunday (Alice in Wonderland - very good, but you definitely don't need to drop the extra $3.50 to see it in 3D).
And then...Monday. At first it started with a sniffle. Then a misplaced sneeze. Before I knew it, I felt like I'd been hit by an SUV driven by a text-messaging, road-raging soccer mom. Since eating food prepared by someone who's basically a big ball of mucous isn't exactly appetizing, Tony took charge of the food prep this week. He made me a LOT of soup and even made sure I was drinking enough fluids during the day.
By Thursday I was finally feeling human again, but just mildly so. So instead of hitting the kitchen full throttle, I opted for locally made rotisserie chicken (which I heart 4EVA), while I made a side dish: Oven Roasted Kale Chips.
Now, it didn't miss my attention that Smitten Kitchen also made kale chips this week. It' s not my fault I'm a trend setter!
In any event, I've seen this recipe pop up on the food blog roll numerous times. It's easy enough to make - especially if you have a bag of already washed and chopped kale from Wegmans. Plus, I'm always interested in recipes that attempt to turn veggies into snack food.
I've got to be honest - it's pretty damn tasty. It's got the consistency/texture of really light popcorn, but the kale flavor (which is a little more bitter) really melds well with the lemon and salt. I ate two sheet pans of the stuff on my own, which has to be good for me. Right?
This weekend is all about the Spring. The weather in Baltimore is a little chaotic at the moment (It was 70˚F last week and 50-something degrees tomorrow. What's up with that?), but I'll suffer for the sake of one of my favorite group activities: outlet shopping. Oh yeah. (It's also the start of the Cherry Blossom Festival and there's lots of cultural events going on, blah, blah, blah...I'll get there after the tourists leave.)
Next week is my trip home to Clemson, SC for the Easter holiday, which means lots of trips to Sonic and one hell of a dinner spread courtesy of my mom. I'll be sure to take photos.
Happy Easter egg hunting!
Oven Roasted Kale Chips
(Courtesy of Vegan Visitor)
(Courtesy of Vegan Visitor)
1 Large Bunch Kale, Stems Removed
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest of ONE Lemon
Pinch Sea Salt
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
- To remove the stems of the kale, hold it up side down, stem side up with one hand and pinch the stem with your other thumb and forefinger to tear it up and away from the leaf.
- Toss the leaves with the oil and lemon zest in a large bowl to coat evenly.
- Lay the leaves out in a single layer on a baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with salt.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crisp. (*Mine took a little longer.)
- Cool on brown or paper towel to remove any excess oil.