Sunday, March 17, 2019

Diana Henry's Ribollita & Six Favorite Cabbage Recipes for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Since I don't eat meat, corned beef isn't making an appearance on my table today, but I am working in a couple of classic ingredients; cabbage and potatoes. I've chosen to give them an Italian spin with a cozy bowl of Diana Henry's Ribollita. Ribollita means twice-cooked or reboiled and it is a classic peasant soup from Tuscany that is a good use of leftover bread for a thick and hearty soup.


Diana Henry says, "I never liked the idea of ribollita--it is, after all, cabbage soup, and I've spent too much of my life on the cabbage soup diet--but this is a wonderful, rich, multi-dimensional dish. I learned how to make it (and how important the stock and olive oil are to the final flavour) on a cooking course in Florence. Don't rush it; make it with care and good ingredients and you will be rewarded. Made well, this is one of the world's great soups."


Ribollita
Slightly Adapted from Plenty by Diana Henry
(Serves 4)

8 oz Savoy cabbage or kale
2 Tbsp butter
1 leek, trimmed and chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
4 oz (1/3 lb) waxy potatoes, diced
4 cups chicken or beef stock
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 rosemary sprigs
3 garlic cloves
6 slices coarse white country bread
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans
2 large plum tomatoes

Cut the coarse central core from the cabbage, and slice the leaves. Melt the butter in a large, heavy pan and sauté the leeks and celery until pale gold, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, cabbage or kale, and potatoes and cook for another 12 minutes, turning the vegetables over in the butter every so often. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan with the rosemary and 2 of the garlic cloves (leave them whole and unpeeled). When the oil starts to shimmer and the ingredients turn light brown, remove from the heat and leave to infuse.

Toast the bread and rub each piece with the remaining garlic clove (peeled, this time). Add the beans to the soup and cook for another 10 minutes.

Drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and leave for 10 seconds. Lift them out and rinse in cold water, then slip off the skins. Halve the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds (discard them), and cube the flesh. Add the tomatoes and flavored oil to the soup and taste for seasoning.

In another large saucepan, layer the soup with the bread (break it up to help spread it out) and leave to cool. Put the soup in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, bring it to room temperature, then bring to a boil again. Serve, drizzled lavishly with more extra-virgin olive oil.


Notes/Results: For a humble peasant soup, there are quite a few different steps to making it between the rosemary-garlic oil, the garlic-rubbed toast, the peeled and chopped tomatoes, then layering the soup and bread, letting it cool, and letting it sit in the fridge overnight before reboiling it, but none of it is difficult to do and the result is well-worth it. The flavor of this simple soup really shines and it is thick and satisfying--the perfect comfort food. I forgot to drizzle the olive oil on the top before my photos, but I did take the extra step of chopping the rosemary leaves and garlic cloves that I steeped in the oil and used them as garnish. I used vegan butter and good vegan non-chicken bullion and for a vegan version. I would happily make it again.


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is our Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Cabbage


Below are six more of my favorite dishes featuring cabbage from out IHCC chefs.

My absolute favorite cabbage recipe is also from Diana Henry, her Cabbage and Leek Colcannon. So buttery, so delicious!


Cabbage was meant for fish tacos and Curtis Stone's Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos with Pico de Gallo are a great version.


Simple, flavorful and colorful, Jacques Pépin's Curried Coleslaw is perfect with fish.


Cabbage plays a supporting role in another tasty Diana Henry dish, Freekeh with Greens, Fennel, and Chile.


Ina's Cabbage Cucumber Slaw is wonderful with her Roasted Salmon Tacos.


Nigel Slater's Goat Cheese Bubble & Squeak is fun side dish that features cabbage.
   

And we have several good friends here for Souper Sundays, let's take a look...


Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen is here with Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Sweet Potato Salad (with Vegan Black Pudding) and said, "To make this warm salad more of a substantial dish, I finished it off with some sliced of vegetarian black pudding, but that is optional. This certainly made a welcome change from our boring lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad."


Debra of Eliot's Eats shared Red Cabbage Keilbasa and Cannellini Bean Soup and said, "One of the first contests I entered this year was one sponsored by Aunt Nellie’s. I won third place honors, a $25 gift card and a gift package of Aunt Nellie’s products (most beet related). In the package was a jar of sweet and sour red cabbage. I had no idea what to do with it. Aunt Nellie’s website came through and I decided to make this soup based on a recipe found there. I added some wine (of course), decreased the amount of cabbage, and added hot paprika to my version."

 
Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made White Bean, Corn and Smoked Sausage Soup and said, "This one could also be named clean-out-the-fridge-soup, but white beans and sausage would be more appealing on a menu.  I'm glad I am keeping track of recipes on this blog because often enough I need to search it when I am grocery shopping.  Hoping Blogspot doesn't just go away because I'd be unhappy to lose all the recipes I have posted over the last 10 years."

Beth Fish Reads is trying out the Skinnytaste One & Done Cookbook and one of the recipes she made and enjoyed was the Chicken Tortilla Soup. She says, "I made a chicken soup (recipe below) in the pressure cooker, which had just the right level of heat. The curry-flavored roasted vegetables, a sheet pan dinner (shown at the right), was delicious as is but would also be good over rice or couscous. Note that I didn't make the green chutney but used my own homemade fruit chutney instead."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

 
To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).



 Have a happy, healthy week & Happy St. Patrick's Day!
 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "California Girls" by Susan Mallery, Served with a Recipe for Easy Weeknight Veggie Lo Mein

It's Wednesday and with a busy week already, I am in the mood for a little break to get me over the hump and into the weekend. A Susan Mallery novel, like her newest, California Girls, works beautifully as a little escape and I'm happy to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour. Accompanying my review is a quick and simple Veggie Lo Mein recipe, perfect for a weeknight dinner. 


Publisher's Blurb:

The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…

Finola, a popular LA morning show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (February 26, 2019)

My Review:

Susan Mallery is an author I turn to when I want a good book to escape with. Her books are easy reads, pages fly by as I immerse myself into the different storylines she weaves together. In California Girls, the story follows three very different sisters, Finola, Zennie, and Ali. They might be different in looks, personality, and lifestyle, but they share a similar problem when they are all dumped by the men in their lives. Finola and Ali tie for the worst dumping with Finola's husband blurting out that he's leaving right before she goes on air with her morning talk show, and her first guest is the young country-pop star he is sleeping with. In Ali's case, her fiance doesn't bother telling her he doesn't want to marry her, so his more responsible brother has to do it. By comparison, Zennie's breakup seems anticlimactic as it is a guy she has had a few dates with, but she isn't interested in being coupled up. There is plenty of drama as each sister tries to navigate her life and find happiness. I found myself liking Ali the most--my heart went out to her first, but Zennie and eventually Finola grew on me too. 

There are no big surprises in the story, but I enjoyed the journey. Mallery's novels are easy to enjoy--from the characters she writes to the food she peppers her stories with. If you like women's fiction, stories about sisters and families, romance and friendships, and you'll enjoy this one.
 
-----

Author Notes: #1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. 

Visit her at SusanMallery.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


-----

Food Inspiration: 

Susan Mallery never has a shortage of food in her books and in fact there is even a recipe for California Girls Stuffed Scones in the back of this one. Food mentions included bacon, potato salad-five ways, espresso, protein-packed smoothies, salad and rotisserie chicken instead of tortilla chips and macaroni salad, all-meat pizza and garlic bread, Cherry Garcia ice cream, chocolate bundt cake, red wine, tequila, a hangover cure smoothie with coconut water, red ginseng, prickly pear and ginger, mushrooms, eggs, cucumbers, hotdogs, peanuts and bear at a baseball game, Chinese takeouts of lo mein, kung pao chicken, Mongolian beef and honey shrimp, fried rice, crab wontons, BBQ spare ribs and crispy green beans, Cheetos, potato chips with ranch dip, instant mashed potatoes, brownies, wedding cake, greens, a pastrami sandwich, kale and other green vegetables, chocolate-covered graham crackers, grilled ahi with salad and a side of broccoli, seafood dinner for two, pickles and chocolate chip ice cream, curried chicken sandwiches and a salad with basil ranch dressing, CPK's avocado egg rolls, sushi, pulled pork tacos with homemade tortillas, extra avocado and salsa, beer, quiche, sandwiches, Brie, a hot fudge sundae, donuts, chicken marsala, mashed potatoes and fresh green beans, frosted cookies, and an In-N-Out burger and a chocolate milkshake.


There were two mentions of Chinese takeout dinners and both included the noodle dish lo mein. The Chinese food was comfort food to Ali after her fiance dumps her and later to Zennie, in the midst of the pregnancy blues. The lo mein caught my eye as I have been craving noodles and it seemed like an easy weeknight dinner. 


These noodles are not all that authentic, but by making them at home which only takes about 20 minutes, you can control the sodium and oil and have fresh tasting noodles. If you have leftovers, they taste great reheated (because lo mein doesn't dry out like fried rice), as Ali declares in the book.

Weeknight Veggie Lo Mein
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2-3)

1 package lo mein noodles or other thin noodle
1 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil (I use a mix of sesame and canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 green onions, sliced, green and white parts separated
1 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced
5-6 mini bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups snow peas, trimmed and sliced into thirds
Lo Mein Sauce, recipe below
toasted sesame seeds
 
Lo Mein Sauce:
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup  
2 tsp rice wine vinegar

Cook lo mein noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside. 

While spaghetti is cooking, whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil in a large wok or skillet and add whites of green onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, snow peas and carrots and saute 5 to 6 minutes--until veggies are just tender. Add noodles and sauce and warm through. Serve garnished with green onion tops and sesame seeds and enjoy!


Notes/Results: What's not to like here? Noodles, tasty sauce and lots of fresh veggies. The only effort is the chopping and you have a delicious dinner ready in about 20 minutes. You can use whatever veggies you like in this--cabbage or Chinese greens would be nice. I may add some roasted peanuts to the leftovers for crunch and protein. I would happily make this again.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "California Girls" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Ruth Reichl's Congee: Soupy Rice Comfort for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

A busy few weeks and a lack of sleep and good rest for a variety of reasons means I can't seem to shed the cough and cold I have been nursing. I needed something easy, satisfying and comforting this weekend, so I picked Congee. Technically it is a porridge rather than a soup, but it is soupy rice, and as host of Souper Sundays, I'll allow it. ;-)


It's been ten years since I made and posted congee on the blog (this one as part of Cook the Books, The Last Chinese Chef book club review). 


Congee is a lot about the toppings and for that one, I used topping from the book: tofu cubes, roasted peanuts, (Chinese) pickles, smoked ham (I ate meat back then!), scallions, greens, and re-hydrated wood ear mushrooms. For today's congee I kept the nuts and scallions and added capers in place of tiny pickles, sauteed oyster mushrooms, chili oil and a jammy soft-boiled egg. 


Ruth says "Nothing is easier to make than the classic Chinese breakfast . It's basically rice slowly cooked with lots of liquid. I like to use arborio rice, although it's not traditional; any kind of rice you have on hand will do. The ratio is about 1 cup of rice to 8 cups of liquid. I think it tastes best with chicken stock, although you can certainly use plain water."

Congee
Slightly Adapted from My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
(Serves 4)

1 cup rice
chicken stock or liquid of choice (I used vegan non-chicken-style bouillon paste)
ginger 

To serve: 
soy sauce
scallions
roasted peanuts, jammy hard-boiled eggs, sauteed (oyster) mushrooms, capers, chili oil and/or toppings of choice

Put the rice and liquid in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pot, and let it simmer for an hour, stirring once in a while. 

The result is a thick, creamy porridge, a canvas for flavor. What you choose for garnish is completely up to you, but to me a julienne of ginger is essential, as is a little shot of really good soy sauce. Peanuts and scallions are nice, and shredded chicken or shiitakes are lovely too. It is the ultimate tonic: basic, fragrant, satisfying. 

Ruth notes: "A confession: in a pinch I've used leftover cooked rice, simply cooking it with lots of water and stirring until it collapses into the correct currency."


Notes/Results: Good flavor and texture make this the perfect comfort food, whether eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a midnight snack. I especially like how the jammy hard-boiled egg yolk mixes into the brothy rice, and the capers add their briny notes taking the place of tiny pickles. It made my stuffy nose better and I'm looking forward to enjoying more of it this week. I will make it again.


Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where the theme is Gimme a R!--Ruth Reichl recipes that feature ingredients that begin with the letter R. Here we have rice and roasted peanuts. 

And for Souper Sundays...


My friend Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared this tasty Baked Potato Soup and said, "Baked potato soup with a healthy twist.  Well, except the bacon topping 😏 On a cool day a homemade bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich is just the ticket. Healthy, economical and absolute comfort food. This is another recipe I tried from SkinnyTaste. You use potatoes and cauliflower for the base. now the toppings are to your preference and we used bacon, cheese and scallions."


Thanks to Tina for joining me this week!  

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

 

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).



 
Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "I Invited Her In" by Adele Parks, Served with a Recipe for Baked Tortellini with Kale Pesto

It's Wednesday and I am working my way over the hump and into the weekend by taking an all-day leadership class on coaching behavioral issues. I can't help thinking that some of the characters in the new novel, I Invited Her In by Adele Parks, could benefit from some coaching--although I did more yelling at them in my head than thinking about trying to change their behaviors. ;-) Instead, I'll just review the book and throw in a recipe for a pasta dish, Baked Tortellini with Kale Pesto, inspired by my reading.


Publisher's Blurb:

Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.
 
This is worse.
 
When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.
 
But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It’s the least Mel can do.
 
After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?
 
I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

Hardcover: 432 Pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (February 5, 2019)


My Review: 


This is my first book by Adele Parks which seems odd as she has 15 novels out and all have been best sellers in the U.K, but I took the tour because I love twisty, dark thrillers that keep me guessing. Unfortunately I didn't quite get that with I Invited Her In. Be it the back cover blurb, the subtitle on the front cover (and she took everything...), the foreshadowing throughout the story, or a combination of all three, I ended up figuring almost all of the twists and turns out and so the suspense and tension just wasn't there. From the beginning it's pretty clear that Abi is downright evil and Mel got on my nerves too with her actions and her reactions to the things Abi. I spent much of the book yelling at Mel and her (more likable but equally clueless) husband Ben in my head. It's not a bad book, Parks did keep me turning the pages to see how badly the friendship between Abi and Mel derailed. For me it read a bit like a slightly over-the-top Lifetime movie and I found it more of a drama of full of dark secrets and a youthful friendship gone bad, than the psychological thriller I was expecting.


-----


Author Notes: Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 3 million books and her work has been translated into 25 different languages. She has published 15 novels in the past 15 years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers. Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970’s childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

Connect with Adele on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

-----

Food Inspiration:

There was food (an alcohol) to be found in I Invited Her In, lots of family meals and British comfort food including toast and jam, tea and Hobnobs, coffee, beer and French red wine, fish fingers and baked beans on toast, a cheese and pickle sandwich, champagne, birthday cakes, gin-and-tonics, herbal teas, hot chocolate and chocolate brownies, scrambled eggs, bolognese sauce with fried mince, tomato and basil, handmade chocolates, organic grapefruit tonic in a bottle, cream tea with salmon sandwiches and little chocolate cakes, Thai food, whiskey, brandy, carrots, olives and wine, pizza delivery, meat and multiple vegetables like peas and roast potatoes, pasta and tomato sauce, pesto pasta, shepherd's pie, ice cream, lasagna, tomato and lettuce salad, tinned soup, eggs, bacon, and toast, meatballs, takeaway fish and chips, soup and crackers, jam sandwiches, strawberry milkshake, chocolate, margaritas, tacos, tostadas, and a "potato something," roast chicken, sweet potato chips and broccoli, humus, soya milk, ginger nut biscuits, cereal, chocolate milk and Nutella, Weetabixes, kebabs, red ice lollies, soft cheeses, pate, raw eggs, a C'est la Vie (a cocktail made of lime juice shaken with Ciroc vodka and French pear brandy), rainbow chard, cornmeal porridge, sea bream, duck salad and dessert.


Pasta with bolognese, lasagna, spaghetti, fish fingers, and shepherd's pie seemed to be the most common fair at Melanie's house, none of which called to me as a weeknight dinner I wanted to eat. When a recipe for Baked Tortellini with Kale Pesto popped up in my Food Network feed, I was intrigued. It had  the same feel as easy pasta comfort food but the kale added a different edge so I decided to try it for my book-inspired dish. Both the pasta and the ease of making it tie it to the book. I made up the pan on Monday night, covered it and put it in the fridge, then pulled it out, topped and baked it last night. Seemed like something working mum, Mel would do.


Baked Tortellini with Kale Pesto
(Yields 4 to 6 Servings)

kosher salt
1 12-to-14-oz package spinach and cheese tortellini
7 cups baby kale (about 8 oz) (I used regular kale)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic (I used 2 cloves)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream (I used coconut milk)
1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3 oz) (I used chunks of fresh mozzarella)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp pine nuts, roughly chopped (I forgot to buy these, so omitted)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook as the label directs. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain. Reserve the pot.

Meanwhile, puree 4 cups kale, the olive oil and garlic in a blender or food processor until almost smooth. Add ¼ cup parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth, adding up to 1/4 cup tap water if needed.

Transfer the pesto to the reserved pot along with the heavy cream; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium low; stir in the tortellini, sun-dried tomatoes and the remaining 3 cups kale, adding the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the mozzarella.

Combine the panko, pine nuts, parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the tortellini and bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.


Notes/Results: I liked this bake, but would make a few changes. You have to enjoy kale for this one, which luckily, I do. If you aren't a fan, I would use spinach as it would bypass the slight bitterness that kale has. The recipe also calls for baby kale, which was missing at my local grocery store, so I use regular kale. Next time, I would saute the kale first with the garlic, to mellow it and to soften the kale left in the casserole. I also forgot I was out of pine nuts which would have added a nice crunch to the texture. Still, about 20 minutes in the toaster oven (I cooked it longer as I had it in the fridge overnight) and I had this hot casserole ready to go and enjoyed my plate feeling a bit more virtuous about the cheese and pasta, having worked my greens in. ;-) I would make it again and will try it with spinach or other greens too.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "I Invited Her In" was provided to me by the author and the publisher via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.