“What is this?” you say.
“Why is there a bag hanging on a sparkling unicorn?”
Because today is a #kaleday which is a part of #kaleweek. Two made up things I created with my oldest, dearest friend Laura. And that bag is one of our new Kale Tote creations.
Laura and I share a dark, bizarre sense of humor, 26 years of watching our mother’s redecorate their kitchens over and over again and a beautiful love affair with cooking and eating.
This strange cocktail of ingredients not only has created a wonderful friendship that has stood the test of time and two continents, but it has also led to the creation of our new kale-themed product line.
The world is a beautiful mystery, as I’ve said before.
Laura and I have been saying for years, YEARS, that we needed to collaborate creatively. And I never dreamed this would be how it would start. But low and behold, we’ve done it. What began as a bumper sticker reading “let them eat quinoa” that Laura’s sister, Chiara, spotted has turned into a much more refined and hilarious twist on Marie Antoinette’s saying paired with my watercolor illustration.
And of course, if you’re going to give a mouse a cookie twist on famous slogan, you MUST try your hand at “Keep Calm and Cary On”, the most abused saying of all time. We happen to think our version is rather surprisingly chic…
You see, as it turns out, kale happens to be the perfect one syllable word to squeeze into preexisting phrases. Kale was already amazing, making people healthy while actually tasting good, and now it turns out to have extraordinary literary skills too. What more could you want in a leafy vegetable?
So we decided it was time to create something, something new and different. Not a set of note cards. Something you could use in your daily, modern life. And if your daily modern life is anything like ours, then you probably run a lot of errands, and try to cook as healthily/interestingly as you can. So note pads for grocery lists were a must. And a shopping bag to turn the experience of toting around a recyclable bag from granola-hippy to illustration-chic. And voila, this is what we came up with.
So be sure to grab a notepad and/or tote bag before Christmas. These stocking stuffers are perfect for anyone who loves humor, eating, writing detailed lists, shopping and/or my illustrations.
You might even need a few for your self. Don’t you want to join Laura and I and become a Kale Sister? We have big things in store… starting with two delicious ways to enjoy kale.
Laura’s Kale fit for a Queen:
1/2 cup finely diced shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large bunch of kale, de-ribbed and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 tbs mustard
In a broad, deep sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over low heat. Add 1/2 cup of finely diced shallot and sautee until soft and golden. Once the shallot is cooked, add the chopped kale, minced garlic, hot red pepper flakes, and 3/4 cup chicken stock. Cover the pan and wilt the kale over low heat, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If the kale is burning on the bottom, add a bit more chicken stock stock.) After 15 minutes- or untilkale is cooked to preferred tenderness- stir in the 1/2 cup mascarpone and 1 tablespoon mustard. Adjust with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
And Inslee’s Kale a la Quinoa:
a reasonable amount of olive oil
1 small onion (diced)
1 cup white quinoa (rinsed)
2 cups of water
3 cups of chopped and deribbed kale
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
aggressive pinch of red pepper flakes
a hearty handful of pinenuts (toasted)
a very hearty grinding of parmesan cheese
3 strips of bacon (diced)
Cook bacon and set aside to cool.
Heat a medium sauce pan with olive oil and add the onions. Sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and toast it lightly for about 2 minutes before adding kale and water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 18 minutes. Let it cool and fluff with a fork.
In a small bowl, wisk together the vinegar and mustard with pepper flakes, salt and pepper and then slowly add the olive oil, wisking continuously to emulsify. Mix this with the bacon to create a magical concoction and toss it in with the quinoa, pine nuts and parmesan cheese.