August 31, 2011

Cream to my Coffee Card

I swear this is the last of the posts related to the husband's birthday :) Here's the card I made for him, inspired by a poke around Pinterest where I spied this poster and a poke around my supplies where I spied this underused stamp and put two and two together to create this:

All papers, stickers, twine and inks from The Paperie.
Stamp was picked up in Halifax ages ago.

August 30, 2011

Sticky Sweet

I had a plan for today's post. My plan was to share with you a couple of new recipes I was trying for Des' birthday barbecue feast. I had planned to take a bunch of the step-by-step photos and finished dishes for your enjoyment. Unfortunately, like many good plans, it didn't survive first contact with the enemy.

The enemy: yesterday's humidity.

Whoever said barbecuing was the perfect solution to supper on hot days was someone who's idea of a barbecue is throwing wieners on the grill and calling it a day. That wasn't my plan. Like most good barbecue recipes, mine were a bit more labour intensive than that and required some prep time in the kitchen before anything could hit the grill. Doing that prep in a hot kitchen with little airflow and a baby is not recommended.

On the menu were these ribs, this coleslaw, corn and baby potatoes. I planned to get things going late afternoon while my husband was out at an appointment. It was his birthday, so I wanted him to have to do nothing other than be all man-like with tongs at the barbecue when it was time to actually grill. So around 4ish I started with the ribs that needed to be parboiled for 45 minutes to an hour. Once I had those going full bore on the stove, I moved on to the sauce that needed to be mixed and simmered. Once that was fired up on the next element, it was onto the coleslaw. The coleslaw, while easy, required shredding, chopping and mixing. Then the potatoes, as simple as they were, needed to be chopped and tossed with herbs and oil. The corn had to be husked. Undertaking these tasks when the humidex is making it feel like 34 degrees outside (I don't even want to know what it was like inside with the stove elements aglow and me getting my chop-n-dice on) is not fun.

Oh and did I mention there had been a request for a flourless chocolate cake, which had been baked in a 350 degree oven. I was hot, sticky, clammy, you name it. Even my knees were forming condensation. Or maybe that was sweat. Whatever it was, it wasn't pleasant. Add to that a baby who was about as keen as I was to be in that kitchen in that heat and I think you're feelin' me.

With the ribs and sauce on the go, I was trying to mix the slaw when I realized the boy had spit up over himself and the chair he was in. So I stopped what I was doing, stripped him and moved him to another baby containing item while I cleaned the chair. I had just resumed the slaw when he spit up again. Another wipe down of him and the chair along with relocation to his play mat. Back to the slaw. After a moment I realized the boy had become quiet and thought "am I lucky enough that he's drifted off to sleep on his mat?" No. No I am not. He had just spit up again (yes, again... clearly he doesn't do well in humidity) and was now rolling around in it. Yeah. That's right. Ear to ear people. Ear to ear. More clean up. I must have washed my hands, his face and his belongings about a zillion times in this process... using warm water of course.

By the time Des returned home my plan of having him not do anything but grill was foiled. I had to get him to husk the corn and set the table. You see, I still had cream to whip to top the cake. Ever try whipping cream in 34 degree humidity? Well, if not, don't. Even with a chilled bowl and beaters it was a challenging ordeal. And yes, I could have (and should have) done some of this prep work the evening before, but I simply wasn't anticipating the humidity. All this to say, my plan of taking photos of the ribs and slaw recipes was aborted very early on. I think somewhere around the first wipe of the brow or perhaps the first wipe of spit up. I did start out with good intentions:

The fennel in slicing progress

The cabbage being prepared for the food processor
... and this is the last prep shot I took
Nonetheless, once all was said and done and everything was on the grill and I kicked back with a glass of vino chatting with my husband and a friend who joined us for the feast, it was all good. And once everything hit the plates, it was better again and most definitely worth the effort. The rib sauce was delish. The slaw was the right amount of tangy. The corn and potatoes grilled to perfection. And the flourless chocolate cake topped with cinnamon whipped cream the perfect finish to the meal. Better than all of that was my husband's smile that said "I'm stuffed to the gills and going to retire to the garage for a cigar now thank you very much."

happy as a clam he was

So, while my plan for this blog post failed, my plan for my husband's birthday supper was a sticky sweet success.

Post edit: Coleslaw link edited to correct link.

August 29, 2011

Celebrating My Husband

Today is my handsome hubby's birthday. Now, I could go on and on and on about how much I love him and how wonderful he is and how handsome and, and, and. I could create a list of all the things I love about him, one thing (or two or three) for every year that he is old. I could wax poetic ad nauseum with ease. Really, I could. But I won't. And not out of courtesy for you my dear readers, but out of courtesy for him. See, he would not really like that. He would tolerate it well, for me (like he did with this post), but he just isn't one for that type of recognition.

So instead, I'll keep it simple. I'll share with you this photo that captures a favorite moment of mine from this past weekend. A photo that really says how wonderful he is much better than I ever could in words.

I love you babe.

Happy, happy birthday from the boy and me.

August 25, 2011

Sharing a Soule-ful Post

After the past few days, I'm enjoying some quiet time in my home. My day started early too. My baby snuggled in the bed with me just a little while. The coffee pot was on and the first cup enjoyed before my husband roused from his slumber. The sun rising higher in the sky and the day is unfolding before us. Perhaps that's why today's post on sat nicely with me this morning. In case it might sit nicely with you too:

August 24, 2011


Today we bury Hudson's Grandad Ryan. Even though he may be too young to remember him in person, his Dad and I will be sure he knows all about him. He really is a lucky boy to have met all of his grandparents.

Here's a layout I made of Hudson with his Grandad, which we displayed at the funeral home over the past couple of days:

Journaling: Their lives intertwined for only a short time, but it was enough to share love and happiness.
Hudson brought a smile to Grandad's face every time he saw him.
You could tell how proud he was if his youngest grandchild.
Though Hudson may not remember Grandad Ryan as he gets older,
he will know how much his Grandad loved him.

To everyone who has sent their condolences, offered a helping hand and was simply there for our family, thank you so much. Your thoughtfulness has been much appreciated.

August 23, 2011

It's a Terrible Thing to Say...

On Friday, my father-in-law passed away. At 82 years old, his passing was a long time coming. He had been far from 100% for many years and certainly more unwell in recent months. Around mid-August he was admitted to hospital where he continually declined until he ultimately passed away.

In the weeks and days leading up to his death and in the days since, similar words were said and repeated over and over. Almost everyone had said something along the lines of "It's a terrible thing to say, but he would be/is better gone." And yes, it certainly sounds like something that's terrible to think, feel or say, but each and every time I heard it, I found myself thinking that it's really not such a terrible thing to say.

The phrasing might sound bad, but the intent is pure and good. In wishing for his final moment on earth, everyone was really seeking mercy, rest and peace for his soul. No one was asking for anything but the inevitable. He had been unwell, was worsening day by day and had almost no hope for any sort of recovery. He himself had said many times before, most notably in recent months, that he was ready to go. That he wanted to go. He had made it clear he did not want to be where he was in those final days and hours.

As Christians, specifically as Catholics, our family believes in life ever after and that there is a place in heaven for us once we pass. For our family, particularly his wife and children, the last couple of weeks have been long and tiring. Time has passed slowly, mostly spent waiting and wondering. If that was the case for us, we can only imagine how he must have felt.

He was no longer living, but dying. Knowing that, seeking reprieve for his body and mind is far from a terrible thing. We know in our hearts, through our faith, that he is now in the arms of God and that is truly a wonderful thing. May he rest in peace forever more.

August 22, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

I recently indulged my husband's enjoyment of homemade scones and whipped up a batch of lemon poppy seed ones for a late morning breakfast. Normally I shy away from scones whipping up batches of muffins, sweet loafs or egg-based goodies instead. As a rule, these items are less messy and less risky (ever had a dry scone?  Probably the result of a chemical imbalance in the ingredients or an overzealous kneader...see, risky) scones. But, seeing how my hubby has occasionally requested scones in recent months, I decided to get over my Type A control/neat freak self and get down to (risky) business in the kitchen. Must be love.

I used this recipe as a base with a couple of modifications, namely using half white flour and half cake/pastry flour instead of all one kind and using cream instead of buttermilk. I also used this trick for cutting in the butter and loved it. Normally I'd use the food processor but hubby was sleeping, as was the boy, so I feared it would wake them (homemade scones = risky business). I was also feeling too lazy for the fork/pastry cutter method. But the grating-frozen-butter method worked like a charm!

I do apologize for the lack of step-by-step recipe photos, but the mess of flour, poppy seeds and batter that covered my kitchen counter and hands simply did not abide (see above reference re: control/neat freak). Hopefully the finished product shot will be enough to satiate you.

Fresh from the oven topped with homemade blueberry basil jam gifted from a friend (as seen here) and a dollop of organic yogurt, they were more than worth the risk and the mess.

August 19, 2011

Friday Funny

I saw this video via a friend's facebook post this morning and it made me smile. I really needed that this morning. Just in case you could use a smile today too, here's a Friday funny for you: Anderson Cooper loses it in a fit of giggles over a series of bathroom related puns on his show.

Happy Friday everyone!

August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday Trio

L-R: Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Brandied Apricots, Blueberry Basil Jam

Today, I am thankful for:

1. Friends
2. Jars of homemade goodness
3. Friends who make jars of homemade goodness + share.

What about you, what are you thankful for today?

August 16, 2011

Week in the Life 2011 - Finished Album

Cover Page
I want to say I've finally finished my Week in the Life 2011 album, but given it took me until 2011 to finish my 2010 album I think I'm a bit ahead of the game this year ;) In any case. I'm super happy it's done. I always enjoy doing it, but also tire a little of the process by the end so having it wrapped up and seeing the final pages all together is awesome.

I stuck with the general design I mentioned here with one larger photo/daily story on the left hand side, the grid collage of photos on the right hand side and a baseball card sheet in the middle containing more stuff. Compared to last year, I took more photos and kept less "stuff" from the week, so the middle sheet is mostly photos with a few bits of daily life, like receipts, and then filled in with additional paper and embellishments. I kind of like this better, as I have such a hard time picking photos - always seems as though I like each one as much as the one before! 

To keep the process really simple as I put it all together, I just picked a few pieces of coordinating paper, a handful of embellishments and a few paper punches and then took it all away from my usual scrapbooking area, putting the album together elsewhere (living room, my mom's house, dining room, etc). This way, I wasn't tempted to go find the "perfect" add on and just went with what I had. Way quicker, way easier than my usual process. Loved that.

As I pulled it together I found some "problems" - I had sized the journaling cards wrong for middle sheet, cut a few pictures uneven, stuck something in the "wrong" place and couldn't move it, etc. Normally I would have tried to redo it the way I had planned, but for this album I went with it. I just trimmed the journaling cards down, which meant the lines around the edge were gone. I added a strip of extra paper to the edge of a photo. And so on. My theory: No one else will ever know (well of course you know now cause I told you, but you know what I mean). My husband won't notice (or care). When Hudson gets older, he won't notice (or care). My mom looked at it before the extra embellishments were on the pages and she didn't notice (or care). What's important is that the stories are there, not that it's not perfect.

Now that it's all together, I am happy and ready to move on to something else. I'm ready to look back at it with a smile. I'm ready to share it with my family. And with you. Enjoy:




postcard we received from our niece who's away for the summer in NY





And there you have it folks - another week in our lives. Thanks for looking!
and that's a wrap!

August 15, 2011


Summer has finally seemed to arrive here on the Avalon. Or at least the last two days have been sunny and warm and today is *supposed* to say ditto. Better late than never I s'pose. So please excuse me while I take today to soak it all in before the rain strikes again (tomorrow if Environment Canada is accurate). Who knows what the day holds in store, but I'm willing to bet it'll include some more of this goodness:

me and my dude - summertime and the livin' is easy
Slather on the sunscreen folks and get the stink of house of you. Enjoy the day and I'll meet you back here tomorrow with my finished Week in the Life 2011 album.

August 12, 2011

Birthday {Cake}

You know it's a good birthday when it starts and ends with cake!

Banana Pan{cake}s to start the day!

and chocolate {cake} just before midnight to wrap it up.
T'was a grand day to turn 33 if you ask me.

August 11, 2011

Thirty-Three Thankful Things

Today is my 33rd birthday and what better way to celebrate than to count my blessings! So please indulge me as I list of thirty-three things I'm thankful for on this my thirty-third year of life:
  1. My husband. The best ever.
  2. My boy. The best ever.
  3. My family. Both the one I was blessed to be born into and the one I was lucky enough to marry into.
  4. More specifically, my mother. The best ever. {ok I'll stop that now}.
  5. My faith. God is good.
  6. Having family close by. 
  7. My health. Certainly something I don't take for granted.
  8. Running. Running is a privilege, not a right and I know that, even when I don't like it.
  9. Being Canadian.
  10. Having a roof over my head, especially one that I truly love.
  11. My closest girlfriends {you know who you are}. Life wouldn't be the same without them.
  12. Dark Chocolate.
  13. Wine.
  14. Pasta.
  15. Maternity leave.
  16. Buying new jeans in my pre-preggo size. Yep, did that yesterday. Yay me!
  17. Good books. Most recently, The Help & Water for Elephants.
  18. Sunshine {when we get to see it}.
  19. The fresh salt water air that surrounds me.
  20. Having paid off my student loan in early 2011, years earlier than expected.
  21. Having a job I can say I like.
  22. Scrapbooking.
  23. Photographs. They tell the stories of our lives, they keep our memories fresh.
  24. Having travelled to many places on my "must see" list already, including London, Italy, France, Ireland, Scotland, NYC, San Diego, Cuba and almost every province in Canada. Many more places left to see and hopefully many years ahead to see them.
  25. Having a good education.
  26. Having the right to vote.
  27. Sleep-in mornings {though they`re few and far between these days}.
  28. Hot showers.
  29. Public health care. Don`t ever take that for granted.
  30. The Internet. Blogs, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia. Man, what did we ever do without it?
  31. The smell of woodsmoke in the fall {or in August if you`re in NL this summer}
  32. A clean house. Even if I`m the one who has to clean it.
  33. 33 years of wonderful life and memories.

Me enjoying yummy Moo Moo's ice cream cake on my 32nd birthday
We'll see what's in store for this birthday as the day unfolds!

August 10, 2011

Week in the Life 2011 Comes Together

Wow. It is awesome to look back on a full week of photos. I captured the ordinary and the extraordinary. The routine and the unusual. I see lives intertwined. I see relationships. I see {love}. Each picture holds many stories. There are the stories that are obvious, the what-you-see-is-what-you-get story. There are stories that are subtle, the behind-the-scenes story. There are probably stories that will even go untold in this particular album because time and space create limitations. For those stories, I'll print doubles, make notes and tell them another time. Right now, I'm focusing on pulling together the photos and words that will tell the story of our life from July 25-31, 2011. And I'm happy as can be with that.

My 2011 album is in progress. I decided not to go with Ali's templates this time around. While I loved having those last time and loved, loved, loved the way the 2010 album came together, it was also somewhat of a hindrance for me. It was partly why I didn't get the 2010 album finally clued up until 2011. I first had to learn to use the digital templates, as I'm more of a traditional scrapbooker - I like my paper and scissors and tape. So that took some time. Though, part of why I went with the templates last year was to learn more about using digital templates and that was a success. {Thank you Ali for your tutorials} Then, I wanted to use similar supplies, not all of which were available here in my corner of the world. So I had to wait for them to arrive by mail by which time other projects and priorities crept in. By which time my motivation was waning. So, this year, I decided to do my own thing, keep it simple and get those stories told.

Right now, my craft space looks a little like a tornado of paper and photos blew through:

of course no scrapbooking is complete without some dark chocolate, assuming you can find it amongst the mess!
Right now I'm working with one larger photo, the day/date and overall story on the left hand side of the page, something like this:

And then, on the right hand side of the page, I'm using a simple grid design to hold a few other fave photos and paper, something like this:

These pages still need some embellishments and such to finish them up. In between each of these daily spreads there will also be a baseball card protector holding more photos, ephemera, shorter stories, paper scraps and so on. I don't have any of those pulled together yet, but they will look like what you saw in the 2010 album.

My hope is that the use of white space, repeated design and a limited few papers and embellishments will create unity, make this easy and stress free. Hopefully next week, I'll have more to share.

August 9, 2011

A New Olympic Sport

I'm in the backseat of the car. Pulled over on the side of the road. Beads of salty sweat have started to form on my face.I'm contorted into a position I'm sure I haven't seen since high school gym class or that yoga session I did a few years back. My legs are cramping up and I have a kink in my neck. The windows are getting steamy as the heat inside the car rises. No, I wasn't up to anything nearly as bawdy as it sounds. But let me tell you it was certainly as dirty. I was changing a diaper.

As I mentioned yesterday, we spent the weekend in Bonavista attending a lovely wedding. Making our way back to town on Sunday morning, we were somewhere between Port Union and Port Rexton when my darling boy put on his poo face. Yep. All red, scrunched and grunty, we immediately knew what he was up to. Shortly thereafter a certain parfum d'boy confirmed it. And while my boy is ok to hang out in a wet diaper pretty much all day if you left him alone (which, for the record, we don't!), he is not ok sitting in his own poo and let's us know it. Though really, I don't blame him.

Fortunately, we were planning to stop at the Two Whales Cafe in Port Rexton to grab a couple of decent coffees for the road, so it made sense to change him there. We pulled into the cafe and Des went in for the coffees while I tackled the backseat diaper change. My theory was it was unlikely the cafe had a change table in the washroom, so I'd end up laying the boy on the floor and I was convinced the backseat of our car was probably cleaner. In hindsight, while the car might have been cleaner, the washroom floor was likely more spacious. 20/20 indeed.

Of course, with the car seat back there there's only 2/3s of the backseat left to use. I couldn't open the door and lean into the car thanks to the ongoing dreadful weather saga that has been our so-called summer. So that left me sitting on about 1/3 of the seat and, well, you can do the math from there. I first hauled out all the gear I'd need from the diaper bag crammed on the floor by my feet - clean diaper, wipes, cream and change pad - and set myself up. Stretching myself across the great divide of the car, I managed to get the fragrant, whiny boy out of his seat onto the change pad. I stripped off his pants and sweater (thanks again to the summer that wasn't), unsnapped his onesie and got down to business on his business.

Same crap, different day :)
This was one of our warmer days, so I could stand outside for the task at hand!
But alas, no sooner was the diaper untabbed, he decided to pee. Anyone who has had boys knows what kind of disaster that is - it sprays up and out and over covering everything in it's path. Instinctively, I cup my hand over the warm stream, attempting to contain the damage as best I can (and  yes that's about as unfun as it sounds) and succeeded in redirecting most of the spray back into the already dirty diaper. However, Hudson did manage to soak his onesie, the change pad, the clean diaper and his rattle toy thingy enough that it was all rendered unfit for further use at the present time. Sigh. 

I contort myself into another position to get another diaper, another onesie and another toy out of the diaper bag and re-contort back into position to get this mess cleaned up. I roll the boy slightly to the left to dry off the change pad, which is thankfully vinyl. I then strip, wipe, cream and diaper the boy and manage to redress him in his clean shirt and his pants, deciding not to attempt putting the sweater back on - it was now warm enough in the car anyways, if only due to the panting and sweating I had going on. Phew, there that's done.

Or not. Just as I'm bagging up the dirty diaper and laundry, glancing longingly out the window to see if my espresso is en route, the poo face makes an encore appearance. You have to be kidding me kid?! But alas, kid he does not, just grunt and scrunch. I wait it out this time. I am making sure he is done this business before I go back in. Sigh. Then once again I twist myself around for new diaper supplies and re-twist for more undressing and undiapering, with some praying that the pee stream is not also planning it's encore. I re-wipe, re-cream, re-diaper and re-dress the boy. Phew, there that's done. Again.

Just then my darling husband appears with coffee and sweets and not a moment to soon. I enlist his help in getting the boy back in the seat while I tidy up the remnants of the event all while wiping the sweat from my brow and warding of the charlie horse that's threatening to make it's cameo. In all seriousness, if you've never changed a child in the backseat of a car, I assure you it should qualify as a new Olympic sport. It has sweat, panting, muscle-cramping and requires good balance, timing and determination. Though, by that criteria I guess the more bawdy backseat activity you were all thinking of earlier would also qualify. Somehow I doubt the IOC will go for that. 

But I digress. After all my hard work, the boy was smiling once again and, thanks to the americano, sweet treats and the abundance of hand sanitizer that I allowed me to enjoy it, so was I. And yes, you can just call me Mrs. Olympian from here on out.

August 8, 2011

Wedding Wishes

I had the privilege of attending a beautiful wedding in Bonavista on the weekend. I love weddings - planning them, Reading about them, attending them. Of course, that's primarily because it's awesome to watch to people in love become husband and wife and to celebrate in their joy. It's also because weddings are such a reflection of personal style, and well, I'm into that kinda thing.

When I attend weddings, I try to make a card that is inspired by the wedding invitation. People spend so much time picking colours and choosing their designs, I think it adds something special to the card to incorporate that somehow. So, here's the card I created for this wedding and you can see the wedding invite and envelope beneath it:

As you can see, I used the colours and general design as the base of the card. I had a circle flower stamp set from Hero Arts that I used to mimic the look of the flower/pinwheels and clustered them together in the same way. I used a plain old hole puncher and backed the holes with paper in the wedding colours on the bottom for added dimension and then used the sparkly ribbon and gemstones in the circles for added bling. Tis a wedding after all! I finished it all up with a Happy (on outside) Together (on inside) stamp using one of my favourite sentiment stamp sets from Stampin' Up (note: I'm not sure they carry this one any more, but they have other similar ones that I love on pages 166-167 of the 2011-2012 catalogue).

So nice and bright and cheery. I really liked the way it turned out and hope the bride does too!

August 5, 2011

a {perfect} day for...

Well, it's another rainy, drizzly, foggy day here in Newfoundland making it the perfect day for...

... hanging out in pajamas til at least noon.

... sipping on coffee (in said pajamas til noon!)

... crafting a card or two, maybe inspired by something pinned here

... working on my week in the life album - the words are written and it's onto picture editing & printing.

... playing and reading and talking inside

What about, how are you spending your Friday?

Whatever you do, I hope it's the start of a very happy weekend.

August 4, 2011

@ 4 Months

I can't believe we're into month 8 of 2011 already, nor can I believe we've had our little man for a third of a year. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun!

@ 4 months, Hudson

... has really settled into a more predictable routine of sleeping, eating and playing. Makes planning and doing things with him a whole lot easier. {Please don't remind me this will change with a growth spurt, teething, travel or something other teeny tiny factor, I'm all too aware. I'm just trying to live in the present!}

... has slept through his first full night of sleep {back on July 17, but hey who's recording those stats!} and has kept up a really good nighttime sleep schedule ever since.

rockin' the grobag ... though he still loves his swaddle too!
... is showing early signs of being a crawler, pushing his little legs with all his might and grabbing whatever he can with his hands to pull himself along.

... has started sharing the best little belly laughs with us, accompanied by that ever-cute gummy grin.

... still has most of his newborn baby hair, aside from the little patch wearing thin in the back.

... can grab and hold things in his hands, which usually mean they end up in his mouth too:)

... enjoys hanging out in his Tigger jolly jumper - though he's not quite figured out the whole 'now you're bouncin' bit yet.

... usually falls asleep in the car, almost definitely if said car is going 100km/hr on the highway {seems he has his dad's need for speed!}.
... continues to grow like a weed, with the chubbiest little turkey legs and cutest elbow dimples in town!

... can roll from his belly to his back and is making good progress toward rolling from back to belly.

... has discovered his toes and loves to suck on his hands & feet whenever he gets a chance.

... likes to be held and cuddled and snuggled {thankfully sighs mama who loves to do that all day long!}

post-bath cuddles are the bestest of all!

Happy 4 Months Hudson P!

August 3, 2011

look at that hair!

I have soooo many pictures of Hudson from his first few months of life. I know I'll never come close to scrapping them all. I will, however, scrap the ones that tell stories I want to remember years from now, like the one about how much hair he had.

Born with a headful, the first remark from family and strangers alike was/is almost always "look at that hair!" And who could blame them - most babies don't have as much hair at one year as he did at one day. Of course, being his mama, I play with it incessantly styling it into an assortment of different hairdo's ... and then snap pics that he'll likely cringe at around age 13. But really, what else are mamas for?

August 2, 2011

Kale Chips

I can't help but think of the reaction my sister and bro-in-law will have to this recipe. You see, in their view I already eat like a rabbit. You know, consuming things like carrots, broccoli and spinach - none of which appeals to their tastebuds in any way, shape or form. You can imagine how they'd feel about kale chips. Though, initially I hardly blamed them on this one. Even for me, baking a curly green leafy veg until crisp and calling a chip seemed like a stretch. That is until I tried it.

Don't judge a book by it's cover, isn't that the saying?
I had seen kale chip recipes before, here and there, and shied away. My inner sister coming through I suppose, but they just didn't seem that appealing. Then I started seeing various mentions popping up all over the place - on blogs I frequent, in friends' facebook status updates, in magazines, etc. And when a friend noted on facebook that even her kids snapped them up and - wait for it - asked for them, I thought I gotta give this a go. Sometime. Maybe.

Then, lo and behold, last week during our visit to Lesters Farm Market there was fresh, local kale on the shelf. T'was now or never.

kale's in the bag
I pulled up a few different recipes online and then just went with my own variation, as follows:

I started with a bunch of kale, 1 tbsp EVOO, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp chili powder

Cut kale away from ribs and cut or tear leaves into bite size pieces.

Toss with olive oil and get leaves coated. 1 tbsp was more than enough, you just want the leaves lightly covered as otherwise they'll crisp up too much and/or burn quickly.

Then sprinkle with sea salt to taste. This is where the end result gets a close resemblance to "real" chips in flavour. I used 1 tsp, but it was a bit much for our tastes given we eat very little salt in this house. I will definitely cut that back by half next time. But if salt is your thing or you want that salty chip flavour, give 'er.

Then sprinkle with chili powder (note that this is a bit more than a tsp and I didn't use all that's shown here - good thing too as it was perfectly spicy with just the 1 tsp). Here's where you can play. A few recipes I read varied spices from nothing other than salt to cayenne to curry, even parmesan and asiago cheese. I'm going to give the curry a go sometime for sure!

Spread kale on baking sheet (lined for easy clean up if desired) and bake in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Watch closely as the leaves will brown up quickly once it gets going. I ended up taking mine out at 11 minutes. Apparently, they'll take on a bitter taste if burnt or browned to much, so you're going for crispy and just lightly browned edges.

Serve and enjoy.

And that's exactly what we did. This entire bowl was consumed by two adults in short order and unanimously agreed that we'd I'd make it again. I can't say they taste exactly like your favourite bag of Frito-Lays, but they're a great fantastic healthier substitute. The oil gives them that slightly greasy feel we all love about chips, the salt adds that 'you can't stop at just one' taste and the crisp is like that of a good thin chip. Even better, they take no more than 15-20 minutes to make, so you can whip 'em up fresh just about anytime you get the craving for a salty treat.

If you make 'em, lemme know what you think.