Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This past summer, my friend Penny invited Honeybee and I over for a little dinner and board games. Being an avid board game player (Taboo; Catch Phrase; Balderdash), I accepted with enthusiasm.

Penny, not her real name, is a very accomplished Yoga instructor and musician. She's also cautious about what she eats. Naturally health conscience, her diet appears to have a holistic slant. She's incredibly knowledgeable of 'smart foods' and frequently shares dietary ideas that can have powerful effects in other areas of your life ... and yet, I still choose to hang out with her. No, seriously, she's lovely, funny and sharp. She's also great at board games. 

Although I'm not a slob, I can't say that I'm the kind of person that seeks out the healthiest options in grocery stores (my box of Special K cereal often rests in the shopping carriage right on top of some pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream).

So, I naturally had a "What the eff is that?" expression on my face when Penny 'splayed out a large platter of homemade Kale Chips in the middle of the game table. (See Picture)

I had never seen anything green offered as a game night snack, barring an occasional overly seasoned Hint of Lime Tostido. As much as I looked forward to the calories I wouldn't be ingesting, I was puzzled by the other folks at the party. Smiles, when they weren't stuffing their faces, all around.

Honeybee was enjoying them thoroughly (his leg shakes when he's happy, much like Goofy in Walt Disney cartoons).

"Hun, you have to try one," he said. "You will like them."

He's usually right, so I picked one up. Even in my hand, I wasn't quite sure, as some edges were crispy, and other areas of the "chip" were soggy. It just felt wrong. I was expecting the chip to taste like a broccoli flavored Triscuit, which would've made me unhappy.

I bit in. Chewy, crunchy, healthy, salty, tangy deliciousness filled my mouth. I couldn't believe it. I am a salt junkie, but that wasn't the prominent flavor. It was the addictive texture - a little something for everyone. Penny is a great cook, so individual results will most likely vary.

But wait there's more ... Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium ... and yes, I cut and pasted that from wikipedia.

Here's a recipe from allrecipes(dot)com. Super easy to make! Try it!

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  1. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. 
  2. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. 
  3. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  4. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.                 


Sunday, September 25, 2011


I'm not much of a drinker.  I blame (and thank) my dad, may he rest in peace.  

When I was a kid, and I'm speaking of a time when I was in the single digits of my life, my dad would give me "sips" of beer. Sometimes a can. Even back when I was eight, I knew that Budweiser he was drinking was crap. (My dad was a drunk on a budget, basically.)

Anyway, sips here, sips there. This wasn't BudLight by the way, so yes, not only was I getting buzzed at the age of eight, I was accumulating oodles of unnecessary carbs.  I must state that my parents were divorced at this time, so my mom is in no way accountable for my underage drinking nor my caloric intake. 

All those sips add up, and by the time I could drink legally, I was a little burnt out on beer. The taste of it actually nauseated me. Many, many, many years later, when I moved to NYC, I realize that, "hey, this city is effing expensive ... and beer is always the cheapest thing on the chalk boards of the dives I'm going to. I guess I should rethink this relationship."

So I experimented, with my beloved Honeybee (a german) as my guide. I now have two favorite beers, which of course, dear readers, are both a tad pricey. I love the Belgian beer Duvel, which is just flat our expensive unless you buy it at Trader Joe's, and I love Brooklyn, NY's own Sixpoint Crisp.

Both of these beers are super-fizzy, have a lovely light freshness to them, and don't cause me to bloat. They're both rather highbrow (Duvel comes corked; Crisp comes in packs of four, not six), so if you're ever on a date, or a drinking business meeting, step it up and order one of these puppies. 

You'll get all the fizzy buzz without any of the fatty bloat. For more on Sixpoint, here's their info:  http://sixpoint.com/