Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recipe: "Stir Fry" with Bacon, Kale, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Garlic and Onions

This is all I've been wanting to eat lately.

Seriously... I've made it twice in the past five days. It's that good. In my quest to eat more vegetables, I picked up a bag of "organic kale salad" from my local grocery store, not really knowing what to do with it. It sat in my fridge for a day or two, looking sad and alone in my vegetable drawer.

If you're afraid of kale, don't worry. I ate it without much enthusiasm as a kid. There was something about the soggy texture of boiled kale that really didn't do much for me. But this recipe, oh man... it's different. This time, the kale ia sauteed with caramelized roasted sweet potatoes and onions and, well, lots of bacon. It really surprised me how good this is. And it's not soggy in the slightest!

This recipe might take a bit of time, but the beauty of it is that you can roast the veggies beforehand, or go and do other things while they're in the oven. The actual stir-frying part doesn't take very long at all.

Here's what you need to make two (large) sides:

For the roasted vegetables:
1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 a sweet onion, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, still in the skin
Juice of 1/2 an orange, roughly (about 1-2 tablespoons, depending on taste)
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pepper, to taste

For the stir fry:
3 cups chopped kale (or pre-chopped kale salad, like I used. My mix also had bits of carrot and red cabbage, but just regular kale would work fine, too)
3-4 slices of bacon, 1 tablespoon of drippings reserved (in the same pan)
The rest of the juice from the same 1/2 of an orange you used earlier.

How To Make It:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2) While the oven is preheating, chop up your vegetables. Cut your sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes, slice up your onion, and cut the tips off of your garlic cloves, which should stay in their skins through the roasting process. Cut your orange in half and put away the one you won't use--or eat it!

3) On a cookie sheet, lay out a biggish piece of tin foil. Pour some olive oil on the tin foil.

4) Place your veggies on the tin foil, toss with your fingers to coat with the oil. Sprinkle on your salt and pepper, and squeeze on the orange juice, careful to get as much as possible on the veggies themselves. Put the veggies in the oven, and leave them alone for about 15 minutes. Then, with tongs, or a fork, gently toss them to flip them over and put them back in the oven for about another 15 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn. The veggies are done when the sweet potatoes are fork-tender and starting to carmelize. Try not to eat all of them before you get to the next step.

5) While the veggies are roasting, get out your bacon. Cut in small pieces and fry in a skillet until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Check and see how much grease is in the pan; there should be a little less than 1 tablespoon left. You can either drain this fat and use olive oil to fry your kale (why??), or fry it in the bacon fat. Or I guess you could do a combination of both. Whatever. I used the bacon fat and it worked just fine.

6) After the bacon is cooked and the veggies are out of the oven, take out your kale. De-stem and chop it if need be into 1-2 inch pieces. At this time, also remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and mince. Heat your skillet to medium (or medium-low, depending on how how your oven is). Add the kale and garlic to your oil of choice and cook in the fat until wilted, about 5-8 minutes or so. Make sure that it is more on the side of wilted than crunchy, or it takes on more of a sulphury (is that a word?) taste.

7) When the kale is almost done, add in your bacon pieces and roasted vegetables. Stir to combine, turning up the heat until the sizzling gets a little louder (but not angry). If it needs more liquid, squeeze in a bit more orange juice. Cook until everything is warmed through and the kale is done to your liking.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trial Videos

Cedar and I had a NADAC agility trial this weekend, fairly local. I couldn't decide until the last minute whether I wanted to enter or not, because I'm so stressed and busy lately. I definitely felt the absence of brain power this weekend (hah), but overall I'm glad we entered. We did pretty well, earning five Q's and our OJC (Open Jumpers) title. We earned Q's in Jumpers, Chances, and Tunnelers, and put down some pretty smokin' runs :) All of our Q's also resulted in first places. Although we didn't get any Q's in Open Regular, I was very proud of the fact that Cedar was able to complete all 12 weave poles in most of her runs, as we've been having (and still are having) issues transitioning from 6 to 12 weaves in trials.

Cedar hanging out in my chair at the trial (crappy iPhone pic)

Anyways, here are a few videos:

Novice Tunnelers (we had the fastest time of anyone in this class from all levels!):

Open Jumpers (Legs 1, 2, and 3/New Title):


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our Interview

It's posted!

Here is the link to our interview on Coffee With A Canine. Check it out!

Moss also thinks you should check out our interview. Or throw the toy for him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We're Gonna Be Famous!

Hey, Moss!

Wut? Toy? Foodz?

Me, you, Cedar and Scully are going to be featured on Coffee With A Canine!

Huh? Toy? Foodz?

No, really. They interviewed me this week, and our post will be up in about a week or so!


Moss, forget about the toys and food for a minute. Do you know what this means? We're going to be famous! People everywhere will know about our blog and get to read about our adventures!


Oh, nevermind.

Cedar, you're with me, right?

If I stare at her long enough, she'll throw the ball...


Sunday, April 17, 2011


I had agility practice this morning, and decided to dust off my camera and bring it with me. Practice was really fun, we ran the same course as yesterday, and then turned it around and ran it backwards for something different. Cedar did well, especially with the discriminations. She seems to really be starting to figure that out. One thing I realized that I really need to work on is her weave entries. She can pretty much only do them if I babysit the entry and make sure she has a straight approach. Obviously, this won't fly in trials for much longer! So I guess I need to get more committed to practicing at home if I want to keep improving our skills with the weaves.

Here are a couple pictures of Cedar, taken by a friend whom I basically threw my camera to right before my runs today :-P

And here are some of the shots I took today of friends' dogs at the practice:

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fun? What's That?

Between last night and this morning, I had the most fun I've had in a long while. Yesterday was the hubby's birthday, which I was pretty stressed about because I've been so busy I didn't have enough time to prepare for it as much as I'd wanted. Thankfully, everything turned out great. We went out to eat with some friends I haven't seen in ages, and it was just really nice to relax and not think about school for once.

For the last two years, most of the time I spend with my dogs at home looks a lot like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Thankfully, this will all be over soon and we can all get back to a more sane routine. I miss doing stuff with my dogs, I really do.

Speaking of "doing stuff with my dogs," this morning I had agility class with Cedar, after a two week break. In spite of the fact that it was predicted to rain, the weather was absolutely beautiful: sunny, warm, with no wind. Perfect agility weather! We ran a course with several distance challenges in preparation for the NADAC trial next weekend, which I still need to enter as I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it until recently. We'll be running in Open Regular and Jumpers, and Novice everything else. I'm really looking forward to it! Even though I've only done three trials total so far (2 AKC and 1 NADAC), I love it already. It's so much fun getting to hang out with friends, watch all the amazing dogs run, and of course, run some agility myself!

I can't wait for summer.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Day Late and a Photo Short

Ok, so I lied when I said I was going to take pictures on Saturday.

But have no fear... this exhausted blogger has come through for you all at last!

...with another set of frisbee pictures :-P

Real original, I know. But this is the best I could do this morning :-P

Moss and Cedar were, as always, happy to be my subjects:

And were happy (as am I) that the weather has been pretty nice lately, as opposed to like this:

They always enjoy a good game of frisbee :)


At least he's pretty sometimes :-P

Enjoy the day!
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