Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Farro, Kale and Coconut Craziness! A New Year's party in your mouth.


My sister Kristin was and has always been the cook in the family. She's pro. Like doesn't recoil when there is more than five ingredients pro. She makes her own bread, people...this makes her legit. So really the fact that I do any blogging about food creation is, I'm pretty sure, super weird to my family. I was the eater not the creator. I burned the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls every time. Every. time. That is fact. I couldn't cook a premade presliced cookie dough without somehow, something going terribly wrong. It took me years to perfect not scorching the popcorn in the microwave. (I hate to brag but I never burn popcorn now. Ever. Not since they invented the popcorn button...)

If I did not live 3,000 miles away from my sister I would probably be blogging from her place weekly, just letting her cook the amazingness that she makes while I mindlessly snap photos. But instead, I carry on - only imagining the disgrace in her eye from food frenzy chaos I create.

Since Kristin is so hip to the know with the world of food - she turned me on to food blogs and such gems as the Joy the Baker podcast ... which brings me to my point.

This Christmas we were back together again in Florida and she thought of the brilliant idea to make a meal for the family. And I wanted in (likely to her chagrin). Since there are so many fabulous creations on the Joy the Baker/Shutterbean blogs we decided to have a mini feast with a few of their recipes. (We also threw in one part PF Changs by making lettuce wraps which might be featured on here soon as well.)

My favorite course was the recipe that follows. Since my folks had never experienced kale and I had never had the chance to try farro she was determined to make us the crunchy kale and coconut bowl on the Joy the Baker blog inspired by Shutterbean and Heidi Swanson's Supernatural Every Day cookbook (So needless to say this recipe has gotten around. And with reason!)

Holy. Moly. Three days later I was back in LA on a mad hunt for farro because this deliciousness blew my mind. We didn't stray from the recipe at all so mad props on this amazing blend of flavors and textures. So here she all of her kale glory.



1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sriracha

A little less than 1/3 cup olive oil

5 cups dino kale (ribless and torn into tiny bites) or a half a pound of bagged kale (making sure they are fairly stemless and pre-cut)

1 cup unsweetened large flake coconut

1 cup uncooked farro


Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.

The Sauce:

In a small bowl mix the sesame oil, siracha and soy sauce together. As you whisk these up, slowly drizzle that olive oil on in and make sure everything is emulsified.

The Farro:

Grab a medium pot and begin to boil several cups of water. Add your farro once boiling. Lower the heat and let the grain simmer for 17-20 minutes. If you were like me and perhaps never have had farro it will soften like rice but have a much chewier texture. So once it is softened drain this with a colander.

But while the farro simmers begin...

The Almighty Kale:

On a baking sheet covered in parchment paper spread the kale and coconut evenly. (You are basically making kale chips so keep the layer of kale thin so it can crisp.) pour half of the sauce you created over the kale and coconut and toss it all up to coat. Bake 12-18 minutes or until your blend has become crispy and brown.


Once the kale combo and farro are done cooking, divide both into bowls and top it off with the remaining dressing. Then get to eating!

(Sidebar: Does anyone have a blog called Emulsified? Someone needs to get on that. Stat.)

Enjoy Benner Fitters. It's a great way to start off your new year right. Happy 2013!

Food vs. Comfort: Foods to Keep in Stock for a Guaranteed Meal

Here's my scenario last night: I had just put on my PJs after doing a Benner Fit circuit and taking a long hot shower. I'd worked up quite an appetite. I was hungry. Super hungry. But very comfy.

And everyone knows comfy trumps hungry any day.

Comfort causes meals of desperation. When I'm comfy - granola with a side of turkey meatball sounds like a great idea. (P.S. NOT a great idea.)

But when I paid my kitchen cabinets a visit it turned out the magical food restocking elf hadn't replenished my supplies. (I'm going to have a talk with him. He's been seriously slacking.) And I couldn't even conjure up a meal of desperation.

But have I mentioned how comfortable I was in my PJs? I mean, they are ridiculously soft.

So there was not a combination of items in the midst of the kitchen madness that made any sense. Nothing that I could possibly have thrown together as one that would make some sort of semblence of a real meal. I found myself longing to have a backup plan that could actually allow me to be a grown up and have real meals on a nightly my pajamas in front of the TV, just like real grown ups do.

I decided to let food win the battle over comfort last night - but only to guarantee comfort would win the war. I, along with Sydney, came up with a list of handy standards to consistently keep in stock that would guarantee real (and quick) meals even when the kitchen seems void of the good stuff. (OCD Brooke has visions of laminating this list, keeping check marks next to the items in stock and wiping them off when needed, so whenever I go to the store I just grab my list and refill - but that's an aside...)

Here's the list Syd and I came up with after a texting brainstorming session:

For the cabinets: Olive oil Coconut oil Spices: (my favorites: salt, pepper, bail, oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme, cinnamon) Honey Oats Whole wheat pasta Brown rice/ quinoa Soup Black beans/lentils Dried fruit


For the Freezer: Frozen chicken and/or veggie patties Frozen fruits Frozen veggies

For the fridge: Greek yogurt Eggs Milk (Almond, Skim... whatever your calcium fueled fancy is)

With these items, you should be able to conjure up some sort of tasty meal! The list keeps growing...comment us here with your favorite standbys.