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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

- we celebrated a few birthdays this weekend, and had in-n-out twice to celebrate. within three days. we're crazy like that.

- one of those birthdays was an actual birth, and it was the best news I got all weekend.

- I am hearing more and more phrases voiced by my little one, obviously learned from our own dialogue. the latest is "oh crap" and "farted". it's super classy. I am now monitoring my conversations and habitual reactions. I used to think it was kind of funny/cute when she'd make a noise, then announce what it was; now I'm realizing she should probably say "excuse me" instead. we're making the change; slowly but surely.

- who knew ddr was so fun? even when you're over 25, get an "F" every time, and you're in public?

- we watched this movie this weekend, and loved it. so sweet; and made me want to watch the sunset from a tall tree.

- I've been thinking a lot about my grandmother lately. How she smells of peppermint and vinegar, loves bread pudding for dessert, how her infectious laugh always leaves me with a smile, and she gives the most crushing bear hugs, or at least used to.

- I am coming out of a small food rut. February and early March get to me with a lack of inspiration that seem unavoidable. I find myself tied down (and lazy) with regulars and reliables. Gratefully I feel inklings of inspiration awakening my senses and palette again, just like spring to my spirit.

happy random monday.

This was the appetizer I brought to the MamaBabyHaiti fundraiser put on by Melissa. Check out the video MamaBabyHaiti put together for those attending the fundraiser, showing a little about who they are and what they do.

The recipe is basically the winter greens from this greens over creamy polenta meal but instead of creamy polenta, it's atop a crispy bread slice and a smear of roasted elephant garlic tapenade. Just make sure everyone has a helping or two, so you're not the only one with garlic breath. But then didn't you know? garlic breath is totally sexy.

braised kale and sun dried tomato crostini
1 baguette, sliced thin
olive oil

1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped small
butter and oil
1 small shallot, chopped

1 cup chopped dried tomatoes, 2.5 - 3 ounces
2 - 4 Tablespoons water
a splash or two of balsamic vinaigrette
salt and pepper to taste

garlic tapenade (recipe below)
pecorino romano cheese, as garnish

Slice the baguette, brush a bit of oil on both sides of each slice and crack a bit of pepper over the tops. Layer the bread on a baking sheet, broil for a few minutes until slightly browned. Flip the toasts and broil other side until golden. You can do this a day or two in advance.

In a pan over medium heat, combine a spoonful of butter and a glug or two of oil, heating until butter is melted. Add shallot and tomatoes, cooking until fragrant and shallot is soft. Add greens, shuffling them around until they change hue to a bright green, then add a couple Tablespoons of water or stock, allow to cook uncovered for about five minutes. A minute before serving, add a splash of balsamic vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.

Prepare crostini by smearing a very small amount of tapenade on the toasted bread slices, spoon a small amount of the greens on top, then garnish with a grating of peorino romano cheese.

roasted elephant garlic tapenade
1 head elephant garlic
5-6 kalmata olives
a sprig or two of fresh thyme, leaves only (optional)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
real salt and pepper

Without peeling the garlic, set in a pan and roast in a preheated 300-325 degree F oven for an hour or two or until the cloves are soft. Alternatively you can roast it at a higher temperature (350 degrees fahrenheit) for less time, a half hour or so.

When cool enough to handle, squeeze each clove out of the peel, they should slide out easily. Combine the garlic with the olives, thyme, and olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth, add more olive oil as you like. Season with salt and pepper. Alternatively you can mash it all with a mortar + pestle. whatever you prefer.

You can use this tapenade served on toasts, in sandwiches, salads, added to soups, sauces, on meats, fish, pasta, in pitas, etc. A little bit goes a long way.


  1. Send some good vibes my way--I'm deep in the rut and there isn't a light in sight. :)

    That first picture of the kale is breathtaking, btw.

  2. Elephant Garlic is so good. almost sweet.

    I think of my grandmother often too, how she used to hold my hand in church with her arthritic fingers covered in rings, and her humming to the hymns. Love those memories.

  3. I second what Becky said about elephant garlic. It makes a perfect addition to spreads. I often use it in my hummus vs regular garlic.

  4. This sounds delicious and I can't wait to try it. I've never used elephant garlic before, where can you find it around here?