Friday, April 20, 2012

Adventurous Failures

Wednesday evening I made Kale Chips and Broccoli Salad. As with all adventures, some times there are failures. All you can do is re-evaluate and try to do better next time. Here is what happened.
Final products:
First, I made the broccoli salad. Most recipes for this call for bacon. I did not add bacon in an attempt to be more healthful. That was probably my first mistake. Here are the ingredients:

I used:
 Broccoli (I did not have a full head, just the pieces shown above)
1 tbsp mayo
parsnip (I did not have carrots and had this one lonely parsnip, so I gave it a try)
shredded cheddar cheese
lemon juice
salt and pepper

First, I cut the tree tops off the broccoli and washed them. I think that is the best way to wash broccoli, otherwise the water just rolls off the top.:

Then I cut a small piece of that big ole parsnip:

I peeled and shredded this tiny bit o parsnip:

Then, I mixed the mayo with a squirt of lemon juice and salt and pepper to create this dressing:

Finally, I mixed the broccoli, shredded parsnip, shredded cheddar cheese, and dressing all together to make my salad:

This was not terrible, but not what I was expecting. I think I was trying to re-create that lovely broccoli salad that is ever present at all Southern potlucks, and this was NOT it. I ate about 1/3 of it and tossed the rest.  In the future, first and foremost, I will add in the bacon. I may also add raisins as many recipes call for. I also think I will use miracle whip instead of mayo for a sweeter flavor.

Next I made Kale chips. This was not a total fail as my husband and I ate several of them. Here were the ingredients:

One bunch of kale
olive oil

First, I pre-heated the oven to 350. Then I ripped the leaves off the kale stems into bite sized pieces. I washed the kale pieces. Then, I ran the kale through a salad spinner several times. Finally, I put the kale on a foil lined cookie sheet. I sprayed it with olive oil (using the handy dandy misto olive oil sprayer pictured in the back of the above photo), and salted them with sea salt. Finally, I baked the kale for 15 minutes at 350. Here is the finished product:

These were nice and crispy for the most part. That was very pleasant. They had way too much salt on them though. Next time I will use very little if any. My husband and I each ate a dozen or so of these fresh out of the oven, despite the saltiness. Once they had cooled, I put the leftovers into a ziplock bag to take to lunch the next day. Big mistake. By lunchtime the next day they were a soggy salty mess. It was like eating seaweed straight out of the ocean. I will try this recipe again with the following modifications: 1) less salt, maybe no salt at all. 2) I will not make a whole bunch of kale. I will only make 4-6 leaves worth so it can all be eaten while fresh and crispy.

If you don't sometimes fail, you are not being adventurous enough. That is what I will keep telling myself about these culinary disasters. Friday evening I am making a trusted recipe, so if you want something you can actually use yourself, tune in then.


  1. Love it. Life lessons from kale.

  2. It's not a failure Michael tells me, it just didn't work out the way we planned! You are very right about not being adventurous enough...

    He also tells me that everything cannot be a homerun and that they eat what we make because that is what husbands (good ones) do.