I've been pretty slow to jump on the kale train.  Not because I don't think it's healthy for me, but because I thought it was gross.  I did try kale chips awhile back, but I think brussel sprout chips are much better. 

Anyhow, this recipe changed my kale-hatin' opinions.  The texture is nice, the flavor is fresh and good, and it's so darn pretty! To top it all off, it's so simple that you'll hardly know you took the time to make it.


I have a dirty little secret.  I made candles for Christmas presents this year and I used something unspeakable to make them.  Something that I don't even allow into my pantry.  Something buttery and vegetable-y and shelf-stable.  Want to know what it was?


Crazy, huh?  Well, it turns out that's not too crazy if you burn soy candles already.  Crisco's ingredient list includes soybean oil and palm oil, along with a few preservatives.  These are the same ingredients as most soy wax candles, so it's not such a shock to use Crisco in place of pricey soy wax flakes for your candle making adventures.  To harden it up, I used a bit of paraffin wax.

I used to be quite the candle junkie until I started taking a good, hard look at what chemicals I was using in my house. It wasn't until I started to research what those fancy scented candles had in them that I decided to back off on my constant burning of them. With articles like this one popping up even in mainstream media telling of the dangers of synthetic fragrance oils and chemicals, I decided it was time to ditch the candles.  These are also some good journal articles on research into indoor air quality: This one (regarding infant and maternal health when exposed to the VOCs in air fresheners) and this one (which focuses on VOCs from cleaning chemicals).

There is also concern among many that the paraffin in candles is very dangerous stuff, too. While I won't disagree with them, I thought that it was more important to focus on getting rid of the synthetic fragrances and carcinogenic compounds than to get rid of the paraffin. It's the fake scents and sprays that make my eyes red and my throat swell up, not paraffin.  Maybe someday I'll be able to afford beeswax candles, but until then, I'll compromise with soy-based candles with natural and essential oil scents instead. One step at a time!


These flaky, buttery, sweet-tart bundles of joy won't disappoint at a party.  I promise you.  At Thanksgiving, it was all I could do to keep the guys out of the cupboard that I'd hidden these in.  Despite my efforts, only half of them made it to the Woman Cave. 

Oh, yes, the Woman Cave.  Every year at Thanksgiving, my huge family (by huge I mean over forty people) gets together for football, fun, and food.  The guys go into the Man Cave- a cold, garage with nothing but beer, a deep fryer, and, I assume, lots of farts.  The women have the Woman Cave in the warm kitchen with fancy treats and cheeses and wine.  And no farts.  I think we get the better end of the deal.  All of this eventually leads to treaties between the caves where we trade fancies for their fried goods.  These were a hot commodity.

So, if you're looking for something delicious and deceptively fancy, these are a great go-to.  With pre-made phyllo dough, you can't go wrong!