Category Archives: recipes

Great… I Have Kale, Now What?? Three Easy Kale Recipes

Are you excited for kale season?

If you’re like most people, you’re probably not excited.  Also, if you have a garden, are part of a CSA, or have been to a farmer’s market, more than likely you now have some kale and have no idea what to do with it.

The sad fact is that kale got a bad rap a few years ago because it started showing up in everything because it was trendy and healthy and within no time we all had kale fatigue.  For as much as I personally love kale, I don’t need it in absolutely everything.  So it was with some relief that I bid kale adieu and moved on to the next big thing which I think was spinach or maybe acai?

Anyway, even if the kale trend passed us by, it never left grocery store shelves, farmer’s fields or my little garden.  So, we might as well figure out what we’re going to do with it.  I mean it is still healthy for you and, if done right, can be pretty tasty.

Kale Recipe #1 Sautéed Kale

Okay, this is the easiest way to make kale.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of kale, chopped roughly
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flake


  1. In a skillet over high heat, add the olive oil and let it warm for about thirty seconds.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for 15 seconds.
  3. Add the kale and a healthy pinch of salt.
  4. Sauté the kale until it starts to soften and then add the red pepper flake.
  5. Cook the kale until it wilts and looks wet.  Serve hot.

Kale Recipe #2 Kale Chips with Sea Salt and Tajin

Turn on your oven low and bake the kale until crispy.

You will need:

  • Enough oil to cover the bottom of your baking dish.  This will vary based on the size of your pan.
  • 2 cups of kale, cut into roughly two inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons tajin
  • (optional) lime wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature you can
  2. Cover the bottom of your baking dish or baking sheet with olive oil, cooking spray or vegetable oil
  3. Arrange the kale on the baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with sea salt
  4. Bake the kale until it is dry and crispy.  This will vary based on how low your oven temperature can be set.  Start checking at 30 minutes.
  5. When the chips are done, immediately sprinkle with tajin.
  6. When you are ready to eat, you can also sprinkle them with lime juice.

Kale Recipe #3 Kale Chicken Parmesan Soup

Yeah, it may be a little warm for soup, but this dish is light and healthy.  Perfect for summer.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of kale finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons lemon


  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a soup pot.
  2. Add the olive oil and let it get hot for about 20 seconds
  3. Add the chicken and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook the chicken until all traces of pink are gone.
  4. Pour in the kale and let it sauté for about a minute to get the cooking process started.
  5. Pour in the chicken broth, increase the heat to medium high and bring it to a boil.
  6. Cook the kale until soft, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the parmesan and lemon juice.  Stir to incorporate and serve.

Okay, now that you know what to do with that kale, get out there and cook it.  Enjoy!

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Catfish Stew

CatfishOkay, so in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, I thought I’d do

Catfish Stew

Okay, so I don’t know how authentic catfish stew is in terms of good pirate fare, but I do know it tastes good (which is important) and it’s a great way to keep warm as it cools off.  Even better, unlike a lot of my recipes it only has a few steps.

Argh you ready?

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Cooking with Beef 2: Beef Spice Rubs

Beef Spice Rubs

So, I’ve been gearing up for the cooking competition (technically I think it’s just a showcase, but I bet there will be judging or others eating…so I call it a competition) which lay ahead (the one I’m being sponsored to compete in by the Missouri Beef Council that I mentioned in an earlier post.)  I’ve been doing a lot of cooking with different cuts of beef (mmm…rib eye), but mainly I’ve been thinking.

Amongst the major proteins, red meat, and steak in particular, has one unique property that I have to account for in the competition: it tastes good by itself.  You can take a steak, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, let heat do its thing for 2-3 minutes per side plus 6-8 minutes in the oven and you have a masterpiece…and you didn’t have to fuss one second . With a good steak, the best thing you can do is get out of its way.

But This is Still a Competition

I keep seeing the judges’ face (who look a lot like Tom Colicchio in my mind’s eye) as they examine  my perfectly cooked steak and giving me the “all  you did was add salt and pepper to this steak?  Please pack your knives and go” look.  No, wait, Padma’s there, too.  Which starts Mrs. WellDone yelling at me because I’m spending time with that woman and suddenly, this imagining is getting me into a lot of trouble…

Anyway, until Sunday,  my thought was that this competition will live and die on the sides I prepare.  Which is why I have been cooking sides.  Lots of sides.  And maybe a sauce.  So I’ve been cooking sauces.

But then it occurs to me…I could choose spice rubs other than salt and pepper.  Theywouldn’t need to be as aggressive as the rub I’d put on BBQ or chicken or slow cooked Mexican pork because they would tend to hide the flavor of the steak.  But, a little rub might be just the trick.

Here’s three rubs I am seriously considering.

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#LetsLunch Spring is (Finally) Here…Let’s Make Potstickers

#LetsLunch It’s Spring Time…Potstickers Anyone?


Makes perfect sense, right?  Spring…potstickers?  Sure, why not?!

Okay, maybe traditional Chinese dumplings and Springtime don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, but maybe they should.  As the weather gets warm (after what felt like an eternity), the earth once again starts to provide a delicious bounty of greens, asparagus, spring onions, and peas.  Of course, that’s just a warm up act for all of summer’s amazing produce.  But that’s a different post for a different time.

For now…back to potstickers.  Why do I think they are perfect for Spring?  The rule of thumb when cooking produce, especially fresh produce picked at the height of the growing season, is not get in the product’s way.  There’s no reason to drown freshly picked asparagus in butter, dress fresh greens in heavy dressing, etc. etc.  On the other hand, a lot of your Spring vegetables aren’t fantastic raw.  (Yes, I’ve seen people serve raw asparagus on Top Chef and I just shudder a litte…)  So the idea is to minimally cook the vegetables in a way that preserves and accentuates their flavor.

4807243411_d83cce319f_mAnd what are one of my top 2 favorite spring veggies?  Peas!

In my experience, if you do it right, lightly boiling peas will preserve their flavor.  Then, taking those peas, adding complementary flavors (in this case: mint and a thin shaving of ham), and wrapping them up as a potsticker is a great way to accentuate them and make a fine spring appetizer.

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#LetsLunch Grilled Colby Jack, Black Forest Ham, and Pickles

3924394749_baa3bb2d35_m#LetsLunch Grilled Colby Jack, Black Forest Ham, and Pickles

…and we’re back!  It’s time for another #LetsLunch!

(Quick review: #LetsLunch is where a group of food writers get together and we write about … lunch.  But not just any lunch.  This month we’re talking about the ooey-ist, gooey-ist, cheesiest grilled cheese sandwiches around.)

There’s only one poblem… I am NOT the world’s biggest grilled cheese fan.  I think it’s a texture thing.  I want my sandwich to have a little heft when I bite in.   So, if  may be permitted, there might be a little meat snuck in my grilled cheese.  And some pickles.  I am a big pickle fan and I really enjoy them even more when they’re cold and stacked on hot grilled cheese.  They are great for contrasts in texture and  in temperature.

Ready to eat?

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#LetsLunch Fall Picnic Food: Pumpkin Subs

Don't Cook with this Pumpkin

Don't Cook with this Pumpkin

It’s time again for #LetsLunch and I am making

Pumpkin Subs

Which are just as weird as you think they should be, while at the same time being really, really good.

First, a quick primer on what, exactly #LetsLunch is.  It’s a Twitter tag (obviously), but it’s also when a bunch of food bloggers get together to blog about one of their three favorite meals.  This month’s theme is Fall Picnic Food.

However, I would like to call a point of order.  I voted for the theme to be tailgating food, however the tide quickly turned against me.  Realizing that discretion is the better part of valor, I relented only to deliver the coup de grace in the form of one simple realization: a tailgate is basically just a fall picnic with some pigskin thrown in for good measure.

Why do I mention this?  I’m not really sure, but it seemed important at the time.

Anyway, are you ready?

Are You Ready?


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#GoJunkFood Gourmet BLT with Sriracha Seafood Salad

BLT with Seafood Salad#GoJunkFood is back, this time with

Gourmet BLTs with Sriracha Seafood Salad

See, @elleskitchen and I were thinking that with the gourmet hamburger craze, the bacon, lettuce and tomato (BLT) just hasn’t gotten the love it deserves.  So we decided to dedicate this edition of #GoJunkFood to the tastiest, craziest, gourmet-iest BLT sandwiches we could think of.

The inspiration behind my BLT was the need to be a little different.  Last time I did breakfast loaded fries, and that was okay, but not earth shattering.  This time I wanted to do something people would remember.  Thus, the BLT with Sriracha Seafood Salad was born.  It’s a little bit BLT and a little bit lobster roll, but it’s pretty darn good.

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Bacon Wrapped Tilapia

Bacon Wrapped TilapiaBacon Wrapped Tilapia

Tilapia is a favorite around the WellDone household.  For a white fish, it’s tasty, it’s inexpensive, and it’s healthy.

It was that last part, the healthy party, that basically forced me to wrap it in bacon.

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Jennifer Schall’s Blueberry Pancakes!

Blueberry Pancakes

Today’s guest post is from Jen Schall from My Kitchen Addiction.  She was nice enough to let me guest on her blog and then offered to do a guest post for Blog Well Done.  How could I pass up such an offer?  The recipe looks amazing and you’ll never see prettier food photos on my blog!  Enjoy!

Pancakes3I could eat blueberry pancakes every day.  Sometimes I do. It doesn’t help that I always see commercials for a boxed pancake mix.  In the commercial, they sing “blueberry pa-an-cakes” and I find myself singing along… And craving pancakes.

I think the advertisers are onto something… Most of us are busy in the mornings and don’t want to take the time to measure out all of the ingredients for pancakes from scratch. Wouldn’t it be helpful if we had a convenient mix that would make the process much easier?

I thought so, too! Don’t worry (or send me hate email)… I’m not proposing that you go out and pick up a package of the boxed pancake mix. You won’t find that stuff in my kitchen. Instead, I have put together a homemade pancake mix that you can mix up when you have some free time and store in your pantry. Then, you’re ready whenever the pancake cravings strike! In fact, these blueberry pancakes can be mixed up using only one mixing bowl. Oh, and did I mention they are healthy, too? The pancake mix is made with white whole wheat flour, but that can be our little secret.

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Chavrie Blueverry Salad with Walnuts

summer_grill_productChavrie Blue Berry Salad with Walnuts

At 9:30 PM a few weeks ago, I had a startling realization: I had to bring a dish to church the next day!!  Well, it wasn’t so much a realization as it was an acceptance that I could no longer procrastinate, nor did I have a viable excuse to get out of doing what I promised.

“To the refrigerator!” I cried and I went to the refrigerator.

See, there’s something everyone needs to know about me.  I live in a constant state of preparedness…for the show Door Knock Dinners. Ever since the first New York Battle on Iron Chef, I’ve become obsessed with the idea that any time, Gordon Elliott or an Iron Chef (or you know, me) could walk into my house and prepare a huge gourmet meal with only what I have in my fridge, freezer and big freezer downstairs.

So, it was with the highest level of confidence that I  attacked my pantry on a quest to make something to take the next day.  Let me tell you, I came up with the best idea.  I was going to layer sheets of puff pastry with layers of sweetened goat cheese and fresh, homemade blue berry syrup and then top the whole thing with a nice splash of blueberry balsamic.  Sounds pretty good huh?

Then I realized I was in no mood to cook and made this salad instead.

But you know what?  It rocked!!  It was also my first experience using Chavrie as anything more than a cracker spread.  (Here it comes, FTC disclosure: I was given coupons for free samples, which is why we had some in the house.)

Because it was my first experience using Chavrie, I wish I could have done a little better with it.  I simply did not realize just how soft it was.  Normally when I make this salad, I use feta crumbles.  The Chavrie was far softer than that so when I cut into it, it wanted to spread on me.

Next time, I hope to not be making the salad on the hood of my car so I’ll have time for a little more finesse, but whatever.  (Did I mention I had to buy and breakdown Romaine lettuce in the Target parking lot?  By the way, yes, I still could have made it on Door Knock Dinners, but then it would have been a spinach salad and I wanted Romaine, darn it!)  Still, it was  a good salad.

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