Comfort food galore

As the sun broke through the clouds this morning, my father’s grill, lonesome after a long winter, was on my mind. Given my recent vow, my hands were tingling to chop, stir and cook! Throughout the day, I was picturing lemon chicken and coconut soaked kale on the grill, opening a beer and playing fetch with the dog while I waited, maybe I would put on a sundress…

Oh right, it’s spring in Oregon.

The weather turned bleak and the rain returned. My dinner plans headed back inside, away from the grill and patio. With the same ingredients in mind, however, I cooked up lime kale chips (I’ve linked these before) and parmesan chicken for dinner – some of my favorite food on a bulstery night.

The chicken is a recipe my mother uses often – nothing too fancy: mustard, panko (instead of the English muffin crumbs), parmesan, the other usual suspects, and delicious. The sharpness of the mustard balances nicely with the mellow parmesan.

The kale chips, also a common dish at the family table, were put together with the help of my father, he’s a quick learner. Rubbed in olive oil and sprinkled with thai ginger salt, they headed to the over. They had to be cooked in two rounds since the oven was full. The first tray was good, but didn’t have enough flavor. The second, I left in too long and although I added more zest, chili and salt, they were a bit too crispy. Finding the perfection between undercooked and roasted is hard with kale chips and I would say that a little undercooked is the best bet.

After dinner, craving something a little sweet, I made some quick hazelnut macaroons. They rounded off quite a satisfying day of cooking!

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