Kale & Bread Casserole, Two-Timin’ Pasta, Black Bean Burgers, and Crullers…made with l♥ve by the Cookie Mama.

Whew!  I have been cooking up a storm over the last week.  Why?  I don’t know. ☺ I love love love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, so I have been a bit indulgent over the last week.  So indulgent in fact, that I intentionally omitted three additional recipes that I made over the weekend. I will probably include them next week, but for now…first things first.  I made the most delicious kale bread casserole last week, and the best thing about the recipe  is that it is MINE!  Yep, I created this one.  I was inspired by a recipe that I saw on on-line for a savory bread pudding.  So since my kale is still growing like mad, I knew I wanted to make something with it.  I had a ton of kale that was already washed and trimmed just hanging out on the fridge.  I also had 1/2 of a loaf of a multigrain Boule (round loaf of bread) left over from yet another panzanella salad that I had made. So I decided to use them together.  Here is the recipe I created:


  • 1 pound of kale leaves, washed and trimmed
  • left over bread, sliced thin (you need enough slices to cover the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking dish.  Any bread will do, but a hearty, crusty bread works best…think  boule, sour dough, ciabatta, or baguette.)
  • 1 white onion sliced thin (any onion will work, but I prefer white onions.)
  • 4 oz. of shredded cheese (I used parm and cheddar but any cheese will work)
  • 2 oz. of feta cheese crumbled
  • 3 eggs or egg substitute to equal 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups of milk (I used skim)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • butter
  • olive oil


1. Wash and trim the kale leaves.  2. Slice the onion and bread and set aside.  3. Blanch the kale leaves in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  4. Drain and squeeze the excess water out of the leaves and set aside.  5. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with olive oil.  6.  Butter each of the slices of bread, then arrange them in the baking dish covering the bottom and sides of the dish (buttered side up).  7. Pan fry the onion in olive oil until soft and translucent.  Once the onion is done, add kale, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, and garlic powder to the pan. Cook just a few minutes so the flavors can meld.  8. Remove from heat and spread the kale onion mixture over the bread in the baking dish.  9. Cover the kale onion mixture with both cheeses.  10.  In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and the milk, then pour into the baking dish.  11. Refrigerate the bowl for an hour to let the bread soak up the egg and milk.  12. After an hour, bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.The casserole came out really good, and my family (minus Ryan of course) loved it!

In addition to the yummy casserole, I made Two Timin’  pasta.  This is a recipe that I saw on “Pinterest”, and knew immediately I had to try it.  Ryan’s role model and idol Tyler Phillips pinned this recipe.  I follow Ty on “Pinterest” so I re-pinned it.  Tyler (like Ryan) loves pasta, but Tyler actually likes sauce on his noodles…especially Alfredo sauce.  Dan, Victoria, and I love love love Palomino sauce, so I was positive we’d like this recipe.  Here is the link to the recipe that I used:http://pearls-handcuffs-happyhour.blogspot.com/2011/04/two-timin-pasta.html

I am happy to report that this recipe is delicious!  It made a ton so we were able to enjoy it for a few meals.  Specifically we had it for dinner on Friday, and then Victoria and I ate it for breakfast over the weekend.  My absolute favorite breakfast is a left-over dinner so for me, this was perfect!  Thanks TY! I made 2 substitutions to the recipe.  First, I didn’t have penne so I used some rotinti, and tri-colored mini pasta.  Also, I used shredded parmesan cheese instead of shredded mozzarella.

I also made black bean burgers.  I love love love veggie burgers, but I am trying to limit the amount of soy that we eat.  As a side note, I ABSOLUTELY HATE that every week there is new information about what we should or should not eat.  For example, we are told to eat brown rice as it is way more nutritious than white rice.  Then I read that there is natural arsenic in brown rice and in brown rice syrup so I should avoid it!   Years ago, I was informed by a dietitian that vegetarians should eat soy as a meat alternative to supplement protein.  Then I read recently “…don’t eat too much soy as it could increase the chance that you’ll get cancer.”  Add to that the fact that the article specifically named the soy isoflavone that are used in veggie burgers!   Well sure enough I checked the boxes of soy products in my freezer, and yep that is exactly the type of soy to avoid!  I give up!  So in the attempt to get my family some additional protein, and to avoid us all getting cancer in the process, I made black bean burgers.  This was my first attempt at making bean burgers from scratch, and I am happy to report that they came out great! I followed a recipe that I found in a cookbook titled “Favorite Brand Name Vegetarian Appetizers, Main Dishes, Quick & Easy”  It’s a 3 in 1 cookbook and I love it.  Here is a link to the recipe that I used: http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/black-bean-burgers-recipe.htm   Next time I make these burgers, I will spice them a little heavier.  I like my black bean burgers spicy and these weren’t spicy enough for me.  I would recommend adding some cayenne pepper, a bit more garlic, and chili powder to the burgers.  When we ate these burgers, we put them on a bun with salsa, a slice of cheese, and some sour cream.  YUM!

Lastly, I made crullers.  I know… I know…crullers are doughnuts, and I’ve said I don’t really care for doughnuts, so why did I make them twice in the last few months????  Let me explain.  I was at the grocery store and I spied this doughnut twist pan on sale.  Yes “on sale” are the operative words there.  The pan was only seven dollars and fifty cents, AND it was the type of pan I had been wanting.  Years ago, I found a recipe for home-made “Twinkies” in a magazine, but the recipe requires a canoe pan.  Since then, every time I am shopping and I see novelty pans, I search for a canoe pan.  Well I haven’t ever found one, but this pan comes close…and it was ON SALE!  So I bought the pan with the intention of making home-made “Twinkies”, but I have the added benefit of being able to make doughnut twists as well.  When I got home, I unpacked the groceries and saw that the pan had a recipe for crullers printed on the cardboard.  On a whim, I decided to make them.  The result is a mixed bag.  Dan and Victoria loved them.  Ryan said “they are not my favorite but I liked them.” I didn’t really care for them, because I had something very specific in mind.  As I stated in my previous blog about doughnuts, I am not a huge fan.  The one type of doughnut that I do really enjoy, however, is a cruller.  I love how airy and light they taste.  Well that is what I had in mind as I made these, and the resulting crullers aren’t like that.  First of all, they are baked, not fried.  Secondly these crullers are HUGE!  Honestly it was more like a mini loaf of bread than a doughnut.  Dan said that next time, I should add diced apples and it would be like mini loaf of apple bread.  Well, we love love love apple bread in our house, so I think I may take his suggestion. I will certainly attempt to make the home-made “Twinkies” too, and I will definitely include those in the blog. Here is the link to the recipe that I used: http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Baked-Crullers

It has been a whirlwind of a week.  Dan got stung by yet another wasp and had a crazy reaction that unfortunately warranted a trip to the urgent care.  Thankfully he is fine…pumped full of steroids, but otherwise fine.  Also, we finally got our new pool delivered, set up, and filled, so the kids are their way to growing gills.  Yesterday they were in the pool the entire day!  They only exited the pool to eat on the deck, and to reapply sunscreen.  Additionally, they climbed out to enjoy some yummy treats that I made.  You have to read next week’s blog to find out what they were though. ☺  I hope you try these recipes and enjoy them as much as we did!  Let me know what you think.

Enjoy! ♥♥


About THE cookie mama

I am not professionally trained in any way shape or form, BUT I come from a long line of really great cooks. I learned mostly by watching my parents and grandparents, and then replicating what they did. I love love love to cook and bake, and I love to share what I make with "my people."
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3 Responses to Kale & Bread Casserole, Two-Timin’ Pasta, Black Bean Burgers, and Crullers…made with l♥ve by the Cookie Mama.

  1. Amy says:

    Holy cats. Derek is singing the Steve Miller song Fly Like an Eagle after seeing that pic of your kids “time keeps on slipping into the future…” They look so grown up to us! It has been way too long since we have seen you. Wow. Thanks for sharing! Love Amy

  2. Amy they look grown up to me too…not sure when that happened! Hope your summer is going well! xo

  3. ryvichighlander says:

    I told you it wouldn’t be long before your expirimentation would yield some all-Chris originals. The part is that they rock just like you! ❤

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