Not that I am one in general.
But when it comes to leisure and the holidays- I absolutely am. I have to pick my battles and when I am not “clocked in” somewhere I find self-inflicted pressure very unappealing. In addition to this, I have recently adopted a 10 wk. old kitten that has not let me anywhere near a keyboard without stalking and pouncing my hands. Every so often I have to go back and erase rogue numbers she added to my entry.
So here are three very delicious things that only require easy-to-find ingredients and don’t take too much time. These can be put together quickly but still carry a little wow factor.
Kale-kopita (technically in Greek: kastrokopita)
- 2 large bunches fresh kale, whole stems removed
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced
- 4 oz Greek feta
- 4 oz soft goat cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1 stick of butter- melted
- Salt and pepper to taste (I use about 3/4 teaspoon of salt)
- One package frozen phyllo dough, defrosted following package instructions
1. Heat the oven to 350 F (180C). Heat olive oil in a deep frying pan with minced onions. Cook until onions are tender and translucent.
2. Add the kale and saute until kale is wilted. This may be done in batches if working with a small pan, adding a little more olive oil per batch of kale
3. Transfer all the cooked kale to a bowl and fold in the feta and goat cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste, and allow mixture to cool until no longer steamy. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and fold into the cooled-down kale mix.
4. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan, and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Open the package of phyllo dough and keep a dampened towel over the sheets. Working quickly, line the pan with one sheet of phyllo dough, then brush it lightly with some melted butter. Layer another sheet on top and brush with butter again. Repeat until the springform pan is fully lined, with sheet draped over the walls of the pan as well. Scrape the spinach mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Fold the phyllo dough over the top, and brush the top with butter as well. You do not need to use the whole packge, but the more sheets you use the crunchier and better the texture will be.
5. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating every 20 mins. The pie is done when the phyllo is gold and crackling, and a knife inserted into the center emerges moisture-free. Cool on the countertop before releasing from the pan. Can be served immediately or frozen. To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap tightly three times before storing.
Bacon n’ Brussels Bread Pudding
- ½ pound country-style white bread, cut into ½” cubes
- 4 criossants, cut into ½” cubes
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon
- 1 ½ pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 8 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Maple syrup, for drizzling before serving.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Test with a small piece of bacon, should sizzle immediately. Fry bacon without layering or overcrowding until crispy, transferring each batch to a paper towel. When bacon is cool, chop into small bite-sized pieces.
- Fry quartered Brussels sprouts in bacon grease until coated, add onion and garlic. Saute mixture until onions are translucent.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine bread and croissant cubes, bacon pieces, and fried Brussels mixture.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together cream and eggs until yolks are fully integrated. Add a tsp each of salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Fold egg mixture into bread mixture until fully combined.
- Transfer all to a dutch oven with lid and bake in the oven until top is golden brown and knife inserted into center comes out clean (30-45 mins.)
- Serve using a large metal spoon and drizzle maple syrup to taste.
Egg Nog Cocktail
This cocktail is less dense/viscous than traditional eggnog, which makes for easier drinking if the thought of drinking thick liquids kind of freaks you out a bit like myself. You can substitute dark rum, brandy, or cognac in place of the bourbon- but I think the bourbon is the best flavor-wise.
If you find yourself panicking over cooking, or shopping, or whatever it is that may wig you out this week- remember what this is all about. Being with people you love and enjoying some time to enjoy each other and the free time if you are fortunate enough to have it! (Oh and something about a baby and myrrh.)