Category Archives: Homemade

Move over Popeye – Olive Would’ve Liked Kale Better

Looking for a quick go-to salad that takes 20 minutes to make, and holds up throughout the week? We have you covered. Kale is all the new rage these days, and for good reason. This green superfood is phenomenal combined with the crunchiness of the brussels. For the best results, make the salad in advance and let the kale absorb the dressing overnight to eliminate the bitterness.


Thanksgiving in the Forch household, means everyone is responsible for providing their own dish. This salad was so popular, it even made the cut into Mama’s best-kept Thanksgiving recipes, but also resurfaces on our dinner table at least once a month. Try it out – you will have a new appreciation for kale & brussels! This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit Online.



1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper

2 large bunches of Kale
2 packages Trader Joes Brussel Sprouts
1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds with skin
1 cup grated Manchego cheese


-Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
-Toss chopped kale, TJ’s brussels sprouts and chopped carrots in a large mixing bowl.
-Pour dressing on the kale, brussels and carrots. Set aside for 1 hour to enable the kale to absorb the dressing.
-Remove from refrigerator, and add cheese, salt & pepper to taste.
-Garnish with almonds.

A GULP & a Crunch of Kale,


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Orange You Glad You Added Chocolate


Discover Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels.  You will fall in love.

If you’re hoping to shed pounds from holiday feasting, close your browser. If you’re hoping to squeeze into that itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini for Spring break, google healthy choices.


If you are just over it, and need a sweet, and outrageously delicious treat – indulge in this recipe. A chocolatey option for breakfast or dessert.

Let me start by saying, mistakenly using ¼ cup instead of ¼ tsp of grated orange zest was a brilliant accident.  Wow!  Who knew the peel of an orange could party that hard in your mouth?  I grated away at that orange seemingly forever, but let me tell you: it was worth it.  When you’re grating, keep going.  Grate away, grate away, grate away.


When it comes to the pretzel dough, imagine shortbread, only better.  It’s salty and it’s sweet.  The orange zest combined with melted chocolate kisses strewn throughout will put that Starbucks scone you buy every morning to shame.  When diving into a bag of jellybeans, who wants a Black Licorice when the Pomegranate Cosmo is sitting staring you in the face?


These pretzels are for those who never fail to cherish the tiny luxuries in life.  Good luck eating just one!

Thanks Deb Perelman for writing The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and for sharing this incredible creation.  Find the recipe here and below, get to baking!

Three sinfully delicious GULPS of happiness-


Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels

yield: eight 4-inch pretzels

for the dough:
1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) well- chopped chocolate (for the best chocolate flavor) or miniature chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest (optional, but lovely if you’re into that
chocolate-orange thing)

for the glaze:
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon water
Coarse or pearl sugar, for finishing

Make brioche: Whisk the milk and yeast together in a small dish until the yeast has dissolved. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, stir together fl our, sugar, and salt. Add the eggs and the yeast mixture, and mix at a low speed until the dough comes together in a shaggy pile. Raise the speed to medium, and beat for 10 minutes; the long mixing time creates the soft, stretchy strands brioche is known for. Add the butter, a third at a time, mixing the dough between additions. Now switch to the dough hook, and knead at low speed until a silky- smooth dough forms, another 5 minutes. Add the chocolate and zest, if using, and run the machine until it is mixed into the dough.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 2 hours, until almost doubled. Alternatively, you can rest the dough in the fridge overnight (or up to 24 hours), bring back to room temperature, and let the rise complete before continuing to the next step.

Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350&degF.

Form pretzels: Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into eight pieces, about 3 1/4 ounces (93 grams) each. Working with one piece at a time, roll each piece into an 18-inch-long rope about 1/2 inch thick. Curiously, I find these ropes easier to roll and stretch on an unfloured or very lightly oiled surface, but if you find yours sticking too much, lightly fl our your counter before continuing.

To form the pretzel, draw the ends of a rope together to form a circle. About 2 inches from both ends, twist the rope ends together to close the circle– a full twist, so that the rope end that started on the right side finishes there. Fold the twist down into the circle, adhering the loose ends of the rope at five and seven o’clock on the base. Repeat to make eight pretzel twists. Transfer them to prepared baking sheets, brush them with glaze, and let them rest for about 15 minutes, during which they’ll puff slightly again.

To finish: Brush pretzels with glaze one more time, sprinkle with pearl or coarse sugar, then bake for 12 minutes, or until puffed and lightly bronzed. Cool slightly on a rack before serving, if you can bear it.

Cooking note: Unfortunately, I find this to be the rare bread dough that’s radically easier to make with a stand mixer. Nevertheless, should you feel up for the challenge, you can vigorously “knead” the dough in a large bowl with a wooden spoon for a good 10 minutes before adding the butter. Yes, this takes longer than your average bread dough, but that long kneading time is what yields the long, stretchy strands essential to great brioche.

Excerpted from THE SMITTEN KITCHEN COOKBOOK by Deb Perelman. Copyright © 2012 by Deb Perelman. 

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