Collard Greenz

Food, recipes and everything in between

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Spaceman Eggs


So cute love this. Thank you Cooking Up the Pantry for this idea!

Originally posted on Cooking Up The Pantry:


This isn’t really a recipe!

When the boys have gone through fussy stages with eggs, these eggs have always remained popular.


1 egg

1 slice of bread


Preheat a non stick frying pan and the grill.

Using a gingerbread man or lady cutter, cut out the centre of the bread, making sure the crusts are still intact.

Put the cut bread and figure into the frying pan.

Crack an egg gently and pour the egg white into the hole in the bread, starting at the bottom.

Pour the yolk into the head area to create the helmet.

Fry until the white is beginning to become opaque, then, pop under the grill just long enough for the white to solidify but the yolk to remain runny.

Use  the toast man to dip into the spaceman’s helmet!

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Mmm tea

There is something sacred about that sip of hot steaming tea before bedtime. The chaos of the day is calmed with each soothing sip, helping to relax the mind and unwind. Tonight I am sipping a new seasonal tea that I discovered at Trader Joe’s, it’s simply too good not to share.

Introducing Harvest Blend herbal tea – with subtle apple, hibiscus and warming spices like ginger, it really encapsulates autumn in a tea.


Sweet dreams


It’s Chocolate Week, say what?!

It’s national Chocolate Week in the UK, a glorious week indeed! One which I celebrated in earnest for the 10 years I spent living there. Why there are no similar festivities on this side of the Pond is beyond me, especially considering how much chocolate is consumed in the USofA. Who doesn’t love chocolate in some form? For me, it’s all about the dark stuff, I need a minimum of 55% cocoa, but preferably at least 70%. Sometimes it’s with sea salt flakes and toasted almonds, other times, it’s all about a Mexican inspired bar with chilli & cinnamon. Last night I indulged in a few squares of a bar with cherries and almonds wrapped in the smooth, complex flavors of dark chocolate. How could I NOT have at least a few squares, it would be a disservice to this festive week!

This weekend I am planning to make some chocolatey goodness as a treat, please let me know your vote in the comments section for the recipe you want to read about:

Option 1: classic chocolate cake with chocolate ganache


Option 2: oo-ey-gooey chocolate chip cookies


Option 3: chocolate chestnut flour-less mouse cake

chestnut cake

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Burger Bliss

As you may be aware, I am ardent proponent of clean healthy eating, most of the time. However, every once in a while, I get this craving deep in my belly that only a giant beef burger smothered in cheese and ketchup, nestled between a perfectly golden, toasted sesame bun can satisfy. I am most certainly not referring to the poor excuses for burgers found in many fast food establishments. I am talking about an all-natural, grass fed sirloin cut, recently hand-crafted into a juicy, mouthwatering burger. This craving hit me hard a few days ago and so I suggested to my meat-loving husband that we get burgers, and without any hesitation he willingly agreed with pleasure.

LB logo

 We opted for our local, melting pot of a burger joint, Left Bank Burger Bar, which unashamedly produces ginormous, consistently delectable patties. When we go out for burgers, I often opt for the least heinous option, a small burger, no bun, served with lettuce, tomato and cheese and, much to the dismay of my husband, I rob a few of his French fries in the process. Jokingly, my other half suggested I order the Mac Daddy, thinking I would never in a million years go for the burger wedged between a patty of fried mac’n’cheese and crispy bacon. That’s right, battered, fried, crispy mac’n’cheese with a gooey, molten center, nestled cozily next to perfectly crisp thick cut bacon. Whoever came with that idea, I am eternally grateful.

LB burger

Well, order it, I did. I have never seen such a look of pride and wonder in my husband’s eyes as I did upon him hearing me utter the words, ‘I will have the MAC DADDY burger please, WITH onion rings.’ All this was consumed and washed down with some of his perfectly crisp sweet potato fries and an ice cold brew. Wow, belly bliss!! Just be sure not to make the same mistake I did the last time I had a similar craving a few months back – going for an annual health check-up and blood test the following morning, including testing your cholesterol and blood pressure.

LB burger 2


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Italian dishes? Not quite

I find it so amusing how dishes get seriously lost in translation. Here is a list of Italian American dishes that made me laugh and cry.

Laugh at how humorous it that traditional dishes can be so bastardized and cry how Americans think it is acceptable to serve naked pasta?! What about dry, bad bread swimming in butter and garlic powder, don’t even get me started!

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Krazy Kabocha

In a constant battle to encourage my picky toddler to eat more vegetables and maintain a healthy, balanced diet, I have to rely on the art of deception and wizardry to convince her to consume her vegetables, particularly greens. With autumn thriving and squash continuing to be a mainstay in my kitchen, I opted for a kabocha, greens, asiago and pesto loaf to trick my munchkin into gobbling those greens.

This is a savory squash bread of sorts that is not merely a kid dish, it is simply a means to confer the benefits of vegetables into my kid’s tummy. Between the nutty sweet basil pesto and slightly salty, sophisticated and satisfying asiago, this recipe is no child’s play. It also happens to freeze and toast well, and is hardy, nutritious and delectable – a meal in a slice, perfect for on-the-go lunches and late afternoon snacks.


3 cups pureed kabocha squash (approx. ½ kabocha cored, roasted and pureed once cool)

1 & ¾ cups flour sifted

1/2tbsp each baking soda and powder

2tbsp pesto*

1/4tsp each sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

½ cup diced asiago cheese

½ cup chopped, steamed spinach

4oz pouch Plum Organics pureed spinach, peas and pear

1/3 EVOO

2 eggs whisked

Sift and mix together dry ingredients. Separately add remaining ingredients to whisked eggs. Combine into dry ingredients. Place in 9inch cake tin, bake at 375*F for approximately 35 minutes. The loaf will not be completely dry when finished due to the amount of squash and the cheese. It needs to set and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before eating.

* If pesto does not appeal to you, consider substituting with a Salsa Romanesco (a cheese free roasted red pepper and almond based sauce). For a Latin American inspired dish, substitute basil pesto with green tomato salsa verde.

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Nostalgic Rainy Day Eating

Yesterday I woke up to POURING rain while my cousin Kim was visiting from out of town (NB. Cincinnati Blog Entry). Although it felt like a duvet day, to snuggle on the couch with hot chocolate and bad reality TV, we didn’t let the rain deter us from toughing the elements and playing tourist in my backyard, the illustrious NYC.

Our day started in Greenwich Village, by way of East and West Villages, Little Italy, Gramercy, Nolita and finally Flatiron District. It was a fun filled, carb fueled day and by the end of the afternoon the sun came out to play.

Upon surfacing above ground on the NYC side of the river, we followed our noses towards a selection of samples of charcuterie, cheese and the finest of Spanish EVOOs at Despaña, a gourmet Spanish Deli that imports the finest meats, cheeses, EVOOs, relishes and sauces – both sweet and savory. This was our first nostalgic flashback of the day, to summer 2001, Salamanca Spain, which I spent with Kim on a ‘study’ abroad stint, where we dabbled in the Spanish language and perfected our palates and appreciation for Sangria y Tapas. I also discovered the KING of all chocolate hazelnut spreads, which some how manages to put Nutella to shame – it’s called Nocilla, in my humble opinion, this is akin to Skippy in the peanut butter universe. In fact putting the two on the same slice of toast is a truly decadent indulgence, not speaking from experience of course.

chorizo In search of seeking shelter from the midday downpour, we then stumbled upon Caffe Roma in Little Italy, an institution of a pastry shop & gelateria that has been a mainstay for decades. The family run shop with its art deco mirrors, tiled floors and somewhat sticky tables truly warmed my heart the second we walked in.


Although the selection was limited (they must have sold all there goodies to the thousands of people waiting to enter the Friends Central Perk Pop-up Café around the corner), what they did have was nothing short of fabulous. The smell alone transported me to my childhood and I had nostalgic moment no.2 which brought me straight back to the days when my late Italian Grandma Rose would visit the suburbs, traveling from Queens with boxes of cannoli, pine nut cookies, biscotti, Napoleon and sfogliatelle.


Italian cookies and pastries are not overly sweet and common ingredients include ricotta, mascarpone, crumbly crusts and lots of citrus zest, seeds and nuts, all of which I love and emulate repeatedly in my baking. We chowed down on two types of ricotta tarts, one sweet and one savory, both equally delicious, slowly savoring each morsel in the warmth of the café as the rain poured outside.

By the end of our carb consumption visit, the rain eased and we had fuel to burn so we strolled over to the East Village for some Bubble Tea, a favorite of my cousin’s that is apparently lacking in her hometown of Cincinnati. This enigmatic beverage is something I never had a taste for, but I believe it’s because I never had it prepared properly. We managed to find CoCo Fresh Bubble Tea shop, which instantly transported my cousin back to the 6 months she spent working in Shanghai. She too had a familiar flashback and we shared travel stories over chilled sweet tea with mysteriously strange jelly like tapioca bubbles, that I must admit, I now find strangely satisfying.

bubble tea

We then walked towards our last stop, Madison Square and Flatiron, by way of Union Square’s weekend farmers market. More sensory delights in the form of market stall perusing, in what turned into a truly beautiful and sunny autumn afternoon.



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