Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pinned It & Did It! Parmesan Kale Salad

On my way back from Singapore in February, I had a nice long layover in SoCal which meant I could join my cousin and her hubs for a quick dinner before heading back to Chicago - along with surprise guest, my dad! The 4 of us went down to Tender Greens and I had this totally killer Kale Salad as one of my sides. I came back to Chicago try to convince the Baconator that we had to try to make this ourselves and he pretty much laughed at me.  "Raw kale is bitter, that would taste terrible," he said, brushing the suggestion aside, but I still couldn't get this simple salad out of my head. The menu simply stated: kale, parmesan, roasted garlic vinaigrette. Really? That's it? How in the world was I supposed to replicate? Clearly I couldn't, so I gave up.

I was at the farmers market last week and saw some gorgeous kale on sale and I started thinking back to that salad, so... (To the tune of Mighty Mouse) Here comes Pinterest to save the day! I searched all the pins and found this awesome recipe from The Slender Student.

Pin it!
Here's the recipe from The Slender Student
Ingredients:1 bunch of kale
3 T chopped onion
2 T minced garlic
1 T olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 T shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:1. Thoroughly rinse and dry your kale. Chop into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together your onion, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese.
3. Pour the dressing over the kale and massage with your hands for a minute or two until the leaves are slightly wilted.
4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before eating to allow the kale to absorb the flavor.

The ingredients were simple as was the prep, so off I went to clean, tear and massage my kale into a delicious splendor. The recipe called for a bunch of kale, which I assumed didn't mean the GIANT bunch I got from the market, so I added some extra garlic and onion, but otherwise followed the instructions to a T - don't do that folks, it gives you crazy bad garlic breath!  I am also a sucker for shredded parm so I added a bit more of that goodness... and good it was :)
Yum! Did it!
I'll definitely make this bad boy again, but next time I'm going to try and roast the garlic in my oven before making the dressing since the current version is hot with the raw garlic flavor.  Do you have a favorite Kale salad recipe that is your go to?

Love and Bacon,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

One of Those People

Do you ever meet people and think, "now where has this person been my whole life?" because you hit it off instantly? Folks that you see and it doesn't matter how much times passes because it's like nothing has changed?

Tonight I had dinner with one of those people in my life. We met 3 years ago, after a mutual friend thought that she was a good fit for my wedding; 2 years ago, we were making a shot list for the upcoming nuptials; a year ago we were eating burgers at DMK for hours talking about married life and her new full-time photography gig; tonight we had a 2.5 hour long sushi extravaganza and discussed all the things that have changed - her new city, her engagement (hoooooooray!), my new condo, our plans for the future and all that goodness in between.  Jordan is my former wedding photographer/friendor/long lost gal pal/soul sister that I see once in a a blue moon... and every single time, it's the best time ever.

I think that Hollywood forgets to tell us that these kinds of friendships exist - the ones that start in your mid-twenties that don't involve getting blackout drunk or seeing each other everyday or frenemy drama.  Maybe these stories are harder to tell?  Either way, I thought I'd share with the world that friendships like this do exist - the ones that start as business then turn into play and can span state lines and don't require constant texting and chatting on the phone and always make you happy.

Love and Bacon,

PS - I just realized that we don't have a picture together... I'll make sure to fix that the next time we get together... whether that is next month or next year :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

The 15 Percent

Back in June, General Mills premiered a new heart health Cheerios ad, just in time for Father's Day. The ad features this adorbs little girl that wants to know if Cheerios are good for your heart and later pours them all of her dad because she loves him so much and wants him to have a healthy heart.

Killer, right? Makes everybody want to go out and buy some Cheerios right away. Wrong. Apparently folks were all up in arms because the dad is black, the mom is white and the little girl is brown. Honestly, I was upset that people were upset, but to bring all that up now is about 6 weeks too late. There were a bunch of really great responses to the outrage from the somewhat explicit, but totally on point, Jezebel post that came out right after the video was released to the heart warming reaction of kids that came out today, but the one that really makes me proud to be biracial is the tumblr site, We Are The 15 Percent.

This site is a collection of lovely photos that are updated numerous times a day of biracial and multiracial families that have all been submitted by users. They are actively pulling together photos of families from across the US (and sometimes Canada) that showcase the love, beauty and 100% normalcy that is mixed race couples and families. It's the kind of site that makes you want to tell everyone about it because it's all about good.  Why the 15%? According to the a 2010 Pew study, 15% of new marriages are interracial - yes, FIFTEEN percent! The way I see it, that is awesome and it's only going up from there. We live in a world that is so accessible, where cultures are crossing borders and salsa outsells ketchup - pretty soon the site will need to be updated to the 16, 17 and 18%.

But you've probably already heard about all of these things because of Facebook and BuzzFeed and all kinds of things. Why do I care and why am I telling you again? Simply, I am the result of an interracial marriage from way before it was cool (oh hey, 1979, how's it hangin'?) and I am an active participant in an interracial marriage, helping to drive up that percentage rate.
My parents - trend setting since '79... white tux and all

Our wedding day - incorporating my Chinese heritage
As a gal that has lived in the US, Asia and Europe, in big cities and small towns, I noticed that while I relate to my Asian heritage all the time, the only place that I really fit in is the US. We are a nation full of folks like me - hodgepodges and mixies - I mean, even our president isn't just one ethnicity!  So for me, this ad was a big deal. When we have kids, I don't want them to ever wonder if they are less because they aren't all white or all yellow or all purple, I want them to grow up seeing themselves reflected in the media. When I was growing up, I don't remember a single show that had interracial couples, maybe interfaith, but never interracial; In drugstores, I wouldn't be able to find the right foundation because none of the shades matched up; to this day, I still have friends who were adopted from foreign countries by amazing families who had fantastic childhoods but never really felt like they fit in.

So starting now, with that Cheerios ad and that tumblr site, I hope things change. I hope that shows like Modern Family and the New Normal and Glee won't have to preach acceptance because people already get it. I'm part of the generation that grew up with a token black friend (or Asian or Hispanic), and now marries who we want despite cultural expectations, and will have kids in kindergarten classes with classmates more colorful than the rainbow. I am proud to be one of the 15%... and growing.

Love and Bacon,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hello Kitty Wins

So I swung by Sephora the other day, like you do, and could not resist these super cute Hello Kitty nail stickers!  With all the painting done, the appliances installed and the juice cleanse over with (more on that later), I thought it was time for some mani action.

Julep Color: Teri
I seriously can't stop looking at my nails! What do you think?

Love and Bacon,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pinned It & Did It! Patriotic Nails

That title is pretty self explanatory, right?  I searched Pinterest for "patriotic nails" and found some real jems (along with some duds), but here are some of my faves:

This one would take so much time, but I like the nautical theme (source)
Love this Simple Red, White & Blue Mani (source)

I'm a sucker for some chevron action! (source)

Love these patterns (source)
Super Patriotic (source)
This is one of  my faves - delicate patterns (source)
So with a ton of pinspiration under my belt, I was ready to get down to business with my nail polishes.  But let's be honest here, I am not that talented; so I needed something patriotic but easy but classy but nice but so many things... then I stumbled on this baby:

Here's the Inspiration (source)
With my Julep Jackie (Red) as the primary polish and a couple Avon shades, here's what I came up with:
Here's Mine!

Did I totally nail it? Nope... but the inspiration photo was done by a professional, not by a gal on her couch watching Master Chef for hours.  Are you going to do anything special with your mani to celebrate Independence Day?  Share pics below!

Love and Bacon,