An Open Letter to the Neighbor Who Filed a Complaint against my Black Lives Matter Sign

Quote: “…we have to work harder than most to achieve a sense of normalcy we thought would be commonplace…”

Confessions of a Pseudo-Gaysian Suburban Dad

Dear Neighbor,

I don’t know who you are, but you surely know me. We’re a pretty conspicuous family: two dads—one white and one Asian—and two young kids—one black and one Latino—who live right up the street from Thoreau Elementary. Maybe you’ve seen me reading on the porch while my kids play soccer in the front yard and maybe I’ve even said good morning to you as you walked by. I can’t be sure though, since I don’t know who you are.

Black Lives MatterTwo weeks ago, we put up a Black Lives Matter sign. Our eight-year-old black daughter was so excited. Our white neighbors across the street put one up too, and I think that meant a lot to our daughter. I know it meant a lot to me. So when we came home last week to find a letter jammed in our doorknob from the town Building Commissioner stating that an…

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Ooohhh! Easy Kale and Broccoli Concoction

What I love about this dish, is how fast and easy it is. Not to mention delicious.

First off, I am not ashamed to admit I have never been a huge fan of any member of the vegetable family. Not sure if being forced to eat it when I was a kid has anything to do with that but, nonetheless, I am well aware now that they are good for me. I will also shamelessly admit, I don’t always show appreciation for many of the foods labeled “good” for me. I find they often don’t feel good, don’t taste good, don’t look good, or worse, all the above. These days I am all about feeling good, in the moment.

Bare with me while I reiterate that I cook strictly for me. I am in no way advocating that the way I make my food is the best way to eat. I am not making any such claims. Sometimes, I cook whatever taste great, but not necessarily good for me, while other times I pay more than the usual attention to what I put in my body. I just don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it. I happen to love cooking, enjoy experimenting, and love the way my concoctions end up tasting so amazingly good, if I do in all humility say so myself. After all, these are the days of MY life and I only have ONE life to live–speaking of which–what time is it anyway? Be right back!

Okay, I’m back! Seems Victor is still up to his old tricks! As I was saying…..can’t seem to recall what it was I was saying….oh yeah! About not being a fan of veggies. So the other night it occurred to me I had better  get some natural vitamins into me. The way I decided to do that was to use up the Kale and Broccoli I had sitting in one of the fridge drawers screaming at me how flippin’ cold it is in there. I had no idea then what I would make, but that is the beauty of why I love to cook so much and why I get to dish to you about my lovely concoctions, thus the pun intended, “Dishing to You” handle…wooot wooot!!!

The challenge of having only a few ingredients and being able to combine them to create culinary masterpieces excites me to no end. 😀

I thought this time,  I’d keep it fairly simple. Well….truth be told…I’m conveniently lazy when it comes to food preparation. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t like spending time cooking. I just want to get in the kitchen and get out! Similar to the way I shop…besides, it’s not like I had much choice since all I had in the fridge were the Kale, Broccoli and few herbs. My job was to combine them and make something I’d feel good about eating.(loooove it!!!). At that point, I was so hungry, I would have eaten anything as long as it were editable.

If you want to try making this kale and broccoli dish yourself, I have outlined the ingredients and method I used below. By-the-way, if you can think of a more enticing and interesting name for this dish other than “Easy Kale and Broccoli Concoction, I’d be owing to yah! 😀

Again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, allow me to remind you:

  • I do NOT cook from a recipe, which means I measure nothing. Measuring and weighing ingredients is just too conforming to me. Furthermore, math and I broke up decades ago.
  • I cook what I like and ONLY what I know I will eat. So if you are in the health profession or Nutritionist, DISHING2U© may not be the place you’d want to hang out.
  • I DO make the effort to keep up a balance in the “eyeballing” of ingredients I use in my cooking, but you know what? I am human and I dislike bland-tasting foods. In all fairness to yours truly, I don’t generally share “unhealthy” cooking habits. I realize there are certain foods I consume I might consider cutting out or eating less of, such as those dreaded carbs, but that’s for when I feel good and ready to make those changes. In the meantime… let’s EAT!!!

Props to me for stopping long enough to take photos for y’all to see how I did this…I am a visual home-body so I figure y’all are too. 🙂 Someone said a long time ago that a picture speaks a thousand words. Frankly, if that’s true, then it’s in my best interest to use them in my blog, wouldn’t you agree?…and now that I come to think of it, I am opened to hearing from anyone who can say they saw a picture speaking one word much less a thousand of them :D.  Anywhooo….here is what you’ll need:

INGREDIENTS

  1. A few leaves of Kale (I used a small bundle, the way you buy them at the groceries)

    Dishing2U Veggies Kale

    Dishing2U Veggies Kale

  2. Half of a small head of Broccoli, cut into bite-sized chunks

    Dishing2U Veggies Broccoli

    Dishing2U Veggies Broccoli

  3. ¼ or ½ each red and green bell pepper; diced
  4. 1 small tomato, any type; diced

    Dishing2U Kake Broccoli Spices

    Dishing2U Kale Broccoli Spices

  5. Herbs (the legal kind), i.e.,
    • ½ or whole onion; chopped
    • 3 or 4 cloves garlic; chopped; no such thing as too much garlic

      Dishing2U Herbs Garlic

      Dishing2U Herbs Garlic

    • 1 cinnamon stick, cracked into smaller pieces to help release the flavour

      Dishing2U Herbs Cinnamon

      Dishing2U Herbs Cinnamon

    • 1 or two sprigs of rosemary and thyme; dried or fresh (Simon and Garfunkel just went nuts in my head right there!).

      Dishing2U Herbs

      Dishing2U Herbs

    • ½ scotch bonnet pepper; chopped (watch out, very hot!). How much you use will depend on how hot and spicy you like your food…me? The hotter the better! (I took these out of the freezer, thus the white frost on them.
      [Tip] To lessen the pepper’s heat intensity, remove some or all the seeds

      Dishing2U Scotch Bonnet Peppers

      Dishing2U Scotch Bonnet Peppers

  6. Aprox. 2 tablespoons of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

    Dishing2U Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Dishing2U EVOO

  7. Aprox. one tablespoonful of Cool Runnings Spice and Roasted Garlic seasoning. I became hooked on this brand after I watch the Cool Runnings movie…now I use it all the time.
    Optional: ½ chicken buillion cube
  8. Dash of sea salt and ground black pepper to taste. Ease back on the sea salt if you are using the buillion cube, which is already salty.

    Dishing2U Kale Broccoli Spices

    Dishing2U Kale Broccoli Spices

The Method to my Madness
This is how I remember putting it all together. I was in and out of the kitchen in under 30 minutes.

Concoct and enjoy at your own risk!

  1. WASH VEGGIES
    Started by washing the veggies in vinegar and tap water bath. To do that, place the kale, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers (not the scotch bonnet), and peeled onion in the sink or a large bowl. Cover with room temperature water, add a couple tablespoonful of white vinegar and give your veggies a quick rinse, discard the vinegar-water and rinse a second time, this time, no need to add any vinegar.
  2. CHOP VEGGIES AND HERBS
    Grab a knife you feel comfortable and safe around and cut the kale, onions, garlic, tomatoes and bell pepper into small pieces. Perfection is not required here. As long as the pieces are cut small enough to fit in your mouth; you’re good to go. Cut the peppers into dice-sized pieces, similar to what you see in the photos.
  3. HEAT OIL SAUTE HERB/SPICES
    On medium-high heat, in a medium-sized pan, heat the EVOO, being careful not to keep an eye on as olive oil burns quickly. While the oil heats, add the herbs and spices beginning with the onions, scotch bonnet pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon. Sprinkle in the CR seasoning, salt and black pepper to taste, stirring with a wooden spoon. Allow this mixture to sauté for about two minutes. When the onions begins to lose whiteness, add in the chopped garlic. Stir well.
    [TipWhen I cook, I usually add fresh garlic in the latter stages of heating the oil, because garlic has tendency to burn quickly in hot oil.
  4. Optional
    If you want to try this dish with an oxo (bullion) cube, stir it in now as well.
  5. ADD BELLS, TOMATO, and KALE
    To the above mixture, add the chopped bell peppers and tomatoes. Stir for a minute and then add the chopped Kale. Mix ingredients together well and cover and allow this to cook for approx. 5 minutes OR, until the kale begins to shrink to about half its original volume.
  6. FINALLY
    Add the broccoli last; cover again and let cook for another two to five minutes or until the broccoli begins to turn a dark green. The mixture will begin to secrete its own gravy/sauce. At this point use a spoon and taste the gravy and a small amount of the greens to decide if you need to make any adjustments, i.e., more spices or perhaps adding a little water if too salty.

And there you have it! Done! Feel free to try this one out and let me know how it turned out for you. Subscibe to my blog to have instant access to future amazing concoction or if you have any questions.

BONUS

TIPs

    • Optional
      I sometimes like to add oxo/buillion cubes to my cooking. You can purchase them in different flavours, including, chicken, vegetables and beef. I usually buy the vegetable and chicken cubes. Bouillon cubes give cooking an amazing flavour, if you know which flavour works best with whatever it is you are making.
Dishing2U Buillion cube

Dishing2U Buillion cube

  • This dish yields a great tasting gravy/sauce, which taste great served over plain Basmati rice or pasta.

There are other trick-ingredients I usually add to my cooking, which give food a distinct and incredible flavour, but you don’t think I am going to spoil all the fun by divulging all my cooking secrets in one post, do yah!?…:D….You do???

And THAT was DISHING2U©!
Bon Appetit!

Dishing2U Home-made Cauliflower Soup

Dishing the Cream on my home-made Cauliflower soup

One of the things I am grateful for and now appreciate about myself is the fact that I am in fact a pretty darn good cook. I’ve done it since before Adam was a boy…at least since I was old enough to lift a pot, and that’s a long time. Over the years, because of limited income (a phrase I try not use any more) and having to make do with just the basics of life, I have learned the skills necessary to create amazing dishes out of the “nothings” I see in my old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. I love experimenting with limited ingredients to create meals that taste great and what I consider healthy for me.

The other day the local grocery store had heads of cauliflower for a marked-down price of a whopping $1.49. Can’t beat that price, I thought. I purchased a pack, not quite sure what I would do with it since I am not a huge fan of vegetables. Arriving home, I decided I’d better do something with it fast as it was beginning to lose its freshness, which is why I supposed they had it marked down. At first I thought I’d just lightly steam them and freeze them for later use, but then I got this brilliant idea (I get those sometimes) to pulverize the steam veggies, add a little milk (I would have used real cream if I had it), a few of my favourite spices, and create my version of creamed of cauliflower soup. Well, the results were astonishing, if I do say so myself! The two heads of cauliflower yielded a fair amount of mixture. I now have enough soup to last me the entire week, just in time as Fall, my favourite time of the year, makes its cooler entrance.