Butter-Braised Kale

Whenever I’m feeling stuck on creative cooking inspiration, I just need to think back to one of our many visits to Just a Taste.  I’m constantly inspired by their menu and I don’t think we’ve ever had a tapas there that was anything less than ‘great.’

We took Cordelia there a few weeks ago when she was in town, and ordered the winter greens braised in butter and tossed with white beans, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese.  As our forks fought for the last savory bite, she pleaded with me to figure out how they were cooked so that she could make them at home.  I’m always up for a challenge like that!

I’m fairly certain my version has a lot less butter than the restaurant dish, but isn’t that the way these things always go?

Butter-Braised Kale

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Butter-Braised Kale

This kale, braised in both water and butter, makes a great side dish. If you don't have any kale, you could also use collard greens or another winter green.


  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Chop the kale into two-inch pieces. Combine the kale and 1 cup water in a large Dutch oven, cover and heat on the stove over medium-low to steam the kale.
  2. When the kale is wilted and tender, cube 2 tablespoons of the butter and add them to the kale, covering the Dutch oven again.
  3. Once the butter has melted, stir the kale and add the rest of the water. Simmer, uncovered, until the water is gone.
  4. Cube and add the rest of the butter, stirring until melted.
  5. Toss the kale with the walnuts and Parmesan. Serve warm.

DIY Tea Travel Kit

Tea Travel 2

I promised myself I would start packing for IACP this morning.  I’ve pulled the suitcase out of the basement and set aside a few outfits. I’ve chosen a book for the bus and my iPod is charging.  And I’ve packed up some tea.  Because we all know I can’t be without my tea.

I have a little jar of loose-leaf chai and a bag of orange oolong, along with a little two-tablespoon measuring scoop and a tea ball for brewing.  And just in case I’m in a rush to get out the door, I also pulled out some bags of chai.  I threw in some bags of herbal tea for caffeine-free evening sipping and wrapped it all up in the pouch I sewed this weekend.

For my bag, I cut out some vintage-Pyrex-inspired tea fabric from Drygoods Design for the outside, and some random navy blue fabric for the lining.

Tea Travel 3

I used a combination of these two tutorials to sew my little pouch.  I cut everything to size based on the first tutorial, and learned how to add the zipper (and a lining, which wasn’t in the first tutorial) with the second.

Tea Travel 4

I wish I could tell you how I sewed the corners all nice and square.  The tutorials weren’t quite clear on how to make them even, so I did a lot of guess-check-and-rip-out-the-seams.  Definitely not the most efficient way to do things, and it still isn’t perfect, but that’s okay.

Tea Travel 1

As I make more little pouches, I’m sure I’ll figure out a formula for sewing the corners.  Until then…more guess and check!

Now I have some of the essentials packed up for my NYC and IACP trip later this week: plenty of tea!