Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Reflecting on "How to Cook with Kale"

I'm off to a late start with one of my two MOOCS (massive open online course), Making Learning Connected. So for our first assignment, we wrote a "How to..." guide and I chose to write on how to cook with kale.  As part of our reflection process, which should probably take place a little more than two hours after posting, we have been charged with thinking about what we learned from making our guide and what did we see as the purpose of this assignment.

As I went through the process, I thought of several things:

  • Writing directions is an art form.
  • Use as few words as possible and choose them well.
  • Good images go a long way and it's probably better to make your own rather than to search for fair use ones.
  • Design and layout matter.
  • Writing out directions takes longer than you think.
  • I am in awe of the bloggers I follow.
  • I want to practice this is skill more so that I can get better at it.

What I've been using how to guides for this summer:
  • Sewing a tote bag
  • Making goat cheese
  • Learning to use a GoPro
  • Figuring out how to fix my blog
What will I be doing for the remainder of the summer?  Take a look at my list for work.  I made it with WorkFlowy, my list tool of choice.

How to Cook with Kale

An Intro

Kale has been dubbed the healthiest vegetable in the world and I have to tell you, I find that pretty intimidating.  It makes it sound like you have to be the healthiest person in the world just to eat it! For nearly a year, I would grown every time it showed up in my CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture).  But with the help of two wonderful cookbook authors, Deborah Madison and Martha Rose Shulman, I felt empowered to start cooking with kale rather than just composting it!

I'll take you through the steps of storing, prepping and cooking kale.  At the end, I'll add some links to recipes that I have modified to include kale.

Quick Tips
Here are some quick tips to get the most out of your kale:
  1. Don't wash it when you bring it home because the water will cling to the leaves and invite mold to grow on them.
  2. Store your kale in a loose fitting plastic bag (like the kind in the produce section at grocery stores).*
  3. Store it in the coldest part of the fridge; it'll keep for at least a week.  And, I'm sure I've pushed mine longer but I'm a risk taker.

*I am not a plastic person but I reuse these bags over and over again.  Just make sure you clean them out between uses.  I know that's common sense, but it's worth writing anyway.

Kale Prep Work

For me kale has a bitter taste and thus, I can hardly eat it raw.  This means I'm always cooking it.  Here's how to prep your kale.
  1. Destem your kale by gripping it at the stem and using the other hand, make a circle with your thumb and index finger like your saying everything is A-OK. Make your circle a little tighter than the one shown here.
  2. Run the kale leaves through your fingers to remove them from their stems.
  3. Thoroughly wash the leaves by submerging them in a big bowl of water and wiping the dirt off of them.  Then rinse in a colander.
  4. I always leave water clinging to the leaves because it helps them as they cook down.
  5. Optional: Chop the leaves before cooking them.  This will make the kale easy to use right out of the pan, but it also mean the leaves will burn more easily.  Do this if you are cooking it with other veggies.  

The Actual Cooking Part

Option 1: Sauté the kale in some olive oil (1-2 TBSP) over medium high heat, regularly moving it around the pan so that the leaves don't burn.  Remove from heat once the kale has wilted and reduced in size.

Option 2: If your recipe doesn't call for onions, then I would chop up an onion and add that to the olive oil first.  Let it soften, about 5-10 minutes over medium high heat.  Then add the kale and follow the above process.

Remove the kale from the pan and chop it if you didn't already.  You'll be able to chop it much finer now that it's cooked.

Kale goes great with:
Sweet potatoes
Butternut squash
White beans
Bread (pizza, calzones, empanadas, etc)


Here are a few recipes that I love, some have kale and others I have modified by adding kale to them.  Enjoy!

No modifications needed here!

Winter Squash Souffle ~ From Epicurious
For this recipe, I add kale as cooked in Option 1 and chopped afterward.  Fold in the kale before you transfer the mixture to the bowl and put the egg yolks in.

A Fragrant Onion Tart ~ Deborah Madison's Vegetable Literacy
For this tart, I stir in the kale when I stir in the onions.  Be careful to let the kale cool, otherwise you'll cook your eggs long before you want to.

Madison also has another wonderful book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, of which she just released a new version.  In that book is a great recipe entitled something like "Empanadas with Greens and Olives".  It's a great recipe.

Greens Gratin ~ Martha Rose Shulman
I don't have a picture for this gratin, but I have made several of them from Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest.  What a fantastic resource!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 06/17/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 06/14/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 06/11/2014

    • Content curation features handpicked content, often introduced with a snippet of copy from the curator. Performed correctly, content curation can create a big value addition.
  • tags: laptop notes notetaking

    • students who write out their notes on paper actually learn more. 
    • those who wrote out their notes by hand had a stronger conceptual understanding and were more successful in applying and integrating the material than those who used took notes with their laptops.
    • taking notes by hand forces the brain to engage in some heavy “mental lifting,” and these efforts foster comprehension and retention.  By contrast, when typing students can easily produce a written record of the lecture without processing its meaning
    • high verbatim note content was associated with lower retention of the lecture material
    • transcription fails to promote a meaningful understanding or application of the information
    • those who took longhand notes outperformed laptop participants.  Because longhand notes contain students’ own words and handwriting, they may serve as more effective memory cues by recreating the context (e.g., thought processes, emotions, conclusions) as well as content (e.g., individual facts) from the original learning session.
    • Because students can use these posted materials to access lecture content with a mere click, there is no need to organize, synthesize or summarize in their own words.
    • evidence suggests that when college students use laptops, they spend 40% of class time using applications unrelated to coursework, are more likely to fall off task, and are less satisfied with their education
    • even when technology allows us to do more in less time, it does not always foster learning.  Learning involves more than the receipt and the regurgitation of information
    • When it comes to taking notes, students need fewer gigs, more brain power.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Educational Resources & Tech Tools 06/10/2014

  • Here are some GREAT professional development courses you can take over the summer!

    tags: pd professional development online pd

  • tags: SEL nytimes morals ethics

    • For example, research suggests that when parents praise effort rather than ability, children develop a stronger work ethic and become more motivated.
    • Surveys reveal that in the United States, parents from European, Asian, Hispanic and African ethnic groups all place far greater importance on caring than achievement
    • Genetic twin studies suggest that anywhere from a quarter to more than half of our propensity to be giving and caring is inherited
    • By age 2, children experience some moral emotions — feelings triggered by right and wrong. To reinforce caring as the right behavior, research indicates, praise is more effective than rewards.
    • Rewards run the risk of leading children to be kind only when a carrot is offered, whereas praise communicates that sharing is intrinsically worthwhile for its own sake
    • The researchers randomly assigned the children to receive different types of praise. For some of the children, they praised the action: “It was good that you gave some of your marbles to those poor children. Yes, that was a nice and helpful thing to do.” For others, they praised the character behind the action: “I guess you’re the kind of person who likes to help others whenever you can. Yes, you are a very nice and helpful person.”
    • A couple of weeks later, when faced with more opportunities to give and share, the children were much more generous after their character had been praised than after their actions had been.
    • Praising their character helped them internalize it as part of their identities.
    • The children learned who they were from observing their own actions: I am a helpful person.
    • it was 22 to 29 percent more effective to encourage them to “be a helper.”
    • When our actions become a reflection of our character, we lean more heavily toward the moral and generous choices.
    • Tying generosity to character appears to matter most around age 8, when children may be starting to crystallize notions of identity.
    • When children cause harm, they typically feel one of two moral emotions: shame or guilt. Despite the common belief that these emotions are interchangeable, research led by the psychologist June Price Tangney reveals that they have very different causes and consequences.
    • Shame makes children feel small and worthless, and they respond either by lashing out at the target or escaping the situation altogether.
    • guilt is a negative judgment about an action, which can be repaired by good behavior
    • When children feel guilt, they tend to experience remorse and regret, empathize with the person they have harmed, and aim to make it right.
    • The ashamed toddlers were avoiders; the guilty toddlers were amenders.
    • If we want our children to care about others, we need to teach them to feel guilt rather than shame when they misbehave.
    • shame emerges when parents express anger, withdraw their love, or try to assert their power through threats of punishment: Children may begin to believe that they are bad people. Fearing this effect, some parents fail to exercise discipline at all, which can hinder the development of strong moral standards
    • The most effective response to bad behavior is to express disappointment.
    • parents raise caring children by expressing disappointment and explaining why the behavior was wrong, how it affected others, and how they can rectify the situation. This enables children to develop standards for judging their actions, feelings of empathy and responsibility for others, and a sense of moral identity, which are conducive to becoming a helpful person.
    • You’re a good person, even if you did a bad thing, and I know you can do better.”
    • Children learn generosity not by listening to what their role models say, but by observing what they do
    • If you don’t model generosity, preaching it may not help in the short run, and in the long run, preaching is less effective than giving while saying nothing at all
    • when it comes to producing moral children, we need to remember that action also shapes character.
  • Lesson ideas for working with students who are suffering loss in their lives.

    tags: edutopia death SEL

    • We live in a culture that does not always encourage or support expressions of loss and, frankly, expects people "to get over" grief fairly quickly
    • For example, in language arts, students can be told that they will be writing about someone they remember and they can focus on what they miss about that person or how they remember that person in their lives now
    • In the visual and performing arts, a similar assignment to make the focus of students' products someone they miss or remember.
    • Of course, students will need to discuss their feelings and perspectives and decide how to represent the emotions and memories involved in a joint product
    • Among the formats successful for this purpose are songwriting, choreography, and artistic renditions such as painting, sculpture, collage, and graphic art.
    • Other formats that cross over disciplines include comic books/graphic novels and documentary making

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.