There are a lot of things I still have issues with when it comes to cooking.

Almost every time I try, something goes wrong with my mashed potatoes. They are never how I want them.

Browning chicken in a pan? Forget it. I’m so fidgety and get impatient and I always flip it too quickly.

For the first few years we were married, I couldn’t cook pork right for the life of me. It was always super dry and way overcooked. I remember one night a few years ago, I was trying a lemon pasta recipe and fish. I’m not sure if I messed up the recipe or the recipe itself was just bad, but the entire dinner was horrible. We both took one bite, threw it all away, and made sandwiches.

We’ve eaten pasta that has been cooked almost to mush, casseroles that looked like they had already been eaten, and a bunch of other sad attempts at new recipes. So, yes, I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I would in the first few years of marriage, but I have to remind you that, while I usually post the good here (and sometimes the bad), this blog wasn’t up and running when there were more bad nights than good.


A friend told me this week that her boyfriend was looking at my pie recipe the other day and said something about Nick being lucky with all this good food.

And I’m sure most days, it looks like all we eat is pie, cookies, brownies, and sometimes a salad. Those things typically turn out good, but I reminded her that it took a while for me to get where I am now (still making mistakes, daily, and having to throw things away) and we ate a lot of not-so-great meals in the meantime.

One food that took me a while to master is greens. I didn’t grow up eating greens, unless you count salads. My closest encounter to greens was watching Popeye down his cans of spinach.

And there were many, many cooking attempts that went uneaten by both of us.

A surefire way to get Nick to like them in the beginning was to cook some bacon in the pan and then cook the greens in the fat. Bacon fat = flavor. But we don’t always have bacon in the house. And I didn’t want to only cook greens in bacon fat.

One night, I threw some stuff together in a pan, and it worked. And Nick really liked it! I know when he really likes something because he’ll actually tell me that he likes it.

It is simple and easy and healthy – which is good considering we do have baked goods in the house all the time.

If my husband likes this version of kale, I’m pretty sure anyone would like it.



Maple Mustard Kale with Apple and Onion

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, 4-5 cups, washed and chopped into  bite size pieces
  • 1 small apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

In large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add apple and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened.

Stir in the salt, pepper, and kale, and cover the pan with a lid. Let this cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the kale has started to wilt, stir in the maple syrup and dijon mustard.

Serve warm.


  1. I can’t get my boyfriend to eat kale either! I’m not sure what it is but he will have none of it! I’ll have to try this.

  2. I might need to try this- Josh claims to really dislike kale. I’ve tried cooking it a number of ways, but he seems to just not be a fan. I’m so with you on the kitchen fails. Meals that are edible, but not that good are usually called one timers in our house ;)

  3. So darn tasty. This looks fabulous Brandi, and I bet Daniel would love it too!!

  4. we’re both on a kale kick today :) this sounds AWESOME! I need to experiment more with greens and love the sound of this!

  5. Sounds delicious! I love hearty kale in cooked dishes like that.

  6. I definitely relate to all the above confessions about a time where there were “more bad nights than good.” :) It’s fun to see the scale tipping the other way! I love kale, and never thought of adding in apples or maple syrup!

  7. Maple and mustard sounds like a great combo, almost like honey mustard! PS – he may like it cooked down in Moscato – very sweet and delicious!

  8. My mom cooks collards almost the exact same way and they’re SO delicious. We ought to try kale next time!

  9. This looks awesome! A little sweet and super healthy :)

  10. I think in many ways, this is a good reminder. I do think blogs can paint that rosy image that every meal is amazing and I know that even though I know it’s not that way in my own kitchen, I’m still prone to thinking it is when it comes to the blogs I read. Always flops & fails that don’t get blogged about.

    • yeah, it’s definitely still a normal occurrence here. I threw away a bread trial this weekend, and a batch of donuts last week. But it’s how I learn!

  11. love turning people on to kale! i think the first one i tried with my parents was one from ricki with apples and onions as well. love the mustard addition :)

  12. I love kale, and your recipe sounds great! My hubby didn’t really care for kale for a long time, but I think it has really grown on him over the years…

  13. Your husband sounds a lot like my fiance. I still can’t get him to a lot of things, kale included. Perhaps I’ll try this and see how he reacts. Thanks for the idea!

  14. This is by far one of my favorite ways to enjoy kale, I love the sweet/savory flavor plays! I usually add some white balsamic vinegar to my mix but I really like the idea of the maple syrup & dijon… mmmm yum!

  15. I’ve only in the last year or so started experimenting with cooking greens. This looks so good–I’m going to bookmark this and give it a try!

  16. Ooh, this looks delicious! I thought we made the same recipe this week, but mine had hot pepper vinegar. It’s so funny, kale is pretty much the ONLY vegetable Ari enjoys, but he only likes it steamed. I made a salad with it once and he thought it was terrible!

  17. Haha! I guessed right. When I saw the title I thought “BACON!”. :D

    I had never had kale before and then tried it last month at a restaurant. It was cooked with bacon too and it was delicious!

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