Addictive Kale Chips

Addictive Kale Chips

 Baked Kale Chips











Kale Chips.


You either like ’em or you don’t.  Here at the Widjaja house, we LOVE them! Can’t get enough of them!   Beg for more! Don’t last long!….. but maybe that’s a good thing as it’s a way better alternative to junk such as:

  •    Potato chips
  •    Fried Foods
  •    Cake
  •    Candy
  •    Cookies

…. etc. etc. etc………………….   Not that we don’t eat that kind of stuff from time to time (ok, okay…… maybe more often than we care to admit ) but we try to incorporate creative (and tasty) ways to fix and eat healthier. As I always say, “it’s a lifestyle, not a diet til I reach a goal”.        

I personally, have always had a difficult time with vegetables or healthy foods even though I grew up eating very wholesome, natural foods. Blame it on my major “sweet tooth”, haha!  My mom was always more organic (BEFORE that became a “thing” y’all)  and so introduced us to nutritionally-rich foods.  [It] became somewhat of an anathema to me for a little while as I deviated from the ‘path’ once I became an adult and well into my 20’s but have returned to my roots since I value not only mine but my family’s health.

I have to add, for good measure, that Mr. AWE Design (Michael) has adopted even better nutritional habits than me – He has been dedicated and steadfast, not to mention disciplined with the Keto diet and it has provided great results for him overall. I’m super proud of him, especially given his diet was anything but healthy before. 

*Now keep in mind that although we are big fans of this “green stuff”, you and/or your kids may not be so quick to jump aboard this bandwagon. You just have to experiment and find healthy options that work for you.*

Seasoned Kale Leaves


Line your baking sheets either with aluminum foil (like I did) or parchment paper.  You want the baked leaves to come up easier.

Baking sheets lined with aluminum foil

Preheat your oven to 325° (You may have to adjust the temperature depending on how hot your oven heats).

Preheat Temperature


Work in batches….   Tear off leaves from the main stem.

Making kale chipsRinse……. and give a vigorous shake to get rid of excess water.Rinsing Kale Leaves

 Spread the leaves on paper towels and apply a top layer of paper towels to pat out the excess moisture.   (Side note: If you have one of those awesome salad spinners, then you can skip this step.  I actually just purchased one from Ikea and love it! )

Kale Leaves Being Dried

Kale leaves

Kale Leaves Drying

Next – transfer the kale leaves back to mixing bowl.  Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Get your hands in there and really work the oil in. You want to be sure the leaves are completely covered.

Pouring The EVOO On Kale






                  This is the oil I used…….         Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil




This seasoning I found at Fresh Market…

Red Dog Rub












Feel free to use whatever seasonings you have on hand but use them sparingly. I wouldn’t use salt just because when the kale is crispy baked, it tends to taste a bit salty by itself.  

Red Dog Rub Ingredients


















Kale leaves pre-oiled & seasoned and oiled & seasoned


Lay the leaves in a single {crowded} layer on baking sheet.  They will shrivel down when cooked.

Kale Leaves On Baking Sheets


Kale leaves laid in a single layer

Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes.

Kale Leaves Being Cooked

Kale Leaves Ready To Cook

Kale Baked

They should be a “blackened” green and feel crispy. They still taste good even if they didn’t cook to a full crisp but they will be a little chewy. It all comes down to preference.
Close-up Of Baked KaleWhen all done removing the “chips”, cleanup is so simple. Another reason I like to line my pans with foil or parchment paper.

Foil-lined cleanup


Now they are ready to devour! Kale Chips


Baked Kale Chips






Addictive Kale Chips
A vegetable that tastes great crispy
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 1-2 Bunches of Kale Leaves
  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used Bertolli Robusto)
  3. Seasoning of Choice (I used Red Dog Rub which I found at my local Fresh Market) such as-
  4. Granulated Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika, etc.... whatever suits your taste
  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Wash the leaves in a colander. I use a salad spinner to shake off the excess water but if you don't have one, just give it a good shake in the sink.
  3. You can eliminate this step (and yes, waste of paper towels) if you have a salad spinner. Lay the leaves out on paper towels and pat mostly dry with a layer of paper towels on top.
  4. In a stainless steel mixing bowl (easier clean-up from the oil), place the kale and douse the EVOO all over the leaves enough to coat. Toss with your hands to ensure even coating.
  5. Lightly sprinkle seasoning(s) of choice. Again, use your hands to ensure even distribution.
  6. Lay out in a single layer but crowded together(they will really shrivel down when cooked).
  7. Cook for 10-15 minutes. They should be crispy and a "blackened" green.




Making Party Decorations For A Princess

Making Party Decorations For A Princess

{Guest Post}                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Ilona from


For the Princess party, the decor gave a bright, happy impact with lots of pretty color and big puffs of tissue paper flowers. They were so easy to make! Here are some highlights from the ideas that lent such a feeling of fun and fantasy to the venue (which was right inside the home!).



 Quick Party Decorating Ideas

  • Get cute gift boxes in bright designs and stack them at the entry, on the gift table, near the photo area.
  • Hang Happy Birthday Banners, of course.
  • Use yardage of fabric remnants, cut to fit box covers, stack boxes to make displays for candy, etc.. Use to cover areas of activities, or at the mantle, under the castle decoration. Use the fabric to unify the party theme throughout different rooms.
princess party decorations!
To bring your festive color theme into the room, streamers of crepe paper twists are the time honored decoration.


Crepe Streamers and Balloons











Hang some of the Princess’ initial letters, painted up just for her Birthday on the wall or propped on an easel.
bright letter K

  flower-shaped edit letter and number






Make Tissue Paper Flowers For Big Impact

Make giant tissue paper flowers and decorate key areas, including a wall or mantle area.
Martha Stewart has very clear, well illustrated instructions on her site.

Find those instructions, here.

Or you could follow the directions in this video…



Fill A Princess Purse

Making the guests feel special is really important for any party, but most of all for girls in the 4-6 year old group. Help them to feel they are part of the celebration with cute favor bags filled with their own dress up items.
We didn’t have this idea at the time, but I thought that making your own little princess purses looked like a darling idea. Full of ideas for filling it with favors.


Encourage the guests to dress up in costume and they all become part of the backdrop for your child to be surrounded by a Fairytale scene of courtiers and castles.




If you haven’t already, read more about a princess/unicorn themed party here.

A Fairy Tale Princess Party

A Fairy Tale Princess Party

Hi my friends,  I would like to introduce to you ….my mom, ILONA – who is a well-seasoned blogger and shares tips, tutorials and a wealth of information on gardening over at Ilona’s Garden. She also has some sister sites, one of which might interest all you DIY enthusiasts, chronicling endless renovations and rebuilding in the old farmhouse I grew up in –   Old House Blog.

In honor of my baby girl turning 7 this month, I’m so happy to have my mom here to share this wonderful “throwback” post of my daughter’s 3rd birthday.

Grandma and grandson

My mom with my boy circa 2009








 {Guest Post}





How To Throw An Amazing Princess Party For Your Little Girl

No matter what her age- this “sugar sweet” fantasy party can be loads of fun for any girl. It is especially so for the under-4 foot set.

…There are all sorts of easy and inexpensive ways to decorate and customize everything for a fairy tale atmosphere.

My inspiration for this party theme how-to came from the absolutely amazing party my daughter threw for her little girl. She wanted aPrincess and Unicorn party.

If that is your daughter’s (or granddaughter’s) dream, let this guide help you turn her dream into a fun party for everyone!
Our entire family assembled together to lend a helping hand and join in the celebration. It was so, so much fun for all of us, and the children had a blast.

When she was young, I taught my daughter how to make a celebration with decorations, food, and serving.

But she has taken it to a whole new level.

Her parties are events, ones that take more imagination and clever creation than money.

The result? A total birthday party success and happy family memories for a sweet little birthday girl.

What you will find among the ideas shared here, for you:

  • simple food,
  • inexpensive, but creative decorations,
  • fun activities to keep the momentum rolling,
  • and inspiration to make a little girl’s dreams come true.

Choose your Color Scheme

Before you get the invitations or anything else, choose a color theme. Maybe based on what is available at your local craft store

Princess Party To-do List

Smoothly Schedule Your Plans

castle party decoration

Combine elements together to increase the festive feeling.

Use a foam castle on your mantle… create a photo op prop from large cardboard. Simply paint the front to look like Cinderella’s coach or a castle wall and cutout a window. Frame it and use for individual photos of each princess invitee.

Fibre Craft 3D Foam Princess Castle Kit

OR Get a cutout of one of the Disney characters or a horse… any type of prop that makes a little girl feel like royalty when her picture is taken.

Princess Photo Prop cutout is cardboard; t has a 6″ wide x 8″ high opening for a photo opportunity and a place for a cute face to peep through the carriage window.

Or use as a frame for a Queen-size photo of the party princess.

Use wands and tiaras

If you find inexpensive plastic “glass slippers”, that would be a perfect fit for this party.


Cute Fun and Games

Activities For This Age Group, 4-6

Tried and true “Pin the tail on the donkey” is dressed up as a unicorn who needs a nose horn. We made our own set of horns and drew a unicorn on poster board, but I found a ready-made game to purchase, too.

Unicorns Need Their Horns

Pin the horn



Quick How-to for Unicorn Game:


  • 1 Large poster board for horse picture
  • Foam sheets to cut out horn shapes
  • Glitter glue
  • Craft paints
  • Double stick tape ( instead of tacks)
  • Scissors
  • Bright artist markers
  • On large-size poster board draw or paste a “found ” horse picture. Poster size picture is needed.
  • Make a template for the horn, draw onto foam sheets; cut out horn shapes
  • Paint the horns with glitter glue
  • Use craft paints and markers to highlight poster and detail horns
  • Apply double stick tape (instead of tacks) to back of horns at time of game
  • Blindfold for child (sleep mask works)
  • Bright artist markers to add name of child to their unicorn horn.

Face Painting

In our party we did face painting, on request, for all the royal subjects of the princess., AND for the princess herself. One idea that you might borrow is to add little rhinestone stick-ons to the faces of each of the guests in the royal party (especially if the party is an all girl affair).

Decorate Gift Bags

I like this idea better than decorating tiaras or crowns because the craft has time to dry and there is no chance that stuff will get stuck in someone’s hair! All you need are simple paper gift bags, child’s craft glue, stick-ons or foam shapes and glitter pens.. Each child can make their gift bag, (make sure their name is written on their bag) and it will be dry by the time everyone is ready to leave for home.

Or use inexpensive stick-ons in the next activity….
…decorate the tiaras using foam shapes with these “stick-on” jewels would be very pretty.

An Alternative to Paper Gift Bags

Cinderella carriage gift bagInstantly dress up the table with this cute little take home box. Fill it with goodies or use it to store the favors that your princess doles out to her loyal subjects who came to this birthday fete.

Ingredients For A Splendid Little Girl’s Party


One Part Planning,Two Parts Imagination, and a Dollop of Fun


bright letter K

Easy DIY decoration just requires hobby store letter, some paint and a bit of ribbon

  1. This is one party where decorations are a priority to set the stage for everyone to feel like courtiers in a castle, centered around the royal princess. The addition of imagination is more important than a large spending budget. Reminders of castles, flowing streamers, and a throne could help create the right atmosphere.
  2. Food is always of key importance. Keep it simple, but make sure you take time with the presentation. Add foods with something of the theme’s colors.
  3. Part of setting the stage starts with the invitations, and extends through the favors and paper products, Keep centered on insignias that say you are entering a castle with its regalia of crowns, scepters, flowing robes, and the prettiest dresses.
  4. Keep the theme and the fun going with games and activities. Remember that The Royals love their entertainments. Presentations are a chance to add some ritual and over-the-top fun. You might even have minstrels or jesters perform a little something.

Make The Most Of The Room

Glitz up the place to create a festive and fun atmosphere. Make it a fantasy place with brightly colored additions to tables, mantles, and walls. Think of castles, wands, and glitter… things little girls just love.

For mantle, tables, and entry:
Buy square yardage of remnant material in your chosen color scheme. Use the to make table squares and swags. Mix and match patterns to create a festive air. Use a play castle to set the feel of the gift table or main room. A foam assembly (kept out of reach of the younger set) fairy princess castle is ideal. Use play figures of princesses, a prince, and unicorns to add to the scene.

Bright colorful Initial letters – painted in your theme colors and attached to a wall or propped on picture easels to Monogram the room for Her Highness.

Construct Your Princess Castle

Bright, happy colors

Tips for setting up a fairy tale party space.

  • Remove extra tables, chairs, and other furniture items from the room where you intend to play games.
  • Set up a table with a plastic cover for crafts- we used the living room coffee table.
  • Create a parent space if possible -where the parents can hang out and have some beverages and snacks.
  • Encourage dress-up and costumes for a Princess party
  • Face painting only needs a chair for the artist and a small side table for the paints and paper towels. An open space for the children to make a queue is nice.

Tip To Remember


Note that some decorations and favors are not for children under age 3 because of choking hazards. Always be aware of age appropriate favors and decorations.

When All Is Said and Done

What was the most fun?

Helping hands

Helping hands

Besides the family fun we had getting together and setting everything up, my impression on what created the most fun for all involved, follows.

The decorations were lots of fun to make and I think they added the essential fantasy environment for the children to really enjoy this party. It had both girls and boys and they all just LOVED the face painting. That is a tried and true activity in many festivals, but this is the first time I had participated in it for a children’s party.

I think they like the face painting so much because it draws them into the event with their own interests. We, the volunteer face painting artists, asked each child what they would like as their face design. It ranged from spiderman to puppy dogs and kitties, but they were all so pleased with their “personalized” art.

The little girls loved the gift bag decor and I think the boys most enjoyed the “pin the tail” game. They all absolutely loved taking home their loot, the candies, little rings, etc.

It turned out to be an event that everyone enjoyed and that left the birthday girl very, very happy.


party room decor

For a few easy party food items, try the following recipes:

Simple Food

Does the food seem too simple? Remember that complex recipes will add stress to the preparations, and may not be appreciated by the guests. Perhaps add one or two more choices to a menu rather than complexity in the preparation.

Make A Quick Pink Punch

  • 1 two liter of 7-Up
  • 1 bottle cranberry black cherry juice cocktail (64 oz)


  1. Mix the juice and 7-Up together.
  2. Double or triple the recipe as needed.
  3. Have both bottles icy cold, do not dilute with ice, and float pretty edible flowers in it if seasonable. (pansies, rose petals -with NO pesticides)
  4. Source: via Karen
  5. Princess Punch (sounds amazing) Ingredients: 1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice 1 (6 oz.) can frozen pink lemonade 2 1/2 c. water 3 (28 oz.) bottles ginger ale 1 qt. strawberry ice cream

Pink Lemonade Party Cake – Extra Quick and Easy

Pink Lemonade Party Cake
Yields 12
You may want to buy a cake, or perhaps use your own favorite recipe, but if you'd like.... here is a perfectly delicious cake for your royal celebration.
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
1 hr 35 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
1 hr 35 min
Total Time
2 hr
  1. 1 cup very hot water
  2. 1 box (4-serving size) raspberry-flavored gelatin
  3. 1 box White cake mix
  4. 1/2 cup frozen (thawed) lemonade concentrate
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  7. 4 egg whites
  8. 1 container (12 oz) Whipped vanilla frosting
  9. 1 cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping
  10. 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries- if desired
  11. Lemon peel strips- if desired
  1. 1- Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour. In small bowl, mix hot water and gelatin until gelatin is completely dissolved; cool slightly.
  2. 2- In large bowl, beat cake mix, 1/4 cup of the gelatin mixture, 1/4 cup of the lemonade concentrate, the water, oil, and egg whites with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan. Reserve remaining gelatin mixture and lemonade concentrate.
  3. 3- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Poke warm cake every inch with fork tines. Remove 1 tablespoon of the reserved gelatin mixture to microwavable custard cup or small bowl. In another small bowl, mix remaining gelatin mixture and remaining 1/4 cup lemonade concentrate; pour slowly over cake. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. 4- In medium bowl, fold together frosting and whipped topping; frost cake. Microwave 1 tablespoon gelatin mixture uncovered on High 10 seconds to liquefy. Using 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon, place small drops of gelatin mixture over frosting; with spoon or toothpick, swirl gelatin into frosting. Garnish each piece with raspberries and lemon peel strips. Store covered in refrigerator.
  1. Extra Quick and Easy




Hop on over to Making Party Decorations For A Princess for more party fun……..