Kale Peanut Salad

Nom nom, Asian flavors. Regardless of what I’m cooking for dinner, I’m guilty of repeat ingredients: soy, ginger, sesame, curry, fish sauce, sriracha…the list goes on. I don’t consider it a problem that I’m not much of a diverse home cook anymore. I’ve just found the flavors that are going to make me happy for another 5+ years. Or longer. Who knows?

I remember this time, in the fall of 2011, when I woke up one morning and instantly realized, “I like sushi now!” No joke. Up until that very moment, I despised sushi – and not because it’s raw fish, but because the flavor of nori repulsed me. I learned rather quickly that sushi as sushi actually has little to do nori –  but at that point in time, I was ready to brave the threatening maki roll. That morning, I knew I was going to become a sushi lover. And that I did. Isn’t it strange how our tastebuds change?

So, given this detail, I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before my Asian flavor craze fizzles out and is replaced by some other flavor craze. But until then, I surely will eat Kale Peanut Salad every day.


Kale Peanut Salad
makes 3-4 medium-sized servings

one bunch of kale; rinsed, destemmed, dried, and torn into pieces
3 T peanut butter (use whatever! I make mine my with Trader Joe’s all natural crunchy)
2 – 3 T seasoned rice vinegar (I usually just splash it in, so this is an estimate; start with 2 T, then add more if you want it!)
2 T honey
1 T soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch ginger root, peeled and minced
1 t or more srircha
1/2 t sesame oil
2 t vegetable oil
a heavy pinch of salt
1/3 C roasted, unsalted peanuts

Prepare kale and set aside in a very large bowl.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients with the exception of the kale and peanuts. Blend well and taste. If it’s too sweet, add a little bit more soy. If it’s too tangy, add a little bit more honey. If it’s not spicy enough, add more sriracha. If it’s too salty, I don’t know what to tell you. Add lime juice?

Roughly chop the peanuts so you end up with some small pieces and some larger ones.

Pour every last drop of the dressing over the kale and add peanuts. Toss with tongs to combine.

I keep this in the fridge and eat off of it for 2-3 days. The dressing helps to tenderize the kale over time.

Now, how’s that for a little Asian persuasion?


Ginger Snap Cookie Sandwiches

I struggle to maintain a blog. Let’s be honest, we’re all too busy to regularly exercise, meet up with friends, and maintain a blog. We all suck at those things…right? Here’s my most recent recipe. I was so proud of it that I just had to start blogging again. I won’t always be funny or witty, but I do promise to always provide you with a ‘certifiably yummy’ something.

Ginger Snap Cookie Sandwiches

Ginger Snap Cookie Sandwiches
recipe makes 12
Cookies recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda, slightly overflowing
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t cinnamon, also slightly overflowing
1/2 t ground ginger
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 C molasses
1 T vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger) until combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer or stand mixer to whip butter and sugar. Whip for many minutes in order to incorporate air into the mixture; you’ll want it to be almost white before you add the molasses. Add molasses and continue to mix until fully incorporated. Remember to constantly scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add the vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla and mix very well. This should be the last time you mix thoroughly, as once the flour mixture is added, you don’t want to overwork your dough. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

Using a 1.5″ scoop, drop dough in rounded mounds onto prepared cookie sheets. You should scoop a total of 24, 12 per sheet. Bake cookies in a preheated oven for 10 minutes (my oven) to 12 minutes. The edges of the cookies will be slightly browned, and if gently poked, the dough will collapse, not bounce back.

Let cookies cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool all the way.

Maple Cinnamon Cream

1/2 C shortening
1/2 t King Arthur Flour maple extract
1 t vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
2 C powdered sugar
1/4 – 1/3 C whole milk

Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, whip shortening, cinnamon, and extracts for a long time. I let mine go for 7 minutes. Again, constantly scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add half the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Then add another 1/2 C. If the mixture begins to stiffen, start adding milk 1 T at a time. Alternate between adding the remaining powdered sugar and the milk until you reach a desired consistency. Then, whip the hell out of it! The more air you incorporate, the fluffier your cream. Keep out the remaining powdered sugar and milk in case you want to tweak the cream’s texture after the whipping process.

Sandwich that spicy, mapley cream between two completely cooled ginger snaps and enjoy. As far as seasonal treats go, throw the apples and pumpkins out the window; a ginger snap cookie sandwich will do just fine.