Thai Cashew Chopped Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing


So, remember that Sweet Thai Chili Peanut Butter from Sprelly. This salad was the recipe I finally picked out to use it. I didn’t end up making the pad thai as I was having a hard time getting over fish sauce. Silly? Possibly. I just can’t get my mind over adding fish sauce to anything. Have you smelled it by itself?

But this? This salad and the dressing were both awesome. In fact, we had enough salad for 4 meals, but only enough dressing for two. My husband was eating it with a spoon. That said, I am excited about the possibilities for this recipe. It was fresh. Light. Simple. Fast. Sounds like the perfect summer meal, and I’m sure we will end up making it all summer.


The salad itself is just chopping vegetables. I did use actual heads of romaine lettuce, but I’m sure you could swap out prepared salad mix to make it slightly quicker. I mixed the dressing in a small bowl using just a whisk, but you could probably also add this to a blender (or even a smoothie cup) if you wanted to make it easier too.

If you never use ginger, my tip is to buy a piece and freeze it. Then when it is time to make the dressing, you can just peel it and use it on a microplane while frozen. My last tip. Don’t skip the salted cashews (and the salt is key)!



(Printable Recipe)

Thai Cashew Chopped Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing
From The Recipe Critic

2 heads Romaine lettuce, rinsed and chopped
1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
15-20 sliced baby carrots
1/2 cup frozen edamame, thawed
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup salted cashews

Ginger Peanut Dressing:
1/3 cup sweet thai chili peanut butter (see Sprelly)
2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil
water to thin (I used about 2 Tbsp)

In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, honey, ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients through the green onions. Toss. Top with the cashews and dressing.


Club: Baked – Buckeyes

My mom called the other day mentioning that she saw a girl wearing a shirt saying, “Once a Husker, always a Husker.” She really wanted to get one for me since we have moved away from Nebraska, but the store had already sold out of them by the time she found it. Being a “true Husker girl” I have never made nor tried a Buckeye candy, but I decided to embrace my full B1G 10 spirit and give these a shot (j/k) 🙂

Named after an opposing mascot or not, these little candies crafted of peanut butter and chocolate are not something to pass up. Karen from Karen’s Cookies Cakes & More is hosting this week’s Club: Baked recipe, and as usual, I had a lot of fun making something that I otherwise wouldn’t have chosen. 

They were really simple to make. Mix together the peanut butter part. Melt the chocolate. Dip, set, and eat. As we were forewarned in the book, the peanut butter mixture was a little dry, but I was able to push it into a ball with my hands pretty easily. The hardest part about these for me proved to be waiting for the chocolate to set. I moved a few of them too soon, but it was nothing a quick set in the refrigerator couldn’t fix. I could see these being a great recipe for when you need something quickly but still want it to be a hit. Just proves it is hard to go wrong with that classic peanut butter-chocolate combination.

Be sure to stop by the Club: Baked page to see the results for the other bloggers. I am thinking this will be a delicious week for everyone involved!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Preztel Cookies

Wow. I cannot believe that it has been over a month since I last posted a new dessert recipe! I have talked before about how I consider myself more of a baker than a cook, so I am thinking it is about time I get some sweets up on here! 

One of the wonderful things about being a food blogger is this huge community of great cooks and bakers with delicious food ideas. One of the downsides that I’ve heard discussed before is that it’s really hard to come up with an original idea! I came up with the idea of using Trader Joe’s chocolate-covered, peanut butter-filled pretzel bites in cookies after wandering across them in the store several months ago. I have made pretzel-chocolate chip cookie bars and pretzel m&m cookies previously and know that I love the sweet-salty combination that results. As you may have guessed, it turns out my idea was not that original as the Blue Eyed Bakers posted the exact same cookies this spring. I guess great minds think alike? Not being one to re-invent the wheel, I used their recipe, so the credit for these beauties is completely theirs.

The cookies turned out as good as they sound. I actually wasn’t impressed by the chocolate covered, peanut butter-filled pretzels alone (of course I had to try one), but in the cookies, they were great. I love how the salt from the crushed pretzels adds another dimension to baked goods. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you may be able to get similar results with chopped Reese’s and coarsely crushed normal pretzels – it’s the salt that counts 🙂 Enjoy!

(Printable Recipes)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
From Blue Eyed Bakers

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups chocolate-covered, peanut butter-filled pretzels, coarsely crushed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter for 2 minutes, until fluffy. Add the sugars and mix for 2 minutes more. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix only until just incorporated. Fold in the pretzel pieces and chocolate chips. 

Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on a prepared baking sheet (lined with parchment, silpat, or cooking spray). Flatten slightly with your hands or a spatula, and bake 8-12 minutes or until cookies are just set and beginning to brown on the edge. Do not overbake. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Final Countdown to Christmas: Peanut Butter Temptations

Ever play that game 2 truths and a lie where someone tells you 3 things about themselves, one of which is a lie, and then you have to guess which one isn’t true? Let’s give it a shot. 1) I only have 2 rotations left! 2) I am completely done Christmas shopping and almost done with Christmas baking. 3) I am in Arizona and will be here until after New Years!

Which one is it? Well, as you can probably guess by my lack of posts, I have quite a bit of Christmas baking left to do. As an apology for my absenteeism, I’m putting together a Final Countdown to Christmas baking list for any of you who are finding yourselves in a similar situation. Bring on the butter and sugar!

The first cookie up is one that has been associated with Christmas at my house for as long as I can remember. Definitely well before I was old enough to bake them on my own. When we were kids, my brother and I were responsible for unwrapping the mini Reese’s cups. The only way we could eat any of the candies is if they were smashed, so as you can imagine, we always found quite a few in the bottom of the bag that happened to be “smashed.”

The reason for the perennial appearance of these cookies is more than tradition. They taste awesome and are always well received anywhere I have have taken them. If you are a fan of the peanut butter and chocolate combination, these are a must! You’ll need a mini-muffin pan, but I promise the purchase is worth it. Happy baking! 

(Printable Recipe)

Peanut Butter Temptations
From Mom

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 pkg. peanut butter cups

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 mini-muffin tins with non-stick spray and set aside. Beat the butter, peanut butter and sugars together until light and creamy. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and add to the dough. You may need to add a little bit extra flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Roll the dough into balls and place in the pans. Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will not look very brown, but they will be cooked through. You do not want to overbake these. 

Immediately press a peanut butter cup into each cookie. Cool and let the peanut butter cups set up completely before removing from the pan with the help of a plastic knife. These can be made with 1 mini-muffin pan, but the pan and cookies need to cool completely before baking a second batch.

Yield: approximately 30 cookies

Peanut Butter Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

I have a confession… Peanut butter and I have not always been the best of friends. Sure I have eaten my fair share of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, but the peanut butter half is typically spread pretty thin. Oddly enough, as I started training for my marathon this past spring, I started wanting peanut butter more and more. It still has not made it to my list of favorites, but I think there may be something true about the link between runners and their peanut butter. 

Last time I visited my husband, he talked me into making these cookies. I first found the recipe here on Cookie Baker Lynn, but the recipe has been sitting in my bookmarked recipes folder for several months as I debated about whether or not to go forward with the peanut butter thing. Peanut butter cookies with peanut butter chips. That might make me cross the line into a peanut butter-fanatic.

These cookies are quite simple to make. My hubby and I mixed them up and baked them in about an hour. As for how the cookies turned out? Let me tell you that me, the non-peanut butter fanatic, loved them. As for my other half? The rest of the batch didn’t last too long =) 

(Printable Recipe)

Peanut Butter Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
From Cookie Baker Lynn 

1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 c. white whole wheat flour (can substitute all-purpose)
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
granulated sugar for dipping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix. Beat in the egg. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour to the peanut butter mixture and blend together. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Shape the balls into 1-inch balls. Roll them in granulated sugar and place on ungreased baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Press down on the balls lightly to flatten the cookies. 

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until they flatten and start to crack on top. Do not overbake. Remove to a cooling rack to cool.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies