Fall Kale Salad

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Ingredients:

4 cups of Tuscan Kale; de-stemmed and chopped

2- 3 cups of shredded Brussels Sprouts

1/4 of a red onion; sliced thinly

1 1/2 cup roasted beets; chopped

1/2 cup parsley; chopped

1-2 cups of candied pecans or walnuts (homemade or store bought… I got my pecans from Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup slivered almond

1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese

1 apple; chopped

1 small shallot; finely minced

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

5-6 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt & pepper

 

Dressing:

In a small bowl or Mason jar, whisk or shake together your shallot, mustard, oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Make sure to mix until the oil and mustard are completely emulsified.

 

Assemble:

In a large bowl (preferably what you are serving the salad in), add your kale.

Massage the kale until it looks bright green and slightly wilted.  (Kale is a very fibrous green, and is very hard to digest unless you break it down, making it more tender).

Add the other ingredient (onion, apple, beets, pecans, almonds, Brussels sprouts, etc).

Toss with dressing and mix well.

Note: add dressing to this salad about 20-30 minutes before you plan on eating it so that all the flavors and combine together.  Also, the dressing will help soften the kale up.

 

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

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Ingredients

1 lb of whatever type of potato you prefer

2 tbsp paprika powder

2 tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp ground chili powder

4 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Parsley; chopped for garnish

 

Prep

Put your potatoes in a large pot and cover with water (about 1 inch over where the potatoes are).

Bring to a boil.

Boil for about 15-20 minutes or until you can pierce a fork through the potato but not to the point of softness where the potato falls apart.

Drain the water and either (1) put them in the fridge overnight to dry and get cold or (2) dry off the potatoes with a kitchen towel.

Either way make sure your potatoes are completely dry before you bake them for optimal crispiness.

 

Bake

Preheat your oven to 425F.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.

Cut your potatoes into bite shaped pieces and place in a mixing bowl.

Add in the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Toss well.

Lay the potatoes out on the baking tray in one layer.

Bake for about 40 minutes to an hour or until the potatoes are crispy.

 

Serve

Toss with fresh parsley and serve while warm.

 

Peanut Butter Cookies

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Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 large egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Prep

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with a nonstick spray.

 

Dough

In a bowl, which together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar.

Mix until creamy.

Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla.

Once mixed, turn the mixer on low and slowly add the flour mixture.

Mix until just combined.

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Assemble the Cookies

Form balls out of the down and place on the lined baking sheets.

Press the balls of dough down with a fork in two different directions to form a crisscross pattern.

Bake for about 9 minutes and let cool completely before serving (or they will just fall apart!)

DMV Eats: A&J Restaurant

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A&J Restaurant has been the talk of the DC food scene over the last several months, even being featured in the Washintonian’s Cheap Eats issue.  A&J serves Northern Chinese cuisine and dim sum, unlike your typical Hong Kong style dim sum.  Going into this experience, I thought that I would be familiar with the menu and offerings- har gow, char sui bao, xiao long bao… etc- however, I had never heard of anything on the menu.  (In a great way!).  Overall, I would say that if you are craving “typical” dim sum, this isn’t the place for you.  If you are craving authentic Chinese cuisine, or perhaps you are in the mood for a culinary adventure, A&J should absolutely be on your radar.

The menu consists of starchy dumpling- type dishes, noodles, noodle soups, and small bites.  Nothing I normally order at dim sum was on the menu, so it was a great opportunity to try some new things.  This food is definitely not light.  The dumplings are pastry stuffed with various ingredients or pan-fried dumplings with a thick outside.

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We ordered a lot of dishes so that we could try a lot of different items on the menu.  My favorite items were the dan dan noodles with spicy peanut sauce, the smashed cucumber salad, the fried chicken with rice and the pan-fried pork dumplings.  The dan dan noodles were absolutely incredible.  The noodles were made in-house and the spicy peanut sauce was delicious, with a subtle peanut flavor and slightly sweet.  The fried chicken was also incredible.  Perfectly crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and paired with simple (yet perfect) white rice and finely chopped pickles.

Overall A&J was absolutely delicious and I would recommend it to anyone in the area but if you are looking for classic dim sum (think carts and har gow), you won’t get that here.  I will absolutely be back for some noodles and chicken and I can’t wait to try the noodle soup!

Chinese Chicken Salad

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Note: you can make this in a big batch or just for one.  For this recipe I made one portion for lunch.  Just eye-ball it to make it bigger.  There is no science to salad.

Ingredients

1/2 cup of iceberg lettuce; shredded

1/2 cup of cabbage; shredded (any color works)

1/4 cup tomatoes; diced

1/4 cup cucumber; diced

1/4 cup chicken; shredded of just sliced

2 tbsp peanuts

2 tbsp mint; sliced

However much dressing you like; Kewpie Roasted Sesame Dressing

 

Assemble

Put all of your ingredients in a bowl and toss with dressing!

Bacon Pesto Quiche

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Ingredients

1 premade pie crust

5 eggs

2 tbsp milk

1/4 cup onions; diced (I used a combo of yellow and red onions)

1/4 cup mushrooms; diced

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp gouda cheese

2 tbsp shredded cheddar

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

5 slices of bacon

1/4 cup of pesto

Salt & Pepper

 

Prep

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Poke a few holes in the bottom of your pie crust and pre-bake for about 10 minutes.

Place your bacon slices on a baking sheet and bake until crispy.

Once cooked, place on paper towels to drain and set aside.

In a pan, cook the onions and mushrooms until the onions are translucent.

Once cooked, take off the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk your eggs and milk together.

 

Assemble

Add all the ingredients into the pie crust.

Dollop the pesto across the top of the pie and top with some shredded and parmesan cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the eggs are completely cooked (not jiggly).

Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and enjoy hot!