Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Mine was busy, busy, but really good. About a month ago, a store up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina called Southern Season picked up my tea cookies!! They have been in business since the mid 70s and have just recently branched out to Richmond, Virginia and Charleston, South Carolina. As a small business owner, who has only been commercially selling the cookies for a little under a year, this was a big deal to be picked up by such a large retailer in three different locations. CGC tea cookies are being offered in a store as far up as Richmond, VA!!!! How crazy cool is that?!
At any rate, being a new product to Southern Season, they offer for businesses to come up and do in store demos/tastings and share the product. This is by far my favorite aspect of the cookie business. I love being able to connect with people and tell them the story of how the cookies got started, the process and of course, let them taste the cookies before they run off with a few tins in tow.;) Saturday, I got up super early and drove up to the Chapel Hill store to do a tasting and had an absolute blast. I met a few characters that came by the tasting station and a couple even stayed and talked with me for a while. Does anyone else out there love meeting perfect strangers that you are instant friends with, even though you’ll probably never see them again? I’ve had this happen a thousand times and it never gets old. After a day of peddling cookies, I left happy that the cookies will do really well there. Several tins found new homes that day and over all the cookies were really well received by those who came by the station.
I got home pretty late Saturday and so Sunday was spent catching up on work and enjoying the gorgeous weather we had! By far, the most beautiful day of the year. Iris even mosied around the back yard for a while all by herself, taking in the sunshine. And late afternoon we found time to hit the pavement in her new stroller. Can I just say, I feel like the biggest idot strolling a dog around?! The things we do for our “children.” She really does love it, though, so I’m happy to have a compromise of getting her out with me on a walk.
Since this week has already started off with a bang, I definitely needed an easy meal to throw together and this salad is that meal. I love Asian salads. They’re super versatile, flavorful and you can add any meat you’d like to hearty it up even more. Hope you enjoy this one!
For more information on how to get a Mother Earth Produce bin for your family, click here.
Veggie Salad with Sesame Ginger Soy Dressing
8 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
1 large red onion
1 large cucumber
2-3 mandarin oranges
1/2 lbs of asparagus
2/3 cup wasabi peas
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 tsp of fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil (can use canola or vegetable)
1 tsp of sesame seeds
1 tsp of honey
To make the dressing, combine the grated ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, honey and sesame seeds in a bowl. Whisk together. Set aside while you assemble the salad.
Toast the almonds in a dry skillet until they are fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
Chop the onion and place it on a baking sheet. Toss with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Snap the ends off the asparagus. Place in a shallow baking dish. Pour boiling water over the asparagus and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Chop the cooled asparagus in 1 inch pieces.
Peel the cucumber. I spiralized mine into noodle like strands, but chopping works just fine too.
Peel the mandarin oranges and section them.
Chop the romaine into bite size pieces. Place in a big bowl. Toss the greens with a little bit of the dressing. Top the romaine with the chopped asparagus, roasted onions and sectioned mandarins. Sprinkle the salad with the toasted almonds and wasabi peas. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad and serve.