A Dutch Classic: Boerenkool

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When I was in Amsterdam this summer, I ate at a restaurant that served traditional Dutch meals.  I remember trying to figure out what to order without knowing how to read Dutch.  Luckily, the waiter was very accommodating and gave me a brief description of the dishes that I pointed to.  When I pointed at Boerenkool (thinking what a cool name), the waiter told me that it consisted of mashed potatoes, kale, bacon and gravy.  I was sold!  I have never thought of mixing kale into mashed potatoes before but wow, was it ever tasty!  My friends challenged me to make it for them when we return to Vancouver.  I responded by what Barney Stinson would say:  Challenge Accepted!

Ingredients:

A bunch of Kale (washed, dried, stems removed)

6 -7 Russet potatoes

Smoked sausages (whichever kind you prefer)

1/2 cup half and half

1/2 cup butter

salt

pepper

gravy (yes, the packaged ones is absolutely fine)

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Wash the Kale and peel the potatoes.  Put the potatoes in a saucepan and add water until the potatoes are covered.  Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are soft and ready to mash.

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While the potatoes are simmering, chop up the Kale into small pieces.

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Check to see if the potatoes are soft.  If so, drain the water from the potatoes.  Mash the potatoes and add the butter and the cream one after another.

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Add the chopped kale into the mixture and pop the lid back on.  Let it sit on simmer for 5 minutes (keep an eye on it though – stir occasionally so the bottom of the pan doesn’t get brown)

*steaming the kale before you put it in the mashed potatoes is optional but I felt the Kale tasted more fresh by cooking it this way.

Meanwhile, pan fry the smoked sausage (and bacon if you’d like) and make the gravy

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You’re now ready to plate your meal.  Enjoy!

I joked with my Husband that I totally could’ve married a Dutch man and would be fine in the kitchen if this is what he’d like to eat everyday. =P

Peanut Butter Cookies with Blackberry Jam

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I was craving peanut butter cookies again but wanted to switch it up a bit from the typical fork printed ones.  So when I saw this recipe, it got me really excited to make them.  They were super easy to make and it was absolutely delicious!

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (recommended: Hershey’s)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 packed cup light brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup blackberry jam
Directions
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, peanut butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, and light brown sugar together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until blended. With the machine running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until incorporated.

Put the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Form the dough into 1/4 cup-size balls and roll in the sugar. Arrange 5 balls of dough, evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Using a round 1/4 teaspoon measure, or the thin end of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the center of each ball of dough, about 1/2 to 3/4-inch deep. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam into each hole. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes until the dough has spread and the surface of the cookies are crackled. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes. Arrange the cookies on a serving dish and serve.