Cherry Garcia salad & a blogiversary GIVEAWAY! [Giveaway Closed]

01.11.13

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One of the coolest people I know turned another year older last week. From the looks of it though, you’d never be able to tell my mama was aging. If we were sitting around a fire pit roasting marshmallows, all the smoke would go toward her since, as my family says, smoke follows beauty. Unless, of course, it went toward my dad. In which case, we’d say smoke follows old age errr…I mean, wisdom.

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Check out that hot mama. I hope I get her genes as I age. Since I wasn’t in town to celebrate the blowing out of candles, I decided to bake in mom’s honor. When asked her choice if she could have any dessert for the occasion, she dreamed about butterfinger cookies, mincemeat cookies, and chocolate with cherries. Picturing carton after carton of Cherry Garcia ice cream taking up permanent residence in my parents’ freezer, I concocted a recipe for Cherry Garcia cookies. Mom was drooling, but with holiday indulgence and the upcoming wedding in mind, she requested, “Can you make them healthy?” Sure, mom. It’s now a salad. You can’t get much healthier than that. I love and respect cookies too much to do something crazy like replace the butter and sugar. Blasphemy.

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This salad takes all the key flavors of Cherry Garcia ice cream and tosses them into a big healthy bowl that you won’t feel at all guilty about finishing in one sitting. Rich chocolate balsamic, tangy dried cherries, spots of creamy goat cheese mixed up with peppery baby arugula and a handful of toasted pine nuts to contrast the sweetness. It’s a crazy awesome unexpected burst of savory and sweet.

Y’all are probably wondering why on earth I’m sharing a recipe for greens bathing in chocolate. For a girl who claims not to like chocolate, I sure do share a lot of chocolate recipes. Well, it seems the rest of the world loves chocolate. I know a quite few people who wouldn’t object to having a chocolate IV hooked up at all times. My mama is no exception. Despite the fact that my childhood self insisted over and over that I didn’t like chocolate and mom knew full well I preferred Sour Patch Kids to Kit Kat Bars, Santa seemed to forget this detail when filling my stocking with sweet goodies. Every. Single. Year. That is, until I discovered Santa was mom and that she also knew full well that if I wasn’t going to eat the chocolate, I’d send it her way. Sneaky plan. Chocolate balsamic seems quite fitting to honor her birthday then.

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Speaking of birthdays, we’re celebrating two birthdays here on Snixy Kitchen. I’ve been blogging about my culinary adventures for a whole year now! The exact date Snixy Kitchen came to fruition is a little iffy. On paper, it looks like my first post was January 1st, 2012. In reality, sometime late January, I decided Facebook pictures of my food wouldn’t cut it and started writing posts for stuff I’d already made, backdating the entries. Even still, it wasn’t until the beginning of February that I actually shared the link with anyone other than my mom. That said, I’m choosing an arbitrary day this month to celebrate – sorta like how Lucas and I celebrate our dating anniversary. Normally I’d bake cupcakes to celebrate, but my goal of cutting down on desserts to get in shape for the wedding makes a yummy salad much more fitting.

This first year of blogging has inspired me to continuously search for new recipes, ingredients, and gadgets – keeping things interesting in our pint-sized kitchen. It’s given me an outlet from formal graduate school writing, which will prove indispensable as I work on my dissertation in the near future. Over the year, I’ve upgraded from a tiny point-and-shoot to a fancy schmancy DSLR, and with the roll out of a new custom design and dot com site, it’s been exciting to see this little personal blog evolve from rice pudding to caprese salad quinoa stuffed portabellas. To thank all of YOU, my lovely readers, for your support and comments, I’m celebrating by giving away everything you’ll need to make the dressing for this Cherry Garcia salad!

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Chocolate Balsamic and Local Olive Oil Giveaway

One lucky Snixy Kitchen reader will win a bottle of Chocolate Balsamic and a bottle of local Olive Oil! Chocolate balsamic will satisfy your sweet tooth while you chow down on a super healthy salad. For thoseof you who don’t know, olives are one of California’s specialties, and this particular olive oil, made just outside of my hometown, was chosen as an ode to my late Great Grandpa Ramonda who brined olives from his own trees all through my childhood.

To enter this balsamic and olive oil giveaway, just leave a comment below telling me about your favorite salad recipe. You can also gain up to 2 bonus entries for liking Snixy Kitchen on Facebook or subscribing to Snixy Kitchen via E-mail (see right). Just be sure to come back here and leave separate comments to tell me about each bonus you completed! The giveaway is open to US residents until Friday, January 18th at midnight PST when I’ll randomly select a winner.

Now that I’ve shared this healthy salad, I’m off to pig out on BBQ with the future in-laws in Houston, Texas.

More from Snixy Kitchen:

Pumpkin pie oatmeal
Pretzel bites with four distinct dipping sauces
BBQ tofu bites


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43 Comments

  1. Tina says:

    Happy blogiversary, Sarah! And happy birthday to your hot mama :) What a fun way to make Cherry Garcia cookies healthy! You always blow me out of the water with your creativity, girl.

    My favorite salad is not as healthy as this one. Or at all, really. Mixed greens, candied pecans, steak, fried onion straws, tomato chunks, drowned in blue cheese dressing. SO GOOD.

  2. Sher says:

    My birthday surprises just keep on coming! Love this, Thank you for beautiful post and yummy recipe! Happy Birthday to me!!

  3. heather says:

    Happy Birthday, my favorite salad has got to be my mother’s cucumber salad secret recipe but its got olive oil in it and it’s fantastic.

  4. Deborah McMillan says:

    Happpy Blogiversay Sarah & Happy Birthday to Sheri! (& say “Hi” to Tom for me too!) Your Cherry Garcia recipe reminds me of my favorite Cranberry Spinach salad, with walnuts, pecorino, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I can’t wait to try your new salad. I’ve really enjoyed your postings.

  5. Deborah McMillan says:

    I signed up for your e-mails!

  6. Deborah McMillan says:

    OK – now I’ve liked you in FB so I’m all set.

  7. Happy blogiversary and birthday to your mom!. I love fruit in the salad , my favorite being mixed greens chopped crisp apple toasted chopped walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and a tossing of balsamic vinagrette….I’m going to try yours this weekend!.. Hi to Sheri and Tom!

  8. Mimi says:

    Absolutely beautiful! (Your mama and this salad!)

  9. Sue says:

    My favorite salad has pears, sweet onions, my homemade dried tomatoes cut up in it. It’s dressed simply with a wonderful balsamic vinegar and CA olive oil!

  10. Sue says:

    I’m signed up for your newsletter via email!

  11. dena says:

    My favorite salad is simply made of sliced fruit … grapes, strawberries, kiwis … whatever is handy, then mix lime juice with honey and drizzle.

  12. dena says:

    I liked you on fb.

  13. I definitely need this salad more than ice cream after my holiday season! I love the sweet hint of fruit in it, and the goat cheese.

  14. Annette says:

    My favorite salad recipe has mixed greens, strawberries, cucumbers, shallots, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil…plus salt, pepper, and a little stevia (or you can use sugar).

  15. Annette says:

    I liked Snixy Kitchen on Facebook.

  16. Annette says:

    I subscribed to Snixy Kitchen via E-mail.

  17. Sandy says:

    My favorite salad has spicy candied pecans, sliced pear, pomegranate seeds, greens from the farmer’s market and a soft-cooked egg on top. Would love to win so I can try out your dressing!

  18. Sandy says:

    Just subscribed to your emails, looking forward!

  19. Krisla says:

    My favorite salad always has some kind of fruit in it, especially strawberry, spinach, and goat cheese salad with a honey lime balsamic dressing!

  20. manda says:

    I like anything with tangy cheese, vinegar based dressing and pecans!

  21. manda says:

    I like you on FB!

  22. Meryl says:

    My favorite is Curried couscous salad with dried cranberries.

  23. Louis says:

    I like mega salads with greens, chickpeas, sweet onion, tomatoes, cheese, olives, etc.

  24. Andrea says:

    My favorite salad is very simple, fresh grated carrots, boiled eggs and chicken. Olive oil, aceto balsamico, salt & pepper.
    My grandparent was from Portugal and from my father’s side my great grandparent was Italian, so Olive Oil and Aceto Balsamico are very dear to my heart :)

  25. Carolsue says:

    My favorite salad is Baby Greens with Goat Cheese, Beets and Candied Pecans

  26. Carolsue says:

    I like you on Facebook (Carolsue Anderson)
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  27. Carolsue says:

    I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  28. Priscilla M says:

    Frisee salad with papaya and candied walnuts with sesame ginger soy dressing (wow, that’s a mouthful, LOL).

    Liking you on FB, and your salad is mouthwatering!

  29. Aneesa says:

    My favorite salad involves kale, with cucumber, shredded carrots, chickpeas and a homemade dressings made from olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon and tahini. I sprinkle some sea salt, black pepper and sesame seeds on top and voila!

  30. Aneesa says:

    I liked you on Facebook (Aneesa Bint Lewis).

  31. Melissa says:

    Happy blog-versary Sarah!!!! Also, happy birthday to your mom! My favorite salad? I don’t know if it really counts, but im a sucker for pasta salad– my current fav is rotini with tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and a red wine vinaigrette!

  32. barbara n says:

    My favorite salad is a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing

  33. barbara n says:

    I am an email subscriber to snixy kitchen

  34. Carmen says:

    Our favorite is romaine with chicken, mandarin oranges, cashews and a bit of peppercorn dressing.

  35. I’m pretty basic when it comes to salads. I love chef’s salads! Though I will say that my favorite dressing is scampi sauce!

  36. Cheryl W. says:

    My favorite salad is bed of baby organic greens with pomegranate arils, almond slivers, and a delicate poppyseed dressing.

  37. Cheryl W. says:

    I follow SnixyKitchen on Facebook.

  38. Cheryl W. says:

    I subscribe via email.

  39. Happy Blogiversary and your salad looks divine..I’m sure your Mama loved it.

  40. Ttrockwood says:

    Liked you on fb

  41. Emily says:

    Happy blogiversary! I love salad with dried cranberries, walnuts, and blue cheese or goat cheese, with a light vinegarette dressing.

  42. Ttrockwood says:

    My favorite salad right now is kale massaged with avocado and lemon, and left overnight. The next day add shredded carrots, blueberries, broccoli, chickpeas and sunflower seeds

  43. Liz Blunt says:

    I’m a caesar salad gal!

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