Daily Archive: December 21, 2011

WIAW 12/21: Throw A #GingerXmas Party

Posted by Lauren

As Nicole mentioned in yesterday’s post, I co-hosted a Ginger Party last night at my house. My high school pal Katie is in town and we decided to throw a dinner party with a twist. That twist? Celebrating all things ginger.

My email invite:

After work on Tuesday, I stopped really quickly at the new Grocery Outlet near our house (kinda). Their deals are siiiick, so I drove a bit out of the way. All of the goodies below cost $28. That’s 9 bell peppers, 2 bags of chips, 2 ice creams, a tall greek yogurt, 2 things of biscuits, a thing of pb cookie dough, a pumpkin pie, a bag of ginger snaps, fresh herbs, celery, and carrots!

Note the to-go containers in the back? I’ll explain those in just a second.

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Let me back it up and show you how everything came together!

Quick Red Pepper Sesame Ginger Dip

Chop down one red bell pepper in your food processor, add fresh herbs (can’t even tell what I used, ha!), add half a tall container of plain greek yogurt, a few tablespoons of sesame ginger salad dressing – blend until smooth.

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Easy Peasy.

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Ginger Brown Rice

Boil 7.5 cups of water. Peel a nob of ginger. Add in 3 cups of brown rice, reduce to simmer, throw in the peeled ginger nob. Cover and keep on the heat for 45-50 minutes. Take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Peanut Butter Ginger Cookies

Another easy one. Take the peanut butter cookie dough out of the tube. Sprinkle in about 2 T ground ginger. Combine with your hands, roll into balls, bake in a 350* oven for 10 minutes.

Flaky Ginger Biscuits

Yet another easy one. See how easy all of this is so far? Unroll two tubes of flaky biscuits (I used 2 10-count containers). Make an egg wash and brush the tops of the uncooked biscuits. Sprinkle with ground ginger and evenly distribute with the brush. Bake in a 400* oven for 10 minutes.

While all that baked/cooked, I set up the table with all our goodies. Including the gingerbread cupcakes that Nicole made. She is so sweet!!!!! Thanks again for helping, Nic!

ginger xmas christmas party cupcakes

Boo Radley approved these cupcakes :) And her frosting, to die for!

Katie is one of the Happy Hour Honeys, a blogger duo that reports on the best happy hours in Portland (and around the world!), plus they always have great cocktail recipes to try out.

ginger xmas christmas party moscow mules happy hour honeys

Katie brought the gingerhouse down with her moscow mules. Vodka and I have a rocky relationship (thanks, July 2007), but I loved her mules! She will post the recipe soon and you bet I’ll be linking it your way!

A great group showed up to revel in the ginger!!

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You know how ginger and wasabi are the two bff’s on your sushi plate? Well I figured the ginger party was a great time to bust out part of my white elephant gift from Saturday with the fam – a wasabi kit-kat from Japan!!

ginger xmas christmas party wasabi kit kat japan

I cut that fun-size wasabi kit-kat into 10 pieces so everyone could try a bite. Thoughts? The wasabi was extremely subtle. Maybe if you had more than 1/20th of a piece it would hit you in the face. Then again, I’m the girl that eats giant balls of wasabi for $20 bets (Seamus, you are a sucker p.s.).

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Soon it was time to decorate the gingerbread cookies I baked on Sunday! Recipe below!!

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Luckily, I had 8 containers of sprinkles to frost the 60 gingerbread cookies with. Unluckily, we didn’t have that much “icing.” Oops!

Oh, almost forgot to mention what we had for dinner!

Pad Khing (Instant and Cheat Version)

  1. Buy a groupon to your local Thai place
  2. Right before the dine-in only coupon expires, go to the restaurant by yourself and order 3 entrees – two pad khing with chicken, one red curry with chicken
    **pad khing: shredded fresh ginger, sautéed with onion, baby corn, bell pepper, and mushrooms
    **red curry: red curry paste with coconut milk, bamboo shoot, bell pepper, and fresh basil leaves
  3. Confirm that, although alone, you really do want 3 entrees to the multiple employees that approach you and question your sanity
  4. Sit there and read, eating only the bell peppers – you will replace them later
  5. Ask for to-go boxes. Refrigerate until the party starts.
  6. Time of party: Put to-go box contents into your slow cooker. Turn it on high.
  7. Chop up bell peppers, celery, carrots and place into the slow cooker. Stir.
  8. Cook more chicken on the stove, with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  9. Chop up the chicken and place in the slow cooker.
  10. Ok, you’re done now.

One of the best parts of the night was playing “Guess the Ginger”… 

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Each person gets a post-it on his or her back with the name of a famous ginger (red-head). You can ask yes or no questions to figure out who you are. Ask each person in the room up to 3 questions before returning to somebody you already asked questions to. (That make sense?)

In case you are totally digging this concept, here’s what everyone was for both rounds:

Me – Pepper Ann (cartoon), Kate Winslet
Katie G. – Ron/Rupert Grint, Shaun White
Sepideh – Prince Harry, Chuck Norris
Kelly – Emma Stone, Florence (from the Machines)
Chris – Carrot Top, Geri Halliwell
Kyle – Lucille Ball, Dexter (cartoon)
Kit – Molly Ringwald, Shirley Manson
Susannah – Lindsay Lohan
Dan – L. Ron Hubbard

By the way, did I mention this is a WIAW post yet?!

Make sure you check out Jenn’s blog for the other Wednesday grubbers!

Now, how about that gingerbread cookie recipe?

Gingerbread Cookies (stars, squirrels, unicorns, etc)

Makes 50 – 60 large cookies (probably 100 small ones!)


  • 300 grams (1.5 cups) brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup dark molasses
  • 660 grams all-purpose flour (6 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 teaspoons malted milk powder (totally optional, I just saw it and figured why not?)


  1. In an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, and oil. Beat until perfectly combined. (Remember, I usually cream my butter and sugar for approx. 20 minutes because I set it and forget it (not really, but I do let it mix for quite a while!)).
  2. Once combined, add molasses and eggs (one at a time). Mix until just combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix your flour, baking soda, and spices! Sift the flour and whisk everything together really well.
  4. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and incorporate with the electric mixer.
  5. Time to bust out that kitchen scale! Take 375 grams of cookie dough, shape into a disk, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Repeat so that you have 4 equal sized, plastic-wrapped disks. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  6. Go to the gym, fold some laundry, watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
  7. Ok! Your dough is cold now. Preheat your oven to 350*.
  8. Take out one of the disks and roll onto an extremely well-floured surface. Your rolling pin should have flour on it. Your hands should have flour on them. Your dog, outside, should have flour on him/her. K, that might be taking it too far. The point is, use a lot of flour!
  9. Right… so roll the dough out to 1/4 or 1/8 of an inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, pulling the dough away from the outside of the cutter, not the other way around!
  10. Place onto a silpat/parchment paper-covered baking sheet, about one inch apart. They shouldn’t spread after all!
  11. Bake for 6-10 minutes depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Mine were done at the 7 minute mark.

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Can you believe there’s only three-fourths a stick of butter in 60+ cookies?!

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Butter/sugar/oil… meet molasses!

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Patty’s (on right) ran out, so I used Grandma’s for the rest

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That’s some legit ginger right there. I bought the premium ground ginger root from Adriana’s Caravan, a spice shop in Santa Cruz, CA (or New York??)

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Yes, I sift everything. You should too!

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Ready to wrap + chill!

gingerbread cookies low fat crispy 7 Kitchen scales are so nifty. Please invest in one.

Rolling and cutting the pieces out was a pain, but the cookies turned out so perfect! They didn’t spread because I kept the dough chilled at all times!

Question: Tell me a story related to ginger! 

Question: Ever been to an obscurely themed party? Please tell.

Question: Would you try a wasabi kit-kat?