Have you ever tried to photograph guacamole? Let me just tell you - it is exceptionally difficult to make this green blob of avocado goodness look even remotely appetizing. I don't quite understand how something so creamy and delicious could look so unappealing.
Despite it's unusual appearance, I would argue that there is no better appetizer than chips and guac. AND it really is so easy to make that you will never want to buy guacamole from the store again.
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice
3 ripe avocados
1 plum tomato, diced
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Serve with chips.
In my desperate attempt to add some visual interest to this chunky green mass, I tried adding a "dollop" of sour cream. Apparently --- it's impossible to "dollop" your sour cream in 90% humidity. Who knew? So just disregard my weird pictures and take my word for it - this guacamole is delicious - despite it's awkward appearance.
This is a very basic guacamole recipe - nothing fancy or exotic - but I want to know what you add to your homemade guacamole to make it personal. What spices or peppers or vegetables do you add to your homemade guacamole? Do you like it smoky or sweet, salty or fruity? Or maybe you're like me and you just like plain and simple guac with salty chips. Leave me a comment and let me know.
It's hard to believe but here I am - posting my second blog of the week --- and it's only MONDAY. I'm just going to go ahead and say it - I'm pretty darn proud of myself. Back to back blog posts --- that's got to be the sign of a good week, right?
This is going to be a really busy week so dinner's are happening between 5:00 and 5:15 every night. (Anyone else so over-scheduled that dinner occurs within a 15 minute window?) Hello pasta dinners! I love a good pasta sauce that I can make ahead of time so getting dinner on the table by 5:00 --- easy as pie. ;)
Meatless "Meat" Sauce
8 ounces mushrooms
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Add chick peas to pot and simmer until slightly thickened.
Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with your favorite pasta.
I love a great homemade pasta sauce and this one makes the list as one of my favorites. I don't eat very much ground beef so I don't normally order (or make) meat sauce. I usually make meatballs so the carnivores in the house can have their meat and the non-meat eaters can have their pasta too. No more separation of meat and sauce for this girl anymore though - EVERYONE loved this sauce! I hope that your family enjoys it as much as mine did.
I just realized that for 45 years, I've been calling brussels sprouts by the wrong name. I've been incorrectly referring to the beloved vegetable as brussel sprouts for as long as I can remember. Perhaps it happened unintentionally because brussel sprouts just rolls off the tongue easier than brussels sprouts. (I think it's the double s that makes it sound weird.) Does anyone else out there call them brussel sprouts? Surely I'm not the only one.
Regardless of what you call them, if you roast brussels sprouts with a little oil and toss them with some honey, they are delicious. These honey balsamic roasted brussels sprouts would be a great accompaniment to your Christmas dinner. ;)
Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1½ lbs brussels sprouts
3 tbsp olive oil, separated
¾ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
Trim off the outer, dry leaves, cut the bottom off and slice sprouts lengthwise
In a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to coat thoroughly.
Transfer the brussels sprouts to baking sheet and roast until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
Place brussels sprouts back in bowl. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and toss to coat evenly. Taste and season with kosher salt if necessary and serve.
Now when you walk by the funny looking brussels sprouts stalks in the supermarket - you have no excuse not to pick one up. They are really super easy to prepare and you might just be surprised at how delicous they can be.
Tomorrow, Ben and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. (It's hard for me to believe but it's true.) We started dating when we were in high school and after graduation we ended up going to separate colleges. Ben really wanted to study aeronautics and pursue his Air Force career at Miami and I was headed to Kent as an Interior Design major. (It didn't even take a semester before I changed majors.) While we were living at school, we didn't see a whole lot of each other so we spent endless hours on the phone and wrote good old fashioned love letters.
No long distance relationship is easy but we made it work. Ben learned first hand, the joys of the Greyhound bus. I caught a ride to Miami for the weekend with a friend a couple times and we would meet at home over long holidays and of course, we coveted our summers together.
My very first trip to see Ben at college was not long after we had gotten settled into our respective campus' as college freshman. Ben's parents were heading down to Miami for parent's weekend and offered to take me along. Of course, I jumped at the chance to see Ben. (Check out those groovy hairdos.) I don't remember too much about the weekend except that we all went out for Mexican just before we left Ben and started our 5 hour journey home. Apparently, I ate A LOT of food because Ben's dad STILL talks about how much food I consumed that night. He was in total shock that I could eat that amount of food. (hehe)
Maybe I was drowning my sorrows over having to say goodbye to Ben - maybe I was just a really hungry college girl, or maybe the food was just really, really good, either way - my father in law was astounded.
I chalk it up to my love of Mexican food. I created a recipe for a Mexican Lasagna that is one of my very favorite Mexican meals. Even though it's delicious, I will try and not overeat - at least not when my father in law is around, that is.
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 lb lean ground turkey
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
3 1/4 cups drained canned corn, from about 1 1/2 (15-ounce cans)
2 1/2 cups grated mature goats Cheddar, or cheese of your choice
6-8 soft flour tortillas (approximately 10-inch diameter)
Add the chiles and salt and cook gently for 15 minutes.
Add the chopped cilantro stalks.
Add the canned tomatoes. Spoon in the ketchup and let things come to a simmer, leaving the sauce to cook while you get on with preparing the filling- about 10 minutes.
Layer on 2 tortillas so that they cover the bottom of the dish.
Repeat layering. Finish with a layer of tortillas and then a layer of salsa.
Finally, add the last layer of beans and cheese, nearly all of the remaining salsa and cover with the last 2 tortillas. Spread the very last bit of salsa over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. (I accidentally used up all of my cheese in the filling - oh well.)
Place on top of the cookie sheet in the oven (to catch any over-flow from the lasagne) and bake for 30 minutes, and let it rest for a good before serving.
This lasagna was fantastic and it was even better the second day!
I consume so much avocado that I think I might actually start to turn green one day. I eat a couple of slices of avocado with my egg for breakfast every morning, I eat a few more slices on my sandwich for lunch and now I'm starting to incorporate it into our dinners.
I love the flavor and the creamy texture of avocados. They just seem to make food, taste better.
I found this recipe for Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Lime in my Cooking Light magazine and as usual - I modified the original recipe slightly.
Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Lime
1 pound shrimp
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Black Bean Salsa
2 Tablespoons red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, mined
1/4 teaspoon salt
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 peeled avocado
1 cup chopped tomato
8 corn tortillas
Grill shrimp in a grill basket.
To build your tostada, start with a tortilla.
Add a spoonful of avocado dip.
Top with a spoonful of black bean salsa.
Top with shrimp.
This was a great summer meal. We had leftover black bean salsa AND leftover avocado dip - which made awesome snacks for the next day.
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