Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!! We had some guests in town so I decided to “unplug” and enjoy the weekend. There wasn’t much cooking or baking going on in my kitchen, but I was requested to make these for a party we attended. They were in a head to head competition with a chocolate trifle that I was told was pretty tasty! I wouldn’t know because I was too busy shoveling some sort of cucumber salsa in my mouth to stop for a sweet. If the dessert was anything like the rest of the food that was provided, I’m a little bummed I didn’t check it out. Next time. I came home with an empty plate, and the chocolate trifle was about gone. Win, win!
So back to this cucumber salsa. It was very basic and refreshing and I couldn’t stop eating it. I came home from work today craving some tortilla chips (yum and yum), so I decided to try my hand at recreating the salsa. I added a bit more nutrition with some white beans, but all in all I was happy with the outcome. This salsa is packed full of color and flavor. It’s a great way to use up those cucumbers and tomatoes that might be taking over your gardens right now.
Cucumber White Bean Salsa
- 2 medium-large cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 medium size roma tomatoes, diced (add juice to mixture)
- Juice of 2-3 limes
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until combined. Season with additional salt, pepper, or lime juice as desired.
2. Serve with tortilla chips.
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I apologize for the lack in posts lately. Last week was absolutely crazy busy and this week will be more of the same…..which is why I spent hours in the kitchen on Sunday trying to get my fill for the week. It’s amazing how fast time flies when you are in a happy place. :)
A few weeks ago my friend had a Pampered Chef party – of course I bought a few things – and I ended up getting a free booklet of some of their recipes. The idea for these Deconstructed Taco Dip bites came from a recipe in that booklet. I saw cheese and avocado and my mind started racing. I have a slight obsession with taco dips but they can’t have too much sour cream and they must include black olives! Unfortunately I didn’t have any black olives this time but you better believe the next round they will make a perfect topper to these little bites.
Simply said – DELICIOUS!! But then again, can you really go wrong with this combination? The secret is making sure the cheese turns a golden brown before removing from the oven. You want the texture to be more like a cheese crisp rather than melted cheese that was pulled off a nacho chip. There are sooo many different ways to use this recipe. Little tiny taco bites or fajita bites with rice, diced peppers, and guacamole!! Have fun creating and exploring!!
Deconstructed Taco Dip Bites
- 1/2 8 oz block of Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1-2 limes
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 1/2 tsp taco seasoning (more depending on flavor)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large round stone with parchment paper. Cut cheese into 1/4 inch slices, and then cut each slice in half. Arrange on stone about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until cheese appears golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on stone for 1-2 minutes. Transfer cheese crisps to a cooling rack to cool completely.
2. Combine sour cream and taco seasoning and set aside. To make guacamole: Peel and seed avocado. Place in a large bowl and mash slightly. Add diced tomato and garlic. Stir together until well combined. Add chopped cilantro and juice from 1 lime. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Once cheese crisps have cooled completely, spread a small amount of sour cream on each crisp. Top with guacamole. (I used around 1-2 tsp for each crisp. Use as much or as little as you prefer). Garnish with tomatoes and cilantro if desired. Serve and enjoy!
1. Cheese crisps make a “large” bite. For smaller, bite size crisps, cut cheese into smaller pieces but watch your time. You don’t want them to burn!
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The end of summer is drawing near and my garden is slowly following. My cucumber plant is done, the green pepper plant has a few baby peppers that will still produce, and my jalapeño plant is on its last round of loot. The cherry tomatoes on the other hand are still going strong. We went away for the weekend and came back to another handful of beautiful vibrant red, round, sweet cherry tomatoes practically jumping into my bowl to be picked. It’s a good thing I eat these like candy otherwise I would never be able to keep up.
I was flipping through my cookbooks the other day when I stumbled across this salad, and of course made a mental note that I wanted to make it before all the fresh ingredients were done. When I got home Brent already had corn on the cob on the stove and I knew I wanted something light and refreshing to go with it. This salad immediately popped into my head…AND…..I get to use up some of those gorgeous ‘maters. The ingredient list is small but they all play a big role in this dish!! Make sure you drink the dressing/juice when it’s all said and done – all the flavors in one gulp! Light, refreshing, quick, and easy!!
Watermelon and Tomato Salad
Recipe from The Best of Vegan Cooking
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cut in 1-in cubes
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea Salt, small pinch
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1. Combine watermelon, tomatoes, and salt in a chilled bowl.
2. Whisk lemon juice, zest, olive oil and pepper and drizzle over fruit. Sprinkle with mint, and toss gently. Do not refrigerate; serve within 30 minutes on chilled salad plates.
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I feel like it’s been forever since I posted and even longer since I’ve been in the kitchen. I apologize for not posting since we were in Bordeaux. Once we got to Lyon, we realized that the hotel was charging a ridiculous amount for WiFi in the room so we decided against it. And since Brent has all the pictures on his laptop and my camera I don’t have any pictures for you. Less than a week and all will be back to normal. YAY!!
Last week I spent getting my life, house, and yard back in order. Anyone else hate that feeling when you have been gone and everything seems out of sorts? My fridge was mostly condiments and a few vegetables my mom sent from her garden (yum!!). So lunches and dinners were kind of “what can I throw together/kitchen sink” kind of thing. The cucumber and zucchini that I got from her garden were amazing…..Thanks Momma!! There is nothing like in-season fruits and vegetables – especially when they come from your garden. After a low key weekend around the house, I finally feel like things are organized and I’m caught up.
I spent most of Sunday grocery shopping and just browsing the isles. I LOVE grocery shopping! I’m not sure why, but I find it somewhat therapeutic and relaxing. Unless I hit Trader Joe’s at “rush hour”, then it’s total chaos. Since it was just me today, I took my time and stocked the fridge with all sort of fruits and veggies. One of the stops I made was at the North Market. I was hoping to find these amazing rosemary focassia olives at Omega Bakery but I guess they only have then on Saturday. Boo!! So instead, I picked up a fresh loaf of Ciabatta. I immediately started thinking of what I wanted to make for dinner. Avocado, Tomato, Smoked Gouda with Pesto Panini…….DONE! This sandwich was soo good! The creaminess from the smoked gouda and avocado paired with the pesto was perfect! Hope you all have a great week! Although I don’t have the camera back yet, I’ll still be posting recipes. Stop back soon!
Avocado, Tomato, Smoked Gouda with Pesto Panini
- 2 slices ciabatta
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 slice smoked gouda
- 1 roma tomato
- 3/4 – 1 cup basil leaves
- 5-7 cashews
- fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat panini pan to Medium heat.
2. In a small food processor, blend together ingredients for pesto. Spread pesto on each side of ciabatta bread. Assemble panini and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Simple and easy!!
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Posted in Dinner, tagged Basil, Lemon, Pasta, Tomatoes on June 8, 2010 |
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I adore Giada so when I I found this pasta at Target the other day I was pretty excited! I’m kind of a sucker for fun looking pasta. Which I know is strange because it all tastes the same….I don’t get it either. I needed something quick for dinner tonight a) because I was starving and b) I have a volleyball game and wanted something more than a frozen veggie burger. So I raided my fridge and threw some things in a bowl with the pasta and vinaigrette. This vinaigrette is so flavorful and light. Bursting with lemon and basil!! I’m starting to realize I don’t like raw garbanzo beans….maybe some peas would have been better. The dish was still very good and I’ll definitely be using the vinaigrette again. Hope you enjoy this light summer pasta dish!
Fusili Con Buco with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
- 1/2-pkg Fusili Con Buco (or any pasta – I only used enough for two servings)
- 1 small tomato, sliced into chunks
- 3-4 mushrooms,sliced
- 1/4 cup garbanzo beans
- 2 tbsp feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1. Boil pasta according to package directions.
2. Slice up tomatoes and mushrooms. Place in a bowl along with garbanzo beans.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, and basil leaves. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, dressing, and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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