Advertisements

salsa-stuffed grilled avocados

say what?  Yup. The ever- loved avocado is tasty in more than just guacamole 

  

( but let’s face it, guac is pretty darn awesome!) 

I first had grilled avocado when Scott was living in Denver alone and I was still back in Massachusetts. 

my denver visit

We ate a a restaurant that sadly, is no longer in business 😓

  So I had to learn to make it myself! 

Grilled avocado 

1 avocado ( or 10…  These are addictive ) 

Olive oil

Seasoned salt ( I’m currently crushing on smoked sea salt ) 

Start by halving your avocado and removing pit. 

Brush avocado flesh woth olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt 

  

Place avacodo (skin on) right side down on preheated grill

  

Grill for about 4 minutes on one side,then rotate avacodo 45 degrees and grilled for a few more minutes 

  

 And there ya have it!   I stuffed mine with fresh salsa 😎

  

These are equally tasty on a salad ( using a small spoon, scoop out avocado flesh in one piece and slice )

Or turn into a smokey guacamole! 

Quick… Go get avocado and try this! 

Oxox

Advertisements

potatoes baked in buttermilk 

I had a crazy craving for Homemade buttermilk dressing last week .  So I got down with my bad self and made it! 

But the buttermilk only came in a large container and I Had leftovers 

Fast forward to Saturday.  It was cold and raw, so I decided to roast a chicken.  And although I’m not crazy about Potatoes ( insert gasp here) I picked up a local russet and tried to get creative. 

Friends… This recipe is a keeper.  I made it Saturday and Scott actually asked me to make it again last night.  2 nights in a row! That’s unheard of in these parts! 

  

Potatoes baked in buttermilk 

1 tsp olive oil 

1 russet potato sliced thinly 

1 shallot sliced

1/2-1 cup low fat buttermilk 

Sea salt 

Pepper 

Chopped chives 

Slice of low fat cheddar cheese ( optional )

Preheat oven to 350 

Spread oil in small baking dish. 

Layer potatoes and shallots , sprinkling each layer with salt. 

Pour buttermilk over potatoes and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for about 1/2 hour or until potatoes are fork tender. 

Remove foil and top with cheese 

Place under broiler for about a minute and sprinkle chives on top 

 

 

  

Quick.: run..  Go buy these ingredients! 

Oxox

thug kitchen’s chickpea tabouli 

hint… She’s not wearing any shoes 😉

Yup… I’m back at it. Actually I’ve been cooking an awful lot. I’ve come to realize what great therapy it is for me!

There’s so much I want to share with you, that I have literally been sitting at my kitchen table for an hour trying to decide which ones I should write about.

I’m in a bit of a snark this weekend, so I decided on the off-color recipe ( actually it has a lot of color!)

Have y’all heard of Thug Kitchen ?

It’s a couple of peeps who like to use 4 letter words.. The really colorful ones..

They started a blog and recently released a cookbook ( if you aren’t easily offended, I urge you to google thug kitchen cookbook trailer… I laugh every time that I watch it… If you are easily offended, then don’t research it or click on the link to the recipe I’m about to share )

They cook plant- based foods… Yes, vegan…. Trust me, don’t let that stop you from trying their recipes… Just throw a steak on the grill and make it into a side dish 🙂

I’ve made 3 recipes from the blog this week

Pasta with cauliflower cream sauce

20141018-153524.jpg

Buffalo Falafal ( didn’t take a picture, but hot dang these were tasty )

And chickpea tabbouleh ..
amazing! )

20141018-153810.jpg

It was just as fun to make as it was to eat

20141018-153842.jpg

I’ve also been doing a ton of canning… I mean LOTS!

20141018-154047.jpg

20141018-154119.jpg

I’m channeling my inner homesteader… I find the entire process very soothing.. I think it’s the organization part of it…

In fact I have 2 big pots of beets ( one red, one golden) on the stove right now getting ready to be pickled!

I leave you with a picture of the tree right outside our bedroom window.

20141018-155053.jpg

Nature’s art 💝

Happy autumn! I have so much to share!

Oxox

sweet  pea salad with goat cheese 

Apple of my eye🎶🎶🎶

Howdy, friends!

I love me some sweet peas. ( and classic tunes 😉)

Scott and I picked up some snow peas at the market on Saturday. Usually I just steam them, but after seeing the mint in my yard, I started to get all creative and stuff.

20140714-131150.jpg

So I took a bag of these babies…

20140714-131221.jpg

And sliced them thinly. Fancy- pants word is julienne, but you can call it slicing thinly 😉

I gathered up some lemon, pine nuts,feta,butter, mint ,sea salt and pepper.
( not pictured… White wine)

And made a purty little plate

20140714-131403.jpg

Start by toasting the pine nuts. Set aside.

I melted the butter ( a tablespoon, maybe?) into a cast iron skillet ( my favorite cooking vessel, btw )

Then I added the peas to coat and just start to wilt. I didn’t want to overlook them, a nice crunch was what I was going for .

I added the wine ( 1/4 cup-ish) and let it reduce by half, then added the zest and juice of the lemon, chopped mint , toasted pine nuts and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Right as I was ready to serve I added the crumbled feta ( we bought a local goat feta… Simply amazing!). And garnished with a bit of mint.

20140714-131710.jpg

So simple, so tasty,so easy!

It went lovely alongside my linguini with roasted garlic goat cheese and zucchini dish.

( that recipe is coming up soon )

If you come across snow peas.. You should try this!

Oxoxox<!

simple refrigerator pickles

simple. that is the key here.

have a cutting board?

have a knife?

have a pretty jar?

cool. Then let’s GO!

IMG_0561start by washing your jar with hot soapy water and air dry.

On a stove top, add 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 1/4 cup water and 1 tsp Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and whisk until sugar is dissolved.

let cool.

Start slicing your veggies.

place a layer of cucumbers in your jar,  layer a big slice of red onion, a hot pepper sliced ( poke seeds out of center to make ‘rings’)

sprinkle some kosher salt, a few black peppercorns, a few mustard seeds, peeled garlic cloves, and dill sprigs.
IMG_0563

Repeat.

IMG_0564

make as many layers as you’d like.. I went with 3.

Add 2 cups of white vinegar to water/ sugar mixture and pour over veggies.

using the bottom of a wooden spoon push veggie layers into liquid.

I had about 1/2 inch of veggies that would not submerge, but with in a few hours the veggies softened and I was able to submerge all of them. If you have more room than that, add a little more vinegar.

Cover and refrigerate.

that’t it!

these are simple and tasty and are PERFECT to make ahead . I made these for Ali’s graduation party and they were a hit. ( more recipes from the party coming soon! )

and since we moved less that 5 days later, I sent the leftovers home with 2 of my good friends and rumor has it that they are STILL snacking on them!

so you should make these. and impress yourself.

I did 🙂

IMG_0570

IMG_0572

want more cucumber recipes?

check out chilled cucumber soup

and cucumber salad

and panzanella salad

and cucumber martinis

hmm… that last one just gave me an excellent  idea 😉

‘night friends 🙂

stuffed- caprese-tomatoes

remember when I made  THESE….

well, I had myself one big tomato yesterday the other day that was just this side of being eaten fresh. But it was still edible and had the fixins for caprese salad.

 

and let’s face it, friends, caprese is only as good as the tomatoes.

 

Since I don’e like to throw anything out, I came up with another idea, based on the original recipe from way back when.

 

Stfuffed-Caprese- Tomato

 

start by hollowing out said tomato ( this one tomato was enough to split as a side between 3 of us)  and placing on aluminum foil

 

IMG_0492

 

 

Then rough chop the flesh of the tomato and place in small saucepan with about 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, salt, pepper and a rosemary sprigIMG_0491

bring to a boil, then to a simmer until sauce turns pink & reduces

IMG_0495

add about 1/4 cup of bread crumbs ( I used Panko.. it’s what I had) and stir.  Taste filling and adjust salt & pepper. Remove rosemary.

 

 

Cut up some fresh mozzarella into bite size piecesIMG_0494

start by adding 2-3 pieces of the cheese tot he inside of the tomato , then a layer of filling

IMG_0496repeat alternating until tomato is full.  Wrap tomato up tightly like a Hershey’s kiss.

 

Place on grill ( or in oven ) for about 15 minutes.  Remove & let cool. Top with shreds of basil ( I forgot to add it before I took the pic)

Cut into quarters and enjoy!

IMG_0498

you can thank me later 🙂

Cilantro-coconut rice

Yeah……… so I wrote this 2. weeks ago but never published….again! Le sigh … here goes

This time from high above you with broken headphones 😦

boo.

Note to self… Next time make sure you grab the right ones…

Oh well!

My horoscope for today said that I have a hidden talent and that I should share it with the world.

All that I can come up with to share is this yummy recipe that I inhaled

Um came up with a few weeks ago .

I decided that I wanted mole tacos…but here’s the thing…. I’ve never actually made mole before .. And while I could have gone and researched a recipe.. I chose my way to do it… Just make it up as I go along ( just call me capt’ Ron of the kitchen)

While I really liked it, the girls did not, so until I can play with the recipe a bit more, I won’t be sharing ( although I will show you a pic of the finished produc

What I will share ( like the horoscope Gods told me) is the delicious rice dish … Which is so simple and soooo flavorful

You will need

1 cup White rice ( I used jasmine)

1 cup of light coconut milk *** ( I like trader joes… It’s the cheapest and I like the nutrition )

1 tsp ground cumin

Juice of 1 lime ( I had lemon so that’s what I used )

1/2 bunch cilantro chopped *

4 scallions chopped

Pinch of sea salt

* note. If you don’t like cilantro… It’s ok. It’s not your fault. It’s actually hereditary. Just sub out Parsley and you’ll be good to go!

Start by adding rice, coconut milk, cumin, salt and 1 cup water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir, then cover and reduce heat.

I cooked mine for about 20-30 minutes but my stovetop cooks faster than most ( I think ). Follow the cook time on your package of rice that you are using

Turn heat off and let sit 5 minutes

And cilantro, lime juice and scallions .

Fluff with fork and season with salt and pepper.

Note… I usually store remainder of coconut milk in freezer zip lock bags.. That way none goes to waste and I always have some on hand 🙂

I have been completely infatuated with corn tortillas lately. Whole foods 365 brand is inexpensive , fresh, and delicious!

I simply heated up a corn tortilla.. Topped with cheddar cheese… Some secret I-cant-share-the-recipe-with-you-until- I play- with-it-again mole sauce.. A slice of avocado and fold.

I served it along side the coconut cilantro rice and some peach chipotle salsa ( I’m loving all of the fun salsas that you can get in the stores these days :).

As we start our final decent I’ll share some random tips…. ( feel free to skip if you don’t want to hear my babble)

Last time I flew to Co. I stopped at one of those kiosk-y things at the terminal… Grabbed a salad and a water and it came to $15.95! ( this was your basic run of the mill garden salad… Iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber..)

Of course I had a 4 hour flight in front of me and I was starved, so I still bought it but vowed to never put myself in that situation again.

A friend of mine starting selling 31 bags recently and when she sent me the link to the catalog and I saw this thermal bag… I knew I had to get it.

Heck…2 salads and it pays for itself!

20130529-221006.jpg

20130529-221417.jpg

20130603-194145.jpg

20130603-195404.jpg

20130605-223023.jpg

lentil love

I expressed a few weeks back about how much I truly enjoy LENTILS.
The bonus is that they are so GOOD for you! .. back in my previous life of being a cosmetologist, I had a client who was in her mid to late 50’s and looked AMAZING. Simply Amazing. I asked her how she did it… she told me that she ate a lot of lentils.. I know this sounds silly, but I swear to you , this is true.

I don’t think that I had really eaten lentils except for maybe in soup? They are readily available in just about every grocery store, there are many different kinds, they are quick and easy to make and if you live near a Trader Joe’s ( field trip there for me tomorrow… suggestion on what I should get??) you can buy already cooked lentil in the refrigerator section at Tj’s.

could it be easier? I think not.

My sweet, daughter in law, Amanda ( and future nurse:) *congratulations on Nursing School acceptance!* Started changing her diet earlier this year and has discovered a whole bunch of new foods in the process ( and also lost over 30 pounds in the process!) One of the companies that she discovered was Laurel Hill.

I bought a bag and….. I’m hooked. ( I found these at Whole foods) And as silly as this little recipe is, I feel the need to share this with you because I eat it 3-4 times a week. True love, I tell ya… true love ❤

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:3]

* side note…after an embaressing weight gain I am going to be re joining weight watchers… as soon as I do I will figure out the point plus info for this recipe and come back and edit it for those who are interested*

I have been using coconut oil for about a year now. This is some good stuff. Coconut oils had gotten a bad rap for many years, but researchers are finding that it has amazing health benefits

It can be a little pricey ( around 10 buck a jar) but it lasts a long time and I swear.. it’s worth every penny… I use it to cook my eggs & fry my tofu. If i had a must -have 20 item list in my kitchen, this would be on there 🙂

If you are new to lentils, I urge you to try them 🙂

don’t they look purty on my beans and grains shelf?

xooxox

~shel

banish boring salads

well… maybe not banish but know that there are options out there.

You know how when you got to a restaurant and some of the fancier salads look sooo good… but you have a hard  time shelling out 13 bucks for a salad..

yeah  me too.  Here’s the thing.. you can make these at home!!  Now I know some of you are like, “duh? is she going to seriously walk us through salad making 101?”

yes. Because I have a few friends whose diets have changed and they need to add more fruits and veggies into their diet & want to show the amazing amount options that are out there. If you already know all of this.. I apologize…. just scroll to the bottom to help answer a question about my next giveaway.

WHOA!!! wait.. YOU!… get back up here.. I’m not done yet.

We’ll start with making a dressing….  yes.. making it is super simple.. and there are 17,000 combinations that you can create… just use a basic formula and add the flavors that you like!

you will need

1~ an acid.. either vinegar, lemon or lime juice, wine….  1/8 cup

2~ an oil…. olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil.. coconut oil ( my new FAVORITE! ) 1/4 cup

3~mustard… again… SO many flavors out there… play with it! 1 tsp

4~ honey.. or maple syrup ( the real stuff) or agave…. 1 tsp

5~ (optional) herbs.. fresh or dried… or sesame seeds, or crushed garlic….. 1/2-1 tsp.. depending on how strong you would like ( always start with less then add more)

6~ sea salt and pepper…..  I have a slight salt obsession as well…..  we’ll chat about this later 🙂 remind me if I forget.

simply add everything to a small ball jars

   put the top on the jar and shake….

you just made dressing 🙂

trust me.. you can’t get that out of a bottle…. anywhere.

I don’t like overly dressed salads, so I usually use about a tablespoon per salad.. if you like more, then add more… I mix it with whichever greens I am using so that they are coated, then place in serving bowl… top with toppings…

like the quiche ‘recipe’  ( are you starting to get my method of cooking… it’s always a formula, then playing with ingredients… because I am a firm believer in  play!  <—- please read this post, it’s one of my favorites 🙂

so.. you will want

1~ green of choice… baby spinach, arugula, mesclun, romaine, butter lettuce..

2~ dressing of choice

3~ ( optional.. ) protein of choice… ( chicken, beans, salmon, beef, tofu, edamame.)

4~ other veggies.. just pile them on!

5~ (optional ) cheese

6~ (optional) something for crunch.. croutons, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sliver almonds

7~ (optional) dried cranberries or apricots or mandarin orange wedges

and  you, my dear have just made a killer salad worthy of any restaurant.

here’s your 13 buckaroos back 🙂

This salad  has

baby spinach

basic vinaigrette

topped with edamame ( I used trader Joe’s ).. about 1/2 cup

black beans .. about 1/4 cup

1/4 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup cranberry goat cheese ( if you are vegan, by choice or m=by force, eliminate it…  the avocado give the same mouthfeel… and you probably wont miss it)

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

finish with sea salt and pepper..

I ate this for lunch yesterday and it kept me full all afternoon!  ( and peeps ask me all the time where I get my protein from 🙂  )

so be brave…. look beyond iceburg, cukes and tomatoes ( not that there is anything with it, it’s the only way I can get my kids to eat a salad, so I still make it… ) and have fun!!!!

NEEEEXXXXTTT…

I have fallen in LOVE with Greek Yogurt. Have you tried it yet? I buy the non fat plain and it tastes just like sour cream. I sub it out for sour cream all the time.  It is also a perfect base to make granola parfait but also… to make some ‘creamy’ sauces!  like this

Chipotle cream sauce

I used about 1/2 the can of peppers.. if you like it more mild, use less

about a cup of the Greek Yogurt

half a lime

I put them all in the magic bullet looking thing and blended

if you don’t have one of these babies, you could use a blender, just keep scraping down the sides.. or use a food processor.

that’s it folks… does it get simpler than that? I think not.

The girls had this on their tacos last night & I topped my tostada with it.

the girls’ taco filling is made with lean ground chicken, then when I add the taco seasoning ( only half the package… it’s so loaded with sodium.. a little goes a long way.. you also can make your own, considerably knocking the sodium down, but I had it so I used it) and when I add the water I add a can of refried beans. They blend in perfectly… it stretches the filling and boosts the protein 🙂 I’ve been doing this for years..

It also freezes and defrosts well, so you can make double the amount and have it in the freezer for a super quick dinner…. If you need to cook for one, make a batch and freeze it into individual portions…  again.. quick dinner for one

*if you have dinner for one, please do me a favor and do it by candle light.. you are special and should have a nice dining experience.. if you want you can face time me and we can eat dinner together 😉 *

My filling was chopped mushrooms, sautéed  in oil, then  I mashed some back beans and lime juice in, seasoned with sea salt, cumin & chile powder

I placed it on a small flour tortilla that I heated in my cast iron skillet ( I CANNOT say enough how much I love  cast Iron to cook with)

top with cheese ( if vegan, try the daiya cheese shreds.. it’s very good, melts and stretches like cheese and can be frozen.. It is on the pricey side ( $5 a bag) but it does freeze, and I just pull out what I need when I need it )

the I added avocado.. fresh salsa.. Chipotle cream sauce and some plain Greek yogurt..  YUM!  ( and sooooooo easy )

As far as the rest of the chipotle peppers ( I’ve never had a recipe that I’ve used the whole can ) I take a freezer bag & label it… place in a jar

then press out the air & seal

Whenever I need some for a recipe, or a burst of flavor, I just break a piece off! No waste here.. yo!

so now that I’ve made you hungry… I have a question for all of you.

I have a fun company that has offered for me to give away one of their products.  I have the choice…

1~ 1 big gift for one lucky recipient…

OR

2~ 10 small gifts ( of the same item) so that TEN of you can win….

so whatcha all think? 1 big winner or 10 smaller ones???

smooches friends!!  oxooxo

oh. yum.

Ok.. who here shops at wholesale cubs? I do sometimes but usually only for certain things. Not everything in bulk is a better deal.

So while I was en route to pick up my Chobani (love this stuff) I was star-struck when I saw this

I do love all things Italian and I ❤ my garden and veggies so I stopped to look at it & guess what?  It is another book that the recipes are grouped by seasons! What a wonderful way to use the foods that are local & fresh 🙂

I went back and forth on whether I could justify buying it, after all , I just bought THIS earlier this week , but in the end, I just couldn’t leave it behind.

After buying the book ( no self-control here) I sat int he parking lot & flipped through it & one recipe stood out as absolutleyhastobemadetonight. But… I needed cream.

But who goes into a wholesale club & just comes out with cream? (ignoring the fact that I just came out with yogurt, lemons & a cookbook) So I did what anyone else would do, I bought a keg of EVOO as well, because it’s also time to make some pesto.

Quite typical of me I barely ever follow directions, so this was my take on the recipe

Tomato Gratin

4 round tomatoes, halved , scooped and seeded ( I sliced a bit off the bottom so that the stood flat in the baking dish)~ scooped centers chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream ( maybe just a bit more for soaking the bread)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 plum tomatoes, finely diced

olive oil

a few slices on day old bread ( I used a rustic Rosemary bread that I bought at the Farmers’ market last week)

Chives, chopped, sea salt & pepper.

Preheat oven to 350

After halving the tomatoes, drain them on a paper towel while preparing filling.

Pour cream, chopped tomatoes &  chopped garlic to a small pan & heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Sauce should turn pink & tomatoes should begin to break down. Season with salt & pepper and allow sauce to cool.

While tomatoes are cooking/cooling, tear bread into small pieces, add remaining garlic & cover with cream, pressing down so that all the bread is covered.

Let soak for about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, mix cream mixture, bread crumbs,and chopped tomato centers. Test for salt & pepper.

Place tomatoes in olive oil lined baking dish and divide filling between tomatoes.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or so, until the the filling form a light crust.

sprinkle with chopped chives & serve.

over. the. top.  so darn yummy!!!!!!

You need to make these. so they have heavy cream..

so what.

Just do it… all the cool kids are 🙂

 

do it!

do it!

do it! 

(then invite me over, because I would like to eat this again)

on another note.. the barefoot garden survived the Earthquake yesterday

ok.. maybe one little causuality….

ciao bellas!

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: