watermelon, feta & mint skewers

January 20th, 2020 · 5 Comments

I can’t believe we’re already halfway through August — this summer has seriously flown by!  For my first Texas summer, there haven’t been too many terribly hot days, amazingly enough.  Most of the time, between our air conditioned cars, home, restaurants, and stores, it’s pretty easy to forget how hot it is outside! 

But this season still calls for some beautiful summer recipes, even if they’re served in our air-conditioned living room.  Watermelon and mint are perfect mid-summer flavors, so savor the few weeks we have left while they’re fresh!

I love serving bite-sized food like this — easy to make for a crowd and totally gorgeous.  Do any of you guys have Labor Day parties coming up?  This would be a great addition to any menu!

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Skewers

INGREDIENTS
8 ounces feta cheese, cut into small cubes
3 cups fresh watermelon, cut into same-sized cubes
24 small mint leaves (torn in half to uniform size)
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Wooden toothpicks

DIRECTIONS
Thread a cube of watermelon onto a skewer, add a mint leaf and finish with a cube of feta cheese.  Repeat until you have 24 skewers, and set the completed skewers on a platter.  Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and balsamic vinegar.  Serve.

Tags: appetizers · food

best homemade guacamole

January 17th, 2020 · 14 Comments

I love guacamole. 

In fact, the word ‘love’ might not be strong enough.  I’m enthralled, enraptured and a little bit obsessed with this recipe, in no small part because it’s one of the best-tasting good-for-you snacks I can imagine.  Avocados are full of healthy fats, and guacamole is basically just a combination of a few simple, fresh ingredients, tossed and served up.  It doesn’t get much yummier than that.

A few tips on storing guacamole without the avocados turning brown — first, don’t make this until the last possible minute.  But if you have to make it ahead (or, even more rarely, if this doesn’t get eaten in one sitting), save the pits and store them in the same container.  Rub some saran wrap with a little bit of lemon juice, and cover the top of the guacamole that would otherwise be exposed to the air, and then add an airtight lid. 

And on day two, throw this on some tortilla chips, add some sour cream and cheese, and viola — nachos!

Best Homemade Guacamole

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe avocados
1 shallot, minced
1 plum tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly grated black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cut avocados in half and remove the pit.  Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a mixing bowl.  Add the chopped onion, cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, salt and pepper and mash with a fork until chunky and mixed.  Serve with chips or chopped veggies.

Tags: appetizers · food · salads · side dishes

kale chips

December 2nd, 2019 · 14 Comments

So, kale chips are one of those ridiculously healthy, nutty crunchy, snack-food-for-the-quinoa-and-bulgar-set recipes that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like.  Truth be told, I’m not really much into bitter greens, but these seemed so easy and healthy that I had to give them a try.

And.  Um.  Ok, maybe I just do not belong in the quinoa and bulgar set.  In fact, I think this pretty much proves that theory.  I try to be as healthy as the next girl, but am I really going to replace my beloved pretzels and baked Doritos for these?  Unlikely.

This is probably a good time to mention that a few months ago, I attempted a *very* expensive three-day juice diet, and do you know how long I lasted on it?  Less than eight hours.  Do you know how much weight I lost?  Not a single ounce.  Sigh.

Part of me debated whether or not to post this recipe, but in the end, I thought it was an interesting idea that others could probably enjoy more than me.  Each “chip” basically tasted like olive oil and garlic, which was actually pretty good.  So if you’re curious about kale chips too, I think you should try this recipe and decide for yourself!

Last but not least, the winner of the Stonyfield Farm Oikos giveaway is comment #24, Rachel!  I’ll be emailing for your address this weekend!

Kale Chips Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch kale
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fleur de sel
1 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a nonstick cookie sheet with tin foil.

Remove the kale stems and tear the leaves into pieces.  Wash and dry kale with a salad spinner.  Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and salt, rubbing the leaves to coat evenly.  Place the kale in an even layer on the pan and bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, about 15 minutes.  Serve.

Tags: appetizers · food