Category Archives: Avocado

Avocado Spring Rolls with Sweet Chile Garlic & Ponzu Sauce

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Happy Wednesday!

I made the most amazing spring rolls – it was my first time to make them and I totally impressed myself!

Soft, crunchy, creamy, herb-y & just that je ne sais quoi that I TOTALLY LOVE!

Here are the rock star ingredients:

  • rice paper wrappers
  • seedless cucumber
  • avocado
  • pickled ginger
  • butter lettuce
  • cilantro
  • shredded carrot
  • chives

Pickled ginger has become my new favorite ingredient!  It is spicy and sweet and vinegar-y.  It’s close to the top of the list of perfect foods for you to eat so it’s a win-win!  I have found myself asking for extra anytime I go eat sushi- who am I??

The funny thing is that I have never liked the taste of ginger- when I was little we would go eat at Uncle Tai’s in the Galleria and I would pick out the ginger piece by piece- if I accidentally got a bite, the face I made was horrid. I guess my palate is changing but don’ t think that means you will find blue cheese or olives on my plate any time soon- I have limits my friends!

The prep time on this is going to take some time but the pay off is so awesome!

Cut the cucumber in half and then cut the bottom off so you can stand it straight up and cut vertical slices

Once that is done you can cut the pretty matchstick pieces

Then you want to cut that GORGEOUS avocado in thin strips…..it’s like my favorite food EVER

I just need some salt and fork – YUM!

OK seriously- we need to wet the rice paper wrapper in a shallow dish of water.

Speaking of rice paper- you should be able to get it at your local market but mine was out so I went to the sushi bar and asked if they had any and he gave me several sheets for $$FREE$$ – which again makes the great point of talking to the people at your store and ask questions- they are there to help!!

The rice paper looks crazy when you get it- thin and crackly with a weird texture but when you submerge it in the water it magically transforms like shrinky-dinks in a hot oven

Just submerge it for a few minutes and then lay it on a big dry plate and get ready to fill that baby up

First- lay the avocado slices across so they are the superstar of the roll!

*disclaimer- please make sure to put lemon/lime juice on your avocado after slicing it so it doesn’t get brown spots like mine

Add the rest of the ingredients too

And then you start rollin’ rollin’ rollin’

The tighter- the better – it won’t rip- it’s super strong and you don’t want all your glorious veg pouring out when you bite into it!

Time to make the dipping sauce while that hangs out for a minute

  • Taste of Asia Sweet Chili Garlic sauce (best depth of flavor of all I have tried)
  • Kikkoman Ponzu sauce

If you haven’t tried Ponzu it rocks- it is a citrus soy sauce – soy sauce alone doesn’t work for me anymore

I am dedicated to new flavors like that

TAAADDDDAAAAA

Now go out and make these- they are awesome and you could even throw some shredded chicken or tofu in there if you need more protein!

Have a great day!

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Celebrating Spring Fever with Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

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Here in Texas our winter has been non-existent

We have had a couple of cold days and even had some flurries one night but based on last years winter – it was disappointing to say the least….at least to my 4 1/2 year old!

The last couple of days have been in the upper 70’s and low 80’s – we are supposed to have another cold snap next week so this week I have Spring Fever BIG TIME!!

Yesterday, I wanted to make something that was completely sit on the patio drinking margaritas worthy

I think this definitely fits that description:  Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

This is zesty and creamy and saucy and citrus-y and cilantro-y…..it’s the best twist on shrimp cocktail!

I wasn’t on top of my game yesterday and I didn’t take my normal step-by-step photos so I hope you’ll forgive me.

There are 3 steps to creating this beauty…..let’s get to it

First you want to create the Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

4-5 small tomatoes , seeded and chopped (I used some heirlooms and the colors are beautiful)

1 small yellow pepper, seeded, chopped (orange or red peppers will also work)

1 small sweet or red onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, ribbed, seeded & chopped (if you want the heat- leave the ribs & seeds in)

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

zest of lime

juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Mix everything together in a big bowl and let it marinate while you make the rest

The next component is the sauce…a zesty cocktail sauce

Zesty Cocktail Sauce

3 tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

couple shakes of Worcestershire

couple shakes of Tabasco

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 tsp pepper

Mix everything in a small bowl and let the flavors come together while you assemble the rest

The last step is assembling the cocktail itself

The last 2 ingredients that you will need to grab are Shrimp & Avocados:

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

serves 2

16 large 31/40 cooked, frozen shrimp – thawed & halved (I thaw by running under water in my sink and then chill in the fridge while making other components)

1/2 – Avocado, cubed

zesty cocktail sauce (recipe above)

pico de gallo (recipe above)

Mix the shrimp, pico de gallo & cocktail sauce together so they are fully incorporated.  Then gently fold in the avocado.  Best presented in a sundae or martini glass with some pico de gallo on top and a wedge of lime to garnish.  Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let all the glorious flavors do their magic!

Please enjoy this on a patio with your sunglasses on while drinking a fabulous margarita….you will feel like you are in Cabo!  Unless its snowing where you are…..then you will have to close your eyes and click your heels

Enjoy!

 

 

 

A little taste of Fall

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This morning I got to indulge in my favorite Fall treat!  A Starby’s Pumpkin Spice Latte…..it is Fall in a cup to me and I heart it!

We are having a nice respite from the boiling temps here and so the thought of  coffee or soup doesn’t repulse me.

Yesterday, I had a ton of different size tomatoes that I needed to use and I wanted to make something a little more fall-ish…so I decided on Roasted Tomato Soup

This was heaven in a bowl, I tell you!  It was also fairly simple to make.

Let’s check out the step-by-step below

Roasted Tomato Soup (adapted from Tyler Florence)

  • 2 1/2 lbs of various tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 shallots
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • basil (fresh or in a tube if you can’t manage to keep fresh basil alive)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Quart (4 cups) of chicken stock (homemade is best but the box will work 😉 )
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • Plain Greek yogurt

You want to start by coring and cutting the tomatoes in half along with the garlic & onion & shallots

Coring a tomato is very simple…use a paring knife and cut around the top and underneath the stem area

See how I am holding the knife?  That will make it 100% easier- just please be careful and don’t cut yourself!

Look how pretty these look in the roasting pan with some olive oil, salt & pepper

I just love this view 😉

Put it in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes

I can’t believe the change that occurs and there is a TON of flavor in that pan.  I used a tad put of chicken stock to deglaze the pan as soon as it came out of the oven so that you get the yummy good bits off the bottom!

Throw it all in a stock pot with 3/4 of the chicken stock and the bay leaves & the buttah

Let that come together on high heat and bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer (about medium) and let it reduce for about 30 minutes.

Once it has reduced then you will need to use a stick or emersion blender to bring this all together.  I like a smooth tomato soup but you can leave it somewhat chunky if you like- you have choices!

Once it is all blended up the way you like it- then you need to add the basil- a chop or a squirt….whatever you are using 🙂

And here is my secret ingredient

I am using this in place of heavy cream or milk to make it a little more figure friendly.  You want to take it out of the fridge and bring it closer to room temperature so it does not seize up when you add it to the hot soup or you will get bits of yogurt in your soup and it won’t taste bad but it’s not what you want!

Then just stir that baby up and then it is ready to serve!  I chose a little avocado as a garnish but you could put several toppings out for a soup bar, which is always fun for the family!

YUM!

I don’t think this is going to make it long in the freezer…..

Happy intro to Fall!

What are your favorite Fall treats?

It’s time for a party!

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Hello my friends!  Happy Humpday!

I have been a little crazed the past few days planning recipes and then we had our first soccer practice- look at my little soccer player 🙂

I will definitely be updating you throughout the season to let you know how things are going 😉

So as promised 2 surprises for you tonight!

Avocado Fries + a Labor Day Spritzer~

Today was a fun day for testing recipes!

Let’s start off with the Avocado Fries (adapted from dine & dish)

  • oil for shallow frying
  • 3 firm, ripe avocados
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • Cholula
  • eggs
  • flour
  • Penzey’s smoked salt
  • Penzey’s Northwoods spice (paprika, salt, tellicherry peppers, garlic)

First make your 3 dredging bowls:

1/4 c of flour

2 eggs, beaten w/ a dash or 2 of Cholula

1 1/4 c panko w/ smokey salt & northwoods

And away here we go~

in a deep pan put 1 1/2 inches of oil and turn on medium

cut your avocados in half & scoop the whole flesh onto the cutting board & slice them into 1-1 1/2 inch slices

mmmmm those are pretty….ok lets dredge those babies!

First flour them~

then put ’em in the egg~

then throw ’em in the panko~

then to check the oil…take a wooden spoon and turn it upside down and if it bubbles you are set!

put those babies in for ~60 seconds, turning halfway through

and you will have this…..

is that not just beautiful?!

I just drooled all over my keyboard….

I made some homemade ranch and added some hot sauce for a dipper sauce….it is really good!

Let’s make our cocktail now….

  • white wine (I chose Sauvignon Blanc because my mom spoke to her wine dude and he said that this particular one had nice grapefruit & gooseberry notes) or champagne
  • plumcots
  • lemon
  • fresh mint
  • tonic
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

then throw the sugar & fruit in the water in a pot on the stove and put it on medium to bring up to a simmer and watch the magic happen

you can simmer it for about 20 minutes to get that deep rich color & then you need to strain it but before you do….taste it so you can make sure you get the fruit flavor you want and then cool it down

get those champagne flutes ready and fill about 1/3 with the white wine + 1/3 of tonic + top it off with your fruit juice & a splash of lemon juice

Garnish with a slice of fruit. lemon & mint(not pictured- cause my brain had a spasm when I took the picture)

It’s a party my friends!  Crispy, crunchy, creamy avocado fries & a tart, refreshing perfect end-to-the-summer cocktail!

Have a fabulous night, ya’ll!

What is your favorite party food?

Look Rocky- I pulled an avocado out of my hat!

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Today has been a ca-razy busy day…I have been going from the moment the sun came up.  I had about 1001 errands to run and I have one more….I have to go to the store 😦

Bella has her end-of-the-summer party at camp tomorrow and they have to take a sack lunch.  She wants a sandwich, cheetos along with grapes & strawberries-  I think I will exchange the Cheetos for Popchips- they are my new obsession.

Please run out and try them- they are on sale at Target right now 2 variety packs for $4

They aren’t baked or fried and they taste GOOD!

So because I ran into a wall about 3:30 and have been dragging ever since- I pulled an avocado & egg out of my hat and created a super simple dinner.

It is a simple egg salad stuffed avocado with sliced tomatoes and my child approved because she is part of the clean plate club tonight!

It is rather a sinful dinner with the lucious avocado and egg salad with a touch of shallot so we had watermelon for dessert:)

Here are the players~

And you know I have a Penzey’s spice that I am going to use- this is an all-purpose seasoning that is good on everything!

How can you not love a spice blend that has it all?!

So let’s get down to business!

I know everyone has their own method to boiling eggs and I have tried them all……but the method that has been the most  successful 100% of the time has been the following:

Fill pan up with water and put eggs in immediately.  Eggs should not be covered completely:

I bring the water up to a boil and then cover immediately and turn off the heat.  I let them hang out about 15 minutes and then throw them into an ice water bath (this makes them easier to peel)

While they are hanging out in an ice bath go ahead and chop your shallot & scoop out your avocado:

and then peel your eggs, chop ’em up

throw in the shallot & mayo and mix ’em up and try not to eat it all right then and there….

It is very hard but I promise you will love it even more if you wait for the creamy & decadent avocado:)

Dust the avocado with the Sandwich Sprinkle and then spoon the egg salad mixture into the middle.

I used a small scooper to make it look pretty…..

Then I sliced up a couple of grape tomatoes for color 😉

That sure was yummy, not to mention, quick & easy!

OK I have got to get to the store for grapes, strawberries & goldfish for her class tomorrow or I might be put in timeout…

What is your favorite thing to do with avocados?