If you’re looking for a solid desk-drawer snack staple, have I got a super simple recipe for y’all today.
I have been on a really big bring-food-from-home-to-work-as-opposed-to-take-out kick lately. Breakfast, lunch and snacks that I used to buy from around the office are now getting made at home and brought in- everything from coffee, to oatmeal, to fruit, and of course, lunch. But most importantly, I have really been trying to up my snack game- because I can’t keep feeding $1 bills into the vending machine at work. Yes, I love me some Pirate’s Booty. No, I don’t want a giant booty (and an empty wallet). Continue reading →
Before I get to talking about one of my favorite snacks on the planet, let me get personal for a second. There are 38 days until I get married. Thirty. Eight. Where did the time go? Five years ago, my honey and I were just starting to get to know each other- and now we’re preparing for what will be the biggest day of our lives. I can’t flipping wait!
OK, annoying wedding talk over- let’s dive into this guac. Literally.
I don’t know what it is, but I am addicted to tortilla chips. Maybe it’s the salt, maybe it’s the crunch- but I cannot stop at just one chip. Whether they come from a bag, or are those amazing fresh hot ones sprinkled with coarse salt from the local Mexican joint, I will lose my cool entirely and go ham on them all. It can get embarrassing.
But really, can you blame me? Especially when there’s amazing dips to be paired. I’m a sucker for restaurant-style (NOT chunky) salsa, but I do love a nice bowl of fresh guacamole, and it couldn’t be easier to make.
The hardest part is buying avocados and waiting for them to ripen- the ones at my store are always rock hard, but after a day or two in the fruit basket they will soften up and be perfect for creamy, delicious guac!
Using a sharp knife, cut the avocado in half from top to bottom. Twist to separate, and remove the pit by whacking your knife (carefully!) into the pit and twisting to remove. Scoop out the avocado meat from the peel with a spoon and add to a bowl.
Add the pepper, tomato, onion and cilantro to the avocado and using a fork or a potato masher, mix everything together until the avocado breaks down and starts to become creamy. Season with salt and sprinkle with the lime juice; then stir again and serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!
I’ve heard a bit of drama around the mix-ins for guacamole- I’m a big fan of keeping it simple, just some diced tomato, onion, jalapeno, and tons of cilantro and lime juice. Some people prefer garlic in theirs, some like fun things like mangoes and/or pomegranate seeds- whatever floats your boat is bound to be awesome, I think 🙂
I also am excited to announce a new way to save Total Noms recipes. In addition to pinning, liking, and tweeting my recipes to save for later, you can also save them directly to Ziplist, using the blue “Save” button in the top right underneath the photo in the recipe above. Ziplist is an amazing grocery list app that you can update and take on the go- it’s one of my everyday mobile apps that I rely on to get food on the table! Now, whenever you save one of my recipes to your Ziplist account, the ingredients from that recipe will get automatically added to your grocery list and the instructions will be there for you whenever you’re ready to start cooking. Pretty neat, huh?
And while we’re at it, have you signed up for my email list yet? It’s by far the easiest and best way to make sure you never miss a recipe.
Now tell me- What’s your favorite dip to bring and enjoy at a party?
I’m going to give you fair warning now- my future mother-in-law gave me 8 fresh mangoes last week (out the back of her trunk actually, like some underground deal), and since then, I’ve been on a crazy fruit binge. Summer berries and fruits are in their primetime right now, and my pantry and fridge are loaded with nectarines, blueberries, strawberries, and of course, these lovely mangoes. The end result is- you’ll be seeing a lot of fun fruity recipes on here for the next few weeks 🙂
This salad is anything but ordinary. It’s got the solid base of leafy greens, sure, but packed inside are juicy tangy bites of all my favorite fruits. Nutty sliced almonds round out the mix, and the lime juice dressing brings out a tart citrusy flavor that really unifies the whole deal. Your lunchtime will never be the same once you try this combo!
I was inspired to combine these ingredients after looking up “Mango” in one of my new favorite books, The Flavor Bible (Amazon Affiliate Link). Mangoes go swimmingly with almonds and lime, believe it or not- and I figured there was no better way to showcase this combination than in a light, refreshing salad!
In a bowl, combine all ingredients except oil, zest and lime juice. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, zest and lime juice, and drizzle over top of the salad. Toss again, serve and enjoy!
No new wedding updates this week- however the weather forecast does look dismal for this weekend, when we’re supposed to be taking our engagement shoots. Hot, humid, and thunderstormy… I’m hoping we can find a gazebo to shoot under otherwise we’re going to have to postpone!
Happy days are here again- it’s just about SUMMER TIME BABY!
What a crazy few weeks I have going on. I just got back on Monday from a quick 48-hour trip to Atlanta to visit my grandmother with Paul- what a relaxing and lovely way to spend the holiday weekend. Atlanta is such an awesome place to visit- people are just nicer there, ya know? Plus, it doesn’t hurt when your Argentine grandmother makes you 4 dozen empanadas to chow down on just because she loves you so much. YUM.
Tomorrow, I’m heading to Chicago for another long weekend, to visit one of my best friends from college. I’ll be back on Monday, but we’ve already planned most of our trip around which amazing restaurants we’re going to eat at. Any recommendations? 🙂
And oh yeah, the weekend after that, I’ll be SPEAKING at the BlogHer Food ’13 conference in Austin, TX! I can’t freakin wait, but I’m also super nervous. If any of you are going to BlogHer Food next week, please say hi (and don’t boo at my workshop!).
But for this very moment, I’m home in Jersey City and couldn’t be happier.
Once again, we’re on our farmer’s market flow- one of the best things about Jersey City is the abundance of farmer’s markets and local produce. I saw these locally grown fat asparagus (asparagi?) and knew I had to have them for my very own! Along with some fresh Jersey tomatoes and a healthy dose of garlic, this makes a perfect side dish for your next barbecue.
Hmm. How to describe the humble red kidney bean? Well, it’s red, and shaped like a kidney. It kind of has a earthy taste, and all in all, is well, just sorta bland on it’s own.
In my mind though, it’s the perfect jumping off point to make a complex, flavorful, and almost butter-like dip perfect for crackers, chips, or even spreading on a sandwich.
This dip might look on the surface like nothing special, but it’s got such a fun array of ingredients and is so simple to make. Not to mention, it’s delicious. Perfect for parties, a picnic, or just some alone time with a box of crackers on the couch, you gotta try this red bean dip 🙂
1 15.5 oz can of red kidney beans, reserving the liquid in the can
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish if desired)
dash of cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp lime juice
In a pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onions start to turn golden. Add the red beans and their liquid, the tomato paste, and the spices (cumin, cilantro, cinnamon, salt and pepper). Stir everything up and allow to cook through. Add the lime juice, stir again, and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Carefully transfer the bean mixture to a mini-chopper or food processor, and pulse a few times to blend everything up but still leave some texture. Pour into a dip bowl, and serve, garnished with additional cilantro if desired. Enjoy!
You might think that the cinnamon is a weird ingredient for a savory dip- I felt the same way. But it adds a very slightly sweet warmth that really makes this dip special. I definitely recommend adding it!