Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Means Guacamole

Sometimes I'm not in the mood for a real meal, and would rather just nibble. In the cold weather this might mean bruschetta or quesadillas, in the summer it means guacamole. Knowing how much I love it, my mom even got me this beautiful guacamole bowl.

There are a million guacamole recipes out there, and mine has evolved over time. The one constant is that I only use haas avocados, because they are much more flavorful. Florida avocados work just fine in a lot of recipes, but I think they just taste watery in guacamole.

Last week, the Big Kahuna whipped up a batch of this on a night when I just didn't feel like cooking. Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures during the process.

This recipe makes a party-sized bowl of guacamole.


5 haas avocados
3 plum tomatoes
1 onion
Juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste

The Recipe:

  1. Dice the tomatoes and onion into the smallest pieces possible, and place in a large bowl
  2. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits and skins. Coarsely chop the avocado and add it to the bowl.
  3. With a fork, begin to mash the avocado, and mix it with the tomato and onion.
  4. Add the lemon juice and salt, and continue to mash with a fork until the guacamole reaches the desired consistency, tasting and adjusting the seasonings as you go.
  5. That's it! You can also add cilantro or jalapeƱo peppers if you want an added kick.


I don't know much about wine, and usually buy whichever bottle looks most fun. This one caught my eye and I couldn't resist.

CSA Inspirations

This week's CSA share included two of my favorites from last year: white salad turnips and rainbow chard.

I spent the last few days trying to come up with a unique way to use them both together, and I finally settled on soup. This soup has a lot of things in it, but it comes together pretty quickly so it's good for a weeknight.

This soup is miso-based, which is one of my favorite types of soup. If you haven't used miso paste before, here are a few notes: The miso is added at the very end of cooking, which means you can't really taste and adjust the seasonings during the cooking process. Don't worry, it all comes together at the end. Some miso pastes are mellower or more flavorful than others, so add the miso one or two tablespoons at a time, making sure the paste is fully dissolved and then and then add more as needed.


2 tablespoons of oil
2 cups of turnips (about 6) diced small
2 carrots, sliced
3 scallions, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
1/4 package (about 3 ounces) tofu, cut into tiny cubes
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
8 cups of water
1 bunch of rainbow chard (about 10 stalks) -
  • coarsely chop the leaves,
  • finely mince 5 stems
  • (reserve the remaining stems for stock, or discard.)

The Recipe
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  2. Saute the turnips and carrots until just tender, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the scallions, chard stems, and cubed tofu. Saute until the scallions and stems are tender.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add 8 cups of water and the chard leaves.
  6. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the chard leaves have wilted.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the miso and soy sauce, making sure the miso is fully dissolved.
I served this with toasted onion naan on the side for dipping. Yum.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tomato Tart

The inspiration for this recipe came from these yellow tomatoes I discovered at the farmer's market.  I wanted to make something to show off their beautiful color, and a salad just seemed boring.

I made a basic flakey pie crust, but added a few tablespoons of rosemary for flavor.  I don't actually own a tart pan, so I made this in a pie dish instead.  It worked out alright, but I thought it was too thick, and the filling overpowered the tomatoes.  My mother asked why I didn't just fill the dish up halfway.  Ummmm..... that seems so obvious, how did I not think of that?

Anyway, the filling was tofu ricotta.  I'm still working out the recipe, but it was very light, seasoned with lemon, and more rosemary.  

I put thin slices of tomato all over the top, and baked for 40 minutes.

It came out of the oven smelling incredibly fragrant from the rosemary, and the filling had an almost quiche-like consistency.  The multi-colored tomatoes made a beautiful presentation - definitely a nice change from the green/brown palate of most of my meals.  This recipe is  a keeper, but I still need to work out the kinks.  

Happy Belated 4th of July!!!

A crappy picture of a delicious cake.

Chocolate blackout cake with vanilla frosting and berries.