What do you get when you mix all of these things together? (Besides a lot of green)
Deliciousness, that's what.
I don't know what it is, but I've been craving avocado something fierce again. For some reason the end of summer has me yearning and reaching for it, when for most of the summer prior to it I could be ok without (though I could and would NEVER turn down guacamole, or avocado added to dishes, if I was having or ordering something where it was part of it).
Be it that with late summer the hint of fall starts to nudge in, with ever the slightest chill making its way into the air. Personally I crave fat when temperatures start to dip. It's what keeps my internal fire going and makes me feel full and satisfied for the longest amount of time.
Whatever the reason, AVOCADOS. Beyond that, the rest pictured is also quite tasty and I love just as much.
Growing up I adored pasta. Be it because some of my genes are Italian or I just craved it because carbs, either way I loved it whenever there was pasta. As a kid, of course, I was picky about the ways I would accept and ate it..... plain with butter or with marinara or alfredo sauce, sometimes meatballs, not touching anything else on the plate because eff that. As I got older (i.e. early 20's) I would accept some mingling of protein with pasta in the same bite and even tried and accepted pesto!
At some point in my adult life though - and only in the last handful of years - that all completely changed. The ways I grew up and loved eating it? Too plain and boring. Not adventurous or flavorful enough.
My diet habits started to greatly shift, as I was finding more and more my body couldn't and wouldn't tolerate various foods. This led me to get creative about substitutes and alternatives. Being a pasta lover, I did find quite a few brands that I like and use in place of regular pasta, but let's face it. A lot of times in the summer the last thing you want is hot and heavy, starchy grains.
So what do you do then when you're craving pasta but want something lighter to get through the heat-filled day?
Be adventurous - utilize those summer vegetables and turn them into pasta!
Late last week I shared a picture of the Mock Chocolate Eclairs on social media and said that I would have the recipe up the end of the night. True to my usual fashion, I over-anticipated what I was able to get done for the day so it never got posted. Or the next day. Or the next.
To make up for my absentmindedness, it's a Two-fer Tuesday!
One of my favorite fruits is berries and I know a loottt of other people can say the same. Blueberries have been enjoying the peak of their season for the last couple of weeks. While I haven't indulged in them as much as I could be, I am making the use of eating handfuls every other day. (And we have thrown them in some pancakes a few times too!)
We just picked up another carton today to last us for the next few weeks. Here's proof:
Don't they just look like they're begging to be used up into something yummy?!
No matter how much you love something plain as is, sometimes you've got to switch things up. Change is good anyway, right?? It's been either hot and/or muggy here lately with no signs of stopping for a while, so we figured one brilliant (ok, sensible and delightful) way to make use of excess blueberries, is in lemonade.
It's the perfect marriage. Sweet with tart. Blue with yellow. Tastiness with tastiness. And the right remedy to quench your thirst on these hot and muggy days. They won't be around for long, and I daresay neither will this lemonade be when you make it.
Here's the recipe to make such deliciousness.
1 pint fresh blueberries
6-8 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
8-9 cups of water
3/4 cup honey
1 drop of food-grade Lemon essential oil (optional)
Put the basil and 1 cup of blueberries in a large pitcher. Gently muddle them and set aside.
Combine the lemon juice, 1 cup of water, honey, and the remaining blueberries in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring to dissolve the honey.
When the blueberries release their juice and color, pour the saucepan contents through a fine mesh strainer into the prepared pitcher.
Pour the remaining water into the pitcher, adding a handful of ice if you so choose.
Stir to combine and serve.
Depending on your flavor preferences, feel free to add a drop of food-grade Lemon essential oil to your glass or pitcher.
Lemonade sometimes isn't complete without tangible fruit pieces, so feel free to add lemon slices if desired or actually blueberries as I did above!
Serves 6-8 depending on your glass sizes.
I don't know about you, but I'm convinced that birthday desserts are some of the best (if not the best) desserts ever. Maybe it's because the Chosen Dessert is one of your favorites. Maybe it's because everything is more magical on your birthday to begin with. Maybe it's because desserts are just so goddamn delicious as is.
Whatever the reason, birthday desserts deserve their own sharing.
Every year it is safe to assume that I have the Chosen Dessert planned out at least a month in advance. I can never tell you what I want to do for my birthday, even in the days leading up to it, but the Chosen Dessert is planned.
This year however, I couldn't decide. Since I was hitting a new decade I've been wanting to do everything a bit more bolder and over the top than usual. There's quite a few desserts I tend to rotate out for my birthday, depending on my taste preference or how long it's been since I have a particular one. With hitting the new decade I figured I'd abolish doing any of my usual ones and do something completely different. But I was stumped.
I don't know about you, but when I think of summer and food, I think of light, cool foods. And when it comes to social gatherings, I think salsa. But not just any salsa. Homemade salsa, where every ingredient is fresh and chunky from slicing and dicing it yourself.
Right before Cinco de Mayo when Mother Nature usually (sometimes?) gifts us with spring weather by early May, I start to craving Mexican and Latin cuisine again. I get more than my fair share in the spring and summer months. The warmer presence of the air brings my cravings and tastebuds back to exciting, colorful flavors. Although a lot of the cuisine options can be heavier (enchiladas, chimichangas, burritos, etc.), it's not usually a first choice of mine during our fall and winter months. I think there's just so much exotic taste from the ingredients alone, let alone the spices that get added in, that I want something more than the ho-hum I just ate for 7 months.
So when an opportunity came up for me to bring something along to my friends' cook-out, I wanted to make something that I can eat AND that everyone else would enjoy.
Enter the salsa.
I first came across this trying it elsewhere and couldn't stop eating it. I probably would've taken the whole bowl and scarfed it down whole had there not been a dozen other people in the same room who were also eating the potluck style food. Since cook-outs are so relaxed it seemed like the perfect addition - salsas are so easy to put together and serve. Plus I figured if no one really took much (or if somehow no one liked it), all the more for me. And really, what good is it making something to bring and share at a gathering if you don't like it yourself?
This isn't just your regular salsa recipe though.... there's a key, little, hidden ingredient. In this is a light dressing that gets drizzled over and mixed in, and in that dressing is a special liquid that not only adds flavor, but also has healthy benefits for your body and mind to boot. ....... Cumin essential oil for the win!
The oil is derived from the seeds, and much more powerful than the seeds itself. As an essential oil, cumin is known to have great digestive health support. It also is bactericial, carminative, a diuretic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, a detoxifier, an emengogue (woo-hoo!), a stimulant, nervine, and tonic substance.
Here's the finished product!!
And, as predicted, it was a hit. Following the ingredient amounts even left me a good 1/3 of the bowl left!
Check out the full recipe from here!
I have yet to try it with the ground spice instead of the oil, so I can't guarantee the same addictive cravings and exquisiteness. And quite frankly, I'd rather use a drop of oil and get full-body benefits as a result. If you do want to use the oil, contact me to find out where and how to get some.
Go on, indulge. Live a little. Taste the rainbow. ;)