Archive for September, 2011
I’m thoroughly convinced that avocados are one of the main foods of the gods. How could they not be? They are so incredibly delicious and nutritious; low calorie (just 50 for a medium one), and packed with vitamins and minerals. Even the fat in them is mostly good for you.
My absolute favorite way to eat Hass Avocados is to cut it them in half, scoop the pit out, grab a spoon and enjoy each delectable bite. The only thing better is when my husband is out of town and I get to eat the whole avocado, I don’t have to share!
Now there’s an opportunity to win one of 14 cases of avocados. That would be sheer heaven on earth. Actually there’s a lot more to the Kick Off with Hass Avocados Recipe Contest. The lucky grand prize winner will get a trip for four to the Rose Bowl®. This will include round trip airfare, hotel accommodations, participation in a Rose Bowl Game® Welcome Reception, admission to the “behind-the-scene” Rose Bowl Parade® decorating site, sightseeing tour of Pasadena, tickets to the Rose Bowl Game® on January 2, 2012, and more. I sure hope that “more” includes a case of avocados!
I’d love to enter my recipe, but unfortunately I cook by feel and never measure anything, so I’ll just have to enjoy trying some of the interesting looking avocado recipes they have on the site. I actually saw some recipes with cooked avocado, something I’ve never done. So I’ll have to give some of them a try. You, however, can enter your favorite dish and hopefully be on your way to Pasadena for the new year.
With fall upon us, and the start of the football season, you might want to check out these tailgating tips and recipes. There are lots of different guacamole recipes listed there, too. You’ll be able to try a different one each week and see which one is your family’s favorite. They might even inspire you to create the masterpiece dish that wins the trip, or a case of avocados.
Here’s an approximation of one of my favorite ways to eat avocados, other than plain. In a salad bowl chop up one avocado, one tomato (or two if their small), then add some seasonal veggies. In the spring I use snow peas; in the summer I’ll include pineapple tomatillos and colored bell pepper; in the fall and winter I might throw in broccoli and cauliflower. Then you drizzle a high quality oil over it. I usually use either olive or sesame oil. Splash on your favorite balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle Celtic salt and about a teaspoon of whole cumin seeds over it, and serve. I think you can see how my recipes are rather vague, there’s only one approximate measurement! They’re delicious though. If you’re adventurous you might want to give it whirl. At any rate get out those avocado recipes and enter for a chance to win that trip.
I have to admit I’m dreading the flight I’m taking tomorrow, just a little. The main reason is that I have a special diet and it is nearly impossible to get food either on the plane or in the airport that meets my needs.
At least this time on the way over I don’t have to worry too much, because it will be after dinner and all I’ll need is something to snack on. I’m taking some peanuts and raisins for that.
Coming home, though I’ll be traveling right through the middle of the day. After years of having a special diet, it is still a challenge to find something easy to pack, that won’t get confiscated or squashed in a carryon.
Not only that, when you have to bring your own food it really cuts into what you can fit into your carryon. When we traveled to India last year about half our carryon was stuffed with food, because we had a full 24-hours from take-off to touch down in India.
If anyone out there has any ideas for vegetarian packable food, that also has no onion, garlic or hot green chilies in it, I’d love to know what it is. Has to be quick and easy to put together, too, because I’m always in rush the day of take-off.
Guest post written by Camille Hockok
We’ve done all kinds of improvements to the house lately. We bought a new dining room set, which I had been campaigning for, for quite a long time. Then we also painted the living room a new color that looked a lot less drab. But now it’s time that we make some improvements that only my husband and I will really enjoy, in our bedroom.
I think that this is something we need too. I want some more relaxing decor so that I can relax and feel at piece to go to sleep a little bit faster each night. I went online looking for some design inspiration to do that and while I was looking, I saw the site www.HOMEPROimprovement.com. Roofing is something we needed to address in the next few years anyway, so we’re going to go ahead and use the site to replace our old one.
But I haven’t forgotten about our master bedroom decorating project. I already picked out a new comforter. Next are curtains and lampshades. I’m also going to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
Staying on the theme of apples, since the new crop is coming in now, I’d like to share with you an unusual, but very tasty apple snack. I was told about this idea by a lovely Indian woman when I was in the local international store picking up some spices. She was buying black salt. I had no idea what it was, but it looked interesting, and I like to try interesting things.
In its solid form it looks almost black in color, thus the name. When it is broken into smaller pieces it has a dark pink cast, and the ground salt is pale pink in color. Black salt has an interesting flavor, because of its sulfur content. The sulfur also contributes to its cooked egg smell.
Now, when you read this you may think it sounds disgusting, but surprisingly enough the combination of salt and egg are pretty good. It also has a slightly bitter flavor, too, which becomes pronounced if you use too much, so use it sparingly.
I was told that the lady’s son loved shredded apples with black salt sprinkled over them. He would come home from school and beg for her to fix him some. I thought this was really strange, since I had only ever smelled the salt and not tasted it.
I bought a small amount, took it home, and ground it into a powder in my blender. Take note, it is very hard and will make a huge racket and take some time to powder it. I then used the food processor to make up some shredded apples and sprinkled a tiny bit on one bite. It was fantastic. The combination of the sweet-tart apples I love and the salt, with its slightly sulfury-bitter taste, was an amazing taste.
Black salt is now a regular part of my spice rack. I’ve used it in many savory dishes, and every fall enjoy many bowls of apples and black salt.
You can get it at many international and Indian food stores. If it comes in powdered form I would purchase that, as the chunks are really hard on the blades of a blender and it is hard to get it evenly ground.
So, next time you’re looking for something unusual to snack on, pick up some black salt and your favorite apples, and give it a try.
Do you believe in love at first sight? Well I experienced it the first time I bit into a Pink Lady apple. I grew up in the time of Delicious, Delicious and more Delicious apples. I always thought they tasted so bland. Every once in awhile we’d get some Winesaps. Oh, were they delicious compared to the Delicious.
So, what’s in a name? When it comes to fruit, everything. Over the decades, as demand for fruits and vegetables have grown, farmers have chosen to grow varieties that have a long self life. It didn’t matter how they tasted. As time went on many of the traditional varieties fell into disuse, because they couldn’t travel across country or stay in cold storage for months.
Today, though, there’s a resurgence in different varieties showing back up on the shelves. First it was Fuji, MacIntosh, Jonagold and Gala. These were all a vast improvement over Delicious, but the day I tasted a Pink Lady I knew I’d found my apple. Tangy, juicy and very crisp, just the way I like them.
Now other fruits are following suit. You find all different kinds of pears. The Comice pear, which has been my favorite since childhood, is only available at one store where I live and only for about 1 month, but for that month I revel in the sweetest, juiciest, most aromatic pear ever grown. The juice will run down your arms and face. It is eaten soft and would be a delectable dessert pear.
Even oranges are going “gourmet” with blood oranges and Cara Cara showing up in mainstream grocery stores these days.
People are voting with their money. They’re driving us back to the small farmer who can deliver tasty produce to our local markets. That way they don’t have to hold in cold storage for 6 months or more. We can take them home and eat them right after they’ve been picked. Just think, not only supreme taste, but much more nutrition, too.