July 29, 2012


Just about everybody has tried this Mexican restaurant staple, and for good reason! It is creamy, fresh, and bright! I wanted mine to have some texture so that it wasn't spiced avocado puree, so I only smashed half the avocados and added the rest in chunks at the end. I also added some red onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, and spices.

I know that you either love or hate cilantro, so it is completely optional. In fact, you can adjust the amounts of all the ingredients to fit your taste. You can even add in other ingredients like tomatoes, chili powder, and bell peppers. This is a very simple recipe that can be changed to fit anyone's taste!

2 Ripe Haas Avocados
1 T Minced Red Onion
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1/2 - 1 Jalapeño, Seeded & Minced
2 T Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 T Lime Juice
1/4 tsp Cumin

Remove the pits from the avocados; peel. Cut into large chunks and mash half until smooth. Stir in the onions, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro. Season with salt, pepper, and the cumin. Fold in the remaining avocado chunks until combined but still chunky. Stir in the lime juice.

Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

July 8, 2012

Corn & Tomato Salsa

I love this recipe because it has all of the flavors of summer. It is one of the best ways I know to use the sweet summer corn and perfectly ripe tomatoes. It is an unbelievably easy recipe but is still quite unique.

The only ingredient you have to cook is the corn, and even that step isn't that complicated. You simply leave the corn in a pot of hot water for a few minutes and remove the kernels . Removing the kernels from the corn can be quite daunting, but it really is simple. I place a small bowl upside-down in a larger one, hold the corn on the base of the small bowl, and cut the kernels off with a large, sharp knife. The large bowl catches the kernels and the juice, and the small bowl gives you leverage.

As with most salsas, the proportions of ingredients can be adapted to fit your taste. If you don't like cilantro, eliminate it. If you want more heat, add some more jalapeño. This recipe is a delicious twist on the usual tomato salsa!

3 Ears Yellow Corn
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 T Lime Juice
1 T Oil
1 tsp Honey
1 Tomato, Diced
3 T Minced Onion
1 Jalapeño, Seeded & Minced
2 T Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a deep pot over high heat. Add the corn, baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Combine the  lime juice, oil, honey, and 1/8 tsp salt. Add the corn, tomato, onions, jalapeño, and cilantro. Toss to combine, then season with pepper and remaining salt.

Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

July 3, 2012

Yogurt Berry Pie

This pie is light, refreshing, and a wonderful alternative to traditional baked fruit pies. It consists of a crunchy granola crust, creamy yogurt and cream cheese filling, and a big pile of fresh berries. I chose raspberries and blueberries since it is the 4th of July and I wanted a red, white, and blue pie, but you can use whatever fruit you have; it doesn't even have to be berries! The filling pairs perfectly with almost any fruit, so use what you like most.

I use granola for the crust instead of my usual pie crust recipe because it doesn't absorb too much of the liquid from the filling. You can make your own or buy some; I prefer plain granola so that it doesn't overwhelm the rest of the pie and isn't too chunky. The crust is easier to press into the pan when it is ground almost to dust, but that process takes away from the variety of textures and flavors of the granola. I only pulse some of the granola in a food processor and add the rest later so that it can be pressed into the pan while retaining the chunkiness of the original granola.

The filling is so velvety and tangy; it works well with just about all kinds of fruit. I use vanilla yogurt to keep the flavor fairly neutral, but you can experiment with different yogurts. However, I would not recommend using Greek yogurt because it has a noticeably different texture and sugar content. Since yogurt is a bit too thin to use as a filling on its own, I add some cream cheese. It boosts the tanginess of the yogurt and makes the texture perfect! Another key to the texture is to drain some of the liquid from the yogurt. I prefer cheesecloth, which is available at cooking stores and some grocery stores, but a few layers of paper towels placed in a fine-mesh strainer will work if necessary.

This pie is an amazing summer dessert because it is so refreshing and tangy! I love the contrasting textures and bright, fresh flavors, and I'm sure you will, too!

1 1/2 Cups Granola
1/4 Cup + 3 T Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
6 T Butter, Melted
1 Cup Yogurt
8 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1 tsp Vanilla
Pinch Salt
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Fruit

Heat oven to 350F and grease a pie plate.

Pulse a cup of granola with 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in a food processor until fine. Drizzle in the butter, then add the remaining granola.

Press the granola mixture into the pie plate. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool.

Place the yogurt in cheesecloth or a paper towel-lined sieve over a medium bowl. Let sit for 30 minutes and discard the liquid.

Beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add the remaining sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add the strained yogurt and beat until smooth.

Pour the yogurt mixture into the crust and chill until set, about 6 hours. Top with the fruit.

Makes 1 9" Pie
Recipe Adapted from Martha Stewart