Category Archives: avocado

Avocado Hummus AKA Guacammus

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I was really at a loss when I made this as to what I wanted to call it. It has chick peas in it so it is kind of like a hummus, but it has avocado, Serrano pepper, and cilantro in it so it is kind of like guacamole. Actually when I made it I was craving guacamole for lunch, but knew I needed some protein. I knew I had some chick peas in the pantry so in my mind I just smooshed them together and wound up with a really tasty and healthy lunch.
I really wasn’t to sure about how this would come out when I first started. But as I added all of the flavors I asked myself why I hadn’t thought of this before. I love chick peas, I used to pile them on my salads when I went to salad bars. And DUH I love guacamole, well actually avocado in just about any form makes my teeter totter.
So if you are looking for a new way to have your guacamole and hummus too, give this a shot. 


P.s. Kevin came home and loved this. Wow who knew I could get him to eat healthy?

Avocado Hummus AKA Guacammus
1 15-ounce can of chick peas, drained and liquid reserved
2 avocados, pitted and chopped
1 clove of garlic, grated or finely minced
1 Serrano pepper, finely minced
1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
2 limes juiced
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
Salt and pepper
Pita wedges for serving
In a food processor combine the first 7 ingredients along with about 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid from the chick peas. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid as needed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. 
Serve with pita wedges.
ENJOY!!

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Quick and Easy Taco Salad

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I have been missing my best friend a lot lately. I mean I miss her all of the time, but lately it has been a lot! She lives in Southern California and I am in Western Washington. We haven’t seen each other in 5 years, but we can sure burn up the phone lines when we want to!! You know a true friend  (and she is more like a sister to me than a friend) when you can not speak for a while, but when you do it can last 3 hours! That’s us!!
Anyway, this is a salad that she used to make all of the time. The first time I made it for my family they thought it sounded like a weird combination of flavors, but they ate it so fast I almost didn’t get any! After that I was requested to make this at least every other week (more like every week actually). This salad is inexpensive and extremely simple to make, and a great way to get your kids to eat some veggies if they aren’t big fans. My kids hated tomatoes but ate them up like crazy when I made this salad for them. Kevin had never had it so he was skeptical about having a salad for dinner, but once he had it he said that it was like an entire meal in one bowl. He is right! Meat, veggies, dairy, yummm!! 

You can use packaged dressing and taco seasonings if you want. I make my own now so I have them on hand to use. Here is the link to my Homemade Italian Dressing Mix. I will post the recipe for homemade taco seasoning at the bottom (I don’t have a post for that yet).
Quick and Easy Taco Salad
1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 package low sodium taco seasoning or 1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning (see below for ingredients)
1 bag of chopped romaine hearts
1 to 2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 can sliced black olives
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix or 2 tablespoons of my Homemade Italian Seasoning Mix
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons water
Tortilla chips
Hot sauce, optional
Taco Seasoning:

1/2 cup chili powder

1/4 cup onion powder

1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Brown the ground beef/turkey over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon in to small bits. Add the taco seasoning mix and stir to combine. You can add a splash of water here if needed. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green onions, avocado, and cheese. Toss to combine. 
In a shaker bottle, or medium bowl, combine the dressing mix, olive oils, vinegar, and water. Shake or whisk to combine well. 
Add the taco meat to the salad mix, toss, add salad dressing (as much or as little as you want), toss. Crush up several handfuls of tortilla chips and toss with the salad. Dish up into bowl and top with hot sauce if desired!
Serves 4 to 6
ENJOY!

Healthy Chicken Taco Bowls

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I have been trying to lighten things up a bit around here. With the warm weather we of course are wearing less clothing which makes it a bit obvious that the cool sweater weather we have around here 8 months a year has allowed us to hide a multitude of sins! So I am trying to “sneak” in healthier versions of foods we love without making it stand out too much. I mean I don’t want a flashing light above the dinner table saying “Healthy Food Here” it might just make everyone run and hide. Really though to me it is a bit of a challenge. I like to see their faces and hear what they think about the food before I tell them it is healthy. I just don’t want them to get it in their heads that they wont like it before they even try it. Why does healthy = tasteless or inedible to some people?

What started the whole idea for this meal was a commercial I saw on TV for a pan that you can bake tortilla shells in to make healthier taco salads. I liked it, but I hate to buy all of those “gadgets”. If I bought every one that peeked my interest I would need a whole storage for just my kitchen stuff!! So I of course turned to my trusty internet for ideas. I saw one that used upside down jumbo muffin tins, but the tortillas wouldn’t stay tucked in the right way, so back I went for more ideas. 
That’s when I found this fantastic idea at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. It is brilliant! I knew I had canning jars in my pantry so I was set and ready to go with it. I was so excited about this meal. I made Avocado Hot Sauce to substitute for guacamole and sour cream and a can of black beans with jalapeno already in my pantry!
You can see here how perfect the canning jars work for this process. I used the soft taco size flour tortillas so the bowls were small  I only ate one for dinner but the guys ate two plus I think Seth made a soft taco later. Hungry boy!
The jars are the pint jars by Ball but any oven safe glass or cup would work for this too. I think they came out so good, crispy without the guilt of frying them in oil!
Healthy Chicken Taco Bowls
6 soft taco sized flour tortilla shells
Olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 15 ounce can of black beans with jalapeno (I used Bush’s)
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 head of lettuce, shredded or chopped
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Place chicken tenders on a baking sheet an drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin mixture on both sides of each chicken tender. Reserve excess mixture. Bake tenders for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Turn oven up to 400 degrees
Meanwhile place jars upside down on a rimmed baking sheet and spray them with non-stick spray. Heat tortillas (I did 2 at a time) in the microwave for about 30 seconds, just enough to make them soft so you can form them over the jars. Using your fingers, rub a bit of olive oil on each tortilla, just enough so it will crisp up and to help keep it from sticking. Press the sides of the tortillas down gently to form the “bowls” around the jars.
Shred cooled chicken with two forks, set aside. Place the can of black beans in a small sauce pot and heat.
Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes depending on your oven. Just check them to make sure they crisp but don’t burn. Remove from heat and carefully remove each shell from the jars. 
Assemble each taco bowl by adding black beans, then the chicken, green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, a sprinkling of cheese, and top with the Avocado Hot Sauce.
ENJOY!!

Avocado Hot Sauce

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There is a new Mexican place that just opened up in town. It has been packed since it opened. Although that in itself is not too surprising since we live in a very small town and people flock to anything new like they have never heard of it before! But this flocking is well deserved. It is called Blue Agave and they have some seriously good food. Coming from Southern California, and growing up on Mexican food, it is a nice combination of regular restaurant food and taco shop food (plus they have an awesome tequila bar BONUS!!). 
I have been there probably 4 times in the last couple of weeks and have gotten something different every time I go, but one thing has remained the same in every dish I have eaten. I have topped it with this amazing avocado hot sauce they have. After the last time I was determined to make it at home so I grabbed a little container of it and away I went into my kitchen to get down to the nuts and bolts of figuring out the recipe.

I have made hot sauce before. My Roasted Tomato Salsa Roja is a huge hit here, as well as my Guacamole. So I knew I had a good base to work from. But it had a specific taste that I really wanted to nail. A few little practice runs (which everyone enjoyed eating the product of) and I finally got it right. It was so funny. Everyone watched me as I took the top off of the food processor and got a spoonful. I think they may have been holding their breath waiting to see what I said. When I jumped up and down and did my happy foodie dance I think they figured out that I finally had my recipe.
I just love the look of this hot sauce. It looks so creamy and inviting. I seriously could eat a bowl of it with a spoon and want more! But seriously? Make a bowl of this, grab some chips and a cold beer, kick back and enjoy!
Avocado Hot Sauce
2 large ripe avocados, pits removed
4 to 6 jalapeno peppers (depending on the heat level you want), rib and seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
A generous handful of fresh cilantro 
2 limes, juiced
4 tablespoons white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste 
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with your favorite Mexican dishes or just enjoy with chips. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container.
ENJOY!!

This recipe was also share on Jagruti’s Cooking Oddysey’s  Super Foods Super Power Event

Salmon with Avocado Salsa

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I was cruising around Pintrest one day, oh well let’s be serious I cruise Pintrest EVERYDAY, and found some recipes for salmon. Since we have some wonderfully fresh salmon around here right now I knew I wanted to find a new salmon recipe. It was Memorial Day weekend and we already had plans to make ribs with baked beans and potato salad (recipes will be posted for those soon) so I wanted to make something light and summery. When I found this recipe it all but leaped off the screen and smacked me in the face screaming “Make me, make me!!”. It was from a blogger I had never read before. Her blog is called Laylita’s Recipes and she has some seriously good stuff there! 

I am a huge avocado fan as well. I mean I have been known to slice up an avocado with a bit of salt and lime juice and make a lunch out of it! I have so many avocado recipes pinned, I could make an avocado dish every night for 2 weeks I think. So yes, I was a happy camper to find this. When I first told everyone what I was making I got some strange looks. Everyone here tends to be a bit of a “purist” when it comes to salmon. Grill it, or bake it with minimal seasoning so the flavor of the salmon is number one. I agreed with this idea to a certain extent but like I said, this recipe begged me to be made so I ignored that idea and set off to the store to pick up everything I needed. I bought my salmon and it looked so gorgeous and was so fresh I almost sliced off a bit and had a little salmon sashimi snack, but I fought off the urge and got down to the business of prepping everything.
I had wanted to grill the salmon on a cedar plank but couldn’t find any so we opted for a bit of tin foil to keep it from sticking to the grill because I wanted to cook the filet whole instead of cutting it into individual portions. I prefer it whole and feel that it makes it easier to cook the fish without drying it out. Could just be my weird thing, which wouldn’t be new, but it is how I like to do it.
The verdict? Let’s see, there were a lot of OhhEmmmGeee’s flying around. I was afraid fingers would get bitten as everyone went back for more before it was all gone. My son’s friend Avin was here, as well as my “adopted son” Ryan who was visiting from San Diego. So of the 5 people eating it, EVERYONE loved it. A couple “this is the best salmon I have ever had”‘s were heard as well. With Grilled Veggies with Garlic Balsamic Reduction along side, I will guarantee you that this is a meal I will be making again soon! 

Salmon with Avocado Salsa
based on a recipe by Laylita’s Recipes
2 1/2 to 3 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons roasted ground cumin (used McCormick’s new gourmet collection but regular cumin is fine)
2 teaspoons roasted ground coriander (again McCormick)
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons black pepper 
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 avocado, pitted and cut into cubes
3 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed and finely chopped (can use less if you don’t want it spicy or use Fresno peppers)
Zest from 1 lime, and juice from 2 limes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (a good handful), chopped
Salt to taste
Mix salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and then rub it with the seasoning blend. You don’t have to use it all if you don’t want it just depends on the size of your filet. 
In a medium bowl combine the onion, lime zest, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to combine, season with salt to taste. Place in the refrigerator until ready to be used.
Place tin foil over a baking sheet and lay your salmon on top. Curl the edges to make a little “tray” out of the foil. Cook the salmon on the grill over medium heat (about 200 degrees F) We cook it until the white fat comes to the surface.
Remove from the heat and top with the avocado salsa. 

Puffy Chicken Tacos

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I was so excited to try my hand at making these tacos. They looked so crunchy and yummy when I saw them at the restaurant that I just wanted to run home and get into my kitchen! Do you ever do that? I am sure I drive my family crazy with it. We will order a meal and when it comes to the table I of course have to talk about how the food looks, then how it tastes, then how I can figure out what is in it and recreate it at home. They all look at me like “Really? Can we please just eat our food?” *sigh* the hazards of living with a food blogger I guess. So this was one of those moments. Although they weren’t complaining when I made it….HA!!

I will have to admit, I struggled with the tortillas. I don’t know if the dough was too moist or too dry but I just couldn’t get it to stay together. So I had to use my back up plan and fry regular white corn tortillas until they were puffy. They were great but I will conquer the elusive homemade puffy corn tortilla, I swear!! In case you posses better tortilla skills than me, I will post the recipe for how to make the tortillas below.

The other thing I like about this recipe is that I made two dishes using ingredients from this one recipe PLUS I used my Roasted Tomato Salsa Roja. I will be posting the recipe for my Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup tomorrow so make sure and hang on to the broth that you cook your chicken in tonight!!

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Puffy Chicken Tacos
¼ cup olive oil

2½ lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 14-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and mashed
2 cloves garlic, minced 
Juice of 1 lime 
Canola oil, for frying
3 cups masa harina (corn flour)
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter, softened 
Shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomato, and shredded cheddar cheese, to garnish
Heat oil in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add to pan, skin side down; cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; set aside. Add garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and bell pepper; cook, stirring, until soft, about 20 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes, and return chicken to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until chicken is very tender, about 1½ hours. Remove chicken from sauce, and let cool (Make sure to reserve sauce for Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup). Discard skin and bones, and shred chicken; set aside. Meanwhile, combine avocados, garlic, lime juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl; chill guacamole until ready to use, covering to avoid browning.
Pour oil to a depth of 2″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. Stir together masa, butter, and 2¼ cups warm water in a bowl until dough forms; divide dough into 12 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Using a tortilla press or rolling pin, flatten each ball into a 6½″ disk. Place 1 disk in oil. When it begins to puff, press the end of a metal spatula into the middle of the tortilla so that tortilla bends into a taco shape; hold spatula within tortilla until taco is golden brown and crisp, about 1½ minutes. Transfer taco to paper towels to drain; repeat with remaining tortillas. Divide chicken and guacamole among tacos; top with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.

Bobbi on a Budget – BLTAE Sammies with Homemade Bacon Mayo

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So I am sure some of you are asking “What the heck is a BLTAE?” right? Well let me tell you. BLTAE stands for bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, with a fried egg on top of all of that loveliness! It is one of the best sandwiches I have ever had/made. Seriously, I am not joking. The first time I had this sandwich was at a local restaurant Kevin and I love. We always go there for dinner but they have recently opened for lunch so we took my son to lunch so we could show him the place. This restaurant is a wonderful “date night” place because the service is wonderful and the food is awesome with great prices! It is called The Green House and if you are ever in the Tacoma/Gig Harbor WA area you HAVE to give it a try.

But I digress. Back to the sandwich. I have been craving this sandwich since that very first day I tried it. But for whatever reason (Lord knows it is the difficulty factor) I have never made them at home. Yesterday Kevin and I were the only ones home for dinner AND I just happened to have been to the store and purchased what I needed for the sandwiches, TADA I knew what we were having for dinner.

When I put out on Facebook and Twitter what I was planning on making, one of my Twitter friends suggested I make a bacon mayo to go with it. I had been planning on a garlic mayo but ummmmm helloooooo bacon mayo? Heck ya!!! SO I was on a mission.

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the bacon drippings to cool down so you don’t scramble the eggs for the mayo. Seriously, I was pacing the kitchen. It is kind of like a watched pot never boils. Watched bacon grease never cools!! Finally it was cooled and I knew when I added the vegetable oil to it to make the 1 cup total oil needed, it would cool it the rest of the way.

I am doubling the sandwich portion of the sandwich so it can be a meal for 4. This is what Rachael Ray would refer to as a BLD, breakfast, lunch or dinner meal. You have your protein, veggies, and carbs on in one package.

So, without further adieu, I give you the BLTAE!!!

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Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, and Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon Mayo

For the mayo:
2 egg yolks (or 1 extra large)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
8 pieces of bacon (preferably apple wood smoked), bacon cooked crisp and drippings reserved
Vegetable oil, enough to make the bacon drippings reach 1 cup
For the sandwiches:
4 eggs
1 large tomato, sliced thin and salted
1 large avocado, sliced thin and salted
8 slices of bacon, crisped and cut in half.
Lettuce, whatever type you choose.
8 slices of bread, toasted
Bacon Mayo
To make the mayo use either a whisk or an immersion blender to blend the egg yolks with the dry ingredients. Add half of the vinegar and whisking briskly. Begin adding a few drops of the oil until the mixture begins to thicken and lighten. Increase the oil flow to constant and continue whisking.  Once half of the oil is added dump in the rest of your vinegar. Continue whisking in the remained of the oil. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Can be refrigerated up to 1 week.
Once the mayo has set for a bit. Toast your bread. Spread the bacon mayo on both sides of the bread and layer your tomato, and avocado on one side, topping with the bacon. Fry an egg just so the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny. Place the egg on top of the bacon and then top with the lettuce and other slice of bread. 
WALA you have made your first BLTAE!! Enjoy!

Bobbi on a Budget-Fish and White Bean Tostadas with Pineapple Avocado Salsa

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OK you asked for it so here it is….Bobbi on a Budget TADA (and the crowd goes wild)! Ahem….OK let me reel myself back in and be a bit serious here. I was very happy when the votes came in and I saw that people wanted a budget post on a regular basis. With the economy the way it is and so many people out of work, it just makes sense that many of us can not afford to cook whatever we want whenever we want it. The dilemma? Trying to cook healthy (or at least healthiER) on a limited budget. That is something I struggle with all of the time. I love to use fresh produce and fresh herbs and, let’s admit, that isn’t “budget” cooking.

I am realizing that sale fliers are a wonderful thing (Ya, I know, who knew?). I have been so bad about just making a menu plan and shopping without even looking to see what was on sale. Now I am getting the hang of checking the sale fliers to the 3 local grocery stores and finding what meat, produce, etc. is on sale for that week.

A suggestion, look for things like canned tomatoes, tomato paste, stocks, beans, etc. All of things that are staples in your pantry. If you use dried spices a lot (I use a lot of cumin and coriander) grab those when they are on sale too. Again, probably not something you didn’t know but something I am having to learn quickly.
For the budget meals segment I will be trying to stay as close to $10 for a 4 serving meal as possible.

I took a little help from Melissa d’Arabian for my first post to get me started and in the swing of things.  I have to admit I thought there was no way I could feed my 3 hungry guys for $10 but I was shocked and pleasantly proven wrong. With the white beans they end up being quite filling. They all loved this meal and there was enough for everyone. I was lucky enough to have the O Olive Oils that I won in the eRecipecards.com challenge, so I used the Tahitian Lime oil for this recipe. But regular olive oil is just as good.

Oh, the meal? Ah yes, the reason we are all here. I guess I should post the recipe so you can all enjoy!!

Fish and White Bean Tostadas and Pineapple Avocado Salsa
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for baking sheet
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound white fish fillets, (I used Tilapia) cut into finger-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Sauteed White Beans, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • Pineapple and Avocado Salsa, recipe follows
  • Sour cream, for garnish

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, zest, garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Put the fish in a baking dish and pour the marinade on top. Marinate for no more than 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler or grill. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Remove the fish from the marinade and arrange on the baking sheet, making sure to leave space between the pieces. Broil until just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Fry the corn tortillas, 1 at a time, just until crisp, flipping halfway through to brown both sides. Drain on paper towels and salt while still hot.
To assemble the tostadas: Layer each tostada first with Sauteed White Beans, then the fish. Top with the shredded cabbage and Pineapple and Avocado Salsa. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of a lime wedge.

Sauteed White Beans:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican Oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
In a small pan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot add the onion with a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat and add the white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half. Stir in the beans and oregano and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook gently for 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Pineapple and Avocado Salsa:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sliced pineapple in juice, drained and juices reserved
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small jalapenos, seeds removed and diced (You can just use one if you don’t like much heat)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted and flesh cubed
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
In a medium bowl, make the dressing by mixing 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice with the lime juice, honey, oil and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pineapple and onion. Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro. Let the flavors blend for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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Rachael Ray Wednesday – Veal Scallopine with Dijon Sauce, Asparagus, and Avocados

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OK, I actually made this on the 14th. It was my daughters birthday and as usual I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner. That is the routine with my kids, and has been for years. She surprised me by telling me that whatever I wanted to cook was fine with her. She even told me to try the veal recipe if I wanted. I was shocked! She was really kinda nervous about trying veal. Like I said she is my Miss Picky. But I pointed out to her that she likes lamb so she agreed to try veal.


The first thing that surprised me when I started prepping to cook the recipe was, when I removed the the veal scallopine I bought from it’s packaging it was in thin strips. I have never cooked veal scallopine before, but I was expecting something more along the line of thin steak shaped pieces of meat, or rounds. That was just odd to me, but I kept on prepping. I was really surprised at how easy this was to make. The name makes it sound so, well, complicated I guess. Fancy name = lots of work, right? Nope, not true. Once I started cooking my biggest fear was overcooking the meat and making it tough but I cooked it just as is says in the recipe and it was perfect. 


I followed the recipe to the letter, like a good girl, and everything came out just as it was supposed to. I wasn’t sure how to place it on the plate so I did the best I could with Rachael’s instruction. Hopefully I was right. You can let me know how the picture looks.


As for the reviews, Jessi disliked it immediately. I think that could have been mostly in her head. She got herself psyched up that it she wouldn’t like it, I am not sure. Kevin and I were both on the fence with it. I liked the veal, but wasn’t jumping up and down about it. Kevin said he didn’t like it. He did love the sauce with the avocados and asparagus though. I kind of thought this was a weird combo when I was making it, but really when you eat it all together it really was good. I am thinking about playing around with this sauce and the avocados and some other meats. 


If you like veal you will love this recipe. Rachael says “this dish is one buttery, delicious, edible ode to spring” and it really was very buttery. Like I said, I liked it but just that, liked it, wasn’t head over heals in love with it. 

Veal Scallopine with Dijon Sauce, Asparagus, and Avocados

Ingredients

 Coarse salt
1 lemon
1 pound very thin asparagus tips
2 ripe Haas avocados
EVOO for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/4 pounds veal scallopine
Coarse black pepper
1 tablespoon all purpose flour, plus more for dredging
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup cream or half and half
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Salt the water. Add a couple of curls of rind from the lemon and the asparagus tips. Cook the tips for 3 minutes, then drain and reserve.


Cut into and around the pits of the avocados. Scoop the flesh from the avocados, and slice. Dress the slices with a little lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO, and a pinch of salt, reserve.


Preheat your largest skillet over medium heat. Season the veal with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge the scallopine in a little flour. Add the two tablespoons of the EVOO and the two tablespoons of the butter to the hot skillet. WHen the butter melts into the oil, add the veal and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until evenly light golden in color. Place the veal on a platter under a loose tent of foil.


Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the tablespoon of flour to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the wine and scrape up the pans drippings. Whisk the stock into the wine and add the thyme, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir in the cream, then remove from the heat.


Arrange the asparagus and sliced avocados over the veal and pour a line of sauce over the top. Garnish the dinner plates or platter with chopped chives and serve.


Serves 4

Veal Scallopine


Asparagus


Avocado
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I know I have mentioned (more than once) that I love Mexican food. Well, it seems over this last week I may have over done it just a tad. I have been told I am obsessed and I guess now I will have to bow my head and agree with it. However, this recipe satisfied not only my love for all things Mexican it also satisfied my craving for a nice hot bowl of soup.

I grew up and lived most of my life in Southern California and I used to get so happy when it would rain because it meant it was time to light the fire, sip hot chocolate, and make some tummy warming soup or stew! Now that I live in Western Washington I have “soup weather” more often than not. Yes, by the end of winter I am not as thrilled with the idea as I was in the fall but I still love the first few months that I can indulge.

When I lived in San Diego there was a restaurant called Island’s. Their specialty was burgers with all sorts of different toppings, but they also had chicken tortilla soup. You could get a bottomless bowl of it and it was oohhhhh so good! Theirs was a bit spicier than mine but I was trying to accommodate the different palates in my home. If you want it spicy like I do just add more chili powder,  jalapeno or even use Serrano peppers instead of jalapenos.

Once you bake your chicken tenders
shred them up with a couple of forks
Get your veggies going in a bit of olive oil
Add your tomato paste once your veggies have softened and stir it a bit to combine and heat up the paste
Add your fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, chicken stock, remainder of spice mixture, and shredded chicken. Bring the whole thing to a boil.
Mix together your corn meal and water and stir that in
Meanwhile get all your garnish ready
Doesn’t this just look like a big bowl of YUM?
Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, diced
2 jalapeno, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups chicken stock
1 (14.5-ounce can) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) black beans
2 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
3 tablespoons cornmeal
5 corn tortillas cut into equal strips
Sour cream
Diced white onion
Cilantro
Diced avocado
Shredded Montery Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Place chicken tenders on a baking sheet an drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin mixture on both sides of each chicken tender. Reserve excess mixture. Bake tenders for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once cool shred chicken with two forks, set aside.
In a large soup pot heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.  Add the tomatoes, black beans, shredded chicken, lime juice, and chicken stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Mix corn meal with a small amount of hot water and add to the soup. Stir to combine. Allow to simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn off heat and stir in tortilla strips. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and serve. Garnish with avocado, sour cream, onions, cilantro, cheese, and cheese.
ENJOY!!! 

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