Spicy Guacamole

Yesterday was weird. I woke up at 6 am (same as everyday), read my morning blogs, got ready, and head out the door at 7:20 to catch my bus. It was rainy so when I came back inside to grab my umbrella I realized that it was still dark outside. Weird. Usually it’s light. *WHAM* It hit me. I’m not supposed to catch the bus until 8:20. My class starts at 9. Fail.

These things happen. Call them brain farts or whatever you will, but boy, do they make me feel silly! I just giggled, and decided to practice guitar to pass the time. I think I need to sleep more. This recipe is good for sleepy people, non-sleepy people and zombies (I’m on a Walking Dead kick). It’s easy and super tasty. My favorite guacamole recipe that I’ve tasted thus far. Feeling too tired to bake a 7-layer cake? Me too. Here’s a guac recipe for ya.

To begin, half and pit your avocados.

Toss scooped avocados with lime juice.

Mash the avocados using a fork or potato masher.

Add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash.

Chop a jalapeno.

Chop your onion.

Chop your tomatoes.

And fold onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro (optional), and garlic. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour to get the flavours mixing together.

Serve with tortilla chips, pitas, or veggies. Eat! See? Easy.

Spicy Guacamole
Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction
Yield | 6 servings

3 ripe avocados, halved, seeded and scooped
2 limes, juiced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup diced red onion (about 1 small onion)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (leave some seeds in if you want to crank up the heat)
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)

In a large bowl, toss the scooped avocados with the lime juice. Mash the avocados using a fork or potato masher. Add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Fold in the onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

-If you don’t like your guacamole spicy, simply omit the jalapeno and cut back on the cayenne.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Addiction gets the better of me sometimes. Once I have an M&M I need the whole bag, once I lick the cake batter off of the beaters I need to spoon some into my mouth, and I can pack in a giant theatre sized bag of popcorn into my belly. Hot.

These sweet potato fries are definitely addictive. They have the perfect amount of crispiness on the outside and are loaded with flavour with only a few ingredients! I like adding a tiny bit of brown sugar to them. Don’t leave this out. It adds soooo much flavour! I often get asked what I do differently. Let’s begin, shall we?

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
This recipes serves 4 as a side dish

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil greased with cooking spray.
2. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into long spears. (Soak in cold water for 20-30 minutes before continuing for crispy texture outside. Drain well and pat dry.)
3. Place the potato spears on the sheet pan and toss with olive oil. Spread them in a single layer.
4. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn with a spatula. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and serve hot.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

It’s raining here in Switzerland. Hard. I can’t say I enjoy that, but it’s nice to have an excuse to turn on the oven.

When it’s raining I like to use whatever ingredients I have laying around to feed myself. Going outside is not an option. No way. Not a chance. Never….unless you have chocolate to give me.

I decided to make this hot spinach artichoke dip with the ingredients I had on hand. It’s super scrumptious. The bubbly cheese, artichoke, garlic and spinach go perfect with tortillas or toasted pitas. I devoured this…fast.

To begin, preheat your oven to 400˚ F. Then, in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, parmesan, sour cream and mayonnaise.

Chop up some artichokes…

and some spinach…

and add chopped spinach, chopped artichokes, roasted garlic, salt and red pepper flakes to cream cheese mixture.

Mix well with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are evenly blended.

Spread into a small baking dish (I used a french onion soup bowl). Sprinkle additional grated Parmesan over the top for more awesomeness and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Serve warm with tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers. Drool.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup coarsely chopped canned artichoke hearts
4 cloves roasted garlic*, smashed
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. roasted red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, Parmesan, sour cream, mayonnaise, spinach, artichokes, roasted garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix well with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are evenly blended.

Spread into a small baking dish (I used a gratin dish). Sprinkle additional grated Parmesan over the top if desired. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Serve warm with baguette slices, pita chips, crackers, etc.

*To roast individual cloves of garlic, I just throw the unpeeled cloves into a baking dish or pan and bake at 350˚ F for 25-30 minutes. Let cool before squeezing the cloves from the peels.

Wicked Good Tortilla Dip

This dip is a classic.

My Nanny has been making it for years, and I myself have been making it as a special treat for potlucks and parties since I was in high school. It’s simple, it’s easy, you dip tortilla chips in it….it makes me happy. To begin, just whip together cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise, until there are no lump and put the mixture into a pan.

Add salsa.

Add grated cheddar cheese.

Chop up green pepper, green onion and tomato.

Now, thow it on top of the cheese with some chopped olives to make it pretty.

Don’t let your kitty dip her paws into it…and enjoy!

Tortilla Dip
Recipe taken from my awesome Nanny

8 oz cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup salsa (I like medium spicy)
2 green onions (green parts), chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
5 green olives, pitted and chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 block of Cheddar or Marble Cheese, grated
Restaurant style tortilla chips

Whip together cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise, until there are no lumps and put in a pan
Add salsa on top
Add grated cheese
Add green onion, green pepper, olives, and tomato (you could also add red onion or chopped jalapeno if you wanted t spice it up).
Dip chips! I like to use multigrain Tostitos.

This dip can last for about 4 days in the refrigerator when covered in plastic wrap

Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve recently returned from a 2 month tour of Europe. The food in every country I visited (Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, and England) was amazing, and each country had it’s own special meal that I’m now finding myself missing very much. I spent most of my time (half my trip in fact) in Switzerland, seeing the sights, and trying as much food as I possibly could. I fell in love. Traditional Swiss food is simple, plain, and very tasty. It’s no lie that the Swiss eat a lot of cheese, and probably because they make the best. Say what you want. I tried the famous cheeses in France, tasted cheddar cheese from Cheddar, but Swiss Gruyere cheese is Mmm-mmm-good!

And MELTED Gruyere cheese? Even better. Luckily, during my stay in Switzerland I got to know many of the locals. One man in particular would often make traditional meals like Raclette, various pasta bakes and potato dishes, and of course traditional Swiss Fondue.

I simply couldn’t leave Switzerland without knowing how to make Fondue. The secret? You need the right cheese. Gruyere and Vacherin. Yeah baby. This recipe will serve a crowd of 6 for an appetizer, but double the recipe to make a main meal! It’s super easy, and you won’t regret it :) First, grate the scrumptious cheese.

Then get your garlic, onions and mushrooms together in a saucepan. Add the wine and grappa, stir in the cheese and transfer the yummy hot cheese mixture into your fondue pot.

Serve with cubed dipping bread, and eat the night away. Don’t expect regular bowel movement after this…for serious :P

This recipe serves 6 people for an appetizer-sized meal. Double/triple the recipe to make it a main.

-Rustic bread for dipping, cut into cubes (if it’s a fresh loaf, I recommend cutting it up a few hours ahead and letting it sit out so it hardens a bit and is less likely to fall off the fondue forks into the cheese)
-1/2 pound Gruyere cheese
-1/2 pound Vacherin cheese
-2 tbsp all-purpose flour
-1 tsp butter
-1/2 large onion
-1 clove garlic
-1 cup DRY white wine
-1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced very thinly (optional)
-2 tbsp Swiss Grappa (optional)
-dash of pepper

1. Grate the cheese and toss the cheese with the 2 tablespoons flour in a large bowl.
2. In a large saucepan melt butter. Add chopped garlic and onions and fry until the onions start turn glossy and clear. Add mushrooms and fry for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the wine and grappa to the saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
4. Lower the heat to medium low, and stir in the cheese 1/2 cup at a time until it is pretty much melted. Add the pepper.
5. Pour hot cheese mixture into fondue pots and serve with yummy dipping bread.

Deviled Eggs

Who likes deviled eggs? Well, if you don’t, I surely do. Like a lot.

I usually blog about sweets, but not today. Nope, nope, nope. Today I’m sharing my scrumptious deviled egg recipe with you. I’m doing this because I wanted to share some different “snack-type” posts simply because I’m ALWAYS looking for a quick snack. And even though sweets are the perfect go-to, sometimes I like a change.

Another great thing about deviled eggs is their beauty. Beautiful eggs? Heck yeah! Just look at ’em.

So here’s my recipe. I dare you to eat just one.

6 large eggs
1 tbsp mayonaise
1/2 tsp mustard (I used Heinz brand)
1 green onion (without white part)
Dash of salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of paprika (for garnish)

1. Boil the eggs for 15 minutes and transfer to bowl filled with cool water to cool the outside of the shells. Peel the shells off.
2. Cut the eggs in half, and scoop out the hard yolk into a bowl. Place the egg whites aside on a pretty tray.

3. Mash the egg yolk with the mayonnaise, mustard, green onion, salt and pepper.

4. Fit a pastry bag (or zippered bag with a hole cut in one corner) with a large star tip. Fill the bag with the yolk mixture. Pipe the whites with the yolk mixture, mounding the filling approximately 1/2 inch above the edge of the whites.

5. Garnish your awesome tray and enjoy!