Thursday, June 28, 2012

Let's All Eat Avocado Toast for Breakfast

Your new favorite breakfast. It's not the most photogenic thing you'll make in your kitchen but it is a delight for the senses. It looks so pretty in person.
The only reason that I'm including a recipe is so that you'll see how insanely easy/ delicious that it is. You will love it unless you're that one guy who tasted avocado for the first time ever and didn't like it but based on the nonsensicalness (totally a word) of the idea of not wanting to marry an avocado, I'm fairly certain that this was a YouTube hoax.

2 slices whole grain bread
1/2 an avocado
teensy weensy little bitty sprinkle of salt

Toast bread.

While bread is toasting, slice your avocado. I like to slice it up in little bitty cross hatches so that when it comes to applying it to the toast, it's more like a spread.

Which leads us to spreading it onto the bread. Do that.

Sprinkle with the teensy weensy little bitty sprinkle of salt.

Fall in love.

And there you have your new favorite breakfast*. It is precisely sixteen times better than toast with butter--which just so happens to be my second favorite way to enjoy toast. And I really like toast.


*In addition to breakfast, I also had this for lunch. Topped with a bunch of chopped up tomatoes and cilantro.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Try New Things

Last weekend, my friend Kellory invited me and a few other ladies to a design swap. It was a lot of fun but intimidating as I needed to google "design swap" and ended up at this article on Design*Sponge which made me feel really excited and also really flattered. I think Kellory has incredible taste and design is kind of Staci's thing. I've always had a style-crush on Kendra and Lisa, too (now you know), and so I felt pretty special to be invited amongst such creative ladies. It was fun to get together and hang out and do something different from what we're used to. All you have to do is bring a few things that you're tired of looking at, sit around and talk and "shop" and nom with your friends and then you get to come home with something new! It's perfect. I got some stuff I'm pretty pumped about.
I got this smoke glass bowl. Banana not included.
I got this piece of fabric that fits my little window perfectly.
 I got some other things but they just didn't photograph well. One day.

And of course we brought food. Kendra asked for my recipe for the Avocado Chicken Salad that came with me and so I guess this whole post is for her. I just kind of made it up as I went along and since I still had all of the stuff in my kitchen, I just re-made it so that I could remember what I did. Here you go, my friends.
The end result of this recipe is something akin to what might happen if a bowl of guacamole and a chicken salad sandwich made a love child. Lots of avocado, lots of cilantro, lots of happy feels. I used 1/2 a rotisserie chicken but I would imagine that if you didn't want to stand at your counter for fifteen minutes with two forks, shredding breasts and still wanted a very similar result, canned chicken or any leftovers you may have after grilling out would work just as well. Okay, so here we go:
2 T. chopped cilantro (or more if you love cilantro like I do)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup sour cream (greek yogurt would be an excellent substitute)
2 T. milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded chicken
1 avocado (diced)
1 roma tomato
1/2 red onion
lime juice
More cilantro for garnish
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine your sour cream, cilantro, garlic and salt and pepper, add milk to thin out the dressing. Add the chicken and stir it all up so that the chicken is completely coated. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour or overnight if it's more convenient. You want the dressing to get kind of soaked up into the chicken.
When you're nearing serving time, dice your avocado, tomato and onion all about the same size and sprinkle with a good amount of lime juice. Stir it all up with the chicken and dressing and serve to your friends on sandwiches or wrapped in lettuce leaves. If it's a little dry, add in a little more milk or juice. There are tons of add-in's, too. I thought bacon would be delicious but I wasn't interested in adding to the fat content or firing up my stove, so it was left as-is and that was really good.
Of course if you take this to a picnic, keep it chilled so that no one gets food poisoning and dies because, seriously, who could live with that?

Have you ever been to a swap? Book swap, clothing swap, design swap?
Everyone has their thing, what weird stuff do you throw into chicken salad?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Farmer's Market Fare

I've never cooked a fresh green bean in my whole entire life.
Even now, I'm just guessing at it. Due to my choice to be in lack of sufficient internet connection in my home, I'm being forced to just use my own noggin.

I snapped all of the stemmy bits off of the beans because I've never seen stemmy bits in a can. I trusted this impulse on account of the fact that it made me feel very much like I should be sitting in my apron on a front porch with a mixing bowl betwixt my knees. I sliced the red onion and covered the two with a vegetable stock that I made last week and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Or until the onions lose their purple. I don't know exactly how scientific that is, though. Something tells me that it wouldn't take long.
My younger sister and I went to the Farmer's Market in McPherson on Saturday. I'd been lobbying to go to the Wichita one for several days but we decided to stay home. Honestly, I'm a tad embarrassed of my expectations. I went in anticipating disappointment. I expected to see a few ladies selling loaves of bread and cinnamon rolls and maybe a few vegetables here and there. What I saw, though, was a bounty! I went home with so much produce: sugar snap peas, new potatoes, Red Candy Apple onions, purple romaine, and two pounds of green beans. I only had to stay local to get the produce that my neighbors planted--and excellent produce at that. And every dollar that I spent went directly into the hand of the farmer who spent all that time pulling my potatoes out of the ground. Or, more accurately, every dollar went into the hand of the kid of the farmer. Those kids probably had a heavy hand in pulling onions, too, though--if they grew up anything like me. I remember sitting on the porch with my mom, topping strawberries and dumping them into huge freezer bags, staining our fingertips that brilliant fuchsia color. Or one time, splitting pea pods and shooting their contents into a metal bowl. It's really amazing the work you have to go to for the tiniest amount of peas.

Before I put the onion in with the beans, I took a huge bite of it. I was so excited by its name Red Candy Apple--I assure you, it was still very much an onion.
 The Farmer's Market, combined with a recent trip to my mother's herb garden, left me with all of the ingredients needed to make my first recipe from the June 2012 issue of Bon Appetit! So along with eating only fresh, neighbor-grown food, I'm taking care of 1/3 of my monthly goal. So, along with my green beans, I had New Potatoes with Dill Butter.
The recipe couldn't be simpler--begin with baby steps.

I can't wait to get back to the McPherson Farmer's Market, either. I have my source for fresh eggs, bread and tons of vegetables for the entire summer.

Is there an ingredient that you've never cooked with, before? I'm thinking about delving into the world of fresh beets, next week but I don't know if I've got it in me. Thoughts?