Thursday, September 24, 2009

Everything but the kitchen sink gaucamole

Everyone who knows me, knows I LOVE guacamole! My co-workers often see me munching on chips and guac at work, I'm making it for parties all the time, I love this stuff! I prefer it with tons of stuff in it, kinda like a creamy salsa, but I will take it any which way I can get it!

For this guacamole, I got EVERYTHING. I added giardiniera, yellow peppers, orange peppers, jalapeno peppers... Everything. Yum.

My Favorite Brand- It has no jalapenos :)

Let me lay it all out there for you!

1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
3 Roma tomatoes
1 medium sized red onion
3 jalapenos
1/4 cup of giardiniera (1 tsp of the liquid)
1 tbsp of Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic (or 5-6 cloves of garlic)
2-3 tsp crushed red pepper
2 limes
2-3 tsp Tabasco sauce
5 avocados
Sea Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

I had to use the Garlic Garlic (Tastefully Simple) b/c I ran out of fresh garlic. Oops. How did that happen?!?! So since Garlic Garlic is dried garlic flakes, I soaked the Garlic Garlic and the crushed red pepper in juice from half a lime, the Tabasco sauce and the liquid from the giardiniera. I let them soak while I chopped everything. If you are using fresh garlic, then I would recommend combining the liquid ingredients together and whisk a little so it is all together to be tossed over the guac before it's done.
I chopped the first 6 ingredients, placing them in a container and took half a lime and squeezed the juice over the cut veggies.

After all the veggies were cut, I cut the avocados and removed the pits, setting aside three pits. I scooped the inside meat from the skin and tossed all of the avocado meat in a large bowl. I squeezed half a lime over the avocado.
Using a mini potato masher, I mashed the avocado until it was smoother, but still with some chunks.
I tossed the mashed avocado with the cut veggies until they were coated w/ the mashed avocado. After everything was mixed together, I tossed in the garlic and red pepper mix, cracked fresh pepper over, sprinkled some sea salt and mixed everything again. I tasted it with an authentic tortilla chip at that point, b/c if it needed some more of something, now would be the time. I actually didn't have to add anything at this point, so I squeezed the last of the lime over the guac, mixed it up and placed the three pits inside.

You can't even see the pits in there
It was creamy and chunky and yummy. I have to say that I kinda thought the heat mellowed out when I got to the party, but it was still good and you still felt it. But I had leftovers, which I brought to work on Monday and whoa. That heat had time to develop and it was awesome. I definitely recommend making this the night before and keeping it in the fridge. The heat comes out way more that way. And since I used lime juice and left the pits in, the guac stayed just as green as you see it in the pictures now. And that was after sitting out on a table outside for a few hours, then covered and left out of the fridge, then put back in the fridge and reopened two days later. Not so bad huh?

I hope you all enjoy! Especially you, Jen!! ;)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Delicious Raspberry Cookies

I saw these awesome cookies not too long ago and at first I was a bit skeptical b/c I hadn't heard of a couple of the ingredients before, but after chatting a bit w/ the blog writer, I just HAD to make them. The cookie is fantastic. The only change I made was that I used brown sugar instead of tagatose sweetener, only b/c I couldn't find it. But the found spelt flour and I am hooked. I made these at the end of my detox and it was my first sweet treat (other than the disastrous black bean brownies). I picked up the ingredients and trekked home to make them. Unfortunately, my raspberries were less than ideal and I had to go out again to pick up more. Those weren't much better. So I cut the berries in half to make them spread out in the batter more. I made 23 cookies, but there probably would have been more if I made them all the same size! The cookie was so thick and fluffy, it really could have been a muffin top. But it had a bit of a biscuit-y texture too. Not super biscuit-y but a bit. The taste was light and airy and the perfect balance of tart and sweet.

I just wish my chocolate chop cookies would be this thick!!!

My only beef w/ these cookies is that you definitely need to eat them the day you bake them! They definitely weren't dry cookies, but they weren't very moist andwet. But when I wrapped them to take to work the next day, they got ery soggy :( I don't know if it was b/c they weren't 100% cooled off when I tossed them in the baggie, but I'll try it out w/ a couple cookies next time and see what happens.

These are definitely on my make over and over list!!! Enjoy!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Black Bean Brownies and my search for less gluten-ous foods

So I jumped on the black bean brownie bandwagon. And I am jumping off now.

I am not hear to say anyone is crazy for liking this brownie. I'm not trying to say that it is gross b/c of someone's specific recipe. I'm just saying I HATED it.

I agree that there is no black bean taste. With the amount of unsweetened chocolate in it, along w/ the sweet honey, there was no way you would be able to taste the bean. But you can sure feel it.

I didn't change a single thing from this recipe except I subbed honey for the agave nectar, but she said that was okay. And I used cocoa powder instead of the coffee powder, which I always do and nothing bad ever happens.

But I didn't like the bitter, overwhelming chocolate taste mixed w/ the overly sweetness from the honey (which, again, you can't taste, but it definitely changes it...). I think that if I had used flour and regular sugar, instead of beans and honey, respectively, this might have worked. Well, probably not because that bitter chocolate taste left me w/ a very unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth...

When I made the batter and poured it into the parchment paper lined and oil sprayed brownie pan, I knew something wasn't right. It was smooth when I poured- yes, poured it in. It was the consistency of a melted milkshake. It was dark like poo and the smell of unsweetened chocolate wafted up to my nostrils, nearly giving me a nose bleed.
I was somewhat reminded of the scene in Drop Dead Fred where Fred and Lizzie made mud pies... remember that scene?

Fred: I'm not afraid of the megabeast!
Young Elizabeth: I'm not either, when she comes in here we'll make her eat up all this mud!
Fred: Yeah... and then we'll cut her head off...
Young Elizabeth: with scissors...
Fred: Yeah... and then we'll make her eat it
Young Elizabeth: ...make her eat her own head... with what?
Fred: Oh yeah, well I'll eat her head then.
Young Elizabeth: And I'll eat the rest of her!
Fred: Yeah! And then we'll get up and poo her all over the table cause we're not afraid of anything
Fred, Young Elizabeth: yeah, yeah YEAH!

God, I love that movie.

Anyways, getting back to the brownies. I seriously didn't think they'd bake. I thought I would pull it out of the oven and it would be just really super hot soup.
But they did bake. And they took like 3 hours to cool down enough to cut. And when I cut them into little squares, they were still so gooey, that most of the batter stuck to the knife, but not in crumbly yummy pieces, in thick gooey wet muddy mess.
So I threw them back in on the parchment paper on a cookie sheet, completely cut into squares, hoping that would make them less of a gooey mess.

Nope. They weren't as gooey but they were still gross. The texture was kind of like a fruit jello w/ cream mixed in before it was put in the fridge to set and it is almost set, but not quite? Yeah, like that only a wee bit less gelatin-y. A piece did Jell-o giggle in my hand. And when I took it off my hand, half the brownie was still stuck to it...

Gross. But I took them to work. I mean, someone liked these things, why not let it my co-workers try tham and they can decide? Oh and btw, I left them out, cut in squares and separated and uncovered, hoping they would dry up a little.

Negative. But they didn't stick anymore. Instead they were a bit... oily? Not sure what the best word would be, but they kinda slid off the parchment paper...

So I layered the brownies in the tuperware container and put wax paper b/w the layers. I brought three layers of brownies.

How many layers does it look like are left in the picture? If you said two (plus two from the top third layer) you are right!!! You win the prize!!! Okay, so there is no prize, except for maybe me telling you that this is a bad idea. Bad bad bad.

But, I also made some raspberry cookies the same night and those turned out fantastic! Check out my next post for that recipe!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A New way of thinking... cooking... baking... eating... living

So lately I've been having stomach problems and I just wanted some relief. I consulted my doctor, who had a surprising answer. Detox. I thought he would want me to go on antibiotics or something, but thankfully, knowing that I hate drugs, he suggested another way of going about making me feel better. And you know what? It's awesome. I have to say I didn't feel sick ONCE during that week. Now knowing what I do, I've learned what to cut, what to not have a lot of, what to have instead of something that makes me sick. It's good stuff.

If anyone has been having troubles with food, this is what you have to do... Stop eating gluten, dairy, wheat, red meat, butter and sugars. Eat only fruits, veggies, chicken, fish, nuts (no peanuts or peanut butter), eggs, grains like quinoa or rice, and olive oil. You would be surprised on how easy it really is and how good you will feel after a week. I dropped 10 lbs, probably from food that hadn't digested before.

I am not crazy enough to nix everything from my diet. Like Cold Stone Creamery??? Maybe only once every couple of months, kinda like I did before anyways. And no more baking? You gotta be kidding. But it doesn't mean I won't try things like black bean brownies that sub black beans for the flour and honey for the sugar. It's amazing the minor changes you can make w/out cutting out flavor and yumminess. I've even discovered Spelt flour from a fellow blogger. I bought it and made her raspberry cookies too (look for the future posting on those-yum!).

Either way, it is ok to diet to feel good. I haven't dieted as dramatically this weekend as I had last week for the detox, but the difference in how I feel after is awesome. I don't feel nauseous or bloated or whatever.

I think that even if you don't do it all the time, everyone should detox once every couple of years. It's worth it, trust me!!!