Tag Archives: summer

Mediterranean 7-layer Dip

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Thank you thank you @annies-eats for this recipe! I went to a friend’s house on a lake last weekend and promised to bring a dip along. I haven’t made any dips in a while and wanted to try out something cold since Atlanta summer isn’t the best environment for hot buffalo chicken dip. Also – this could be a dairy free dip if you want to eliminate the feta.

In my family, we LOVE a Mexican 7-layer dip, so if you’re one of those people who likes a big mound of dip on your chip, tune in! This is pretty versatile too – you could really add a variety of different veggies – bell peppers, small chopped broccoli, some whole chickpeas or roasted chickpeas, etc.

I cheated a bit and used store bought hummus, but I think the homemade pesto and fresh veggies make up for it. I think I’ll be bringing this recipe back for the 4th of July weekend and hopefully trying some different variations. Anyone think there’s some way to make a Chinese 7-layer dip? Penny for your thoughts.

Mediterranean 7-layer dip, adapted from Annie’s Eats

Cilantro pesto:

1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro (I used stems and leaves)

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

4 TBS walnuts

1/4 cup crumbled feta

Dip:

3/4 of an English cucumber, diced

half of a red onion, diced

banana peppers, chopped in half

kalamata olives, sliced

julienned sundried tomatoes (I think you could also used diced cherry tomatoes)

crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2-3/4 cup)

1. Make the cilantro pesto: Add the garlic, cilantro, walnuts, some fresh cracked pepper, and 2 TBS olive oil to the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse until not quite a paste, but everything is mixed evenly. Then, slowly drizzle in your olive oil. I didn’t end up needing the whole 1/3 of a cup, but I do like my pesto thicker. After you’ve finished pulsing, mix in your feta (don’t pulse in the food processor, just slowly mix into the mixture)

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2. Assemble! I used two different kinds of hummus so I spread them both together in the bottom of a pie plate. After the hummus, add your cilantro pesto in the middle and spread out in an even layer. Then add your toppings! Cukes, red onion, pepps, olives, tomatoes, and you can either end with the feta or add it in batches.

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Korean Steak Tacos with Pear Mango Cilantro Slaw

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I am back friends! Sorry for the extensive delay, I have no excuses! I have to tell you something – these are the best steak tacos I’ve ever made. Coincidentally the ONLY ones I’ve ever made as well. I haven’t entertained in a while and had it easy this time because I cooked with my friend Caelan  – a gem of a host. The fact that it took us 30 minutes to cook a steak didn’t phase him a bit and I’m also very grateful he didn’t get mad at me for literally incinerating his pans while frying tortillas! Thanks Caelan!

If you are going to make this recipe, please use your grill! It’s quite a simple recipe taken from mountainmamacooks, however we tried to cook the steak in the broiler and haven’t mastered that quite yet….SO, here we go.

Are you loving loving loving summer? Or just one loving? It’s a triple loving summer for me. I just moved into an apartment with about 1 foot of counter space, have a porch swing, my roommate’s moving here in a week, and it’s the season for endless frozen yogurt.

Let me tell you very briefly about a few things I’m triple-loving this June. My mom brought me three herb plants for my front porch which was the highlight of my week. Let’s all cross our fingers that they don’t get knocked over or stolen (yes, that’s happened). I’ve had some solid popsicles in the past month including a blackberry ginger one and a pomegranate margarita. There’s beer ice cream out there also. I ate a jalapeno corndog at a festival and discovered the sensation that is Trombone Shorty. Annnndddd I made these tacos.

I’ve had this recipe on my pinterest for some time now, but I wanted to save it for a time when someone familiar with steak could help me out! Cue damsel in distress music. Honestly, this meal – while served about 1.5 hours later than expected, was fantastic. When I told my mom about how there happened to be enough for everyone, she said “like the loaves and fishes!” And I thought, exactly.

It’s funny how there’s always enough, isn’t there? The more people that you are surrounded with, it seems that we’d all need more food to keep us going – but really the more good company there is, the less the food matters. Shoot, is this post becoming pointless?! I’ll post pics soon, then you’ll listen.

Korean Steak Tacos with Pear Mango Cilantro Slaw, adapted from mountain mama cooks

1 2.5 lb flank steak

1/2 cup fresh cilantro (stems are ok)

2.5 TBS brown sugar

3 TBS soy sauce

3 TBS veg oil

2 cloves garlic

1 -2 tsb chili garlic sauce

1/2 tsp coriander

juice of half a lime

for the slaw:

1/2 a head of green cabbage

1 pear, in thin strips

juice of 2 limes

3-4 TBS rice wine vinegar

1/4 bunch of cilantro, minced

1/2-1 mango, diced

kosher salt, red pepper flakes

For serving:

Corn tortillas, sauteed peppers, rice, guac, refried beans

Marinate this steak in the morning or the night before you are going to cook it. I couldn’t tell if the recipe specified to actually blend (as in blend in the blender) the marinade or if it just meant mix the ingredients together. I decided to puree the marinade in the food processor which worked well as a sauce for the steak. Place the steak in a non-reactive dish or plastic bag with the marinade and place in the refrigerator (I did this in the morning of the day we cooked)

When it is time for the partay, assemble the slaw while you’re preheating the grill/broiler. Try to slice the cabbage as thin as possible. Toss together all the slaw ingredients to let the flavors meld before cooking the steak. Grill the steak for 10-12 minutes (says the recipe it took us like 30 minutes including stoppage time to broil it) total and let sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

To fry tortillas I used two methods. One was to fill a saute pan with half an inch of oil and fully fry the tortillas. The other was to fry them in just a thin layer of oil to make them thick. Either way I pretty much burned down my friend’s kitchen :/ so maybe use flour tortillas if you don’t want to worry about this!!

Serve family style and NOM! If you make these please let me know I’d love to hear how they turn out for you!

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Lamb Pita Burgers and Tzatziki

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Mediterranean food was the very first kind of food I learned to make. I think it’s such an easy place to start. Tomatoes, feta, red onion, good olive oil, and cucumbers can go in salads, as toppings, on pastas, or as appetizers. Barely any cooking involved!

As I returned from an amazing trip to California, these warm pita pockets and comfort burgers were a transitional food from summer to fall. If you live in a place that is hot until October like me, you still need to get outside and use the grill in September. But the mix of hearty lamb and coriander, cumin, and ginger spices gives it a fall spin.

I LOVE lamb burgers, and my fam especially likes mini burgers. It’s a fun way to try different ingredients in a few of each burger. I used this lamb burger recipe from Adrianna and didnt have any mint so just used parsley. I highly recommend! Our secret ingredient was some chopped up salt olives. Mixed every so lightly, these lamb burgers are tender, rich, and can absorb a variety of flavors. Before pics, I have to share my fave foods from San Fran. While the weather was the best in record years, I felt this love-hate relationship with my favorite city!! Had to play hard to get since I don’t know when I’ll be making it back again. Saw wonderful friends, went to an awesome conference, and saw beautiful views. oh, and food.

Fava bean pasta from a restaurant in berkeley with my lovely host katie, amazing Vietnamese at Tin in SOMA with my colleague Alloy, delicious Tofu Banh Mi in the Mission at duc loi kitchen, UMAMI BURGER FINALLY!!!, also i finally saw chez panisse omgomgomgomg, and tyler florence’s store in mill valley it was HEAVEN! oh and this delicious chicken, mango, avocado Asian salad at this Asian street food place in mill valley after the hike. I am so happy thinking about it. Can’t wait to get back….

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Sauteed onions and spices she recommends

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parsley and pistachios

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lamb, herbs, spices

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DSCF4216For tzatziki I really like shredded English cucumber. BUT SQUEEZE out the water with a paper towel like so

DSCF4220add some dill, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whatever else you like!

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Mango ice cream – How do you take pictures of this?

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Well now I understand why you see all these beautiful pics of ice cream on the cone. No one ever takes pics of the custard base or hot cream mixed with sugar that decides to separate and look like watery froth. There’s no time for pics when you have to whisk patiently and anxiously await the magical 170 degrees pre-custard straining (geez that sounds gross).  But it’s all okay because it turned out great!!!!

So here’s two pics and my secrets to success. This was my third time making ice cream this summer, and here are my (not that qualified) tips for success. THIS epicurious ice cream base is phenomenal. I used it to make peach ice cream earlier this summer and it came in handy for my dad and grandma’s favorite, mangoooo. If you haven’t noticed, mangoes are on sale lately, so take advantage!

Ok, don’t forget to freeze your ice cream canister in the freezer for “awhile” before making it so that it will totally freeze in a short period of time. Make sure to let the cream base cool completely before putting in the fridge. DO NOT put chunks of fruit in the ice cream machine, they’ll turn to ice. Instead, use puree! Here I pureed mangoes with a bit of sugar and the juice of two limes (from some recipe I cannot find…)

Lastly, taste develops more the second day after you’ve made it!

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So this is what my kitchen looks like after making this…basically a warning that yes this is messy!

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Mango puree

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On that Midnight Train to Berry Cornmeal Breakfast Cake

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What do you do with leftover corn? I already had some black bean corn salsa, and really wasn’t in the mood to make tacos or another corn salad, hence, the midnight train to corn cake. I was thinking about how much I love brown sugar in cornbread and thought it would be the most delicious breakfast to have a moist sweet corn muffin with my coffee. Only wish I would have thought of this before 10:45 on Sunday night. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this cake, but I think it’s because I didn’t cook it quite long enough.

I know corn might not be everyone’s cup of tea in a sweet cake, but you know, I seriously miss the corn cookie I had at Milk Bar in New York and am SOOOO eager to make Jill Donenfeld’s corn ice cream with blueberries and cinnamon. This sufficed for now!

Thank you NaturallyElla for this Blueberry Maple Corn Cake recipe, slightly adapted with frozen mixed berries instead of blueberries and one ear of corn added. In this case, I actually did have walnut oil. I must say I was very surprised at the delicious mix of flavors (omg I almost wrote infusion of flavors, who am I?) of cornmeal, walnut oil, and maple syrup. The cake already has two eggs that add moisture, but the walnut oil left no room for drying out.

I think I also thought I could get away with late-night baking on a weeknight because I’m now a toaster-oven-baker. It’s so small I feel like I’m using an Easy-bake!… A broken oven is no reason to stop baking.

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(Flour on the berries helps them disperse in the mix)

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hey there, close up