Category Archives: salsa

Friday Favorites: Game Day II

Friday Favorites: Game DayI have made it clear over the years that I am a baseball and Olympics person, and very definitely not a football fan. Oh, I’ve tried. I grew up in Texas and was the co-captain of my high school dance team, so I attended 40+ games from the sidelines, and I never missed a Super Bowl for the first 22 years of my life. I can say with confidence that football is not for me.

That said, I most certainly like football food. In fact, today’s list of Super Bowl Sunday recipes is the second Game Day round-up I’ve compiled in the last five years. There are some of the usual meaty, cheesy, gooey suspects, and a couple of non-traditional options. You know, for keeping things interesting between commercial breaks.

I sincerely hope none of you are gathering for Super Bowl parties next weekend—I would like to be able to see my family sometime this year, okay?—but for all the things that will be different/less good about the big game, let’s not let the food be one of them.Friday Favorites: Game DayPuff Pastry Pigs in Blankets

Pigs in blankets are a classic football food. Here they’re wrapped in puff pastry (rough puff or frozen/thawed puff) and baked until super flaky and golden. Yum.Friday Favorites: Game DayPimento Cheese Tarte Soleil

You could just make Pimento Cheese for game day, but why pass up the chance to stack it with flaky pastry, twist it to sunny perfection and bake until bubbly?Friday Favorites: Game DayCreamy Avocado Salsa

Is it even game day if chips and salsa aren’t on the table? This Creamy Avocado Salsa has all the flavors of classic guacamole, but with a smooth and dreamy texture. Serve it by its lonesome or… Friday Favorites: Game DaySpicy Turkey Tacos

…drizzle it onto these Spicy Turkey Tacos! This thirty minute main is one of my go-to weeknight recipes. It’s easy, saucy and has a good kick to it from a DIY taco seasoning. If heat isn’t your thing, don’t fret; I’ve included a way to make these milder without sacrificing any flavor.Friday Favorites: Game DaySlow-Roasted Pulled Pork

Say goodbye to your favorite slow cooker pulled pork because once you try this, you’ll never want to go back. My Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork does require a little forethought, but it’s actually very simple to make. It’s dry brined ahead of time and then roasted low and slow until super tender. Pile it high on soft rolls with whatever sauce and crunchy vegetables you like, or use it as filling for enchiladas!

Oh, and did I mention there are crispy cracklings strewn throughout? Because there are crispy cracklings strewn throughout. So good, y’all.Friday Favorites: Game DayButternut Squash Chili {Vegan}

If meat’s not your thing, this vegan Butternut Squash Chili is a perfect option for you! It’s hearty and comforting and basically everything wonderful about game day food, just without the animal products.Friday Favorites: Game DaySuper Sprinkle Popcorn

I find that dessert is frequently overlooked on Super Bowl Sunday, and to that I say “not in my house!” Super Sprinkle Popcorn would also be a perfect way to end the big game. Coated in white chocolate and loaded with rainbow sprinkles and homemade Funfetti crumbs, this stuff is cute and delicious as all get out!Friday Favorites: Game DayMonster Carmelitas

I think this goes without saying, but no matter how much heavy food I’ve eaten during the game, I will always—always—have room for a gooey, peanut buttery Monster Carmelita.

Have you made any of these or any of my other game day favorites? What’s your favorite thing to serve on Super Bowl Sunday? Let me know in the comments or on social media!Friday Favorites: Game Day

Creamy Avocado Salsa

Creamy Avocado SalsaI posted three salsa recipes in this blog’s first year and haven’t published one since. It’s not that I have stopped making salsa or fallen out of love with it. Ohhh no. I want to make it clear that I love salsa more now than ever. Men and friendships have come and gone, but salsa and me? We’re in it for the long haul.Creamy Avocado SalsaCreamy Avocado Salsa is a relatively new addition to my repertoire. I began tinkering with it a couple of years ago in an effort to match one of the offerings at a local taqueria, and it’s been a favorite ever since. Creamy Avocado Salsa is creamy, refreshing and delicious–we’re talking all the flavors of guacamole with a smooth, dippable consistency. Yum! If you’re going to try one new salsa recipe this summer, let this be the one.Creamy Avocado SalsaThis recipe is a snap to make. Simply pile an avocado, a tiny bit of onion, some garlic, half a jalapeño, fresh cilantro and lime juice into a blender with some salt and cold water, and let it rip. After about a minute, you’ll have a super smooth, bright green salsa. It’s pairs well with tortilla chips, of course, but may I also recommend trying it with cheesy scrambled eggs or sautéed shrimp or with zucchini noodles? Because it’s good with all those things.Creamy Avocado Salsa As with all my salsas, guacamole and other dips, this one is made with my own flavor preferences in mind. I love it the way it is, but I recommend that you taste and adjust as you go, adding more salt, jalapeño or lime until it’s exactly how you like it. You’ll notice that there’s a lot of wiggle room in the amount of water you can use in the recipe. The pictured batch was made with a large avocado and seven tablespoons of water to achieve the texture of a thick, creamy dressing, but you may like yours thinner or thicker. Start with a little water and adjust as needed until it’s to your preference.Creamy Avocado SalsaCreamy Avocado Salsa keeps shockingly well considering the usual trajectory of avocado-based treats. It’ll stay good in the fridge for a couple of days, but if you’re anything like me, it won’t last that long.Creamy Avocado Salsa

Creamy Avocado Salsa
makes about 1 1/4 cups

1 medium-large ripe avocado
2 tablespoons finely diced onion
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 jalapeño (with or without ribs and seeds)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 medium lime)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4-8 tablespoons cold tap water

For serving:
tortilla chips
cheesy scrambled eggs
sautéed or grilled shrimp
zucchini noodles
literally whatever you can imagine

Combine avocado, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 4 tablespoons of cold tap water in a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Continue to blend in more water by the tablespoon, until the texture is like a thick, creamy dressing (or to your specific liking). Taste for salt, acid (lime) and heat (jalapeño) and adjust as desired.

Serve with tortilla chips or whatever you like. Creamy Avocado Salsa will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Stir before serving.Creamy Avocado SalsaCreamy Avocado SalsaCreamy Avocado Salsa

Pineapple Salsa Fresca

Nine years ago today, I moved to New York. I was 22 years old, fresh out of college, and convinced that as soon as I got to my first Manhattan apartment, my life would really begin. I was starting film school, and my biggest dream was to be the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director. Clearly, that did not happen (shout out to Kathryn Bigelow!), but a lot of other things did.

I’m pretty sure New York City is the only place in the world where people celebrate the anniversary of their moving date. It’s hard to live anywhere, but New York is a special case. The crowds, the noise, the cost of living, the constant need to compete professionally–nothing is easy here. In the last nine years, I have:

  • lived in eight apartments.
  • moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Then back to Manhattan. Then back to Brooklyn.
  • had twelve jobs in five different fields.
  • realized that I enjoy cooking far more than I ever enjoyed film production.
  • learned to bake in the tiniest kitchen ever.
  • abandoned my filmmaking dreams in the name of butter and sugar.
  • met some of the most incredible people on earth.
  • fallen in love. And fallen out of love.
  • had really high highs and horrifically low lows.
  • survived.

 The life I have is not what I envisioned nine years ago (or anything close to it), but today, I am living the life I want. I live in a beautiful apartment in a safe neighborhood with good people. I work as a personal chef for a very nice family. I have an unbelievable support system, without whom I’m not sure I would have accomplished anything. I have a lot of goodness, generosity, spontaneity, and love in my life. Every once in a while, I dream of moving somewhere else–Austin, Chicago, Maine–but then I realize that moving would mean leaving everything I’ve accomplished in New York, all the people I’ve met, and all of the opportunities I might have here in the future. And so, I stay. New York, I’m not done with you yet.

But as they say, “You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl.” As much as I couldn’t wait to move out of Fort Worth nine years ago, growing up in Texas has molded my identity in ways I will never be able to shake. My whole family lives there (until E3 moves to Boston next week!), as do most of my closest friends, so as much as I love New York, a lot of my heart is in the Lone Star State.

Another thing I’ll never be able to shake? My deep, abiding love of Tex-Mex. It’s one thing New York can’t ever seem to do right–I get my fix by making homemade versions of my favorite dishes. My recipe index already has my red and green salsas and my favorite guacamole, in addition to a fantastic posole and an easy southwestern chicken soup. I have big plans to put a couple of enchilada recipes on here when the weather cools down a little, but it’s hot today, so I’m keeping it simple with this Pineapple Salsa Fresca.

   This recipe is a sweeter, tangier twist on traditional pico de gallo. Fresh pineapple is used instead of tomatoes! Combined with red onion, a serrano pepper, a little garlic, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt, it’s a match made in heaven! Everything comes together on the cutting board in about ten minutes–no need for a food processor. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour to let the flavors meld a bit, and then dig in with your favorite tortilla chips!

Pineapple Salsa Fresca is a magical combination of flavors: sweet, tangy, spicy, and a little salty. The chunky, slightly crunchy texture is perfect with crispy tortilla chips! This salsa would also be great with grilled fish or shrimp. Oooh! Or pork tacos!

Yes. Even after nine years in New York, I’m definitely still Texan at heart.

 Pineapple Salsa Fresca
makes about 3 cups

3 cups fresh pineapple (about 1 pound), 1/2-inch dice
1/2 small red onion, 1/4-inch dice
1/2-1 serrano pepper,* minced, seeded (optional)
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
juice of one lime
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
tortilla chips, for serving

Combine pineapple, onion, serrano, garlic, cilantro, lime, and salt in a medium-large mixing bowl. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to toss all ingredients together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let salsa sit at room temperature for one hour so the flavors can meld. Serve with tortilla chips.

Leftover salsa will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Note:

Jalapeño may be used instead of serrano pepper. You may want two jalapeños, depending on your spice preferences.

Pineapple Salsa Fresca