I’m craving the fresh flavors of summer. Even more so this year. Summer means that we will be settled in a new state. In a new apartment. With new opportunities. It means that 63 balls will no longer be necessary to juggle at once. It means that we will have said goodbye to the life we are now clinging on to. It means that we will be a little older and, if we’re lucky, a little wiser. It means that we will have survived. Read more
I’ve been holding out on you. Though it wasn’t intentional.
Remember Bitchin’ Sauce, the original version? Conceived 3.25 months ago. Well, she has a sister. And her name is Chipotle. It’s never good to play favorites, but she might just be mine. Her personality is bold and spicy. But she’s not the overbearing type. I think you’ll like her. Read more
Pardon my language. Allow me to explain.
Amy: Can you help me recreate a sauce?
Me: Sure [said with hesitation]. I can try.
Amy: It’s vegan.
Me: Oh never mind, that’s way out of my league. You’ll have to ask Genesis.
Amy: I already did. She told me to ask you.
Me: Shoot. No promises though [said with confidence].
Next thing you know, we’re sitting around Amy’s kitchen table. Pinkies lifted high. A
chip cracker in hand. Palettes cleansed. Let the Bitchin’ Sauce tasting begin. Dip, taste, dip, taste, ponder. Dip, taste, pretend you know what you’re doing, write. And repeat.
Definition: Bitchin’ Sauce (nerb—noun + verb) is a bitchin’ (for lack of a better word) sauce sold at the San Diego farmers market. It comes in 3 varieties—original, chipotle, pesto. It’s both vegan and gluten-free. And the taste? It’s oh-em-gee out of this world! (Coming from a girl who turns her nose up at all things vegan. Mark my word—this sauce made me a lover.) Almonds give the sauce its creamy base. While lemons provide a lovely kick at the end. Its only downfall—you can’t get it in Chicago. Hence Amy’s question—can you help me recreate a sauce?
100 chips later and the dip/taste sequence came to a close. We had a list of ingredients. And yes, we cheated by writing down the ingredients from the label. However, if the word “spices” had been a bit more specific, we could have saved those chips for another time. Travesty.
After the list was secured, we reconvened at Genesis’ house. Wrote up a rough recipe. And turned the VitaMix to high. A couple tweaks later. And Houston, we have Bitchin’ Sauce! Or darn close to it.
Eat it on a chip. Or even on a vegetable. Or stay tuned to how I’ve been eating it everyday for the past 2 weeks. San Diego peeps—how do you eat your Bitchin’ Sauce?
- Place all ingredients in a high-powdered blender (such as a VitaMix). Slowly blend for one minute. Turn the dial up to high, and continue to blend for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
- Store in the refrigerator. Sauce may separate. Stir and it’s as good as new.
• 2 tablespoons = ⅛ cup (If you happen to have one of those laying around.)
• Although I haven’t tried it, I think a food processor will work to make this sauce.
• This sauce doesn’t last long enough in my fridge to figure out its shelf life.
• If you’re stopping through San Diego, you must give the real deal a try. It just might revolutionize your life. Word on the street—they may start shipping soon.
Try the chipotle version!
My absolute favorite restaurant serves italian white bean hummus with flatbread crisps as an appetizer. (Please promise me you’ll go here if you are ever in the Chicago area.) I could go just for the hummus and maybe a drink. But you know how that goes—if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.
Because I can’t abstain from the rest of the menu, I learned how to make white bean hummus at home. It’s pretty darn close, and it’s pretty darn good. Although I have yet to try making the flat bread crisps. Not sure if I can pull those off.
Can I tell you the best thing about this hummus? It brings good friends around a table. Put a couple plates of hummus out. Pita chips. Or grilled naan. A bottle of wine. And that’s a recipe for a good evening.
- 2 15oz. cans of cannellini beans
- ¼ c. tahini paste (you can buy this at Whole Foods)
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1½ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil + more for serving
- ¼ c.-1/2 c. water
- red pepper flakes
- parmesan cheese, grated
- Rinse and drain beans.
- Place beans in a food processor or high powered blender. Add tahini, lemon juice, salt, cumin, and garlic.
- Turn the processor on and slowly pour in olive oil. Process until smooth and thick. Add warm water to thin if texture is too thick. Cover and refrigerate.
- To serve, place hummus on a plate. Drag the back of a spoon in a swirling pattern around top of hummus (not pictured). Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Accompany with pita chips, naan, or flat bread crisps.
I’ve departed from my normal flour, butter, and sugar gig this week. I hope you don’t mind.
Confession: I’m a mexican food junkie, and I eat way too much guacamole. But I wasn’t always this way. Sadly, my unrefined childhood taste buds didn’t crave guac until I was in college. I lost a good 20 years of consumption. However, I think I’ve made up for it in the last six years. Thank goodness for its health benefits.
Every time I make guac, I think of my mom. She first introduced me to it with a recipe called—Game Day Guacamole. I can still see it peeking out of her overly stuffed light blue checked recipe box. Excuse me while I reminisce. The fact that food has the ability to conjure up vivid memories makes me love it even more.
I wish I could say that I still use the Game Day recipe, but I don’t. Being the hard-headed person that I am, I had to come up with my own recipe. I blame it on the artist in me. I’m like a dog marking its territory. I have to put my stamp on everything. Knowing how I am now, I can only imagine what I was like as a child. My apologies Mom and Dad. But lucky for you, I have perfected my recipe. At least to my liking. So go ahead, and give it a try.
The best thing about this recipe—it’s not a science. Precision isn’t a must. Taste as you go. Follow your gut. And put your own stamp on it, or not.
recipe from yours truly
5 ripe avocados, peeled
1/4 c. chopped grape tomatoes
2 tbsp. chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
3-6 jarred jalapeños, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
half of a lime, squeezed
1. Add avocados to a large bowl and mash. Click here for a peeling how-to.
2. Mix in tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeños, cumin, and lime juice.
3. Add Sriracha and sea salt to taste.
4. Taste. Add more where you see fit. It’s usually salt or cumin for me.
5. Press plastic wrap on surface of guacamole. This will keep oxygen from creeping in and turning things brown before you serve it.