Chunky Guacamole


I never liked guacamole as a kid. In fact I only just started coming around to avocados a few years ago. I think that’s because the avocados we can get here in Wisconsin aren’t the greatest. Even when soft and ripe, they’re generally bland. I’ve been told that in places like California, they’re much more flavorful. I’ll have to take their word for it.

So, I prefer my guacamole to be a pico-like salsa with creamy avocado as a binder. Lots of tomato, white onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice are key, as far as I’m concerned. Even if you mash the avocados smoothly, it’ll still be chunky. I’m still not a fan of the totally smooth stuff with little else in it besides avocados.

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Salmon Spread with Lemon and Dill


Why is it that the salmon that’s on sale never tastes very salmony?? If only Sendik’s had had their Alaskan coho on sale again, instead of Pick’n’Save’s farmed Atlantic. Oh well, sorry Trade Press, it’s more like Dill and Lemon Spread with Salmon.

Made with great salmon, however, this is a delicious recipe. As with a lot of my cooking, I don’t really use a recipe. There’s ingredients that I always use, then I just go from there. Here’s the recipe as best as I can remember from this batch.

Salmon Spread

1 lb (2 blocks) cream cheese (low-fat is fine)
1 lb fresh salmon, broiled until cooked, then flaked
4 T good quality butter
zest and juice of one lemon
2 T horseradish (not sauce)
2 T capers, drained
1/4 c red onion, minced
3 T chopped fresh dill
1-2 t fish sauce or worchestershire
S+P to taste

1. Leave the cream cheese and butter out to come to room temperature.

2. Cream all ingredients except salmon in a mixing bowl. Add salmon and mix to combine. Adjust any of the ingredients to taste. Chill and serve with crackers, bagels, rye bread or cucumber slices.

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Texas Caviar


Hi Blog, how’s it going? Long time no see!

Sorry for the lack of updates, everyone. Life’s been busy. And unfortunately, life comes before blog.

But fortunately, I have a couple recipes stocked up, so even though I haven’t been cooking much, I have something to post about! Three cheers for planning ahead for just these moments.

I’m not really sure why Texas caviar is called Texas caviar…You’d think Texans would love regular caviar. They like expensive things, right? Maybe the tiny little fish eggs go against their “Everything’s bigger in Texas” motto. So they decided to substitute with slightly bigger beans and veggies? Yeah, I don’t know either.

No matter why it’s named what it’s named, it’s delicious. I think of it more as a salsa or chip dip than a salad, even though it’s got a bit of a salad dressing going on. I think traditionally, black eyed peas are used, but I’m a fan of black beans, so I used them instead. Plus I upped the salsa quotient by adding lime juice, cilantro and serranos. If you’ve got access to good ripe summer tomatoes, use those. I didn’t get a chance to go to the farmer’s market before making this, and the grocery store had anemic tomatoes, so I ended up using a can of small diced tomatoes. It was all right, but I’d prefer fresh next time.

Texas Caviar

2 cans black beans or black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
Fresh corn from 1-2 ears
3 roma tomatoes or 1 large heirloom or 1 can small diced tomatoes
2-3 minced serranos
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
3 T red wine vinegar
juice of 1-2 limes
6 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix all the ingredients and let it hang out in the fridge for a couple hours before serving. Or, you know, don’t. I didn’t. It’s good no matter what.

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Picnic Time! – Homemade Hummus


What’s better for picnics than dip? And you can’t beat hummus. It’s good with pita bread, chips, veggies and in sandwiches. And it’s once of the easiest recipes there is. Add extra garlic if you like it super garlicky. Trader Joe’s has a great chipotle flavor hummus. If you’d like to spice it up, try adding 1-2 canned chipotles in adobo. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.


30 oz can garbanzos (chickpeas)
6 T tahini
juice from 1 lemon
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
4 T olive oil
1 T cumin
pinch of cayenne
1/2 t salt

1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and pulse until smooth. Alternately, you can use a food processor and pulse the ingredients.

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