Pack n’ Go

Has there ever been a food that you never really cared to try, or perhaps even once hated, but now love? Well, for me…that’s guacamole. It’s not something my mom made when I was growing up, so I was never really exposed to it. Then as an adult, I would see it on the table at parties, or in the selection of toppings at Chipotle…and I just ignored it. But then a few years ago, I began volunteering at a local interactive cooking school/shared commercial kitchen called Kitchen in the Market. I had no idea my life was about to change FOREVER! During our orientation, we made some snacks to share, and I was on Team Guacamole. Not only did I learn the perfect way to cut an onion that day, but I learned a couple other valuable lessons.

The Best Damn Guacamole on Earth | Bites of Life...Read full post

While I’m still in denial that it’s not summer anymore, there are signs abound this week that will likely require me to accept the seasonal fate soon. The “official” start of winter is just around the corner after all, so I suppose I should acknowledge at least a week of Autumn before then. đŸ™‚

Spicy Italian Billiard Zucchini Boats | Bites of Life

Haley (our pooch) seems to be in denial as well…on walks she runs around like a maniac tracking bunnies while paying no attention to the fact that it’s so cold her owners could turn into icicles at any moment. She has also failed to notice the disappearance of the 8 foot cherry tomato plants trees from our front steps. You see, just like the humans of this house, she got quite accustomed to the abundance of tiny, juicy, flavorful, red and orange balls we used to pluck from the vines each day this summer–in fact, she would refuse to enter the house without eating one after each walk. Sadly, it’s been 8 weeks since our last tomato harvest, but we did manage to save a bunch of green ones and bring them inside in hopes they would eventually turn. Amazingly, many of them did, and like the loving dog owners we are…we saved every last one for Haley. The stash is almost gone now, and when I opened the fridge the other day, I also discovered we were down to the last of one of our other favorite summer staples: zucchini.
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A couple weeks ago, I shared one of my favorite recipes from our recent vacation, and after receiving inquiries about some of the other pack + go foods that kept us fueled during the long days of hiking, today I am sharing with you one of my new favorites that single-handedly transformed what could have been boring bag lunches into flavor-infused gourmet fare.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

While I was preparing food for our travels, I tried to think of a flavorful spread to use on sandwiches that would keep well in a cooler or daypack. I was going to whip up a batch of traditional basil pesto when I realized we had that on our last trip and thought it might get a little boring after a few days. Since Kashmir and I love our spicy foods, I decided to craft a very non-boring roasted red pepper pesto with some bold southwestern flavors (and everything but the kitchen sink). What I absolutely love about this pesto isn’t just the fact that it was an experiment {concocted at 2am}, or the fact that it turned out AMAZING…but that just like a basil pesto, it is incredibly versatile. On vacation, we used it as a spread on grilled chicken sandwiches, but it makes a fantastic pasta sauce and perfectly compliments a variety of appetizers {one of which I will share later this week…so stay tuned!}.
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Is it really almost Thanksgiving?!…it seems like just yesterday we were frolicking about the lakes, chasing waterfalls and soaking up the summer sun! Although, it certainly doesn’t feel like summer amidst one of Minnesota’s coldest Novembers on record, so alas…I must accept that the days will only get shorter and colder for now. Do you think it’s too early to start counting down to summer? I suppose so, but it’s never too early for a countdown to Carnival in Trinidad—83 days baby! So when it was time to make a dish for a friend’s pre-Thanksgiving party this past weekend, I decided it was time to break out the rum, turn on the Soca and dream of warmer days!

Herbed Cranberry Apple Couscous wih Maple Vinaigrette...Read full post