Archive | pomegranate RSS feed for this section

Turkey Day Trials 2014

16 Nov

IMG_1652

While October seemed to have sluggishly ambled by, November has been no joke – it’s already half-way through the month and only a week and a half away from the biggest foodie day of the year. Already, Christmas decorations, songs, sales, and Santas have inundated the stores, almost like Thanksgiving is that afterthought of a day firmly arriving to devote its purpose solely to the day after, when all the crazy shopping happens.

Really, people?

Let’s slow down for a moment and savor this season. It’s fall. Beautiful leaves, filling foods, and get-togethers lending perfect excuses to have just that one more glass of wine. For me, aside from the food, Rob has safely made it back from a deployment, creating another reason to celebrate. But this year, I’ve taken a different approach.

Lately, I’ve been inspired by small gatherings, simple entertaining, and outrageously good tastes. So, I’ve been creating small bites that are perfect for giant, festive entertaining, or just a special holiday dinner for two. My mom will attest that since I was old enough to chew, my favorite foods were the traditional turkey, stuffing, and cranberry dinner tastes. So for me to step out of the traditional American turkey day box is a little uncouth.

But go with it. Try it. You’ll be surprised – I was!

Try my Pumpkin Seed and Pomegranate Guacamole. Guac? On Thanksgiving? Oh come on, the avocado needs some holiday love, too. Especially with so many meatless options these days, this is a perfect stand-alone dip, elegant atop a crostini, or the silent hero in a leftover cranberry, lettuce and guac sandwhich. It’s creamy, with a roasted bite from the pumpkin seed oil, plus a surprising tang of sweetness only known by the pomegranate.

This guac is great and extremely versatile. Dress it up with a pairing of champagne, or make it comfort food extraordinaire while enjoying on the couch watching football. It is fancy enough to be a holiday-party-go-to, comforting enough to be a pot-luck favorite, and simple enough to whip up for a festive fall evening for two. No, it’s not a turkey, and no, it’s not stuffing. But in our house, this is definitely going to be a new Thanksgiving tradition.

Enjoy!

IMG_1679

Pumpkin Seed & Pomegranate Guacamole
(this recipe serves 4, but alter ingredients to make as much as you need!)

  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  • Juice ½ lime
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • ¼ tsp roasted pumpkin seed oil
  • ½ tsp pomegranate balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
  • s&p

In a large bowl, use a fork to combine all ingredients except for the pepitas and pomegranate seeds. Season to taste with s&p (I always find that I need a bit more pepper than expected when working with avocados). When well combined, top with the pepitas and pomegranate seeds. Serve as is with chips, or shmear on crostini, or slather on a sandwich for a perfect holiday-inspired meal! Enjoy!

Weekend Getaway

13 Mar

I’m sitting here looking out over the snow (yes, we had a snow day today) and thinking about the last time I sat looking out over the snow.  It was two days ago, at the end of an incredibly relaxing weekend Rob and I spent in Sisters, Oregon.  High desert mountain air, big flakes of snow, and a massage that aided in helping us completely forget about anything but each other and our humbly nature-filled surroundings.

We brought up a mason jar of blooming daffodils, enjoying their beauty in the cabin and left them for the next guest to enjoy.  We had a by-the-fire picnic of Chickpea Salad with champagne and I learned how to play chess.  We ate at Jen’s Garden, a northwest inspired French restaurant that blew my mind.  We slept, we read, we walked in the snow, and we completely enjoyed just, well, just being.

Coming back to reality was difficult, more difficult than I think both of us anticipated (and springing-forward an hour didn’t help), but today’s snow was a great reminder of the uber relaxing mountain moments we shared.  Now you get to enjoy an aspect we got to share, and will again and again – the Chickpea Salad!

 

 

 

 

The cabin had a "Positive Thoughts" book for guests to leave their memorable moments. Added a nice Chi.

 

Chickpea Salad (serves 4) 

  • 1 1/2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate 
  • 3 celery ribs, with leaves, finely sliced
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts sliced 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp good quality mayonnaise 
  • zest 1 lime
  • juice 1 lime
  • 1 tsp hot Indian curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • about 3 sprigs mint, finely chopped  
  • 1 small spring rosemary, finely chopped 
  • s&p

Mix the mayo, lime zest and juice, curry powder, paprika, and s&p, to taste.  In a separate bowl, mix the pomegranate seeds, chickpeas, celery, and scallions together.  NOTE: the easiest way to get pomegranate seeds out of their home is to cut it in half, and then holding the flesh side open flexibly in the palm of your hand, whack (literally. whack.) on the back with a big spoon.  The seeds will fall through your fingers.  BUT, wear an apron – staining red pomegranate juice may fly and definitely can stain.  

Pour the dressing over the veg and beans, mix, and season to taste.  

This is great by itself, but can also pair well with naan or a flatbread for scooping.  

Enjoy! 

%d bloggers like this: