Corn + Avocado Panzanella

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A thing I excel at is karaoke.

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And just generally being the life of the party.

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This last statement is false except when I am surrounded by all of my friends in a foreign land like I was this weekend.

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If you consider Boston a foreign land, that is. A dear friend got married this weekend and like 15 of our closest pals descended on MA for the affair. It’s a rare occasion that we all get together considering jobs, families, spouses, babies, life, bills, etc. I cannot even put into the words the fun that was had, but I will try by summarizing our first night: We end up at a hole in the wall pub that all of the girls are like umm is this going to be OK, not sure about this aesthetic. We walk in and this place is BUMPING, man. It is THE place for young professionals on a Thursday after work. They have a jukebox playing Who Let The Dogs Out and other similar classics. Since we’re grooving so hard, we get the brilliant idea to karaoke…….at 7:30pm. Lucky us there’s a karaoke bar around the corner. We sang probably 16 of the 20 songs that were performed while we were there – everything ranging from Tina Turner to Dashboard Confessional, really impressing the crowd with our range. Of course, I concluded the evening with an Adele solo, as I do.

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I left my voice in Boston and now sound like an 80-year-old chain smoker.

 

 

Time: 45 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of whole wheat sourdough, cut in cubes
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of basil, chiffonaded
  • 4 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • S+P, to taste
  • Lime, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Toss bread with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P
  • Arrange in an even layer on a lined baking sheet, bake about 10 minutes or until toasted to your desire
  • Meanwhile, combine remaining olive oil + vinegar + mustard + shallot + garlic + S+P
  • In a big bowl, combine corn + avocado + tomatoes + jalapeno + red pepper + basil + S+P, toss to coat
  • Add bread + dressing, toss to coat + serve with lime
  • Find a comfy chaise lounge to retire on and hire some cabana boys to spoon feed you this while simultaneously fanning you

 

Dressing from here!

Mole Enchiladas

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On this week’s episodes of Real Housewives of suburban North Carolina:

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Follow Rachel as she travels home to Memphis and tries to fit in at the fanciest wedding to which she will ever be invited.

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Like, I just did not belong rubbing elbows with Memphis’ elite.

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In an attempt to blend in with the crowd, me, my mom and BFF got our hair and makeup done. My stepbrother’s husband is the most fabulous HMU artist in town and he spent literally 5 hours getting us appropriately glammed. We sat in his styling chair sipping mimosas, eating fruit, gabbing and generally just living our best lives. We legit had such a lovely time, we were late for the wedding. We raced to the venue, went through some random back door and walked in on the wedding party as they were about go down the aisle. Whoopsies. We tried to sit quietly through the ceremony but there were just so  many beautiful things to point out to each other so the likelihood our commentary is picked up on the video is high. The food was overwhelming. When they passed around vegan spring rolls I about fainted. It was really hard to stay calm when I saw the taco station and salad bar filled with topping options like quinoa and edamame. I somehow  never made it to the past bar but my skin tight dress thanked me. I tanked up so hard I looked like a busted can of biscuits the rest of the eve.

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Did I mention it was a Jewish wedding and my very Christian stepfather thought he was supposed to wear a yarmulke so grabbed one on the way in and introduced himself as a pretend Jew the entire night?

 

 

Time: 2 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 6 New Mexico chiles, stems removed
  • 4 dried arbol chiles, stems removed
  • 2  white onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 pieces of bread, toasted + cubed
  • 1 heaping tbsp. of cocoa powder
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 tbsp. of oregano
  • 1 tbsp. of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
  • Tiny pinch of cloves
  • S+P, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed + drained
  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of smoked paprila
  • Cilantro, for serving

How to:

  • Place chiles in a bowl + cover with boiling water, weigh it down + let sit for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, cook garlic + tomato in a dry skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes
  • Drain chiles + add to a food processor with 1/2 cup of the water they soaked in + garlic/tomato mix + 1 of the diced onions + bread + cocoa powder + orange juice + oregano + sugar + cinnamon + cloves + S+P, process until smooth, add more liquid if necessary
  • Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a pan over medium heat, add sauce + simmer for 30 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add onion + S+P, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Add peppers + S+P, cook another 3 minutes,
  • Add corn + S+P, chili powder + cumin + smoked paprika, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Place tortilla on a flat surface + fill with some bean mix
  • Roll + place seam down in a greased baking dish
  • Repeat with remaining tortillas + toppings
  • Spread some mole on top
  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • Remove + spread with remaining mole sauce
  • Serve warm with cilantro
  • Since there’s some cocoa in these, wash your mole enchilada dinner down with ANOTHER mole enchilada

 

Mole adapted from here!

Summer Fritters

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Apparently, I’m going to have to take over ALL of the household chores.

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I give the man such simple tasks. He does outside, I do inside. Meaning, he has to keep a pair of cars clean and the garage tidy. That’s it!

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Living in a townhouse, we have peeps that do our yard, so like the man’s chore time is truly minimal. Living in a townhouse also means we have communal trash receptacles. His most important job is to simply take the trash to said receptacles. Simple, right?

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We didn’t drive my car during the entire hurricane because it’s basically a Tonka truck and might get swept away in heavy winds. After the storm, I hop in to run some errands. I’m instantly hit what a stench reminiscent of putrid animal flesh. I look all around this car and find nothing. I pump up the air, roll down the windows and continue on my journey, gagging constantly. At one point, I convinced myself the animal was actually still alive and going to crawl on me any second and, while I don’t eat animals, I also don’t love being near them. By the time I get home, I’m thoroughly disturbed. “GARRETT! GARRETT! Something has died in my car!!!!!!” He goes to check it out and comes back in with these sad puppy dog eyes. “I did something bad………….I left a bag of trash in your trunk….for probably a week.”

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BEST BELIEVE your girl will not be letting this one go for a minimum of 13 weeks!

 

Time: 45 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 8-10 fritters

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed + drained
  • 2 corn on the cob, grilled or roasted + shucked, or 1 can of roasted corn, drained
  • 1 zucchini, shredded with a cheese grater
  • 1/2 a white onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. of nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup of flax meal
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil

How to:

  • In a bowl, mash the chickpeas
  • Add all other ingredients minus the olive oil, mix well
  • Refrigerate about 20 minutes or so
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet
  • Form lil patties + cook no more than 4 at a time for about 2-3 minutes on each side
  • Remove + repeat with remaining patties
  • Serve hot with some sprouts + a lil salad
  • When feeling angry at your sweetie, use a lil fritter as a punching bag + eat the crumblies off your knuckles