SKC Page 4: Avocado Dip

Next up: Avocado Dip, which is not guacamole, but could play it on tv.

We had a friend over for dinner recently, and therefore our first outside-taste-tester in the Small Kitchen Cookbook cook-down.

This is also one of the first times in the book  that the reader/home cook is presented with what seems to my late-Gen-X eyes to be a strange either/or combination. As we wrap this recipe, the instructions ask us to finish things off with the (ever-popular) parsley, or instead paprika.

Not for nothing, as my mid-western friends say, but those are some radically different flavors. That said, there are much more drastic choices to come in this book, so maybe reserve your judgement for then.

We start with halved avocados, and Mortellito counsels us that we can hold on to the pits if we are interested in growing new avocado trees. Points for early ecology — however, I live in the Northeast and don’t think I’m in an avocado-friendly environment. So we move on to mashing and adding ingredients. White pepper, another popular ingredient in this book, makes an appearance along with mayo, lemon, and onion salt.

The consistency at first is a bit gritty, but I made the dip the night before serving — at which time it was much smoother. We went with parsley as garnish, because we still have a field’s worth in our home herb garden. Plus, paprika reminds me of Deviled Eggs, and I hate those.

We figured tortilla chips counted as ‘corn or potato chips,’ so as directed,  we “arranged” them in a chip and dip bowl from Homegoods.

I’ll probably make this again; it was gone at the end of the night and it didn’t brown overnight, like guac often does. It was a little bit weird at first in the taste department though, because the tongue is expecting guacamole and, as we addressed, this isn’t that. But like green tea ice cream, it has an acquired taste.

I give this recipe three and a half bunches of jaunty cherries. Let me know if you make it with paprika, and if it was worth it.

Cool Weather Comfort Foods that Won’t Make You Fat

A Blogtoberfest Guest Post by Kaitlyn Pierce, founder of Willow House magazine

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Fall is a time for sweaters, fires, and packing on the pounds while staying curled up on the couch to indulge in some binge eating and Downton Abby marathons on Netflix. Being pregnant with my second child has made it even more enticing to scarf down any piece of delicious looking food that comes my way.

“You’re pregnant, you can eat whatever you want!” is what I hear all day long. As much as I’d love to ignore everything I’ve ever learned about my health and believe this, I know that I can’t just sit around eating my weight in macaroni and cheese all day.

So what is a woman with an addiction to comfort food supposed to do in the fall to satisfy the cravings and not end up needing an entirely new wardrobe (not that I won’t end up with one anyway) come summer? I’m so happy you asked! I have found a couple of deliciously satisfying recipes that won’t make you fat and won’t take to much time away from any of your Netflix marathons.

White Bean and Kale Stew

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I tried this recipe for the first time last fall and fell in love with it. Not only is it super simple to make (by that I mean I spent very little time standing up in the kitchen and more time on the couch eating), it is a great meal to make for my vegetarian friends (and vegan if you remove the cheese!) that is still 100% satisfying to my husband, my two year old, and I who enjoy our fair share of local and organic meats.

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Another huge perk to the dish is all of that fresh kale in each serving. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, is high in fiber, iron and vitamin A, C and K. Kale is also a great anti-inflammatory food with powerful antioxidants. How’s that for some guilt free eating?

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Chickpea, Tomato and Spelt Soup

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I had never had spelt in my life until recently when I came across this recipe. As I mentioned before, comfort food has always been my food of choice, spelt never was on the menu.  So I was feeling particularly adventurous and decided to try something new, I figured if I hated it my husband (the human garbage disposal) would eat it.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the spelt’s delicious nutty flavor. It is high in protein and fiber and is also a good source of calcium, magnesium and iron. This recipe has 437 calories per serving and thanks to all of that protein it was incredibly filling so there was actually some left for my husband to eat when I was done.

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What are some of your favorite cool weather recipes?

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.35.06 PMKaitlyn Pierce is the Editor-in-Chief of Willow House magazine, and blogs regularly at Mohawks and Lilacs. Growing up in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts assured that Kaitlyn would be a true New England girl. She is a die-hard New England sports fan, lover of all things visual, and local fashion activist working to bring more fashion to the Berkshires.

Smoke Gets in Your Pies ~ Grilled Dessert

Here’s another tidbit that surfaced in my research for a recent assignment… in case you were wondering what the hottest trend in outdoor cooking is these days, apparently it’s grilled desserts.

S’mores have long held the top spot in the world of outdoor sweets, but some innovative cooks are making sure they have some competition, particularly in the exciting culinary niche of grilled desserts. (Again: apparently.)

Grilled fruits are one of the easiest ways to add a sweet touch to an outdoor feast: pineapple, bananas (in the peel!), peaches, and orange slices all grill well and can be paired with chocolate drizzle, caramel sauce, and warm Nutella.

Slices of pound cake look great with precision grill marks and a dollop of whipped cream, and grilled candy bars are rising in popularity among grill enthusiasts across the country who seal their regional favorites inside flour tortillas with marshmallow fluff. One grilled version of a candy apple uses Red Hot candies and brown sugar, wrapped in foil and served warm in glass dishes with vanilla ice cream. Nom.

Click on some of the links I scattered throughout this post, or try some of these recipes from Taste of Home.