Rainbow Fruit Purees

San Diego LGBT Pride is this weekend, and I’m celebrating with a kaleidoscope of organic fruit purees.  Each puree destined for a glass of champs of course ;)

Rainbow Fruit Making your own fruit purees at home is an easy task.  Simply blend ripe, organic fruit with sugar and citrus juice, strain, and serve!  That’s it.  For reals.  Sugar and citrus (lemon, lime or orange) help to amp up the flavors of any fresh fruit.  Once you’ve mastered one puree, try making a vibrant rainbow of purees with strawberries, papaya, mango, honeydew, watermelon, blueberries and blackberries.  All the organic produce featured in this article was purchased at the new Jimbo’s… Naturally! at Westfield Horton Plaza.  They have a seriously gorgeous selection of fresh herbs and fruit.

You can serve this edible spectrum with champagne, sparkling wine, Prosecco or sparkling water.  Place a few tablespoons of puree at the bottom of a glass, then top of with bubbly.  A perfect addition to any Pride Weekend brunch table!  Continue reading for the recipes.

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Better With Bacon

Everything’s better with bacon, right?  Even this cocktail.

Better With Bacon Cocktail Better With Bacon, a cocktail from Greg Henry’s Savory Cocktails, starts by steeping sliced bacon in a mixture of peppery rye, lime juice, simple syrup, and liquid smoke.  After a 10-minute infusion, the bacon-rye mixture is strained over ice, and shaken until well-chilled.  Finished with a simple slice of cooked bacon, this savory cocktail is crisp, bright and full of intrigue.  The liquid smoke amps up the smokiness of the rye and bacon, while the lime juice cuts through the rich, heavy flavors.  Simple syrup is added for balance.  In addition to my Bacon Bloody, this Better With Bacon cocktail is one of my favorite ways to consume bacon in liquid form.  If you are a bacon-lover (like me), I’d highly recommend that you give this cocktail a try.  The ingredient list is fairly simple, and you could even use bourbon here if you didn’t have rye on hand.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Deviled Eggs Three Ways

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for…

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways Not one.  Not two.  But three deviled egg recipes.  With Easter just around the corner, I’ve come up with a game plan in advance to use up all of those leftover hard-boiled, dyed eggs.  Step 1:  Make deviled eggs.  Step 2:  Throw a Deviled Egg Party.

Let’s dive right into Step 1.  Below, I’ve provided recipes for a variety of deviled eggs: Chile Garlic, Avocado Bacon and Pickled Beet.  My Chile Garlic Deviled Eggs are made with fiery Sambal Oelek, chopped cilantro, and plenty of fresh lime juice.  These flavors are big and bold.  Next, my Bacon Avocado Deviled Eggs are prepared with crispy bacon bits, rich avocado, chopped green onion, hot sauce and lime juice.  Guacamole in deviled egg form, this variation is highly addictive.  Finally, Pickled Beet Deviled Eggs are made by pickling whole hard-boiled eggs with sliced red beet in a liquid flavored with red wine vinegar, black pepper and bay leaf.  The egg whites soak up both the flavor and the color of the pickling liquid.  The yolks are then mashed with mayo, chopped pickled beet, pickling liquid, prepared horseradish, and chopped fresh chive.  All three eggs are so. yum.

Use these three recipes as a guide to make your own variations.  You’ll need three tablespoons of mayo for every six eggs.  Then, add spicy (kimchi, pickled jalapeños, Sriracha) and fresh (cilantro, parsley, chive, mint) elements to cut through the richness of the yolk and mayo.  Salt is a must.  If you find that the yolk mixture needs a little lift, add acid (lemon, lime, vinegar).  Continue reading for Step 2, plus my three recipes for deviled eggs.

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Chile Lime Pepitas

Chile Lime Pepitas I’m going to keep this brief, because Jorge and I are on vacation in MEXICO!!!  These Chile Lime Pepitas are made with just 4 ingredients, and they can be prepared in a matter of moments.  Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are toasted in a dry pan, then hit with fresh lime juice, kosher salt, and chile powder.  The resulting snack is spicy, salty and incredibly tangy.  The type of tang the tickles the sides of your tongue as you chew.  I love to eat these spiced seeds by the handful with an ice cold beer in the other hand.  So tasty.  Just be sure to have some napkins around, because your hands can get a little messy ;)

If you are interested in following Jorge and me as we adventure around Chiapas, Mexico, you can check us out on Instagram.  This is me.  And here’s Jorge.  Continue reading for the recipe!

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Roasted Fennel and Apple Guacamole

Roasted Fennel and Apple Guacamole Jorge and I hosted game night recently, and one of the many tasty dishes served that evening was this Roasted Fennel and Apple Guacamole.  But first let me tell you a little about the game we played: Cards Against Humanity.  This game is awesome.  Basically one person reads a question or a fill in the blank statement (the black card), then everyone else tries to answer that question or complete the statement using the cards they have in their hand (the white cards).  The person holding the black card then decides which pairing is the funniest.  What makes this game awesome, is that the white cards can be pretty darn outrageous.  I mean, we played for almost 4 hours, and I couldn’t stop laughing for most of the evening.  My face hurt afterwards.

I think Cards Against Humanity has been out for a little bit, and I’m probably late to the party here.  But if you’ve never played, and you don’t mind a little over-the-top humor, you need to give this game a try.  So much fun.

And if you want to host a game night of your own, I’d definitely recommend making this guacamole.  Rick Bayless released this recipe last year, and I’ve had it bookmarked ever since.  Sweet, herbaceous fennel is roasted until tender and fragrant, then added to cubes of rich avocado along with crisp, tart apple, lime juice, jalapeno, and cilantro.  This seasonal variation of a Mexican classic is sharp, creamy and wonderfully complex.  The licoricey fennel compliments the avocado while tiny pops of green apple offer contrast in flavor and texture.  The fennel isn’t really overpowering here.  With each bite, you’ll notice just a hint of fennel at the end.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Bacon Tostilocos

Bacon Tostilocos

Oh man do I have a fun recipe for you today!  Tostilocos, a Mexican street food specialty, are typically made by cutting open a bag of flavored corn chips and piling on toppings such as pickled pig skin, tamarind candies, Japanese peanuts, jicama, cucumber, lime juice, chamoy and hot sauce.  I first had Tostilocos last year at our San Diego LGBT Pride festival.  Jorge and I had been walking around all day, and I was getting huuuungry.  We stopped to sit for a moment in the shade, when Jorge hopped up and said, “I’ll be right back.”  Several minutes later, he returned with a bag of Tostilocos.  After just one bite my taste buds were all like, “Whaaaaaaat???”  Such a crazy combination of flavors that just completely work well together.  Sweet.  Salt.  Sour.  Crunch.  I’ll have to say the one element I’m still not completely sold on is the pickled pig skin.  It’s like savory gummy worms.  But wet and slippery.  Not my fav.  So when I was coming up with a homemade version of Tostilocos, I decided to substituted thin strips of smoky bacon for the pickled pig skin.  I also included some quick pickled cucumber and red onion to add another note of sweet, sour and salt.  You can easily make these pickles at home in just one hour (mainly inactive wait time).  Jorge and I will still get Tostilocos each year at the festival, but now I can easily satisfy cravings in between with my bacon version!

If you don’t live in San Diego (or any other City bordering Mexico), some of these ingredients may look very foreign to you.  Try to find a Mexican market in town.  They should have everything you need.  Or you can easily purchase these items online.  I purchased everything at Pancho Villa’s Farmer’s Market here in SD.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Summer Crush

Summer Crush Made with heirloom tomato, basil, watermelon, vodka and lime, Summer Crush is the type of cocktail you could easily enjoy after a day spent at the beach.  When you’re feeling a bit parched from being in the sun all day.  After you’ve casually dropped your beach bag on the floor, but before you jump in the shower to wash away the surf and sand.  Sweet, tart, and incredibly refreshing, Summer Crush is a muddled mix of the best summer produce.  And vodka of course.

To make this drink, you’ll first need to prepare a sweet basil syrup.  I’d recommend getting this done in advance and storing in the refrigerator.  With the syrup prepared, this drink comes together in a matter of moments!  Next muddle sweet basil syrup, heirloom tomato, Thai basil and watermelon in the base of a cocktail shaker until the fruit releases its gloriously flavored juice and the basil its oils.  I use both sweet and Thai basil for this drink to add some depth of flavor; however, you could certainly use all sweet basil if Thai isn’t available.  Finally, shake in some vodka and lime juice to balance out the flavors.  The finished cocktail is summer incarnate.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Pineapple Tequila Sorbet

Pineapple Tequila Sorbet Summer is in full effect here in San Diego, and strangely, it’s been quite humid.  This humidity doesn’t really compare to the many hot, damp summers spent in New Jersey, but  now, I’ve completely lost my tolerance to extreme weather conditions.  Any slight deviations from perfection seem to throw off my daily rhythms.  After spending two nights tossing and turning, I installed my little window air conditioner, and made a batch of this Pineapple Tequila Sorbet.  Freshly blended pineapple is flavored with an Aleppo chile, lime, and citrusy tequila.  After a short while in the ice cream maker, this flavorful puree is transformed into scoopable sunshine.  The color really is quite remarkable.  Cool, fresh and bright, one taste of this sorbet will surely banish any warm weather discomfort.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Kale and Avocado Summer Rolls

Spring Roll Making During San Diego’s June Gloom, the weather is rarely ideal for going to the beach.  Which makes me sad, because it’s around this time of the year that I start yearning for a beach day.  The beach is one of the main reasons why I moved from New Jersey to San Diego.  Each year while I was growing up, I would spend a week or two at my Aunt’s beach house on Long Beach Island (eating many of these).  It was one of my favorite times of the year.  So naturally, when it was time for me to move out on my own, I picked a city with easy beach access.

On the rare occasion in June when the sun decides to break through the marine layer, I immediate make plans to go to the beach.  I pack my bag with a book, iPad, iPhone, tanning oil (I am a New Jerseyite at heart), water and snacks, like these Kale and Avocado Summer Rolls.  Kale is marinated in a dressing of honey, lime, fish sauce, garlic and chile, then wrapped up with a fresh mix of carrot, cucumber, avocado, mint and cilantro.  These flavors are bold and bright.  Portable gourmet, this summer roll can easily stay in my bag for a few hours without worry of spoilage.

So it ends up that today is actually one of those rare beautiful days in June.  I’ve got my bag almost all packed up, so I’m going to finish here.  I’ll be on the beach enjoying a few of these tasty rolls.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Puesto’s Red Michelada

Puesto's Micheladas If you are currently on the hunt for that perfect cocktail for Memorial Day weekend, stop here.  I’ve got one for you.  This Red Michelada comes from one of my new favorite Mexican hot spots, Puesto.  The most basic micheladas are made with beer, hot sauce, lime and salt.  Puesto’s Red Michelada is made with a bold blend of beer, fresh tomato, tomato juice, roasted jalapeno, onion, orange juice, lime juice and hot sauce.  Finished with a chile-salt rim, this tall glass of Mexican deliciousness is spicy, savory and surprisingly refreshing.  Enjoy one of these Red Micheladas grillside while you soak up some gorgeous afternoon sun.  I know that’s what I’ll be doing this Memorial Day.

In addition to this spicy libation, the man and I enjoyed a number of other tasty treats at Puesto including a flight of tacos, shrimp ceviche and two frosty paletas.  Continue reading for the recipe plus a recap of the entire lunch.

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