Pinterest and Toasted Sweet Corn + Avocado Salsa

So last night I kind of got annoyed by something. It happens.

More frequently than I'd like. I'm working on it.

I kept hearing about Pinterest. Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest. How everyone is obsessively pinning their lives away. Heck, even some of my own blog posts were pinned on there!

Of course I wanted to start pinning. I had requested an invite like...at least a month ago after so many bloggers were posting about their love for the site/service. {Can we pause here for the obnoxiousness of having to 'request an invite' to use a website? Really?} But I never received anything. Not a word. Was I not Pin-worthy?! Suddenly I was filled with self-doubt, anxiety and rapidly creeping into the depths of self-loathing {ok, that might be mildly overdramatic...}

Anyhow, last night I finally re-requested an invite and Tweeted my disappointment on being excluded by Pinterest. Low and behold, I woke up this morning to an invite. Perhaps my email address went unnoticed. Perhaps I blacked out and never entered it the first time. But the point is that now I'm finally on Pinterest and can't wait to start spending time that I don't have on there! Weeee! Are any of you on Pinterest? Anyone with a similar experience? If you are on, are you liking it? In truth, I am super excited to get started catalogging all of my loves and finding new, fabulous things. And to be included with the cool kids, of course.

{I hope you are catching my sarcasm here} :)

Anyway.

As a side note, I'm starting to get obsessed with summer foods. Particularly salsa. But not necessarily the traditional kind. After I devoured some of the fresh fruit salsa that I made last week (and used the rest in a smoothie! I will show you soon!), it was like a salsa-driven fire was lit inside of me and it's all I can think about. Salsa, salsa, salsa.

So I decided to test one out by combining some fresh, summery ingredients. First in the mix...fresh corn! Oh how I love thee. Next up? My new love...avocado! I'll admit it. I hadn't worked with avocados in the past because I was afraid of the giant pits in the center. I mean, really, what is up with those?

I'm so glad I took the plunge. This salsa/dip is so flavorful, so fresh and just all around...dare I say it...perfection. Last night I even baked up some whole wheat tortilla chips so that I could guiltlessly have some.

 Toasted Sweet Corn + Avocado Salsa
2 ears of corn
2 ripe avocados, diced
1/4 C red onion, finely diced
1 tomato, diced, with seeds discarded
1 lime, juiced
1/2 large lemon, juiced
kosher salt
pepper
olive oil

Remove the husks from the ears of corn and cut off the kernels. I placed the corn standing up in a large bowl so as to catch the kernels. Next, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add the corn. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook over medium heat until the kernels start to get browned, toasted and carmelized, about 7-10 minutes, tossing frequently.

Remove corn from heat and place in a bowl. Place the bowl of corn in the refrigerator so that it cools while you prep the other ingredients. Dice up your tomato...

...your onion

...and your avocado (I removed the flesh from the skin with a big spoon, then cut it up).

Place tomato, onion, avocado, and lemon and lime juices in a mixing bowl. Gently toss together, making sure that the avocado gets lots of the juice on it -- this will keep it from browning! And make it all taste fresh and wonderful to boot.

Pour into a small serving dish and enjoy with tortilla chips or pita chips!

Delish.

This salsa held up for a couple of days without browning or getting soggy. I hope you'll try it!

So what do you think? What's your favorite dish with avocado? With fresh corn?

 

Fresh Fruit Salsa + Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips

Last night I had a fun dinner with some great friends at BLT Burger. Let's just say that while the company was tops, the whole burger-fries-shake thing didn't exactly fit into my 'get in shape for summer' plans that I've been working pretty hard on. But it was delicious. Let's not discount that.

Luckily, fresh fruit is in abundance. It's everywhere nowadays, and I wonder how I ever made it through those cold winter months without berries and mangos and all that good stuff. When I loaded up most of my shopping cart with fruit and vegetables this past week, it didn't occur to me how I would actually use all of these gorgeous goodies before they went bad. And then an idea hit me.

Why not combine them into a gorgeous, refreshing, light and healthy summer salsa? One that would utilize these beauties and be on my 'get fit' plan to boot. So I picked up some whole wheat pitas too  to whip up some baked chips. You know, so I'd have a vehicle for the fruit. I think we found a winner here.

The best part about this salsa is that you can literally use any fruits that you want and it couldn't be easier. There's no cooking, only chopping and gently mixing. If I can do it, so can you. Trust me. Have I ever steered you wrong? I have a feeling I just found my new favorite summer dish. So anyone who invites me over for a party, beware. This will probably be making an appearance.

Fresh Fruit Salsa + Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips
1 C strawberries, diced
1 mango, diced
1 kiwi, diced
1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
2 whole wheat pitas
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp granulated sugar
cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Get your chop on! Chop up that mango...

 

...the kiwi (have you ever seen a more beautiful color??)

...the strawberries

 

And gently mix together with the chopped basil.

 

Squeeze the lemon and lime juice over the fruit mixture.

 

Gently toss together once more and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the 'chips'. Cut up the pita bread into triangles. Lay on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (I used a very light hand here, since the fruit does most of the flavoring!). Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Serve the salsa in a sweet dip bowl or ramekin.

 

It's even better if you let it chill for a few hours so the flavors can meld and it gets all yummy together. The fruit flavors are so perfect together while the basil and citrus brings the perfect brightness and freshness to the dish.

Eat up!

So what do you think? What summer fruits are you most excited for this season? What are you planning to make with them?

Mexican Crema Salsa & Whole Wheat Chips

I’m in a Mexicali mood this week, starting with fish tacos and ending with beef enchiladas which I think I finally perfected last night (after many, many attempts...more on that later). And today I have some tips for using up the rest of that Mexican crema from the fish tacos. Or even if you didn’t, here’s another aha! use for this delicious sauce that will inject flavor into an old fave. I’m a huge fan of adding just a bit of sour cream to chunky salsa for a thicker dip that feels a little more special than merely pouring salsa out of a jar and into a bowl. After our delightful fish tacos, Shaun had the brilliant idea to add a bit of crema to the salsa in lieu of sour cream. Bingo. Quick, easy and super flavorful. Oh, and I promise, it tastes much better than it looks.

 

Mexican Crema Salsa & Chips
1 tbsp Mexican crema, recipe here
1 C chunky salsa
2 whole wheat tortillas
olive oil
kosher salt

Cut up the tortillas, first in half and then quartered from there, producing small triangle shapes. These will be the chips. In a skillet, heat a bit of oil, enough to cover th ebottom of the pan. Add the tortilla triangles and cook, turning until crisped. Be careful to watch these closely as they burn easily and quickly. Once appropriately crisped, dry on a paper towl or wire rack and sprinkle with kosher salt. In a mixing bowl, combine the crema and salsa, adding as much crema as you’d like, to taste. Personally, I like mine creamy, so the more crema the better.

Note: the chips will not be as crispy as if you fry them. They will firm up and be a perfect vehicle for the crema salsa, however, they will not quite be Tostito texture.

So there you have it - a simple way to use up already-had ingredients for a little twist on a classic favorite. Gotta love using up ingredients that you already have on hand to make a completely new and equally delectable dish. Just goes to show that a little bit goes a long way when it comes up upping the ante on some classic dishes. And what I'd like to know is, do you add anything special to any dishes to turn it up a notch? Do dish!