Sweet Corn & Zucchini Hash + an Animal Lover's Giveaway!

I'm hosting a great giveaway today...scroll down to find out about it and enter!

I have arrived in Las Vegas! I'm blogging from my king-sized bed (which feels very empty without Shaun to share it with!) and my computer is reading 2:51AM Eastern Standard Time, though it's only 11:51PM here. But it feels like almost 3AM for sure! I landed around 3PM, checked into the MGM Grand and darted right out to meet my cousin Mona (who lives in Vegas!) for an early dinner at Border Grill (super duper yum!). Immediately following, I went to a cocktail party followed by another dinner at Strip Steak (I did more of a tasting off of other people's plates for this one). So far, a successful trip!

Meanwhile, I have a recipe to share with you. I threw this together so quickly on Friday evening from ingredients that were on the verge of going bad in my refrigerator. And I'm soooo happy that I did. It's so easy, so fast and so delicious. Seriously. 

I am definitely rocking a full-blown, four alarm fresh corn obsession right now. Causes of said obsession may include a) my craving for all things summer, b) its ease of use and abundance, and/or c) its simplistic deliciousness. It's probably all of the above. 

 

This is one of the easiest side dishes I've ever whipped up. I'm fairly positive that though this dish serves around 2-3 people, I could easily devour this entire thing on my own. And I just might have.
Sweet Corn & Zucchini Hash
3 ears of fresh corn, husked & kernels removed
1 zucchini, diced
2 tbsp parmesean cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes. 
Add the corn (with kernels cut off of the cob). Cook until the corn is tender and toasted, turning a bit brown from carmelization.
Mix in the parmesean cheese. Devour immediately.

 

The Giveaway!

Ok, now for the really fun part. I'm so psyched today because I love hosting giveaways on TAA. And what makes this one even more awesome is that it's sponsored by my talented artist cousin, Alyson! With a love for and specialty in animal art, Alyson has generously offered to giveaway a custom pet portrait to a very lucky TAA reader! And if you don't have a pet? Pick out a favorite animal or childhood pet! I absolutely love this idea, and I would be all over this if I had a pet of my own. Alyson has provided some samples here, but you can see her full gallery at Alyson's Animal Art.



Here's the rundown:
What your playing for: One custom 9x12 pet portrait in your choice of media (colored pencil, pencil, soft pastel, oil pastel or conti)

To enter: Simply leave a comment telling Alyson and me something fun about your pet/your family's pet or your favorite animal

When: It starts now!

Ends: Friday 6/17 at noon EST

Logistics: This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only

For extra entries:

1) Follow me on Twitter (@theavidappetite) and Tweet this giveaway, leaving me a separate comment telling me that you did so.

2) Like The Avid Appetite on Facebook and leave me yet another separate comment telling me that you did so (or if you already do, leave a separate comment with that too!).


A winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday evening. Once a winner is selected, please email me at theavidappetite@gmail.com to discuss the logistics of your prize...be sure to have your favorite animal photo ready!

I hope you'll enter to win this one of a kind, custom prize!!

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?