Guacamole

This was one of the best bowls of guacamole I’ve ever made / eaten. I would have taken a picture of the guac, had Andrew and I not devoured it. And I really mean devoured.

I’ve always made a pretty good bowl of guacamole, if I do say so myself. Lots of people think cilantro is the key, but I’m not a big fan of the flavour it adds to my version of guacamole. I use soy sauce instead of salt and serrano chili paste to spice things up a little. A few weeks ago, my newly Canadian friend Damla and I went to my favourite grocery store and I bought way too much feta. Andrew and I have been putting it on and in everything. It’s made a delicious addition to Anew’s sandwiches and I’ve been eating lots of tasty tomato salads. All this to say, I finally thought to add feta to a bowl of guacamole!  How did this not come to me sooner!?

This was so delicious, I had to run out and get more avocados for our BBQ! This time I took some pictures, before we dug in! This massive bowl was also devoured.

Devon’s Epic Guacamole (the party size)

5 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and mashed to desired smoothness
juice from 2 limes
2 tbsp. serrano chili paste (more if you like the heat)
4 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cup crumbled feta
Salt and Pepper

Mash together the lime, chili paste, garlic and onions.  Mix in the tomatoes and feta, add salt and pepper to taste!  Voila!  Enjoy!

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Sweet sweet potato salad

I had a bad day and I wanted to eat it away.  I came home and declared: “I want French fries!”, to which Andrew replied: “Really?  Even after eating out for the past few days?”  Sad, he was right, we needed something healthy and light, but we had no groceries.  I searched through the fridge and found green onions and a couple sweet potatoes in the pantry.  Now what?  A little google search and a skim through 6 recipes, this is what I came up with:

Sweet Sweet Potato Salad

You have to try this dish!  It was fresh and light and surprisingly satisfactory in the comfort food department.

Sweet Sweet Potato Salad (a mix of recipes from a few places)

Dressing
¼ cup avocado oil (or light oil)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated ginger (fresh of course)
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup chopped green onions

Salad
3 sweet potatoes (1 pound-ish), peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
2 tbsp. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
(I’m sure pecans would be delicious too, if you can eat that kind of thing)

Mix all the dressing ingredients and set aside.  Steam the sweet potatoes until tender (not too soft or you will be eating mashed sweet potato salad).  Rinse in cold water and ice cubes (some people call this blanching), drain.

Mix everything together.  Enjoy!

The fountain and chicpea curry

Munich is full of beautiful fountains, I think.  At this time of year, they are all covered and carefully protected from the winter.  On one of my walks around Munich I came upon a fountain that had not been covered and on closer inspection, was left on!  Everyday I walk past this mysterious fountain and each day it reveals a little more of itself.  In a sense, this is how I feel about Germany, everyday I see a little bit more, I talk a little bit more, I explore a little bit more, I find something more to love about being here.

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Aside from my walks and fountain hunting, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking.  I’ve never been a fan of leftovers, I’m very picky about what I will eat for days in a row, so I’ve been racking my brain for things I can make and eat over and over again.  One recipe that came to mind was Chicpea Curry.  Andrew gets an itchy throat when he eats legumes, so I don’t eat chicpeas very often when I’m home.  My cousin Briana taught me this recipe several years ago during one of her Montreal visits.  It’s perfect for warming up and it gets a little spicier everyday!

Chicpea Curry with goats cheese

Chicpea curry 
What you’ll need:
1 medium diced onion, olive oil, chopped garlic, 2 or 3 tomatoes cut into chunks, one can of chicpeas, curry powder, S&P

Cook the onions in olive oil, add 3-4 tbsp. of curry powder and garlic, stir until fragrant.  Add tomatoes and a bit of water.  Stir allowing the tomatoes to break down a bit, then add the chicpeas.  Bring to a boil, the sauce should not be too liquidy, add S&P to taste.  Enjoy over rice or quinoa.  I added goats cheese because I had some and it was very spicy!  Enjoy!

This recipe is so fast and simple!  Great for travel and a small kitchen ;)

Boeuf or beef, maybe even rundvlees

I have a beautiful, black French oven.  (she was also featured/pictured in the New Years post)  I used to think she was Dutch, but Le Creuset calls her French.  She lives in a quiet, occasionally used cabinet under my orange microwave.  Every once in a while she comes out so that we can slowly cook something comforting together.  Her favorite dish to cook is boeuf bourguignon (now I understand it’s because she’s French).  She loves blending all the colours and flavors together into a magnificent meal.  What we love about this recipe is ignoring all the measurement instructions from books and just trusting our senses to let it all come together (really my senses, not the pots); the results are always delicious.  Sometimes the tomato is highlighted, other times the sweetness of the wine comes out, or the pepper adds the slightest bit of heat and the salt makes the beef melt in your mouth.

For the sake of the post I will put some approximate measurements, but please try to let loose, I promise it’s worth it.

Boeuf Bourguignon
What you’ll need:
Olive oil, S&P
1 can of button mushrooms (I’ve never seen these fresh, but I imagine they don’t grow in a can) OR a pint of white mushrooms
3 lbs. beef stewing cubes OR rump, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 strips bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. gf flour or corn starch (mixed into a little water)
3 c. red wine
2 c. chicken broth
1 bay leaf (I’m still not sure what flavor this adds, but it’s in all the recipes I’ve looked up)
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 bag of pearl onions, peeled OR 1 large onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high in heavy pot or French / Dutch oven. Brown mushrooms.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Season beef with salt and pepper.  In batches, brown beef, 2 to 3 minutes per batch, adding a bit of oil as needed, transfer to plate.  Cook the bacon over medium heat, once brown add tomato paste; cook, stirring, 30 seconds.  Add flour and mix.  Return beef to pot; add wine, broth, bay leaf, and garlic.  Bring to a boil.
Cover the pot and put it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.  Add carrots and onions and cook until meat is very tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more, add mushrooms 15 minutes before end of cooking.  Serve with rice or quinoa or potatoes.  Enjoy!

Boeuf Bourguignon with wild rice

P.S.  “Rundvlees” is the word for ‘beef’ in Dutch