Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus

Last week, I made these amazing beet burgers. Beets are lovely, aren’t they? I think beets are the most beautiful color in the whole world. But…I have to admit that I really hate to eat them plain. I’ve tried them in salads with goat cheese and soaked in butter and horseradish sauce. But my favorite beets are definitely those diced small and mixed well with other flavors.

As I was contemplating what to do with the lonely, leftover beet in my crisper, I suddenly remembered a batch of beet hummus Dave’s aunt had made at Christmas, and I immediately got excited.

This hummus is a little earthy and a little tangy, and full of gorgeous pink. Eat it with a huge handful of bright, raw vegetables and you will feel like you are on cloud nine.

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Stovetop Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)

Stovetop Elotes

A few weeks ago, a friend told me about this amazing way to eat corn on the cob.

At first, I was only half listening…unlike most people, I don’t get too excited when ears of corn start to overflow from farmer’s stands or grocery store aisles. It’s just corn.

But, as she told me about this corn, my ears perked up. You put mayonnaise on corn? What? (You know how I always like things that sound too weird to be true…)

I got just curious enough to buy a few ears and let them sit in the fridge for a week. But my grill is not currently at my house. And it’s always raining anyway. And mayonnaise on corn can’t be doing anyone any nutritional favors.

Finally, mostly in an effort not to waste the corn I had already bought, I decided to “grill” my corn on a cast-iron pan on the stovetop. As I licked the spoon after stirring together what turned out to be the. most. delicious! sauce in the whole entire world, I knew I would never be satisfied with corn any other way.

Make this corn. There are no more excuses. You must make elotes.

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Maple Coconut Granola

Maple Coconut Granola

Stop everything.

Make granola.

Have you ever wondered why your homemade granola doesn’t give you joy? Why you don’t eagerly look forward to throwing it into your yogurt every morning? I am willing to wager that it’s because you made it too complicated. And you didn’t use enough coconut. Coconut is the surprising key to everything.

This granola just fills me with nostalgia. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason, but it just brings me back to the afternoons I spent at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. Maybe it’s because there was always a chocolate chip Chewy bar waiting for me when I walked in the door after school…maybe it’s just because my grandparents were and are awesome, and so is this granola. I eat a cluster almost every time I walk by the container. And I have to admit that I am so greedy for this granola that I hide it from my preschooler. Sshh. Don’t tell.

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Avocado, Tomato, Egg Sandwiches

Avocado, Egg, Tomato Sandwiches

I think of this as my pregnant-lady lunch.

Because when you are pregnant and have a toddler, lunch must be tasty and ready in less than 5 minutes. And, you know, it should also have some good things in it, like protein and healthy fats and vegetables. Because…growing a human.

Eating healthy has been a struggle for me this pregnancy. I subsist largely on quick snacks like peanut butter crackers and Chobani yogurt, and then I end up neglecting my vegetables.

That’s why these open-face sandwiches make a perfect pregnant-lady lunch! Avocados are full of folate and potassium; tomatoes (whose nutrients are more fully absorbed together with fats) are full of lycopene and vitamins; and eggs are a great source of vegetarian protein!

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Baked Brie with Pumpkin Butter

Baked Brie with Pumpkin Butter

Let’s talk about really easy, elegant appetizers. Appetizers that look like they took a lot of work, but in fact, took you about 5 minutes. Appetizers that are amazing and yummy and full of butter and cheese. Like appetizers should be.

Because it’s appetizer season!

(Around our house, we readily agree that the only reason to be excited about the Superbowl is good food.)

This baked Brie is so simple and so delicious! It will be a huge hit at any party, whether you plan to eat it on the couch in front of a big TV or around a table with a group of girlfriends.

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Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktails

Happy New Year!

I meant to share this with you on New Year’s Eve. Appetizers, for me, are the essential New Year’s celebration food, and I wanted to throw your taste buds a little party.

Oh yes, I had all kinds of grand plans for our rockin’ New Year’s celebration…though grand is totally an exaggeration, because, to be honest, we were just tired this year. We just moved. Family holiday events, while fun, were exhausting. And Baby Girl is routinely forcing me to take naps at weird times.

Which meant that this easy shrimp cocktail was actually the only appetizer I managed to make for our little “celebration.” And we rang in the new year much the way we do any other midnight: me reading on the couch while Dave played a video game. *Cue noisemakers…*

But…at least this shrimp cocktail was jazzy and spicy! It certainly has a kick, even though our New Year’s was totally bland.

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Oatmeal Energy Bites

Oatmeal Energy Bites

Does this ever happen to you?:

Some time in September—because you are planning ahead—you diligently buy two bags of candy to give out at Halloween. (Naturally, you buy the good kinds, the chocolate kinds you actually like, because last year only four children and one group of ridiculous teenagers came to your door…and if there’s going to be leftover candy, you at least want to enjoy it, right?)

You carefully shove the two small bags of candy to the back of the tallest shelf in the pantry, and then you studiously ignore them for three weeks.

Then…one night, you open the Reese’s, because you are stressed, or emotional, or peckish…and before you know it, you have to go buy two whole new bags of Halloween candy.

And, to make matters worse, now you have awoken your sweet tooth, and it wants more candy!

After several days of an insatiable desire for dessert, I decided it was time to make a dessert I wouldn’t feel guilty eating, one that would even do a little good while it quenched my desire for Reese’s cups: peanut butter oatmeal balls.

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Pico de Gallo

Homegrown Pico de Gallo

I so want to tell you about how awesome this pico de gallo is, and how I grew some of the tomatoes and all of the green peppers.

But first, I have to tell you that while I was making this delicious, amazingly fresh summery salsa, my son was eating crayons.

CRAYONS! I cannot get the child to eat a fresh fruit or vegetable to save his life, but crayons are yummy. What!? And he was so sneaky about it, too, just sitting in his chair and pretending to color quietly whenever I poked my head in to look at him, and taking huge chunks out of yellow and green as soon as I turned back to chopping.

Motherhood, friends…motherhood. I don’t know what I’m doing.

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Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

I have never been a particularly “good” Southerner. Sure, technically I grew up in the South, but sweet tea and grits are lost on me. I used to literally wrinkle my nose when country music was playing. And I must admit that I hate biscuits. (Yikes…don’t look at me like that!)

Porching, now there is an activity I could get behind…if only I had a porch. Someday.

I went through a phase in high school in which I tried really hard to increase my Southern instincts and appreciation. The best thing that came out of that, besides finding out that customer service people really are nicer to girls who have a slight Southern drawl, was a small obsession with the restaurant Comfort.

Comfort is where I tried fried green tomatoes for the very first time. And despite not actually liking fried foods (again…bad Southerner), I loved them!

Since then, every time I see green tomatoes at a farmer’s market, I cannot resist the urge to buy them. But, inevitably, they end up ripening into normal, red tomatoes on the counter, because I can’t bring myself to fry them.

Well. No more!

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