Mini Pizza Buns

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It’s Friday!! Let the weekend begin! Are you hosting friends or family this weekend? Or are you bringing food to a potluck? I have the perfect appetizer recipe for you! You can throw it together in just a few short minutes. It also makes a tasty lighter meal with some salad on the side. Check the recipe at the end of this post, for the instructions on how to make these tasty, Mini Pizza Buns.

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Is it just me, or do you also crave greasy food when you’re cold? In past summers, I have worked at The Salad Bowl Greenhouses’ garden stand. On a side note, if you haven’t visited this local garden stand yet, make sure to do so next year (I’m talking to you Winnipegers!). They sell beautiful plants, and the owners are the kindest people, and such a joy to work for.

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Back to my story. At the garden stand we’re open through sunshine and rain. The awesome and awful part about this job is, that there is an ice cream shop and a Salisbury restaurant right close to it. On hot days, all I wanted to do was buy ice cream to cool off (and our boss definitely spoiled us with some cold treats sometimes). On cold days, however, when we would sit wrapped up in our blankets, sipping at our hot tea, all I wanted was Salisbury’s greasy yam fries.

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For years the employees at the garden stand have used the washroom at Salisbury, as the garden stand doesn’t have one. So, on cold days, I would always go and warm up my hands and face with the hand dryer in the washroom. Of course, that just made matters worse, as I would walk by all the people sitting with delicious, greasy food in their hands. On occasion, my co-worker and I would cave into our temptations and indulge in a platter of greasy yam fries.

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We are having a cold and cloudy fall day in Winnipeg today. Mini Pizza Buns anyone? I hope you try this recipe. Do you have any quick, go-to recipes? Please do share!

Cheers to a fun weekend! -Erika

Mini Pizza Buns
Yields 6
Easy and delicious appetizer!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 whole-wheat buns, cut in half
  2. 6 Tbsp. pizza sauce
  3. 12 slices peppered salami
  4. Grated mozzarella cheese
  5. Olive oil
  6. Pepper
  7. Basil (dried and fresh)
Instructions
  1. Spread one tablespoon of pizza sauce on all six buns.
  2. Top each with two slices of peppered salami.
  3. Add grated mozzarella cheese to taste, then drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
  4. Add dried basil and pepper to taste.
  5. Bake in toaster oven (or any other oven) at 400 degrees, until cheese is melted, and crust is golden brown.
  6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

The Best Summer Elote

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Today has been one of those days that started off with the great intention of checking a few things off my to-do list. Instead, it ended up being a day that was less productive than I had hoped for (to be fair, the goals that I set for myself are often unrealistic). I’m trying to learn that it’s OK to have some of those days, and not beat myself up over it too much. So here I am trying to push myself to get this blog post up before the day is over, and trying to remind myself of the things that I DID get done today. 😉 At least I have my true little companion (AKA my little pup Luna) beside me, keeping me company. She’s been resting all day since she got spayed two days ago, and seems to be hurting still.

On a bright note, I’m sharing my favourite way to eat corn on the cob with you tonight. Trust me, you want to stick around for this.

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This recipe brings back memories of my family eating corn on the cob on hot summer days, accompanied with a glass of cold milk. Although I don’t drink milk with my corn anymore, those two used to go hand in hand for me.

I remember attending Summer Bible School during several summers as a kid, at which we usually got corn on the cob as one of our meals. They were always served with butter and salt only. As delicious as this combo is, I remember always missing the way my family ate them, covered in delicious ingredients! I mean, of course we ate them with just butter and salt too some times. However, I will still always prefer them loaded with a medley of flavours!  

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So, next time you are in the mood for some corn on the cob (maybe a few more times before the precious summer comes to an end!?), why not try topping them with the following ingredients:

  • Start by spreading them with mayonnaise (or you could use butter if you don’t care for mayonnaise).
  • Then top with: seasoned salt, onion powder, paprika, dill (dried or fresh), and Parmesan cheese (or any other freshly grated cheese). 
  • Play around with it: you could try smoked paprika, add garlic powder/salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, etc. etc. etc.

Here is a basic method for cooking corn on the cob. There seem to be many different ways of doing it, but this is one of the ways.

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It’s really that simple. It takes longer to prepare each corn on the cob than if you’re only using butter and salt, but every bite will be a sweet reminder that it was worth it!

Oh – and if you’re day wasn’t quite as productive as you had hoped, don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re not alone in this. Plus, tomorrow is a fresh start. 🙂

Happy weekending! – Erika

Refreshing Avocado Salad Dip

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Good gracious today is a warm day! It feels like summer never left us! It’s actually 29 degrees outside! Why am I sitting inside writing this when I should be at the beach!? 😉

You are in luck though, because I have a super refreshing avocado-salad-dip recipe to share with you. I made this recipe a few times recently, and it’s perfect for those hot days when you don’t feel like eating anything warm.

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Lets talk about this beautiful, rich, and creamy green fruit, called the avocado. Not only is it seriously delicious, but it also has many health benefits.

According to Authority Nutrition, avocados are highly nutritious, as they contain 20 different vitamins and minerals. Avocados are high in “heart-healthy” monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as fiber, and contain more potassium than bananas. They can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels, are loaded with powerful antioxidants that can protect the eyes, and may help relieve symptoms of arthritis (in the form of extract). The fat in them can also aid the absorption of the nutrients found in plant foods.

To top it off, apparently one study showed that people who eat avocados are healthier than those people that don’t. Who knows if it’s true, but if eating a fruit that tastes darn delicious also makes me healthier, hey, I won’t complain! It pretty much sounds like a win-win situation to me!

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I grew up eating guacamole with warmed up tortillas whenever we would have a steak BBQ. If there ever wasn’t any guacamole, the meal felt incomplete to me. My love for avocados and guacamole is never ending. And now, of course, I have set myself up for craving my parents’ food (sigh).

This avocado dip is a twist on the Mexican Guacamole. Traditionally, guacamole only has a few ingredients: Avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and some lime juice.

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I added more spices to this dip, including smoked paprika, which gives it that delicious smoky flavor. I swapped the traditional tomatoes and jalapenos for crispy cucumbers and yellow bell peppers. But what really brings this dip to the next level is the mozzarella cheese, and of course, the bacon. BACON. I’ll just let you sit with this word for a while. Yum, bacon… bacon…

…you get the point! 

Serve this recipe with your favorite chips, rice crackers, or roll it up in a warm tortilla. I have also tried adding whole wheat pasta to the dip. This makes a great side dish for grilled chicken or steak, or makes a light pasta lunch on its own. 

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You really want some of this dip right now, don’t you? I can see your head nodding in agreement. Well, I’d suggest you go make some! It would be time well spent, I mean… you’re probably procrastinating while reading this right now anyways, right? 😉 I am only allowing myself to say that, because I know ALL about procrastinating! The struggle is real, you guys! 

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Happy Friday! Let the weekend begin!

Cheers – Erika

Refreshing Avocado Salad Dip
Serves 4
This dip is so refreshing, and so flavorful, you won't want to stop eating it! Serve it with some chips for the perfect spring afternoon snack!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 large avocados
  2. 1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
  3. 1/2 english cucumber, diced
  4. Handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
  5. 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  6. 1/2 large lemon, juiced
  7. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  9. 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
  10. black pepper to taste
  11. cayenne pepper to taste
  12. 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  13. 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  14. 1/4 cup bacon bits
Instructions
  1. Mash the avocados with a fork.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just mixed.
  3. Serve with with chips or savory crackers.
Notes
  1. You may add whole wheat rotini noodles to turn it into a side dish salad.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Hummus a la Mexicana with Garlic Baguette Chips

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Here’s a quick and easy hummus recipe, which is really enjoyed in our home. I guess I should say that I’m a big fan of hummus. There’s just something about dipping fresh and warm naan bread into that creamy dip that is so satisfying.

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I love playing around with flavors in food! Other times, I’m probably just trying to come up with a creative way of getting rid of ingredients before they go bad. I’m not sure which of the two inspired this recipe. Probably the first. 

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Now I have to say that hummus will be even better if you’re outdoors. Something magical happens when you eat food while out in nature, with friends, after being active. Seriously, food always taste better this way. I remember sitting on these big rocks by the river, eating store-bought hummus with our friends, while out on a five-day canoe trip. Some time after the trip I bought what I thought was the same hummus, and it just didn’t compare. So if you’re new to hummus, perhaps it is time to plan an outdoor activity and bring it along as a snack, and it’s guaranteed to blow your mind! 😉  

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I decided to take the traditional hummus dish, and infuse it with some Mexican flavors. I used Rajas Rojas peppers in this recipe, which can be found in Mexican and South American grocery stores. You could also replace them with canned roasted red peppers, for a less spicy version (although the flavors will be different).

Usually I eat this dish with warm naan bread, but I decided to try and make some garlic and paprika baguette chips instead. You may also use it as a veggie dip. ENJOY! 

Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

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Hummus a la Mexicana with Garlic Baguette Chips
Mexican inspired hummus, with crunchy garlic baguette chips for dipping!
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For the hummus
  1. 1 can chick peas (drain and preserve liquids)
  2. 5 tbsp. of the preserved liquids
  3. 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  4. Juice of one large lemon
  5. 1/4 cup tahini sauce
  6. 1 large clove of garlic
  7. 2-3 slices of red pickled jalapeños (Rajas Rojas)
  8. 1 1/2 tsp. of the red pickled jalapeños juice
  9. 1/4 tsp. paprika
  10. 1 pinch of cumin
  11. 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  12. Salt and pepper to taste
For the Baguette Chips
  1. 1 fresh baguette loaf
  2. 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 tsp. paprika
  4. 1 clove of garlic, pressed
Instructions
  1. For the hummus, add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend until creamy. Pour into a deep dish, garnish with paprika, whole chick peas, and extra virgin olive oil.
  2. For the baguette chips, cut the bread into .5 cm thick slices. In a bowl, combine oil, pressed garlic, and paprika. Use a basting brush to apply the olive oil mixture to each slice of bread. Toast in toaster oven until golden brown and crispy.
Notes
  1. Add more or less hot peppers, depending on how spicy you want the hummus to be.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Pico de Gallo for Cinco de Mayo!

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Hello to a new week! First off I have to say how encouraged I have been by so many of you this past week with this whole blogging thing. Thank you to each one of you! I look forward to sharing many things with you!

Only one more sleep left till Cinco de Mayo, which brings me to share one more Mexican recipe with you: Pico de Gallo, which is basically like a fresh chunky salsa. This recipe pairs really well with steak, flour tortillas, and guacamole. It is also very enjoyable as an appetizer along with some totopos (fried corn tortilla chips).

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Translated, ‘Pico de Gallo’ means rooster’s beak. It is a fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onions, chile serrano or jalapeños, key lime juice, salt and pepper, cilantro, and I like to add a little bit of olive oil to give it a smoother texture. This recipe is really quick and easy to make. Definitely a must have for a hot summer day! And yes, I definitely feel summer in the air. It’s coming, it’s really coming! Can you feel it?

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While we’re on the Mexican theme, meet my spiky friend Doña Lucrecia. By the way, Lucrecia could’ve well been my name, as my mom used to think of naming her daughter that. So it was only fair to name one of my cacti by that name.

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Are any of you going to be celebrating Cinco de Mayo? If so, feel free to leave a comment on how you celebrate it! Also, if you have a different way of making Pico de Gallo, please share! Happy Mexican food making to you!

Pico de Gallo
A delicious fresh Mexican salsa, perfect for a hot summer day!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 jalapeños
  2. 1/4 medium onion, minced
  3. 2 large tomatoes, deseeded
  4. Salt & pepper to taste
  5. 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  6. 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
  7. 1 key lime
  8. 8 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
  9. 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Begin by stacking the corn tortillas and cutting them into triangular pieces. Fry them in preheated oil, on medium-high heat, until golden brown, and crunchy. Lay them on a paper-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Salt them to taste and set aside.
  2. Cut the jalapeños into smalled sized cubes and place them in a bowl. Remember that you get to decide how spicy they will be. If you cut them lengthwise (it works well to stand them tall for cutting), and remove the veins, they will not be spicy. If you cut them in circles, cutting through the seeds, they will be a lot spicier.
  3. Continue mincing the onion and the cilantro, and add them to the bowl along with the olive oil and the key lime juice.
  4. Deseed the tomatoes if they are very juicy, and cut them into small sized cubes. Combine everything, adding salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some more cilantro.
Notes
  1. The amount of the fresh ingredients is very flexible, according to your preference. You can't go wrong here. This is just a guideline.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/