Creamy Avocado Dressing

A cool and creamy avocado dressing with tangy buttermilk, fresh cilantro and lime juice along with some spicy jalapeno pepper.

 

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Ingredients
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 small jalapeno*
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk**
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (completely optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Puree everything in a blender until smooth. Store in fridge and finish within a few days.

* Leave the seeds in for more heat or remove them for less.
** Use more buttermilk to make it thinner or less to make it thicker.

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Summer Salad 1: corn and chickpea fiesta salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette

corn & chickpea fiesta salad - ateaspoonofhappiness.com

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups corn (fresh, frozen, canned….whatever you prefer, but if you’re using canned corn make sure to drain and rinse it)

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about a 1 pound container)

1 green pepper, diced

1 small red onion, finely diced

1 English cucumber, chopped

Dressing:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

4 tbsp lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a big bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and stir until everything is mixed well.
  2. Refrigerate until serving or at least for a half an hour to let the flavors blend.

Manage Your Time Like a Budget

 

Manage Your Time Like a Budget

We all have a limited amount of time to work with, just like our money is finite. If you think in terms of a “time budget,” you may be able to use your time better and enjoy your life more.

Dave Lavinsky gives an excellent example on the Growthink blog: You’re at the grocery, it’s the last week of the month, and the food in your cart will bring you right up to your $400 a month budget. But then you see something on the way to the checkout that you might want, that might taste good or be on sale. Should you go for it? No! Stay within your budget or trade something in your cart for the other item. Lavinsky says:

Your time budget is the same way. When it’s 4:55 and you’ve committed to stop working and go home at 5:00 but there’s some nagging task you really want to knock out but would take 30 minutes — DON’T BUY IT. Don’t do it today. Do it tomorrow or some other day.

Go home and enjoy your life. Do something fun or relaxing and stay within your time budget. It can probably wait until later, just like that last-minute item at the store.

Similarly, the next time something’s calling out to distract you or waste your time, just remember that you’re on a budget.

How to Manage Time Like You’d Manage a Budget | Growthink

Healthy Lemon Loaf Cake

 

The feeling of spring is in the air.  I feel it, and I can’t wait for the warmer days ahead.   This means I need to eat a bit lighter as the clothes get a bit skimpier.  I hate saying no to dessert.  Well of course you know that.  I have a blog devoted to desserts.

I hate the feeling of depriving myself so as I prepare to wear my cute tiny dresses and swimsuit this summer, I need to still feel like myself.  So I have started playing around with new recipes that are a bit lighter.  This cake is one of them but it is so delish you won’t even know its light.

The base of it is olive oil and greek yogurt (yep no butter or sour cream or buttermilk in this baby).  This was so tasty and full of tart lemon flavor that I had to remind myself that the only way it is bad for me is if I overindulge and eat the whole loaf!  

So I guess in addition to creating some healthier recipes for desserts, I also need to practice so level of self control.

Healthy Lemon Loaf Cake

Ingredients
For the Cake
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1 cup of honey or maple syrup)
3 whole large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Lemon Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoon milk or fresh lemon juice for more lemon flavor
Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, granulated sugar, lightly beaten eggs, greek yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon extract.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture while whisking together until well combined.
Add lemon cake batter to a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and bake in oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted in the center and comes out clean (mine baked in about 52 minutes).  Let cool for 10 minutes then remove from the loaf pan to finish cooling.
Once the cake has cooled completely, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and milk or lemon juice and pour over the cake.  Let the icing set and then enjoy!

边走边看边吃

说签证

鬼使神差的随朋友一起申请了美国签证,波折算不上,但是认真谨慎还是必须的。热爱旅游的我,从马拉松训练中学到,a great journey start with one single step 的心态。就这样每个签证无论多么麻烦,都无所谓了!文件准备充分,去消费怎么可能不同意嘛。所以大家不要觉得因为签证难就打消出去看看的念头哦。

看大海

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半个海边长大的人,从小爱看海,清爽潮湿的带着淡淡海腥味的海风,吹拂头发、面颊和身体的每一处,如同做瑜伽一样,身心全都软下来。

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                                                                                                                 (转自互联网)

翻着过往的照片,发现每一次行走我都无意的选择了有海的地方,不知道是北京的冬天太冷太长,还是潜意识里,没有海的地方就不是度假之选。夏威夷的2月算是冬天,25度左右,早晚有些微凉。这里的海不比东南亚那么平静,波兰汹涌,难怪是冲浪的发源地和冲浪爱好者的天堂。著名的Jaw (超过30M的大浪)在Maui毛伊岛靠近去Hana的路上,大清早你就能看到无数个小点漂在海面,等着最完美的浪来冲爽一把。

曾在巴厘岛尝试过冲浪,可是没想到我如此糟糕,很快膝盖上的皮就因为与浪板蜡的摩擦没了,只好下次尝试。于是第一次体验了夏威夷大浪的汹涌。当我高兴的看着白花花的潮水拥簇过来,准备乘风破破浪时,我却失去平衡被冲打的招架不来。几次尝试下来倒果然是很好的锻炼,浑身酸痛不说,还有浪花重打的头昏眼花。

跳飞机

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说英雄点是跳飞机,因为我决定去的,没人逼我。但是真心话是,被跳飞机,因为我没有执行跳的动作,背上的帅锅跳的,我是个挂在他身前的木偶,因为被跳的是个帅锅,忍了!嘿嘿!

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出去的瞬间,我怕的闭上眼睛,可是有强迫自己睁开眼睛。因为是第一次跳伞,所以就是12000英尺(3600米)的高度,在5分钟里有大约45秒的自由“飞”,飞的感觉并不轻盈,一直有强大的阻力托着我,所以也不会觉得那么急速下降。然后降落伞打开,慢慢的降落俯瞰Oaho的整个东海岸线,海因为不同深度及植被而折射出各自精彩的蓝色,难以言表的美。

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在400米高处,身后的教练开始借助风力扭转方向,让我想起小时候的轮椅,给我阵阵晕眩与恶心的感觉,些许不爽。但是很快的我们就准备落地了,帅哥技术非常好,我们的落地轻盈稳健。但是我的心确继续纠了20分钟,不知道我是兴奋或是惊恐过度,难以形容的感觉。我没有选择空中拍照或摄像,因为价格是150-200刀,大于等于跳伞价格,而对我来说体验比照片来的更珍贵。

吃八方

对我来说,行走的最大乐趣之一就是吃。有人吃是为了活着,我是活着就是为了吃的那种,别见笑,我是认真的。夏威夷算是小规模的旧金山,历史舞台各种洗牌后,中国人,菲律宾人,美国人,日本人,韩国人,波利尼西亚人的祖先先后在这宝地扎根后,也让这里的美食百变多样,还有很多融合菜式fusion food.

推荐一:Helena‘s Hawaiian Food

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12小时飞机以后,因为18小时的时差,出了机场是中午12点多,按照计划租车去我期待的夏威夷菜。人生一大乐事就是品尝新菜式。Helena’s Hawaii Food(http://helenashawaiianfood.com/)于1946年创建,到现在已经有60多年的历史的老字号。走进饭店我有点小吃惊,跟国内的老字号相比,这里没有华丽的吊灯,没有实木桌椅,有的一份干净朴实。饭馆的规模也是一个小食堂的感觉,有20-30个人的座位,将近两点的光景,落座的人还是不少,有黄种人,白种人,棕色人,还有几个美国大兵,穿着我经常在伊朗战争新闻里的制服。

言归正传,晒晒战利品:

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这里点的都是最受欢迎的美味,但是因为我不是食肉爱好者所以我的最爱是Lomi Salmon, Long Rice Chicken。

推荐二:Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

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很久以前就听朋友说美国四处游走的食品车,终于可以一睹风貌。东北海岸线上有很多大蒜爆大虾的卡车(shrimp trucks), 环岛一周终于找到最出名的Giovanni’s shrimp truck. 听说最早是意大利人Giovanni开创的,经历了2-3年后,生意没有太大起色,于是他就生意卖了。买了他生意的美国人保留了他的品牌可是蓬勃发展了这里的生意,来这里吃虾的人络绎不绝。如果你爱海鲜,爱大蒜,那一定要去试试!

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推荐三:Liliha Bakery

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这里是喜甜食同学的天堂,一个个胖嘟嘟的泡芙顶着不同颜色的小帽子,惹人喜爱。这个24小时的甜品店(周一休息),据说每天要卖4800到7200个泡芙,生意好的吓人哦。最有名的是coco puffs,cream puffs,不是典型的美国甜点甜的受不了,这里是香甜不腻。可是sweet tooth的同学还是要把住自己的嘴,毕竟黄油还是很多的,卡路里大大的。Smile with tongue out

推荐四:Fish Market’s Oyster Shooters

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先来张照片秀秀这浸在西红柿酱里面的牡蛎,绝世美味啊。Oyster Shooter可以翻译成“牡蛎一口干”吧,这属于典型的酒吧小食,跟朋友喝个酒,再来两个“牡蛎一口干”应该会是一个享受的傍晚。牡蛎非常新鲜,所以完全没有任何海腥性味儿,加上西红柿,芥末,辣椒汁跟柠檬汁调的酱汁,与牡蛎的鲜美嫩滑一起,绝配了!

其实还有非常多的美食,这里就不一一推荐了,相信只要有张好吃的嘴,酒神不怕巷子深。

说旅行

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很喜欢马克吐温的一句话:旅行是偏见,偏执跟狭隘的致命法(“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.)。每一次行走都是不同的体验,千里之行,始于足下,地理位置的不同,风景的迥异,人文的精彩,美食的变换等等,让我希望更多的出去走走看看,在路上丰富充实并发现自己。忽然想起西游记里面的歌词:敢问路在何方,路在脚下。

Yun Nan Style: Fried Beans

昨晚小云南的一聚非常欢乐。可是臭小子从饭桌到回家的路上一直念念不忘Fried beans. 无奈无人响应他的馋虫,最后他只能咽下口水了。

搜罗网上云南菜的做法,终于找到原来是叫酥红豆,回头准备试试能不能做成功。

记下菜谱与回头与臭小子分享。

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Ingredient:

Red Kidney Beans:250G

Starch:2 TBS 

Salt:1 Ts

Pepper powder:1/4 TS

Instruction:

1、Soak kidney beans for 2 hours, untill soften. Boild in the water with 1/2 Teaspoon salt for 15 mins.

2、Get the beans out of water, dry a bit, then stir the starch in to cover the beans.

3、Heat the oil in the pan, fry the beans till goden, then take them out.

4、Sprinkle salt and pepper, cool and serve.

Vegan Mediterranean Rice Salad

First off, you’ll need to cook your rice. This can be done in advance if you like, even the day before.

1½ cups long grain brown rice (I used brown jasmine rice)
3 cups cold water
½ tsp. salt

Rinse  rice until water runs clear.
Place rice and water in a pot and bring to a boil.
Add salt, cover and simmer on low-medium for about 50 minutes (or until rice is done).
Fluff rice gently with a fork and set aside to cool at room temperature.

Next, chop your veggies:

2 cups spinach leaves – washed, stemmed and chopped
(To save time, use pre-washed baby spinach – that’s what I did.)
1 medium red bell pepper – finely chopped
1 cucumber – peeled, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup chopped green onions or chives
½ cup chopped Kalamata olives (make sure you buy the pitted ones)

I mixed all my veggies together (not necessary).

Preheat oven to 325º. Spread ½ cup of pine nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden.
(I like to do this in my toaster oven, but beware, they toast really fast that way.)

For the dressing you will need:

2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice (I only needed one lemon.)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano
3 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Mix dressing ingredients together in a LARGE bowl.
Add the rice and mix well.
Stir in the chopped veggies, spinach, pine nuts and ½ cup of black beans (rinsed, drained).

Pasta & Bean Soup

Need to try this next week! Yahooo

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups dried beans*
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot (or 2-3 small), thinly sliced
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 quart (32 oz) low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
sea salt to taste*
¼ tsp black pepper*
½ tsp chili powder*
¼ tsp cayenne pepper*
¼ tsp ground mustard*
1 cup small gluten-free pasta, such as cavatelli or elbow macaroni
1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded, leaves sliced*

STEP 1:
Place dried beans in a large bowl with 6 cups of water. Let soak overnight. (Optionally, you can quick soak the beans by placing the beans and water in a heavy pan, bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, then cover, remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.)

STEP 2:
Drain and rinse the soaked beans and transfer to a large pot. Cover by 2 inches with cold water and bring to a boil; skim off and discard any foam on the surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.

STEP 3:
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.

STEP 4:
Stir in drained beans, broth, 2 cups water, tomatoes and seasonings; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in kale and simmer about 5 minutes longer. If soup is too thick, add water a cup at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Adjust seasonings as needed.