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October 23, 2014

Gourmet Gone Easy: Eggs Baked in Avocado

Okay, my friend got me interested with a photo posted on social media, and I had to try it:  eggs baked in avocado.  To show how easy this is, I'm posting a picture of how I did it, baked in my toaster oven.  Besides the beautiful presentation, this is a great portion-controlled serving.  I added a bit of shaved Parmesean in the avocado bowl before pouring in my egg, and a bit on top, with a dusting of Smoked Paprika to top. 

A tip:  choose the biggest avocado you can find.  Mine was a bit small (or perhaps my egg was really large).  So I rounded out the opening with a spoon to make it a bit deeper before filling, but still the egg spilled over the side.  That part was then so thin that it burnt on the bottom of the dish.  Baking time will vary, depending on how you prefer your eggs.  I like my yolks cooked hard, so baked at 225 degrees, my egg took about thirty minutes to set.  And it smelled so good, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product! 

What's your favorite omelette or scramble filling?  Please leave a comment to the blog post below.

October 21, 2014

#FBLA's October Meeting and Cacao-Pumpkin Energy Bars

Food Bloggers Los Angeles had an inspired October meeting focused on fall entertaining.  I have learned so much about blogging and social networking from fellow members, and this month was no different, with a discussion about hashtags and how to rise holiday blog content above the norm. 

In the coming weeks, look for posts from me about holiday tablescapes, what to do with all those leftovers, and what to serve for holiday entertaining outside of the "big meal" such as breakfast casseroles and movie snacks.  Thanks, FBLA, for the brainstorming session!


I love to keep old traditions, but like to try out something new each year as well.  What new traditions will you be trying out during the coming holidays?  Please leave a comment on this blog post.

Vegan Cacao-Pumpkin Energy Bars
 (makes 4 large bars)

1/2 cup unsalted raw Cashews
2 Tbsp raw Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas)
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
2 rounded Tbsp unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1/4 cup Rolled Oats

Pulse above in food processor till ground fine.   To mixture, add

1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1 rounded Tbsp ground Cacao Nibs
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup pitted dates (about 15-20 dates)

Pulse again until dates are well chopped.  Lastly, add

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

Blend in food processor until a ball forms.  Use mini tart pans, well-greased with coconut oil.  Dip a tablespoon in coconut oil and use it to shape the dough into the tart pans.  Wrap in waxed paper or saran wrap and freeze until solid.  These are best eaten straight out of the freezer to maintain their shape.  If thawed they will be "nougat"-like and soft.

I admit to being a bit generous in my measurements of the ingredients I really love, like coconut and cacao, so the measurements aren't precise, which is why i've listed them as mounded.  This is one of those recipes I often improvise and revise slightly based on what's at hand.  In the past I've added dried citrus peel, candied orange peel, dried dates, dried cherries, pistachios - whatever you can come up with.  Just keep the ratio of dried fruit (including the dates) to nuts and seeds to liquid (in the pumpkin) roughly the same and it will work out fine. 

October 14, 2014

Homemade Pumpkin Hummus with Red Walnuts

I made this pumpkin hummus to take to a game night party at a friend's house.  It's easy, seasonal, and delicious.  As a guest, I never like to come empty handed.  I love having recipes in my back pocket that I know I can prepare quickly on the fly with pantry ingredients.  The red walnuts I used as a garnish are so different.  They taste wonderfully but are eye catching in or on any dish.

Homemade Pumpkin Hummus

1 can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tub (8oz) Trader Joe's Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup canned Pumpkin

Blend all in food processor.  Garnish with red walnuts and shredded Parmesan cheese, or favorite dried fruit and nuts. 

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