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Light and Creamy Cucumber Basil Raita Dip

Bits of diced cool cucumber, minced basil, and toasted walnuts swirled into creamy whole milk yogurt–this cucumber basil raita dip is a deliciously healthful appetizer. Scoop a spoonful onto your pita chip and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Cucumber Basil Raita Dip

For a long time, I made this light and refreshing dip strictly as something to go with spicy (or not) Indian dinners. Raita, RYE-ta, is traditional–a palate-cooling yogurt “salad” meant to go with Indian curry. I’ve changed that narrow-minded idea—and moved on to “Wow, this raita is an awesome chip dip!”

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Zucchini, Cherry Tomato, and Gorgonzola Bites

Tomorrow is National Sneak a Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. Seriously. Jokingly for sure, someone put this special day on the calendar. Gift your neighbor a plate of these grill-roasted zucchini, cherry tomato and Gorgonzola bites right away, and they’ll never suspect you’re the sneaky green phallus culprit.

Zucchini, Cherry Tomato, and Gorgonzola Bites

Salty creamy blue cheese tucked into lightly charred zucchini rounds, each capped with a baby tomato—fresh from the grill, these go down like candy. Savory candy. Continue Reading…

Baked Taquito Flautas with Simple Guacamole

Yummy chile-spiced pinto beans rolled into soft tortillas, baked until good and crispy, and served with the easiest 2-ingredient guacamole you’ll ever meet—you are going to fall in love with these vegetarian baked taquito flautas with simple guacamole.

Baked Taquito Flautas with Simple Guacamole

Taquitos flautas? Are you wondering why I gave this recipe two names that basically mean the same thing? Right, the distinction is subtle. And confusing, in that the differences dissolve depending on where you are in Mexico. Or Texas. Or California.

Generally, taquitos are skinny fried tacos made with corn tortillas. Flautas, on the other hand are usually filled and fried flour tortillas, long and slim, like musical flutes. Flautas–Spanish for flutes—love that image! Continue Reading…

Ginger Beer Mexican Mule Cocktail

Looking for a totally refreshing bubbly beverage?  Pop open an ice-cold ginger beer, pour it over a tall glass of ice, and give it a squeeze of lime. Now stir in a shot of golden tequila that’s been lightly aged in an old whiskey barrel. Ta-da–the Mexican mule cocktail!

Mexican Mule Cocktail

With gingery bite, tart citrus, and fermented agave fruit, Mexican mule cocktails have brilliant thirst-quenching flavor balance. Besides taste, they’re a cinch to make–in a matter of minutes you’re sipping down smooth and easy. Little wonder they’ve become my new favorite adult beverage. Continue Reading…

Golden Beets with Black Beans and Dried Cherries

Earthy smoky black beans simmered with dried cherries, together with golden roasted beets, sautéed greens, and tender nutty brown rice, make for a colorful brightly flavored feast— golden beets with black beans.

Golden Beets with Black Beans and Cherries

The black beans and tart cherry combo is a wink and a nod to feijoada, the Brazilian national dish, a rich black bean stew with smoked meats and tangy orange. I’m sure this meatless mix of smoky black beans and sweet-tart fruit is a far cry from feijoada, which I’ve never had. Inspired, but not the real thing.

Don’t you love the vibrant orange roasted beets in contrast to the black beans and cherries? Golden beets are mellower in intensity than red beets and tend to taste a little less earthy, so they’re an easier sell to “beet-avoiding eaters.” The rest of us, well, bring on the beets! Continue Reading…