My Recent Kitchen Creations

July 2, 2013

Recent Kitchen Creations - Sweet and Savoring

Hi everyone! Whoa, am I blown away from the response I got on Sunday’s anxiety post. So many wonderful words of support, both from familiar ‘faces’ and new bloggy friends!

It’s funny, because as I was writing that story at the airport, I was thinking things like This is so long, nobody’s going to make it to the end, and Is anyone going to be interested in something so personal other than say, Mom? But as it turns out, a lot of you were interested, and a lot of you can relate! How about that? Airports are stressful for everyone! Andy even remarked last night how he thought it was one of my better posts overall, with more breadth than usual.

I’m going to keep posting about food and local happenings and travel, but there’s value in sharing my personal struggles, so you’ll also see some more anxiety and/or depression posts sprinkled in a couple of times a month.

And now! The rest of today’s post will be nice and simple 🙂

Let’s talk about easy food creations (I hesitate to say recipes simply because a.)I’m a reluctant cook, and b.)these steps are so simple: you’re basically just mixing things together. Really!) The other day, I got creative at lunchtime and since my pesto and hummus come together so well in the food processor, I decided to venture into new territory and make something with black beans.

And even better, why not incorporate some cilantro from our garden?

Recent Kitchen Creations - Sweet and Savoring

Such abundance!

Recent Kitchen Creations - Sweet and Savoring

Eek, the midday sunlight is a bit harsh!

I was going for a Tex/Mex theme, so I threw a can of black beans, a few sprigs of the cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic, a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, and some freshly squeezed lime juice into the food processor. Sprinkle some salt and cumin in there too, if you want.

Recent Kitchen Creations - Sweet and Savoring

I pulsed the mixture for a few minutes, and decided it still didn’t have the consistency I was looking for. So I glanced around, and spied these beauties:

Recent Kitchen Creations - Sweet and Savoring

Grilled avocados! Grilling adds such richness and flavor, but this is a slightly older picture. I’m sure grilled or raw avocados would work in this case!

I threw in about half of an avocado and that turned out to be the perfect last ingredient. Result: creamy, flavorful black bean and avocado dip! (Basically, it’s blended guacamole with black beans,  haha)

Recent Kitchen Creations - Sweet and Savoring

You really want this dip for your next party, I promise.

A note: measurements are estimations. I’m never precise when cooking, and especially when tossing ingredients into the food processor (which is why I could never be a true ‘food blogger’!). Things like dips and pesto are wonderful to make because they’re so flexible and forgiving: add in more herbs, liquid, etc. until you get the flavor and consistency to your liking.

Or, you could use this great recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod if you like exact measurements 🙂

You could enjoy your black bean avocado dip with tortilla chips, or spread on some toast, or with some fresh veggies. Here’s what we did:

Recent Kitchen Creations - Sweet and Savoring

Toaster oven tortilla pizza: whole wheat tortilla, more tomato and avocado, black bean dip, and melted cheddar cheese. Quite nice 🙂

Are you guys hungry yet?

Also, are you wondering why I have a seemingly random strawberry photo at the top?

Next ‘recipe’, my friends! We were looking for some sort of dessert/snack, and somehow I came up with the idea to whip up ricotta cheese and pair it with strawberries. Why not?

No step-by-step for this dish. This is even simpler: I whipped some ricotta cheese (2 cups maybe?), vanilla extract (1 tsp), lemon juice (half a lemon or to taste), and a sprinkle of granulated sugar in a bowl with my hand mixer. Then, slice up those strawberries and dip for tangy, creamy, sweetness!

Recent Kitchen Creations - Sweet and Savoring


Now I wish I had ricotta cheese so I could make this again! It was so tasty!

Have you made anything new lately? Do you often improvise in the kitchen, or do you strictly follow recipes? I’d love to hear from you!

Here are some links, since I didn’t include any in my weekend post:



A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish.   –W.H. Auden

[Credit gratefully given to Andy Milford for the photos in this post :)]

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  • Katherine July 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I’m really a dip person! (Man, that sounds awful, but I mean that this post is right up my alley!) In the Summertime I also become a strawberry lover/hoarder. We need to have a blog party and you can make these wonderful dishes! I would love to be your neighbor or a certified taste tester for you! You are amazing in the kitchen!

    • Christy July 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Haha, I’ve become more of a dip/spread/puree person since owning a food processor. A blog party sounds like fun! And you’re so sweet, thanks for all your flattering comments!

  • Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste July 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    These all look great! Love your site!

    • Christy July 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      Hi and thanks so much, Kelly! They were fun to make!

  • natasha July 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    oh I love easy breezy kinda recipes. I do love dining gourmet
    but when I am in the kitchen, the no fuss way wins with me. Certainly going to try these 2 dishes especially now that I am a veg again. That strawberry dessert looks too good to wait….bye ….off to the kitchen 🙂

    • Christy July 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Yup, I’m no-fuss all the way- except on the rare occasion when I’m not, and then I almost always end up regretting it. Ha!
      Let me know if you make either one!

  • Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat July 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Yummy! Everything looks awesome! I’ve never thought of grilling avocados, but that’s an amazing idea! I love it! I’m pretty partial to ricotta cheese these days, so that dessert sounds SO good! 😉

    • Christy July 3, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks, Holly!- if you’re thinking ‘dessert’ for the ricotta & strawberries, I’d add more than a sprinkle of granulated sugar. But I like things sweet 🙂

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