Guys. I have been M.I.A. for way too long now. It has become a problem. All I can say is…I’ve been in a funk. A winter-slash-job-search-induced funk. Meanwhile, the incompetent bf has gone and landed himself a role in a high school play and is never home for dinner because he’s constantly rehearsing (hey, seducing 16-year-olds on stage is hard work), so combine that with the aforementioned funk, and there has been a lot of non-cooking going on in my apartment. I have instead been buying things of baked ziti from the Italian place down the street and forcing them to last for 4 dinners, microwaving frozen peas and carrots and putting parmesan cheese on them to convince myself that I’m eating a plate of pasta, and eating a whole lot of cereal. Oh, and chocolate. NOT PRETTY.
The one highlight has been my new rice cooker that my dad got me and discovering how amazingly delicious steel-cut oats are — but I think I might devote a whole post to that later (anyway, thanks dad!).
For now, I’ll leave you with a recipe I adapted for this other food blog I’ll be writing for (a real one where I have to try to talk like a real person and write in a formal, more upbeat way; it’s surprisingly difficult) — a healthier version of seven-layer dip. I tested it out on Sunday night, and the bf ate about 3/4 of it in 5 minutes, and kept moaning with happiness, so I’m thinking it’s pretty good. It’s also not as bad for you as regular seven-layer dip, so, holla! You can eat it with tortilla chips, or do what I did and put some in a couple tortillas and it’s like a sort of burrito situation.
“Holla”? “Like a sort of burrito situation”? Wow. Can you tell that I haven’t been writing and my brain is turning to mush?
Anyway, the shiz is good. Try it for your next party.
1 15 oz can refried black beans
¼ cup water
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
dash of hot sauce (optional)
2 medium ripe avocados, pitted and sliced into chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
juice of one lime
pinch of salt
Pico de gallo:
3 medium tomatoes, diced
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of one lime
pinch of salt
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
1/2 small can black olives, sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
½ cup light sour cream
Guacamole: Mash avocados and combine with other ingredients.
Pico de gallo: Combine all ingredients
Heat refried beans in a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in enough water to thin out the consistency of the beans and make them easier to spread and dip, up to ¼ cup. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce if desired.
When beans are hot, spread in an even layer along the bottom of a large glass dish. Immediately sprinkle with cheese, so that cheese melts on the warm beans. Follow with a layer of guacamole and a layer of pico de gallo; top with sour cream, olives, and jalapeños for garnish.
Serve warm with tortilla chips, or make it a meal with warm tortillas.
Note: Your seven-layer dip can be eight layers, or six – have fun with it, and add other ingredients you love. Red peppers add crunch, while corn adds color (when I made it, I used this amazing frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s — so good); if you’re a big cilantro fan, add some more to the top layer (which I obviously did). Point is, play around with the ingredients. Heck, add some ground beef or turkey and make it a real meal (no offense vegetarians).