The 4th of July is all about celebration! Here are my 5 tips for a great Independence Day. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]
With the Super Bowl right around the corner, I thought it was time I shared some party food! In my version of this classic dip I stuck with the basics, but made sure to add in lots of lettuce and grated my own cheese rather than using the pre-shredded stuff to avoid additives. I opted for whole black beans rather than refried beans because they're a little easier to make and also add a different texture. Pinto beans would be good too. I skipped the traditional black olives because we are not fans at my house, but feel free to add those if you like them. :) If I made this in the summer I'd also toss on some fresh tomatoes. We're eating ours with the Garden of Eatin' No Salt Added Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.
Seven Layer Taco Dip
2.5 cups guacamole (1 batch of the recipe linked)
2 cups sour cream
2 cups salsa
1.5 cups cooked black beans
1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce (about 1 medium head)
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 bunch scallions (6-7 scallions), chopped
- Layer ingredients in a clear 9 x 13 baking dish in this order: guacamole, sour cream, salsa, black beans, taco seasoning, romaine lettuce, cheese, and scallions. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
A good guacamole recipe is a must have in my book. Not only is it easy to make, but it's delicious and versatile. Think beyond the usual chips and burritos and try it as a great addition to eggs, on a piece of toast for a snack, or as a spread on sandwiches and wraps. Plus, with the Super Bowl coming up, guacamole is a quick and easy dip that is always a crowd pleaser.
makes approximately 2.5 cups
4 avocados, seeded and peeled
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1-2 limes
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mash to desired consistency with a potato masher. If you prefer a smoother guacamole or want to skip on some of the chopping, you can alternatively mix all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
With Thanksgiving only a couple weeks away, those of you who are hosting are probably working on your menu for the day. It can be a little overwhelming, so I've pulled together some of my favorite recipes to share. They all call for real, whole food (of course) and are also delicious!
- The Bird. I've been making my turkey using this recipe for a few years now and it is always a big hit. Citrus in the cavity, plus frequent basting, results in moist breast meat and crazy good flavor. Use your own homemade chicken stock if you have it and try making the gravy with whole wheat flour instead. And, if you do happen to splurge on the white flour, I won't tell. It is a holiday after all. :)
- Green Bean Casserole (minus the junk). This is actually a recipe for homemade cream of mushroom soup to use in any recipe that calls for the canned stuff. Try it this year in your favorite green bean casserole recipe! If you're in the market for a new version, Lisa posted one that doesn't use this cream of mushroom replacement just yesterday. I haven't had time to try it myself (obviously), but I thought I would add it in for anyone who is interested (Lisa's Green Bean Casserole).
- Roasted Veggies = Delicious. You guys know this is my go-to preparation for any vegetable. It's simple and quite the crowd pleaser. Plus, it's flexible depending on which veggies are available at the market that week or the preferences of your guests.
- Massage That Kale. This basic tutorial on how to make a massaged kale salad can be a great jumping off point. Start with the kale and then add in any toppings that you and your guests like. If you want, you could make a toppings bar so each person can make their own personal creation.
- Have A Biscuit! I make these whole wheat biscuits all the time. If you want something more interesting than a plain biscuit, there is a recipe for cheddar garlic biscuits as well!
- Cheesy Goodness. For many, mac and cheese is a must have at any holiday or family get together. I'll be honest, I haven't tried this recipe myself for the simple fact that I hate macaroni and cheese. However, everything this woman posts is good and I couldn't leave it off the list since I know it is something that so many people love.
I hope you find any or all of these recipes to be a nice addition to your Thanksgiving spread. They just go to show that you can enjoy all of your favorite foods if you skip the chemicals and go for the real thing! Happy eating!
I am happy to say that I am officially a college graduate!
The weekend was a bit of a whirlwind, but it all turned out great (despite the rain) and my mom got lots of pictures with her new camera.
To begin the celebration, my family all came in on Friday and we went out for a pre-graduation dinner. We had to wait for over an hour (party of 12!), but that was fine with me because it gave us more time to chat and catch up. My cousin Allison and I talked extensively about our favorite nail polish brands and colors. We're both addicted and, let me tell you, our conversation only fueled my obsession.
The next morning, I got up bright and early to get photo-ready for graduation day! Then, the rain came. At first, I was irritated and a little upset. However, after I sat in the rain for a couple of hours I realized that the weather didn't matter at all. It didn't make my day any less special and, frankly, probably made the whole thing a lot more memorable.
Once the ceremony was over, it was back to my place for the potluck! As I told y'all in my last post, we used the website PerfectPotluck.com to organize our event. This website was an awesome tool and the party turned out great. I was so worried we wouldn't have enough food for our 50+ guests, but we ended up with plenty to spare. It was a great experience and I would definitely recommend this site to everyone.
Now, I'm back at home and preparing for the next step: my Dietetic Internship at Virginia Tech and planning my and Jasen's wedding! I'm so excited for the new adventures that lie ahead!
As some of you may know, I am graduating this weekend with a B.S. in Dietetics. My roomies and I decided at the beginning of the semester that we wanted to have all of our relatives celebrate together on the big day, rather than separately. Our solution: a graduation party at our apartment. However, once we added everyone up, we realized that our guest count is going to come out right around 50. Yes, you read that right: 50 PEOPLE! After I had a mild panic attack, we immediately went into planning mode. How can we feed all of these people? What are we going to feed all of these people? We knew immediately there was no way we could make enough food for everyone between the three of us. I mean, even if we could make it, we only have one refrigerator. Instead, we decided to make our event a potluck. If you're starting to have flashbacks of potlucks gone wrong, let me tell you, potlucks have gotten a lot more high-tech recently, thanks to my new favorite website, perfectpotluck.com. On this website, you can create an event and include details such as location or any other information you want your guests to know. Then, decide how many options you want in each category (main dish, side dish, dessert, etc.) and send the link to all of your guests via email. Then, friends can sign up for whatever they want to bring and you never have to worry about that awkward potato salad battle. You know what I'm talking about. When two people bring potato salad and everyone gets to see which one is the obvious favorite by how much is eaten of each. Instead, you'll have a varied spread with a little something for everyone.
Right now, I'm feeling good about the event ahead of us. I think we have enough food in each category and enough overall. Now we just have to wait and see what happens on graduation day! Check back next week for a report on how it all went down and lots of pictures!
What's your go-to recipe when attending a potluck? Post in the comments below! : )