Conferencing in New Orleans

by Sarah on November 21, 2014 · 1 comment

I mentioned in my post about Anna Maria Island that I was hesitant to go partially because of the quick turnaround to attending my own (much more legitimate…) conference.IMG_20141116_141801

THrough a series of Limony Snickett-type events that I somehow profited from (at least in terms of time) I not only ended up with enough hours to hit up the farmer’s market for persimmon stockpiling…IMG_20141116_125557

…but also wander through the spectacle that is Alabama tailgating…IMG_20141115_140020

…before breakfasting on the road to New Orleans.*

*If only the oatmeal I ate in the car looked half as delicious as this (not at all) similar version I ate the day before.IMG_20141116_074228

And while a conference in New Orleans SOUNDS like we should all be screaming “PAAAAARTY!” at the top of our lungs, I think the most wild and crazy we got was sneaking one too many pralines at the Public Health Education & Health Promotion Social.IMG_20141117_183555_116 (1280x719)

OK,my friend Christine and I DID take advantage of our “buy one get one free” drink card in the hotel bar, where we discovered what had the potential—if we were different kind of gals in a different situation–to become the most dangerous drink in the city.

57 Chevy: Southern Comfort, Crown Royal, Amaretto, Pineapple, and CranberryIMG_20141116_184003

Thankfully, the rain that threatened never came, and the cold front held off until Monday, so I was able to walk to get my gumbo fix the first night in town. Gumbo that’s truly gumbonot the gumb-faux I make that doesn’t have anything that even resembles a freckle on a roux’s face–is UNREAL. Served with an entire loaf of crusty, warm French bread? Perfection.IMG_20141119_101410

My dinner was rather un-photogenic, but luckily Christine shared some of the much more beautiful (if fuzzy*) pepper-jelly glazed Brussels (and beets) she ordered. :)

*In the picture. They were mold-free.

But, in all honesty, conferences in cool locations are almost a let-down, because you see more of the inside of a hotel or conference center than you do the lovely city. I think there should be a campaign on behalf of Podunk, USA to start earning revenue by bringing conferences there.

I kid. I kid.IMG_20141117_090449

If only because there aren’t epic hotel complimentary breakfasts in most podunk towns, and y’all KNOW the complimentary breakfast also turns into complimentary snacks (and even replacement lunch) with strategic food selection* and a well-sized purse.

*I brought the veggies with me.IMG_20141117_173227

Luckily, the conference catering also provided a rather swanky spread at the aforementioned social, featuring a number of NOLA inspired goodies (not least of which was a chili white corn hush puppy with apricot jam that was AMAZING….).IMG_20141117_195502

One of my professors also utilized my ability to rapidly organize through text to take all of the doctoral students in attendance out to dinner, where the portions were generous and I gorged on cornbread muffins (and, due to an upset stomach–not from the muffins– saved most of  a spicy cajun mixed grill for later).IMG_20141118_225634

While I didn’t eat enough Cajun cuisine, I did still manage to brand yourself as “that funny session moderator” and talk somewhat intelligently about the poster I presented.IMG_2019

Speaking of posters and research,  if you don’t hear from me for awhile it’s because while the city may be calm, my life is not. Back to PhD life and due dates all before Thanksgiving! Hurrah!

But for the moment, think about what it might be like to watch a highly sexualized version of Twelfth Night set in 1920s New Orleans where the actors break out into the contemporary songs rewritten for the themes of the play.

Because that’s what I came home to.IMG_20141119_191917_737


(Vegan) Banana Cumin Cornbread

by Sarah on November 18, 2014 · 3 comments

On one of my (not frequent enough) trips to visit my dear friend Brittany, I helped her make cornbread for her husband. [Not pictured. This is mine.]IMG_4431 (1280x853)

The recipe was easy, quick, tasted great, and when I made the North African Black Eyed Pea Stew  a few weeks ago, I thought that some cornbread would be just the side dish I needed.IMG_3814 (1280x854) (1280x854)

Luckily, in our contemporary world, recipes don’ have to be mailed or scribbled on the backs of scraps of paper at dinner parties,* but instead can be sent almost immediately as a photo to one’s phone. (No wonder I rarely open my cookbooks.)IMG_4226 (1280x853)

*Not that I was really ever old enough to go to a dinner party on my own before the interwebs, but I did hand write a number of my aunt’s and grandmother’s recipes years ago.IMG_4232 (1280x853)

As usual, I didn’t have quite what I needed, so I thought, “Why NOT use corn FLOUR instead of corn MEAL?” and “Why NOT use a banana instead of applesauce?”IMG_3772 (1280x853)

This is why I shouldn’t be  baker.IMG_20141011_193900

Luckily, I found the original flavor delicious and The Professor was too nice to tell me–probably for the 100th time–that he wished I’d just stick to the old fashioned way of doing things. :)


Not to be outdone, I tried again. This time, with much more satisfying results.

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As a pair to my Baked Bean Chili, the bread was much more crumbly, although still dense, and the addition of cumin made the sweetness of the banana a subtle, but untraceable, hint of something ‘extra.’IMG_4428 (1280x853)

It’s not your typical cornbread, that’s for sure,* but it IS a crumby stew or chili topper, effectively soaks up the remnants on the bottom of the bowl, and also tastes quite satisfying on its own.

*Or the to-die-for blue cornbread I had in New York in September….IMG_4418 (1280x853)

I’m also fairly certain The Professor STILL has no idea there was banana in there. :) IMG_4425 (1280x853)

 Vegan Banana Cumin Cornbread

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup masa harina (corn flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup mashed banana
  • 3/4 cup water or plain almond milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix together banana and water/almond milk.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring until thick, almost cookie-dough consistency.
  5. Spread into an 8″ square pan coated with baking spray.
  6. Cook 20 minutes, or until browned and cracked on the top.

A(lmost) M(issed) I(it): Anna Maria Island

by Sarah on November 15, 2014 · 2 comments

When someone offers you a trip to Florida, you shouldn’t hesitate to take it.IMG_20141112_074756

Of course, I had to waffle back and forth over it for a good couple of months, wondering if I could get my classes covered, work done, and successfully complete a 24-hour turnaround to head off for my OWN conference* immediately after The Professor’s little boondoggle.

*Still TBD.IMG_20141114_090915

boondoggle: work or activity (i.e. “engineering workshop”) that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having valueIMG_20141113_083602

But it’s a good thing that everyone I talked to–and I asked a LOT of people–said that work would get done, classes would get covered…IMG_20141114_113922

(Even if you do spend some of the time you are there studying. At least you are studying at the beach?)


…and everyone–even especially PhD students–needs a vacation now and then.IMG_20141112_114106_181

Or, as one of my colleagues put it: YOLO.*

*Literally. That was her response.IMG_20141114_091042

I’m glad I listened to other people for once instead of trying to be a martyr for PhD students everywhere, because I would have missed a lot of pretty wonderful meals things:IMG_20141113_183115

Sunsets, for example.IMG_20141113_183547



(And if you think I didn’t respond to the waitresses query of if I wanted them tail on with, “I like to get dirty,” you’d be wrong.)IMG_20141114_091219

Two incredibly inspiration salads, one of mixed greens, Gorgonzola, candied walnuts, and mango, and the other of edamame, cranberries, basil, and feta cheese.IMG_20141114_191424

The discovery of a store that should be called “Purveyor of All Things Wonderful,” selling coffee, wine, vinegar, olive oil, cheese, fresh pasta (by the pound)…and offering free Marcona almonds for the sampling.IMG_20141112_112008

Grouper with pineapple mango salsa.IMG_20141112_211513

Calamari with a fry on it like I’ve never tasted and couldn’t describe…but just trust me, it was incredible.IMG_20141114_191144

My new favorite restaurant, with the directive moniker of Eat HereIMG_20141114_090954

…and a kitschy menu complete with phonetic spelling of quinoa and a “whatever we feel like” salad, aptly named serendipitous.IMG_20141113_210922

Did I mention I repeatedly requested an entire bowl filled with the saffron tomato “zuppa” broth in which this mahi mahi was poached?IMG_20141113_220903 (1)

So, you know, all things considered, I’m pretty sure that peer pressure, in this case, is a wonderful, wonderful thing.IMG_20141113_221149

Of course, now I’m requesting my breakfast served poolside every day, so The Professor may not agree on that front. :) PhotoGrid_1415977231442


Most of what I make in the kitchen is an accident.


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I’m pretty sure I’ve written the post one hundred times, where I say, “I just needed to use up this…” or “I wondered what would happen if I ______.”IMG_4586 (1280x853)

And so it goes.IMG_4590 (1280x853)

This time? The Professor had once again not consumed the yogurt I bought for him, and so I was busily trying to make my way through it. And maybe, just maybe, yogurt could substitute for butter?*IMG_4603 (1280x853)

*It can. But you are truly supposed to only replace half. Oops.IMG_4615 (1280x854)

Perfectly timed with this situation was my pumpkin-loving friend Amanda’s birthday, and the discovery of Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Blondies.IMG_4644 (1280x853)

The resulting sweet treat is 30% of your daily Vitamin A in the form of cinammon sugar glazed, pumpkin pie filling, soft enough to be chewy, but firm enough to pick up with your hands. No crust required.IMG_4649 (1280x853)

You’re welcome.IMG_4642 (1280x853)

Cinnmon Sugar-Glazed Maple Pumpkin Custard Bars

[Makes one 8"-square pan]

  • 1/2 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. maple extract
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 1/2 tsp. apple pie spice + 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 8″-square baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt and egg.
  4. Whisk/beat in brown sugar, pumpkin puree, and maple extract.
  5. Add pie spice and flours to the bowl. Mix well until batter forms.
  6. Spread batter into pan.
  7. In a separate small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over uncooked bars.
  8. Bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out clean(ish).

I was excited to participate in the Recipe Redux and Libby’s Speedy Starters & Sides recipe challenge to use one of the brand’s soon-to-be-released* microwaveable veggie pouches to create a 10-minute-or-less starter, salad, or side dish.

*January 2015 (although I did spot them in Publix last week here in Alabama…)reciperedux_libbys

But I must admit I was a little skeptical when they arrived.IMG_4095 (1280x853)

While canned corn can work in a tasty chowder, beets taste great from a can, I love (Libby’s actually) canned sauerkraut, and even canned potatoes have their place in one of Stepmama Smart’s quick and easy soup dishes…given a choice, I prefer my preserved vegetables to be frozen. (Or pickled. But that’s another story.)

And these looked a lot like mushy canned vegetables to me.IMG_4074 (1280x853)

True, these pouches save space in the pantry, cook in less than a minute, and are environmentally friendly….but I remained hesitant.

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Until I made this Warm Caribbean-Spiced Apple & Corn Salad in all of 7 minutes. And then, Libby and her sweet, sweet corn totally won me over.IMG_4154 (1280x853)

Corn seems so summery, but pairing it with apples and warming Caribbean-inspired spices like cinnamon, ginger, and allspice helps it transition into fall.IMG_4127 (1280x853)The corn was crisp, not mushy at all, and tasted surprisingly fresh for having come out of a vacuum sealed bag.

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I used this Jamaican Jerk Seasoning recipe as inspiration, although you could substitute your own favorite Caribbean inspired seasoning if you so desired. It might seem like a lot of ingredients, but that’s really all just using one measuring spoon (or eyeballing) to dip into a whole lot of spices you’ve more than likely got on hand….and you’ll want to have them if you don’t already.

IMG_4099 (1280x853)

All you need is one microwaveable safe bowl, one knife, and a durable counter cutting board. Not only is prep easy, so is cleaning up. (And that’s saying something coming from the one-woman whirlwind with a knife that is me.)IMG_4110 (1280x853)

(Note: Make sure to use a crisp, tart apple, good for cooking, but NOT for applesauce. No McIntosh allowed. I used a locally grown Arkansas Black.)IMG_4120 (1280x853)

We know looks can be deceiving….perhaps its time to rethink our prejudice of the shelf-stable vegetable?IMG_4190 (1280x853)

Warm Caribbean-Spiced Apple & Corn Salad

[Makes 2 1/2 cups]

  • 1 pouch Libby’s microwaveable sweet corn (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup finely diced crisp, tart apple
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Caribbean Seasoning Blend: 

  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder (optional)
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  1. Combine all seasonings in the bottom of a microwave-safe mixing bowl.
  2. Add apple, stirring well to coat.
  3. Put both the Libby’s microwaveable veggie pouch of sweet corn kernels, and the bowl with apples and seasonings, into the microwave.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 50 seconds.
  5. Remove bowl and pouch from the microwave.
  6. Pinch corner of pouch and pour out liquid to drain. Pour corn (and any remaining liquid) directly into the bowl.
  7. Stir corn into seasoned apples.
  8. Add cilantro, stirring well to incorporate.
  9. Enjoy alone, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish.

“I received free samples of Libby’s new Vegetable Pouches mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Libby’s and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”


Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery is releasing gluten-free ciabatta rolls, and they kindly asked if I would like to not only try them, but create a fabulous new recipe with them–IMG_4212 (1280x853)

—and THEN give away a prize pack including:

  • One bag of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Rosemary Olive Oil Ciabatta Rolls
  • One bag of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Plain Ciabatta Rolls
  • Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Apron
  • John Boos 18-by-12-Inch Reversible Maple Cutting Board
  • Spectrum Organic Mediterranean Olive Oil
  • Spectrum Organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Oven Mitt*

*Starting November 4th, Rudi’s is also giving away 100 oven mitts on their Facebook page.


I had 96 hours.

The choice was obvious:IMG_4561 (1280x853)

Challenge accepted.

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Luckily, The Professor and I were planning a little gathering which I thought of as a celebratory fall dinner and he thought of as a football-and-meat party. Regardless, I was going to also use it as a testing ground for my recipe creation.IMG_20141102_071221

Although I had toyed with a different idea–and may use the plain ciabatta rolls to bring to life later—reading the November issue of Cooking Light at the gym on Saturday morning inspired an apple stuffing-stuffed roll idea….cookinglightnovember_applestuffing

…and when you’ve got apple, you might as well add some delicious local pear to the mix, no?IMG_4499 (1280x853)

A little celery, a little onion, and a whole lot of dried herbs and seasonings…IMG_4507 (1280x853)

…what one of my guests referred to as “twice baked potatoes..but with stuffing, in rolls.”IMG_4568 (1280x853)

They smelled like Thanksgiving-so, delicious–and were greeted by an “Oh my goodness!” from one of the guys.IMG_4562 (1280x853)

(Hopefully he wasn’t referring to a great play in the game.)IMG_4581 (1280x853)

Gluten-Free Savory Apple & Pear Twice-Baked Ciabatta Rolls

  • 1 package frozen Rudi’s Gluten-Free Rosemary & Olive Oil Ciabatta Rolls
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 cup diced firm, ripe pear
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rubbed sage
  • salt + pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup (gluten-free) vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small pan over medium heat, saute onion and celery in olive oil for 2-3 minutes , until fragrant and beginning to soften.
  3. Add apples, pears, and dried herbs to the pan, stirring well.
  4. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly, until apples and pears are soft but not mushy.*
  5. Remove rolls from the freezer and place directly onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake rolls four 4 minutes and remove pan from the oven.
  7. Use a serrated knife to cut the tops, lengthwise, off of the rolls. Use your fingers to scoop out the inside of each roll, tearing into pieces and putting in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  8. Stir together bread, vegetable broth, and apple-pear mixture. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  9. Scoop stuffing back into the bread ‘bowls.’ Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.
  10. Bake 6 more minutes, or until heated through.
  11. Serve immediately (to much applause).

*You may complete all steps until this one in advance. Just don’t preheat the oven!


Want to WIN that amazing prize pack?

Just tell me your favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

Mine is actually sweet potatoes….with no marshmallows, only pecan streusel.


What do you do when you come home to find half of a pumpkin on the floor of the kitchen?IMG_20141031_151229

First, you feel happy that the hard work has been done for you with regards to carving the same pumpkin* that you carve every year

*He’s just more of a mask is all.IMG_20141031_181129

Secondly, you realize that you probably should have asked yourself why there was half a pumpkin on the floor of the kitchen in the first place.

(Answer: The Professor has decided smoking a pumpkin will be a yearly tradition.)IMG_20141031_175542_335 (1280x720)

Third, in the name of preventing food waste–a cause for which you have somehow become the local torchbearer—you will remove all the seeds from the guts—

IMG_4465 (1280x853)

—and go through the necessary rinsing, straining, drying procedures.IMG_4505 (1280x853)

I recommend toasting at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, and definitely don’t settle for one type when you could have two: salt and pepper* and a sweet, sugary pumpkin pie spice.**

*Nice nod to the 90s on that one.

**Actually apple pie spice plus ginger.IMG_4559 (1280x853)

Then you take those guts, puree them up with a whole bunch of curry powder, cumin, cooked onion, garlic, and some red pepper flakes (and some almond milk for consistency purposes)…IMG_4474 (1280x853)

…heat it up, top it with apples,* and serve it to your friends.

*Crucial to the success of the dish.IMG_4523 (1280x853) (2)

Please note, I did not say to The Professor, as he thinks eating pumpkin guts will kill you.

Guess what? I’m still alive.


White Bean Masala Sauce

by Sarah on October 29, 2014 · 0 comments

So, after the repeated success with making white bean gravy, I started to wonder if there was another way I could sneak beans into The Professor’s diet use white beans to make creamy non-dairy sauces.IMG_3959 (1280x853)

And after cooking up some local eggplant and zucchini, I discovered that white beans make a fabulous Indian curry.IMG_3996 (1280x853)

I actually never know what to call Indian-flavored “curries,” but apparently tikka masala is generally creamy, spicy, and orange…so I went with that.


Sadly,*I ate this without The Professor, so there is no way to know if an unknowing participant in your dinner would recognize the flavor of the white beans, but I didn’t. I just devoured it. :)

*Although maybe not for him.IMG_4022 (1280x853)

Vegetable Curry with White Bean Masala Sauce

(Serves 4-6)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp, minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-6 cups chopped vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, peas, roasted potatoes, etc.)
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder, separated
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • s +p
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Saute onion, ginger, and garlic in oil over medium-low heat in a large, wide brimmed sauce pan.
  2. Once onions begin to soften, add chopped vegetables and cover, adding a smidge of water to the pan to help steam, if necessary.
  3. In a food processor, combine white beans, vegetable broth, and 2 tsp. curry powder. Process until smooth.
  4. Add 2 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin, and 1/2 tsp. garam masala to the vegetables, stirring well to cover.
  5. Once vegetables are fork tender, stir in tomatoes.
  6. Poor white bean curry sauce into the pan, stirring well.
  7. Bring to a simmer. Cook 3-5 minutes.
  8. Stir in cilantro and add remaining seasoning, if desired.
  9. Serve over rice or with naan.

IMG_4014 (1280x853)


Smoky Roasted Corn Chowder (Vegan)

by Sarah on October 27, 2014 · 0 comments

Maybe it was the lingering memory of eating Panera’s Summer Corn Chowder on a porch in Boston with my family this summer?IMG_3972 (1280x853)

Maybe it was the printout of Whole Foods’ Monkfish Chowder recipe staring at me from the pile of random papers–you know you have one–stacked by my computer on my desk the dining table?monkfish chowder

Maybe it’s all the candy corn everywhere?IMG_20141019_165600

Either way, this girl was going to make some chowder.

And it was going to be corn(y).*

*You love me.IMG_4035 (1280x852)

Granted, in much the same way that “stir fry” in The Smart Kitchen really means sauteeing vegetables in some form of Asian-influence sauce, “chowder” just means “thick soup.”IMG_3930 (1280x853)

Sure, I could have tried to defrost the 18,000 pounds of local bacon The Professor has in the freezer for some meat emrgency he is apparently stocking up on…but I went with smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder—IMG_3938 (1280x853)

—along with roasted (previously frozen) corn–to give me a somewhat smoky smokey smoky smokey smoky flavor instead.


Of course, in a weird, the universe is functioning in reverse kind of way, the smoky smokey smoky subtle heat from the spices actually mellowed over time, whereas usually soups stews chowders are begging for a few days in the fridge to intensify, it seems that sweet corn might just get sweeter.IMG_3941 (1280x853)

Like a small child trying to get away with something she was definitely NOT supposed to do?IMG_4038 (1280x853)

The only thing I covered up was the vegan-ness of this dish, but either The Professor didn’t notice, or he’s just begun to assume that–in another strange twist of cruel universal forces--the only time I cook meat is when he’s not hereIMG_4027 (1280x853)

…because this was the first time since the rice incident that he’s actually said “That was good,” without any prompting from me. Huzzah!IMG_4030 (1280x851)

Smoky Roasted Corn Chowder

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 14.75-oz. can cream-style corn
  • 1 2/3 cup frozen sweet corn
  • s + p
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • dash of chili powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond (or soy) milk
  • 2 Tbsp. masa corn flour (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread frozen corn in an even layer on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and season with pepper. Roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper in olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven.
  4. Once onions begin to brown, stir cream-style corn into the pot.
  5. Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir well to mix.
  6. Cook until cream-style corn begins to simmer.
  7. Stir in vegetable broth and almond milk. Return to a simmer.
  8. Whisk in masa corn flour, if using.
  9. Stir 1 1/2 cups roasted corn (eyeball about 3/4 of the corn) into the chowder.
  10. Use an immersion blender until creamy, but still full of texture.
  11. Stir in remaining corn and cilantro.
  12. Return to a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring bottom of the pot regularly.



Creamy Ranch White Bean & Yogurt Dip

by Sarah on October 23, 2014 · 1 comment

 As a part of Siggi’s Culture Club, I not only get to share the love of Siggis yogurt with my friends–both real and virtual–I also have the opportunity to participate in monthly challenges (usually not promoted openly online).IMG_3891 (1280x853)

This month’s challenge was to Try a Siggi’s recipe! which, was obviously not something I could pass up.IMG_3831 (1280x853)

Of course, as I looked through the multitude of intriguing, tested recipes on their website, I realized that as much as I obviously wasn’t going to skip this challenge, I also obviously wasn’t going to be able to stick 100% to a recipe.

Can I ever do that?

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So instead, I combined the concept of a creamy ranch dressing with a creamy yogurt hummus…

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…which I think is just the best of all worlds.

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(Because really, how does one NOT find strange joy in Ranch dressing, even though you just know it can’t be doing good things to your veins. It just can’t. Especially when you pair it with cheesy breadsticks and consume it after midnight in a dorm room. Not that I ever did that as a first year in college or anything.)IMG_3868 (1280x853)If you aren’t using Ranch* to, you know, actually eat a salad (or dip pizza into?), then you probably will find it alongside carrots and celery sticks on a small (or bigger) child’s dinner plate, so, I guess it makes sense to pair Ranch-flavored white bean yogurt dip with those same crudite.

*Why does that seem to require capitalization?IMG_3902 (1280x853)

Although it tastes really good with roasted (white sweet) potatoes, too. Maybe because it tastes a bit like sour cream & onion potato chips?IMG_3920 (1280x845)

Creamy Ranch White Bean & Yogurt Dip

  • 1 15-oz. can Great Northern (or other white) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/4 cup plain  Siggis Icelandic-style yogurt*
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. dried chives
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

*May substitute plain Greek yogurt

Combine beans and yogurt in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Add garlic, vinegar, and seasonings. Process until well-blended.

Serve with carrots and celery…or get creative. (Potatoes?)IMG_3915 (1280x853)