Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Avocado Rose

It's been a while since I last blogged.  I'm just popping in to post this photo that I recently created for my Instagram account.  There seems to be a lot of interest around this photo on various social media outlets.  And I may write a separate post about that later.

This mini tutorial is something I quickly created because many people on Instagram had asked me how I make an avocado rose or flower.  I'm not an avocado art expert and still need a lot of practice, but I thought it would be fun to put together a little collage.  There are other photos on Instagram and beyond that show similar methods and I'm sure there are also YouTube videos out there that show different ways to do this.  Undoubtedly, a video is the best way to go with any tutorial like this, but I didn't create one for various reasons.  There was no one else around to shoot the video and I don't have a tripod or another reliable way of mounting my iPhone. (my only camera)

Unfortunately, I couldn't fit every step in this 9-photo collage.  But all you need is a ripe avocado (on the soft side, but not too soft), a knife, and enough room to shift the pieces (petals) around into a spiral using your hands.  Try it.  It's fun.

One question I saw multiple times regarding this photo was, "What happened to the pit?"  Remove the pit before peeling the avocado half.  Another question I saw a lot was simply, "How?" I don't really know how.  It's hit or miss depending on the avocado.  And finally, some people asked, "Who has time to do this?" Apparently I do.  (it takes a few minutes to do)

In any case, this is just a little fun in the kitchen.  Nothing life-changing.  Just eye candy.  Play with your food.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chocolate-Dipped Matcha Green Tea Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are wonderful for the holidays (or any time of the year).  It's the same shortbread cookie recipe from my Twix bars, but I decreased the oil a little and added in matcha green tea powder for color.  The chocolate-dipping and nuts make them more festive, but I think they're also just as good on their own.  :)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies 

1/3 cup sunflower seed oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 heaping teaspoons matcha green tea powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil (solid)
About 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Sift in the flour, matcha powder, and salt and mix until just combined. (The dough will feel wet, but that's okay)
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  4. After the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  5. Roll the dough out to about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness.
  6. Cut the dough out into your desired shapes and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden.
  8. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for one minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. When the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together using a double boiler. 
  10. Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip off before placing on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (or large plate or cutting board)
  11. Sprinkle the almonds over the chocolate (if using) and place the cookies in the fridge for 10 minutes or so until the chocolate has set.
These cookies are great with (you guessed it) a nice, hot cup of green tea. :) 

Happy Holidays!