LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

Cooking

How To: Make an Avocado Rose

Food, How ToLibby RasmussenComment

If you follow me on Snapchat, you know I'm no stranger to topping my eggs, salads, or a piece of toast with an avocado rose.  There's also a good chance you've spotted some on Karen McLean's feed @secretsquirrelfood. They're hard to miss but are actually incredibly easy to make! Follow along for the easy steps!

1. Pick the Perfect Avocado. This can always be tricky, but when it comes to an avocado rose, you will actually want an avocado that is a little more firm.  If it's too ripe, you'll run the risk of it falling apart or having brown spots.  Really ripe avocados are great for guac, not so great for avocado roses.  Tip: A nealry ripe avocado's "belly button" if you will, will be green underneath when gently pulled off. A ripe avocado, for guacamole, will be slightly brown and will fall off easily. 

IMG_6714_2.jpg

2. Cut the avocado lengthwise and gently peel off the skin.  The perfect avocado will be firm enough to do so.  It's very important that you don't scoop the avocado out of the skin, as you would while making guacamole.  This will leave you with a dented avocado.  You need to pull the skin off piece by piece to keep the avocado smooth. Obviously, remove the pit as well. 

3. Slice Evenly Across. Lay the avocado down and begin slicing it thinly and evenly from one side to the other. Move slowly enough to make sure you aren't bringing up any pieces on the knife. 

4. Slowly Fan Avocado. Create a semi-circle by fanning the slices out.  Make sure the slices are still touching one another on the sides, but don't be afraid to really spread them out for a larger, more spiraled avocado rose. 

5. Spin into a Rose. Slowly cupping the sides, continue to gently spin the slices into a rose. Make sure it's tight enough that the outer edge of the rose stays neatly on the sides. However, you want it to look like a rose, (kinda) so keep it loose enough to keep the blossoming effect.  Tip: Use a little lemon juice to keep the rose from browning. And remember to move it with a spatula if you are plating it or placing it atop a salad, or piece of toast. Tip: It helps if your cutting board is a little damp. 

Make sure to follow me on FacebookPinterestTwitter,  & Instagram!
 

The Only Cookie Cut-Out Recipe You'll Ever Need

FoodLibby RasmussenComment

This past year, on my 26 Before 26 List  I noted that I wanted to create a little recipe book, using the recipes from friends and family.  It's been a great way for me to connect with those who have contributed as well as keeping track of new and old favorites of mine.  Most notably, is the recipe my wonderful Mother submitted, my Grandma's Christmas Cookie Cut-Outs recipe.  I've used this recipe countless times for traditional cut-outs to Drake and Frank Ocean lyrics.  This time, I was feeling a little homesick and made Wisconsin cookies using my favorite cookie cutter

IMG_6710.JPG

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup softened butter
3 eggs
4 cups sifted flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer combine sugar and butter until well blended.
  2. Add eggs one egg at a time. Add vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  4. Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 4 hours.
  5. Roll out dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 - 10 minutes. Cool before frosting and decorating.

Lastly, for the royal icing, I followed this helpful video from The Joy of Baking and separated the frosting into individual bowls for the different colors.  

You can shop some of the supplies here!
Happy Baking!

Fresh and Easy Thai Chicken Spring Rolls

FoodLibby RasmussenComment

Fresh spring rolls, are easily one of the top ten food items I regularly crave but shockingly, had never made for myself. Until now. In fact, just a few weeks ago I tried making them for the first time and I will say, it takes a little practice.  After two or three practice rolls (which I happily ate) I finally got into the swing of things and was rolllllling through, with each roll getting better and better.  Regardless of the appearance, again, I'm still working on this, the spring rolls taste amazing. 

IMG_6381.jpg

Ingredients 

Basil Leaves
1/2 pound chicken breast
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of Sesame seeds
1 tablespoon honey
Scallion
Asian rice noodles
Shredded carrot
1/2 cucumber julienned
Rice spring roll papers
 

Sriracha Chicken

1lb Organic Chicken Breast
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of sesame seeds
Coconut oil or cooking oil of choice

  1. Slice chicken in thin strips and place in a bowl. Add Sriracha, honey, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and any other seasoning of choice.  Let marinate for at least 10 minutes. 
  2. Cook chicken in coconut oil or oil of choice until ready and tender. 

Thai Peanut Chili Sauce

¼ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons of chili-garlic sauce

Instructions

Before assembling the spring rolls, make sure you have all of the ingredients prepared and ready on a cutting board separate from where you will be making your rolls.  Have a frying pan filled with lukewarm water next to you for getting the rice papers damp. 

  1. Place one rice paper in the shallow water and flip.  Do not keep in the water longer than 5 seconds or so.  The paper will continue to soften as you are preparing the rolls.  Tip: it helps if your cutting board is wooden and a little damp for the paper to roll more easily.
  2. Once on the cutting board, assemble your rice noodles, carrots, cucumber, chicken, basil, and scallions neatly in a line on the rice paper.
  3. Carefully begin working the rice paper and fillings together in a way you would roll a burrito.  Nice and tight and make sure the edges are folded in on the sides.
  4. Remember, practice makes perfect.  It took me about 3 rolls to get it just right. And the rejects still taste just as good!
Source:  Take a Bite

Source: Take a Bite

A few weeks prior, I explored with Shrimp Spring Rolls with more fun ingredients!  Really with spring rolls, the opportunities are endless. Make sure to check out my friend Annie from Take a Bite.  She made Chrissy Teigen’s Summer Shrimp Spring Rolls recipe the other night and they looked amazing! 

What ingredients do you like in your spring rolls? 

White Chocolate Confetti Peanut Butter Cups

FoodLibby RasmussenComment

I’m not sure there’s anything I love more than peanut butter cups and these homemade white chocolate cups are no exception. With just 4 ingredients, you can whip up a tasty snack for those late night savory and sweet cravings. This might be one of our easiest recipes to date. Good luck having just one…

IMG_6116.jpg

INGREDIENTS 

2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup Peanut Butter (any preference)
3 tablespoons honey or 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
A few pinches of salt
Confetti sprinkles (a must)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl mix peanut butter, honey or sugar, salt if using, with a fork until well combined. Refrigerate.
  2. Place mini or regular cupcake liners in a muffin tray (I used this mini tray
  3. Melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. (If needed: add a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil to thin out.) And pour a thin layer into each tin. Freeze for a minute or two.
  4. Scoop out small balls of peanut butter and flatten and form them to fit inside the cups leaving room at the top to cover them with chocolate.
  5. Melt the rest of the chocolate and drop 1/2 teaspoonfuls over the top of each one, smooth out and refrigerate until set. Store long-term in the refrigerator or freezer. 
  6. ENJOY!

Love white chocolate? Make sure to check out my recipe for White Chocolate Popcorn.
Just as addicting! 

Make sure to follow Libby Living Colorfully on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram 

Photography: Libby Rasmussen

Sweet Potachos with Pomegranate Pepper Salsa

FoodLibby RasmussenComment

We had a little cook-off at the of firm today to make a traditionally unhealthy food item healthier. The food item: Nachos.  Yikes.  Considering just yesterday, I was indulging in some melty cheese covered tortilla nachos, I knew I needed to make a lighter alternative.  Luckily, just a few weeks ago, one of my favorite food bloggers, Annie from Take a Bite, made these awesome Sweet Potato Nachos or, as she fittingly calls them, "Potachos" and they are good, really really good.   

Ingredients 

3-4 Large Organic Sweet Potatoes
Olive or Coconut Oil
Pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 Yellow Pepper
1/2 Red Onion
1/2 Cup Pomegranate Seeds
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheese
1/2 Avocado
Jalapenos
Sliced Radish
Cilantro
Limes
Fage Greek Yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Rinse and slice sweet potatoes uniformly thin, using a mandolin. 
  3. Toss slices in light olive or coconut oil, sprinkle with pink salt. Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 2 hours.  Flip and rotate after an hour. 
  4. Begin making the Pomegranate Pepper Salsa (Step 6)
  5. When golden brown, let them rest for 10 minutes in oven with door open for extra crisp.
  6. Combine diced yellow pepper, red onion, pomegranate seeds, cilantro and a lime squeeze and mix together.  For extra kick, throw in some of the jalapeno seeds and a dash of pink salt.
  7. Once chips are ready to plate, add cheese, avocado, salsa, radish and greek yogurt to top. Enjoy! 

What I love most about this recipe is the pomegranate seeds. Fruit on nachos and tacos is surprisingly good, especially with a spicy pork or chicken.  Just a few weeks ago I had some pulled pork tacos with mandarin oranges and it was amazing. 

What would you put on your Potachos?
Thanks again for the recipe idea Annie!
Oh, and we won $100 for the office cook-off too! Worth it. 

Photography: Libby Rasmussen