Home-Cooked: Strawberry Guacamole

After many years of internal debate and unnecessary apprehension, I can finally say that I am an avocado lover. My initial reservations about this lovely green fruit were washed away when it was perfectly paired with it's berry cousin: the strawberry! I owe this to a local Mexican restaurant that prides itself on it's robust "guacamole" menu.

The menu at this restaurant covers a wide span of flavor profiles from sweet to savory or spicy to mild. This means that there is a type of "guac" for every type of food lover!  As I have eaten my way down the list sampling all the varieties, none compare to the first one I had the fortune of trying: Strawberry Guacamole.

After many attempts to recreate this dish for my own purposes, I've finally landed on my own recipe worth sharing. It's quick and easy, and has become a hit at potlucks, parties or cookouts. The recipe can be found below!

STRAWBERRY GUACAMOLE

Ingredients

  • 2 Ripe Avocados (Medium to Large Sized, Pitted and Scooped)
  • 1/2 Cup - Chopped Strawberries (Fresh and Ripe)
  • 1/8 Cup - Chopped Black Olives
  • 1 tablespoon -  Minced Garlic
  • 3 tablespoons - Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Lime (Finely Zested, Juiced)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mash the avocados with a fork or potato masher until coarsely mashed. 
  2. Fold in strawberries, black olives, minced garlic, cilantro and lime until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Garnish the top with some olives and chopped strawberries.
  4. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate.

 

 

 

 

 

Home-Cooked: Sweet Potato Cornbread

Every so often I get a nagging craving for something that lingers until satisfied. This unfortunateturned blissful occurrence, presented itself just a few weeks ago. After binging on episodes "Chopped" and seeing a chef do a clever take on "cornbread," my own culinary creative juices start flowing. I decided not only was I going to get what I wanted, but I was going to add in a little "Geo" flavor and flare to modernize the classic cornbread recipe.

With a pinch of luck, (and some sweet potatoes that I needed to use quickly) - I was able to upgrade the classic "Jiffy" cornbread recipe and turn it into a skillet-baked Sweet Potato Cornbread. The end result was absolutely delicious, and I am happy to share the recipe with you!

SWEET POTATO CORNBREAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Boxes of Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 2/3 Cups Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup of Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Teaspoon of Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees, and place a cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, whisking until well mixed. 
  3. Carefully remove the cast iron skillet from the oven, and coat the bottom and sides with cooking spray.
  4. Pour in batter and spread evenly in the skillet.
  5. Place in oven and cook for 25 - 30 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Geo's Table presents 28 Days of Soul!

28 Days of Soul

Happy February! It's almost unreal that we have already spent a whole month in 2016! Only 31 days in and I can proudly state 2016 has started with a thrilling bang, including landing a new job, and gaining more opportunities to venture into the magazine writing space. Now it's time to sustain that momentum, and bring some innovative ideas to Geo's Table.

As many of you know, February is recognized as Black History Month, and in honor of this I am elated to bring you the first Geo's Table series 28 Days of Soul. Although this year denotes a leap year with 29 days, it is my hope that this become an annual series that is celebrated each year here at Geo's Table.  

Guided by my personal philosophy of Eat well. Share experiences. Cultivate Community28 Days of Soul will fold each piece of this to segments that celebrate my history and heritage. This will in

  • Eat well: Celebrating the cuisine of the african american community, I will offer new and modern takes on soul food and other personal favorites through a weekly segment called, The Evolution of the Black Kitchen.
  • Share experiences:  Broadening my personal knowledge as well as the knowledge of others has always been very important. Using Twitter and Facebook as my platform, I will offer tidbits of "food-related" history and insights throughout the month.
  • Cultivate community : Honoring the past, and investing in the future, I will also highlight movers and shakers in the food community (locally and beyond). 

I am anxiously awaiting all of the great things that this month will bring, and can't wait to see how it's received. Leave any comments or ideas you'd like to see!


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup and Balsamic Vinegar

Growing up,  the childhood television shows  I loved often displayed brussels sprouts as rancid smelly vegetables that should be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, those less than favorable images stayed with me well into adulthood until about five years ago, when on a whim, I decided to give them a chance.

One evening, after a few drinks, and hunger quickly settling in, I felt adventurous enough to give the restaurant's roasted maple brussels sprouts. The misplaced disdain I had for these precious little bites quickly began to fade, and I cursed 1990s media for their adverse marketing of these small pieces of heaven.

 Now a regular and welcomed guests on my dining room table, I have been honored to dress and prepare these little morsels of goodness in a number of ways. My absolute favorite recipe is one that evokes the same feelings I had during my inaugural experience with them at the restaurant. A simple recipe that involves roasting them with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar; I am happy to share with you my recipe for Roasted Maple-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts.

 

Roasted Maple-Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Prep : 10 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, halved

  • 1 Small Red Onion, chopped

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

  • 2 tbsp pure Maple Syrup

  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Place Brussels sprouts and red onion in a large bowl. Stir well.

  3. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Toss with wooden spoon to coat.

  4. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

  5. Add coated mixture to a cast iron skillet or baking dish. Be sure to cover the bottom evenly.

  6. Roast in oven until brussels sprouts are caramelized, ( approximately 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.)