A little secret a chef may tell you is that some of your favorite foods are quite simple to make yourself.
I learned this personally one summer while working in a local restaurant’s kitchen. I realized that many of summer’s popular dips or side dishes are not that much more work making them from scratch than just buying them already prepared at a store.
So, I created a list of simple summer recipes for you that will make you feel like a master chef yourself when you make them from scratch.
- 3 ripe avocados
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 TBL chopped cilantro
- ½ TBL salt
Optional add-ins: diced onion, diced tomato, diced jalapeño
Directions: Mash avocados and combine all ingredients in a bowl (yes, it is really that simple).
- 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
Optional: For sweeter whipped cream add in 2-4 TBL powdered sugar.
Optional add-in flavorings (pick one): ½ tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp maple syrup, ½ lemon juice, and zest, etc.
Directions: Place mixing bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer for 15 mins (you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer). Then, pour whipping cream (and optional ingredients including sugar or flavorings) into a mixing bowl and whisk at a medium to medium-high speed for approximately 7 minutes until stiff peaks form. To tell if you have stiff peaks, remove the whisk from it and turn it upside down. The cream should form a peak (picture a mountain) and will either slightly curl at the top or will be a firm stiff peak.
- 1 Can Chickpeas
- ¼ cup tahini
- lemon juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 TBL extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ tsp cumin
Directions: Blend together ingredients in a food processor. Add water 1 TBL at a time until desired consistency is reached. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl each time water is added. Garnish with paprika.
Restaurant Style Salsa
- 2 10 oz cans of diced Tomatoes
- ½ onion
- 1 jalapeno (halved and stem removed)
- juice of ½ lime
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ cup of cilantro
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp sugar
Directions: Put ingredients into a blender. Blend to desired consistency.
For a pico de gallo style of salsa use fresh tomatoes, skip the blender, dice up all your ingredients, and combine in a bowl.
- 2 cups Basil (leaves no stems)
- 2 TBL pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup parmesan
Directions: Blend together basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor until finely minced. While the food processor is running, slowly add in oil and blend until smooth. Add the cheese and process just until cheese is mixed in.
I am certain some of you mamas will have a surplus of vegetables from your garden that you can use to make homemade dips or as vehicles for the dips. I have never been great at gardening, but I do have some basil growing in my kitchen. I am so excited to make pesto using the fresh basil I have grown myself!
Which recipe are you dying to try? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!
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