Why was my post-race Sunday glorious? Because I woke up to this:
So I lounged in bed for the first time in…uh…a long time, made a leisurely breakfast, wandered to the grocery store late morning and cleaned my bike. Then I crashed Katie’s backyard for some sun time and came home to prepare for a lovely blogger pasta extravaganza, hosted by the lovely Lauren. Ten girls, eight pounds of pasta and lots of dessert. Yeah.
I always welcome an opportunity to try new recipes, so I brought an appetizer, a side dish and a dessert. First up, Strawberry Avocado Dip, adapted from Cooking Light:
Now, this looks like normal guacamole, right? But not so — what appear to be tomatoes are actually strawberries, and that gives the dish a little bit of sweetness. It’s great served with the standard tortilla chips but also with cinnamon sugar pita chips. I KNOW.
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled ripe avocado (about 2)
- 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients, stir gently and serve.
Notes: When I make dips of any kind, I don’t really follow exact measurements. My final product had more avocado and strawberry for the same amount of all the other ingredients. Also, like avocado dishes in general, this browns quickly if you do not store it in an airtight container.
To supplement all the delicious carbs Lauren was preparing — three kinds of pasta with all kinds of meat and cheese and veggies to thrown on top, I also made Asparagus with Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes:
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.
Notes: This dish is good both cold and hot. I waited to add the cheese so it wouldn’t melt quite so much.
And for the real reason you’re here: BOOZY CUPCAKES in the form of an Irish Car Bomb. Otherwise known as the “I paid $35 for alcohol to make this” dessert. This recipe, found on Smitten Kitchen, incorporates Guinness in the cake batter, Jameson’s in the ganache filling and Bailey’s in the buttercream frosting. I made these on Thursday because I had an afternoon off from training — I know, a novel concept — and carried a few to Saturday’s race and the remainder to Sunday’s potluck. They’re ahhhhhhmazing.
Beth also made boozy dessert — Tequila Cake. I don’t think you can go wrong with alcohol plus sugar. What’s your favorite combo?