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Pico de Gallo recipe

Pico de gallo, spanish for “rooster’s beak,” is a great fresh condiment that is made from fresh ingredients and a little fruit juice. It’s also quick to make, and fits into an celebration.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 to a whole small onion
  • 1 or 2 seeded chopped jalapeño peppers
  • Chopped cilantro to taste
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:
Put the tomatoes, onion, and peppers into a bowl. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Sprinkle the lime juice and salt on top and stir again. Done!

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chorizo-c-quesoContinuing with the for , Chorizo con Queso is a classic.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound spicy chorizo
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cheddar
  • 1 cup Monterey jack
  • 1/4 cup milk (if desired)

Preparation:
Squeeze the chorizo out of its casing and fry on medium in a shallow pan. Once it’s done, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain, retaining as much of the rendered fat in the pan as possible. Pour the chicken broth into the pan to deglaze it - scrape the browned bits from the bottom. Add the chiles, tomatoes, onion and garlic and heat until bubbling. Add the chorizo back to the pan and stir until well incorporated. Add the cheese and stir until melted. If the dip is too thick for your taste, add the milk. Serve hot with chips or warmed tortillas.

PS - if you’re feeling crazy, you could always deglaze the pan with tequila instead of chicken broth for an extra kick of Mexican flavor.

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Basic guacamoleDips are a tasty way to get a party started. Today I have three dips for that taste great with veggies, chips, or warmed tortillas. Classic, customizable guacamole is a cool foil to a hot chorizo con queso dip, and pico de gallo is chunkier than a traditional salsa but still packs a ton of flavor. Also, it’s so incredibly simple that once the ingredients are chopped, you’re pretty much done with the entire thing. Let’s start with the guacamole:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preparation:
Scoop the flesh from the avocados into a bowl. Add the lime juice, salt and cilantro. Mash until creamy.

This is the most basic of recipes for guacamole, and there are plenty of ways to add to it. If you’re feeling a little kicky, add some pico de gallo or a little bit of salsa. Add more cilantro if you feel like it, or don’t add any at all. Maybe sprinkle some cumin on top or add some ancho chiles. The guac possibilities are literally endless.

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Just leave it to Diddy, hip-hop star, fashion mogul, and leader of Bad Boy Records, to bring such a scientific experiment into the forefront of our minds. Why the final word between KFC’s fried chicken and that of Popeye’s has taken so long to be settled is beyond me, but we need to thank the heavens above that Diddy was able to bring this important issue into light.

Now we won’t ruin the results, but we will say that we have to agree with his assessment that says KFC mashed potatoes and gravy beat Popeye’s version, while Popeye’s beans destroy those of KFC. But really, this is all about the chicken, is it not? Hit the video above for the results - we’ve kept you waiting long enough.


macncheese

As a Foodnetwork addict I am constantly experimenting with great recipes from from my favorite shows.  On Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello on an episode entitled “Pot luck challenge”, Jan Birnbaum, chef and restaurateur, caught my eye with an upscale, hearty mac n’ cheese.

The original recipe called for shrimp, which I was all about, but after visiting the seafood counter at Whole Foods, husband and I couldn’t resist the lobster meat (shrimp vs. lobster? no contest). So we splurged justifying that this would be our Superbowl Sunday feast.

Here is my adaptation of Jan’s recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 box medium shell pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup tasso ham or bacon (I used bacon)
  • 5 large shallots, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, mined
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white wine (see review below)
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup grated fontina
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar (I prefer mild but sharp would be great too)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 6-8 oz lobster meat cut up in good bite size chunks (we bought the precooked tub at the seafood counter)
  • 2 cups gently packed spinach
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
  • Hot pepper sauce, to taste (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs ( I used panko, my new favorite thing)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leave

Click to continue reading Recipe: Lobster Macaroni and Cheese


avocado salad

It’s summer, and the food lobe of my brain turns to one thing when the weather starts warming up - avocados. Being on the East Coast, avocados are definitely my favorite summertime-only indulgence, and they are well worth the wait in all of their forms. Another recipe from Clean Eating magazine, these Avocado Salad Wraps are fantastic as a light lunch or, when paired with some bread or tortillas, a stove-free dinner on a hot day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, chopped into pieces the same size as the avocado
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • lime juice (optional)
  • 4 big lettuce leaves (romaine works great)

Preparation:
Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. If the wraps aren’t going to be eaten right away, toss some lime juice into the bowl with the salad.

Divide the salad between the 4 lettuce leaves, wrap and enjoy!  Or, if you’re like me, eschew the lettuce altogether and eat the salad straight out of the bowl.

 

Read More | Clean Eating Magazine

summer-pasta-salad

This pasta salad is one of my favorite potluck contributions. Because of the fact that the pasta has to be completely cool - at most room temperature - before assembling the salad, it’s a great dish to start at night and finish the next day. Here’s a recipe for a great Summer Pasta Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb smallish, shaped pasta (rotini, farfalle, macaroni, anything small and easily fork-able)
  • 1/2 bottle of Italian dressing (not creamy)
  • 4 T Salad Supreme
  • 1 12 to 14 inch cucumber or two smaller ones, peeled and seeded
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 4 ounces Provolone cheese (this is usually 4 slices of prepackaged sliced cheese)
  • 4 ounces salami (again, usually 4 slices of prepackaged sliced meat, but this can also be 4 ounces from a whole salami)

Click to continue reading Recipe: Summer Pasta Salad


Sauteed corn, spinach, and green beansI prefer to have vegetables prepared with every dinner that I serve my family, so it is nice to come across a recipe that is easy to prepare while the entree is cooking away. True, the kids may pick and choose which veggie is their favorite, as my 4-year-old would, but I enjoy all three as I hope your family will. This recipe calls for frozen vegetables to save time, but I always love to use fresh when given the choice…up to your preference.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pkg. 10 oz. frozen corn kernels
  • 1 pkg. 10 oz. frozen cut green beans
  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • coarse salt and ground pepper

Preparation:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high, add corn and green beans, and cook about 4-6 minutes, until green beans are warmed through. Next add the thyme and spinach, seasoning with salt and pepper. Toss until spinach is wilted, about 1-2 minutes, then stir in the vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in a bright dish for added pizazz.


Tomato Chickpea salad

I absolutely love salads, so when I come across a new recipe, I have to share it with everyone - we all could use more veggies in our diets. This recipe is quite simple and tasty, as well as pleasing to the eye—because I am a huge believer in that we first eat with our eyes, before our mouths.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces baby arugula
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted if desired(my preference)
  • 2 TB red wine vinegar
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper to taste

Preparation:
In medium bowl, layer the first 5 ingredients and set aside. In separate tightly lidded container, combine vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper; shake until blended. Pour directly onto salad and toss.

Enjoy a fresh, quick salad.


rl-biscuits

Seafood is not that big a thing around Gear Live’s virtual offices. And while I can’t speak for the other editors, I’ve been known to hit up the neighborhood Red Lobster solely for the biscuits. Unfortunately, the staff at the ol’ RL didn’t take kindly on a person who goes in alone and has nothing but biscuits, a side salad and water. That left me trying to recreate the little starchy wonders at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups of baking mix (I use Bisquick)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Click to continue reading Recipe: Copycat Red Lobster Biscuits


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