Monday, July 13, 2015

July and Avocado-Feta Salsa

July, July, July!

Last week I told you that July is super busy at our house. This year seems even busier!

Saturday was my birthday.

And that sweet thing was my birthday cake :) In a house with two bakers in residence, neither of us had the time or energy to bake a cake. So I took the easy way out.

Why didn't we have time or energy? Because I asked for a special birthday treat - a family hike to the top of Harney Peak, the highest mountain between the Rockies and the Pyrenees.

Here are some of the sights along the way:

Our goal - the fire tower at the top!

But with a 4:30 wake-up call and six hours of hiking before noon, we were wiped out. Therefore, Hostess baked my birthday cake and Klondike took care of the ice cream. :)

And while I haven't been baking, I have been cooking. Here's a foretaste of next week's recipes for "brinner."

Virginia told me about a Facebook group for Cast Iron cooking enthusiasts, and I've been finding the best recipes! Here's where you can join the group: Cast Iron Cooking.

Or you can wait until Virginia and I share our favorites.

And I haven't forgotten about the sourdough! Waiting for the weather to cool off, first. We're in the mid-90's this week.

Meanwhile, I'm sharing a great rerun recipe from a couple summers ago. This is definitely going on this week's menu!

Avocado-Feta Salsa

Yes, you read that right - Avocado and Feta together in a salsa.

It's fabulous!

Start here:

Avocado, tomato, red onion and cilantro. Chop it all up.

And then add a bit of this:

Throw in some garlic and a bit of oregano, and then mix it all together with a splash of olive oil and some apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar - whatever you have handy).

And here's the hard part.

Refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.

*tap, tap, tap*

And then it's good to go! You can eat it with tortilla chips, pita chips, or.....

Twice-baked Zucchini Rounds! 

Take one of those big zucchinis - you know, the ones that were hiding in your garden until they're gargantuan size and you don't know what to do with them - and slice a few 1/4" thick rounds.

Cover both sides with olive oil, and bake on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes or so at 375°. Then take them out of the oven and top them with your favorite combo. I used the Avocado-Feta Salsa. Stick them back in the oven and broil them for a few minutes, or until the cheese starts melting.


I had a few of these for lunch with my Salmon with Garlicky Spinach (recipe here). It was a low-carb extravaganza!

And last week I put the salsa on my hamburger - now that was delicious!

Okay, I know I need to give you the official recipe:

Avocado-Feta Salsa
(originally from

1 plum tomato, chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar (apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar)
2 Tablespoons crumble feta cheese

Mix together gently. Cover and chill for 2 to 6 hours.

And I thought it would be fun to end up with a couple rerun Thatcher pictures. He was about six months old here. :)

Okay, it's time for me to get back to working on the second installment of my trilogy from Revell, "Mattie's Pledge." I love this story, but the deadline is looming!

How is your July going? Weddings? Birthdays? Cousin Paloozas? What is your favorite part of the month?


  1. You hiked a mountain.

    You hiked a mountain.

    You hiked a mountain.

    You hiked a mountain.


    I am in awe.

  2. I bounced in a bounce castle. Does that count? Only it was 90 degrees and I don't have as much bounce at 90 degrees. I find that my bounce-ability decreases as the temperatures increase.

    You hiked a mountain.

    (I seem to be stuck there, perhaps another cup of coffee will help!!!)

    1. Yes, I hiked a mountain on my birthday (I won't tell you how many candles should have been on my birthday cake - but enough to make hiking a mountain a pretty big achievement!)

      And we started the hike early in the morning because we were in the low-90's here, too. I wilt when the temps get that high. I wouldn't have been bouncing in a bounce castle much, either.

      But the cousin palooza!!!! I can hardly wait to hear about it! You'll be talking about it on Thursday, right?

  3. Happy birthday! I don't ever get b-day cakes unless someone from church does it. So I totally understand. :)

    Beautiful photos! And I can't await to try that salsa. Some of my favorite ingredients!

    1. I love this salsa! It goes great on almost everything :)

  4. Oh, that avocado-feta salad is my kind of recipe! I've given my kids feta to eat since they were little and I forget that it's not a common flavor. A few months ago we had guests and my daughter brought out the feta for the omelettes. (Why is that red underlined? I spelled it right, I'm sure. Anwyay...) So one of our guests takes a bite and... his face!! He was caught between eating something he hated and spitting it out! Poor guy...
    But for us, feta is like cheddar. You can use it everywhere!

  5. And happy birthday!! Love the fire tower How old is it? I could Google but I'm being lazy. :D

    1. Feta is one of my favorite cheeses. :) I fell in love with it years ago.

      And the fire tower was built by the CCC from 1935 to 1938. Mt. Rushmore was carved during that same time period, by the way - 1927 - 1941.

      All of the building materials were hauled to the site by mules. It had living quarters with electricity, flush toilets and central heating. It also had a nearby water supply (a reservoir) and a pump house.

      The summit of the mountain was used as a fire lookout as early as 1911, and the fire tower was manned until the mid-1960's when airplanes and other fire towers made the Harney Peak lookout obsolete.

      It's a cool place to go - like an abandoned fortress on the mountaintop.

      Of course, imaginations run rampant - but they run more easily when the place isn't as crowded as it is on a Saturday in July!

    2. hahaha! I can imagine! Staying the night there on Hallowe'en might be fun for some. :) Thanks for the info!

  6. Happy Birthday!!

  7. Belated happy birthday, Jan!

    I bow to your choice of hiking.