Monday Meal Review: Cape Verde

My mom used to slather up dates with cream cheese for us kids. I hated the roach-looking things and never could stomach one. So, what exactly posessed me to try the avocado and date dip is beyond me.

I suppose I’m trying to keep it real.

Stretch my horizons.

Expand my palate.

Well, guess what?

It worked. The sweet hint of dates actually works inside avocado! Hurrah. Score one for team Sasha.

But no way I’ll ever eat a date with cream cheese. That battle’s long been lost.

Peasant’s Cachupa [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

The beauty of Cachupa is that you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand to make your own version – don’t like acorn squash? Fine, put in sweeter pumpkin. Wish it had some collard greens? Sounds wonderful – go to town! Too vegan for your tastes? No problem – you can make this stew a meat-lover’s delight, by adding in smoked and traditional Portuguese sausages.

As for our version – the flavor of the hominy and cabbage dominates, with slight brightness from the tomatoes. Also, this dish will serve a crowd, making 6 quarts.

What I liked least about this dish:

I used the largest pot I had and it still came right up to the top. Once the cabbage cooks down, though, there is a lot more room. Just be careful not to boil over!

Creamy Avocado Dip with Sweet Dates [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

This mild, slightly sweet dip makes for a quirky, fun side dish. In Cape Verde they top the dip with cooked shrimp or prawn – I wish I had done this. In my heart of hearts, I just know that recipe would make an out of this world spread, perhaps on a hot turkey panini.

What I liked least about this dish:

Keith summarized my thoughts exactly – “good but kind of bland.” While I liked the dip, the soft creaminess needed something to wake it up. I was hesitant to add salt because I think it would clash with the dates. Perhaps a splash of fresh orange juice to brighten it up? Let me know if you come up with anything.

Coconut Milk Chiller [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

The coconut milk adds a tropical treat to plain jane milk. A fun party drink for children. Feel free to add less coconut milk for milder flavor and lower fat. The cinnamon adds a much needed flavor dimension.

What I liked least about this dish:

I refrigerated this drink after making it and some of the coconut milk turned flakey and hard (the way melted butter does in cold liquids). This was very unappealing, so the drink is meant to be drunk cool, but not cold.

Cape Verdean Coconut Milkshake [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

This rich sweet treat sends sugar pulsing directly into your heart, making it flutter like its in love. Keith, Mr. Sweet Tooth, was swooning beside me while I, evermore cautious, paced myself, slowly slurping the milkshake off of a cinnamon stick – the cinnamon goodness gets into the icecream this way and makes the whole thing sinfully good.

What I liked least about this dish:

I am pretty sure I could have accurately called this dish “heartattack in a glass.” But it was worth every sip.

Ava’s Corner


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