Recipe Redo: Cranberry Avocado Salsa

Hello! I just wanted to pop in today to share a fun and festive appetizer with you. If you’re gearing up for entertaining this week or you need an easy and delicious idea for something to bring with you to a holiday party, consider making this cranberry avocado salsa!

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut into quarter-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup cranberries, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, honey, red onion, and jalapeño. Season with ground pepper.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients (avocados, cranberries, and cilantro), and mix well. Add a pinch of salt and more ground pepper if needed.
  3. Enjoy!

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

If this recipe looks familiar to you, it’s because I’ve posted it before. However, since Tim and I recently perfected the original recipe by making a few tweaks, I wanted you guys to have the updated version. The previous one did not call for the jalapeño, although if you are sensitive to heat you could still leave it out or you could de-seed the jalapeno. De-seeding it lessens how spicy the dish is while still adding depth of flavor, if that makes sense. We also increased the amount of cilantro used and added an extra seasoning step. Just consider it part of my recipe redo efforts. Plus, the former pictures were just terrible.

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

The red from the cranberries and the green from the avocados makes this salsa the perfect starter at your Christmas party. The flavors pair nicely together, and it’s a dish that never lets us down. It always gets a lot of attention wherever we bring it. The last time we made this was for our friends’ housewarming party, and they actually used some of the leftovers to top chicken lunches the next week. I thought that was a great idea and can’t wait to try that next.

If you are serving a crowd, I recommend doubling or tripling the ingredient quantities provided and bringing along some type of pita bread or chip to dip with it. My favorite brand of tortilla and pita chips to serve for a healthier option is Way Better Snacks because of the better for you ingredients they use. Even Tim, the world’s biggest regular potato chip lover, enjoys Way Better Snacks. I consider it a win that I tricked him into actually enjoying a snack made of sprouted grains.

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

Hope some of you will give this one a go this week and love it as much as we do.

–Let’s chat–
What are your favorite festive foods?

For more food inspiration for this week, check out the recipe round-up I posted last year with festive holiday eats!

Squash Tartlets with Kale Pesto

Question: Did any of you watch the last season of Food Network Star? I only started tuning in last season, but I was immediately hooked. Ever since Damaris was named the next star of the series, I’ve been waiting for her Food Network Magazine feature to arrive at my front door. Food Network Magaine is the only magazine that Tim and I still get delivered to our apartment, and we love flipping through it every month. When the  November issue arrived, I was stoked to discover it not only had Damaris’ victory feature, but also a simple Thanksgiving appetizer recipe recommendation from her.

I decided to bring this dish for my appetizer contribution to Thanksgiving at my grandfather’s house. Not only was it easy to make, but it was relatively healthy… and yummy too.

Squash Tartlets with Kale PestoThe original recipe called for a kabocha squash. I had no idea what a kabocha squash was, so I had to look it up. I learned that a kabocha squash is a popular winter squash. Picture the greenish-yellow squash variety in the grocery store that kind of look like small little pumpkins, and you’ve got your kabocha squash visual. However, when I went to the store, the ones that I thought were kabocha squash were labeled buttercup squash instead, not to be confused with butterNUT. After a little help from the world-wide web, I then learned that both kabocha and buttercup squash are in the same squash family, they can be substituted for each other, but they are not the same. Regardless, both are very sweet and creamy, even more so than butternut squash (my fave) is.

Long story long, buttercup squash it was! I also made some further adjustments to Damaris’ original recipe, as noted below.

Squash Tartlets with Kale Pesto


  • 2 small buttercup squash (peeled, seeded and diced) — original recipe called for kabocha
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil – original recipe called for coconut oil, but my uncle is allergic!
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds – original recipe called for pecans, but my other uncle thinks he’s allergic (he’s not)
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby kale
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 30 frozen mini phyllo shells, thawed
  • Grated gruyere cheese – you could also use gouda cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the squash and unpeeled garlic with the grape seed oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, then roast. Toss halfway through until the squash is tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. After the squash is cooking, make the pesto. First, peel the roasted garlic. Mash with the flat side of a chef’s knife to make a paste; transfer to a food processor. Add the sunflower seeds, and pulse until finely ground. Add the kale and pulse until chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the olive oil and purée until smooth.
  4. Arrange the phyllo shells on a baking sheet. Add about 1 teaspoon pesto to each. Then add 1 or 2 pieces of squash and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

Kale PestoSquash Tartlets with Kale PestoKale Pesto Squash Tartlets with Kale PestoThese were a crowd pleaser. At least I assume they were since there were none left by the time I left my grandfather’s house! The squash was definitely creamier than other squash varieties, so the internet didn’t fail with educating me, but I think they would be just as delicious using your regular ole butternut if you prefer. I also enjoyed being different by making a pesto with kale instead of the more traditional basil recipes. I don’t LOVE kale on its own, but I like discovering new ways to cook with it, and this recipe was a great find.

Next time you have to bring an appetizer with you to a party, give this one a whirl!
–Let’s chat–
What’s your favorite kind of squash? Favorite pesto? Favorite appetizer dish?