I’m baaack from my crazy, whirlwind trip to the Southwestern state of Arizona.
How beautiful is that?!
I spent three sunny 80-plus degree days in Scottsdale lounging by the pool, shopping, and dining. Lots of dining.
I even tried a tequila shot with the worm in it on my last day. It was so. gross. Do not try the tequila shot with the worm in it.
That gruesome beverage was part of an “Easter egg hunt” we did around Old Town (where all the shops and bars are) in Scottsdale.
The day, which was organized by my friend’s extremely creative boss, began with a beautiful Easter brunch at a resort. Afterwards, we hopped on bikes he had decorated with Easter balloons to begin the hunt.
He’d leave each place a little before us, text us clues as to what locale he was at, and then let a waitress or bartender in on the secret and give them our prizes. For example, at the first place we had to figure out what he was drinking and order it. We scrutinized the drink up and down, made our guesses, and both got it wrong so we got smaller token prizes instead of the big egg. The right answer would have been to simply ask the bartender what he was drinking and order that! So simple, but so easy to miss!
It was so much fun and definitely made my Easter one to remember. I’m used to spending the holiday with my mom’s extended family doing our own little Easter egg hunt, so I was definitely missing their presence when I woke up Sunday (and I’m not just saying that because my mom reads this!).
Thanks to my very gracious hosts, the day was just as festive and fun.
I’m happy to be back in New York, but I’m definitely missing the flavor of Arizona—especially those balmy temperatures! So, here’s my attempt at preserving a taste of the Southwest: Southwestern twice-baked sweet potatoes.
This twice-baked sweet potato has absolutely no cream or other fattening ingredients you often find in twice-baked potatoes, but still has tons of great flavor thanks to the smokiness of the chipotle and tons of beans and veggies. Sprinkle it with just a little cheese and I could eat this all week long!
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup canned corn, rinsed
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 INDIVIDUAL chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese, divided into 4 tablespoons (I like the Mexican blend)
- Preheat oven to 425F. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a fork and bake on a foil-lined baking sheet for approximately 60 minutes, or until tender (alternatively, microwave for about 6 minutes).
- While sweet potatoes are baking, heat olive oil and saute onions for approximately 5 minutes until translucent and tender.
- Add corn and cook approximately 5 minutes until corn is slightly golden brown. Add beans, chipotle peppers, and sauce. Cook for approximately 3 more minutes, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove sweet potatoes from the oven when fork-tender and let cool for about 5 minutes. Cut the sweet potatoes in half and scoop the flesh out, being careful not to pierce the skin.
- In a large bowl, mix the flesh of the sweet potatoes with the veggie and bean mixture.
- Scoop the filling into the skins and top each with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Broil for about 3 minutes, until cheese is melted.