Recently I stumbled upon a blog that blew my mind a little bit. That’s extremely hard to do with the ever-expanding blogosphere. Actually the sheer number of blogs out there sometimes makes me want to turn off my wifi. But this one is fresh and different! So please, read on and let me introduce you to Twinne.
Meet sisters Danny and Alex. The two formed an idea to create a space that kept them together even while being hundreds of miles apart at school. They conceptualized a space that focused on fashion, lifestyle, and beauty through the lens of two identical twins with very different personal styles. Danny and Alex created Twinne. The blog allows you to visualize different style concepts and voices with the same face behind it all. It’s pretty genius right? The best part is that the two are strong and smart women. They are both attending Ivy League schools with a successful and beautiful website to show for it so far…and they’re only juniors.
We have come up with a summer menu together. A fun and fizzy drink and an anything-but-boring salad are quick and perfect to prepare with friends. Not to mention delicious. An Appeasing a Food Geek and Twinne collab! Looking for some ideas for your Fourth of July gathering? Search no further because these two recipes are just perfect. I tackled the salad, but you’ll have to stop by Twinne to see the stellar strawberry soda. And while you’re there browse through their amazing pictures and posts. You’ll thank me later. I bet you won’t be able to get the Chanel out of your head.
But what would a post be without at least one food science fun fact? This salad features avocados and goat cheese that combine with lime juice to create a creamy texture without having to add dressing. The avocados share an interesting trait with apples and other fruits—they brown after you cut into them. This browning is caused by an enzyme in the food called polyphenol oxidase. We’ll just call it PPO to keep it easy! In fact avocado has a more active PPO enzyme than most fruits. PPO starts to work when oxygen is introduced. That’s why your apple doesn’t brown until after you bite into it. So how do we stop this gross brown color from forming? Because nothing is worse than brown guacamole. Our best bet in this situation is to change the enzyme and make it ineffective. There are three easy ways to do this in the kitchen: heat, salt, and pH. Because most people don’t heat their avocado, and because cooked avocado loses its green color anyway, we’ll focus on salt and pH. PPO is active at neutral pH (6-7), so our goal is to lower the pH of the avocado. Luckily citrus like lime and lemon taste delicious with avocado, so if you’re not eating the avocado right away, juice a lime or lemon on top of it after you cut it open. Salt comes in here too. The enzyme also becomes less active when you add salt to an avocado. Both salt and pH will work together to change the enzyme just enough to slow the browning down to a crawl.
Take these two recipes and the fashion and design inspiration from Twinne and throw a wonderful summer get together for you and your closest friends! Get them involved in the kitchen, and it will be a night to remember. Don’t forget to get the drink recipe from Twinne HERE and fall in love with Alex and Danny like I did!
Corn and Cucumber Salad
2 large cucumbers
4 ears sweet corn
A handful of cilantro leaves
2 ripe avocados
2 ounces goat cheese (I used herbed goat cheese, but regular works just great!)
½ teaspoon salt
1. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. One ear at a time, stand the corn up, wide side down, in a large bowl and use a knife to remove the kernels while holding the top of the ear. Discard the ears after removing the kernels.
2. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and use a spoon to remove the seeds from the inside. Chop the cucumbers into rough 1-inch pieces. Add the cucumber to the corn.
3. Cut the jalapeno in half and remove the seeds. Finely dice the jalapeno and add to the cucumber and corn.
4. Juice two of the limes. Add the juice, salt, and a few cracks of freshly ground pepper to the veggies, and toss to coat. Roughly chop the cilantro and add it to the bowl. Give the veggies one final toss. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
5. When you are ready to serve, peel and pit your avocado. Cut it into chunks and add to the bowl of veggies. Break your goat cheese into bite-sized pieces and add it to the bowl as well as the juice from the final lime. Toss the salad. As you go, the goat cheese and avocado should begin to form a sort of dressing while remaining mostly intact.
6. Taste the salad and adjust for flavor with more salt and pepper. Serve immediately.