Tag Archives: Guacamole

Halloween Feast: Open WIDE

We live in an apartment complex where kids wouldn’t exactly walk up to. There’s plenty of college kids living here and some other sketchy folk, so we decided to not give out here. We decided that we (Chris, cousins, & co.) would go to my aunt’s house in a very much-more family-friendly area. It’s also big, spacious and lovely. The perfect spot for some Halloween fun.

As soon as I was out of work, I raced home with a huge list of things to bring on my mind. First, I made some of my guacamole (which I ended up having to make a second batch because people [CHRIS] ate all of it before the main dish was out). Then, I put the pumpkins in the car, the Halloween cookies, the laundry (yes we brought our laundry over), CANDY, red wine, and apple cider. Was that it? Oh yes, and the kittens! It was the first time they’ve been over to my aunt’s house since they’ve finally gotten their Rabies shots (yay!). So I shoved both of them in the cat carrier and headed over to my aunt’s house.

Once there, I found Megan (my cousin) already preparing her wild-caught fish tacos. It was a big project, but she used top-notch ingredients, even made her own aioli chipotle sauce.  She battered them in panko breadcrumbs, turned out absolutely fabulous. Fred, her boyfriend, and his brother made a top notch cole-slaw that would go on top. And then my guacamole on top of that. It was amazing. Seriously. Better than any taco place can give out. Just LOOK at it.

Main show of the feast, everyone put a little something in and it turned out to be excellent

We had a lovely appetizer of bread and baked brie with a chipotle cranberry sauce (might have been pomegranate, never get it right). Again, delicious. 

We put on Monsters Inc. (the most Halloween-y movie we could find) and enjoyed our dinner immensely. As soon as we were done, Chris immediately wanted to put the cookies in the oven. They’re his favorite kind of cookies. Basic sugar cookies with Halloween deco on them.

And they didn’t last too long….

 By the time these were done with, we really couldn’t move. All on the couch, kitties laying peacefully across us (why didn’t I get pics of that?!), blissfully enjoying our full bellies.

And of course, the mess in the kitchen was as usual (and as should be!) after any well-prepared feast. And Ben (my other cousin) cleaned everything up, thanks Ben!

Overall, it was a great Halloween, full of food, friends, and family (what else matters, really?). The only bummer was that we only got three batches of trick or treaters. We would get so excited when the doorbell rings I think we kind of scared them off. Anyways, it was a great time.

Nymeria didn’t like her outfit as much as we did. 

Happy Halloween!

Who celebrated Labor Day? We Did!

So what’s it actually mean to celebrate Labor Day?  It means to keep a tradition from 1882 alive, by recognizing the hard work and dedication of everyone in this fine country that works for nearly every other day of the year. Or that’s what it more-or-less meant when it was founded.

Now, it’s just another reason for people to “party” in whatever sense of that word they want to follow. Back home, I thought a lot more stores closed on Labor Day but I never count so it’s hard to tell. So much for not working on Labor Day… everyone in Target was working, and they have a lot of employees. Everyone in the grocery was working too. Maybe it’s that people, businesses, and the economy in general can’t really take a day off like it could have when our genera financial situations were doing better. We managed to take off because neither of us have actual jobs right now. But we did put our work in on Labor Day doing our general chores around the house. Cleaning the house, cleaning the litter boxes, changing a light bulb, you know, the little things. We did, also, decided to celebrate a little with some family.

Around 5:30 p.m., Alana made some guacamole with avocados that were 3 for $1. Good deal. She also made homemade chips, but flour tortillas do not make chips as well as corn tortillas. So remember that. On the way to Marga’s (her aunt) in North Boulder (Nobo), we stopped at the grocery store (Safeway) and bought some big-brand chips, a pineapple (for grilling), and some fish. When we got to the fishmonger’s counter, I looked for a fresh (non-frozen or thawed) and wild-caught (not farmed raised) piece of fish. The choices were salmon, sole, halibut, and swordfish. Swordfish was on sale, it’s one of the meatiest and fishiest fish, so that was an easy choice. Good for grilling. So is salmon, but I’ve had enough grilled salmon for a lifetime. We headed over to Marga’s house, and we were the first ones there.

Her new house, which as you can imagine has already seen tons of work, is looking great so far. There’s still a lot to be done, but the progress is really amazing for one person, with a handful of helpers that show up from time to time to contribute, i.e., Michael, us, Megan, Ben, Fred, who knows. When we got there it looked like there was already enough food prepared for eight people but we were just expecting everyone mentioned above, minus Michael, plus Fred’s brother who is visiting from Utah. Well, Fred and his brother had a fantasy football draft, so they couldn’t quite make it, leaving ALL that food for us! What a pity.

Our Lovely Feast

The feast, which was shared by the five (Megan, Ben (Alana’s cousins), Marga, Alana, and I) of us (a friend stopped over but was too full to eat), included: a beautifully presented salad with walnuts, avocado, mixed tomatoes, and blackberries… the chips and guacamolecorn on the cob, boiled in a pot… burgers with feta cheese stuffed into them… homemade potato salad…from Whole Foods (Marga’s would’ve been better)… grilled swordfish steaks… grilled pineapple… grilled peaches… and some pink wine, Rosé?

Marga’s Beautiful Salad

We were all stuffed, I had been eating since Alana started making the guacamole so I was pretty full. We brushed the cats (not the kittens and wow do they make ours seem like toys) and chatted about school starting, Ben’s soccer coaching, our job situation, etc. It was an awesome time and we were so glad that, despite moving to a new place, we had great family to spend our holiday with, even if we aren’t the biggest fans of Labor Day.

I hope you all enjoyed a nice holiday as well, and for all of our international viewers, I’d love to hear if you have your own version of Labor Day where you’re from. Please share!

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Home-Made [EASY] Chips & Guac

Let’s be honest. Has anyone ever in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD ever said no to an offer of chips and guacamole? No, I don’t think so.

I had two avocados hiding in our cabinet. And a tomato in the fridge. Hmmm…what could I POSSIBLY do with these two ingredients? I think you know the answer. However, we didn’t have any tortilla chips (I know, a travesty), and they just go so well with guacamole. But…we did have some tortillas that were going to get old soon. Aha! It’s all coming together now!

Okay so first, let’s get out these corn tortillas. I use Mission Corn Tortillas (see below). I’m not even going to post an “Ingredients” section for the chips because it’s literally tortillas, olive oil, and salt. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Now, go have fun and rip them into little pieces. I used only about five tortillas. Think of how many chips you can actually make if you used the WHOLE bag (30). Put olive oil on the baking sheet before you plop dem tortilla pieces on. Then sprinkle salt all over.

Now let them cook for however long you like. 10 minutes, they’ll be a little soft. I left them in for around 15 minutes to get a nice crunch. Okay, we’ll get back to these when they’re ready from the oven. Let’s get to the important matter…the guac. 

Get your ingredients ready!

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Plenty of salt n peppa

First, let’s tackle the avocados. Now I wish I took a picture of this, but the best technique I’ve found is to put the knife you’re using on the avocado, press down til you hit the core (the pit), and circle it all around the avocado until you’ve made it full-circle. Then grab each half of the avocado and pull! If they are the proper ripeness, they should pull a part easily, making it really easy to scoop the goods out.

Now that you’ve scooped it all into a bowlmash it up!! And have some fun with it! Next, cut up the lovely in-season tomato (small pieces), the garlic, and constantly put pepper and (especially) salt. Once you feel everything is properly seasoned, cut open a lemon, and squeeze that baby out. The lemon (I know people normally use lime–use whatever you want) will give it that nice zesty taste, but also it will preserve it if you want to keep it in the fridge for a bit. Avocados have a tendency to brown fairly easily.

Now that the guac is all mixed up, GO BACK AND TASTE IT! Make sure it has enough salt, guacamole can be notorious for not being salty enough to fill that need. Did you hear something? DING! Chips are ready! (Just kidding, I still don’t have an oven timer). Pull them out of the oven and let them sit for a few minutes so you don’t burn your tongue (like I did after being over-eager and piggish).

They are goooood. So that’s pretty much it. We loved it so much, we made another batch of chips to finish off the guacamole. One of the best things about home cooking is that you know what’s in the food you’re cooking so you have no reason to feel guilty about it, which is an awesome feeling.

Maybe you have a party coming up (Labor Day is right around the corner) and want some awesome snacks that will impress the neighbors (or friends), but won’t cut a hole out of your wallet. Get this:

A bag of Mission Yellow Corn Tortillas (which contain 30) costs under $3. Avocados are still in season (hurry before fall ends!), so you can get them for $1 a piece. All you need are tomatoes, which can be found for roughly 59 cents each. Now you do the math. I had a whole pan-full of chips from FIVE tortillas. Imagine you did THIRTY? You’re going to have a ton of chips and if you get 4-5 avocados and 2-3 tomatoes, you’re going to have a TON of chips and guacamole, for a huge price of under $10. And trust me, your friends will love you. And invite me too, because I will do anything for a scoop of guac.

Enjoy!