Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Awesome Guacamole

I love avocados. A lot. If there is an apocalypse then I am moving to Mexico to make sure that I continue to get a regular serving of avocados. I always have them in the house. They don't even go on the shopping list because I always know how many are left and if I require more.

So... I make a lot of guacamole. Recently at a few parties, people have raved. I figured I would throw my recipe into the ring with all of the others.

Several ripe avocados (not too firm or soft)
White or red onion (your preference, I used white)
Fresh tomatoes (not canned!)
Lime juice (I get lazy here and use bottled)

Pretty much every single one of these ingredients can be added to taste. I choose to go about 2:1:1 on my avocado:onion:tomato ratio. 

First, chop up your cados, onions and tomats. There is a bit of an art to getting the flesh out of the avocado, and if you haven't mastered it, here are my tips:

-Slice the fruit (veg? who knows) in 1/2 long ways, and twist the 2 halves apart
-(this gets a bit dangerous and you can probably use a spoon, but I...) jab a knife into the pit and twist it a bit to loosen and pull it out
-Use a knife to score the flesh still inside the rind (peel? shell?) both long and cross ways so you have a grid
-Use a spoon to scoop out your lovely avocado cubes!

Mix up your chopped ingredients in your serving bowl. I try not to make it too uniform, I like the chunks. Add the salt and lime juice slowly, tasting and stiring to see how much you like. That's it!

I suggest making quite a bit more than you think people will eat, because it goes fast. But it also doesn't store well, and gets brown pretty quick, so you may have to eat the leftovers the same day (oh no!) if the browning scares you.

I didn't make this for Memorial Day, but the weekend before. We made steak skewers marinated in wine, which were delicious (though the wine seemed superfluous, couldn't tell they were marinated once cooked). Won't bother with a recipe because that was all there was to it! So pretty!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Creamy Taco Mac

In the span of about 10 minutes I went from "I don't want to cook dinner" to "oooh, taco mac!".  Cuz that's how I roll.  I've seen about a dozen variations of taco mac come through my Google Reader (which reminds me, I should probably find myself a replacement for that) and it turns out I had most of the fixin's to try out the recipe.  I made a few substitutions because that's what I do but it got a glowing review from Dave so this is clearly a keeper.  I still want to try it as written though.

The photo was taken right before we dug in, fresh out of the pan.  The pasta definitely absorbed the sauce in the fridge so leftovers weren't quite as soupy.


1 1/4 lb ground turkey
8 ounces medium pasta shells
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp taco seasoning, divided
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 triangles Laughing Cow cheese
1/2 cup half and half
shredded cheddar
hot sauce

Cook pasta according to directions, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water and mixing it with 1 tsp bouillon concentrate.

Brown your turkey, breaking it up really well.  Add about 2 tbsp taco seasoning to the meat.  Once the meat is mostly browned, throw in the onions. Stir them around until the onions start to soften and add the bell pepper and garlic.  After they cook about a minute, add tomatoes and stir.  As soon as the juices start to lightly bubble, add the cheese triangles and melt.  Stir in the cooked pasta.  Add half and half, pasta water, salt and pepper and a handful of shredded cheddar. Simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce and let the flavors meld.

Serve with additional shredded cheddar and hot sauce on top.

Adapted from Annie's Eats