Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Basic White Bread


Warm homemade bread is one of my favorite comfort foods. This recipe produces a white bread that is soft, a little crusty, slightly dense and serves as the perfect medium for sopping up that last bit of soup or pasta sauce.

3 C flour
1.5 tsp salt
1 and 1/8th C warm water
2 tsp yeast
1tsp honey
1 tsp olive oil

Add the yeast and honey to the warm water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Mix together flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and add the yeast solution to the flour. Mix on low for a couple of minutes and check to see if all the ingredients have incorporated smoothly. You may need to add a teaspoon of water or flour if the dough is either too wet or too dry. Mine came out just right! Knead the dough for another 5 minutes.

bread dough

Shape the dough into a ball and add the oil to a bowl (I just used my stand mixer bowl because I have two), making sure to roll the dough around in the oil until it is lightly coated.
dough ball

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or use a handy mixer bowl lid, and let the dough rest for an hour and a half, pat it down and let it rise for another hour and a half.
kitchenaid mixer lid

Remove the dough from the bowl, shape it into a loaf and place it on a floured bread peal or on a sheet of aluminum foil. Place a damp paper towel over the surface of the dough and let it rise for another 40 minutes. While the dough is resting, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

dough loaf

After the dough has rested and the oven has come to temperature, put a cup of water into a 9” brownie pan, place the pan in the bottom of the oven and wait 5 minutes. Now, cut four or five thin vertical slices along the dough’s surface. These cuts will allow the dough to expand in the oven without blowing out it sides. Place the loaf in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the bread after 20 minutes and if it looks like it is browning too fast, you can place a tent of aluminum foil over the loaf and this will allow it to cook evenly without burning.

Voila! Nice, crusty white bread for sandwiches and toast.

bread wallpaper

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Strawberry Appleberry Tart

strawberry appleberry tart

In which I wax promotional…

A Delicious Blend of Every Good Thing
The classic apple pie recipe is enhanced in this tart with the addition of vibrant strawberry jam and plump golden raisins. It is great for a party, easy to assemble and certain to delight your family and friends. Strawberry applebery tart offers a harmonious combination of flavors and textures that will leave even the most ostentatious of “pie critics” (like the crazy old lady from work who insists that apple pie must have cheese) demanding a recipe.

Just a Few Simple Ingredients
2 ½ C all-purpose flour
T tsp salt
¼ C sugar
½ C chilled shortening
½ C chilled butter
6 TBS ice water + 1 tsp of white vinegar

4 Apples – Peeled and sliced ¼ inch thin
¼ C Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ C Strawberry jam
½ C Dried golden raisins
1 TBS King Arthur Pie Filling Enhancer

Easy to Make
Prepare the filling by combining the apples, sugar, cinnamon and pie enhancer in a bowl and allow to set for 15 minutes. Then, fold in the strawberry jam and raisins.

Now, prepare the pastry by cutting the butter and shortening into ½ inch cubes and placing them in the freezer on a plastic-wrap lined plate. After the butter and shortening have chilled for 15 minutes, put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse for two seconds. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the dough is in pea-sized (roughly) crumbles. Add the ice water/vinegar solution slowly, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough will easily hold its shape when pushed together (it may take less than 6 tbs of water to reach this state).

Shape the dough into a disk about ¾ of an inch thick, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
pie dough
After the dough has chilled, place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 16 inch circle that is about ¼ inch thick.

Note: If you are a miserable dough roller like me, you can use this trick.
Place two overlapping sheets of wax paper on your counter top and sprinkle with flour. Place the dough on the wax paper, flour the top of the dough, place another sheet of wax paper on top and roll to the desired thickness/shape.

After you have rolled out the dough, line a pizza pan with aluminum foil and place the dough on the pan. Put the filling in the center of the dough and spread it out from the center toward the edges, leaving a two inch thick border of dough. Fold the dough in over the filling, leaving an open space in the center. Brush the dough with cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

filled strawberry apple berry tart

Bake the tart in a 400 degrees F oven for 40 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling. Let it cool for 15 minutes (or as long as you can hold out) before serving.

baked strawberry apple berry tart

Add Strawberry Appleberry Tart to Your Recipe Collection Today!
The delicious mix of fresh apples, dried raisins and strawberry preserves leaves this tart bursting at the seams with tasty. Bake this recipe today and reign as the undisputed master of pie in your neighborhood!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shrimp Sausage

shrimp sausage title

I’m just going to stop apologizing for the extended breaks between posts… I have no excuses (other than laziness). I do have something interesting for you today though: a shrimp sausage recipe. I became interested in the idea of a seafood sausage when I saw them being made frequently by the contestants from Top Chef Season 3. Though I found the general idea to be a little bizarre, I could see the potential for deliciousness and with a little help from the olde food processor, that potential was recently realized.

I was actually surprised by how easy it was to make sausage. The only challenge I faced was flavoring. Obviously, I couldn’t taste the raw shrimp batter for seasoning and had to make adjustments to the mix after cooking a few testers. I make the mistakes so you don’t have to!

I also didn’t have casings, so I formed the mix into simple patties, kind of like shrimp burgers, which worked just as well. Their spicy flavor was characteristic of artisan sausages I often buy from the butcher and though the texture was slightly spongy, and the confettiesque view of the insides was a little creepy, overall, I think I’d make this recipe again.

shrimp sausage patty

Shrimp Sausage Recipe

1 pound of raw, cleaned, shelled and deveined shrimp
1 jalapeño – seeded and chopped
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup of heavy cream
¼ cup of bread crumbs
1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of black pepper
two teaspoons of lime juice

Completing this recipe is made exceedingly easy by the use of a food processor. Begin by preheating your oven to 300 degrees. Then, simply combine all of the ingredients into the food processor and pulse until it reaches the consistency of ground turkey.

Form the mix into patties and brown each side in a skillet over medium high heat, about 5 minutes per side. After the sausage has been evenly browned, transfer the skillet (if it is oven safe up to 300 degrees) to the oven. Bake the patties for 20 minutes until cooked through.

Remove the sausages from the oven, allow to cool and enjoy! These sausages are great as patties or can be sliced or diced and used as pizza toppings. I would recommend this sausage as a topping for a pesto pizza.

shrimp sausage

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Easy Mint Hummus

Fast, Simple, Delicious

hummus title
Hummus is delicious on just about everything (pita bread, corn chips, vegetables… cookies), and luckily it is also super easy to make.

Mint Hummus Recipe
1 can chickpeas (reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid)
1/4 cup tahini, which is like a sesame seed butter (I use Sunland brand).
About a 1/4 cup of fresh mint
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove of garlic
3 tablespoons of olive oil
The juice and zest from one lemon

With a food processor:Combine all of the ingredients and 1/4 cup of the reserved chickpea liquid in a food processor and pulse until it is smooth (you may require a little more reserved liquid to reach the consistency you enjoy).

hummus ingredients

Or with a blender:If you are using a blender, I would start by adding 1/4 cup of chickpea liquid, olive oil , lemon juice, and tahini and blend together. Gradually add the chick peas until it is smooth, then add the other ingredients and you should be good to go.

This recipe really is super easy. I plan on posting a more intricate version using dried chickpeas and homemade tahini in the future, but for the time being, this recipe is very convenient and yields a product that is all kinds of delicious!

Mint hummus

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Homemade Strawberry Jam


strawbery jam title

I believe that I have waxed sentimental about my enduring affection for jam before… Needless to say, I still loves me some jam and would like to share my recipe for an easy, quick strawberry preserve.

Lemon Ginger Strawberry Jam Recipe
2 pints of fresh strawberries
1 to 1.5 Cups sugar depending on the sweetness of the berries
1 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger
Zest and juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Wash, hull (remove the stem) and place strawberries in a large nonreactive pot and mash with a potato masher.
mashing berries

Add the sugar to the strawberries, place the pot on burner over medium high heat and bring the berries to a boil, stirring frequently.

Add the ginger, lemon, vanilla and salt to the boiling berries and allow the mixture to continue to boil for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

During this time, place a spoon in the freezer. After 20 minutes has passed, place the cold spoon into the mix to see if it has set. The Jam should adhere to the spoon and be fairly thick at this point.

When the jam has thickened, remove from heat and allow it to cool for ten minutes. When the jam has cooled, transfer it to a sterile container, or you know, clean, whatever... this is jam to get us through the next week or so, not the winter.
Additional Thoughts
The vibrancy of homemade jam can’t be matched by a prepackaged version and I think that the addition of lemon and ginger make this recipe just a little bit special.

strawberry Jam on bread

Friday, May 9, 2008

Spicy Asian Pickle Salad

Spicy asian pickle salad

I love homemade pickles but rarely have the patience to wait the full amount of time required for complete pickling. I’ve found that things like thinly sliced cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and bell peppers actually pickle fairly fast and offer a quick fix to my cravings for tangy, vinegary delights.

Quickly pickling thinly sliced vegetables offers instant gratification and my Asian pickle salad is a refreshing treat on a warm summer night.

Spicy Asian Pickle Salad Recipe

Pickling Liquid
¾ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ Cup Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 large shallot sliced thin
2 Carrots, sliced thin
1 English cucumber, seeded, split in two and sliced into ¼” half circles
5 mini sweet peppers, sliced into 1/8” rounds
1 jalapeño finely diced

sliced veggies

Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar into a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, combine all of the chopped veggies into a large metal or glass (heat resistant) bowl. When the vinegar solution reaches a boil, reduce the heat until it is lightly simmering and then pour the contents over the sliced veggies.

Cover the veggies in the vinegar solution with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerators for 3 hours. That’s it, you now have a delightfully spicy pickle salad that is great on its own or can be combined with some baby spinach and tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Yum!

chopped veggies

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Juicing the Mint Leaves

Mint Chip Chocolate Cookies

mint cookies TITLE

Mint has always been a flavor that has captivated my palate. However, despite this longstanding love affair, mint was rarely used in the sweets my mom prepared when I was young. This lead me to believe that items with mint components were incredibly exotic and that it must require Herculean efforts to impart that cool flavor to one’s dishes. In fact, my sister and I still use the term “have to juice the mint leaves” when referring to simple tasks that appear to be deceptively laborious.

Luckily, it turns out that making a delicious mint desert can be as simple as adding a few high quality mint chocolate chips to the recipe.
guittard mint chips

Add a couple cups of Guittard green mint chocolate chips to a chocolate cookie recipe and you will have a mint cookie to rival the devil-spawned (that is to say, unnaturally delicious), cocaine laden wafers purveyed by any girl scout.

Polka Dot Cookies Recipe

Adapted from the recipe from the back of the Guittard Green Mint Chips bag.
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon coffee
2 cups (1 12 oz bag) Guittard Green Mint Chips

Preheat your oven to 350oF.

Add the semisweet chips to a microwave safe bowl and heat for one minute in the ole ‘wave. Stir the chocolate and microwave for another minute. Add the butter to the chocolate and stir together until it is all melted evenly (the butter and chocolate may require an additional minute in the microwave together).
melted chocolate

When the chocolate and butter is smooth, set it aside and combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and coffee until smooth and light. Add the dry ingredients to the mix until everything is evenly incorporated into the batter. Fold in the green mint chips, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place everything into the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

MINT CHIP cookie dough
(The Master's Glaive?)

When the cookie batter has firmed up a bit, scoop it into rounded teaspoons and drop onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and buen apetito!

mint chip cookies

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Homemade Pizza Dough

pizza dough title

Excellent pizza dough only takes a few simple ingredients, a little kneading and time. Pizza dough is also a great springboard for easing yourself into the beautifully rewarding world of bread baking.

Although there are certainly more convenient alternatives to the homemade variety, such as take home dough from a pizzeria or pre-made shells, no one should be afraid to make their own personal, superior version.

I must admit that I do utilize a stand mixer (see old blue), which makes the kneading process incredibly easy for me. However, a bread machine will also work fabulously or you can even use a food processor to eliminate some of the manual labor. Although these devices certainly do make short work of even the most intimidating bread dough, they aren’t necessary and a little hand kneading can actually be pretty fun.

I came up with this recipe while trying to crack the formulae for the ambrosia served at my two favorite pizza joints (Bianchi’s Italian, Brooklyn Pizza Co.) with little success. I like it because the crust at the end has an almost pretzely taste, which I think you'll find surprisingly satisfying.

Pizza Dough Recipe (yeilds enough dough for 1 large thick crust pizza or two medium pizzas):
1 1/8 cups warm water
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
3 ½ cups all purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of course grain salt
extra olive oil to lubricate the bowl

Place the yeast into the warm (around 100 degrees F) water, give it a little stir and allow to proof for about 5 minutes.

While the yeast is doing it's thing, you can combine the flour, tablespoon of oil and salt into your standmixer, bread machine pan, or mixing bowl and whisk until combined.

I know a tablespoon of salt seems like an aweful lot but the crust won't be overpoweringly salty. The trick is to use course grain salt. A tablespoon of course salt equates to roughly 1.5 teaspoons of standard table salt (or so I have been told) and will give your crust a unique flavor and texture.

course grain salt

After the yeast has proofed, combine it with the flour and attach the dough hook to your stand mixer. Allow the dough to knead for 7 minutes and then check to see if it is too wet or dry.

dry pizza dough
(This dough is a little dry and needs about a teaspoon of water)

At this point, I like to finish kneading the dough by hand.
kneading pizza dough

I push forward on the dough with the "heel" of my palm, fold it backward on itself and repeat the process until it is smooth and elastic.

perfect pizza dough

Form the dough into a ball and place into a bowl that has been coated with extra virgin olive oil. Cover the bowl with platic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours.

There, you have it, beautiful dough that is ready for your favorite pizza recipe. When the dough is ready, form it into a thin circle by placing your knuckles in the center and stretching outwards. Then, place the dough on a pizza pan, and finish streaching it out using the palm of your hand. Fold the edges in on themselves to create the outer crust. Prick the crust with a fork all over so it doesn't bubble up when you bake it, add your sauce, cheese and toppings and bake at 500 degrees F for about 15-20-30 minutes (keep an eye on it after 10).

A lovely cheese pizza just for me
A lovely cheese pizza, just for me!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

More Like Teri-Yummy!

Heloooo out there. I apologize for neglecting my blog for so long but I have had very little free time for writing or even cooking (gasp!). I know, it's terribly unfair to my loyal readers but my GMAT prep consumed way more time than I anticipated. It seems to have paid off though, as I received a near perfect score on my analytical writing assessment and 94% on the verbal section.

Unfortunately, I am not out of the woods yet and it is now time to prepare my applications for business school. I do hope to have things wrapped up pretty quickly though. That is to say, I absolutely MUST have things wrapped up and submitted within the next few days if I have any hope of attending school in the fall.

In any case, I plan on being back in the kitchen again soon. Until then, I will try to tide you over with a classic recipe from my old blog, which now features some updated comments (in various shades of blue).

Teriyaki Sauce Recipe (Updated 6.13.08)

3/4 cup of sugar

1 cup Soy Sauce*

1 cup of water or vegetable stock-I used Trader Joe's Ginger Soy stock (I had actually totally forgotten about this stuff)

1 tablespoon of mirin (rice wine vinegar)

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

1 cloves of garlic finely minced or grated

1 teaspoons of grated ginger

*Allow me to appologize for forgetting the primary ingredient of soy sauce in the initial posting of this recipe. That was a huge and embarrasing oversight. For anyone who tried the recipe up to this point only to effect the dismal result of what must have been garlicy, gingery sugar broth, I offer my sincerest appologies.

(Boy, that's an ugly shot)

Just toss all of the ingredients into a medium-sized stock pot and boil that sucker on high for like 5-7 minutes. Seriously, wait until you are boiling the peepee out of it and then let it go for another 5 minutes. ( Peepee? Yeah, I'm not sure what I was talking about here. It really is quite the reduction but just boil it for about 5 minutes and you should be set. The longer you boil the sauce, the deeper the flavor will be from the water evaporating.)

(AH! The dreaded top-down perspective)

As you can see, the peepee is rapidly being boiled out of this sauce. (I can't argue with that!)

That's it (or is it?). Let it cool and use for dipping, marinades, drizzling over rice or anything you like. I'm guessin' it would probably last in a sealed container in the fridge for like a week but you will probably be storing it all in your tummy long before the week is up! (Tummy? Peepee? Yummy... ugh.)

I'd like to add an additional note here that this sauce is great with steak and makes for fantastic burgers when incorporated with your ground meat!

You can add any kind of extra flavor you like to the sauce just by adding in your selected ingredients before you boil it. I have used raspberry jam, orange marmalade, slices of apple, apple juice and citrus zest. Go nuts. Heck, maybe even add nuts (don't add nuts).

In today's batch, I used grapefruit zest. (Finally, a decent photograph!)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Homemade Buckwheat Soba Noodles

cooked soba noodles

You may remember the “mysterious package” that arrived last October. Well, as it happens, I received the pasta roller under the condition that I must master its usage in order to lavish my parents with meals of fresh pasta. I was able to partially fulfill this requirement over Christmas but my skills have greatly improved since then. Hopefully, the next time I visit the folks, I’ll be able to treat them to many a starchy delight! The first recipe I plan to cook for them is homemade buckwheat soba noodles.

I’ve harbored a deep obsession with buckwheat soba since reading about it in Eiji Yoshikawa’s samurai epic Musashi. In the novel, the eponymous hero, Musashi, visits the grand city of Edo for the first time and is astonished at the ease with which he can procure a bowl of delicious soba noodles. Having lived the entirety of his life in the country, Musashi describes that while growing up, making a bowl of soba entailed planting the wheat in the fall and harvesting it in the spring, then milling the grain, making the noodles and finally enjoying it… 9 months later.

I developed a profound appreciation for this noodle after reading Musashi’s description and have been hooked ever since.

Fresh Buckwheat Soba—No Farming Necessary!
½ Cup buckwheat flour
½ Cup wheat flour
1 Cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 Teaspoon of salt
3-6 Tablespoons of water

buckwheat soba ingredients

Make the Dough
Combine the three types of flour, the eggs, salt, and three tablespoons of water in a food processor and pulse until it gains a sandy texture.

pasta dough mixed

Try pressing it between your thumb and forefinger to see if it will hold together. If not, add a tablespoon of water (or more) and pulse again until it reaches this consistency.

pasta dough pressed

Remove the blade of the food processor and empty the contents into a large bowl. Use your hands to squeeze, kneed, and form the dough into a ball. Kneed the dough for around 5-7 minutes until it is a somewhat glossy ball, cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

buckwheat pasta dough ball

Make the Noodles:
Divide the dough into fourths, remove one of the sections (while keeping the remaining dough covered) and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is a little less than ½ an inch thick. Form the dough into a square, set your pasta roller to the widest setting, 1 on the KitchenAid, and roll it through (the pasta will take on kind of a glossy, taffy-ish look and feel). Fold the dough in half and roll it through again. Set the pasta roller to the next thinnest setting, 2, and roll it through a couple of times. Repeat this process three more times, until you have rolled the pasta through the 4th thinnest setting, or number 5 on a KitchenAid.

At this point, I like my noodles to be about as wide as the pasta roller itself, which can be achieved by simply folding the noodle in half long-ways and rolling it through the pasta roller until it reaches the desired width.

Lay the uncut noodle on a lightly floured surface and replace the pasta roller with the spaghetti cutter. To keep your noodles from sticking together, apply a very light coating of flour to both sides of the uncut noodle.

buckwheat soba noodle

Run the noodle through the spaghetti cutter and allow the new noodles to form a nest at the base of the KitchenAid.

Repeat the procdure above for the other 3/4s of the dough (1 quarter at a time). Don’t worry, you will have the hang of it at this point and the remaining 3/4s will go much quicker.

buckwheat soba noodles uncooked

Yay! You now have a batch of fresh soba! You can freeze these noodles for use within a couple of days or throw it straight into a pot of boiling water.

Boil the noodles for 2-4 minutes until perfectly al dente and enjoy! These noodles are fantastic as a sesame noodle salad!

buckwheat soba sesame noodles

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I've Got a Pocket full of Pretty Green

Actually, it’s more like two pockets and a couple of gallon-sized bags.

5 pound bag of green white chocolate apeels

Some of my long-term readers might remember my ongoing quest for the illusive Guittard Green Mint Chips. To me, Guittard is the paragon for perfect white chocolate baking chips, and its green mint variety is exquisite. These chips are also incredibly difficult to track down. However, the baking God’s recently smiled upon me and guided me with divine afflatus to Bakers C&C, an amazing online resource for cake and candy making supplies.

Oh, the joy I experienced as I discovered that my beloved green mint chips were available… in bulk! After all, why buy one or two standard sized bags and risk another drought of mint goodies when I could have pounds and pounds? Seriously, there is no good reason, right? Of course not.

I placed my order and waited in anticipation for two-to-three business days until finally, my shipment had arrived. I tore through the packaging with reckless enthusiasm in search of my emerald delights.

5 pound bag of green apeels

“Delicious”, I exclaimed after reaching my prize and feasting on its splendor. “But wait…” I thought. “There is something missing, something important, something… MINT!”

What was going on here? Had the mint flavor been left out of this batch? I searched for the packing slip—“Dark Green Apeels”, it read. No mention of mint.

“Well that’s not right”, I thought as I raced to track down my receipt, only to find that sure enough, I had made a mistake and ordered the wrong item.

So now I am at a loss. I have 5 pounds of green white-chocolate apeels and no idea what to do with them. I rarely use white chocolate, and without the mint flavoring, I’m not sure that dark green makes for a particularly appetizing color. If you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!
Green white-chocolate apeels

Concerning the Bakers C&C experience, I would highly recommend them. They have a great selection of high quality baking supplies that you are unlikely to find at a brick-and-mortar shop, their prices are extremely reasonable and customer service seemed on top of things.

Overall: 4 Berries
berry ranking scale -- 4 berries
(I'd even go with 4.5 if I had designed that version)

This site would totally get 5 berries if it calculated your shipping cost BEFORE you check out. I’m pretty familiar with ground shipping rates, as I’m sure that most bulk customers are, and was able to accurately estimate my cost, but it would still be a useful feature to include.

With that said, I fully intend to place another order for the MINT Guittard apeels through C&C this afternoon and to utilize them for my future bulk baking needs.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Guacamole, an Old Family Recipe…

Using a Trader Joe’s Guacamole Kit

guacamole kit

Guacamole is by far, my favorite dip. Creamy, salty, tangy… what is not to like? It’s so good that I require a weekly fix, and its preparation has become a tradition that my roommate and I refer to fondly as “Guacamole Friday” (even it if falls on the occasional Thursday).

This tradition began when I came across a “Guacamole Kit” at my nearby Trader Joe’s. It contained everything I needed to make excellent guacamole in a neat package. Also, at a price of $2.50, it was a smokin’ deal; I couldn’t afford not to make it! Unfortunately, as the case is with so many items that are suddenly made much more convenient and accessible as a result of the global marketplace (cherries in January?), I have a tendency to over indulge.

What started out as a treat enjoyed once weekly with only single guacamole kit has quickly grown to two kits at a time that are made more frequently. It is only a matter of time before I am stricken with guacamoletoxicosis. Mm, sweet, sweet guacamoletoxicosis. But before that happens, allow me to share the recipe so that you might join me on an avocado bender.

Guacamole Recipe (based on the contents of a Trader Joe’s guacamole kit):
2 Avocados
1 Garlic clove – Minced
1 Roma tomato – Small dice
1 Jalapeño – Brunoise (very fine dice)
1 Shallot – Small dice
1 Lime

chopped veggies macro

Peel the avocados, remove the pits and place the flesh into a bowl. Slice the lime in half, squeeze half of it over the avocados and mash together with a potato masher. Next, add the minced garlic and stir until it is evenly distributed throughout the mashed avocado. Then add the diced tomato, jalapeño and shallot and fold into the avocado/garlic “batter”. Squeeze the remaining lime half over the mix, add salt and pepper to taste and you have some of the best guacamole you will ever try.

Oh boy!