My Go-To Guacamole

Grilled Chicken with guacamole and esquites

The next couple of days, I am sharing three recipes I made one night for a dinner that was ready in less than 30 minutes (not counting marinading time and time to get the grill going). They are all recipes that you could easily use to celebrate Cinco de Mayo tomorrow and are pretty easy to scale up or down depending on how many people you’re serving. The first recipe in this miniseries, and the one I make the most often, is my go-to guacamole recipe. 

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Beer and Chocolate: Chocolate Stout Sauce

Being an adult is the worst. THE WORST. Bills and commitments and jobs. It’s exhausting. And for those of you with kids… HOW? Just how do you do it all?

Sometimes though, being an adult has it’s perks. Things like being able to drink delicious craft beer and adult beverages. And getting to put that craft beer in fun things like chocolate sauce!

SKKKKKRRRRRRT. (That was the record stopping sound if you were wondering.) WHAT?

Chocolate Stout Sauce

Yeah, I said it. Chocolate sauce with beer in it. It’s the most grown up way to make chocolate sauce. And probably the most delicious too. This chocolate stout sauce is SO good y’all. It’s not as cloyingly sweet as the stuff you buy at the grocery store, it’s dark and rich. It doesn’t scream beer at you either, it’s just a little malty and warm. It’s grown up and sophisticated. AND YOU CAN MAKE CHOCOLATE MILK WITH IT.

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The Basics: Balsamic Vinaigrette

One of the best things you can do for yourself to be a better cook is learn a few basic recipes or processes. This is true for seasoned professionals, long time home cooks, novices who are just learning, or people who really don’t enjoy cooking but are trying to cut back on eating out for one reason or another. Once you learn how to make some of the most basic foods (or foods that you eat often and enjoy), you can build on those skills to make more complicated items, to tailor any recipe to suit your personal preferences, or even to create your own recipes.

Think of it this way: when you were in school, first you learned the alphabet. Then you learned how to read and write your name and other small words. Then bigger words and sentences. Questions. Exclamations. Clauses. Prepositions. Eventually you could take all of these skills and write papers. Some people can even write whole books!

basic balsamic vinaigrette

Cooking is a lot like that. While you can easily skip some of the basics and be a pretty good cook, a better understanding of the little things can lead to better food in the long run. I’m not saying learn all the things they would teach in the first semester at Le Cordon Bleu, but master (or at least learn about) how to properly cook your favorite proteins, sauces, and baked goods and you will be well on your way to better meals.

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Super Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad

There are a few recipes that I remember vividly from growing up. My mom always had a few standby recipes that she’d make often–usually big batch recipes that she could use for multiple meals. Specifically, I remember chili, spaghetti sauce, and chicken salad, because those were always my favorites.

Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad

When I was a kid, my parents both worked full time and were always shuttling my brother and I to whatever sports practice or school event we had, and it all seemed so easy until I grew up. Now I wonder how they did it. Particularly my mom, because she did all the cooking. How did she work all day and get home and cook a meal for all of us that we would all eat? We were all different types of picky too. I wasn’t much of a meat eater at the time (a trait that I no longer possess), but I would eat almost any vegetable that she put in front of me. My dad and brother were almost the exact opposite. Somehow my mom managed to work around it all. It’s more than a little impressive when I think about it.

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Roasted Radishes with Citrus Vinaigrette and Breadcrumbs

It’s officially spring, y’all! It’s especially evident here in Texas: warmer weather is (mostly) here, wildflowers are everywhere, and all our cars are covered in pollen. It’s time for the whole state to find a cold beer and a patio! As I sit here typing I can see three different neighbors working in their yards, I’m exhausted for them.

The best part about spring? The food. Duh. (Technically the best part of any season is the food, but just go with me here.) Spring is the season of brunch, Easter candy, and fresh produce. The combination of perfect weather and great vegetables is the perfect inspiration to eat lighter and leave the heavy dishes of winter in the past. Then you can treat yourself with a Cadbury creme egg or a mimosa. Or both. Who am I to judge?

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Secret Ingredient Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have a problem: I am incapable of buying the right number of bananas. It does not matter how few I buy, we never eat them all before they get too soft. It doesn’t really help that bananas are only the perfect ripeness for eating for all of about 10 minutes either.

Because of this banana situation, I end up freezing all of the slightly overripe bananas. At any given time I have 4-6 bananas (sometimes 10-12) in my freezer. Sure, sure, they’re great for smoothies, but I’m too lazy to drag out my blender and have to clean it up just so I can make a smoothie. My blender is reserved almost exclusively for salsa making and frozen adult beverages.

Secret Ingredient Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

More often than not my frozen bananas are destined for baked goods. Breads, cakes, muffins. Mmmm, muffins. Little cakelettes that are socially acceptable to eat for breakfast. An excuse to sneak chocolate chips into breakfast food? Yes, please.

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Grasshopper Pie

Happy Pi(e) Day! In honor of this magical mathematical day, I bring you Grasshopper Pie! Now, if you don’t know what grasshopper pie is, don’t get grossed out by the name. It’s the pie version of the famous cocktail- a sweet, green, minty beverage. To me, it’s better as a pie. I don’t love my alcohol super sweet, but I do love my desserts that way!

grasshopper pie

I really wanted to post a traditional Irish dish this week, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. Turns out, most of the dishes we Americans know as “Irish” are figments of our imagination. So I scrapped the traditional part and brought you a two-for-one holiday treat, the pie version of the Shamrock Shake! So really you could use this recipe for Pi Day or for Saint Patty’s Day! You’re welcome.

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