- 2 Avocados (they should be a bit soft, just so you can press into them an leave a slight dent, but not mushy)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsb salt
- 1 small tomato (seeds and juice removed) diced
- 1 wedge lime juice
- 2 Tbs. chopped onion (red or yellow)
- 1/4 jalapeno (with half of the seeds removed, or more removed if you like more mild guac) chopped
- 3 Tbs. chopped cilantro
Mix the garlic, salt, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and tomato in a medium-size bowl. Then slice your avocados length-wise, and remove the pit (keep one if you will not be serving the guac right away- you shouldn't wait more than 6 hours or so to serve guac once it's made, but placing one of the reserved pits in the prepared guac will help keep it from turning brown). Then scrape out the flesh of the avocado into the other ingredients and mash with a fork and incorporate well with other ingredients. Trust me, this will taste way better than any batch made with one of the seasoning packets! Serve with tortilla chips and flour tortillas. Guac is also great on top of a burger!
I used my own glass pedestal bowl, and I bought fake greens and preserved moss at Michael's and used them to line the bowl and to add a giant flash of green. Then I bought 5 orchid plants (from Kroger, mind you, so they were relatively inexpensive) and a bunch of fake curly willows. Where the orchids came clipped to ugly blue posts, I swapped out the posts for the curly willows as I planted the orchids to give them the stability they need to stand up. So I'm at peace now with the large centerpiece I have to dress up our kitchen island- and it should last me a long time, which will make it cost-effective in the long run (again, provided I don't kill the orchids). P.S....learned a very cool trick about how to keep the orchids alive- they need very little water- 3 ice cubes, once a week will do it!
- 4 lbs of Roma tomatoes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped (you can use dried rosemary too- sub 2 tsps)
- sea salt (or regular salt)
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- Garlic or seasoned croutons
- Shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
What you need to do:
This first part is the hardest, and the only time consuming part of the whole deal- you need to cut the tomatoes in half, length-wise, and pull out the seeds and juice and discard. Throw the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, a few pinches of seasalt, and red pepper in a bowl and toss together so that the tomatoes are well-coated with the seasonings. Let marinate for about 20 minutes. Then lay the tomatoes (cut open side up) on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle remaining oil mixture over the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 (until the tomatoes start to get blackened on the bottoms and start wrinkling up like prunes). Remove the tomatoes from the oven and place half of them in a food processor to puree....then dump the pureed tomatoes into a large pot on medium heat; then place the rest of the tomatoes in the food processor and "pulse" until they are just broken up into nice chunky pieces. Then dump the chopped tomatoes into the pureed tomatoes. Simmer on low until you are ready to serve- you may need to add a touch of salt to season. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with a handful of croutons and Parmesan cheese- there you have it! FYI- it's even better a few days later- microwave it and top with croutons and cheese! Enjoy!
- onesies- wash them first (get different sizes so the babe will have some to grow into!)
- an iron
- an ironing board
- double-sided iron-on adhesive
- scrap pieces of fabric
I went ahead and ironed the adhesive onto the scrap pieces before the party so that all the guests had to do was cut out their shapes, peel off the adhesive paper, place the shape on the onesie and press with the iron! (as demonstrated here by the lovely Kalyn) This is such a fun and easy activity and it's a great way to get everyone involved in the party without making them play painful baby shower games! (even the guys got involved with this one!) Have fun!
Vera Farmiga in Marchesa- Hated it! Looks like a bunch of fuchsia lily pads or fungus growing up a tree trunk.
Word to the wise- DO NOT SUBSTITUTE any of the ingredients. I thought I could get away with using all purpose flour in place of the self-rising flour- NO DICE! My poor friend Leah, who's birthday was last week, suffered the consequences (ok, so it's not like they're terrible if you use only all purpose flour, but they are so much better if you follow the recipe exactly!).
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Combine the flours in a small bowl and set aside. Cream the butter until smooth in a large bowl, using the medium speed of an electric mixer. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Don't be discouraged- I know this looks like a lot of ingredients, but after you buy them once, you'll have them at home for when you want to make this amazing dressing (guests are always amazed when you serve this dressing and then you tell them you made it from scratch!)Put all of the following into a food processor or blender and puree together:
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp anchovy paste (I know this sounds gross, but it gives that real Caesar salad taste, so don't skip it)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 1 large egg (nuke it in the microwave for 8 seconds- enough to zap any salmonella, but not long enough to cook it)
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
The "I have all of this random food, and don't know what to make with it" Recipe:
The solution= dump some tasty vinaigrette on it all and roast it up! This is another option that can work out on a regular basis and can be super healthy. Last night I found myself with no plan for dinner, but with a bunch of random veggies and some chicken breasts and no idea what to do with them. So I decided to toss them in an easy vinaigrette dressing and roast them in the oven. I had cherry tomatoes and chicken- so I whisked together about 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (eyeball all of these and season to taste- toss some fresh cracked pepped in too), tossed the tomatoes and the chicken in the dressing, dumped them on a rimmed baking sheet and popped them in the oven on 350 for 25 minutes. At the last minute, I laid a slice of Swiss cheese on top of the chicken breasts to let it melt in the oven. I whipped up a box of whole grain rice mix (such as Near East brand), popped some of the whole grains on the plate and topped with a chicken breast and some of the tomatoes, and called it a dinner. It was really good too! You could do this with just about any random set of veggies you have left over in the fridge, such as carrots, squash, zucchini, bell peppers. Be creative and enjoy!