Esme’s Chunky Guacamole
E: We loooove avocados! Sam’s parents gave us an avocado tree as a housewarming present. We are considering planting a second-type of avocado tree, and one that is not a dwarf like the one we currently have. I cannot wait until we have them in stock. The obvious thing to make with avocados is guacamole. However, once we have them in stock I’ll be exploring with avocado soup, avocado ice cream, and other weird recipes I’ve come across.
For now, this particular recipe for guacamole is my default. I make this recipe for special occasions, or for get-togethers. I should warn you that I make my guacamole in a molcajete using the tejolote (mortar and pestle). You should too, you will not regret it. If you don’t have one I’ll provide substitute instructions.
This last friday night, I prepared this guacamole recipe along with a pico-de-gallo, and grilled zucchini from the garden. I served it with whole-grain crackers and a raspberry margarita. Glorious.
Pico De Gallo (Salsa Fresca)
E:Pico de Gallo is diced veggies small enough to resemble “rooster food.” You can add “Pico” to almost anything and can make it part of a healthy snack by eating it with some crackers and avocado. It’s great for huevos rancheros. Growing up, on most Sundays after church we would stop by the Mexican market to buy “carnitas.” As soon as we got home, mom was in charge of prepping the meat and making a salsa verde or roja, and us girls would start cutting the veggies to make Pico de Gallo. Biting into a juicy taco with hints of cilantro and serrano and a warm tortilla will always bring me back to those Sunday brunches with my family.
Crispy Chicken Fingers
Yields: 6 servings
1 serving: 3-4 pieces
Time: 15 minute marinade: 12 minute cook-time
E: Today is Saturday, and we are having a low-key day. Sam made margaritas last night, and we rented a movie. So we slept-in this morning. I read, did my nails, and went on a light 2 mile-run. When I got back from my run Sam was running errands at the local hardware store. We are currently trying to install a shed. Sam text me that his cousin Mike, who lives around the corner from our place, was going to stop-by. Mike was nearby because he was at the park by our house playing with his daughter. His wife was not with him, she was celebrating an early mother’s day by going antique-shopping with her mom. (That is so cute, by the way.) Mike and lil Gracie couldn’t stay for dinner. It was a shame because Sam has been smoking a leg of lamb since we woke-up. We are having it for dinner. Anyways, I was starving and I figured we could all use some finger food for the short visit. I remembered I had chicken breast thawing in my fridge, so I decided to make these bad boys. I served the chicken fingers with a sriracha-mayo-ketchup mix and a side of ketchup for my picky eater. These are so easy. They are healthier because they are baked, rather tan deep fried. The panko gives it a nice crunchy taste.
E: This year Sam and I hosted our first party at our new house. We actually hosted back to back new year’s parties: one for his family and one for my theta sorority sisters from UC Berkeley. One of my friends, Emily, asked if she can bring something to the party. While I usually don’t like to have guests bring something, I was struggling with adding more vegetarian finger food. She is vegan so I asked her to bring a dish. She brought roasted veggies. They were a huge hit. They are so tasty and healthy!! A nice alternative to that heavy, high calorie chips and dips. I have since then made the roasted cauliflower and also a sweet potato wedges in the same way. I find that you can dip the florets into a greek yogurt dip, or eat them as a side to complete the meal.
I’ve seen several version of a roasted cauliflower recipe. Some add thyme and red pepper flakes instead of paprika. Some add capers and thyme. I haven’t tried those versions yet. My husband doesn’t like thyme too much. If you try a variation, please share.
Spicy and Sweet Chicken Wings
Time: 1 hour
E: My mother-in-law introduced me to these chicken wings two years ago at New Year’s Eve. They smell and taste SOOOOO good. The garlic, ginger, honey and chipotle give off a very pleasant asian-fusion smell. The honey makes them a little sticky, but the sweetness is perfect to cool off the spiciness from the chipotle.
As I was grocery shopping today, I figured I would make finger food since we were going to be watching the Golden State Warriors play in game 2 of the NBA playoffs. I made these along with some potato wedges. These are relatively easy to make. There is hardly any clean-up. Sometimes that’s a bigger factor than the time it actually takes to cook the meal. My mother-in-law got the recipe from “The Neelys,” a show on the Food network. I replaced the butter with canola oil. Enjoy. Let me know how they turned out.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 turnover about 330 calories)
E: I grew up in a family of 6 with three siblings. My brother and I were very close, he was about 1 year and a half apart from me. We spent our summers playing outside, riding our bikes, swimming, and shooting hoop in the cul de sac.
One summer, after swimming all-day, I decided to make empanadas as a surprise for my brother’s birthday. His birthday was on July 10th. Right in the middle of summer. I made like 4 empanadas, just for him. It’s nice to do little things like that to make people feel special. He didn’t have any brothers, just us three girls. In fact, I was the closest thing he had to a brother. I think that’s why I made these for him, I wanted to show him how much I loved him. Did I mention I was like in 9th grade?