Wheatless Wednesday — Grocery List Guacamole

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Fact: chances are very good that when you’re entering a guacamole contest, good avocados that will ripen at just the right time are hard to find.  You will buy a small stash and dutifully place them in a brown paper bag for a couple days.  And yet you will probably have to make an early morning emergency run to the grocery store the day of the contest to find avocados even close to what you need because those little friends in the brown paper bag didn’t get the memo that you need them. Now

It will have snowed a couple of inches the night before.  In a city that is surprisingly ill-prepared for snowfall.  And once you get to the grocery store and have gently pressed every avocado in the produce department, you find a few that show promise and will (hopefully) mash up nicely.  And naturally, they’re not cheap (they’ll go on sale tomorrow). 

So, you go home and carefully slice through them.  At least two of the three of them aren’t brown in the middle.  You mix up your best guacamole with an ingredient list that matches the length and variety of your monthly grocery list, drive downtown (through the snow), and do your best to find a parking spot.  There are plenty, but where the lines are is anyone’s guess.  You hand over your container of mushed green stuff and walk around the indoor market three times before succumbing to one of the best and largest cinnamon rolls you’ve ever had while waiting for the contest to begin.  

And then you stand and nervously watch the judges eating guacamole at 9 o’clock in the morning.  Yours is first, and you are praying that the lady who brought hers in as the judges were sitting down and picking up their spoons doesn’t win because — snow or no snow — it was supposed to be submitted at 8:30 (though later you cut her a little slack because you find out that she also had to make an emergency run to the grocery store that morning for ripe avocados).  After 30 minutes and the tasting of 8 entries, your guacamole (the one with bacon and beer) ties for second place because it doesn’t have enough heat. (Did you know guacamole is supposed to be spicy?) Your recipe loses to the one that tastes like chili seasonings.  At least it wasn’t made by Eleventh Hour Lady.

A few weeks ago, I found myself in such a situation.  I’m really not bitter about not winning and walking away with only my leftover guacamole in hand (there was no prize for second place).  It was a good experience and an excuse to make guacamole — a little bit of cantina in an otherwise long stretch of winter.  And who doesn’t need a little cantina when it’s snowing out?  :)

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Laundry List Guacamole

  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 4 avocados
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (leave some seeds in for a bit of heat)
  • 3 tomatillos, peeled and chopped (optional, but a nice addition)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • juice and zest from one lime
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. beer, optional (a good hoppy IPA preferred)

Chop tomato and place on paper towel to remove extra moisture.  Cut avocados, remove pit, and scoop out flesh.  Mash in medium bowl until chunky consistency.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  If not serving immediately, wait to add bacon, cilantro, and beer until serving time.

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Cranberry Lime Baked Doughnuts

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IMG_3086A quick perusal of my Facebook news feed this evening reveals a general dislike for the snow that fell across the worlds of many friends today.  As I sit here, it’s been icing outside (not to be confused with frosting, which would be much more pleasant, I imagine).  It’s not a good night to be out and about; it’s a better night to be in on the couch with a warm drink, a snack, and the Olympics, I say.  Not that it’s exactly what we want to be watching, either — sports on ice and snow.  As if many of us haven’t seen enough of that out our own windows or tried our own skidding version of Turn #2 driving through our neighborhoods.  

Tonight let’s dream of a bit of sunshine and warmth, the kind that grows citrus and drinks with colored umbrellas.  And should tomorrow come with a day off (I pray that’s a dream that doesn’t come true), a batch of these might just ease the snow major blues.

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Cranberry Lime Baked Doughnuts

  • 1 cup minus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • juice from half of lime (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • zest from half of lime (about 1 to 2 tsp.)
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries, preferably chopped

Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • juice from half of lime (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • zest from half of lime (about 1 to 2 tsp.)
  • 1/4 cup milk (have more on hand to thin as necessary)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease doughnut pan with vegetable oil cooking spray (preferrably for baking).
  2. Combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.  Add egg, oil, milk, sour cream, vanilla, lime juice, and zest and mix just until combined.  Stir cranberries into batter.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared pan (cavities will be quite full).  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until tops are beginning to become golden brown and spring back when touched lightly (the bottoms of the doughnuts will be a deeper brown, nice and crisp.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Remove to wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar, vanilla, lime juice, and zest in medium bowl.  Add milk one tablespoon at a time until it’s a consistency that will glaze the doughnuts.  Spread icing on each doughnut; let sit for several minutes until glaze begins to harden.  If desired, turn doughnuts over and spread glaze over them to fully encase them with icing. Leftovers are best kept refrigerated, if there happen to be any.

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