Guacamole

I had three gorgeous avocados that I got on sale last week that had become perfectly ripe.  What better thing to do than to make them into one of my favorite things to eat…. GUAC!

I was waiting for Murray to get home and the Brown Bear to come over so I popped in one of my all time favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally, for some happy background noise. I always put this movie in when I have to do something and don’t want to get too distracted… like when its time to clean or knit. It’s in my top five favs.

I always make sure I have the following ingredients when I make Guacamole; red onion, garlic, limes, jalapeno, cilantro, tomato, salt.  Even if one ingredient is missing it isn’t the same.

This amount of ingredients is for 3 medium-sized Haas avocados.  I start out with the avocados themselves. I slice in half along the pit, I lightly thwack a sharp knife into the pit and twist to easily remove it from the second half. Just be careful and make sure its a sharp knife!

I hold one half in my hand and being careful not to cut through the peel I score the flesh into cubes.

Then I use a big spoon to scoop it all out and into the bowl. You don’t have to score the flesh. It just makes me feel like I’m cooking. :O) You could use the spoon to scoop it out into the bowl and skip the knife wielding. But what fun is that!?

I like to use a fork and mash the first two avocados so that they are mostly smooth and creamy.

The third avocado I like to keep chunky and I mix those chunks into the mash. I find it gives more body and plus I love a chunk of pure avocado.

Yum. Make yours to your preference, smooth or chunky. That looks good enough to eat already! But let’s make it even better!

I start off with half a roma tomato, de-seed it and squeeze out a little of the excess moisture. I chop it up into a medium fine dice. You want to be able to see that it’s a beautiful bit of ruby tomato, but not a huge bite.

Next I use about a quarter of a med red onion, finely diced. I prefer the onion to be rather on the fine side because raw onion has quite a bite. But if you want big bits, go for it. Customize to your heart’s delight.

We want to do the same for the garlic. I use about 2 cloves for three avocados. I mince them rather finely, too. Just to avoid a big stinky bite of just garlic.

Next I dice up a third of a fresh jalapeno, with the membranes and seeds removed. Leaving them in would be too much heat for me! But look how pretty they are! Like little emeralds.

Next comes the lime. I like to juice at least one whole lime, if not two because I like it to be a little limey. If you like less lime use one. But please don’t leave it out!

I even make sure the lime pulp gets in there. I really do love lime.

I give a handful of cilantro a rough chop and get it in the bowl.

Put in a big pinch of salt (I prefer coarse seasalt) and give the whole mess a good stirring.

I like to make this a few hours in advance to give the flavors a chance to intermingle and marry. But it’s still delish on the fly. Murray showed me this little trick. While the lime helps it not go brown, if you put in a pit of two after its done and mix them in it stays fresh longer. Don’t know how, but it works a treat!

Put it into a pretty serving bowl and eat up! I could have this every day. I would be fatter, but I would have lovely skin and hair, lol.

365 Photo, 22nd Feb – 5th Mar

February and rolled into March and with that hopefully some spring like weather. We’re going strong with our 365 photo challenge, neither of us has cheated or forgotten a day, but there are still 300 day of photo taking so fingers crossed.

Here are Florrie’s snaps;

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The First Annual Uno Show Down at The Croakery

As this is our first Christmas at The Croakery we thought it would be nice to start our own traditions. One of those traditions was an Uno championship. Up for grabs were bragging rights ( I have a very competitive family), and a trophy. 

The Players

 

The players;  GG, Queen of the Galaxy, Lady E, Cobra Commander, BB, Slow motion and Becky. 

( After having a disagreement about how the game was to be played I threw in my cards and stomped away from  the game). 

The Game; Round one – Everyone deals once, scores are recorded. Round 2 – The finals, the players with four lowest scores dealt one hand each and the player with the lowest score was declared the champ. 

Tensions run high

 

After a LOT of talk and put down, the showdown began. Tensions were high and so were the stakes. After round one Queen of the Galaxy, Lady E, Cobra Commander and BB were left to battle it out for the trophy. 

The winning hand

 

Cobra Commander was victorious so the trophy is on the mantel at The Croakery. 

Occupying pride of place

 

Talk has already begun about who will take the trophy next Christmas.

Paper Garlands

One relativly inexpensive way to decorate is to put together some paper garlands. Almost any paper will do, you could even use newspaper like i did for this dainty newsprint garland.

Here’s what you need.

  • A good sharp pair of scissors
  • A pencil
  • Paper
  • Tape, glue stick or some other fairly dry form of adhesive
  • A bit of card stock for a template, if using

That’s it! You can stay super basic or get really creative and get super complicated. Its all about how ambitious you feel.

The simplest garland can be put together by linking loops of paper together to form a chain. I’m sure you all did this at one time or another as a kid. Think solid colors; like a frosty white, christmasy red and green. Or go monochrome; four or five different shades of red maybe. It would also be very pretty made out of a delicate silver or gold tissue paper. Consider the scale. Do you want a tiny delicate chain? Or big whimsical loops? Is it for a tree, to be draped across a mantel or down a stair case?

Here’s my mini newsprint garland step by step:

Cut newspaper strips about 1 1/4 inches long

Mine were a little wide, so I cut them in half lengthwise

Perfect!

Make a loops, use a teeny bit of glue and press. Now thread a new strip through the loop and repeat.

These are so delicate and pretty!

To make things a little more exciting you can make a template out of some stiff paper or card stock, fold your garland paper into an accordian, the width of your template will determine where the folds go.  Trace around the template and cut out. Connect the strips of cut garland with tape or glue to make a long chain. I made mine with a star shape.

fold it accordian style, and make sure you leave a join on the folded edges.

join the open edges with glue and hang it up!

You can make rows of wintery houses for a charming village, dancing ladies, snowflakes… whatever your holiday heart desires.

City Christmas Tree

My tree is white. It’s plastic. It has glitter. It is pre-lit. It is, in short, fantastic. I know what you’re probably thinking. “Ugh, I hate plastic trees! Only the real thing for me!” I do enjoy a real tree, but this tree is so much fun. It’s so cute, and its so easy to pull out of the closet, bend the branches into shape and decorate.  Best of all I don’t end up with piles of pine needles everywhere, and I don’t have to worry about dragging it out to the curb at any point. It just folds up and goes in the closet. HOWever i forgot how annoying the glitter on it is. It is EVERYWHERE! yikes. Nearly as bad as pine needles, maybe even worse because pine needles don’t get all over your face and clothes.

Wanna see some more pictures?

Who is that hiding in the tree?

Its Joey!

Daytime tree

I have my 12 Days of Christmas ornaments, my pretty felt balls and my little white birds. Love it! This friday I will be adding in some fat little white felt birds and my red i-cord garland.

I also hung some lights behind my curtain in my bedroom. So pretty! The lightweight cotton diffuses the lights and makes a very pretty glow.

Thanks For Friends

Up at the Crokery we gave thanks with our friends, here is what we feasted on and a few photos of us all.

Shrimp bisque accompanied with autumnal shaped croutons

A palate cleaners of cranberry sorbet

Roast venison with jumble berry mole

Cornish hen with classic gravy

Boar and apple sausage

Roast potatoes

Parsnip bread pudding

Roast vegetable medley with pommegranate vinagrette

Wild rice with pecans and cranberries

Chestnut stuffing

Sweet potato ice cream served with toasted marshmallows and pecan cookies

Caramel apple pie

Lots of wine

Wildwoman and Dutch pass the croutons

WildWoman & Dutch pass the crotuons

Giggles and my Cosmic Twin, smiley faces after a bellyful of bisque

Giggles and my Cosmic Twin, smiley faces after a bellyful of bisque

Candles nestled in a vase of nuts makes for a multi functional centre piece

Marie cleanses her palate

A perfect portion

The table awaits hungry guests

Remains of a tasty bisque

The salt and pepper pots, a nod to the host sense of humor

A nod to the hosts sense of fun