Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guacamole and Skinny Margs

Happy very belated Cinco de Mayo!

Guacamole de Maegan

Despite common belief, the fifth of May is actually a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, not independence, and while I am not of actual Mexican decent, I certainly consider Mexican cuisine a part of my heritage. This is because my mom spent a great part of her young adulthood in the Southwestern United States, namely Texas and Colorado, where I was born. During her time there, she learned to cook authentic Mexican dishes, which she then fed to us. As an adult, every time I bite into a dish that's so spicy it brings tears to my eyes and makes my nose run, I think of my parents and dinners at home, us kids complaining about how spicy the food was and my dad responding with "it'll grow hair on your chest!" 

While I thankfully don't have hair on my chest today, I love the fact that when I think of mom's cooking, it's often not only super spicy foods but Mexican meals. My favorite recipe that she has handed down to me, next to a dish called green chili, is guacamole. Whenever I make guacamole, I think about this one time during high school when Mary asked my mom to make it for a family event of our's she was attending because she thought it was the most amazing guacamole she had ever had and she was craving it. Now, I consider Mary to be an honorable member of my family, and I must say she is an amazing cook with a sophisticated palette. I have always taken this compliment to heart, often thinking about it as I make my own guacamole, and for that reason I think it's perfect that today will be the first post we co-author! How about that for heritage and pride? 

In all the years that I have been making my mom's guacamole I have continuously tried to figure out, what's the key that makes it taste so much more wonderful? And I truly think the answer is adding a number of the ingredients nearly to the point of excess. I usually start with 1-3 avocados, depending on the amount of people who will be enjoying it. Experience has taught me to always make more than I think I'll need because this stuff is so yummy, people will be licking the bowl clean in no time if I skimp at all. I begin by halving the avocados, removing the pit, and spooning the fruit out of the shell. I like to hold on to the pits, placing them in a glass of water to try to get them to root, but I have historically had little success, only getting a few to grow which my three cats successfully killed within a year. Nevertheless, its a fun experiment for kids, so I encourage you to give it a try!

After the avocado, I add the remaining ingredients. I typically use red onion, although white onion works just fine if that's all you have or what you prefer. I fine dice the entire onion and then use one half to the whole onion, depending on what I think is appropriate for my guests and the amount of avocado I used. Then I squeeze in the juice of 1 lime. Next I add 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced. It is better to skimp on the garlic than to add to much as my mother taught me that guacamole is the only dish where too much garlic can literally ruin it. Then I add the jalapenos. As I mentioned, I'm a learned spice fiend, and in the tradition of my family I also tend to force my guests to also enjoy my desired spice level, so I usually use an entire can of japs for a single bowl of guac, but of course you can adjust this to your own taste. For this recipe, I also added a beautiful beefsteak tomato and a tomatillo for some added sweetness, both of which I just diced up. I also like to add a dallop of sour cream or mayo for some added zip and creaminess, but if you prefer a more skinny guac, or if there are vegans in your group, this can be omitted without penalty. Finally, I add salt and pepper to a shocking degree so it almost feels like I've used too much. I then stir it all together and give it a try. Then I'll adjust the salt and pepper, as well as the spice level, until it reaches my standards.

Skinny Marg de Mary

If you drink as may boat drinks as my husband and I do (both self-proclaimed Parrotheads and vacation-extraordinaires) you better learn to make them the right way! And the right way just so happens to also be the skinny way- SCORE!

BACK AWAY FROM THE STORE BOUGHT MARGARITA MIX!! If you look at the ingredients of a store-bought strawberry margarita mix, the first ingredient is corn syrup or some other non-organic factory made additive, packed with tons of unnecessary calories. AND blended margarita at a restaurant can run you between 300-400 calories! Blasphamy!! 

There really are only a few ingredients to a prefect margarita: Tequilla, lime juice, Cointreau and agave nectar (for sweetness). And today, I am sharing with you the perfect blended strawberry margarita... a whole pitcher contains only about 580 calories and contains 6 shots of liquor! Which is quite enough to get me dancin' the Samba!

One of the best wedding gifts were were given was a Jimmy Buffett Margarita blender. Firing up that baby in the the middle of February, dreaming of warmer places, sun on my face and screaming Boat Drinks!

Skinny Strawberry Margarita
4 oz. Tequilla
2 oz. Cointreau (Orange Liquor)
2 oz. Lime Juice
2 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Agave Nectar (you can also use honey or sugar)
1 cup Strawberries
Ice to blend

Serve these margaritas pool-side, ocean-side or sitting on the porch with your favorite people!
Teaser pic- Man on left is my hubs
Hope you enjoyed our first combo-post! Next time we will try to post it before the holiday we are blogging about!

What did you make for Cinco de Mayo?! Be sure to follow up by email or through bloglovin!