I was waiting to post this one once I got all the pictures uploaded…but with half of my stuff put away in a storage locker, it is hard to find all the necessary equipment. Pictures soon!
Oh, summer. Today, it is 87 degrees Fahrenheit…in Buffalo, NY. New York. Western New York. How far does one have to be from the Equator to get some relief from the heat? The worst part is that it is not even June yet. Actually, I take that back – the worst part is that our apartment doesn’t have air conditioning. And the bedrooms are upstairs. Steamyyyyy.
It is days like this that I have a hard time eating food that is hot, or even food that is cooked but served hot. Oftentimes I stick to salads and sandwiches almost every day because other foods sit too heavily in the stomach for comfort. It seems funny that just two days ago it was so chilly that I sought hot chocolate because I was so chilly, and now I seek the pumped cool air of our local cafe for some relief. What am I drinking on this hottest of our hot days so far? A ca phe sua da, or Vietnamese iced coffee, which is a rich and dark espresso mixed with sweetened condensed milk and poured over ice. The condensed milk has become traditional to the Vietnamese region’s coffees due to limited access to fresh milk. That’s a coffee with a history – and the way the sickly-sweetness of the milk counters the very intense roast of the coffee strikes a nice balance. Plus, the plethora of ice gives me just enough of a brain freeze to make me forget the heat outside. Though, a glance out the window at the hazy, grey-blue of the clear sky is a certain visual reminder that what awaits when I leave here is a sticky ass from the super-hot car. At least I have an excuse to spend some more time in the air-conditioned indoors: grocery shopping.
One of the first meals I made in our small kitchen was a nasty zucchini and broccoli alfredo over ramen noodles. What was I thinking, you may ask. It’s what little was left of our food cache after moving from Oswego to Buffalo, and we were hungry. Certainly, my second creation was much more interesting and definitely satisfying. After a trip to the local co-op for some locally and organically-grown vegetables, I whipped up a delicious guacamole. The funny part is that I made it without tomatoes, onions, or cilantro, which are pretty standard additives to a guacamole. You’ll see that I still got them in – with store-bought salsa. The scattered and impromptu nature of this guacamole has given it its name, but I don’t think anyone will be disappointed (unless maybe they are from a Mexican family). The salsa and lime juice give this guacamole a smoother texture while providing the same veggie flavor many enjoy in their guac, and the jalapeno provided the spicy kick I always enjoy in my Mexican-inspired dishes. We ate this guac with organic, gluten-free crispy crackers from the co-op, but I would suggest blue corn chips.
Whitney’s Cupboard Guacamole
2 ripe avocados
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp. of cumin
1 – 1.5 tsp. minced garlic
2-3 very heaping spoons of salsa (to taste)
3-4 jalapeno rings, diced finely
1.5 tsp. jalapeno juice
-Prepare avocado and mash in bowl. Tip: For those of you who have never dealt with a whole avocado before, my advice is to put a very large, sharp knife through it until you hit the seed and work the knife around the avocado to complete a full circle. Pull the halves apart and whack the seed gently with your flat knife. Twist a bit and pull to get the seed out. After this, you simply follow the edge of the rind with a spoon to get the soft, delicious insides out.
-Roll the lime on the table to get the juices loosened up and cut in half. Juice the lime into the mashed avocado. Tip: I like to “grapefruit” lemons and limes: after squeezing the juice out, firmly run a spoon around the inside as if you are eating a grapefruit to get the extra juices and a little of the tart inner rind out. It gives the guacamole an extra kick.
-Add the other ingredients and stir. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can mingle and make small talk, then enjoy! I suggest eating it with blue corn chips – so good….
This guacamole is perfect for the summer months, when you want to eat something that is quick, light, and definitely not hot. It’s also very easy to transport, so picnicing with it is no problemo. 🙂
What do you like to eat during the summer months?