THE PERFECT GUACAMOLE

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Guacamole is a family-favorite in my house.  It’s quite typical during the summer nights to find us gathering around the table to gobble down some guac ‘n chips.  Yum!  My only qualm is that every time I make guacamole, somebody has feedback for me.  It seems that guacamole is more a work of great art than an appetizer.  “I typically use more tomato!” “Did you put the cilantro in it?” or “I’ll show you how I make it next time.”  Ugh!  And my beloved boyfriend is the largest culprit.  Talk about a back seat chef! (Love you, though.)

My secret for survival?  A nice wheat treat.  But shhh.

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So this year I am more than dedicated to finding the most amazingly-perfect, can’t-argue-with-me guacamole.  I’m starting early, but I think I’ve chosen my winner.  I’m welcoming feedback until the end of May.   Speak now or forever hold your guac-peace.

INGREDIENTS
3 avocados, ripe
1 lime, juiced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup salsa, fresh
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

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DIRECTIONS

Peel and chop the avocados and place the pieces in a small mixing bowl.  Using a fork, mash the avocados until you have a creamy mixture.  Stir in the fresh lime juice.  Add the onion, garlic, pepper, and salt, and mix well.

Add homemade or store-bought sales to the mixture.  Mix in chopped cilantro.  This is best served within an hour or so of making it since it browns quickly.

CITRUS AND ENDIVE SALAD

Endive-orange-and-bleu-cheese-saladv2Do you ever have those Sundays where you just need to refresh?  Clean the house.  Do some yoga.  Wash the car? Today is that type of Sunday.  We’ve been busy {insert heavy sigh}.  I’ve been working late nights and ‘socializing’ too hard.  We’ve been busy!  A few people in my organization recently added itty-bitty bundles of joy to their families and while I am so overjoyed with happiness for them, we’ve beenbusy.  I’ve been so busy, in fact, that I’ve created this vicious cycle where I don’t have enough time to fit in my work out nor do I have enough time to leave my desk for lunch causing me to snack on teddy grams and cereal all day.

Despite my long days in the office (…did I mention we’ve been busy?) I am having some fun.  I recently attended a college friends Bachelorette weekend in San Francisco for three days filled with cocktails, night clubs and wine tasting.  The unhealthy habits continued as we then spent three days in Lake Tahoe for St. Patrick’s Day filled with guiness, green beer and the occasional skiing.
Endive-orange-and-bleu-cheese-saladv2 (1)So today I sit on the side of my bed looking at the beautiful sun shining in Lake Tahoe and I think to myself, it’s time!  It’s time to refresh my lifestyle with a clean house, yoga practice and some healthy eating and what better way to kick it off with a freshly-prepared Citrus and Endive Salad, adapted from Barefoot Contessa.
INGREDIENTS
½ teaspoon grated orange zest

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads Belgian endive
½ cup walnut halves, toasted
¼ pound bleu cheese, crumbles
1 sweet red apple, unpeeled, cored and medium-diced
4 ounces baby arugula
1 orange

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Cut the heads of endive in half lengthwise, remove the triangle of core at the base of each half so the leaves separate, and cut the leaves in half again lengthwise. Place in a large bowl. Drizzle the leaves with the vinaigrette and add the walnuts, cheese, and apple. Add the arugula and toss. Zest the orange into the salad with a strip zester. Peel the orange and remove the white pith around the orange with a small sharp knife. Cut the orange sections between the membranes and toss them on the salad. Discard the membranes. Sprinkle with salt and serve.