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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

shamed into posting...if not into cooking...

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Shame on me.

So I'm lazing about tonight, absolutely stuffed to the gills with a delicious garlicky shawarma plate (that I had nothing to do with making). I'm really full. I'm so full I can't actually sit straight up (well, sitting straight is getting challenging at this point anyway), and am kinda laying back, hoping that dinner stays where it belongs.

I had not even finished licking all of the delicious shawarma goodness from my fingers when I read in Jackie's comment that I'm now being featured on http://www.chow.com as one of the top 10 food blogs to peruse. Check it out - I'm totally famous - http://www.chow.com/stories/11096. Awesome.

Of course, as I guiltily sit here trying to digest and still reeking of raw garlic, I realize I haven't posted since April. Um yep...I suck.

But at least my shawarma was good. Much better than the frozen perogies I had planned to boil.

BUT, I won't leave you hanging. Lucky for you, I do actually cook more than I post (which could partially explain why I'm so freaking huge now), and I have some stuff that I made a couple of weeks ago that, thanks to the joys of digital photography, has been in suspended animation, just waiting for me to get off my duff and post.

Can't say I would recommend eating these foods in combo...but they are both easy, tasty and very satisfying.

Guacamole

I never much liked avocados growing up. They are slimy, squishy and overall a little on the tasteless side (stop screaming in outrage, avocado lovers...there is a caveat here...). Because when you pair them with fresh lime, a healthy dose of sea salt and LOADS of cilantro....then we have something worth eating. Living in the land where avocados don't grow, a guac craving is always a bit of a dicey proposition...odds are, the day I WANT (okay, okay, ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE OR I WILL HURT SOMEONE kinda craving....) guacamole, the available avocados are hard as rocks, and would better serve as baseballs. Of course, the day I'm trying to stock up, I get the you-better-make-your-guac-today kind.

Anyway, hubs and I were grocery shopping and happened to come across a number of beautifully ripe, squishy avocados. Awesome. You NEED to make sure the avocados are squishy, or you will not have guac....I'm not sure what it will be, but definitely not guac. Blech.

without further ado...

4 RIPE avocados (if you can't squish them slightly, they are not ripe)
2-3 limes
1/2 t sea salt
2 cloves garlic
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 t cumin
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1/3 c. light sour cream

1. After you've washed each avocado, run the knife around it so you cut it in half the long way (there is a pit in the middle). The sides should easily twist apart. For about 90% of all the avocados I've used, the peel comes off relatively easy - you just have to slip your finger in between the peel and the flesh, and you should be able to get the peel off. Peel them all, and remove the pits (can sometimes be challenging - they are SO slimy).

avocados that need squishing

2. Using a potato masher, blender, or whatever other food-squashing equipment strikes your fancy, mash up your avocado.

3. Add the minced/crushed garlic, the zest of 1 lime, the salt, coriander, tomatoes, cumin and sour cream. Add the juice of two limes (definitely zest the lime before you juice it. Just trust me).

the more lime, the merrier

this is how i make guac

4. Combine it all together. Taste test (it's very important to have corn chips on hand for this!). If you like it, leave as is. It may need more bite (either add lime or another clove of garlic), it may need to be creamier (add more sour cream), or it may just need more salt (duh). Adjust accordingly.

i ate this too

Enjoy!

Butter Tart Bars

Non-Canadian readers may be less familiar with the humble butter tart. Basically, it's REALLY similar to a pecan pie, except we don't put pecans on top, and it's a small little tart. They are pretty much universally loved, and come in such flavour combos as plain, raisin, walnut, coconut or any combination. I've even heard tell of chocolate chip, though I've never seen it done.....

Anyway, y'all know how I feel about pastry, or more precisely, how pastry reacts to my bumbling and inept handling. So I don't really make a lot of butter tarts (much to the dismay of hubs and his entire family). I came across this recipe for butter tart squares and thought it would be awesome. The pressed crust is possibly my favourite feature, followed closely by the fact that it's made in a 9x13 pan (rather than the paltry little 8x8 that seems so prevalent among the square set...). Anyway, it's almost ridiculously quick to whip together (so quick that a snarling, craving preggo like myself can hack it together and it's ready before I snap). The only alteration I might consider for future consumption might be to lop about 1/3 off the crust recipe as the crust was too thick. I might also consider making it with room temperature butter as the chilled butter didn't squish together all that well.

Base:
1 cup butter (2 sticks - use room temperature)
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Topping:
1 cup raisins (I substituted 1/2 c. pecans and 1/2 c. coconut)
1 T. flour
3 eggs beaten
2 cups brown sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 T. vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Using a pastry cutter, combine butter with dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly (it will look similar to pastry dough before the addition of any liquid). (Seriously, just use the food processor. So. Much. Faster.)

this made way too much crust

3. Press the mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, combine raisins and flour. Mix well so that no raisins are still clumped together. (I did the same, but for my pecans and coconut). Raisins look like bunny poop.

nuts of all sorts

5. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, brown sugar, baking powder, and vanilla. Slowly add melted butter. Add in raisins (or coconut/pecans) and stir well.

whisking

6. Pour topping mixture over shortbread base and bake for 35 minutes.

action shot...this kinda looks gross though

sometimes, baking doesn't look too good

7. Allow to cool completely before cutting. I can totally vouch for this last step. I was WAY too cravey to wait, and because I didn't wait for cooling, the topping hadn't totally set. Very very sad. So if you're not going insane, definitely wait. :)

this is what it looked like just before i ate it

Someday soon, I will hopefully make something worth posting. Since I copped out of boiled perogies tonight, something tells me they will be tomorrow night's dinner....

And for the baby-bump watchers....here is a pic at 28.5 weeks. I'm now just about 30 weeks...

28.5 weeks preggo

But I feel about like this:

23 comments:

Rachel said...

I found your blog via the chow post and was checking it out (I subbed to it, btw, I do like it)
But your photos of look like vs feels like made me laugh. I am also at 30 weeks and I SO know what you mean :)

Andrea said...

Hey RBM! I have a tip for getting those slimy pits out of the avocados. Just take a knife and whack the blade into the pit, and twist! They come out super easy that way. It's a touch dangerous if you have bad aim, but it works!!

Lesley said...

I love guac, yours sounds really simliar to how I make mine. I've been experimenting though, so it never comes out the same each time. :) Another trick (in addition to whacking the knife in the pit), is to use a spoon to get the flesh out - just run it along that little gap between the skin and flesh and scoop it all out in one giant chunk of avocado. You don't even need to touch the mushy stuff at all if you do these two tricks!

I *love* that top - saw it on your FB. I can only hope I look as good as you do at 30 weeks!

kickpleat said...

i feel the same way about avocados. i have to cover them in lime juice, salt and spice to make them palatable, which is why i love guac. sour cream with guac? interesting!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your newfound fame...again! Is there anything you can't do wunderkind? Sometimes I just sit back in amazement and wonder how I ever produced a wonderful, talented, giving human being like you!
On another note...if I could find an avocado here in St. George I would be SO making this tonight. My mouth was watering just looking at the cilantro. Mama's jealous that Leslie made it and I can't have it haha.

Kim said...

I too found your blog via chow.com

I hate cooking, however your pictures make me WANT to cook! Everything looks soooooo good. Keep those recipes coming!!!! ;-)

Jenny said...

Hehe you aren't looking so big yet. At least not compared to the two women I was at a shower for this weekend, one with twins. :-)
And what exactly is wrong with eating guac for dinner, followed by buttertart squares? :-)
PS Save yourself the boiling on the perogies - put the frozen ones in the oven, 425F, spray them with Pam or something, 12 minutes, flip the, another 5-10 minutes until golden and puffy. Yummy and easier to clean up after.

BubblyBunny said...

I'm having the same problem with standing up after overeating. The problem is that you don't realize how much you've eaten while you are sitting. It's only when you try to stand up after dinner and you realize your belly has reached its max stretching limit. Heehee... I suppose I should know better than to eat too much; but when the baby does a little dance in my belly after I've ingested his/my favourite foods, it's like he's telling me he wants me to eat more! Hahah... I'm 28 weeks on the dot today and I feel like a blimp. It's hard to imagine I'm actually going to get bigger!!

Jenn said...

WOW YOU LOOK AMAZING, i can only hope i look half as good as you when expecting, im here WB:)

Jackie said...

Guac has got to be one of my favorite things. I totally know what you mean about having the right avocado at the right time. And then coordinating it with having decent tomatoes is a whole other challenge!

I find subbing in a bit of good quality salsa for the tomatoes can work wonders if I'm low on the fresh stuff.

Those butter tarts look wonderful too!

dinah34 said...

that is an excellent baby bump!

Dynamite Weddings said...

I found your website in the recent issue of The Nest. Your listed as the Nesties' fav blogs! Talk about famous.

DaleAndAl said...

you look beautiful! :) hope your pregnancy is going well!

abigail barnes said...

it all looks so GOOD! i wish i could be as unmartha like as you are...

by the way, cute shirt and you have no reason to feel like any kind of sea mammal.

ps- found you on hostess with the mostess - super cool!

Sharona May said...

Yum on the Gauc. I love it!!! I like your recipe because it is simple yet good.

Thanks,
Sharona May

Jen said...

Mmmm butter tarts! I made some last year for a friend in the US who had never heard of them. How is this even possible???

Love your blog! I tagged you in mine.

african vanielje said...

congrats on the chow thing and the gorgeous baby bump. You look like a yummy mummy not a comatose sealion so embrace your schwarmy garlicky goodness and put your feet up girl.

Persian Tea said...

i can't wait to make guacamole now!! thanks for sharing!

Joel and Kitty said...

Hey there! My name is Kitty and I just found your blog (which is now bookmarked!) thanks to the nest magaze. Wanted to tell you what great photos you have. I will be back for a visit!

kabonfootprint said...

CONGRATULATIONS!

thanks for sharing your ideas, i'm trying my best to learn how to cook (decent meals :-),I hope i can share with you some
Filipino recipes too, I hope your OK with Asian foods :-)...
baby bumps always makes a woman very beautiful (inside and out :-)
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KabonFootPrint

Tenina said...

Loving the photos...and you look gorgeous. Nothing like a walrus, or seal or whatever the hell that is!! Great guacomole recipe...love the fresh-ness!

Roland said...

very informative details thanks for that, nice article
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tnomeralc web design toys said...

Very nice and cool pictures of food.. I was also hungray while viewing this..

Thanks..

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