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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 as one of the top 10 food blogs to peruse. Check it out - I'm totally famous - 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.


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


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.

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

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.


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 is a pic at 28.5 weeks. I'm now just about 30 weeks...

28.5 weeks preggo

But I feel about like this:

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