It’s a Guac Party!

                     Fresh Homemade Guacamole

holy guacamole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love homemade guacamole. It tastes so fresh and yummy. My husband and I can finish this whole bowl on football sunday.

It’s so simple it’s scary! Like many recipes you can adjust, omit, and add ingredients to your liking. This is how I make it..

What you need:What you need

  • avocados; I had 3 small ones
  • tomato; 1-2 depending on size
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • shallot about a Tbsp (or onion, or green onion)
  • lemon (or lime)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

First you cut your avocados in half and take the pits out with the knife. Like this.

sliced avocado

 

 

 

 

 

 

After you scoop all the flesh into your container squeeze fresh lemon juice on top. I used 1 lemon and got about a Tbsp. The citrus helps keep the avocado from browning. Typically you would use a lime, but all I had were lemons… When life gives you lemons make guacamole!

Then smash the avocados till they are the consistency you like. I keep mine a little chunky.

smashed avocados

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the rest of the ingredients. I love tomato in mine so I use quite a bit. I take the seeds and as much of the liquid out of the tomato. I grate my garlic in and slice up the shallot. Finally I add salt and pepper to taste. Salt makes a huge difference in this recipe because it helps bring out the flavors- but you can add too much! After I’ve mixed everything together I put the guacamole in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors blend, then taste it to see if it needs more salt.

If you’re short on time you could put everything in a food processor and blend it up quick, I might omit the tomato and add that afterwards.

Dive in! Try not to eat it all in one sitting!

Dive in!

Caprese Pizza

During our month of no spending I find myself struggling to be creative with dinner every night. Well one day I swear every channel on TV had pizza commercials! Needless to say I was craving a pizza. I haven’t had much luck making my own pizza crust at home or even using those pre-made ones in a tube from Pillsbury.

Well I checked out the fridge and the freezer… Score! I had a package of Flat Out flat bread. I’ve made pizza on this bread before with left over shredded pork, cheese, and BBQ sauce. I really wanted a caprese inspired pizza. Luckily I had all the ingredients!

Caprese Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hardest part of this recipe (for me) was preparing the balsamic glaze. Sometimes I amaze myself in the kitchen with what I can make, and sometimes I surprise myself with what i can’t make!

Balsamic glaze is really easy to make but for the impatient person it can be a challenge. All you do is put 2 cups of balsamic vinegar in a small pot bring it to a boil, lower the temp some and let it reduce. It will reduce by more than half. I’m not going to lie I’ve attempted to make it three times! Yes three. It’s embarrassing to admit. Well this time I did it! This post should be titled “I finally made balsamic glaze!”.

Balsamic Glaze: 2 cups balsamic vinegar

  • add vinegar to small pot, bring to boil
  • lower heat (keep it bubbling though!)
  • allow to reduce anywhere from 20-40 mins (be patient)
  • stir periodically, keep an eye on it. It can burn quite easily
  • glaze is done when it coats the back of a spoon
  • thickens when cooled, you can store it in the fridge

Okay, so now that thats done you can assemble your pizza!

Caprese Inspired Pizza Ingredients, per pizza

  • flat out flat bread
  • balsamic glaze, drizzle
  • fresh basil, 6-10 leaves chopped
  • fresh mozzarella (fresh is key!), pearls, or sliced
  • fresh tomato, sliced
  • red sauce (pizza sauce, pasta sauce, or homemade) 2-3 Tbsp
  • olive oil
  • garlic powder (optional)
  1. preheat oven 350
  2. prepare crust by brushing both sides with a thin layer of olive oil. You can sprinkle the toppings side with garlic powder if you want.
  3. place crust in oven for 7 mins, flip half way through (I put mine directly on rack so it gets nice and crispy)
  4. once crust is done pull out and place 2-3 Tbsp of tomato sauce on crust, depending on how sauce-y you like it
  5. lay some mozzarella slices or pearls down, you don’t have to cover the whole pizza- it will spread when cooking
  6. lay about 3-4 slices of tomato and cover with more cheese if you want
  7. you can sprinkle with basil now, or after they come out
  8. drizzle a litte more olive oil on top and pop in oven for about 7 more minutes
  9. once cheese is melted and edges look crispy take out of oven and drizzle with balsamic glaze (and basil if you haven’t put it on yet)
  10. Enjoy!

 

Caprese PizzaThis pizza is very versatile. If caprese isn’t your thing Flat Out Bread has a bunch of recipes!

Week Two.

So our second week of no spending is complete. Yay! This is definitely getting harder. I think the hardest part of the challenge is the eating aspect. Cooking every meal every day has been tough! I try to make enough so that we’ll have left overs…but even then it’s the same thing. I also had to pay to get my wisdom teeth pulled which will be at the end of the month….! Ah I’m nervous!! And we had to pick up some shoes for our little one. I got two pairs for $7 at Once Upon a Child. She needs them for daycare, which she’ll be at when I have to get my teeth pulled…! Sorry I’m scared. Haha, but my husband will be there for four days to help me afterwards with everything.

So happy were half way done!

Workin’ on My Fitness

After I had Ava my weight dropped pretty fast. I did Insanity for about 2 months and got about 5 pounds away from pre-pregnancy. Insanity is a super hard program (hence the name!). When I moved up to round 2 after completely round 1 twice I about died. Much, much, much harder! well that was about 10 months ago… I’ve let the exercise thing slip for any excuse I can find. I managed to loose ever more weight (now below pre-pregnancy) but my muscle tone and body composition is in dire need of some attention. I want to be in the best shape I can be before we try for our next baby. That won’t be for at least a year or two. So yes, I have a lot of time but if I keep going at this rate it will never happen!

So for my birthday in June I asked my hubby for two new workout DVD sets. I got Chalean Extreme and TurboFire. Chalean Extreme is a 3 phase system that is suppose to help build lean muscle and burn fat. I found a great review/breakdown on this blog. Reading this definitely got me excited to get started.

I took down my measurements and weight. Honestly I’m not expecting to loose any weight; I might even gain some. But that weight should be muscle. I’m also going to do my best to record what I eat and how much water I’m drinking every day.

measurements

I’ll be updating after each phase. Wish me luck!

 

Week One….

Wow so our no spending month did not go off so well! I did a big grocery trip to prepare  for eating in for a month. Then we ran out of dog food. Then we ran out of milk that weekend for the baby… We just switched from formula so needless to say it was shocking at first how fast she goes through a carton of milk! Now I’ve armed myself with a gallon. My husband ran over a nail the day before the month started so we had to buy new tires. Then the internet kinda crashed on my computer. Awesome. So we had to purchase a new wireless router (which ours is about 5 years old anyways) But in the process of trying to figure out the problem we knocked our wireless printer off the network and we need the usb cord that I accidentally threw out thinking it was for the old printer… another $15 dollars! Not exactly how I anticipated the month starting. BUT we’re still going strong! despite all those set backs.

We made some awesome sweet and sour chicken with veggie fried rice. It was great! and we made enough to have dinner and lunch for both of us for two days. Can’t beat that.

I also made an eggplant lasagna, modified a little. A great recipe and dinner for two nights!

I hope the rest of the month runs a little smoother!

Homemade Hummus

To me there’s something to homemade recipes and fresh ingredients. Like salsa, guacamole, and hummus… Yum!

Ever since they started carrying Sabra Hummus at the grocery store I was hooked. It felt like the perfect snack for the beach with some pita chips. My favorite flavor was garlic. Well once I found a recipe for homemade hummus (and it seemed easy enough) I went for it. My husband absolutely loves it! So here’s what I do.

Homemade Hummus

what you need:

  • food processor
  • 1 16oz can of garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • 1-2 lemons; about 2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • splash of water (or liquid from can)

First I drain my chick peas. Some people save a little bit of the liquid from the can to add to the mixture instead of water; I do not. But that’s up to you. I also pulse my chick peas for about 20 seconds before I add everything else. I don’t know if this really makes a difference but I do it every time.

Then I grate in the garlic with my zester.

IMG_0679

 

 

 

 

 

 

I add the Tahini.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I add the rest of the ingredients and blend. You’ll have to keep scraping the sides down and checking the consistency. This is too chunky for me, I like it smooooth. So add more water and/or oil to get it the texture you like.

After adding more oil, about a tsp at a time this is what I got, and I was happy with it.

IMG_068

Taste it and adjust accordingly! add salt maybe some more lemon juice…. hummus is really a canvas and there are plenty of variations you can find online. Once you get the hang of it it’s super easy to make!