It’s Five O’Guac Somewhere

I grew up in Southern California eating avocados and guacamole since childhood. Any excuse I have to eat guacamole, I make it happen. It’s not just for chips! I put guacamole on tacos, burgers and sometimes just on a spoon! 😂 I lived all of my life buying rock hard avocados, rotten avocados, and brown avocados. So frustrating. I will also tell you how to pick out the perfect avocado, you know the kind that is beautifully green on the inside and ripe too. Just like they show in magazines or on cooking shows. Everyone has their own special ingredients they like to add or not add. I am pretty much a purest when it comes to guacamole. Simple basic ingredients because I want the avocado to be the star.

Here is the trick of buying the perfect avocado. See where the avocado has been picked off of the tree? Kinda looks like a little scab. Take it off, it you see green, your avocado is ripe and ready to eat. I don’t care if it’s hard, it’s ready. If you squeeze your avocado to see if it’s soft and ready to eat, you are bruising it. Trust me on this.

Take the brown circle off, that’s where it was picked from the tree.
See the green inside? It’s ready!
Beautiful!

Ingredients:

3 ripe Haas avocados, pitted and peeled

1 jalapeño, seeds removed and ribs removed for me, if you like heat chop it all up

1/2 cup red onion, diced fine

1 small clove garlic minced

1 Tablespoon lime juice

1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped, you may omit this if you don’t like it

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Optional additives:

Don’t have garlic? Use garlic salt

1 Roma Tomato, finely chopped, seeds removed

Some people add Pico de Gallo

Please do not add mayonnaise or sour cream unless you are making a salad dressing. And if you do, don’t tell me!

Remove pit and set aside
Good things are about to happen

Place avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork. I like to have some small avocado chunks in mine. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine.

Serve immediately. Enjoy! See below for the best way to store if you have extra.

Put pit in the guacamole. Place clingy plastic wrap on top of guacamole and smash down so air will not get to the guacamole. It will keep several days if you seal it good and tight.

Bacon, Brussels And Balsamic

I recently had this at a restaurant in Lutz, Florida. It was served as an appetizer but this could easily be served as a side dish. This recipe can easily be doubled and should be if you serve it as a side dish. What’s not to love? Bacon, Brussel Sprouts, Balsamic glaze and chopped peanuts for crunch.

Ingredients:

6 slices of bacon

3 Tablespoons butter

1 pound bag of Brussel Sprouts, I bought a bag of raw, ready to steam, I did NOT steam them, cut them in half

1/2 cup onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste (I used sea salt)

1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, rough chopped

*Balsamic (Vinegar) Glaze, enough to drizzle

Cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, save bacon grease. Melt butter in bacon grease. Add Brussel Sprouts and onion. Cook till tender about 8-10 minutes. I like mine caramelized so I cooked my Brussels on a higher heat. Once cooked, add bacon and crumble it. Drizzle balsamic glaze and place chopped peanuts on top. Enjoy!

*Balsamic Glaze can be purchased at the grocery store where vinegar is sold.

Everything But The Bagel Deviled Eggs

It’s a new year, new decade and I always try to start low carb or low calorie. I happen to love devil eggs and love to eat them whenever I can, eating healthy or not. I used Trader Joe’s seasoning but my local Publix sells it, Amazon sells it and Sam’s Club does too. You can easily make your own Everything But The Bagel seasoning too. I will give you the instructions below my recipe.

Ingredients:

8 hard boiled eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons Mustard (your choice of Dijon, yellow, grainy, your favorite)

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning (recipe below for homemade)

Slice eggs in half and scoop out yolk and place yolk in a separate bowl. Mash eggs with a fork or potato masher. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in mayonnaise and mustard, blending well. Spoon back in the egg whites and sprinkle with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

1 Tablespoon poppy seeds

1 Tablespoon dried onion flakes

1 Tablespoon dried garlic flakes

1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt

Combine above ingredients and store in an airtight container until ready to use. There are a lot of recipes for this seasoning and I have always heard Sunny Anderson say equal parts of said ingredients. That’s what I go by if I am making it myself. I typically buy it because it’s cheaper to purchase than buying all of the ingredients.

Four Ingredient Appetizer

Nothing better than a quick easy recipe with few ingredients. This appetizer probably takes you longer to go to the store and buy the ingredients than it actually takes to make it. I saw this recipe on the Today Show, it was from Dylan Dreyer. What a great hostess gift to your dinner hostess. It’s so hard to guess what wine is preferred, arrive with a delicious treat. Win win!

Ingredients:

1 loaf of baguette bread

1 container Allouette cheese spread, I used garlic and herb

Deli sliced roast beef

Red fancy pimentos

The 4 ingredients

I toasted my bread, it’s not necessary. You can put the bread on a cookie sheet and broil it or use your toaster. Spread a generous smear of your cheese spread on the bread. Place roast beef on top of cheese and top with pimento. Easy peasy and delicious. Enjoy!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes are one of my favorite Southern foods. They were not created for the movie, fried green tomatoes have been around for centuries, appearing in cookbooks from the 1800’s. I believe Fried Green Tomatoes gained more popularity after the 1991 film was released. Dip them in Ranch or dip them in my Aussie Sauce or just enjoy them on their own.

Ingredients:

3 – 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/3 inch slices

Flour dredge ingredients:

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Whisk together and set aside

Liquid Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 cup of buttermilk (the real stuff)

Combine and set aside.

Word to the wise, it’s not recommended that taking bites out of your tomato is a good idea. They are hot and I know someone that burned her mouth. 🤦🏼‍♀️

Corneal/Flour Dredge:

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Notice I have added the same seasonings to this dredge station too.

Set up dredge/dipping stations. Put enough vegetable oil in a pan to fry the tomatoes. Preheat oil before frying. Do not overcrowd pan with tomatoes. Start by dredging the tomatoes in the seasoned flour. Dip both sides of tomatoes into egg/buttermilk mixture. Lastly dredge tomatoes in the seasoned cornmeal/flour mixture. Coat well in all side. Place in frying pan and fry until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Salt immediately after removing from fryer. Serve warm and use a dipping sauce of your choosing or they have lots of flavor on their own. Enjoy!

For Aussie Dipping Sauce, click here.

Copycat Chicken Salad Chick Pimento Cheese

Since moving to Florida in 1978, I have embraced all things southern. Born and raised in Southern California, my Mom was from North Carolina. I would say I am a southerner. 😉 I am a frequent diner at Chicken Salad Chick. One thing I enjoy is their pimento cheese. It’s made a little differently than what you think pimento cheese you have seen before. This one is made with grated cheese that you grate yourself. No package grated cheese. Even the restaurant grates theirs.

Ingredients:

1 8 ounce package of sharp cheddar cheese (I used Cabot’s)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 teaspoon of pepper, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon of salt, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 4 ounce jar of diced pimentos, drained and blotted with paper towels

2 Tablespoons of finely minced onions (can be grated) or more if desired

Grate cheese using the largest holes of a box grater or food processor. Set aside and refrigerate. In a small size mixing bowl make the dressing for the pimento cheese. Combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, pepper, salt and garlic powder. Whisk ingredients together to combine. Add drained dice pimentos and onions, stirring to incorporate. Now it’s time to add the cold grated cheese to this mixture. This is delicious as a sandwich, a burger on crackers or just by itself. Enjoy!

***Chicken Salad Chick sells a spicy version of pimento cheese and it would be the same recipe adding chili powder/and or red pepper flakes. You determine the heat.

Monica’s Delish Dip

I tried this delicious dip at my grandson’s birthday party. My gorgeous daughter in love made this and I knew when I tried it, I had to share it with you. I doubled this recipe which feeds a crowd, this can very easily be cut in half for smaller crowds.

My son and his beautiful wife.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground sausage, I used mild but hot would be great too

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese

2 small packages of original Velveeta

2 cans of Rotel, original

1 can of corn, drained

2 cups of grated cheddar cheese, I used sharp

Add cream cheese, Velveeta, Rotel, and corn to your crockpot. Cook beef (I seasoned mine with pepper and garlic salt), drain and add to crockpot. Cook sausage, drain and add to crockpot. Cook on low for a couple of hours until everything is nice and melty. Stir in additional grated cheese. Once the grated cheese has melted, maintain the dip recipe on low. Serve with you favorite dipping chips. I used Frito Scoops but any sturdy chip works. Thank you Monica 💗💗💗 for the recipe. Enjoy!

Hot Artichoke Onion Dip

I love hot dips. This is so easy to prepare and the prep time is quick. This dip can be baked in the oven or warmed in the microwave. I prefer to bake it in the oven because I think the dip stays hotter longer. This dip is cheesy good.


Hot and bubbly right out of the oven.
Ingredients:

1 12 ounce can/jar of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise

1 cup of sour cream

1 envelope of onion soup mix

1 teaspoon of white pepper, you can use black if you want

2 teaspoons or more of Tabasco sauce or your favorite hot sauce, optional

1 cup of Swiss cheese, grated

Scallions for garnish

Chips, celery, carrots, pretzels or your favorite dippers


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain artichokes and chop.  Set aside. In a separate bowl, add mayonnaise and sour cream. Stir to combine. Add the soup mix, pepper, Tabasco if you are including it, and grated Swiss cheese and mix together. Pour dip mixture into a shallow baking dish, I used a 8 x 6 pan. You can also use a pie plate too. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with scallions and serve with your favorite dippers. I used organic blue corn chips. Enjoy!


When I serve dips at parties, whether they are hot or cold, I like to put the dip in small ramekins for several reasons. One is that keeps the dip in one place on your plate and you are not chasing it around on your plate. Also, when guest have there own little bowl, they can double dip all they want too!  A ramekin also keeps your dip in one place and keeps the other things on your plate free of dip.

Reuben Nachos

I love nachos. I love Reubens too. It was only a matter of time before I created nachos from my favorite sandwich. This is a very fast and easy recipe to prepare. 


Ingredients:

Tortilla Chips

3 slices of deli sliced corned beef

8 ounces of sauerkraut, and squeezed dry, I used Silverfloss Bavarian Style

3 Tablespoons of Thousand Island dressing

5-6 ounces of Swiss cheese grated 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a large baking/pizza tray, spread tortilla chips out. Tear up pieces of corned beef and placebon top of tortilla chips. Drain 8 ounces of the sauerkraut and place on several paper towels. Squeeze out the liquid from the sauerkraut. You want it dry because you will be mixing thousand island in it and you don’t want soggy nachos!  Place sauerkraut in a bowl and mix in thousand island dressing. Place and spread out over the corned beef. Cover with Swiss cheese and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy. 


The secret to a good Reuben is dry sauerkraut. Whether its nachos, burgers or sandwiches. Also, if you are layering the chips, lay down on layer of chips, meat, sauerkraut thousand island mixture and cheese. Repeat this for every layer. You may need to adjust the amount of ingredients and cooking time for multiple layers of nachos. Serve and enjoy!

Peachy Caprese Salad


I love Caprese Salad and I never thought I could improve on the original recipe of fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes. I think I just did. Sweet Georgia peaches is a new twist on an old classic. 


Ingredients:

Fresh Peaches

Fresh Basil Leaves

Fresh sliced mozzarella 

Balsamic glaze (can be found at the grocery store where vinegar is sold)

Slice peaches in medium to thick slices. Alternate peach slices, mozzarella and basil. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the salad and dig in. I could eat this everyday.