The Avocado 

Can you tell I’m feeling relatively uninspired today? It probably has something to do with it being 3:47 PM on Cinco de Mayo and I haven’t had a margarita yet. But hopefully we’ll change that soon.

I thought I’d analyze the avocado for your reading pleasure. It won’t take long- there isn’t much to say. But I feel like the avocado has done what brussel sprouts and kale strive to do- go from fad to kitchen staple. Here’s why I think the avocado is so great:

  1. They’re diverse: you can eat an avocado in some form at every meal. They can accompany your omelet or huevos rancheros at breakfast. They can be on your turkey sandwich at lunch. They can be added to your tacos at dinner. Talk about an all around accompaniment!
  2. They’re healthy: avocados have all kinds of nutrients- including more potassium than bananas and tons of fiber. And that’s great for your digestive track and curing hangovers!
  3. They’re mild and easy to eat: when my goddaughter was a baby she loved avocado. I’ll never forget it because I was 12 years older and still thought they were gross because they were green. But she inspired me to try them and as a result I made them into a blog post. So thanks AK!
  4. Guacamole: you can put anything in guac and it’s fantastic. Crab. Cheese. Tuna. Other fruit. Vegetables. Probably not cannoli filling but we won’t hold that against it.

My favorite fact about the avocado is that it is often referred to as the ‘alligator pear.’ I don’t know who is calling it that- but consider this the last time I use the term avocado.

The biggest problem with alligator pears is trying to get them when ripe.  100% of the time I buy them too soon and forget about them once they’re ripe and then they’re gross. Or I think I’m beating the system and buying them when they feel ripe and I get home and they’re actually not ripe but already gross.

But today I came across a very nifty trick! I’m thinking of attempting a social experiment and going to the grocery store and checking how many are actually ripe in the basket that says they’re ready to eat…

So there you have it. You all now know my thoughts on the alligator pear fruit. I hope your Cinco de Mayo is full of this green cancer fighter and arthritis preventer and that you have consumed more margaritas than I have today!

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Things are Tight Right Now

What comes along with the territory of not having a job is not having an income.  And that is fine for right now – but as a result I need to make my savings account last.  So I’m trying to keep the mentality that money is tight and I shouldn’t go out as much, I shouldn’t buy clothes right now and Darcy is going to have to cut back on her days at the race track.  But I’m not worried financially.  Things are tight in other places which has me a little more concerned.

When I first left my job I spent a lot of time being super lazy.  Then, to cheer myself up, I went on a binge eating and drinking tour of the deep south.  I spent two full weeks on the following strict diet:

Food: IMG_3899

Po-boys

Crawfish

Pralines

Beignets

Bread

Shrimp n’ Grits

Cheese (with all accouterments) IMG_3265

Oranges

Omelets

Ice Cream

Oysters

Fish tacos

Drinks:

Strawberry Daiquiris (with an extra shot of rum) IMG_3038

Mimosas (normally a bottomless deal was involved)

Wine

Champagne

Abitas

Green Tea

Purple DrAnk (a slushy mix of grape juice, everclear and ice)

Corona, Corona, Corona

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Upon return home I made the silly decision to step on my scale and I saw that my weight had increased by 6 pounds.  So I thought – well that sucks.  But figured it will drop quickly, I’ll just have to cut back on my favorite food groups of cheese and wine and add in spinach or peppers or something in the mean time.

Last night was when I realized how ‘tight’ all things really were.  This dress was always rather form fitting, but last night we hit our breaking point… literally.

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So yea… diet starts now.  Retirement at it’s finest, ladies and gentlemen.

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180 Month Anniversary

Today, in honor of being retired and it being the 180th month in a row (exactly 15 years infact!) that my body has decided to remind me that I’m a female, I’ve decided to take it upon myself to make two of my favorite things – cannolis and blood orange margaritas.  Because as a woman, once a month, every month, between the ages of 12 and what sounds like forever, I deserve to be able to eat and drink whatever I want, during whatever time of day I please and assume it is all calorie free.  When you have a job – you can’t drink blood orange margaritas at noon… but guess what?  I don’t have a job.  Yesssssss.

Now when I came up with this idea last week I thought it would be the most grueling experience I’ve ever encountered.  I’m not much of a baker and I just never thought about the painstaking tears that probably go into growing the blood orange trees on my roof deck in the middle of the city in order to make the perfect margarita.  When I told my dear friend, ginger-eyes, at bowling league the other night about my plan to sacrifice my Tuesday to master the art of cannolis and blood orange margaritas, she laughed and said “those are like the two easiest things ever to make.”  Then she told my other friend, who we’ll call master baker, who laughed as well, rattled off the four ingredients I needed, and went back to bowling.

Everyone should strive to have friends who support your period cravings like mine do.  So I’m going to prove to both of them how difficult this process actually is.  There is no way making cannolis or the world’s best margarita comes easy to the Queen of Mediocrity…

 

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Cannolis:

Step 1: Find a recipe – There are seven million recipes out there for both things, so this wasn’t hard at all.

Step 2: Purchase ingredients – Ah ha!  Now this took me all morning.  Ricotta, sugar, chocolate chips – sure, they’re in any grocery store and there’s an entire shelf of tequila and triple sec in Wine and Spirits.  But have you ever tried to find blood oranges or cannoli shells on a Tuesday morning?  Because it’s a nightmare.  I actually got super lucky with the oranges because there was a parking spot outside of Reading Terminal Market that was radiating angel lights towards me when I drove up Arch street and the produce market inside had a plethora of them.  Cannoli shells were a nightmare to find. Termini Brothers had a huge stack of shells on both sides of their counter.  But they wouldn’t sell them to be without filling.  So I went to every other bakery in the market and everyone recommended I try Termini.  So then I started calling bakeries.  Everyone had shells but no one would sell them to me.  Just because I wanted to master the art of cannolis doesn’t mean I wanted to buy a deep fryer, destroy my kitchen and ruin the whole process trying to make the shells.  Then there wouldn’t have been a blog post.

Finally – Talluto’s Authentic Italian Food down in the Italian Market sold them.  So thank you Talluto’s – you saved the blog post and the whole day!

Step 3 – Come home and distract your dog.  When I cook, Darcy likes to sit at my feet and bark because she can’t see what’s going on and wants to eat all of the smells.  Sometimes I let her sit on the counter but then she walks on my computer and I lose the last 500 words and then we have trust issues.  SO someone is getting showered with treats all day to leave me alone.

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Step 4: Clear the beer out of your refrigerator At the ripe ages of 24 and 25 (give or take a couple of years…), my roommate and I live like frat boys.  Sometimes there is food in our fridge, but it’s primarily filled with beer and condiments.  Yesterday I went to Target with a two item shopping list – solo cups and trash bags.  Since cannolis and blood orange margaritas are both cold, you should make sure the beer is strategically arranged so you can fit your two new treats.

Step 5: Dance with your dog – If Heartbeat Song by Kelly Clarkson comes on Pandora, sing it to your dog, because it will make her leave you alone a little.  And also it will buy you some time on starting to make your cannolis because you know if you screw this up ginger-eyes, master baker and roommate will never let you live it down.

Step 6: Combine initial ingredients-  Add ricotta, sugar and vanilla extract to a bowl and stir together.

Step 7: Taste test

Step 8: Add more sugar

Step 9: Taste Test

Step 10: Get distracted dancing with your dog to Meghan Trainor’s Lips are Moving.

Step 11: Tear your kitchen apart looking for the beaters for your hand mixer.  When the heck was the last time you used a hand mixer?  And whatever happened to your mom getting you that Kitchen Aid she mentioned?  Make a note to call your mom about said Kitchen Aid.

Step 12: Whip up some heavy whipping cream-  This process takes the exact amount of time as Sam Hunt’s version of Cop Car.  And your computer speakers will not be louder than the hand mixer.  First bummer of the day. Oh and add sugar to this.  You’ll know it’s finished when it looks like something you wish you could roll around in forever.

Step 13: Wish your dog was a child – (for the first and last time ever) because it would be so fun to give her the beaters to lick whipped cream off of.  Remember how fun that was?

Step 14: Be glad your dog isn’t a child – other than for obvious reasons, you need those beaters again.  Mix the whipped cream into the ricotta mix.  It’s a lot easier with beaters.  And without dog breath.

Step 15: Realize you missed a step… Try to figure out where the chocolate chips were supposed to be added.

Step 16: Improvise – add more chocolate chips than it says.  Just because that seems like a good idea.

Step 17: Let chill – This sucks I wanted to eat them now, but I guess this buys sometimes to make myself a marg!  We’ll continue these steps in a half hour.

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Blood Orange Margaritas:

In college I was the master original margarita maker.  Once, when I didn’t have all of the ingredients I needed, I went out and bought a pre-made margarita mix and some tequila and came home and made them for my roommates.  They were SO good but SO strong.  No one could understand why we were all asleep after 2 margaritas and before the sun went down.  Later, when cleaning, we read the bottle and saw there was already tequila in the mix.  Whoops!

Anyway, 6 years later, we’re going to add a blood orange twist.  Because all of the Mexican restaurants do it, so we can too!

Step 1: Try to find the pitcher you haven’t used since last summer.

Step 2: Call your roommate to ask where it is – there’s nothing like getting a call while you’re at work from your retired roommate at 1:19 on a Tuesday afternoon asking where the margarita pitcher is.

Step 3: Realize a full pitcher is aggressive – there’s only one of you.  And now it’s only 1:21.  Maybe only making one is the right approach.  Then realize you don’t have margarita glasses.  Although I’m pretty sure my mom said she had some for me.  Add that to the list of things to call your mom about.

Step 4: Measure out ingredients – use your favorite shot glass (the one from your roommate’s frat – because SHE was in a frat) to measure out tequila, triple sec, and lime juice

Step 5: Juice the blood oranges – Ummm are these supposed to look so weird on the inside?

Step 6: Google what blood oranges are supposed to look like –  Crisis averted, we’re good

Step 7: Rim the glass – I’m the queen of doing this after I made the drink SO make your drink in a shaker or different glass.  This can also be done while holding your dog – so everyone wins.

Step 8: Shake your ingredients – don’t stir.  James Bond would be proud.

Step 9: Transfer ingredients from shaker cup to rimmed glass.  Garnish with something adorable like an orange slice or the mint I forgot to buy.

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Step 10: Try.

Now let’s say you’re an hour into this blog post and the margarita is terrible.  I sure hope I didn’t lose my knack for alcoholic sweetness in college!  Maybe this is just a bad recipe.  Let’s start adding stuff!

Step 11: Add way more orange juice.

Step 12: Agave. Agave. Agave.

Step 13: More lime please.

Step 14: Shake, shake, shake.

Step 15: Brace yourself, try again…

MUCH BETTER!

Now I think our cannolis are ready to be added to their shells.  Keep in mind, I don’t have one of those fancy squeeze bag things that they use at the bakeries (hint, hint, mom…) so let’s see how this goes!

Step 18: Add cannoli filling to cannoli shells – you can do it with a spoon the fancy squeezer thing is totally unnecessary (scratch that, mom.)  But this also probably should have been in the fridge longer it’s a little runny.

Step 19: Try… MUCH better than the margarita massacre!

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So what have we learned today?

– Sugar is the key to success in all things

– Cannolis, as predicted, are not that hard.  But finding their shells is.

– We should let the experts stick with the blood orange margaritas.

Now I’m going to go eat this bad boy, wrap some up for my friend, frozen peanut butter, who I know will love them regardless, and come up with my recipes for next month.  I’m thinking Sangria and something lemony.

I can’t wait for my roommate to come home and clean up this mess! God speed ladies!