Sunday, February 28, 2010

Eating Snow

Earlier this month, I saw on the news that at one point there was snow on the ground in every single state in the United States for the first time. I know that we’ve been slammed this year with snow and that my friends to the north got snow this weekend, too. My girls had so much fun making colored snow when the snow was fresh. They tried to “sell” me a snowcone!

In Mexico, you can enjoy a refreshing and light frozen treat called nieve. Nieve literally means snow. Luckily no snow on the ground is required for this one! There is an old legend that Emperor Moctezuma enjoyed nieve so much, that he had his fastest runners bring him the treat from the snow capped mountains that surrounded Tenochtitlan. Nieve is a frozen treat made with purified or distilled water and tropical fruits or other flavored ingredients.


Today, you can find nieves in markets, small vendors, and specialty stores. In Oaxaca, the best place for nieves is in the courtyard of La Soledad church. The Virgin of La Soledad is the patron saint of Oaxaca and this beautiful cathedral offers a lovely shaded courtyard to visitors who wish to take a break from the sun while they enjoy their nieve. It can be served in a cone or dish and is available in a myriad of unique flavors.


The nieves flavors range from the traditional vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, to other more exotic varieties. Tropical fruits such as mangoes, coconuts, and pineapple are popular. How about trying tequila or it’s relative, mezcal? De Rosas is a unique flavor that is actually made with rose petals. Cajeta is a delicious caramel flavor made with rich condensed milk. My two favorite flavors are tuna and mamey. Tuna is a variety of prickly pear, which is actually a cactus. Mamey is a fruit that has a dense texture and tastes like a combination of sweet potato, pumpkin, and vanilla in one bite. It’s so delicious, but the flavor is difficult to describe.


Another treat to savor in Oaxaca is a paleta from Popeye! Paletas are popsicles and are also available in the same wide variety as nieve. You can have a water or milk based popsicle in many flavors. There are roaming Popeye vendors in the Zocalo, main square, or throughout town. I personally like the Popeye store close to the English Language Library in the Conzatti garden the best because selection of flavors can be found there.



Dream of sunshine and warm days!

xoxo

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tropical Fruit Trifle


Today I'm going to share a delicious trifle recipe with you! This is truly worth the effort and can be done in stages. I make the cake and cream on one day and assemble the trifle on the second day. It looks gorgeous in a trifle bowl and is also a stunning individual dessert presentation for a small gathering.

Ingredients:

1 pound cake
Raspberry Coulis
Pastry Cream
Diplomat Cream
Bananas
Mangoes
Pineapple
Oranges
Chocolate chips to melt for decoration



Raspberry Coulis:
1. Use 12 ounces of frozen unsweetened raspberries
2. Pour into a small saucepan and stir in ¼ cup of sugar and 1 ½ tsp cornstarch until thickened.
3. Bring to a boil. Be sure to stir constantly until thickened.
4. Let cool. Add 2 tsp lemon juice.


Cream
¼ c cornstarch
¾ c sugar
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter

1. Mix cornstarch with ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup of milk and yolks.
2. Combine the rest of the milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Add a little bit of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add the remaining milk mixture to the eggs. If you add the eggs to the hot milk, the eggs will scramble, and no one wants scrambled eggs in the trifle!
4. Boil, then cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring with the whisk. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.
5. Stir occasionally until cool. When the cream is cool, place a little waxed paper on the top of the mixture and cover tightly. Refrigerate until needed.


Diplomat cream
1 package unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
2 cups pastry cream
1 cup heavy cream

1. Put the gelatin over cold water in a small bowl and stir. Let the gelatin soften in the water for about 2 minutes. Heat the in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
2. Stir the gelatin into the pastry cream stirring with a spatula.
3. Whip the cream in a chilled bowl until it holds a medium peak when the whisk is turned upright.
4. Fold the whipped cream into the pastry cream in 2 or 3 groups, folding just until blended.


Assembly of the trifle!
1. Raspberry Coulis
2. cake
3. fruit
4. diplomat cream
5. cake
6. fruit
7. diplomat cream
8. Top with whipped cream and chocolate decoration.

Tips:
• If you’re going to prepare this dessert ahead of time, spritz the sliced bananas with lemon juice or sugar water to prevent oxidation.
• The trifle tastes best after a few hours in the fridge because the flavors blend.

You can also vary the recipe in so many ways. You could use chocolate cake, brownies, or banana nut cake. The varieties are endless. I always use whatever fruit is in season. Now of course, nothing is really in season, so I just search for the freshest fruit I can find.

If you are pressed for time, substitute a pound cake from the supermarket and use pudding instead of the diplomat cream. Cool Whip is an acceptable substitute for the whipped cream. Some people like to soak the cake with a little Grand Marnier, too.

This is a great dish for entertaining and makes a delightful centerpiece on a buffet or serving table.


Enjoy!

xoxo



P.S. Be sure to sign up for the 1st Annual Spring Swap that I am hosting with my friend Shopaholic in Alabama. You can find information about the swap and sign up here. It's going to be a lot of fun and there are already many fabulous peeps participating in the swap. Join us!

P.S. I’ll tell you my trick for making the chocolate decoration in another blog post.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gator-iffic

There are a lot of things inspired by wild animals this spring. One of my favorite animals is the alligator. Many people mistakenly assume that the Lacoste brand logo is an alligator. It's actually a crocodile!

Here are some of my favorite gator-iffic finds:

Kenneth Jay Lane Alligator cuff. Talk about personality! This fun gator cuff stretches to fit any wrist and is a great statement piece. By the way, Kenneth Jay Lane is on GILT today. Get your invitation to this members only site that offers sample sales online every day.

Of course, I can't post a feature about animals without going "wild" with something from Lilly Pulitzer. The embroideries from Lilly Pulitzer are always some of my favorite pieces of the collection and I'm thrilled with this adorable gator embroidered polo.

Pink Gators note cards from Whitney English. These can also be ordered as invitations and stationery. Too cute. Gators and my favorite colors. It doesn't get much better than this.

Princess crown from Lilly Pulitzer. This is so adorable! Would it be out of line for me to want to wear this to MY party even though I'm not a little girl? I love it.


xoxo



P.S. Be sure to sign up for the 1st Annual Spring Swap that I am hosting with my friend Shopaholic in Alabama. You can find information about the swap and sign up here. It's going to be a lot of fun and there are already many fabulous peeps participating in the swap. Join us!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sugar Doll Award!


How excited was I to find out that Entertaining House had given this Sugar Doll award to me. Thanks so much. After a long and very busy few days, I am able to put some serious thought in to my answers. If you're not currently following Jess at The Entertaining House, be sure to read her blog. It's one of my favorites. She is truly a talented writer and is such a wonderful storyteller.

These are the rules of the game: the recipient must divulge 10 aspects of her/his life and/or personality; the giver should mention the person who bestowed the award (please re-read above) the receiver then passes this award on to 15 blogs she loves and finally notify the new "winners."

Here are 10 things about me:

1. Everyone always makes a reference to Bethany Beach when they ask me about my name. I was actually named after the college I attended because I am a 4th generation legacy of the school. Of course, once I got to college, people made up all kinds of stories about the story of my name, such as my parents conceiving me there ~ that didn’t happen!

2. Languages come very easily to me. I speak Spanish fluently and studied a Master’s Degree in Mexico. It was the language I used daily for 10 years. My French is passable and I understand Portuguese and Italian.

3. My favorite ice cream is butter pecan and my favorite cake is red velvet. Those two things would be served at my perfect party, but not eaten together! I’m also a huge fan of Boursin cheese on table water crackers.

4. I wanted to be an actress when I was little, among other things, and made my debut in a summer stock theater as Gretl in the Sound of Music when I was 6.

5. My sister never had chicken pox. On the other hand, I had a terrible case of the chicken pox while my mother was pregnant with my sister. I have always thought that I gave her immunity. HA!

6. I spent my senior year of high school as a college freshman because I had finished all of the courses that I needed to take and wanted to move on with life.

7. Mango chicken is my go-to recipe of choice for entertaining. Easy to prepare, but looks and tastes delicious.

8. If you ever see me in the car, I’ll probably be singing loudly to 80s music. Two of my favorites are “Don’t you want me” by the Human League and “Poison Arrow” by ABC.

9. I love the beach but have a love/hate relationship with sand.

10. Rome is next on my list of places to visit.

Disclaimer! I am actually going to break the rules on this one. I enjoy reading so many blogs, that I couldn't decide which 15 bloggers to tag for this award. So if you read this and are willing to share a little bit about yourself, consider yourself tagged. It's a true joy for me to read all of your blogs and get to know such a great group of preppy peeps.

Happy Thursday!

xoxo



P.S. You can find me on facebook now! There's a fan page for Maryland Pink and Green. Please become a fan of the page. I'll be posting special links and information there that wouldn't normally be included in a blog post.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lilly Pulitzer Technical Engineer

Today you are in for a very special treat! You know that I love my Lilly as much as, actually, probably more than the next girl, but I never really thought about how much is involved in the design and fit of a garment. Recently, I interviewed the most delightful designer from the Pink Palace, Sara Bernard. Sara is a technical designer for Lilly Pulitzer and is going to share some exciting information with Maryland Pink and Green readers today.

What is a technical designer?
A Technical Designer is like an Engineer for clothing. We are the fairy god mothers of fit, experts on pattern and construction, and constant problem solvers. Designers come up with the concepts and Technical Designers partner with them to help explain and instruct the factory to make the garments. When samples come back from the factories we go into a fitting with Design where we look at the garments on live models and we discuss what we want to improve on the garment. Perhaps it looks great but is uncomfortable to the model, or feels great but doesn’t look like Design imagined it would. We take down a lot of notes about all the things we want to change and then later on the Technical Designer translates these notes into comments for the factory that are clear, consistent and easy for them to understand. We use LOTS of pictures to help explain corrections, keeping in mind that for the people who have to read our directions; English is not their first language.

In the end we want Design to be pleased with the look, the garment to be comfortable and cost effective to make, and most importantly we want goods to deliver on time – as we like to say around the Pink Palace “You’re on time or you miss it” and no one wants to miss it!

We have several team members, each working on a different product type like pants, sweaters dresses etc. and we each work to fine tune our skills in a particular area. For example I concentrate on all Ladies’ bottoms which includes pants, shorts, and skirts. Working on one category helps me identify common problems and the most efficient solutions to get the best results.

What is a typical day like for you?
A day in the life of the fashion industry is anything but typical. One thing that is a must, is being flexible! I usually come into the office with a set list of things that need to be completed but fully understand that priorities sometimes have to be re-adjusted at the drop of a hat.

Depending on the stage of development we are in (Prototypes, Sales samples, Pre-production Approval etc.) I could have any of the following occur: an all day fitting, 6 styles to comment on, one major pattern to work on, meeting with design to hand off new styles for development, measuring samples, or a combination of all of them!!

Two of my favorite things are working on new developments and working on patterns. New developments are great because you really do a lot of thinking to make sure the samples come in the best they can the first time. I draw A LOT of diagrams to explain to vendors all the different points of construction of a garment. For example, how a particular binding is attached, or the construction of a cargo pocket or decorative top stitching can easily be explained in a diagram!

Patterns are also fascinating to work with. It is sometimes a lot of work to go through every pattern for every style that comes across your desk but sometimes the pattern holds answers that the garment is not showing you.

What role do computers and technology play in your job?
Computers and technology are HUGE! Since we work with vendors that are a half day ahead of us it is essential that we can get information to them as soon as possible and email really helps this. Whenever possible we send information via email. This could be anything from a sketch, measurements, artwork, or patterns that we have drafted in the office and digitized into the computer using special patternmaking software in order to e-mail to the factory.

We use data management software to keep a record of every style we create and all the information a factory could need to make the garment. Kind of like a how-to manual for putting together an item of clothing! Everyone in different departments can access the information, and add or change things when they need to

We also use Illustrating software (adobe Illustrator) for doing “flat” sketches – which are drawings of the garments as they would look if they were laid out flat on a table, and to draw diagrams for construction. Having these images in digital form allows them to be easily accessible and also quick and clear when sending to our factories.

Best of all since we have branched out to Facebook and Twitter we are able to get immediate feedback direct from the horse’s (or customer’s!!) mouth.

I don’t think any of us realize how dependant we are on using technology to get through every day tasks, thankfully there are still things we can do with out computers such as measure garments, and work on patterns by hand!

Can you give us any previews or hints about upcoming trends for Summer?
Well I don’t want to give too much away BUT I will say that the summer installment of ‘Lilly Goes Green’ focuses around the idea of ‘Buy Local’, as in fresh produce from your local farmers market! I am super jazzed about this! Our print and clothing designers did such a great job of using bold colorful prints on silhouettes that have a loose and flowey throw-on-but-glamorous feeling. Styles that look great on multiple body types and are comfortable even after too much fun in the sun! Designers have incorporated the concepts of high waisted and paper bag waist as well as using nautical details like rope to bring a fresh twist to the season. And of course what would summer be with out little white dresses perfectly paired with a BRIGHT Murfee scarf for chilly evenings and some fab gold jewelry?

Where is your favorite place to hang out in the Pink Palace?
When I have the time, I jump at the chance to lunch in the commons with co-workers. It is so nice to have a space that makes you feel like you are on a vacation from the office.

I enjoy spending time talking with my designers, who work at the other end of the building, about their new ideas. We are so fortunate to have an incredibly talented design team at Lilly and it is fascinating to hear them talk about all the visions that are created in their heads.

I am sure that no one would ever guess though, that one of my favorite hang outs is the Lilly Gym! Yes that’s right we have a gym in the Pink Palace!! Sometimes a lunchtime yoga session or a post workday run is the perfect thing to lift your spirits and of course when you are all done to get to walk back out into the commons and be surrounded by palm trees it’s half bad either!

What's your favorite Lilly item from Spring and why?
I don’t know if I can pick just ONE favorite – especially from spring which is usually our biggest line!

I adore the Mira Jumpsuit for multiple reasons. First of all – have you tried it on? It is just gorgeous! I love that the fabric is so light and soft it is comfortable and glamorous all at the same time. I also see it as a HUGE success story as there are so many factors to consider when developing a jumpsuit! I needed to make sure my design team was happy and at the same time that the style would look great on the body and would deliver in time so it could make it into everyone’s closet!!

What is a technical designer?
I am absolutely in LOVE with the Whitley skirt in Hotty Pink Love me or Leaf me (shhh! Not even in stores yet!) I am obsessed with hotty pink – it just sounds bright and fun and the Whitley skirt is TDF. It is high waisted which is great because it accentuates the slimmest part of your middle, the fabric has a fabulous burn-out print, and it has a little bit of shirring to make it flirty and fun.(Photo is in ‘She’s a Piston print)


If you'd like to hear more about Sara and her adventures in the Pink Palace, you can follow her on twitter with this link. It's so interesting to see what she's doing from day to day. As a special aside, Sara is a runner who is training for a big run. It's also pretty motivational for me to read about that, too!

Be sure to sign up to follow Lilly Pulitzer on facebook ~ there are lots of promotions for fans and it's a great way to interact with other Lilly Lovers. I love Lilly Pulitzer clothes, but I feel like I have a real relationship with the company and that people at Lilly truly value my opinion. It's people like Sara who make Lilly so special. A million thanks to Sara for sharing a little piece of her life with Maryland Pink and Green.

Enjoy your day, lovely readers.

xoxo



P.S. Sara confessed to me that she loves colored ink pens – more specifically PINK and GREEN! She has a separate jar on my desk just for pink and green sharpies, pens, pencils etc!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday~Waiting for Spring Edition

Hello! It's that time of week ~ Post It Note Tuesday ~ waiting for spring edition! Here are some of my random thoughts, musings, and quotes du jour. Enjoy.




Join in on the fun and make your own stickers here.

xoxo

Animal Crackers & Lilly


What could be better than Barnum's Animal Crackers paired with my beloved Lilly Pulitzer? One of my fondest childhood memories is getting a box of animal crackers with my Pappy as a special reward. I love the circus car with animals in it and adore the little string handle. In my early days as a 5 year old fashionista, I would actually use the empty box as a purse! There are many brands of animal crackers, but the little red box is the quintessential animal cracker in my mind. There is no substitute.

I was thrilled to see the following in my new spring Lilly catalog: This year, as part of the "Wild for Lilly" campaign, Lilly Pulitzer is teaming up with Barnum's animal crackers to give the iconic little red box a wild facelift! In honor of 2010, the year of the tiger, these limited edition treats will support the World Wildlife Fund's tiger conservation programs.

You probably all know the famous song sung by Shirley Temple in the 1935 film, Curly Top. Watch how adorable she is as she sings Animal Crackers in my Soup.


While animal crackers in soup don't sound all that tasty to my non-elementary-school tastebuds, there are a lot of great recipes that use animal crackers. Once you start to collect your special edition Lilly Animal Crackers, you can use them for a lot of recipes. They're a great substitute for graham crackers for a pie crust. Chocolate covered animal crackers are also delicious!

Enjoy your day!

xoxo



P.S. Be sure to sign up for the 1st Annual Spring Swap that I am hosting with my friend Shopaholic in Alabama. You can find information about the swap and sign up here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

1st Annual Spring Gift Swap!

Happy Monday everyone! Are you like me, and counting down the days until Spring? For the record, the 1st day of Spring is March 20th and I cannot wait. 27 more days!!!

Maryland Pink and Green, along with my BFF Lori over at Shopaholic in Alabama, has come up with a plan to brighten these cool days prior to the arrival of Spring and all the things it represents (pretty flowers, warmer weather, bright colored clothing, Easter/Passover, etc). We are so thrilled to announce our .....

1st ANNUAL SPRING GIFT SWAP

Here's how it will work:
1. You can sign up on my blog (under this post) or Shopaholic in Alabama. Please leave your email address (or blog address) in the comments. If you're not already following Lori's blog, this is a great time to do so. Her blog is so much fun.

2. Spending suggestion/limit is $30, NOT including shipping. This could be one fantastic gift or several small gifts. It's up to you, just please send something you would love to also receive. Gifts should be spring in nature - bright, cherry and HAPPY. :-)

3. The deadline to sign up for the swap is Sunday, February 28. Lori and I will match partners and publish the lists on both blogs. Matchups will be up no later than Wednesday, March 3.

4. Contact your swap partner by Friday, March 5. Please have gifts mailed no later than Friday, March 26.

5. For those participants who have a blog, we would love it if you would photograph your gift before you send and publish once your partner receives. You can do the same for any gifts you receive. We want this swap to be INTERACTIVE - so we can all enjoy seeing the pretty, happy SPRING gifts! If you're a participant and don't have your own blog, you can email pics of your sent/received gifts to me or Lori and we'll publish on our blogs for you!

Lori and I are both looking forward to participating in AND hosting this Spring Gift Swap! Over the years, we have participated in LOTS of fun gift swaps and just know this one will be awesome! :-)

Sign up today, meet a new friend, send and receive a Spring Gift and begin the countdown with us!

Happy Monday to all of you! We're expecting another huge storm today, but at least we're getting mostly rain from this one. Yesterday, I spied a patch of grass on my front lawn. Pretty exciting!

xoxo

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Village Palm Resort Sale

Sarah from the Village Palm is one of my favorite people, one of my favorite bloggers, and is so delightful! She let me know about a fantastic sale that her store is having to make more room for the Lilly Pulitzer spring arrivals. The resort merchandise at Village Palm is available now at fantastic prices.

Shop early and often for the best selection. The sale continues until all merchandise is sold. Here are some of the items that Sarah has in stock for you:
Petula dress $88
All sizes available in One of a kind and a few sizes left in Big Bam

Kelsea dress $82
A few sizes left in Coral me crazy and Big Bam

Harper Dresses $238
A few sizes left in Madly Glam & Dirty Shirley
Village Palm also has the Sherman Tunic Dresses from resort for $129.


You can reach Sarah at 313-882-7256.

Wishing you the best weekend!

xoxo

Friday, February 19, 2010

Construction in Mexico

It’s always interesting for me to go to a different place to see how the geography, climate, and customs influence the architecture. Who doesn’t love the image of a Swiss Chalet, or a Federal style building? Today, I’m going to share some details about my house in Oaxaca, Mexico. Houses in Mexico have to be strong enough to survive an earthquake, so construction is a much slower process than in the United States. The house is supported by large steel frames that are connected with brick and concrete block construction for the walls. The brick is rarely left exposed like it is in the United States. Instead, it is covered by stucco or other material to create a smooth surface. Drywall or sheet rock is rarely, if ever, used in homes. This construction keeps the house cool all year long, even on some of the hottest days. My house did not have air conditioning, like most other houses in the area, yet it was never hot inside the house. High ceilings, ceiling fans, and the smooth walls were all that was needed to keep the house cool. Sometimes the walls were cool to the touch even on the hottest days.



Oaxaca is a town of about 300,000 inhabitants located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains of southern Mexico. It is a 5 hour drive south of Mexico City. Here is the gorgeous view I had from the balcony off of my bedroom.



Most houses in Mexico are hidden by walls. This is a safety issue as well as a cultural characteristic. Many patios are found in the center or back of the home and are used frequently for socializing and al fresco breakfasts or afternoon snacks. My house was located in a gated community and as a result, does not have the high walls surrounding it. However, the wall and posts are quite high and serve as a strong deterrent to outsiders. Here is a picture of the wall and gated entrance.



This is one of the patios in the house. There was a sliding glass door that separated the patios from the rest of the house since they were open air. This was one of my favorite places to receive guests and to read in the afternoons.



Here are some other views of the house. There was honeysuckle in the front garden area and so many hummingbirds used to visit. I loved that.




Enjoy your day!

Is there a unique type of construction that is popular where you live?  What is your favorite style of home? 

xoxo

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Little White Dress

The LWD is here! It's not all about the Little Black Dress, even though I know that all of you have one or more of those hanging in the closet. Perfect for spring social events, I have a feeling that it's going to be about the little white dress this season. White is a color that is fresh and pure, not to mention that it looks great with a tan.

Of course, Lilly Pulitzer has some excellent LWD options in their spring collection. The exquisite fabric, eyelet, ruffles, and other special details make the Lilly white dresses some of the prettiest I have seen. They are ideal choices for graduations, horse races, and other special occasions.

In my opinion, the Shayna is elegant enough for an informal or civil wedding service. The vintage details have a very "Jackie B.K.O." air to them.



The delicate petal sleeve and scalloped detail make the Pearce dress a LWD winner.



You'll make a grand entrance and EXIT in this adorable Taryn dress. The bows in the back are so much fun!



Spring will be here before you know it, so get ready for next season now with these beautiful little white dresses.

Have a fabulous day!

xoxo

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Preppy Tretorns

In the second installment of preppy retro week, I’m going to share some wonderful news with you. If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s like me, I’m sure you remember wearing your Tretorns. I had several pair, each with a different colored logo to match my different outfits. My favorites were the ones with the madras logo! Keep in mind that my tennis skills are hardly pro, but I sure love my Tretorns. Later this year, we’ll get to see my favorite Sex and the City character, Charlotte, wearing her Lilly Pulitzer “Not So Crabby” skirt with a cardigan over the shoulders and her Tretorns. Tretorns are the ultimate preppy tennis shoe and are even mentioned as a wardrobe staple in the Official Preppy Handbook.

You know what they say, good style never goes out of style. I was thrilled to learn that Tretorns are available at Lands End, the Tretorn store in Georgetown, and many other online sites. Aren’t these green ones fabulous?




Have a beautiful day!
xoxo

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guacamole!


Guacamole is one of my favorite things to make. Not just for tortilla chips, guacamole makes a great spread for sandwiches, quesadillas, and other main dishes. It's also a great dip for crunchy vegetables like carrots and Mexican jicama.

The best way to prepare and serve your guacamole is in a molcajete, a Mexican version of mortar and pestle. The molcajete is made out of a single piece of volcanic rock and is used with a tejolote, which is used to grind and blend the ingredients. It makes a dramatic serving piece, too! Since the molcajete is a volcanic rock, it retains heat well and can also be used for holding hot liquids or prepared food. I suppose that you could cook in it, but I've never seen it used for cooking.

Before you use the molcajete for the first time, you will need to season it. If you don't season the molcajete, you might find little gritty pieces of the volcanic rock in your salsa, and you don't want that, right? Place a handful of white rice in the molcajete and grind it into powder. You'll notice that the white rice turns into a gray powder. Do this twice or as needed until the ground rice powder is white. The more you use the molcajete, the more it will get seasoned and will retain the flavor and green color of your guacamole or other sauces. This actually makes the guacamole more delicious, in my opinion. You can really taste a difference between guacamole made in a blender and guacamole made in a molcajete.

INGREDIENTS:
2 ripe Haas avocados (the avocado should feel soft, not squishy)
1/2 red onion, minced
1-2 Serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
2-3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
Juice from 2 small Mexican (Key) limes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:
1 Cut avocados in half and remove the seed from each one. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in the molcajete, discarding the peel.
2 Mash the avocado. Add the chopped red onion, cilantro, Serrano chilies, lime juice, and sea salt and continue to blend the ingredients with the tejolote. I always taste this while I am making it and inevitably add more salt than is required in the recipe, especially if the guacamole is not being served with salty tortilla chips.
3 Add the tomatoes just before serving the guacamole.


Although many guacamole recipes call for jalapeno peppers, I prefer to use Serrano peppers instead of the jalapenos. The flavor of the serrano chilies is so much sweeter and smoother than jalapenos ~ trust me on this one. Do realize that the chili peppers can vary in their spiciness. Be sure to taste your guacamole as you add the chilies to make sure that it is as spicy as you want it to be. After handling the peppers, wash your hands and don’t touch your eyes with your hands. I learned this lesson the hard way! I also learned that lime juice makes your skin more sensitive to the sun and had a sun burn on my fingertips from squeezing limes on the beach with my Diet Coke!
Guacamole can be served at room temperature or chilled. A hearty dose of lime juice minimizes the oxidation of the avocado, but you can blend the ingredients slightly before serving if the guacamole has oxidized a little bit.

Enjoy your day!

xoxo

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