Cinco de Mayo Guacamole

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A few years ago, my mom and I went on a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. She was out there for a business trip and I invited myself to tag along and spend a week in the blazing hot June sun. If you have never been to Arizona, especially in the summer months, I don’t recommend it if you don’t LOVE heat. Luckily for my mom and I, we live for Summer months under the sun, but even Arizona tested our limits. I found out Arizona sun is extremely different from the East coast weather, there is zero humidity out there. So it could be over 100 degrees but you aren’t sweating and there is no humidity, so you can easily dehydrate and get sunburn without even knowing it. Needless to say after the first day I laid out in the sun I was burnt to a crisp. Anyway…not the point of my story! One night we went to one of the restaurants at the resort we were staying at, craving some good Mexican foods. The restaurant was gorgeous, it had a bar that you could sit at and watch the chefs prepare the food from a huge open kitchen. We sat at the bar and got to meet the head chef of the restaurant, we chatted for awhile and he talked to us as he prepared our meals that night. For an appetizer, he made us this guacamole, teaching us every step as he cut the avocados and put all the ingredients into a molcajete. The molcajete, I learned, is made from actual lava rocks–cool I know right? I don’t think there is any other purpose to use a molcajete besides that it looks awesome and it is a pain to wash afterwards (hint:use a dish brush to get into the crevices). I learned so much from that one night watching the chef cook-it was amazing. This recipe is simple, fresh and so easy to make (with or without the cool bowl) and I have been making this with my mom ever since! We joked about taking the mocajete’s home with us but knew it would make our luggage over the weight limit at the airport. Then to my surprise my mom gave me one as a birthday present a few months later–hence why now I have a special lava rock-bowl just for my guac.

Enjoy!

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

3 Avocados, cut in half, pits removed

1 large tomato, diced

1/4 cup red onion, diced

2 jalapeno peppers, diced (for less heat remove the seeds inside or eliminate completely)

1 handful of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

salt, to taste

Scoop out the insides of the avocado and place in a bowl. Mash avocado with a fork (or get your own molcajete!) until you reach desired consistency. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Serve immediately or chill before. Add the avocado pits back into the guacamole to slow the avocados from turning brown!

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Simple Mushroom Veggie Soup

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Will this winter ever end? Seems like the weather wasn’t notified that last week started Spring. The hot and cold days are the worst when it comes to health, at least that’s what I’ve noticed. EVERYONE has been getting sick. So to get you through the (hopefully) last few days of cold weather and maybe get rid of the cold you just can’t get rid of, try this tasty soup to warm you up! Sometime I forget how good a bowl of veggie soup is, feel free to add chicken or beef to this recipe to make it a little heartier but it’s just as good without!

Mushroom Veggie Soup

Makes about 4 servings

1 bag (.5oz) dried organic porcini mushrooms (you can use any kind of dried mushroom, this is what I found at my store), roughly chopped

2 cups white mushrooms, sliced

5 carrots, sliced

5 cups spinach

1 quart organic chicken broth

1 quart water

2 tbsp cooking oil (I used grapeseed oil)

salt and pepper to taste

Place oil, dried mushrooms and carrots in stockpot on med-high heat. Let pot warm and start to saute the mushrooms and carrots. Once fragrant (about 4-5 minutes), add chicken broth and water. Add remaining mushrooms and cover with lid until soup comes to a boil. Check carrots to test if they are cooked enough, I like mine crunchy still, if you like them softer, leave soup to simmer longer. Before taking soup off the heat, add in the spinach and stir in. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy as a side dish or add chicken to make it a meal!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Dipped Apples

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Just in time for Valentines day I made these delicious creations! Whether you participate in this holiday, believe it is just a scam for Hallmark and candy company’s to make more money, you’re single or taken, these chocolate covered apples are perfect for any occasion! Enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut Dipped Apples

2 Green Apples

3/4 cup Enjoy Life semisweet mini chocolate chips (or any semisweet chocolate chips)

2 Tbsp Nikki’s Vanilla Cake Batter Coconut Butter (or homemade)

1/8 cup Fresh Ground Hazelnuts

Directions:

Cut apples into bite-size slices and set aside.

In a coffee bean grinder or blender, pulse the hazelnuts until finely ground without turning them into a paste, you want them to be a flour kind of texture.

In a small nonstick saucepan combine the mini chocolate chips and coconut butter together. Over low/medium heat, slowly melt ingredients, be careful not to burn the chocolate! Continue to stir continuously until mixture is completely melted.

Once chocolate mix is melted, take a piece of parchment paper and place it on a cookie tray. Take an apple slice and dip it into the chocolate mixture and place it on the parchment paper (only need to dip it in halfway). The parchment paper will keep the chocolate in place without it running everywhere, but once the chocolate dries, it won’t stick to the paper! Continue to do this with all of the apple slices. Once your apples are covered with the chocolate, take your ground hazelnuts and sprinkle over the chocolate apples. Since the chocolate is still warm, the hazelnuts will stick to the chocolate.

Pop your apples in the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 1/2 hour before serving. I promise they will be a hit!

Want to change it up? Try this recipe with strawberries or swap the hazelnuts with ground almonds or walnuts, the possibilities are endless with this treat!