Saying Goodbye to Summer: Guacamole

guacamole recipe

guacamole recipeI don’t know about y’all, but the weather here in Birmingham has got me smiling like a maniac. I’ve been spending every opportunity I get outside. Classes are a struggle for real. Can’t we just learn in the fresh air?

Saying goodbye to summer weather also means saying goodbye to summer flavors. This has both its pros and cons. No more fruity cocktails, ripe tomato salads, or mango salsas. BUT this means bring on all things pumpkin, say hello to savory soups, and indulging in creamy comfort food. IMG_2603In light of the temperature change, I wanted to share my guacamole recipe I promised in last weeks fajita taco post . Guacamole is a year round food in my opinion, but that’s coming from someone who could eat mexican every day of the week. It’s inexpensive and filling. Chips and salsa anyone? This recipe is a simple, classic version of guacamole. A big thank you to Michael’s mamma for whipping it up for us at the beach! (And for tolerating my pesky self while I intruded with my camera) I’ve had some very creative guacamoles that incorporate fruit or interesting spices, but sometimes it’s nice to have a simple guacamole that embraces the natural flavor of avocado.

What you will need:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 small, seeded tomato — diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions: Cut the avocados in half around the pit and scoop the avocados into a bowl. Next, squeeze the lime juice over the avocados (making sure no seeds sneak into the mix!) Add the garlic, tomato, onion, salt and pepper to the bowl. Mash and mix the ingredients into a chunky dip using a fork. Serve and enjoy!
Simple Guacamole Recipeguacamolesimple guacamole recipe simple guacamole recipeelizabeth x

Halfway Homemade

Hi, Hi, Hello!beach sunsetI’m excited to share a piece of my unforgettable trip to Florida with you all, but also a bit nostalgic and depressed while going through the pictures to upload. I was completely spoiled with a week-long getaway to the beach with Michael and his family. It was the perfect end to our summer, but definitely made the transition back to school a lot more difficult.

We caught several breathtaking sunsets, took afternoon naps beside the waves, explored the ocean, got stung by a jellyfish (or was that just me?) and enjoyed the freshest seafood possible.sunsetThe first morning we arrived, we stopped by the farmers market and picked up some chicken and ground beef from a sweet local. I’m almost certain I can find the farmer’s market anywhere I go! We froze the meat and pulled it out Thursday night for our mexican fiesta.

There are few things I love more than getting everyone together in the kitchen. Our culture tends to rush our days and fill them with noise, but meals are meant to be paired with sweet conversation and relaxation. Busyness is not something to pride yourself on, but rather taking in the slow moments and quiet stillness in your day is where you’ll find true joy. Watching each person pitch in filled me with delight and created an even warmer atmosphere than before.mexican dinnerFor our half-way homemade meal we prepared chicken and vegetables in a skillet with taco seasoning, spanish rice, black beans, and homemade guacamole. (Recipe to come!) We of course had the essentials such as tortillas, tortilla chips, salsa, and lettuce as well. You don’t have to be a chef to contribute to a home cooked meal. There is no shame in using boxed rice, canned beans, or taco seasoning if you ask me. If the food is enjoyable and you’re in good company that’s all you need.

Cheers to a halfway homemade dinner!

elizabeth x

guacamolechicken tacosIMG_2603 chicken tacos mexican dinner

Three Ingredient Mac & Cheese

3 Ingredient Mac + CheeseLet’s face it, mac & cheese will forever be that comfort food reminding you of childhood and instantly planting a smile on your face. I know, I know, it’s not the healthiest choice, but remember that 80/20 rule I told you about? We can just go ahead and apply it here ;)

mac and cheese
Since it’s approaching the last couple weeks of summer, I have been trying to use up what food I have left in the house. When I opened up the cabinet, a box of mac & cheese was staring me right in the face. Classic college meal. Set it next to some ramen and granola bars and voila! You’ve got the stereotypical college student’s diet plan!

I didn’t want to be completely lame for dinner, so I did my best to fancy it up a little. I have a secret love affair with red sauces. I could dip just about anything into marinara sauce and be a happy camper. So, why not add it to mac and cheese? I couldn’t come up with a reason not to either. Toss in some broccoli and you’ve got a tasty little pasta dish!

What you’ll need: Broccoli, Marinara sauce, and a box of mac and cheese (or homemade if you’re feeling ambitious). I used 2% Milk Cheesy Shells.IMG_2377IMG_2369

Following the instructions on the box, prepare the mac & cheese. Warm up the marinara sauce and fold it into the mac & cheese. Cook the broccoli on the stove (or microwave if you’re a fellow college student!) and chop it up into small pieces. Stir in the broccoli and you’re done! 

I guess you could call this “adult” mac & cheese since most kiddos wouldn’t dare add broccoli to their cheesy goodness. You can always stop after adding the marinara and enjoy a side of broccoli, too! It does add a little crunch if you’re funny about textures.mac and cheese

IMG_2386 – chat soon, elizabeth x

The Freshest Five Minute Salad

IMG_2345Hello, hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? This summer has been absolutely crazy, but in the best way. I had a mental list of things I wanted to accomplish and I’m not too upset with how much got crossed off. I didn’t mean to put blogging on the back burner, but somehow it ended up there.

This weekend I went to the lake with my small group. We lounged on the water, got overly competitive playing card games, and had intentional conversations over home-made Oreo pie. It was an eventful, relaxing, all-around wonderful experience to say the least. I am incredibly thankful for the friends God has placed in my life and how he orchestrated us all meeting.

Before I get talking too much about that, I wanted to share an incredibly easy salad I fixed up at the lake house. You might notice (or I hope you do!) that my pictures are of better quality than usual. I finally took some time to explore my camera. The whole photography thing is still a work in progress though, so bear with me!Early Saturday morning we went to the Farmer’s Market and picked up a few things. We naturally had to grab two bags of peaches since we were in Georgia, but we also left with our hands full of tomatoes and cucumbers and our heads full of images of tempting homemade pastries.fresh salad

When we got back I started rummaging through the fridge to see what I could throw together. It’s easy to cave when you’re on vacations and say “Whatever, I’m having ice cream for lunch.” I fall into that trap occasionally, but I feel more energized when I choose healthy options and I wanted plenty of energy for the jet ski and tubing.

Ok, onto the salad… IMG_2348What you’ll need: Rotisserie chicken, edamame, feta cheese, avocado, tomato, cucumber, mixed greens and dressing of choice.

I washed and diced the cucumber and tomato, pulled/chopped some chicken breast pieces off the rotisserie chicken, crumbled feta cheese on top, and threw in a few slices of avocado. I didn’t want to hog all the chicken so I added in edamame for extra protein. For my dressing I chose a balsamic vinaigrette and drizzled some… barbecue sauce! I am on this weird barbecue kick lately but it actually added great flavor.Sometimes I feel silly sharing salad recipes, but people often get in a “salad rut” and don’t realize you can seriously throw anything in the bowl and call it a salad. The only ingredient you should probably include is lettuce ;)fresh salad

Happy Hump Day! x