Monday, July 9, 2018

Easy Peasy Dairy Swaps

So, since my last blog post, I've had a lot of people reach out asking for dairy-free alternatives to your basic every day dairy items.  So here's my take on some dairy substitutes! :)

1)  Dairy creamer!  Okay, so I put this one first on the list because it's so easy!  A lot of creamers on the market are already dairy-free.  However, you have to watch out for one ingredient: caseinate.  It is a milk protein that is commonly used in processed foods and no, it is not vegan.  I know that it's found in International Delight, Coffeemate etc.  It is also usually found in the powdered versions.  Even the kinds that are labeled "non-dairy."

I personally hate the flavor of coconut in my coffee so I tend to gravitate towards the almond-based non-dairy coffee creamers.  My current favorite is the Silk Almond Creamer in Vanilla.  I usually drink my coffee black, but if I'm going to have creamer, it's going to be this one.

2) Milk.  Seriously, who even drinks milk anymore?  My mom started buying me soy milk when I was like 12 and I never looked back.  It might have been because soy milk was a delicious alternative to the gross, watery, non-fat dairy milk that my mom made my sister and I drink, but who knows?

There are so many alternatives on the market now!  You can buy cashewmilk, coconutmilk, almondmilk, oatmilk, ricemilk, hazelnutmilk and pick which one works for you! I've tried cashew, coconut, almond, oat and rice and my favorite will always be almond!  Cashew is a little bit too much on the creamy side--- but perfect for those of you used to drinking full fat milk!

However, it's not all about taste preference.  Milk is not a health beverage.  You, your parents and your grandparents have been conditioned to think otherwise for the past 60+ years.  But milk is supposed to build strong bones right?  Actually, multiple studies have shown no benefits in bone density among adolescents who consume milk (source).  The number one way to increase bone density and safeguard against osteoporosis is exercise (source).  Instead of that glass of milk, maybe go for a walk!

But what about Vitamin D?  Vitamin D does not naturally occur in dairy products.  They are fortified with it.  You can buy other fortified foods or even a multitvitamin.  My absolute number one favorite multi-vitamin that I've ever taken in my 5 year journey through veganism is Mary Ruth's D3 and B12 Plant-Based Multivitamin.  It's a gummy vitamin and it's so tasty I wish I could take it more than one time a day.

What about fat?  Eat a freaking avocado and some chia seeds.  Americans do seem to be catching on though, since 1970, cow's milk consumption has fallen 40% (source)!  The consumption continues to fall, yet the dairy industry continues to receive funds from the US government to keep it in business.  In 2015, 73% of profits received by dairy farms came from government subsidies.  This is up from 62% in 2010 (source).

Recently, the US government partnered with McDonald's to increase its dairy use in its over 14,000 locations nationwide.  The changes include more than 30% larger cheese slices and three new additions to their already heavily dairy-laden line-up of beverages (source).  How completely irresponsible is it that our own government is partnering with companies to promote more items that encourage heart disease and contribute to the obesity epidemic? It's almost like they want us to get sick...? (Insert eye roll here)

Vote with your $$$ and maybe one day our overlords will understand that they need to stop bailing out this industry and instead invest in the actual health of Americans.

3) Cheese - Ah yes, CHEESE GLORIOUS CHEESE!  Every time I tell someone I'm vegan I get the "but I just love cheese too much."  Don't worry, you are not alone.  I was once like you.  I put feta cheese on everything, mozzarella cheese was my go-to protein source.  Granted, I was living in Italy and the cheese there is just a "cultural" thing.  Just like burgers and hot dogs are cultural things for America (yuck).  I woke up.  Cheese is a byproduct of the dairy industry.  I'm not going to get into it on this post (I'll save it for later) but cheese is just as bad as meat.  It's just as bad.  Here are 12 reasons why: here.  Also, just for good measure, "Cheese is the number 1 source of saturated fat in the American diet, which contributes to America's number 1 killer: heart disease." (source)

My favorite cheese alternative is making my own (I'm a total DIYer, if you haven't noticed).  I love making cashew cheeses.  I've tried a few tofu cheeses too and they were aight.  I'm still looking for the perfect faux-feta.  My absolute favorite vegan blogger is Vegan Richa.  She is a vegan goddess.  She has an almond feta that is PRETTY great.  I worship at her feet.  I've made her pepperjack, her mozzarella, her mozzarella sticks and I have her most recent cookbook (not the first one) and it changed my life.   All AMAZING!  The level of satisfaction that you get from making your own cheese is just off the charts!  Like it's probably more satisfying than going out and milking a cow and culturing the milk/whatever you call it yourself.  I guess I wouldn't know, but I can imagine.

Recipe Here
Recipe Here

If you're not into that, you can get all sorts from the grocery store!  I'm talking actual mainstream grocery stores and it is like we have reached the dawn of a new age for those choosing to abstain from dairy!  Here are my personal faves.  For slices: Chao, Daiya (especially American and Cheddar for grilled cheese) and Follow Your Heart (especially smoked gouda)!  For shreds:  Daiya Mozzarella and Cheddar slices are not terrible for topping lasagna or sprinkling on top of tacos.  I'm a huge fan of Follow Your Heart shreds as well, and I know Peter prefers them.  I've seen a lot of other brands on vegan Twitter (follow me!), especially in the United Kingdom, but  these are the only ones that I have experience with!   
These are Peter's favorite

I like these guys! 
Although the whole "cheese is addictive" thing may have been overstated, the casomorphins do activate your opioid system (source) and few can deny that a big bite of cheese pizza is pretty close to heaven on earth. After a while, you don't even miss it!  I say that truly because I've gone months without eating cheese, lapsed and then felt absolutely like garbage.  I think that you miss the comfort that your brain associates with it more than the ooey-gooeyness.

Yes I know that cheese is delicious, I'm not going to deny that, but I would rather deny myself a moment of pleasure than contribute to a literal lifetime of pain for these animals.  That is really what it boils down to.  Yes, "Mmmmm cheese," but you are choosing to bankroll an industry that enslaves and tortures billions of animals, just so you can have an extra ingredient in your salad or on your sandwich.  Is it worth it?

4) When I lived in Italy, Pizza Marinara was a staple of Italian cuisine.  It's just a pizza with sauce, garlic, oregano, EVOO and fresh basil.  If you ask for something even kind of similar in America you are met with a blank stare and, "Are you sure?"  I can say with 100% certainty that a Papa John's pizza with no cheese, extra sauce and tons of veggies is GREAT.  It has nothing on Italian pizza, but it definitely satisfies a certain craving aaaand the garlic dipping sauce is 100% vegan!  Peter and I went to Sky's Pizza Pie, a local joint and tried to recreate a Pizza Marinara and it really wasn't half bad!  See for yourself!  Could have done with some more sauce but oh well!

My attempt to recreate Pizza Marinara @ Sky's Pizza Pie 
In 2010, Dominos pizza was on its way out.  People had complained that their pizza tasted like "ketchup covered cardboard" and their sales were seriously declining.  Then, Dominos was blessed with a $12 million dollar USDA-funded marketing campaign resulting in pizzas with almost twice as much cheese.  After this year's Cow Appreciation Day, and seeing Dominos' tasteless tweets citing #Undeniablydairy it's just a LITTLE infuriating that Dominos continues to rebuff pleas for vegan toppings.  Especially when the tide seems to be turning for vegan acceptance in the United States.  Dominos already offers vegan cheese in Australia.  It's just frustrating that the lack of alternatives probably lies in the fact that Dominos was literally bailed out by the US government in 2010 in exchange for picking up the slack of cheese-consumption (source).

5)  Sour cream - I know that there are vegan sour cream alternatives on the market but I refuse to use any of them because it is just so darn easy to make your own!  This is my absolute go-to, from Angela Liddon's blog Oh She Glows.  I have both of her cookbooks and they are indispensable.  Seriously, if you are trying to head the "Whole Foods Plant Based" route to veganism or just want to incorporate more vegetables and less processed foods into your diet, I highly recommend checking out her books!

Recipe here
 This recipe works in dips, in dressings, on tacos... you will not be disappointed!

6) Cream cheese -  I've never been a big cream cheese eater.  Just the idea of it usually make sme want to vom.  I see Tasty videos on Facebook featuring cream cheese in Buffalo-chicken bacon wrapped pasta casserole and that is how I will forever think of cream cheese.  However, some vegan recipes that I've experimented with have called for vegan cream cheese.  I know of two brands, Tofutti and Kite Hill.  I have tried both and they're both great!

However, it's much easier for me (thanks to my monthly subscription of 4 lbs of cashews) to make my own.  I'm a big fan of this recipe from Connoisseurus Veg: recipe here.  It really does take forever to blend smooth but it's worth it!  My absolute favorite recipe to use it with are these Vegan Jalapeño Popper Quesadillas which I have made again and again thanks to my over-productive jalapeño plants!

Recipe here!
I prefer my bagels with hummus and avocado, but I bet this cream cheese would be to die for on a good everything bagel! 

It is absolutely easier to just maintain the status quo and keep buying dairy but I would rather blend some nuts in a blender with lemon juice for 5 minutes than give my money to a corrupt, cruel industry that has made its money off of animal exploitation.  Especially when it's healthier and so much more ethical to just make the vegan choice!

Please, I implore you to reach out to me if you have any questions and I will try my hardest to answer your questions or at least point you in the right directions!

Ciao ciao!

Friday, July 6, 2018

I'm back! The State of Katelyn

Hello world!  It's been about three years since I've typed up a blog post and it feels good!  Things have been pretty good here.  I was working at Target until about February of this year and now I'm working at the auto auction that Peter works at part time, and I work for an app on the side.  It's not much but it pays the bills and I get to spend a lot of time at home with my beautiful angel animals.  I can barely describe the feeling of relief that I get when I go into Target knowing that I don't work there anymore.  I still make sure I'm not wearing red when I go in there,  just in case one of my regulars recognize me and ask me where something is at.  Here are some pictures of Peter, Marina and I so you know that we are all alive and well.

Additionally, I registered for my last three college classes (FINALLY).  I feel like I kind of have been putting it off because it signifies my entrance into the real world, but I just need to get it over with already and you have to get a masters to do pretty much anything anyways...

Much to the dismay of my parents, the only things that I feel truly passionate about are animal rights and animal liberation by way of veganism.  While I am vegan mainly for ethical reasons, there is no denying that it has numerous health benefits which I love to educate people about.  As much as it annoys my mother to hear how terrible cheese is for you, I will never stop being that "annoying vegan," because believe it or not, I want her to be her healthiest self and live as long as possible.  You don't NEED cheese and most Americans consume more protein than their body actually needs.

Does anything about this vegan burger look like it's lacking in protein?
This is purely anecdotal, but since I went vegan, my eczema and allergies have almost completely cleared up.  Since I was a child I was doused in Aquaphor and Eucerin and I was on basically every allergy medicine available to man with little relief, when all I had to do was give up dairy!

I know my family is sick of it and because I am an empathetic person, I can see why it would be troubling to see these very real truths about the cruelty that goes into things you eat every day, but the only way to do SOMETHING about it is to educate about it.  So if my "annoying" vegan posts inspire just one person to rethink that bacon with their eggs or the chicken in their salad, then I'll consider it worth it.

Since I've last posted on here, there have been a few mainstream documentaries to make the rounds!  They include:  What The Health, Cowspiracy, Before the Flood, Speciesism and Dominion.  Dominion is brand new and right now it's pretty much only offering private screenings.  There is one at the Pensacola Downtown Library on July 27 which I highly recommend checking out if you are truly interested in learning about the way animal agriculture operates.  You can RSVP for the screening here.  It's pretty much the Earthlings of Australia.  However, Earthlings really had me ugly crying and Dominion had me at a more tears streaming down my face kind of deal, so maybe Dominion wasn't so bad for me because I was prepared for it.  I encourage you to watch the other ones I listed in addition to Forks over Knives, Earthlings, and Vegucated. 

I've become involved with the Anonymous for the Voiceless chapter here in Pensacola and it has been so inspiring to meet so many individuals who feel the same passion and empathy for animals that I do and want to do something about it!  It definitely takes a toll on one's mental health when your cries for compassion are met with, "But bacon" or "What about plants rights?"

Banana nut cupcake w/praline frosting @ EOTL Cafe
Although I'm in Florida, they don't call Pensacola the "Redneck Riviera" for nothin'.  It's hard to find vegan options at more established restaurants, where it's a little easier at newer restaurants.  End of The Line Cafe, Skopelos, Single Fin Cafe and Nom Sushi are favorite go-to's for vegan eats and the fact that there are so many options in this small city is inspiring and motivating.  Skopelos even hosts these high class fancy 6/7 course wine and dinner nights and every Sunday night from 4-close they feature a different vegan menu called Vegan & Vino! I have a few friends in Columbus, Georgia (the second most populated city in the state) and there is not ONE vegan restaurant there.  Not one.  So I do feel very lucky.

Vegan miso ramen, nomaste roll & spicy veggie rolls @ Nom Sushi Izakaya
The main course of probably the best brunch I've ever had @ End of the Line Cafe 
ELT (Eggplant Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato) Sandwich @ Skopelos
If you're friends with me on Facebook, you may have noticed that my shares have become a little more vegan-centric.  That isn't going to change because I TRULY believe it is in your best interest, the best interest of the planet and the best interest of the billions of farmed animals bred into existence just to be slaughtered for food for people to know what is going on.  What you choose to do with that information is up to you!  I went like 15 years thinking that dairy cows HAD to be milked daily or they would get sick and die.  In reality, we impregnate the cows (forcibly) and take away her baby so that we can take her milk for ourselves.  Where do the babies go?  Veal or they become the replacement cows for their mothers.  So, as much as I tried to convince myself of it for years, nothing about dairy is ethical and all that is required on our parts as highly evolved human beings is to make a conscious choice to not support this cruel industry.

Also, the government subsidizes the you know what out of these industries when around 80% of people of Asian descent, 75% of people of African descent and 50% of people of Latino descent are lactose intolerant (source).  These subsidies go to profits, go to advertisements (propaganda) and in 2017 the USDA spent $20 million dollars buying up excess cheese that NO ONE WANTS.  Cue the Dominoes commercials advertising pizzas with 40% more cheese (insert eye roll here).  Dairy is making people sick and the government doesn't care, the USDA doesn't care, the "MyPlate" (aka the new food pyramid) doesn't care.  The USDA rejected the advice of its own panel to consider environmental sustainability when formulating the newest Dietary Guidelines (source).  Is that surprising when the meat industry contributes almost $900 billion in total to the U.S. economy and almost $2 million dollars to candidates for federal office (source)?

Choose almond milk instead of normal milk, try out a cheese alternative (you literally cannot tell the difference between Daiya American slices and Kraft American slices except that they're better tasting).  I'm sorry if the animal abuse graphics are too much for you, but that's the reality for the majority of the meat on your supermarket shelves.  The only way to change anything is to get people fired up!   You might say that we as a society have bigger things to get fired up about.  To that I say, the whole idea behind veganism is that one life isn't worth more than another.  From the mouth of Earthling Ed, "The root of all oppression and all evil is the idea that some lives are worth more than others.  As long as there is violence on our plates, we will always have violence on the streets as well."

Okay! End Rant!  It's good to be back and I can't wait to post more and share some new recipes that I've been working on.  Not going to lie, I have a lot of free time and about 35 vegan cookbooks, so I've become something of a professional.  Thanks for reading!

Ciao ciao!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The past few months - puppy, visits, wedding and Blue Angels

My laptop broke and there is nothing more annoying than typing a blog post on my phone, so I have been MIA for a few months.  I finally got a new laptop (Thanks Dad!), and I can now update people on my life, because I'm sure everyone is soooo interested.  Well I've got news for you people! I have done some pretty interesting stuff these past few months.

So here they are, in no particular order:

1) We got a dog! In October of last year, Peter and I adopted a teeny tiny little boxer puppy, who we named Marina.  We kept her a secret from the world because we were afraid of our parents.  We planned on telling them eventually, but we never did.  This month, Peter's mom and brother came to visit so we didn't really have a choice in whether to tell them or not.  When I called my mom, I prefaced the conversation with, "Don't be mad at me" and she said, "What did you do to the car?"  I happily told her that the car is fine, but I have a dog!  I could tell she was not pleased at first, but I won her over with cute puppy pics and tales of how well behaved Marina is.

Tiny Marina: Day 1
Next we had to tell Peter's mom, which I had approximately 500 panic attacks about.  She wasn't as mad as I imagined in my mind and who wouldn't love her cute little face?  It also helps that she's kennel trained, very well behaved and a very good listener.

She's about 10 months old now and basically the best dog ever (I guess I'm a little biased).  However, we have had some difficulties.  In January, we let her inside from running around in the GIANT backyard we have here, and we noticed she was limping and wouldn't put any pressure on her back right leg.  We thought maybe she has sprained it so we let it go for about a week just to see if it would heal itself.  It didn't.  Fast forward X-Rays and hundreds of dollars later, Marina had to have surgery to remove a fractured growth plate.  She's fine now, even though she will probably favor that leg for the rest of her life.

She's smiling - She loves laying in the sun
The surgery ended up costing about $2000 and our vet had a program where we could pay it off within 6 months and we wouldn't owe interest at all.  I'm proud to say that we paid it off in full through doing odd jobs and saving money, and now that I know I can do it, I'm going to try to apply the same approach to paying off my credit card bills.

This is before I figured out how to focus on my camera
Marina is the sweetest dog.  She is about 43 pounds of pure love, she likes giving kisses and her tongue is too long for her mouth so it's always poking out.  She know how to sit, stay, down, up, paw, other paw, high five, roll over, go around and play dead.  She is always on the look out for intruders but I think she would be nice to them if they actually did intrude.  She loves to cuddle in bed (or on the couch, or on the floor), but she will go straight to her kennel when she wants to nap or is ready to go to bed.  Basically I am obsessed with my dog and Peter and her are best friends.  She definitely listens to him more than she listens to me.

2) Synna came to visit! One of my best friends, Synna and her husband, Robert came to visit after a storm foiled their plans to vacation in Key West.  I got really lucky because Target had cut my hours a lot that week so I got to hang out with them a decent amount.

Synna got to meet Peter and Marina, and I got to meet Robert!  It was an especially nice visit because it's the first time I've seen Synna's in YEARS and now she is expecting little George III.  Also I ate fried pickles like every day of her visit and I needed to go through a fried pickle detox and I really doubt that I will ever eat fried pickles again.

3) We went to Erin's wedding! I moved in next door to the Coburns in Vicenza in 2002 and Dana quickly became my BFF, a friendship that still continues to this day.  Erin is her big sister and I was super psyched when I got invited to her wedding in Columbus, GA which is about four hours from Pensacola.  Peter and I drove up there and stayed with Synna.

Marina had the whole backseat to herself
Our road trip was uneventful except for a speeding ticket that was given to Peter.  I was super excited to see all the Coburns and Meghan Higgins.  I wanted them to meet Peter too.

Pretty cake! 
The ceremony was wonderful and Erin was beautiful.  I definitely cried when Mr. Coburn walked her down the aisle and again when Erin and Matt exchanged vows.  Both the ceremony and the reception were at the Rankin Gardens in downtown Columbus and it had this cool interior courtyard that was just perfect.
The bride! 
I was having a lot of fun at the reception when my dad emailed me to tell me something was wrong.  Assuming the worst, I made him tell me so that I didn't think up random scenarios in my head all night.  I wish I waited until after the wedding to find out that Cleo died.  I cried a lot and kind of embarrassed myself but the Coburns had lost Cleo's husband Chipper a few years earlier so they knew what I was going through.  They had this nice little table with pictures of people (and animals) that they wished could be at the wedding and I thought that was a really thoughtful and nice detail.  For those that don't know, Cleo was my family's 16 year old Maltese.  She had been with us for a while, with no sign of stopping.  She fell into our pool and drowned, which is what made her death so tragic.  But she lived a full, happy and spoiled life, and I'm grateful for that.  

The table
I tried not to dwell on it (even though I cried off and on for the next few days) and ended up having a good time at the reception!  Dana was the Maid of Honor and I'm pretty sure she planned the wedding and it was so cool seeing her so good at her job!  Maybe one day I can find something that I both enjoy and am also skilled at.  I teared up at her MoH speech and at Mr. Coburn's speech.

Dana giving her Maid of Honor speech

I was really excited to wear the dress that I wore.  I originally bought it on to wear to Peter's sister's wedding about a year ago, but it didn't arrive at my house until about a month after the wedding.  It's so cute and I'm happy I finally had somewhere to wear it!  I also got to see Meghan Higgins, which was an added bonus to coming to the wedding.  I think Peter was a little nervous to meet everyone but everyone liked him, which was a given, because he's great.

Top: Prom 2009, Bottom: Erin's wedding 2015

4) We saw the Blue Angels on the beach! This past weekend was the annual Blues on the Beach, where the Blue Angels put on an air show for people on the beach.  Every time I told anyone I was going to the beach this weekend they would respond with, "You know it's the Blues on the Beach? It's going to be crazy!" and I responded yes, I knew but I did not really heed their warning.

The night before I wasn't feeling well and when I woke up I had a low fever but I wasn't going to miss this!!  We left the house at 7:30 and we had to sit in traffic for about two hours.  We got lucky and found a parking spot, which was 1/2 on the grass, 1/2 on the sidewalk, behind a bunch of other cars, but it was right in front of a beach entrance, so we barely had to walk and we got a good view of the show.

The water was perfect, and while you couldn't go in the water during the show, we had a few hours to kill before the show actually started.  I bought goggles the day before and put them to use picking up sand dollars on the ocean floor! All of the pictures I took the whole day suck because there was a smudge on the camera lens and because it only has a display screen and the sun was so bright, I couldn't really see what I was taking a picture of, let alone whether it was a good picture or not.
Here come the Blues! 
The beach was PACKED! There was barely any space for more people to come after we had been there for about an hour.
On this pic you can see the beginning of my sunburn on my face
By the end of the show, I was done.  I was sunburned, I had a fever and I was tired and cranky.  The hour wait to leave the beach did not help.  As soon as I got home I passed out on the bed and took a two hour nap.  I feel much better now, aside from the giant sunburn complete with sunglasses tan line on my face.

Starting Wednesday, I work for a week straight, so nothing fun will be happening there, but I have a Friday and a Saturday off coming up and I think we are going to go tubing on the Blackwater River when Peter's sister, Jackie comes to visit!

Okay! That's all for now!
ciao ciao

Friday, April 10, 2015

New car, green garden and guacamole!

I know I begin every post the same... "I haven't written in a while" and all that.  So I'm going to skip all that and go straight to the post!

I got a car!  My job at Target is only .7 miles away from the house so I haven't really NEEDED a car and I am and will forever be eternally grateful to Peter for dropping me off/picking me up from work when he could.  I've been looking for a car since I moved here in September and now I was finally in a position to get one! I decided to stick with what I knew and I am now the proud owner of a light green 2004 Volkswagen Passat!

I even have it registered and it has plates and everything! I feel like such a real person! So far I haven't driven farther than work and back, not counting the 45 minute drive to bring it home from Gulf Breeze, but I am excited! 

My garden has been moving along pretty well.  Peter and I moved it from the back yard to the front yard.  It looks nice there, especially because it covers up this hole in the ground where a weed the size of a tree used to be.  My spinach and pea plants are done, but everything else is doing really well.  I harvested like half of my carrots on St. Patrick's day to make a vegan Irish "beef" stew (here's the recipe) and I threw some kale in there.  It was super hot and not at all stew weather but it was St. Patrick's day and you have to eat stew on St. Patrick's Day.  

So far I have watermelon, lettuce, basil, zucchini, onions, garlic, arugula, lavender and daffodils planted.   The daffodils all bloomed at the same time and were so beautiful.  I didn't end up getting a picture when they were all blooming, but I did get one eventually.  Sometimes I wonder if gardening is for me.  I am the world's laziest person, after all.  But gardening is surprisingly low maintenance.  You have like a two month window to plant your seeds and you just have to make sure everything stays moist.  However, I have never experienced a Pensacola summer, so that might be easier said than done.  

I even bought one of those little seed pods from Target just because it was so darn cute and I wanted to see what would happen.  It didn't hurt that they were guaranteed to grow.  Pictured below is my cute little watermelon plant! 

I started five tomato plants and five pepper plants about a week ago and they are all popping up! Whenever I talk to my dad about growing things he nags reiterates that I should start my own plants and not buy them because they are expensive.  I'm not going to lie, I bought a tomato plant before (that I ultimately killed by accident) but growing your own plants in tiny little cups is much more satisfying and I hope I'll feel less terrible if I accidentally kill these.  


Speaking of GREEN! I wanted to post a recipe because it's the most fun part of my blog! Well at least it is to me.  I make guacamole a lot.  I make it every time I make tacos or fajitas or even when I just buy a new bag of chips.  So it averages out to being at least once a week.  People have told me that they like my guac so here is my recipe for it!  I started making it this particular way because of an article that I saw on Buzzfeed.  I tried to find it but I can't! I remember that it was written by a chef and that apparently it is authentically Mexican but who knows. It is possibly the best guacamole that you will ever have.  If you like your guac creamy and smooth then you will not like this.  You have beed warned. 

I should have photographed the end product a little better but 1) these red bowls are not exactly aesthetically pleasing, 2) I forgot about halfway through that I was supposed to put this on my blog.  I'll try to make it another time this week and then put a pic on here.  

The best guacamole EVER
2 or 3 avocados
1 cup of cilantro, chopped finely 
1/2 of a white onion. diced
1 jalapeno, chopped finely (optional) 
Salt (add to taste, but I usually add about 1 tablespoon)
the juice of one lime

Begin by adding about 3/4 of the cilantro, salt and the onion into a mortar.  Also add the jalapeno if you are using it.  Use the pestle to make it into a sort of paste.  If you don't have a mortar and pestle (like myself) you can use a bowl and a potato masher.  It's a little less effective but it works pretty well.  Stop mashing when the onions are flat.

Next add your avocados.  I like to add them in slices using my handy avocado slicer that Peter got me for Christmas!  Get your own here!  Once you have it in there mix it up with a fork.  Do not do any mashing.  The chunkier it is, the better.  

Next add your lime juice and more salt and adjust it to your taste.  I usually end up adding way more lime juice and salt than I thought I would be using! So go crazy! Honestly this is about as low maintenance as guacamole gets and it is about as good as it gets too! 

In other news, I have been to the beach like thee times and I haven't even been sunburned once!  The beaches here are so beautiful and I don't think I'll ever get tired of them.  I have always preferred the pool to the beach but I think that's because I didn't think that beaches could be like this! 

Also! I'm trying to make some extra $$ and sell some stuff on  It's basically a resale shop, but classier.  You can sell your stuff yourself and get 100% of the profits or send your stuff into them with a Free Full-Service Kit and they photograph your items for you and list the measurements and stuff.  I opted to do it with the Full-Service Kit.  It took a little longer for my items to get processed than I thought it would but I ended up getting four items approved.  If anyone who knew me in high school looks closely they will recognize my Homecoming dress from senior year.  

You can check out my closet: HERE.  I would recommend using Threadflip if you aren't having luck on Craigslist or whatever.  

ciao ciao! 

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