My baby sister is growing up! It’s really hard not to think of her as a cute little kid, she’s always been my baby sister. We’re five years apart you see, and while that isn’t such a difference now, it really was a lot when we were young. She may have had her antics that drove me nuts from time to time (ha, because I was always the innocent one), but as we’ve grown up together our bond gets tighter and tighter. Her bubbly personality is so infectious, she just lights up a room and everyone in it with her energy and fun spirit.
Honestly, the single hardest part of living abroad is not being able to see my sister or talk to her regularly. Don’t get me wrong, living abroad is a ton of fun – we get to travel, enjoy new experiences, meet new people, all sorts of crazy awesomeness happens. But at the end of the day, it’s the essentials of life that matter – family -and that’s what makes living overseas so difficult. Life has been happening for each of us, and I feel stuck over 5000 miles away apart and isolated. I really really miss just being able to call her up any time or go grab a coffee and chat, even if it’s about nothing at all.
And now my baby sister is growing up and getting married, to her high school sweetheart!
The shower is today, and it’s so much fun getting to display prom pictures from when they were first dating. And now, nearly eight years later, they are tying the knot and saying “I do”, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. My sister and her fiancé are the true definition of soul mates, they’ve been meant to be since the beginning of time.
So the chance to be “home” and hang out with my sister and share in such an awesome life moment is one I cannot turn down. Coming home has been wonderful – oh how fantastic it is to have a real hug! And chat without having to plan and schedule across time zones. And to eat food and share together, and laugh, all in the same room. All the preparations are coming together, and the big day is fast approaching. It’s exhilarating, emotional, fun, crazy all at once, and I love every single minute of it. Because when it comes down to it, all the mountains and fondue in the world can’t make up for family.
With my family, we’re usually pretty casual and relaxed about events. We’re not really ones to fuss over putting on the fanciest affairs, and in general we try to keep things low key & just plain fun. For Ashley’s shower, we’re enjoying a variety of hot & cold apps & dips, and then sweets including my dad’s famous oatmeal cake :) I’m really a cold app lover, especially when it’s warm and sunny out, and I’m pretty sure my favorite cold app is guacamole. We’re really all avocado lovers, and avocados are a near daily food in our lives. Even going on family camping trips, I remember making guacamole (which mashes quite successfully in a plastic bag when you don’t have any bowls haha).
However, we all have our own different versions, every one of us :) I’m slowly figuring out that my guac is a bit more unique than I originally thought.
I don’t use jalapeño peppers.
I don’t use tomatoes.
I don’t add onions. Sound odd yet? Let’s keep going.
I do use chipotles.
I do use a good quality extra virgin olive oil (the kind that comes in a little skinny jar and is pricey).
To me, the core essentials of guac are avocados first and foremost – they should always be the star. Then comes an acid (like lime), an aromatic (like garlic) and salt. And after a brief unscientific poll, I’ve decided these four ingredients make up most core guacamole recipes, and additions onto this seem to dictate the numerous variations. But there has to be at least these ingredients (I’m sure some will say there need to be others as well, I’m certainly no expert in this area!) – they form the foundation on which to build every guacamole.
I happen to like heat in my guac, so I use smokey chipotles in adobo sauce. And sometime within the last three years (at least according to this old guac post) I started adding a little extra virgin olive oil in at the end as well.
Because olive oil and avocados make a terrific flavor combination. And because just a little oil makes the guacamole so deliciously creamy, even if the avocados aren’t mashed completely smoothly. I really don’t know when I started doing this, or what motivated me to try olive oil in my guac. Maybe it was just meant to be, dictated by the fates. I’m not sure. But I do know that I can no longer omit it from my version of guacamole, the dip just feels incomplete without that little finish. If you haven’t added any olive oil to your guacamole, I suggest you try it once, see what you think
And with that, I’m off to go make a toilet paper wedding dress for my sister
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 small cloves (or one large clove) garlic, peeled crushed and diced or minced
- juice of one lime
- good quality sea salt to taste
- chipotles in adobo sauce, to taste (I use 2)
- small drizzle good quality extra virgin olive oil
- (optional) cilantro or parsley, chopped, minced, however you like, pepper to taste
1. Slice the avocados in half and remove the pits. Then dice the avocado halves and add them to a medium mixing bowl (or a molcajete or mortar/pestle).
2. To the bowl add the garlic and lime juice. At this point take a fork (or the pestle) or a large spoon and mash the avocado, garlic and lime juice together – if you like really creamy avocado, you want to make sure that everything is mashed rather well. If you like a little more texture, then just mash everything until it looks to a point you like.
3. Add the salt, mix again, and taste. Normally I always add salt last in a dish, but with guac it’s such a critical ingredient I think it’s important to get the core guac tasting just how you like. Ok, now we have made our core guac, and can add whatever variations we want to it.
4. For my guac, I then start adding the chipotles – dice a couple of chiles, and then add gradually to the guac until you get the amount of heat you want.
5. The last main ingredient I add is the olive oil. I use a really high quality strongly flavored olive oil, and only pour in a little bit – a teaspoon or so and stir it together. I find this makes the guac really creamy, and the flavor meshes well.