The Only Guacamole Recipe You Will Ever Need

My cousin Michelle (Big Cous) and I (Lil Cous) often like to refer to one of our college terms as, Winter of 08, in a not so loving way.

Winter of 08 was a little rough. For starters, it was winter. Neither one of us enjoy winter, especially in Corvallis, Oregon. Winters at OSU can get downright gloomy, especially when you come from an area who's slogan is, "Over 300 days of sunshine a year." 

Secondly, we were both getting over severally broken hearts, which I think know, contributed to most of our hatred for the term. 

To get through the term we would watch a lot of Food Network and cooking shows, sometimes on mute. Don't judge, it is actually very relaxing, just try it. In turn, we discovered a lot of great recipes but also gained some poundage since we were eating our emotions and not partaking in much physical activity. Just add that to the list of something else we would have to deal with once we pulled ourselves out of our funk.

One morning, as we were leisurely lying around, drinking coffee and watching Martha Stewart, we discovered two things on her show that would change our lives.

  1. Ironing your bed linens before putting them on your bed.
  2. Eva Longoria's guacamole recipe.
For the record, I do not always our iron bed linens, ain't nobody got time for that. However, I have ironed my pillowcases on occasion and it sets the feeling of getting into a freshly made bed, over the top. Take five minutes and try it the next time you are changing your bed sheets.

Moving on to more important things though, mainly Eva Longoria's guacamole recipe. Now, I do not remember if this is the EXACT recipe she shared that morning, but Big Cous and I have been making a version of this since Winter of 08. In my opinion it is the only guacamole recipe you will ever need and if you are currently using the powder pouches of guacamole seasoning to make this dip, please stop doing so and replace it with this recipe.

Keep the Cinco de Mayo celebrations going this week and try out this recipe! What are you doing today to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Winter of 08 Guacamole

4 ripe avocados (or 2 large Hass Avocados)
2 jalapenos
1/2 small red onion
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 lemon
2 tsp. kosher salt

Before you start, DO NOT mix anything until instructed, this is a secret to guacamole making. 

Seed and chunk avocados and jalapenos, place in a medium size bowl (save one avocado seed/pit to place in guacamole once you are finished, this helps prevent browning). Dice onion and tomato and add to bowl. Dice tops off of cilantro, also add to the bowl. Sprinkle one teaspoon of kosher salt over the ingredients in the bowl. Cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice, of both halves, over ingredients, being careful to not let any seeds fall into mixture. Stir all ingredients together. Take a tortilla chip and taste, adding more salt if necessary. Plop avocado seed into bowl, cover with saran wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. 

Simple and fresh ingredients.
Notice there is no powder packet?
Creamy avocado, mmmmm.
To get easy chunks, slice diagonally one way and then diagonally the other way.
Then just scoop out with a spoon!
I like to live life on the edge so I leave the seeds and membranes in for extra heat.
This is the part that the spiciness comes from. 
If you look really closely you can see a heart, awwww.
Do not seed your tomatoes, the juice adds to the guacamole. 
Some people are opposed to cilantro, I think they are crazy.
Just kidding, but seriously.
I would not suggest leaving it out in this recipe.
To catch the seeds while juicing the lemon, cup your hand and use it as a strainer.
If you do not have kosher salt you will want to only use 1/2 tsp. of table salt.
Table salt has a much stronger, harsher taste than kosher salt. 
Once it has chilled, serve in your favorite chip and dip bowl...
Or just eat it straight of the mixing bowl.
No judgement here. 

Cafe Yumm Sauce Copycat Recipe

The last Friday of Lent (Good Friday), is almost here which means only one more Friday of fasting/no meat. Honestly, I do not mind it that much, especially when you can have Yumm Bowls. Unless you are from Oregon, you probably have not heard of these. Café Yumm, originated in Eugene, Oregon and since, chains have popped up in different locals across Oregon. Their Yumm Bowls, consist of basically beans, rice, some various toppings and their secret Yumm Sauce. People either love or hate Yumm Sauce but those who do, find it addicting and you can put it on so many other things than just beans and rice. You can buy it in their store but the closest Café Yumm to me is an hour away, so I decided to make my own Yumm sauce. After scouring the internets and Pinterest, mixing several recipes together and adding some different ingredients to my taste, I believe I have come up with a pretty dang close copycat recipe.

Café Yumm Sauce Copycat Recipe:
½ cup water
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup neutral flavored oil (light olive or avocado oil are best, I would suggest not using coconut oil for this)
½ cups almonds
1/3 heaping cup nutritional yeast*
1 can rinsed and drained garbanzo or white beans
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic power
1 – 1 ½ tsp. curry powder (depending upon how much you like curry)
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt

*Nutritional yeast IS NOT the kind of yeast you bake with OR brewers yeast and either cannot be substituted in this recipe. Nutritional yeast, are large, yellow flakes. A lady I work with described them as looking like human fish food, which sadly they do. It can be found in bulk food sections, generally at health food stores. food. Hopefully that doesn't ruin it for you. 

Directions: Place almonds in a bowl of extremely hot water, soak for 15 minutes. While your almonds are soaking place all the ingredients but the oil in a blender or food processor. Once your almonds have softened and are done soaking, drain, and place in the blender as well. Blend for one minute, scrape down the sides and blend for another minute. Next, blend again while slowly drizzling in the oil. Pour into an airtight jar and place into a refrigerator to let sit overnight. You can eat this right away and it still tastes great but it is best if you let it sit overnight to give the flavors time to blend.

Golden Deliciousness
Next you need to assemble your Yumm Bowl. Café Yumm has different combos of bowls, you can look at their menu online, but my favorite is the Jazzy Bowl, which is layered as so:
Jasmine Rice, Red Beans, Yumm Sauce, Tomatoes, Avocado, Cheese, Salsa, Sour Cream, Olives and Cilantro.

Recently they also added the option of adding a protein to the top of your bowl, chicken or grilled tofu, I go with chicken but since this is a Lenten meal I’ll be passing this time.

So fresh and healthy!
Yumm bowls are great to make for a crowd because everyone can customize their own to their individual tastes and they are very filling. I like to put everything out on a board when I make them at home because it looks pretty and also there are less dishes. Originally when I made this I did not take super great photos, so sorry for the lack of quality and quantity. 

And there you have it! That is how you make a Yumm Bowl! I hope you enjoy them! Let me know what you think of the Yumm Sauce! 

Cornmeal Mush- A Recipe That Tastes Much Better Than it Sounds

Cornmeal mush...I wish I could think of a better name for this dish than what it is called but I haven't been able to come up with anything more appealing. It has several different variations including, polenta and grits, but this specific recipe is slightly different than those. 

Anywho...regardless of it's name this dish is so yummy and versatile. It originally came about in the Depression when food was less abundant and plain. My great grandma would make it, which it turned to my grandma making it, then my mother and now me. 

Partly why I love this dish is its simplicity. It is made from only 4 ingredients and comes together quickly and easily. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch or whenever the mood strikes you. I like to eat mine for breakfast with some butter and jam on top. I think it would also be delicious at breakfast if you topped it with some spinach, sliced tomato and a poached egg. For dinner you can serve your favorite bolognese sauce over it instead of using pasta, the options are endless. It is naturally gluten free and can also be made vegan so it is a winning dish for everyone.  Follow the simple steps below and you will have yourself a new favorite recipe in minutes!


1 C. Cornmeal
2 C. Water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter (substitute Earthbalance or other spread if you are making it vegan)
1 tsp. sugar

The most important thing to remember in this recipe is your ratio of cornmeal to water, the rest is totally up to your taste. Your ratio should be 2:1, water to cornmeal, so you should always have twice as much water as you do cornmeal, easy peasy. 

Bring your water to a boil and then slowly pour in your cornmeal while quickly whisking to avoid clumping. Add salt, butter and sugar and continue to whisk and cook over low heat until cornmeal mixture has thickened, it should be the consistency of oatmeal. Remove from heat. At this point you can eat it as is, it will be kind of like eating cream of wheat cereal OR how I have always had it, though it requires a few more steps.

Line two small loaf pans or one normal size loaf pan, with saran wrap. Next pour the cornmeal mush into the two pans and cover the top with saran wrap. Place in your refrigerator overnight or if you want to eat it right away, like I usually do, place it in the freezer for an 30-45 minutes. Magically the corn meal mush turns into a solid once it has cooled!

Heat a griddle on the stove to medium heat. While your pan is heating remove the loaf from the pan and cut into slices. 

Once your pan is nice and toasty, melt some butter to prevent sticking and to add a nice crust to your cornmeal. Place slices onto griddle and let cook for 4-6 minutes on each side, until they have a nice golden color. Flip and repeat on the other side. 

Top with whatever flavor combination you want or even eat it plain! Enjoy!