Avocado Special

Welcome  Last week in A Day Late, A Dollar Short, and A Trend Behind, I talked about falling behind on trends and the trendiness of Mason jars.  Well, one of the trendiest foods I can think of right now is avocados.  It seems like everyone’s current diet and meal plan allows for avocado consumption for their “healthy fat” content.  Well, anytime something gets trendy, it also gets expensive.  The equation between popularity and price tag was very evident on a recent shopping trip.

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Food For Thought  All of my personal Facebook followers have heard my many tales of avocados from the past few months.  I don’t know all the nutrients in avocados, but I cannot seem to get enough of these little green gems!  My body must need them for some reason!  At least that’s what I convince myself during these cravings.

I love to eat mashed avocado on toast with a little salt and pepper and side of fruit for breakfast.  I also like to slice some hard boiled egg on top to boost the protein content, perfect for a sustaining lunch.  I like to make my own homemade guacamole and guaca-hummus, too, since it seems to be getting harder to find pre-made that is tasty and tomato-free.  I slice ripe avocados into many of our meal salads.  I’ve even made brownies with avocado and sampled a fudge recipe that uses them for a rich and flavorful fat content.

Last week I was getting another big craving for avocados.  I had to do the regular grocery shopping anyway, so when I went to our favorite discount grocery store, I was severely disappointed.  They had a small bin of avocados that were very tiny and hard as rocks.  These did not look good at all and would take probably a week or longer to ripen for use.  In my impatience, I went to the big supermarket close to our home to check their avocados.  These were slightly better.  I had to really dig around the display to find ripe ones.  I grabbed the best five avocados I could find, placed them in my plastic produce bag, and headed to the checkout. This was it, the lump sum of my purchase, so when it rang up to be almost eleven dollars, with tax, I cringed.  When I checked my receipt, my current favorite food was priced at $1.99 a piece!  This seemed very expensive to me.  I had already bought them, but for someone working really hard at keeping the grocery budget in check, this was well above what I wanted to spend.  I guess me week’s personal allowance was spent on avocados!  Oh, well.

After I got home and put my groceries away, I took my rant to Facebook, because where else do we go to complain these days?  I got some feedback from people, for sure, primarily the fact that I OVERPAID!  A friend who lives on the other side of the state shared that avocados usually run around $1.39 each, unless on sale.  I had another message from someone claiming to never pay over 99 cents for an avocado.  Well, then!  Another friend suggested I plant my own seed and grow an avocado plant in my house.  It has to be indoors because our winter climate would never support growing avocados outside.  I was completely intrigued.  So, of course I turned to the internet to figure out how I may possibly grow my own avocado.

Today’s DIY  I saved two of the pits from my pricy avocados.  Now I’m starting the LONG journey to growing my own plant.  Getting started is simple.  You stick four toothpicks into each pit, allowing it to rest partially submerged in a jar of water.  Here’s my tips for the toothpicks.  Use four, at a 3, 6, 9, 12 pattern (when thinking of a clock) and have them angled slightly downward so that when your seed rests in the water it’s getting more than just the flat bottom surface wet.  When placing your avocado in the water, be sure the flatter end goes down, while the more pointed end stick up from the water.  Place your jars in a sunny window and change the water every two days.  Eight weeks later (yes, this is a really long process) you should have an avocado plant ready to place in a pot of soil with good drainage. Unless you live in a climate without cold winter temperatures, your potted avocado plant will need to stay indoors.  There are lots of infographics and videos available on Musely to help you get started.

Here is my Day 1 picture from the weekend, just getting started.  Fortunately we have a very sunny kitchen, so the location should be ideal.  I hope to share pictures in a few weeks with roots or sprouts or something exciting going on with my seeds.  Additionally, it will take 2-10 years to see my plant produce fruit.  So it looks like I’m not finished buying grocery store avocadoes for a while!

In the mean time, I didn’t get any fresh avocados this week, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the delicious flavors with these two delicious recipes using a premade guacamole.  Wholly Guacamole is a national brand and Little Salad Bar from Aldi are both excellent choices for the premade variety.

Today’s Recipes  I know, it’s not even Tuesday, but I just couldn’t limit myself to one recipe using guacamole.  I have so many to choose from!  Here are two new favorites at our house.

Guacamole Appetizer Squares are similar to the Classic Seven Layer Dip concept, but no beans and instead of a dip, it’s like a pizza square using crescent roll dough.  I first saw this recipe in one of my many Taste of Home cookbooks, but I modified it by omitting the tomatoes (I’m allergic), reducing the amount of bacon (slightly) and adding green onions and shredded cheese as toppings.  Try this dish for your next football fete this fall!

Guacamole Appetizer Squares (recipe is for 32 appetizer-size squares)

  • 2 tubes of refrigerated crescent dough
  • 10 strip bacon, fried crisp (original recipe calls for one full pound of bacon, but I reduced the amount by about a third)
  • 1 pkg low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 8-oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 16-oz pkg prepared guacamole (be sure it’s a high quality brand that uses whole avocados, not avocado powder)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 3 green onions, sliced

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Unroll the crescent dough and lay side by side on an ungreased, large rimmed baking sheet.  Pinch seems together and prick dough with a fork.  Sprinkle half the package of taco seasoning across the dough.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.  Remove sheet to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, guacamole, and remaining taco seasoning on low speed until fully blended.  Spread the guacamole mixture across the prepared dough.

Top guacamole spread with crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, black olives, and green onions.  Use a sharp pizza cutter to cut into 32 appetizer squares, or you can also serve as a main dish “cold pizza.”

 

 

My favorite sandwich is a Cuban.  I shared my version in my  Summer Sandwich Spectacular.  But this Grilled Pepper Jack, Bacon, and Guacamole Sandwich is a close, and decadent, second place.  This sandwich is so rich and flavorful, you will be amazed at how filling a sandwich can be!

Grilled Pepper Jack, Bacon, and Guacamole Sandwich (recipe is for one sandwich)

  • 2 slices sandwich bread
  • 1 TBS butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 strips bacon, fried crisp
  • 2 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 2 TBS prepared guacomole

 

Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat.  Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place one slice of bread, butter-side down, in skillet.  Place one slice of cheese on top of this, followed by two strips of bacon, guacamole, and remaining slice of cheese.

Top with second slice of bread, butter side up.  After two or three minutes, the sandwich should be ready to flip with a large, sturdy spatula.  Press down on the sandwich slightly with the back of the spatula.  Reduce heat and finish cooking until each side has a crisp, golden crust.

 

Today’s Helpful Products that I actually use!  Available from Amazon.

OXO Good Grips Pizza Cutter Wheel  

OXO Good Grips Silicone Spatula

Calphalon Signature Every Day Chef Pan

Wilton Nonstick Mega Cookie Pan

 

Today’s Scripture

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