Here's what happens every time I make guacamole:
1) Cheerfully, and with the best of intentions, I make a double batch so that my husband can enjoy it when he gets home from work.
2) Sample the guacamole, for seasoning purposes.
3) Sample the guacamole again, just to make sure it's okay.
4) Rip open a bag of tortilla chips and/or box of crackers.
5) Sample the guacamole WITH chip/cracker, to ensure the seasoning is correct.
6) Eat the entire batch of guacamole.
7) Hide the evidence that there ever was guacamole.
8) Change into yoga pants.
Every single time.
In a bowl, mash avocados with a fork, and mix in garlic, lime juice, onion powder, and coriander until smooth.
Stir in diced tomatoes.
Serve with chips, crackers, or just eat with a spoon. Try not to eat the whole thing but if you do, hide the evidence!
I remember the day I had my first Starbucks Frappuccino. It was 1997. I was on a platonic coffee date with a man on whom I had an unrequited crush. He bought me a Mocha Frappuccino and it was love at first sip: frothy, sweet, and delicious. I stayed up late that night not only because of the evening caffeine consumption, but also because of the memory of that man's green eyes and square jaw.
Wouldn't you know it, one coffee date led to another, and here we are, seventeen years later, with a house and a dog and two kids. We don't go on coffee dates too often any more; life is pretty busy, and I certainly can't drink coffee past 11 am without serious sleep repercussions. No one wants a sleep deprived Nicole, least of all the aforementioned husband, kids, and dog. I also don't love paying $5 for a drink, regardless of how frothy, sweet, and delicious it is — therefore, for a summertime treat I wanted to recreate the Frappuccino, in a low-cost, low-calorie way.
The other day I made up a batch of these frozen blended coffee drinks and gave one to my husband to try. He proclaimed it to be "better than Starbucks" and when I told him how low in cost and calories it is, I think he fell in love with me all over again. Call it the magic of the mocha!
Brew very strong coffee; allow to cool and then freeze in ice cube trays.
Using a blender, whirl together 5-6 large (1 inch by 2 inches) coffee ice cubes and 1 cup vanilla almond or soy milk. Blend on high until frosty and creamy. For a classic coffee-flavoured drink - stop right there.
For a mocha drink, blend in 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder; for a caramel drink, blend in 1-2 tablespoons caramel sauce.
If desired, top with coconut whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate or caramel syrup.
For a nut-and-soy-free version, use 1 cup of skim dairy milk with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in lieu of the vanilla almond or vanilla soy milk.
Make this for the love of your life, and watch them fall in love with you all over again!
Yield: 1-16 ounce beverage
Nutritional Information (coffee flavour only, using Almond Breeze Vanilla non-dairy beverage): Calories 90, Fat 2.5 grams, Total Carbohydrates 16 grams, Fibre 1 gram, Protein 1 gram.
It's so easy to fall in love, and it's so easy to make these Frozen Blended Coffee Drinks. Watch me do it in under three minutes!
Here's a confession: I am terrified of the barbeque. I'm terrified that I am going to set myself on fire or blow up the house, and so I tend to eye that grill from a safe distance, usually with a glass of wine in my hand, while my husband does the dirty work.
That doesn't stop me from loving barbequed foods, mind you. There's nothing quite like a barbeque to bring friends together on a warm summer's evening (but not on a train bound for nowhere). Most people think of grilling in terms of meat, but grilling brings out the best in vegetables, too. This recipe for maple grilled butternut squash is amazingly flavourful and so easy—set it and forget it—that even I could grill it myself.
Well, technically, I could grill it myself—this is not a thing that has happened yet. I do prepare the squash, which is a snap, and then hand it off to my husband to take to the barbeque while I pour another glass of wine. Maybe one day I'll conquer that fear, in the meantime, I'll be over here with a bottle and a corkscrew.
Slice the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Whisk together melted butter or olive oil with maple syrup and nutmeg. Brush mixture onto squash halves.
Place squash halves, cut side up, on the grill and cook over medium-high heat for 45-60 minutes, until the flesh of the squash is very tender.
Remove from grill. Liquid will have accumulated in the hollow of the squash—pour it into a bowl and then scoop out the butternut squash flesh into that same bowl. Mash liquid and squash together with a potato masher until smooth.
Serve and enjoy!
Want more vegetarian grilling ideas? Try my Balsamic Portobello "Not Dog," or my Quinoa Black Bean Burger. Want to read an emotional post about the flight of time AND get another grill recipe? Pardon me while I tear up about Grilled Eggplant.