Guys, I have literally made hundreds of batches of guacamole over the years. Hundreds and hundreds. I’ve made single batches for myself. I’ve made huge batches for parties. I even choose to do most of my grocery shopping at the “Mexican” grocery store near me almost entirely because they have always have a bin of huge, ripe avocados waiting for me. And then once you come home with a bag of avocados each week, you’ve got to use them up quickly, right??
Most of the time I stick to my favorite (and humbly named) perfect guacamole recipe. Occasionally I’ll experiment with other ingredient combos, like my favorite chili/mango or bacon/smoked blue cheese guacamole recipes. But frankly, I’ve never found anything that comes close to the original in my mind…until now. Yes, I’m talking about Italian guacamole.
Seriously, in all of my avocado-mashing, chip-dipping, guac-loving years, I have no idea how I never even considered swapping out fresh cilantro for fresh basil. But when I found myself with three perfectly ripe avocados a few weeks ago and zero cilantro in sight, my eyes landed instead on the pot of fresh basil sitting on the counter. So I decided to give it a whirl. And I am so glad I did.
I’m home!!! I’m home, I’m home, I’m home! And after a fun few weeks traipsing around Europe, a 9.5 hour plane ride with a 1-year-old kicking the back of my seat and crying half of the ride, and a nearly lost luggage fiasco, boy did it feel good to walk in the door to my loft last night. And I had three things on my must-happen-immediately list:
1. a big ol’ glass of ice water
2. a full night to catch up on some zzzz’s in my own bed
3. and MEXICAN FOOD
Oh man. I rarely go 3 days without eating Mexican food, so 3 weeks without my chips and salsa felt like an eternity! We did pass by a few “Mexican” restaurants in Germany and Austria and even considered stopping in one evening. But one peek at their menus full of BBQ wings and New York steaks and shrimp scampi (true story) suggested we might be better waiting until we got home. So we did. And now I fully intend to make up for lost time…beginning with this white chicken enchilada casserole recipe!
It’s kind of a riff on my (red) Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe, which has become a bit of a hit on the blog. But as you can tell, this is the “white”, creamy, green-chile-y, total comfort-food-y version. Although this version is even slightly healthier than traditional white enchiladas, and easy to make by “stacking” the enchiladas into a casserole instead of rolling them all up. Interested? I think you will be… :)
Like, I basically spaced off that they existed for about a year. I just kind of forgot about them. They never crossed my mind when planning ingredients for a big salad. They never made it into my shopping bag. I’m pretty sure they never made it into my mouth for nearly a year, save for (ahem) a few glasses of wine.
I absolutely love food blogging. But I have to confess, there’s one thing about my pre-recipe-developing days that I really miss sometimes about cooking – not measuring stuff.
Before I started sharing recipes with you, I was totally “that cook” who prided herself on rarely pulling out a measuring cup or spoon. Sure, I usually had to do so for baking. But for cooking? I loved tossing in a “glug” of this here, a “pinch” of that there, a “handful” of that here, and a “sprinkle” of that there….you know, “eyeing it”. It’s definitely my favorite way to cook. And arguably, it’s the way that people have cooked for most of history and still continue to cook today in most countries around the world.
Ok, I had to look up the “my friends” part of that on Google translate. Clearly my German is not quite on par with my Spanish. But hey, on the day that this post goes live, I will have already spent a week in Austria and Germany during my European adventure. So hopefully my vocab will have at least improved a little by then. One thing’s for sure, though — I know that I will have already consumed lots of potatoes by then!
Hey friends! Ali, here. I’m really excited to introduce you to one of the coolest 15-year-olds I know, who collaborated with me as the baker/writer/photographer behind today’s post. Her name is Maya, and we have gone to church together for years. But I only recently found out that — in addition to being a delightful, smart, kind, and super-talented teenager – she is also a major foodie and talented cook who dreams of being a chef. So I had her come over a few weeks ago, and we spent the day cooking and baking and learning about photography and food blogging and chatting about life. And along the way, we also happened to bake this seriously stellar blueberry cake. So here to tell you about it today, please welcome guest-blogger…Maya!
Hey all, I’m Maya! I had the amazing opportunity to shadow Ali for a day and cook with her. I love to cook. It all started back in preschool when the teachers asked the famous question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. While all the boys had their hearts set on being professional athletes and the girls were playing veterinarian and teacher, I proudly announced I would like to be a “cooker.” My love for mixing flavors and sharing good food with people was kindled at a young age. I would be found perched up on a stool with an oversized apron and a paper chef hat, mixing up salads or flipping grilled cheese. As the years went on my cook book collection grew and so did my knowledge of cooking.