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Posts Tagged ‘thrifty’

Avocados. Healthy, slightly exotic (at least in Canada!) without being weird, GOOD FAT!, also naturally green, and just tasty. They’re pretty much fantastic. And my favourite way to eat them?

Guacamole.

Guacamole.

And guacamole.

Oh and also these dee-licious tacos.

But mostly, just guacamole.

 

My in-laws, bless their heart, are from the south. Now when I say south, I don’t mean the REAL south. I mean the south that’s getting real close to Mexico and also California. The south that has Mexican restaurants with Irish sounding names. (Carlos O’Kelleys? Really?) The south that knows how to make good guacamole. I am glad that I am intrinsically connected to these people, because without them, I would never have had good guacamole. In fact, I probably would never have even eaten an avocado in my life to be honest, but that’s another story.

But the reason for this tangent? Because my little Buddy Bear can’t eat no milk. (I did that on purpose, I do know how to use good grammar, I just think I’m funny). And a little boy growing at the rate he is, needs FAT in his diet. (What a predicament, eh?) And a non-allergic child, well we would just stuff him/or her full of full-fat cheese, and cream in his oatmeal, and fatty yogourt for breakfast. It would be the life. But, we can’t do that. So, our pediatrician and I sat down for a brainstorming session to figure out how we can get more fat in Buddy Bear’s diet. The doctor’s prescription? More gravy. Extra olive oil on his food (Would deep-frying work?). And avocados. I wish I was this kid. He has got it made right now.

So, we tried the olive oil thing. He thought it was gross. I can’t blame him.

We’re not a meat and potatoes kind of family, so gravy is like a Christmas and Thanksgiving thing. Not happening.

Hmm… Avocados.

Not his favourite thing in the world, but he was willing to try them. But he’s just a small fry, so he’s not going to down the whole avocado in one sitting. Maybe half.

So what am I going to do with all these extra halves of avocados? I tried throwing the diced pieces in a Rubbermaid and keeping them in the fridge. The result? Brown nasty chunks that were probably still good, but looked very unappetizing.

The internet suggested a few things to help preserve my little avocado halves:

  • Put lime/lemon juice or vinegar on the avocados to keep them greener
  • Keep it in the fridge
  • Keep the pit (or stone?) with the avocado to delay browning
  • Not salting the avocado until right before you plan to eat it
  • Covering it with plastic wrap

OR

Make guacamole for Mommy & Daddy.

That’s my great idea.

Because its healthy!

Try it. You’ll love it.


My In-Laws’ Guacamole Recipe

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 to 3 tbsp diced/minced onion
  • dash of salt

Directions: Mash ingredients together. Eat. Repeat.

 

See? I told you, you’d like it! You could even skip a step and just make guacamole for the baby to eat/share. Done and done.

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Iced coffee is one of my favorite parts of summer. That cold, smooth iciness mixed with the thrill of caffeine. Refreshing and invigorating, like a Slurpee with a kick…in the budget! Why is everything yummy so expensive? Which leads to the question, can I make iced coffee at home that is just as yummy?

When I was pregnant with Boo I tried so hard to follow all the “rules”. No caffeine, no deli meat, no soft cheeses, limit your sweets, don’t color your hair and avoid hot tubs. With our second little one my heart is still in the same place. I want to love and protect and give him or her the best possible start BUT Mommy has cravings. And hasn’t slept a full night in 18 months (by full night I mean that unrealistic expectation of 8 or more  uninterrupted hours).

I still try to avoid most deli meat, haven’t had soft cheese (the no-dairy rule made this easy), I really don’t eat sweets regularly, I haven’t colored my hair (because honestly I haven’t had time for that!) and I barely have energy to shower. You can forget about long luxurious soaks in hot water. That would involve either scrubbing out the tub or going somewhere with a hot tub. Hasn’t happened.

But caffeine. Caffeine and I are tight this time around. I tried for the first 3 months to “limit” my intake. But then I got the go ahead from my midwife to enjoy one cup of coffee a day, she even said guilt free! And that studies have shown no risk to the baby with consuming moderate amounts of caffeine.

Oh the joy in my heart! I’ve never been a big coffee drinker. I never drink it black (yuck!). I put so many doo-dads in my coffee it is practically unrecognizable by true coffee connesiuers. In fact a true cup of full bodied coffee will make me jittery and hyper. I can’t even handle that small amount of coffee. I’ve developed a half and half approach. About 3 or 4 days out of the week (depending on the previous night), I treat myself to a cup of “mmmmm, hot! Hot!” What the Boo calls my coffee because she knows she is not allowed to touch it or taste it. I do have a few parental limits.

Half decaf, half full brew. Lots of sugar, cream (or fake cream), soy milk, syrup, etc. And then I nurse that delicious concoction all day long. Sip by sip letting it bring an extra edge of alertness (or not falling asleep in the car at red lights) to my day.

But now it is getting summery. My craving is for smooth and cold. Specifically for a Caramel Frappucino from Starbucks with extra whip (and enough calories for the whole family). Mmmm, so cold and refreshing. Sweet and yet coffee-ish. All my favorite things in a drink. That would set me back $4.50. We didn’t put “Sugary indulgences” in the budget so I thought my craving would have to silently sulk all summer never finding fulfillment.

But….oh glorious but (and not that butt, come on. Focus.) I stumbled across Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Perfect Iced Coffee and it was like a match made in heaven. All my favorite things in a drink (except for Beardie’s chili and steak. Or chocolate chip cookies. No pasta either. Or fresh baked bread. Or juicy watermelon. Or ripe peaches…so missing quite a few of my favorite things come to think of it). But contains coffee, sugar, creamy substitute in a smooth, cold and refreshing cup of joe.

I tried it. I made it my own. I put it in a travel mug at the start of the day and nurse that sweet little drink all day. Sip by sip. Every morning when I head to work I DO NOT stop at the Starbucks on the corner or the next corner (I actually pass 3 of them on my 10 minute drive to work. Sad, yes?) I make my own….this week alone I think I have saved at least $18 by not buying coffee. Actually I wouldn’t have stopped anyways, so I saved myself 4 mornings of inner grumbling about really wanting an iced coffee. Priceless.

Here’s how we do it:

Did you know you can cold brew coffee? Instead of breaking out the coffee maker you just add cold water to your coffee grounds and let them steep for about 12 hours. It makes for a less acidic and bitter coffee experience. Seeing as I am not a fan of bitter I like this approach. Seeing as I am not a fan of working I like how easy this is.

My ratio is 7 generous tablespoons of coffee grounds (I do half decaf, half flavored coffee…I told you I don’t actually drink REAL coffee, I drink a coffee-like beverage) to 4 cups of cold water.

When I got married Beardie had a sweet French press that he used for tea and other refined drinks (not a coffee drinker AT all, once I made him taste my coffee because it was so good. I thought it would convince him coffee is delicious. I believe his reaction was “yuck, bleh”….oh well, more for me!)

I mix the water and coffee grounds in the French press but you really don’t need anything fancy just a large enough container to hold your coffee and a coffee filter to strain out the grounds. Doesn’t that coffee mix look like some type of toxic sludge?

The next morning I press the press and voila! coffee.

Fill your glass with a few ice cubes (that’s why you make your coffee so strong it dilutes when the ice melts) and a splash (or in my case a river) of cream/cream substitute. I absolutely love the International Delight: Caramel Macchiato creamer. I think it tastes just as good as Starbucks (don’t tell the Buckers I said that!)

You could stop here. And enjoy your crisp iced beverage but on my days off I like to take it a step further and throw it all in the blender for a more slushie like treat.

See? Yummy. And completely adaptable to whatever you like in your cup! Super quick too. The four cups of coffee lasts me 4 days, I strain the remainder of the coffee through our re-usable coffee filter and then store it in the fridge. Every morning I just mix it up in my travel mug and am good to go.

What would you throw in your iced beverage? You could totally make this with chai tea, green tea, hot chocolate…I just might try them all!

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