November 19, 2008

Guacamole Bowlee

I normally don't post about food or recipes. That's my husband's area of expertise, but I was too proud of this and had to share it. My friend Emily is going to be so proud of me! I can't wait till she sees this.

Ever since I moved out west, I have fallen in love with avocados. I had never even eaten one when I lived out east. I think I may have tried guacamole at a ChiChis restaurant maybe once, but it didn't leave an impression on me. I'm sure it's probably because the price of avocados are extremely high as compared to the sale prices out here in AZ.

I first got hooked when my sister-in-law made guacamole for us. Then I learned how to make it and now I am pretty much the designated Guacamole Queen in this family. I wear my crown very proudly. I have my own way of making it, which is different from the standard, but everyone loves my version of it and it never lasts long at a family gathering. The only thing I don't like about mine is that it's not as bright green like the kind you're used to seeing at the store. The reason is because I add red Hatch chili to mine so it gets a darker coloring to it.

Here is a picture that shows some of the ingredients I used in this batch. We had burrito night last week so this is the full spread of our dinner making items. If you live in the east, the tin of Old Bay seasoning might catch your eye. Yep, I even use a little bit of that in my guacamole just to make it all my own. That Old Bay is sent to me by my mother since it isn't as easy to find out here in AZ where they no nothing about a good clam chow-dah.

I called this post "Guacamole Bowlee" because that is what I've decided to name my new little kid's treat that I just made up for Lucian. When I was making guacamole last week, he was getting impatient for his share of the goods, so I just quickly grabbed one of the avocado skins I had scraped out and just put a scoop, chip and spoon into it. It made the perfect little bowl for him. Just his size and fits in the palm of his hand. He is now old enough to eat chips without choking but he is still getting the hang of using a spoon. He loved it so much, he had seconds and thirds!

You see, the boy just loves avocados. He would turn into one if we let him. It was the very second baby food he ever ate right after rice cereal. (Again, thanks to Emily and the fabulous book called Super Baby Food she gave us that taught us how to make our own baby food.) It turns out that avocados are one of the most perfect, natural baby foods you can give your child at any age starting as early as four months old. We started at six months old as seen in this photo of him.

Wow, this brings back memories. Poor little guy had such bad eczema back then. We had to really be careful which foods we introduced to him when.

While he was still in public day care, his eczema was so horrible to the point of almost bleeding. Once I started staying home with him, it cleared up because I kept on top of it. I also think that constantly having avocado smeared all over his skin helped too! There is also what looks to be oatmeal in this photo mixed in there too. And to think we women pay the big bucks for skin masks that have the same ingredients!!)

We made all of our own baby food and rarely bought store-brand. We only ever bought store-brand when we were going to travel and even that didn't really matter once we collected enough of the glass jars and lids to reuse with our own home-made variety. We loved making our own baby food for him. Nate took much pride in using his handy-dandy food processor. It was probably one of the better investments we've made when it comes to kitchen gadgets. I'm sure it has paid for itself well over by now.

One trick I enjoy sharing with new parents about to start feeding solids is avocado cubes as I like to refer to them. When baby is old enough for finger food and just beginning to master the pincer grasp, avocado cubes are perfect for this. Just take one avocado, slice in half and remove the pit. Instead of just scooping out the "meaty part" with a spoon or fork, instead, run your knife down vertically to create 4 cuts long-wise. Next, turn the avocado sideways and now run your knife down and make another few cuts to intersect so you have square-shaped cuts. Lastly, turn the avocado over so the skin side is facing you. Pinch near the center and squeeze gently to pop the cubes out onto a plate. There you have it! The perfect baby food that grows with your baby's needs for feeding!