This recipe is not from MY Aunt Liz. It is from my kids’ Aunt Liz, who is actually my sister.

I have never been a fan of guacamole. I’ll wait while you start breathing again.

I don’t know why I didn’t like it–maybe the fact that guacamole is green and made from vegetables.

One summer, Liz was at our house for a visit. She has been living in Texas for quite a while, so she has learned a thing or two about guacamole.

Not wanting to be rude, I tried her guacamole. I’m sure I looked like a cat eating glue! But guess what…I liked it! I wasn’t the only one. The whole family liked it!

guacamole ingredients

Fresh ingredients are a must!

I like cutting open an avocado. Give it a slice around the pit.

cut avocado

Twist the halves apart.

Stick your knife into the pit and lift. The pit will pop right out! Do this carefully. Don’t let the knife slip off the side of the pit and onto your thumb. If it does, then you will have to wear a band-aid on that nasty gash. Then the band-aid is just in the way while you are trying to finish the recipe without adding an “extra ingredient”. Just sayin’!

You can score the avocado flesh while in the skin before you scoop it out if you are using chunks. Otherwise, just scoop out the whole thing.

scoop out avocado meat

Orange and lime juices keep the avocado from turning brown. I think this is the real reason I liked Liz’s Guacamole. The citrus made is so fresh tasting.

citrus

orange juice

Chop your onion fine to hide it from family and friends, or leave it large enough for them to pick out if they don’t like it.

fresh ingredients

Aunt Liz’s Guacamole

2 avocados, mashed

juice of 1/2 a lime

juice of 1/2 and orange

dash of garlic powder

red onion, chopped-however much you like. I think I used less than a 1/4 cup

salt and pepper to taste

Liz used cilantro in her recipe. I, however, HATE cilantro.

I’ll wait for you to breathe again, again. If you like cilantro, feel free to add some.

Chop it all up. Mix it all up. Serve it all up. Gobble it up!

guacamole served in an avocado shell

Cute! Look what I did! I stuffed the guacamole back into the avocado shell with a little garnish! Fancy, huh?!

Do you eat guacamole? Have you ever had it like this with orange juice in it?

Nutella cookies

There was a BOGO coupon for Nutella in the paper not too long ago. I never buy Nutella, but a buy-one-get one-free coupon seemed too good to not clip.

Shortly after making my sinful purchase of TWO JARS, I was asked to make a dessert for a youth gathering at church. Now I had the perfect opportunity to try Nutella Cookies!

(Not familiar with Nutella? Click here.)

Nutella Cookies

1 cup Nutella

1 cup flour

1 egg

Bake at 350˚ for 6-8 minutes.

I thought they would spread in the oven, but they didn’t. When I took them out, I just gave them a quick cross-hatch with the fork like you do with peanut butter cookies.

Cookies fresh from the oven

These were so rich and yummy straight from the oven!

cookies with Nutella

They were good later on, too.

cookies

I was trying out different photography approaches. So, lots of pictures that look very similar. : )

empty jar 1

…oh, and a fancy vintage napkin.

Nutella cookies 1

Nutella cookies 2

Nutella cookies 3

How do you feel about Nutella? Love it? If yes, you must try these cookies!

Beautiful weather here in central Arkansas today-High of about 70˚!

Saturdays, if we don’t have to run off somewhere, our family tends to sleep in a bit. I usually make pancakes-some with chocolate chip-some without. If the weather is agreeable, Chip and I like to sit on the porch in our pjs and sip coffee while we solve the world’s problems.

Since today was going to be so nice, we decided to do something a little different.

We have been trying to get back into exercising. This week we went on a couple of bike rides. I walked around town a little. One day, while the girls were at piano lessons,  I made my Dad go walking with me on some hills. I don’t think he liked the hills very much.

We live where there are NO hills. FLAT! I really felt the need to walk on some hills!

So, this morning Chip and I headed to one of my favorite neighborhoods in Little Rock to walk–Hillcrest.

I love the houses. I love the trees. I love the shops and restaurants. Sigh!

Our plan was to sleep in a little, go walk, find a smoothie place and be home around 1:00.

Hillcrest

Lab Parking

This sign cracked me up for some reason. I guess I expected to see a black Labrador sitting there or something!

Remember the reason we wanted to go to Hillcrest? Hills!

hill 2

hill 3

hill

I’m sure I will be wobbly tomorrow.

Hillcrest Lookout

walking trails

I only took a couple of pictures of houses because I was walking. There are just so many quaint houses in Hillcrest though!

curved porch

The Siegle-Donham House

We eventually wandered into Rosalia’s Bakery in search of smoothies. It is right next door to Cafe Bossa Nova. Come to find out, they are owned by the same folks. The restaurant sure smelled good.

Rosalia's Bakery

They didn’t have smoothies, but they did have these…

Yucca Puffs

The bakery shares a parking lot with pizza place we really like, Damgoode Pies. We have always called it “Darngoode Pies”. If you go, be sure to get the pink sauce. It’s my favorite!

Damgoode Pies

Down the street was Hillcrest Artisan Meats! (I have to add that I got a little giggle adding my website address to a picture of a pig!)

Pig

I was very excited to step in to H.A.M. I have been following them on Facebook for a while. We didn’t get to eat there today. Remember, we were on a smoothie hunt. We WILL go back!

H.A.M.

Here is a little peak inside…

eat sign

artisan cheeses

artisan meats

samples

salts

vegetarian

Taking a walk break.

IheartHillcrest

Well, all we could find in Hillcrest was coffee shops. We hopped in the truck and headed up the road to The Heights–another of my favorite neighborhoods–in search of smoothies.

We struck gold at Red Mango.

Red Mango

straws

Chip got the Mango-Pineapple Smoothie and I had the Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Smoothie. We also picked up a fancy water for later.

smoothies

We ended up liking each other’s smoothie better than our own. So,we shared them both as we strolled up and down the street.

Red Mango is right next door to Cupcakes on Kavanaugh–yum!

Cupcakes on Kavanaugh

We saw a barber pole along the way. When you are a Sweet Adeline, you notice these things.

Barber Poll

There are lots of neat shops and galleries and such in the Heights.

Chrome gallery

Ozark Outdoor was a must see for Chip. They had lots of cool hiking and running-type stuff in there.

Ozark Outdoor

Just across the street was a Eggshells Kitchen Co. I was like a kid in a candy shop!

Eggshells Kitchen Co

I was glad we had out Blackberry Pomegranate water to enjoy on the way home.

Mountain Valley Sparkling Water

What a great Saturday morning! We even made it home by 1:00.

What did you do on your Saturday morning?

The hubs and I went on a little lunch date last week.

selfie

Aren’t we goofy and cute?!

Chip works at Arkansas Blue Cross. His company has recently opened a restaurant in their main building. Since Chip is “the camera man” he was instrumental in helping with some of the restaurant’s photographs as well as some of the graphics. He has been talking about The Green Leaf Grill for months! He’s even gotten to eat there several times. Finally, I talked him in to taking ME!

sinage

It was a beautiful day to be in downtown Little Rock, especially in February. Just look at that blue sky!

It was quite busy at the Green Leaf Grill. There are many ordering options–deli, grill, pizza, entrée, salad and more.

chefs on the line

green beans

chef at work

Salads are made to order right in front of you.

salad bar

Fresh, local ingredients are used every day.

grilled chicken

blue cookware

They even have a pizza oven!

pizza oven

Chip had the Ham and Swiss Panini on a pretzel roll with sweet potato fries. He thoroughly enjoyed his meal.

ham and swiss

He offered me a bite, but my plate was so full I didn’t think I could spare the room.

I chose the Grilled Flat Iron Steak. It was served on a bed of greens and edamame with red and yellow beet chips.

steak

Oh, my goodness! It was so yummy! The steak was perfectly cooked. I had never had a yellow beet. They are good! I liked them better than the red beets!  I really liked having the edamame in with the greens. I need to remember to get some next time I’m at the store.

There is a cookie bar where you can package your own cookies to take back to the office. I didn’t have room for cookies. I guess I have to save room next time. Oh, there will be a next time!

cookie bar

Thanks for the great meal, Chef! Look, I’m a dork! I had to have my picture with Chef Jason.

with the chef

The Green Leaf Grill is located at 601 South Gaines in downtown Little Rock, AR.

They are opened for breakfast Monday-Friday 7:00 am – 9:30 am

Lunch is served Monday-Friday 10:45 am – 2:00 pm

Be sure to check their menu weekly for specials.

Which would you choose–Chip’s sandwich and fries or my steak and salad?

While sitting in the orthodontist’s waiting room with my daughter for what seemed like forever, we flipped through every magazine they had!

Our orthodontist’s office selection of magazines is much better than our dentist’s office. At least the choices are less than a year old!

Megan and I scrutinized the glossy pages for a scrap of something interesting to bide our time.

I believe it was magazine #5 that held our interest. Sorry, I looked at so many, I don’t remember the specific copy.

recipe

If you have been around Pork Chop Tuesday for a while, you have read about our experiences with quinoa. If you are new, you can catch up here and here.

Megan was beyond excited about trying Quinoa Meatballs and asked if we could have them for dinner. Fortunately, I had just picked up some ground pork on sale for $1.81 a pound!

I snapped the picture of the recipe with my iPad.

We finally made it out of the orthodontist’s office and headed home.

Quinoa Meatballs-raw

I had to tweak the recipe a little, not too much though. I used yellow onion rather than shallots. I will be amazed if my little Walmart ever carries shallots. I had my hesitations about the cinnamon. I am ANTI Cincinnati Chili, which uses pumpkin pie spice-yuck! I used the cinnamon anyway. I think I may leave it out next time. Although, the cinnamon gives the meatballs an exotic flavor. I also think it helps mask some of the garlic.

I used my small scoop to form the meatballs. I didn’t round them out in my hand. I just scooped them onto the parchment. Next time I will take time to form them a little better.

I think they look a little weird.

Quinoa Meatballs-cooked

Part of the strange appearance is the quinoa! It looks like my meatballs have the measles or something!

The whole crew was anxious to try this new dish. Check out their comments in the Critics’ Corner.

Quinoa Meatballs for supper

Hopefully, this blog post will serve as your inspiration, and you won’t have to pour over magazines in the orthodontist’s office.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: These are better than good but less than great. I’d certainly eat and enjoy them again.

Megan: I didn’t expect them to be kinda spicy, but they were delish!

Katie: LOVE them! : )

Well, we got some freezing rain and sleet today. So, being the good Southern town that we are, everything is shut down for the day.

Here is the view out my back window…

icy trees

I’ve been saving this recipe for Rosettes for a day such as this! They are best when eaten fresh. With the kids home from school, they were able to gobble them up at the opportune time!

I remember my Mom making Rosettes for us when we were kids. It’s not like she made them all the time or anything, probably on snow days. I guess that is what made them so special.

Rosettes with Powdered Sugar

A Rosette is a similar to a funnel cake you get at the fair. While a funnel cake is squirted into hot oil in a random shape, Rosettes are a specific shape.

Making Rosettes does require specific tools, well, mainly one specific tool. A Rosette Iron!

Rosette Iron

This one belonged to my grandmother. I suppose you can still find them. Long ago, our iron had different shapes you could screw off and on the end of the iron. Today, we just have the one shape. Who knows what happened to the others. (If you don’t have a Rosette Iron, you could squirt the batter in a random shape into the oil.)

The Rosette Batter is simple enough:

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Rosette Batter

Beat together eggs, milk, sugar and salt. Add flour; beat until smooth.

Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil to 375˚. Do be careful!

While you are waiting for the oil to heat up, lay several paper towels on a wire cooling rack. This is where the finished rosettes will drain.

oil temperature

Once the oil is hot enough, place the rosette iron in the oil for 30 seconds.

prepping the iron

Blot the iron on a paper towel, then dip it in the batter.

Dipping in batter

You only want to dip the iron about 3/4 of the way up the sides. DO NOT let the batter go over the top.

Immediately place the iron with the batter on it into the hot oil.

into the hot oil

This part gets a little tricky. Don’t try to multi-task while making Rosettes! I had to have my daughter take pictures for me.

Okay, so the iron with the batter is in the oil. It will not take long for the sides of the Rosette to loosen.

Remove with fork

As soon as you see this happening, use a fork to pry the Rosette off the iron.

TaDa!

Rosette in oil

Now, quickly grab some tongs, or I guess you could use that same fork, to flip the Rosette in the oil.

Flipped Rosette

It really goes fast, folks!

Snatch the Rosette out of the oil and place it on the paper towel to drain.

Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Fried Rosettes

Rosette back

Lots of Rosettes

Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

Rosettes with Powdered Sugar

This was quite the perfect snack for a wintry day out of school.

Do you have a special “snow day” snack you like to prepare?

Need a healthy snack for your Super Bowl party?
Almonds + Food Writer = Cute Football snacks

20140202-153103.jpg

Thanks, Party Pinching, for the fun idea!

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