Backyard Barbecue

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Tonight we had our first Friday night backyard barbecue.  Our neighbor/good friend Garret came back from weeks of various sailing and work trips, so when Garret’s home, the barbecue is flaring. Barbecuing means that the dudes cook and I don’t!  Woot.  Just because the guys cook, doesn’t mean that I don’t throw my hat into the culinary ring.  Tonight, I made salsa and guacamole!  For dessert I made chocolate ch0colate chip cookies!

Tonight’s recipes were a hodgepodge of recipes put together until I developed something I liked.  Things I will take away from this culinary adventure is that seriously, 2 cups of sugar is way to much for a cookie recipe.   I know that the Nestle  Tollhouse Recipe is a classic….I just think that 2 cups of sugar and a cup of butter is too much.  Granted, when I bake I eat one of the cookies and then I package up the rest for friends to eat, so really even if its bad its not like I am really missing much.  If the cookies are gross, I have no problem throwing them away.

The best part of tonight was having our great friends over.  It was really chill.   Garrett could grill a fucking cow tongue and it would be delicious.  He can grill!! To prepare for the night, Sean and Garrett bought chicken and meat from the local carneceria, along with tortillas, guacamole and salsa.  I know… but you can never have too much guacamole.  So, why the f-not.  Honestly, I’d only decided to make guacamole because it cost like 6.99/lb at whole foods for their fresh guacamole, and 4.99/lb for fresh salsa.  Seriously…they sell it next to the fresh ingredients they put into it.  I got my grocery list from reading the packaging.  For the price of  a container of Whole foods guacamole and a container of whole foods salsa, I made twice as much guacamole and salsa!  (It is everything in me not to type the word “guac.)”  Everyone liked my salsa and guacamole, and I was really impressed by how easily they come together once you have the ingredients ready.  I think that’s my favorite part, which is why I have a beautiful picture of my beautiful ingredients just waiting to be made.

Here are the recipes I used.  I would just post a link, but  I modified the recipes to be delicious.  It may seem easier to go to a restaurant or just have someone else make it…but htere is something to be said for how awesomely delicious and fun this type of chemistry is.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bars

(inspired by Nestle‘s and the Food Network).  Like I said, this recipe is too sweet (I know! how can that be!) but its good.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (too much!!)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar( too much! next time I am going to try 1/2 cup)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons of  vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups (1 package) of semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. In another large bowl stir together butter, both sugars, eggs, vanilla and cocoa. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined. Stir chocolate chips and stir to distribute evenly.

I don’t make cookies because I don’t have the patience  to cook in batches.  I make bars, which just means that the dough is placed in a 13×9 glass pan, spread evenly along the bottom but not touching the side of the pan and baked for 25 minutes.

Home made Guacamole

Guacamole Recipe inspired by the Food Network and the table side guacamole techniques at Kate Matilini in Beverly Hills.

Ingredients

  • 3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions

In a small bowl mix the garlic and the onions.  Smash them to release their juices and their flavor!  In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.  Add additional salt and roasted red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.

Home Made Salsa

The salsa recipe was also inspired by the Food Network, as well!  Alton Brown is a genius.  I like a more pared down salsa.  I’m sure his recipe would have been great.  I just made what I was sure that we would eat.

Ingredients

  • 6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 seeded and minced spice pepper (jalepeno or something.  I used a pepper from Sean’s garden and neither of us know what it is called).
  • 1seeded and minced pepper (again, i can’t remember what it is called but I bought it tonight from whole foods and it was rather large)
  • 1/2 white onion, fine chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Chili powder, salt, and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh scallions, cilantro or parsley, to taste

Directions

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse to desired consistency.  Place in refrigerator for up to 12 hours for flavor infusion.

Serve with tortilla chips.

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