We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Great Avocado Truffle Challenge

Helen and I both were interested in a blog post from Golubka where avocado truffles were featured!! I gave Helen the challenge of trying them and she was game. She even invited Barbara and I to her house for a fabulous luncheon featuring, what else?—avocado truffles.

We were amazed at what Helen came up with. Here she is in the gorgeous kitchen of her gorgeous home:

Here's the plate ready to receive the mystery truffle:

then, here's the avocado all coated in various nuts and seeds:

and here's the pan full of the seeds and nuts with the avocado swimming in all that goodness:

open it up and see the beautiful center, chock full of a lovely mango salad:

Here's one of Helen's secret ingredients which wasn't in the original recipe. She thought it would give the truffle some color:

The truffle was beautifully served with some other luncheon items - honey baked ham and turkey and asparagus with dried orange slices:

It was all lovely and I think Helen should get some kind of award for winning the challenge. Haven't figured out just exactly what that will be yet. But I'm working on it.

The next challenge for her is to try something else using that mysterious powdered purple yam. Sounds like an ingredient that would turn up on Chopped!!
O.K. Helen - are you up for that challenge?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why Restaurants Should Employ Proofreaders

Last night we went to the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. What a spectacle. If you've never heard of it - it's where live people (all volunteers) act out famous paintings. Actually, they become the paintings. They have to dress up in costumes and stay perfectly still for several excrusciating minutes. It's pretty amazing.

But getting back to my topic. Before the show we decided to have dinner at a pretty nice restaurant in Laguna. My friend Jane had just come back from a trip to Washington and had visited Dungeness Bay, so of course when she saw Chilled Gazpacho Soup with Dungeness Crab on the menu she knew that's what she had to have. Wait did the menu say crab?

Have a closer look. See if you can spot the typo:

Jane was pretty happy with the gazpacho (which actually didn't look much like gazpacho to me). The menu gaffe didn't stop her from enjoying it.

We're used to seeing these kinds of typos on foreign menus - that have been translated into English with all really funny mistakes. But at this nice restaurant in the U.S!  This is kind of inexcusable if you ask me.

Have you seen the two guys that go around the U.S. correcting typos on store signs, road signs, menus, etc? They've just published a book about their experiences:

The Great Typo Hunt

I guess they never ate at the Lumberyard in Laguna!

P.S. I hope there's no typos in this post

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wormy things from Etsy

Yes, Curtis ate a worm (see previous post). And he's mighty proud of this accomplishment. I thought that he should have something to commemorate this feat, so I've selected some items from Etsy that I thought he or anyone who has ever eaten a worm might enjoy having.

Here are some lovely glasswork worms from Emmagerard  that can be made into any kind of jewelry. They look just like candy, so be careful where you put them, like NOT in your mouth:

I absolutely love this card from Kate Berube. Her artwork reminds of Bob Blechman, a real favorite of mine from year's past. It's just the perfect sentiment for a worm eater, don't you think—nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I'm going to eat a worm?

You're going to love this wormy item. It's from Dbabcock, a really unusual place to rest your soap:

And here's a wormy item for the person who has everything. It's from Emergent Glassworks
a wormy marble!

This is a piece that's sure to be a favorite. I absolutely love it. It's by Gathered Together. What an interesting altered book to set on a coffee table or bookcase.

And last but not least, a wormy teapot from Antware Pottery.

The next time you're presented with a worm in your ear of corn, don't be alarmed. Confront your fear. And think of all the wonderful wormy collectibles that are available to honor your bravery.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My friend eats worms!!

My friend, Curtis Hamilton, just sent me an email that I thought I should share.

Here's what he wrote:
"I have a food item for you. Found a big worm in an ear of roasted organic corn from the farmer's market and to impress my grandchildren, gross out my squeamish son-in-law and out of curiosity I ate it—and found it quite delicious!

I have long found the presence of pests in produce to be welcome reassurance that it is at least relatively free of agricultural poisons but always cut around them. I will definitely look for wormy ears in future."

Other's reactions to finding such a worm differed.

"I put a husk in the microwave. I removed the husk. The ends looked weird but the middle part was ok, yellow and fresh looking. As I was eating, a long worm dropped out of the end. I almost had a heart attack. I am going to avoid corn for the rest of my life. I threw the remaining corn in the trash. I'm thinking about throwing everything out of the fridge. Uggghhh!!!"
Curtis responds:
(Maybe, to be on the safe side, this person should throw out the fridge too.)

Here's another comment:

"Not only is the corn safe to eat, but so is the worm. Corn ear worms are listed as edible, safe for humans, and having a light nutty flavor."

What do you think? To eat or not to eat the worm in your next ear of corn?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chocolate Avocado Mousse!!

There was one thing that really interested me when I read my FREE copy of Redbook. It was an article about Cheryl Crow.  She mentioned that "at dinner parties, I serve a healthy version of chocolate mousse—it's actually made with avocados".

Now that really caught my eye. But did they give the recipe? NO. So frustrating. Inquiring minds want to know.
So I looked online and found several recipes. Thought I'd share this one with you. I haven't tried it yet because all of the avocados I've picked are hard as a rock and heaven forbid that I should actually purchase some. 

This recipe is from Doctor Oz. See what you think.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Serves 6
12 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. chili powder
1 large California Hass avocado, pitted & peeled
3/4 cup light brown sugar
6 egg whites
Combine the chocolate with the cinnamon and chili powder and melt in a double boiler over hot water and set aside.  Mash the avocado and add the brown sugar. Or puree in a food processor or blender. With the machine running, pour in the chocolate mixture. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks using an electric mixer of whisk. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Pour into 6 serving bowls and chill for 1 hour, or overnight.
Optional - add a mint leaf