…And Ariel made the fajitas (and Alex hung out with us but ate some vegetarian-friendly meal)!
There is little I love more in life than an impromptu, Mexican-themed meal. Throw a couple of good friends into the mix, and you have the ingredients for a terrific night.
The dynamics of my friendship with Ariel
(I’m in the mood for headings)
This past Sunday, Ariel invited me over to her house (my old house) for a taco dinner. Obviously, I accepted. It was Ariel’s turn to make me something anyways. You see, the two of us have a payback system that never involves the exchange of money. I make Ariel supper? She makes me supper in return. Ariel buys me an oat fudge bar from Starbucks and a fun popsicle after I forget my wallet at home? I buy her a movie ticket at the Mayfair. It’s a good system. Yesterday we even had a muffin exchange at lunch. This is why we are friends.
When brainstorming things to make on Sunday, I came across two recipes on Tastespotting.
The first was for a chilled guacamole soup. I was intrigued. I had never made guacamole before, but am passionately in love with avocados. I figured I’d try this one out, and cart it over to Ariel and Alex’s as an appetizer. It was super easy to make (it took 20 minutes + chill time) and gave me an excuse to buy and munch on my favourite fruit.
But don’t get me wrong – this soup was not made without sacrifice. Oh whatever do I mean? Well, you know how a few blog posts back I mentioned that you need to wear gloves when you cut jalapeno peppers? I decided to disobey my own advice, promising that I would be careful and not burn my fingers.
Good news: I didn’t burn my fingers.
JUST EVERY SINGLE PART OF MY FACE, INCLUDING EYELIDS, NOSE AND FOREHEAD.
Pain and agony. Whine, whine, whine.
Okay, I’m over the pepper burns.
I spotted these “muffins” shortly after the soup discovery. Why the air quotes? It’s because these were more or less cupcakes. I’m sorry, anything with the term “double chocolate” in its name has no choice but to be excluded all together from the muffin category. The addition of the chipotle spice was simply an excuse for me to use more of that $8 bottle of chipotle chili pepper that I bought when I made my Cinco de Mayo brownies (yes, I realize that these are the muffin equivalent of that dessert, shh).
I decided that if I was going to classify these as dessert, I might as well go all out. I scooped out the top and plopped in a spoonful of ice cream. Great summer dessert. In true west coast fashion, Ariel had blackberries with hers.
Final note: the vanilla I used for the cuppins wasn’t just any old vanilla. When I babysat for this family the other week (the girls and I made 50 cupcakes from scratch for their school classes, but that’s another story…), the mom gave me a bottle of homemade vanilla extract. It was made with boiled down Grey Goose vodka and real vanilla beans (which were still sitting in the bottle). So awesome.
PS: Oh old front porch, it was good to be back. I missed standing on a chair to take photos (not).
Recipe: Chilled guacamole soup
Adapted from All Day I Dream about Food
– 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
– 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
– 2 clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
– 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped (WITH CAUTION)
– 1/2 tbsp lime juice
– 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (although the original recipe recommends cilantro, but I (a) don’t really like cilantro, and (b) forgot to buy some)
– 1/4 tsp salt
– ¼ tsp pepper
– 2 tbsp whipping cream
– Grated cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream, for garnish
In a food processor combine 1/3 cup of chicken broth with avocados, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and parsley. Puree until smooth. Add remaining broth, salt and pepper, blend. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in whipping cream. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Divide soup among bowls. In the center of each bowl, dollop sour cream and salsa. Sprinkle each with grated cheese.
Makes 3 servings.
Recipe: Double chocolate chipotle muffins
Adapted from College Girl Cooking
– 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 3 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1 tsp chipotle chili pepper
– 3/4 cup granulated sugar
– 3/4 cup milk
– 1/4 cup sour cream
– 1/3 cup vegetable oil
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine milk, sour cream, sugar, oil, egg and vanilla.
Using a mixer, slowly add the flour mixture to the larger bowl. Mix in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into lined muffin tins, filling each up about 3/4 of the way.
Bake for 20ish minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Makes 14 muffins.