Sincerely Carolina

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The Fiesta Is Gonna Get Ya.

by caroline

It all started with a little Mock-A-Mole. OK … a lot.

By all normal standards, today may be Cinco de Mayo, but it came a bit early in the Shannon household and we partied it up yesterday evening instead.

The reason? Well, I had to make sure everything was yummy, yummy, tasty, tasty before I went ahead and suggested each of you give it a shot. It was, of course, a completely selfless act.

;)

First up on our menu was Bethenny Frankel's Mock-A-Mole recipe. Let me preface this by saying that I am completely head over heels for Bethenny Frankel. Like, if one day she just called me up and was all, "Hey, wanna come work your butt off as my ultra-cool, super-witty assistant?" I would totally board the next plane to New York City. I love that she is self-made, adore her sarcasm and just completely think she's the cat's pajamas.

So, when my mom and I spotted this recipe for Ms. Frankel's low-fat spin on classic guacamole, I thought, "Heck-to-the-yeah, I'm making this!" (We try to keep things PG around here.) Bethenny makes things easy by including several options for each of her recipes, dubbing them "Use what you have" variations. For me, that meant swapping the red onion with white (red gives me terrible indigestion), using a minced clove of garlic and salt in place of the original recipe's garlic salt, and swapping the Tabasco sauce for sprinkled cayenne pepper. I cut back the cilantro a tad because, while I don't mind a little, it is not my favorite herb in the world. I also traded the Worcestershire sauce for a spoonful of salsa.

The funny part is that I made all these changes before looking at her various options and I was thinking I was rather creative. Then, I spotted her variations and realized she had beat me to the punch! The only swap that is original was my choice to use salsa instead of Worcestershire sauce.

Oh, well! More proof that Bethenny really does rule.

Here's what the recipe ended up looking like …

Low Fat Mock-A-Mole (adapted from Bethenny Frankel's recipe)

(Print me!)

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and mashed
  • 1 cup cooked green peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  •  2 Tablespoons chopped white onion
  •  1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 spoonful of mild to medium salsa
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

Directions

Puree peas, but only partially — mixture should be lumpy and still contain chunks of peas. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and add pea puree. Mix and mash ingredients with a metal spoon, until guacamole reaches desired consistency. Serve with gluten-free tortilla chips or crackers of your choice!

You may also try Bethenny's preparation method (I did not have an immersion blender on hand): Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips, whole grain crackers, and raw vegetables.

I served up this Mock-A-Mole, naturally, with a Skinnygirl Margarita for my mom and dad to enjoy. I really wanted to try it for myself, but I could not confirm that the mix was gluten-free. Blue agave tequila is the main ingredient, which is naturally gluten-free, but the "natural flavors and caramel color" was concerning to me because that could include a number of things.

Lord knows I tried into the eleventh hour to figure it out! I checked every online resource I could find, but turned up very little information. I also tweeted Bethenny and Skinnygirl Margarita, but they are all busy gals and guys, so I haven't heard back from them yet.

If anyone else knows the answer that unlocks the Skinnygirl Margarita to this girl's world, please comment below! (As a side note, mom and dad said they are completely delicious!)

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The Mock-A-Mole was completely out of this world. I ate so much of it that I almost didn't have room for the veggie tacos I was making for dinner. (Don't worry: I managed to squeeze 'em in.) This was just a simple mix of chickpeas, onion, corn and shaved carrots sauteed in olive oil and chili powder. I served the mixture on gluten-free white corn tortillas and topped with salsa, cheese and, of course, more Mock-A-Mole. (No. Such. Thing. As. Too. Much.)

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While I was cooking, my youngest brother, Isaac, whipped up some chocolate chip cookies, using Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. These mixes are great for quick baking, and especially helpful when looking for sweets to please a gluten-free kiddo. This one is 16 years old, 6'1" (and growing) and has a serious sweet tooth. There is no such thing as a cookie-less world in his book. So, when we found out gluten was out of the question for him, Betty's were among the first products we tried. With kids, easy and quick is the name of the game, so these do the trick.

Isaac, however, is becoming quite the baking whiz. He made his own alterations by adding another egg to fluff 'em up a bit more, and more chocolate chips because … duh … why not?

A boy after this baker's heart:

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All-in-all it was a wonderful Cinco … err Cuatro? … de Mayo. Isaac's cookies were a perfect topper to the fiesta-inspired dishes we enjoyed throughout the evening and this girl definitely went to bed FULL. I don't ever enjoy the feeling of being stuffed, but I can honestly say this food-filled night was worth it.

Today it's back to Dayton and then I'll be packing for another trip — this time to West Palm Beach. More on that later. It's just go-go-go around here!

How about y'all: Any Cinco de Mayo plans? Yummy recipes you want to share?