Thursday, May 21, 2015

Homemade Chipotle Guacamole

Recently Chipotle released their "secret" guacamole recipe to the public. And for a person who recently ended a 30 year strike on avocados, I've become quite fond of guacamole. I've tried a couple kinds of store-bought guac, a local Mexican restaurant's, and Chipotle's. And Chipolte's, by far, is my favorite. It just has the perfect mix of ingredients. Although I didn't care for it on my tacos, it was too much for my taste. But with their tortilla chips... holy guacamole it's delish!

So when I saw the restaurant had posted the recipe online, I was intrigued, and knew I had to test it out for myself. Saturday I gathered all the ingredients and got to work.


Here's the recipe, courtesy of chipotle.com.

Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 jalapeƱo, including seeds (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

I substituted lemon juice for the lime juice, since that's what I had on hand.

Directions:
1. Choose the right avocado. It should feel squishy yet firm (like the palm of your hand), and be a nice dark green color on the inside.
2. Cut the avocado in half and the remove the pit (carefully!)

3. Scoop the avocados and place in a medium bowl.
4. Toss and coat with lime juice.
5. Add the salt and using a fork or potato masher, mash until a smooth consistency is achieved.
6. Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix well.

7. Taste the guacamole (over and over) and adjust seasoning if necessary.

I think it looked pretty much identical to the Chipotle guac! My onions and cilantro might not have been chopped as finely, but all mixed up it's hard to tell. As far as taste... it was pretty darn close! I didn't use quite as much salt as the recipe called for, and I don't like things super spicy, so I didn't use all the jalapeno seeds. Next time I think I'll use more, this first batch could have used a little more kick. But, overall, the guacamole was delicious and tasted just like the restaurant's. We'll definitely be making this again!!



Friday, May 15, 2015

Last Day of School

So yesterday was Harry's last day of his first year of preschool. I can't believe how fast the year went by!

This picture is so typical Harry, LOL!

I am so glad we decided to send Harry to school this year. It was good for him. There was a little rough patch in February and March where he cried at drop off every day, but we eventually found a way to make the process go smoothly. Instead of going straight to my car after leaving, I'd go to the window to wave goodbye. A simple solution, and Harry loved waving back to me.

My main goal for the year was to get Harry more comfortable around kids his age. I think he made a lot of progress, which makes me so happy. I remember the second or third week of school he was so excited to tell me he actually talked to one of his classmates, and now he talks about it like it's NBD.

For the last day the kids had an hour of "regular" class, Harry said they went and looked at the big kid classrooms for next year, and then they went outside to the playground and got to run around. All the parents were invited to come and hang out as well. Ant worked the night shift this week so he was able to come, too. After a quick outdoor snack, we all went back to the classroom and the kids got to dance and sing to their favorite songs one last time. Then, their teachers surprised them with a little ice cream treat and individualized scrapbooks for all the kids. The book is seriously so precious! Tons of pictures along with hand and foot prints, drawings and questionnaires.

To celebrate a great year, the three of us went out to Omega for lunch. Just like we on the first day of school. For whatever reason (the ice cream...cough...cough), Harry would not sit still at the restaurant and barely touched his lunch. The joys of bringing a 3 year old to a restaurant! However, right before bedtime last night Harry put himself in time out, and then when he decided he was done (I kept telling him he didn't have to be in time out), he came over and apologized for not behaving at the restaurant. I mean, come on, is that not the sweetest thing ever!?!

Harry is sad that school is over, he said he wanted to go for more days. But, we've got summer camp starting soon, and we're hoping to meet up with a friend for some play dates soon. And of course a new preschool class in the fall.



Just for fun, the first day versus the last day.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

3.6

AKA... 3 and a half!

5/7/2015

- He told me what letters are on a stop sign, and he randomly said, "t-o-y spells toy." And the other day we were out shopping and saw a cup with the word DAD on it. I showed it to him and he told me what it spelled.

- He crawled in bed with us the other night. In the morning Ant told Harry that it was crowded in the bed with all 3 of us. Harry quickly replied, "no, all 5 of us." Referring to the cat and the stuffed animal he brought with him. We were pretty impressed with how quickly he seemed to add 3+2 in his head!

- Potty training has been going great! Yay! He is 100% out of diapers at home (not counting when he sleeps) and we are now working on being potty trained outside of the home. Harry has worn undies to school for a few weeks now and that's been fine. The other day we did a quick lunch at Whole Foods and will be doing longer outings soon. It is so wonderful to finally see the light at the end of the potty training tunnel!

- Harry knows the difference between right and left. I was surprised at how well he understood the concept. He knows which foot is which, and when we're driving he'll ask if we're going to be turning right or left, and he'll call you out if you try to trick him!

- We had a parent-teacher conference at school. Harry even got his first report card! His teacher was pleased with his progress this year (hard to believe the school year is almost over!). He's usually pretty quiet in class but she can tell he absorbs most of the information that is being taught.

- He has been very defiant lately. A total "three-nager" as they say! He'll flat out refuse to do something, even if we threaten consequences. Like, if he's not listening and decides to run around the house when it's time to go brush his teeth before bed, we'll take away a bedtime story. And then of course, as soon as he calms down he tells us that he wants to listen and be good now. Sometimes we'll reinstate a story, but we really do try to stay firm with our consequences. It's hard, but important to not always give in!


He loves wearing blankets as super hero capes and running round trying to save us

I had no idea Harry knew what planking was... internet sensation of 2011

Monday, May 4, 2015

Springtime Fun (pic heavy)

Last Sunday the boys and I drove in to Chicago for brunch. We chose to eat at the Eggsperience Cafe in Greektown. Ant and Harry had been there before, but it was my first time at the restaurant. I ordered an egg scramble with cheddar, mushrooms and turkey sausage. The eggs were runny, just the way I like them.


After eating we tried to go to the French Market, but it was closed, darn! On our way back to the car we got stopped by a Chicago PD production assistant because they were filming stunts for the show. If you watch the show and see a police chase with a blue garbage truck, we were right there when they were shooting it!





All the cars were going so fast, something you typically don't see on the crowded Chicago streets. It's kind of hard to see, but the black car in the last picture had this huge camera rig hooked up, pretty neat to see how they get those kind of shots.


And then on Wednesday Harry and I drove to the zoo and met up with Ant after work. We had such a great time! The weather was wonderful, and the zoo was close to deserted. Harry's always enjoyed the zoo, but now that he's older, he really seems to get it and was so looking forward to going all week.


A zoo keeper told us the tiger's name is Max.



How cute are these leopards? They were nuzzling and licking each other. Another zoo keeper told us they are hopeful these two will make a cute leopard baby soon!





We rented a wagon for the first time, it was great! So much better for a 3 year old than the stroller. He could get in and out easily on his own and he was able to have all his stuff right there with him.


Harry loves the carousel, the zebra was his animal of choice this time around. You'll see why in a minute.




We brought Harry's backpack just so he could show the zebra. He was so excited to show it off! Hence why he had to ride the zebra on the carousel.




Harry loved taking pictures all day, except when I asked to take a picture with him. Typical ;)


Harry got a kick out of showing a (very dirty) polar bear his Buzz Lightyear and Woody toys!


Hard to see, but the gorilla in the front is cradling her baby. So, so sweet.




Zonked out!


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