Game Day Guacamole Dip


So… you’re in charge of making the Guacamole Dip for the big game? 

Well, if you plan on making fresh Guac (and not squeezing it from a little packet), you need to buy those avocados TODAY, so they’ll be ripe and ready on Sunday.

This is my basic recipe for Guacamole Dip. From here, you can get your freak on by adding anything you like: cilantro, tomatoes, pomegranates, shredded cheese, chopped bacon… even mayonnaise (although that always makes me shudder). If you need tips on how to pick out the perfect avocado, click here. Also, my good friends at Avocados From Mexico offer this step-by-step video guide on how to open an avocado without cutting off your finger.

Now, unless you want to serve some lame plastic-tasting guacamole, get to the store now! (You can also speed-ripen those avocados by placing them in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple).



Plated + Served: Mini Quinoa Meatballs with Avocado Dipping Sauce


This is one holiday party appetizer you won’t feel guilty about eating… in fact, it’s actually good for you!

You can’t go wrong with quinoa, that sweet, light South American gluten-free grain that’s packed with protein. Mix it with ground turkey, add a light avocado dipping sauce, and you’ve got a delicious and healthy appetizer: Mini Quinoa and Meatballs with Avocado Dipping Sauce.

You can also serve this on top of pasta with your favorite sauce for a great family dinner.

These little guys are so tasty that, even though they’re low in fat and calories, it’s still going to be tough to practice portion control!

Mini Quinoa Meatballs with Avocado Dipping Sauce



Plated + Served: Matzo Huevos Rancheros


Leftover Matzo. Leftover Easter Eggs. Leftover Salsa.

Mama’s building cultural bridges one meal at a time.


Matzo Eggs Rancheros with Avocado and Cheese

For the unitiated, Matzo is an unleavened bread (well, more like a crisp cracker) traditionally eaten during the week-long Passover holiday.

Over the years, I’ve found that Matzo is a great conduit for leftovers and especially for making a quick snack:

Matzo + Pasta Sauce + Pepperoni + Mozzarella = Matzo Pizza
Matzo + Hummus + Cucumbers + Red Peppers = Matzo Mediterranean
Matzo + Refried Beans + Jalapeños + Cheese = Matzo Nachos

If you’ve never purchased Matzo, you should give it a try. It makes a fun and interesting sandwich for the kids’ lunches and a crunchy alternative to regular chips for dips and salsas. Oh… Gluten Free Matzo is available.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get back to brokering peace in the Middle East…





Extra Helpings: Avocados


Cinco de Mayo will be here in tres dias so here’re a few tips to make sure your avocados are good to go for Saturday’s fiesta.

•Avoid avocados that appear (feel) ready to eat. They were probably part of some kid’s grocery store floor hockey game before you got there. They may be bruised, not ripe. (Ever peel a “ripe” avocado and see black pockets? Those are bruises!)

•Avocados ripen off the tree, so buy them rock hard. In two to three days they’ll be perfect.

•I ripen my avocados nestled in a bowl full of apples. The apples give off ethylene gas, so it speeds up the ripening time just a bit.

•It drives me nuts when I see people squeezing avocados… that’s why they feel “ripe” before they’re ready: too much handling. Instead, try to flick off the small stem (my kids call it the belly button) with your fingernail. If it comes off easily, and you can see green underneath, it’s ready.

•Oh… and don’t buy an avocado if someone else removed the little stem end before you. Rot can set in at the bit of flesh that is exposed.

•Hass (or Haas) avocados go from green to almost purply black when they are ripe.

•If you like the bigger Fuerte avocado, they should have a pale green, smooth skin. The stem end should yield slightly when squeezed gently (augh! squeezing again!).

•Ripe avocados can be stored at room temperature for about 2 days and in the fridge for a week (mine NEVER last that long).

Now, go on out and celebrate! (And find something else to squeeze besides the avocados… how about a couple of limes for your Margarita… or your date!)


I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: