My friend Craig makes great guacamole!  He graciously agreed to share his recipe and photos.  Congrats Craig, on being Simply Delighting’s first guest blogger!!!

Most store-bought guacamole has a ton of ingredients that are not needed.  Here is how to make your very own guacamole
without sacrificing taste.

For this recipe you will need 4 ripe avocados, a lime, 2 roma tomatoes, garlic, an onion, salt and pepper.

First, cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds and set aside for later.  Scoop them out and into a large bowl.

Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Roughly chop the onion and garlic.

Add the juice of the lime.  Put as much salt and pepper into the bowl that you think is reasonable (Remember, you can always add more later).

Mix everything up until there are only some small chunks of the avocado visible.

Once everything is mixed together, bury the seeds into the guacamole (this helps the avocado stay fresh longer).

Serve chilled and enjoy!


Catching Up–Chocolate Chip Cookies

Time to catch up!!!  I was away for a little bit visiting my parents, and did a lot when I was at their house.  My Mom, who is an amazing woman and mother, and I spend hours talking about recipes, crocheting, and many other things.  I was able to bake and cook whatever I wanted–working in my Mom’s kitchen is like having a grocery store at your fingertips and she has any kind of kitchen gadget, appliance, or dish/pan ever made.  However, of all the things I made, I think the most enjoyable thing I made was chocolate chip cookies. 

My Mom hates to make cookies.  She hates to put them on the pan and take them off…that is the only reason.  To make this worse, she is married to the original cookie monster, my Dad.  He couldn’t remember the last time she made him cookies (don’t worry, he still has some kind of dessert most nights!).  So…this post is for him.  Chocolate chip cookies…to my Dad with love.

Cream together 1 cup butter (using butter is the key to making these cookies), 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup sugar.

Beat in 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

With a wooden spoon, slowly mix in 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  After the flour is incorporated, add a bag of milk chocolate chips (yes, use milk, not semisweet…it makes all the difference).

My mom swears by parchment paper, and after using it, I agree.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes.  Do not overbake…the cookies will become hard.

Cookies are done when they turn just a light golden brown.  Let them rest for 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet.

Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Let cookie sheets cool completely before dropping more dough on sheets to bake. 

Raspberry Jelly Roll

Raspberry jelly roll just screams yummy!!!  And believe me it was.  This recipe is very easy to make too!

The Cake

In a mixing bowl, beat 4 eggs until they are very light yellow, about 5 minutes.  Add 3/4 cup sugar and beat until smooth.  Beat in 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt.

Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray, and then line the pan with wax paper.  Spray the wax paper with cooking spray and pour the batter in the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes.  Immediately after taking the cake out of the oven, flip onto a kitchen towel dusted with powdered sugar.  Remove the wax paper, and roll the cake in the towel and cool completely.

While the cake is cooling prepare the filling.

The Filling

Combine one 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese and 4 tablespoons of softened butter until smooth.

Add 1/2 cup of lemon curd and 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar.  Beat until the filling is smooth and fluffy.


After the cake is cooled, unroll it from the kitchen towel.

Spread the filling over the cake.

Arrange the raspberries (or any other fruit) over the filling.

Carefully, starting at one end, roll the cake up.

The side view.

Dust the jelly roll with powdered sugar, and chill before serving.  Keep refrigerated.



Zucchini Bread Recipes

These are the recipes from my post on Sept. 2.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

1 cup oil

3 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 8 ounce can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in remaining ingredients.  Bake in greased pans at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove to wire racks to finish cooling.  Makes 2 loaves.  Keeps well in freezer.

Lemon Zucchini Bread

4 cups flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 package (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

1 cup oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups shredded zucchini

1/4 cup poppy seeds

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, lemon juice and vanilla.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the zucchini, poppy seeds and lemon peel.  Bake  in greased pans at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove to wire rack to finish cooling.  Makes 2 loaves.  Freezes well.

Pie Pumpkins

Today my Mom and I processed pie pumpkins to be used to make breads for the holiday season.  The pumpkins were from my Dad’s garden. 

Pumpkins washed and ready to be gutted.

First, cut the top out of the pumpkin (about a 5 inch circle)–just like you would if you were going to carve it for Halloween.  Remove the seeds and pulp.

It is easier to cut the pumpkin in half and use a serving spoon to remove the pulp. 

After the pumpkin is completely cleaned, place skin side up on a baking sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack until the pumpkin is cooled down enough to handle.

After it has cooled to touch, peel the skin off of the pumpkin pieces.

Puree pumpkin in a food processor until it is baby food like consistency.

Package 2 cups of pureed pumpkin in freezer safe containers.  When you want to make pumpkin bread, just thaw and it is ready to use!


So many things….

Today has been a busy, productive day.  We (my Mom and Dad and I) did a lot of projects…too many to list in detail on Simply Delighting, but instead check out the photo highlights of some of the projects!  Enjoy!

Canning homemade spaghetti sauce

Tomatoes fresh out of my Dad’s garden. 

More tomatoes.  My mom does all the cutting of the tomatoes…

My Dad does the juicing.  This juicer seriously had been around since I was very young.  It’s my Dad’s job to set it all up and get it ready.  I can’t tell you how many summer weekends I remember standing on a chair dropping tomatoes in the funnel and pushing them down with the plunger while he turned the crank on the juicer. 

This is the stuff we are after.  It’s unbelievable how many tomatoes it takes to get a kettle full of juice!

Adding the other ingredients…that was my job.  We, of course, used herbs that my Mom grew in her herb garden.  After cooking the sauce down pretty much all day, my Mom then pours it into the jars.  She won’t allow anyone else to do it, even now.  Altogether she made 7 quart jars. 

Zucchini Breads

Lemon Zucchini Bread–I had to break in my Mom’s super beautiful Kitchen Aid Mixer.  This bread made the whole house smell so yummy lemon-y!!!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread-this recipe also has crushed pineapple in it.  YUM!!!!!!!

Bread ready to freeze.  My Mom freezes a lot of this bread for the holiday time.   Altogether we had 7 mini loaves of chocolate chip zucchini and 5 mini loaves of lemon zucchini.

If anyone one wants the recipe–leave me a comment and I will post it!