A typical block party is when a neighborhood comes together to celebrate an occasion worth celebrating. And last night, Lisa hosted Cranium night. We didn’t seal off a block in Long Beach, but we did close down Lisa’s place for a night of foolishness that included Cranium play-offs, Xbox Dance-a-thon and a whole lot of eating.
We opened the evening with a Mexican inspired fare of beef and/or chicken tacos, fresh chips, fresh salsa and fresh GUACAMOLE! The beef and chicken were purchased from my local meat market and grilled at chez Lisa’s. The chips and salsa were from a restaurant we typically frequent.
All photos courtesy of Andy Hope
However, the highlight of the night was my GUACAMOLE! Some elbow grease, 10 avocados and my power ingredient—cumin, hailed from the toughest critics, enduring praise, admiration and munching. Recipe below.
After dinner festivities were all about Cranium. If you aren’t familiar with the game, get with the program. It’s the ULTIMATE board game that includes charades, Pictionary, trivial pursuit and more to keep the momentum going all night long.
We concluded the game with a hot cup of Ibarra, served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and sprinkling of cinnamon. When I prepared the hot chocolate, I added a couple dashes of cayenne pepper and a lot of cinnamon to the hot mixture. The heat of the cayenne complimented the chocolate perfectly. I think everyone dug the cayenne.
A spicy ending to a great night.
Guacamole Recipe (scaled down version) serves 3-4
3 ripe avocados
Juice of 1 good sized lime
1/3 cup red onions (finely diced)
1/3 cup Roma tomatoes (diced)
1/3 cup cilantro (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely diced)
Half a jalapeño with a few seeds (finely diced)
1/2 heaping teaspoon of cumin
1/3 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Reserve a seed to keep dip from browning.
(adjust seasonings to taste)
Scoop the ripe avocados from their shells into a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and lime juice to the avocados and mash with a fork or masher. Mash to desired consistency. We like ours smooth-chunky.
- Fold the fresh ingredients into the mashed avocado. Put in the seed. Serve with chips or eat with a spoon.
Or—a guacamole recipe sufficient to feed 10-12 people
10 ripe avocados
Juice of 3 fat limes
1 cup red onions (finely diced)
2 Roma tomatoes (diced)
2/3 cup cilantro (chopped)
2 jalapeños some seeds and vein (finely diced)
2 teaspoons salt
1 head of garlic (finely diced)
4 heaping teaspoons of cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper