I ran into my old friend Nina at the library the other day. She was patiently teaching her 3 year old to read while I was sitting there perusing a book called Screamfree Parenting.

No lie.

Nina knows I like to cook. We used to be in a babysitting co-op together and every time someone in the group had a baby, we’d take turns bringing dinners to their family.  I must have brought her a real humdinger when she had her 2nd bambino because that was over 3 years ago and she still remembers it. Either that or the poor thing is just used to eating crap. Who’s to say? But I’m going to assume the best, because Nina’s a sweet girl and a straight shooter.

Now, I don’t know if I’d call myself a good cook, per se… but I do know a tasty recipe when I see one, and I am damn good at following directions. Just don’t put me in Kitchen Stadium up against Chefs Mario and Bobby and expect me to make a flan out of ostridge eggs and squid ink.

Anyheeee, long story longer, Nina suggested I include more recipes on my blog. And she specified, “real food… not just doughnut cakes and Vajazzled Valentine Vulva Candies.”

So Nina, your wish is my command. I will happily share some of my favorite recipes, as long as you all sign a waiver that you won’t tell my Italian mother in law.

You see, most of my best recipes come from her, and she would probably want me to keep them “in the family,” if you know what I mean. Or in the words of Michael Corleone:

“…don’t ever take sides, with anyone, against the family again. Ever.”

Look, can I be honest? There’s another reason you can’t tell my mother in law about the recipes you find here. I have shared my recipes with her in the past and it never works out. Unlike me who has to follow a recipe to the letter, my MIL has never met a recipe she couldn’t alter, and not always for the best. The woman is fearless about changing or omitting key ingredients. Then she’ll serve her “new and improved” dish at a family gathering, and as I’m watching people gag over her bastardized version of my formerly delicious black eyed pea salad, she sweetly gives credit where credit is due: “It’s Iris’s recipe.” Thanks Mom.

Okay, so do we have a deal? That means you too Teresa. Remember what Jimmy Conway said in Goodfellas:

“…never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.”

Enough with the mafia references. I like a good stereotype as much as the next girl, but let’s move on. How about something easy and Mexican.

Iris’s “I’m Gonna Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse” Guacamole:

I whipped this up last night to go with the horse-head tacos bean burritos we had for dinner. This is one of my favorite sides and I make it about once a week. It’s really easy and delicious. Plus, it’s super healthy because it is 100% fresh, raw, and vegan. Don’t worry about the fat content of the avocado. It’s good fat…keeps your skin hydrated and your brain lubricated. Or as Clemenza would say:

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”


  • Two ripe avocados, roughly mashed with fork
  • 1/4 sweet or red onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed and minced
  • freshly squeezed juice of one lime
  • small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • good pinch of sea salt (I use pink Himalayan ~$1.99 @ Trader Joe’s)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Mix together all ingredients and serve immediately with corn chips, fresh veggies, or Mexican food.

Bon appetit, and mum’s the word. Wink wink, {secret handshake}.


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.