Friday, September 23, 2011

Crazy, Wicked, 4 Course Avocado Dinner

Do you LOVE avocados?! WARNING - this post will make your mouth WATER and maybe your EYES CRY (if you live far away from Moorpark...) 
Check out this menu by the Executive Chef (John Paolone) at Fabio Viviani's (Top Chef Fan Favorite) from Cafe Firenze
Avocado and tuna crudo, balsamic miso, butter poached asparagus cracked pepper and EVO
- Paired with Mexicola Heritage avocado
 Avocado crab ravioli, blister cherry tomatoes, basil white wine reduction  
- Paired with Morro Bay Late Season Hass Avocado (note: Late Season Morro Bay avocados are prized for their dense, fatty, huge flavor!)
 Grilled pork tenderloin, savory avocado and sundried tomato risotto
- Paired with Lamb Avocado
Avocado panna cotta,infused with vanilla and lemon essence
- Paired with MacArthur Heritage Avocado  
Plus a special avocado martini!
The Diva feels honored that these chefs and the master mixologist are using my Heritage Avocados in their special "4 Course Avocado Dinner" next week.  I dropped off several cases of avocados yesterday. Can't wait to see how this all turns out!  I did get to sample the Panna Cotta - it was to.die.for.  
If you want to come -- call the restaurant at 805-532-0048 ASAP. It's next Thursday (Sept 29). $55 for the 4 course menu plus the martini. (For those of you who live far away... so sorry! Wish you could be here. Let the drooling begin.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Morro Bay Avo Fest

This past weekend, the Avocado Diva hoofed it up to Morro Bay to score the BEST late summer/early fall avocados from a couple of growers up north. Avocados ripen earlier the farther south you go -- so San Diego and Riverside start us out early in Spring. Morro Bay and SLO have the late harvest -- and their avocados are worth the drive and/or searching them out at "in the know" places like Santa Monica's farmers market or Whole Foods (look for Morro Bay avocados now!) OR -- you can try them out on the Diva's website (  I grabbed several hundred while there! 
I was ALSO fortunate enough to hook up with a couple of growers who had unusual varities (the kind I like to call "heritage" varieties):
  • Nabal
  • Bacon 
  • Victor

I will be using these at a tasting (as well as Hass and Lamb) next week at the Four Season's Hotel in Westlake Village. You can join me (and others) at the "Taste of Conejo Valley" .  They will have a wine tasting going on too!
The FINAL avocado festival of the year is the great big, wonderful, 3-day Carpinteria Festival. Mark your calendar for the weekend of Oct 7-8-9 and head up to the beach for the only FREE one! You can hear music, join the guacamole contest, enter the "largest avocado" competition and of course, buy HERTIAGE and Hass Avocados. Check it out here:  Look for the Avocado Diva -- I'll be sporting my green purse and avocado earrings... ;-) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16 - It's National Guacamole Day!

If you live in (ironically - no, not Mexico...) the U.S.A. - today is National Guacamole Day. So live it up. Squish an avocado - add some spices and citrus and enjoy!

The Diva's recipe for "Molecajete Guacamole" was recently allowed into the "Holy Guacamole" hall of fame at Guacamole University. (P.S. -- the Diva has a killer guacamole kit for gourmet type people - check it out here...).

EPIC FAIL alert: One time, the Diva was trying a new avocado - the Reed variety. It is really big, and round (like a cannon ball). She made a huge bowl of guacamole - one avocado filled a whole bowl. And it was AWFUL.  Reed's are pretty watery and light (not much fat). They are delicious sliced and put on a salad. Or blended into a smoothie with other fruits (like banana).  But as a guacamole - yuck.

So what kinds of avocados DO make good guac? Here is the Diva's "highly recommended" list:

  • MacArthur
  • Zutano
  • Bacon
  • Hass
  • Lamb
Check out the Diva's "avocado of the month" type club (called the Diva Club) and you can get all kinds of unique, in-season avocados delivered to your door - so you can make rock'n awesome guacamole too! 

If you just want to "dip your toes in" - try our One Box method and see how amazing fresh picked, unique, heritage avocados can be. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Eat the Skin" Avocados - WTH?!

Check out these "heritage" avocados called "Mexicola". They are from a type of Mexican-origin tree that most modern avocado trees use as the root stock.

I think of these precious, weird, wonderful, unique avocados like people think of "heirloom" tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are weird looking - and delicious! Right?!

These tiny avocados are bright, shiny purple/black and you can eat the skin! Also - the leaves of a Mexicola tree can be used in cooking and as a spice (think "bay leaf"). I also use the leaves to make ice-tea - just boil them up, add some avocado honey - and a unique and delicious drink (warm or cold!). The tea is thought to have medicinal qualities as well (help with kidney cleansing and urinary tract health - at least that's what my Philippino friends say).

Who knew that you can use MANY parts of an avocado tree to cook with and eat? (WARNING: Do not do this with ANY OLD avocado leaf nor tree! Only the Mexicola! Others may be toxic!!)

There are over 500 types of avocados in California - so don't miss out on the wide variety of fruits that can add to your delicious life.

If you'd like to get unique, rare, "heritage" avocados delivered to your house each month - check out the Diva's club at and we'll ship them to you! It REALLY helps the Diva know ahead of time how many avocados to "wrangle" from all her weird, wild and unique ranchers and farmers. And you really are helping us "save" and preserve these trees that could disappear if we don't buy from our small farmers and ranchers. Bless you!

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Product: Avocado Salt

How do YOU like to eat your avocado? Leave me a comment on this blog -- please?! Pretty please?!

One of the most common ways we hear from people is that they like to cut their avocado in half, squeeze a lemon on it -- sprinkle it with salt - and gobble it down. One sweet lady at church pointed out that an avocado is "really green" - meaning, it has it's own little disposable, ecological bowl.

The Diva - well, she likes her avocado with a squeeze of grapefruit juice (why be normal...) and then at least 5 kinds of sea salt (Hawaiian red, Australian flake, Himalayan pink, Hawaiian black and kosher too. Then -- some garlic.

And -- about 14 other spices. Not hot ones - just interesting ones - (she saves the spicy spices for guacamole). Like celery seed. And ground up cilantro bolletas (cilantro gone to seed - takes like lemon).  And 12 others that she won't spill the beans about.

She's kind of picky, that Diva.  And she get's tired of dragging out all those seasonings and grinding them up and adjusting the salts.  So now she has made a special "Avocado Salt" -- and is offering it JUST FOR YOU and other avocado aficionados.

You'll find it on her web site at  It comes with a cute little wooden spoon - made from a renewable wood source. So you can eat your avocado - with Diva salt - in it's own little, ecologically green bowl. ;-)

Order some today!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What does Labor Day Weekend mean for you? For the Diva -- I think of the small farmers & ranchers, who care for their avocado trees all year long. Its hard work - and they are often at the mercy of Mother Nature as to whether all their year-long labor will pay off.  So here's the Diva's favorite guacamole recipe. Make some this weekend and lift-a-chip in their honor. Happy Labor Day!
Diva's Molcajete Guacamole
2 heritage avocados (BEST choice: MacArthur. Also great: Bacon, Lamb or Zutano)
1/2 purple onion, chopped
1 lemon
1 heirloom tomato, chopped and seeded
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon Diva's special Guacamole spices 
Pit and cube/slice 2 MacArthur avocados (or other oily, creamy heritage avocados - see suggested list). Put 1 1/2 avocados into the molecajete and grind into a semi-smooth sauce (a "mole" - thus the term "molcajete" - sauce-maker). Add the spices and juice from the lemon and stir. Gently add all the other vegetables (onion, tomato, cilantro and remaining cubed avocado.) Stir gently so that the chunks are incorporated into the mole. Top with a cilantro sprig and serve in the molecajete. 
1 Diva or 4 regular people
Serve with authentic, restaurant-style corn tortilla chips or better yet, home fried flour tortilla chips
What is a Molecajete? (See photo below)
Remember to use a molecajete for an AUTHENTIC flair!  You can buy them on the Diva's site at - along with her special Guacamole spice mix.  (It has 5 different kinds of sea salt, plus a dozen other herbs and spices!) You can buy a "Gourmet Guacamole Set" that includes both - plus 6 in season heritage avocados, as well as some lemons, limes and fresh chiles.