Monday, October 31, 2011

Jack O 'Cados

Zombie - those are some lovely brains to eat!

Did you know the original Jack-O-Lanterns were probably made out of turnips (in Europe)? Pumpkins are a Native American squash - so when our fore-mothers had to make do in America, you know they probably just looked around and found something easier and cheaper here.  I can just hear a New England (harried) mother saying "Josiah! Don't waste my good turnips on that foolishness! Go get one of those ugly orange things that grows in the forest and use that, for goodness sake!!".  
Anyway -- being a good, North American (harried) mother -- I did a similar thing with my children this weekend.  We had a bunch of local avocados that I was saving to use on top of our chili (our neighborhood has an annual street party, with a chili potluck). So we made some "jack o lanterns" out of a couple of those avocados!  What fun. 
At the party -- we cut out the "Jack O 'Cados" zombie brains -- and ate them on our chili. Yum!

 Cyclops O 'Cado

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recap - Carpinteria Avocado Festival

Seriously - what could be better than avocados, California wine and hand-crafted treasures on the beach? Throw in a spectacular fall day - and it's seriously the California lifestyle at its very best.

Here are some photos of all that was there. Put next year's dates on your calendar NOW and make sure you visit. It was a great event for kids, parents, singles, -- any one with a pulse. ;-)

List of Photos covered: 

  • Avocado Chocolate Truffles
  • Palm Trees on Linden Avenue (Festie Site)
  • Local growers sell premium fruit
  • Loads of bands and dancers
  • Unique foods - like Avo Ice Cream
  • A good mile or two of booths - crafts & food
  • Avocado Pie - new offering!
  • Hit the beach afterwards - surf, boogie board, rest or fish

Next year it's October 5 - 7, 2012. Mark it down now and go!

Palm trees and avocados - Diva's paradise!

Jean-Michel Carre holding a cocoa pod at his store
where he created
avocado truffles for the festival (Chocolats du CaliBressan

A little avocado colored cutie

HUGE premium avocados for sale!

The Diva's little avocados 

McConnell's (local store) makes an ice cream - yum!

A new treat this year - looked super yum!

The owner Ali came out to show the pie

Hitting the beach after a guacamole burger

Avocado colored umbrella at Carpinteria beach = heaven

Diva's son catching surf perch

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Diva Needs YOUR Input - Avo Tour?!

HUGE avocado trees growing near Somis

Do you ever wish you were "the Diva"?! Wish you could do things the Diva gets to do, see, experience, and visit? 
Here's a list of things she is wondering if YOU would like to see, do, experience, visit...
  • Small orchards with several varieties of avocados
  • Beautiful farms and orchards
  • Farm animals 
  • Pick Your Own Farms
  • Historic Farm Houses & Ranches
  • How to Plant/Graft Avocado Trees
  • Amazing landscapes with lemon, orange, avocado orchards - plus flowers, cactus, field crops
  • Bee / Honey Farm with Avocado Honey
  • Mexican restaurants with killer guacamole
  • Gourmet restaurants that will make use avocado-dishes WAY beyond guac
  • Beautiful "vanity" orchards (like vineyards)
    A salsa factory
  • A processing factory (for avos, lemons, oranges)
  • A nursery that specializes in avocado trees/grafting
  • A "specimen" grove (with all kinds of weird, unique avocados and/or citrus?)
  • Farmers Market(s)
  • Certified Organic Orchard/Farm

Would you be willing to list your top 3 "YES PLEASE!" on the comments? 
And help her: what price range would you be willing to pay - for a bus/van, meal and seeing some of these things? 
She is wondering is she should bother to put together such a thing. (We think YES -- but we gotta get her some info...)
Thanks for your input Avocado Peeps! The Diva appreciates your kind help. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Avocado Festival This Weekend!

Who wants to chow down on avocado treats at the beach?! This is the weekend to do it.

The Carpinteria Avocado Festival is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in my FAVORITE beach town! Think Santa Barbara beauty without the snob factor. ;-)

This festival is FREE! No wonder they are celebrating their 25th year of "Peace, Love and Guacamole"!

The festival is known for it's MUSIC - which is also free all weekend. It starts around noon each day - and goes well into the night.

The Carp Avo Fest also has an awesome guacamole contest each year. In addition, you can enter and try and win for the "largest avocado" - if you want more info on the contests, you can contact the festival at 805-684-0038.

Last year - the largest avocado was over 3 lbs! That's a LOT of guacamole right there!

New this year will be a "wine grotto" - so not only can you enjoy all kinds of ways to eat avocados (fried, dipped, smeared, on tacos, on sandwiches) - you can enjoy a margarita, beer, soda, water OR wine this year!

Hope to see you there! I'll be the blond Diva with the avocado earrings!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chef's Treatment of Heritage Avocados

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We'll -- here's 4,000 words from the Avocado Diva's dinner at Cafe Firenze. Chef John Paolone outdid himself using the Diva's amazing, unique, rare avocados. If you attended - leave a comment on what was your favorite dish. If you missed it - another one is going to be held at Chef Fabio Viviani (of Top Chef fame) Hollywood Restaurant on October 20, 2011. Call them at 818-760-7081 to make your reservation. Only 30 seats available - will go fast! (

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