The reason I've been away is that I've been moving, and all I can say about that is: you really find out who loves you when you move. In my case, turns out it was my mother. While I like to give my mom a hard time for not being much of a cook, or for not baking my birthday cakes now or ever, the truth is if she were to bake me a cake I'd probably think of the ways I would do it better. And besides, no cake-baking mom would endure what she did in the last week as I/we engaged in the tedious and seemingly endless process of transferring every one of my earthly belongings from one location to another. When I'd thought about my impending move, I'd imagined, get this, a party. My logic was, "If Tom Sawyer can get people to pay him to whitewash his fence, why won't my friends pack my boxes for me? For free!?" My party would involve my many colorful friends, lots of strong and funny men making us girls laugh all while dealing with various tasks I didn't want to, and just when we needed it, h ...

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I seriously considered not sharing my guacamole recipe here. I mean really. There is a recession going on and you never know when I might have to open up a guacamole stand or sell my recipe to some big corporation like Kraft Foods or Mario Batali. But in the name of being a good winner, here it is. First, before i go further, let's be realistic here. There is only so much you can do to--or with--guacamole. I mean give or take a few cilantro leaves here, a tomato there, there's not a lot of room to move. What this means is that whatever you do, it better be good. Like God, the secret to guacamole, is all in the details. Preparing Guac is a Serious Affair My Very Famous Award-Winning Guacamole Getting Started: 1. Buy a  100% lava, authentic Mexican molcajete and . If it has been sold to you as "pre-seasoned," know that you have been had. There are certain things in life for which there are no shortcuts. One is getting to know, really know, the person that you love. Another is gettin ...

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I am moving today, and therefor have no time for much of anything other than pace around the house thinking of all the things I have to do, but I felt I had to touch down here, to gloat, errr.... write about my guacamole victory at the First Annual Competitive Guac-Off on Saturday. I wish I could go into the long version—about how, not liking the look of my avocados at six that morning, I called a farmer (JJ's Lone Daughter Ranch) and had her put aside some ripe avocados for my mom to pick up at the Santa Monica market when they opened at eight; or the molcajete—loaned to me by John Sedlar of the wonderful Rivera Restaurant for the purpose of this competition—that crashed in on itself minutes before competition, and how I came through anyway with a trophy bottle of Casa Noble Reposada Tequila (suddenly I have so many "friends"). For now, all I can do is show you some pictures, stolen some might say unethically, from The Foodinista. In the wake of my win, I was too busy with interviews ...

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Turns out everyone wants to be invited to the Foodinsta's Guac-Off this Saturday. My next-door neighbor, Nick, was over yesterday, grabbing food, which is what my neighbors do because I am always trying to get rid of food, and people--especially single men people--seem to like that. Nick is from Saint Louis, his folks own an old school Italian restaurant there, so we are used to talking pesto and piccata. Yesterday, however, he caught me polishing my molcajete (something I've been doing a lot of lately). He had never seen such a thing. "I guess it's like a mortar, right?" he said, looking at it like some strange sort of beast. "It is a mortar!" I told him. I explained that its name came from the verb "moler," meaning "to grind," which is the base of the word MOLE, and also guaca-mole. I don't speak Nuhuatl, so really I was talking smack, but I think there might be some truth to what I was saying. "Will you teach me how to make guacamole?" he said with uncharacteristic humility. I to ...

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