In our house, fall Saturdays are for college football. I grew up in a non-sports family, and I was slow to accept that a significant part of my married life would include College Game Day. After four years of marriage (it’s been eight years since H and I started dating – and some Saturdays it feels like 100!) I’ve stopped avoiding the sports life and started finding ways to make it more enjoyable.
First, I chose my own team to root for: the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, otherwise known as God’s team, or the best team in America. Their gold helmets are beautiful and their history and traditions do not evoke feelings of shame. I’ve even considered getting a Masters’ degree for fun (don’t judge) from ND so I can claim the school as my alma mater. I’m not a Calvinist but I think my love for the Irish was pre-destined. (Oh, yes, I wiggled in a religion joke. You’re welcome.)
Second, I chose a few teams to absolutely root against, such as the Wolfpack of NC State (gross) and the Syracuse Orange (seriously, their mascot doesn’t even have legs – how are they supposed to get a touchdown?). I really enjoy picking winners and losers based on completely arbitrary yet often correct assumptions.
Another thing that is pretty awesome about watching college football like it’s my job? The snacks.
Before the Super Bowl I shared how we prepare and then roast our own non-fried chicken wings, then coat them with our favorite bottled barbecue sauce, and I think it’s a fantastic way to enjoy chicken without all of the oil of a deep-fried wing and without all of the preservatives that come along with frozen, pre-cooked wings.
I’ve always hated dip (sorry Dad for being such a disappointment! I eat mushrooms now!) but over the last few years I’ve fallen in love with homemade chunky guacamole. It’s so delicious, and it is the perfect all-day snack for football watching. It isn’t exactly low-calorie, but the ingredients are all good for you and the fat content in an avocado is much better than the fat content in oh, I don’t know, a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts or a package of hot dogs.
Everyone makes their guacamole a little differently, but we learned to make it from a college friend who I lived with the summer before our wedding, and I think she learned to make it at one of those Mexican restaurants where they do tableside guacamole preparation.
Homemade Chunky Guacamole: A Healthy (and less gross!) Alternative to Dip
Here’s what you need:
A ripe avocado – to be honest, you should probably just buy 3 avocados because chances are at least two will be rotten or unripe. We have the worst luck buying avocados.
A tomato – we put extra tomato in ours but one roma tomato will be fine
¼ to ½ of a red onion, chopped up small
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped up small (or you can just use garlic powder)
½ of a jalapeño – chopped up small (there is a lot of chopping involved)
Cilantro, chopped (this is optional but I love cilantro!)
The juice of one lime
Salt and Pepper
NOTE: The only mandatory ingredients are avocado, lime, and salt. The rest is all yummy but optional.
Here’s what you do:
Chop your tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro and stir up in a bowl. The chopping usually gets pretty messy here.
Cross your fingers and slice one avocado in half, the way you slice a peach. (Here’s a video for slicing avocados. You want to do the option she calls “diced” avocado. Try not to cut your hand off.)
Slice the avocado into chunks while it is inside the peel, and then use a big spoon to scoop the chunks into a second bowl.
Squeeze the juice of half the lime over the avocado, put a little salt and pepper, and stir. You want to mash up the avocado a little but not too much.
Add the tomato/onion mixture one big spoonful at a time into your avocado/lime mixture until it looks like a good proportion. Follow your heart here. (I like lots of tomato and onion but others like it more plain.)
Taste test. I always end up adding extra salt and the juice from the other half of the lime here, because I love lime. You can also use that lime to make cocktails if you don’t need it for your guac, just don’t let it go to waste!
Are you a football fan? Saturday or Sunday football? What are your traditional game-watching snacks?
This post is number 4 of my #write31days project 31 Days in the Pink-Briefcase Kitchen. You can read yesterday’s post here, and follow along with the series each day in October. An archive of posts is available here, or just click on that big button on the right sidebar.