Finals week is fast approaching, meaning my to do list grows while my time spent sleeping dwindles. Nevertheless, I try to make time to keep my wits about me (I am a columnist and blogger, after all) by spending time doing something I love: cooking.

Perhaps the “Queen of the Kitchen” headline is misleading – I’m hardly ready to cross over to Food Network fame – but I do make a mean grilled chicken salad, Cajun tuna melt or roasted red pepper/black bean dip. But of all the things I whip up, my favorite – hands down – is guacamole.

I got the recipe while spending my 2009 spring break on an Alternative Break Service Trip to Immokalee, Fla., where we learned about migrant farmworkers’ rights. There was this incredible farmers market down the road from where we stayed (check out the pictures below!) and we ended up buying a bunch of fresh fruit and vegetables – and coming up with this tasty guacamole recipe I’d love to share with you. Every time I make it, it takes me back to that lively farmers market, spending time with the kind people of Immokalee.

Immokalee Guacamole

  • 2 medium-sized ripe avocados (they should be dark green and squishy to the touch)
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 2-3 green Serrano chilies – seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2-3 vine ripe tomatoes – seeds removed and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime (the citric acid keeps the guacamole from getting brown)

Cut avocados in half; remove pits and scrape out the soft avocado innards into a large bowl. Add diced onion, lime juice and Serrano chilies to avocado mixture and mush together with a spoon. (Note: Serrano chilies are pretty hot – you can adjust the amount of them based on your tolerance for spiciness. Oh, and make sure you thoroughly wash your hands when you’re done cutting them. I made the mistake of taking out my contacts once after touching the hot pepper juice… bad, bad, bad idea.)

Add diced tomatoes, stir and enjoy. Serve with tortilla chips. Keep in a tightly sealed container – even with the lime juice, it still might get brown from oxidization after a day or so. When this happens, just stir it around and it’ll be fine; it still tastes just as delicious.

Want to read more on dealing with stress? Check out Nicole Dohoda’s blog on her stress-relief tips.