Saturday, April 17, 2010


Well, wasn't that lovely?  Let me back up about a week and a half and tell you about my latest PC adventure!  As everyone who reads any of my work knows, I have zero patience for my computer anyway.  It is the bane of my existence really.  I write so unfortunately, I'm always sitting here..waiting impatiently for my computer to do what I want it to do immediately...which almost never happens.

So, here I sit last Wednesday morning, writing an article for the Cape Coral Daily Breeze and right in the middle of it I am rudely interupted by a flicker, a slow screen flash and then a DOS screen.  I KNEW that could not be a good sign!  I'm staring stupidly at line after line of computer gibberish and wondering what happened when suddenly...there it is...THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH! 

To say that I broke down and blubbered like a baby would be an understatement.  The blue screen of death is a writer's worst nightmare because the first thought that goes through your head is "when was the last time I backed up my files?"  In my case it had been (hanging head in abject shame) about six months.  I called the local computer fix it guy and he calmed me down, told me to bring my errant tower in to the shop and not make myself sick with worry. 

The short computer was so full of viruses that it basically just shut down.  I erringly assumed that only people who surf porn get that many viruses.  Anyway, he explained to me that some smart worm or whatever it was insinuated itself in here and mimicked a windows screen asking me some question about my firewall in which "no" was actually the right answer to turn off my virus protection.  The good news is that he did indeed retrieve all my files, extracted and washed them, wiped my hard drive clean and then put my files back in.  I've just spent the last week putting back in all my programs and getting settings and auto fill stuff all back to the way I had it.  My computer is still the bane of my existence!

For those who follow my fan page on Facebook, you know that I am working on cooking my way through my vegan cookbook and taking pictures this time.  I actually MAY (keeping fingers crossed) have a publisher at long last and I'm not happy with the orignal files because I used little clip art renderings instead of real pictures.  Who knew right?  Anyway, I have also decided to make the book Vegetarian AND Vegan.  The recipes that use dairy and eggs will have a note about how to adapt them to a vegan diet.  I have been posting 5-7 pictures of each dish and asking my fan page friends to vote on which one should go into the book.  Its actually kind of fun!

Needless to say, I'm doing a lot of cooking/messing around in my kitchen which cuts into my writing time.  So I do apologize but I'm offering a sneak peak of one of the recipes in the book as a peace offering for being a bad blogger the last couple of weeks.

I had a couple of perfectly ripe avocados sitting on my counter just begging to put into a recipe today.  I love guacamole but its something that everybody and their brother makes.  My Sweet Avocado Butter is quite lovely but again...its old news.  Yesterday, I actually picked 6 strawberries off my OWN container garden vines so I decided to make Strawberry Avocado Salsa.  The twist is some freshly squeezed Florida orange juice and strips of zest.  I added a tiny squirt of raw agave and it was heavenly.  Here is the recipe.

Strawberry Avocado Salsa

  • 6-8 fresh ripe organic strawberries
  • 1 ripe haas avocado
  • two tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest strips
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste) raw agave syrup
  1. Cut strawberries into chunks.  Peel and dice avocado.  Place in a small bowl and toss gently with orange juice, lime juice, orange zest and agave.  Enjoy with easy baked corn chips.
I buy fresh corn tortillas, cut them into wedges and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp.  You can spritz with a little olive oil if desired before baking.

I don't recommend making a big bowl of this salsa ahead of time.  Make just what you are going to eat for two reasons.  Number 1, oxidation makes the avocados turn brown no matter how much citrus you put on them.  Number 2, you get the maximum amount of nutrients from fresh fruits and veggies if you eat them as soon as they are cut. 

Here are a few more pictures. 

this stuff is's so fresh and fabulous!

Doesn't that make your mouth water?

(c) copyright Jill Anderson
The Homegrown Gourmet


  1. Nice Jilly, I love the way avocado is so buttery and mild that it can be sweet or savory. I'm going to make this salad sometime this week to officially start the summer!

  2. Thanks Stella! I have to be honest, it was so good that I ate the whole dish...and didn't feel the least bit guilty about it.

  3. Strawberry and avocados! That looks soooooo good. And I hear ya in the computer hatred department.

  4. Honestly, Im surprised mine isn't sitting at the bottom of my pool by now!

  5. Sounds like you need a Mac. Seriously, I switched from PC to Mac and the difference is incredible. Oh, and the recipe looks great too. Congrats on your publisher and my best to you for your continued success!

  6. Thanks Marly! My oldest daughter uses a Mac and she tells me that "once you go never go back." Im just not sure I'd be patient enough to learn a different system at my advanced age..LOL

  7. Oh my goodness! I've never thought to combine avocado and strawberry. The textures and tastes seem perfect for each other. I can almost taste it now. So divine. I must try this!

    Thanks for the great idea... - Toya

  8. Hi JillyAn,
    First - OMG BIG HUGZ!!!!! I can't believe your computer just shut down like that... :( But, it's fabuloso to hear that everything turned out in the end.
    Second - this salsa looks amazing!!! I can't wait to go berry picking this summer because the strawberries at the store are just not sweet at all. They're gorgeous in colour but they taste, now let's be honest, like crap. Thanks always for sharing :)


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Fort Myers, Florida, United States