Here's a recipe for an easy and welcome starter for any party. Ripe, soft avocados are essential. This recipe serves six to eight as an appetizer.

Guacamole

Ingredients

3-4 ripe avocados
1-2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tbsp. minced chives
1 small tomato - cubed salt to taste
salsa

Directions

1. Find the ripest avocados you can - they should be soft when squeezed gently, with dark-green skin. Avoid brown avocados, which are too ripe.

2. Cut each avocado in half, working around the large, smooth pit. Separate the avocado halves and remove the pit.

3. Scoop the avocado flesh out of the skins.

4. Use a fork to mash the avocados until smooth - some chunks are OK. Use a food processor for large amounts of avocado if you like, but avoid overprocessing.

5. Add minced fresh garlic, lemon juice, chives and cubed tomato. Add salt and salsa to taste, if desired.

6. Serve immediately with tortilla chips
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