Cultivate California: Foodie Frolicking in the Golden State

Growing up in California spoils you in many ways. The year round sunshine, the endless natural beauty, the ability to snowboard and surf in the same day, and the abundance of fresh, local produce. It’s no wonder people refer to Californians as “happy-go-lucky” and “chill” -there really isn’t much to complain about when you live in the sunshine-soaked golden state. Not only did I grow up in California, but I was raised in the epicenter of the state’s agriculture -the central valley. Where we pick peaches, nectarines, oranges, cherries, and pomegranates (and more) right off the trees in our backyards. Of course, at the time, I had no idea how fortunate I was. It was just normal to be surrounded by sprouting natural produce.

As I grew up and moved to Los Angeles and eventually New York City, I came to truly appreciate my home state and the critical role its farmers play in providing fresh, healthy food for not just our state, but across the U.S. and world. For example, did you know California generates $100 billion in agriculture revenue and provides nearly half the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S.? Or that California grows 100% of the United State’s supply of almonds? Additionally, California is the #1 producer of milk, ice cream and butter. Not too shabby!

I’m also really proud of my state’s initiatives for environmental responsibility. California’s progressive policies, such as cage-free eggs and organic farming have led trends across the world. California farmers and ranchers are also dedicated to using water responsibly and applying sustainable, innovative farming practices.

I spend about half my year in California, and every time I’m home, I gorge myself on all the fresh produce I can get my hands on. California is the ULTIMATE foodie haven. Whatever you want, you can get –fresh and inexpensive. After paying $4 for one pomegranate in NYC, I have never been more grateful for California’s abundance of produce and farmer’s markets.

Another incomparable factor of California is the Mexican food! We’re pretty obsessed with our southern neighbors’ fare, and most Californians exist on any form of Mexican food. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, burritos wrapped in quesadillas -whatever- we love it. So, in celebration of my great home state and our love for Mexican food, I created an easy little guacamole appetizer recipe made with 100% fresh California ingredients. Enjoy!

Triple Layer Guacamole Chips

FullSizeRender (8)These vegetarian appetizers are quick and easy-to-make, and perfect for parties or any time! We also recommend adding additional ingredients like fresh corn and olives for extra layers and flavor.

What You’ll Need

(makes approximately 20 appetizers)

2 avocados

2 red tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped red onions

pinch of chopped garlic

1 cup black beans

sour cream

shredded cheese



Tostitos Dipping Chips

lemon and/or lime 

FullSizeRender (9)
Chop and combine avocado, tomato, garlic, and onion in bowl and mash together.


Chop and combine avocado, tomato, garlic, and onion in a bowl and mash together. Add salt, pepper, and lemon and/or lime juice until you achieve the level of flavor you want.

Boil 1 cup of black beans for approximately 1 hour. Add salt and pepper for taste. For a quicker option, used canned black or refried beans.

Place Tostitos dipping chips on tray and layer the ingredients starting with the beans, then add the guacamole, topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. You can also top with a jalapeno, tomato, or cilantro for extra color and flavor. That’s it! Serve and enjoy.



I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



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Desiree Rabuse

Desiree Rabuse is a social entrepreneur and founder & CEO of StyleFox®. She's a devout bookworm, a fan of "Dad" jokes, and an apparent INTP. She loves snowboarding, philosophy, traveling, martial arts, coffee, and helping people lead healthy, happy, more efficient lives.

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