I’m Not Ready To Say Goodbye To The Obamas So I Cooked Their Food

Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP Photo.
When I want to celebrate or thank someone, I take them out to dinner. So, when I thought about how I could honor the Obamas in my own small way, my mind jumped to food, a subject that the family is known to be passionate about.
Barack Obama has made headlines for his seven-almond habit (he's since "set the record straight") and his strong stance on guacamole. And both he and Michelle jokingly gave the country permission to go crazy and eat all the candy on Halloween. Although the Obamas dined at plenty of Michelin-starred and up-and-coming restaurants over the past eight years, they have also shared some notable family traditions in the kitchen. I decided to raise a glass to them at home by cooking three of their most well-known recipes and feasting on them with five friends. Yes, the idea was silly, but it was also my own personal way of saying goodbye. Cheers, Barack, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Sunny, and Bo! I'm going to miss you.
Appetizer Course: Obama's Guacamole (& Chips)

Okay, real talk: There's no exact recipe for Barack Obama's guac. But he did give a basic ingredient breakdown on Twitter, while calling on The New York Times for its very questionable green pea guacamole recipe.
Photo: Madeline Buxton.
I'm not a fan of spicy food, so I opted for a plain red pepper instead of hot peppers (forgive me, Mr. President), three avocados, and a few garlic cloves. This "appetizer" was almost filling enough to be a full meal when you consume the entire bowl, as I did, with two friends, before the rest of our dinner party had arrived. But it was smooth, creamy, and surprisingly refreshing. Also, mashing avocados doesn't require rocket science so, for this non-chef, it was a win.
Main Course: The Obama Family Chili Recipe Barack Obama started making his chili recipe during his college days and it's continued to hold strong as a family favorite. "I can't reveal all the secrets, but if you make it right, it's just got the right amount of bite, the right amount of oomph in it, and it will clear your sinuses," he said of the dish.
Photo: Madeline Buxton.
The ingredients (see full recipe here) are basic — onion, green pepper, garlic, ground turkey, tomatoes, kidney beans, and a whole lot of spices that will add a tiny bit of kick. I chose to serve it over leafy greens, another Obama favorite. (The only vegetable he's admitted to disliking is asparagus, so that stayed clear of our table).
Dessert: Mama Kaye's White & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies Before Obama was re-elected in 2012, Michelle Obama won a different kind of race, for best cookie. While the the presidential cookie bake-off seems like an outdated tradition, it did at least give the world access to the first lady's stellar chocolate chip cookie recipe. The recipe comes from Malia and Sasha Obama's godmother and is indulgently sweet, thanks to a combo of white, dark, and mint chocolate chips. I'm no Michelle Obama, so my cookies came out pretty flat, rather than perfectly fluffy, but you can't really go wrong on taste when your ingredients include butter, flour, sugar, and chocolate.
Photo: Madeline Buxton.
Even though the Obamas are departing the White House this week, these recipes, as Barack has said of Michelle, won't age a day. So, if you're also having trouble saying goodbye, I highly recommend gathering a group of friends for an impromptu comfort food feast, courtesy of the Obamas.

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