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Archive for May, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Avocado Recipes From Breakfast Through Dessert


How cool is Avocado Jell-O? Photo
courtesy Avocados From Mexico.

  The popularity of guacamole suggests that most of us really like avocados.

We like them so much, we eat a half at breakfast or lunch, straight from the skin. Sometimes we’ll sprinkle on some balsamic vinegar. But just like any fruit, avocados are delicious as is.

But limiting our intake to guacamole and salads, we weren’t taking full advantage of the fruit.

So we browsed through the recipe section of and discovered scores of recipe ideas—from Avocado Jell-O to Avocado Caprese Salad.

As good as a regular Caprese salad may be—slices of tomato and mozzarella plus fresh basil—it’s even better with slices of avocado added to the recipe.

Tonight, we’re making the Layered Guacamole Dip with roasted garlic hummus, sour cream and chopped cherry tomatoes. Maybe we’ll try the Avocado Margarita with it.

There’s also an Avocado Pie!

Expand your repertoire of avocado dishes. Check out the appetizers, beverages, breakfast recipes, desserts, dips, mains, salads, sandwiches and wraps and soups.


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PRODUCT: Otis And Betty’s Snack Mix

Do you like crunchy snacks? Sweet, crunchy snacks? With tang and heat?

Welcome to Otis And Betty’s. It’s a bit of a “warning welcome,” since once you start eating these multi-textured and -flavored snacks, it isn’t easy to stop.

O&B’s are all-natural, Chex-style mixes, made from different flavors of Chex, honey-roasted almonds and pecans, pretzels, honey-rosasted sesame sticks, honey and spices. Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, cayenne and other spices add layers of flavor.

Five varieties include Original; Cin-ful, redolent of cinnamon; Get Rich, drizzled with white and milk chocolate; Meet Jack, with a bit of Bourbon flavor; and Smokin’, with barbecue seasoning.

We recommend sticking to the 2-ounce bag, or else the 7.5-ounce bag may become a “single serving.” The smaller size makes a tasty party favor.

We love to snack on Otis & Betty’s mixes.
Photo by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.


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TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Ramps (Wild Leeks)

Ramps, or wild leeks. Photo courtesy

Ramps are in season through next month, and they are worth seeking out.

Ramps are wild leeks—also known as spring onion and ramson. In French, they are called ail des bois, garlic of the woods, because of the combined garlic-onion flavor.

They grow wild and are found in clusters. The entire plant is edible, from the broad, smooth, green leaves to the scallion-like bulb.

Since ramps grow wild, they can easily end up in a yard—where they are typically pulled out and thrown away, not only for their unwelcome leaves but for their strong garlic aroma. If you notice a plant by this description, check further—it could go into the kitchen instead of the composter.

While ramps can be enjoyed in any recipe that uses a member of the onion family, we enjoy the easiest and most elegant preparation: simply sautéed. Combine ramps with asparagus for a heavenly spring feast. Toss thin slices into a salad, add them to eggs, look for recipes on line. You’ll love this “discovery” and will eagerly await spring ramps going forward.

While many people refer to the vegetable as “wild leek,” the name “ramp” is popular in the East. It comes from England. One version of the name source attributes a folk name, “ramsen,” the plural form of hramsa, an Old English word for wild garlic. Early English settlers of Appalachia—a prime ramp region—used the term, which later was shortened to “ramp.”


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RECIPE: The Easiest Strawberry Shortcake

May 21st is National Strawberries And Cream Day.

Take advantage of the beautiful strawberries in season to make these easy yet elegant individual strawberry shortcakes in silver cupcake wrappers.

People will think you worked for hours on this recipe. But all you do is buy the strawberries and pound cake, whip the cream and assemble.

The recipe is from the book, Pink Princess Cupcakes, by Barbara Beery:

Strawberry shortcake “cupcake.” Photo by
Zac Williams | Pink Princess Cupcakes.

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TIP OF THE DAY: Berry Good Sauces

Strawberry, blueberry and raspberry toppings
from Photo by Hannah
Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

Berry sauces—blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and strawberry—are becoming popular as pancake and waffle toppers. They’re a fruity alternative to maple syrup.

But don’t stop there. The fruity sauces also enhance:

• Blintzes and omelets
• Breads (toast, biscuits, muffins, scones)
• Fruit salads
• Yogurt

Beyond breakfast, berry sauces can complement baked Brie and serve as a glaze for roasted chicken, pork and grilled fish.

For dessert, drizzle them over ice cream or sorbet. Serve them warm or at room temperature over cobblers, pastries, tarts and pound cakes.

All this from one little bottle!

Think hard enough, and almost every food product becomes a multitasker.

Check out our favorite dessert sauces and toppings.

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