Pig Blood, Avocados, Irish Moss: The Strange Ingredients of Summer’s Tastiest Cocktails

de1eab1c54dcad0de1379fd33941d3abca09eb8eOdd Ingredients: Avocados, Sriracha Ice Cubes
The Drink: The Cobra Commander
The Bar: The Pig & the Lady in Honolulu, HI

Brunch, lunch, dinner — bar manager Kyle Reutner is confident this playful sipper is a doable choice any time of the day. “The avocado-infused mezcal melds a smoky flavor with a rich mouthfeel.” To balance the intense creaminess of the avocado and agave, he adds Giffard Pamplemousse Rose, which is a red grapefruit liqueur, and some fresh lime juice, plus a pinch of salt to “make the drink pop.” As the Cobra Commander melts over Sriracha ice cubes, it really takes on a whole new life. “Our ice cubes are exactly what you think they are – sriracha hot sauce poured into water and frozen,” he winks.

Read about all the other strange but tasty libations HERE

Black Bean, Salmon, and Avocado Tostadas

Black Bean, Salmon, and Avocado Tostadas 400x400Ingredients:
8 6-inch corn tortillas
Canola oil cooking spray
1 6- to 7-oz can boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained
1 avocado, diced
2 Tbs minced pickled jalapeños, plus 2 tablespoons pickling juice from the jar, divided
2 c coleslaw mix (see Tip) or shredded cabbage
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
3 Tbs reduced-fat sour cream
2 Tbs prepared salsa
2 scallions, chopped
Lime wedges (optional)

Directions:
Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375°F.

Coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Place on 2 baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until light brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

Combine salmon, avocado and jalapeños in a bowl. Combine cabbage, cilantro and the pickling juice in another bowl. Process black beans, sour cream, salsa and scallions in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on High until hot, about 2 minutes.

To assemble tostadas, spread each tortilla with some bean mixture and some salmon mixture and top with the cabbage salad. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

*Recipe adapted from Eating Well

Avocado Fest at Angel City Brewery

noname-126Last year was the first ever Avocado Festival at Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles and this year promises to be even better. It will take place at

During the festival we’ll have great food from, live music, avocados, giveaways, a guacamole contest, and Avocado Ale. Check out the photo gallery from last year to see what a great time you’ll have HERE

Date/Time;
08/17/2014 - 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location:
Angel City Brewery & Public House
216 South Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

 Website

Summer’s Bounty: Top 5 Healthy Foods for Your Heart

tomato-colorfulSummer is an excellent time to renew your resolution for healthy eating. And a recent blood pressure study sweetens the deal, lending support for putting watermelon among top choices for heart-healthy foods.

Celebrate the bounty of summer with watermelon and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Combined in healthy menus, summertime foods can help give you more than just one season of heart health.

Best Summertime Foods to Choose: Dietitians Julia Zumpano and Kate Patton, both of Cleveland Clinic’s Section of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation, put together some tips with the list of their five summertime heart-healthy food favorites:

Avocados: A mashed avocado provides a healthy alternative to mayonnaise or butter. A 1/4-cup serving of pureed avocado provides 6 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and 90 calories.

Serving Tips: Use it as a spread on sandwiches, wraps or burritos, in salads or as a dip. To prevent browning, add lemon juice to avocado flesh.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Chocolate Avocado Truffles 400x400
Ingredients:

1 small avocado
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Sprinkles, cocoa, powdered sugar, or coconut for rolling

Directions:
Place avocado in a food processor and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, add chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl and melt for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Once chocolate is melted and smooth, stir in avocado and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least a few hours.

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place sprinkles in a dish for rolling. You can also use cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or sweetened coconut, if you prefer. Use whatever you would cover regular truffles in! Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop balls of the chocolate mixture. Roll into even sized balls. Roll in topping, place back on cookie sheet. Chill until ready to serve.

*Recipe adapted from Crazy For Crust

Tips On How to Grow Avocados In Your Backyard

avotreeQ: I want to plant an avocado tree in my backyard. What should I do first? — Kim M., Paso Robles

A: The best time to plant an avocado tree in a coastal climate is March through June. Since that window has now passed, take some time to do a little research to prepare for next spring’s planting.

Avocado trees can be tricky to grow. However, if you can master growing one, you will be rewarded with delicious, creamy fruit.

Avocado trees can grow in a variety of climates. However, fruit production for this subtropical plant is best when exposure to frost is minimal. Familiarize yourself with the different cultivars that are recommended for home gardens and choose one that is well suited to your climate zone.

Cultivars best suited for the garden produce a good quality fruit and have a manageable growth habit, which makes for a manageable harvest. Visit the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website for a description of avocado cultivars — http://www.ucavo.ucr.edu.

Once you’ve identified a desirable cultivar for your yard…

Read the rest of the article HERE

Strawberry Avocado Kale Salad with Bacon Poppyseed Dressing

Strawberry Avocado Salad with Bacon Poppyseed Dressing 400x400Ingredients:
6 cups baby kale {prewashed kind}
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 ripe avocado, sliced
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:
Place kale, strawberries and avocado into a large bowl and set aside.

For the dressing, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain bacon on paper towels. Crumble into small pieces and whisk together with remaining ingredients. Drizzle over salad and serve.

*Recipe adapted from LaurensLatest.com

Satirical American Menus: McDonald’s France Parodies American Meals in its Latest Menu

mcdonalds-franceMcDonald’s France’s latest menu attempts to popularize American food culture with an exclusively American-themed spread of fast food choices. The menu, titled ‘American Summer,’ satirically plays off of cultural stereotypes and staple food items that are exclusive to the USA.

The McDonald’s France menu features items such as the ‘California and Chicken’ sandwich filled with bacon and avocado sauce, the ‘Florida and Beef’ sandwich and the ‘Classic Chewy Chips’ side. Some of the items may seem like a bizarre food pairing to north Americans. For example, the ‘Classic Chewy Chips’ are meant to be a cross between a potato chip and a fry.

The goal of the menu is to offer French citizens a chance to experience staple American food items without having to leave the country.

Read the article at its source HERE

Crab and Avocado Phyllo Bites

Crab and Avocado Phyllo Bites 400x400Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
6 1/2 oz lump crab meat
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
15 mini phyllo shells
1/2 medium (2 oz) haas avocado, diced small

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until soft.  Add the crab meat, salt, and pepper, and cook until the crab has been heated through, about 30 to 60  seconds.  Add about 1 heaping tablespoon of the crab filling to each phyllo shell.  Arrange the stuffed shells on a baking tray, and bake for 10 minutes.

Top each stuffed shell with avocado, and serve immediately.

*Recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste.com

PGR Helps Slow Avocado Ripening, Lengthening Marketability

Avocados growing on a tree.  Avocado fruit.  UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.A commercially available plant growth regulator can keep a Florida avocado hybrid fresh longer, a finding that could expand the variety’s marketability. Marcio Eduardo Canto Periera, a former University of Florida doctoral student, looked at ethylene as well as liquid and gaseous forms of 1-methylcycloprene on Booth 7 avocados. Booth 7 is a hybrid of West Indian and Guatemalan avocado varieties.

Known also as 1-MCP, the chemical is marketed by AgroFresh under the brand SmartFresh Quality System. In the study, ethylene did not speed fruit ripening, but the gaseous 1-MCP kept the fruit fresh. Ethylene is a natural plant hormone used to speed ripening, such as in bananas, pears, tomatoes and avocados..

Read the rest of the article HERE