Crispy Avocado Fries with Melty Cheese Dip

Avocado Fries with melty chess dip

It’s starting to look like I moved to New Orleans as an excuse to deep fry my California vegetables, make melty cheese dip, live off Red Beans and Rice, and plate after plate of fresh beignets.  That’s to say nothing of the sazeracs and oysters.

Truth is, I moved to New Orleans for the suffocating humidity alone.  

Not true at all.  No one has ever ever done that.  

We’ve entered into the 12 most beautiful days of the year here in New Orleans.  After living here for one year, I’m talking like I know…

These are the 12 days when it’s perfectly warm with pleasantly bearable humidity, long pink sunsets, and almost cool evenings.  It’s the perfection before the wrath of summer.  It’s… well, it’s what California is like ALL THE TIME.  

Let’s not talk about it anymore… let’s just fry these avocados. 

Avocado Fries with melty chess dip

Can I tell you a secret about free avocados?  

If you’re in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans or Brooklyn you can place an order with the awesome people of Good Eggs and receive a free bag of avocados!  Seems like the very best idea. 

Photographs by the lovely Gabrielle Geiselman with styling (aka throwing food around) by me.  Gabrielle is my friend, neighbor, and fellow avocado fiend.  

Avocado Fries with melty chess dip

Ripe avocados are sliced in half.  

Pit them too.  Do you know the trick?  Here’s the best way to pit an avocado.  It involves a big knife and a bit of gumption.  

Avocado Fries with melty chess dip

Lime, to keep avocados bright green and extra tasty.  

Avocado Fries with melty chess dip

Here’s what we’ll need to coat and batter the sliced avocados.  

Eggs beaten with a bit of water for glue.  Flour, combined with chili, spice, and salt.  Panko breadcrumbs for an extra crisp fried coating.  I mean… if we’re going to fry things they need to be crispy crunchy.  

Avocado Fries with pimento chess dip

I lightly coat the avocado slices in seasoned flour, moisten them with a bit of egg wash, and then go in for the panko coating.  

Nothing too heavy, but every bit of the avocado should be covered in either flour or panko.  Take it easy… just fries! 

Avocado Fries with pimento chess dip

A little flour here.  A little panko there.  

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a ton of oil to fry.  I used about 1-inch of oil in a medium, heavy-bottom pan.  A candy/fry thermometer is key.  We need to keep an eye on the temperature of the oil so that the fries to cook to slowly or quickly.  

Avocado Fries with pimento chess dip

Good and golden brown!

Avocado Fries with melty cheese dipping

To finish the fries:  fresh lime spritzes, Maldon sea salt is lovely, and an extra sprinkling of chili powder.  If you have beer on hand, even better.  If you feel compelled to make an easy melty queso dip…. I mean… YES!

Avocado Fries with Queso Cheese Dip


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For the Fries
  1. 2 medium ripe avocados
  2. juice of 1 lime
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 tablespoons water
  5. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  8. generous pinch of cayenne pepper
  9. 1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  12. salt, lemon, cayenne pepper for sprinkling
For the Queso Cheese Dip
  1. 3 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  2. 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  3. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  4. 1/4 cup whole milk
  5. 1 (4 ounce) can diced milk green chiles, juice reserved
Instructions
  1. Halve, peel and slice the avocados into long spears, it’s okay if they vary in size. Place the avocados on a platter and drizzle with lime juice.
  2. In a small bowl beat eggs and together water. Set aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl whisk flour and salt, chili powder, and cayenne.
  4. In a medium bowl, measure out panko crumbs, salt and pepper. Combine.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, you can set your breaded slices right on the sheet
  6. Dip the avocado slices lightly in the flour mixture, in the egg mixture, and finally panko crumbs.
  7. Clip a fry thermometer onto a medium heavy bottomed saucepan and heat oil to 375 degrees F. Using tongs, lower 6-8 avocado slices into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.
  8. Bring the oil back up to 375 degrees before frying the next batch. Continue frying until all avocado slices are golden brown.
  9. Sprinkle all of the fried avocado with a dash of cayenne pepper and fresh lemon juice. Serve immediately with queso dip.
  10. To make the dip, place cheeses in a medium bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch, and toss to coat. Transfer cheese mixture to a medium saucepan over low heat and add milk.
  11. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is smooth and melted, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  12. Stir chiles with reserved juices until well combined. Serve warm with avocado fries.

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake

Ok… first of all, stop looking at me like that.

Yea, I can see that crazy look on your face.  But it’s me.  The same person that brought you amazing Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls and Perfect Lemon Pound Cake. We trust each other.  We have an understanding.  Just go with me on this.

Something about hot summer weather gets me to thinking (or melts my brain) and brings some strange recipes to the surface.  Remember last year’s Blueberry Ice Cream with Homemade Hot Fudge?  Yea… I got a few strange looks for that too.

Because I still see those raised eyebrows on your face, let me tell you a little about this beast of a cake.  Believe me, I was super skeptical too.

The vegan chocolate cake is dense and moist, and everything you might want from a chocolate cake minus the eggs and butter.  The fat in the cake is almond oil (or anything you have on hand) and one whole mashed avocado.  It’s lovely, and I didn’t taste a lick of avocado in the cake.

The avocado buttercream is a dash more strange.  Yes, it’s bright green.  Yes, the only fat in the buttercream is avocado meat.  It’s sweet with slight hints of citrus.  I had my doubts, but when combined with the chocolate cake… holy wow!  It actually worked!  It was honest-to-goodness delicious!  Not to mention vegan and full of healthy fats!

Your thoughts?  Have I scared you off?

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado

makes 2 8-inch rounds or 2 thinner 9-inch rounds

from Vegetarian in the Middle East

Print this Recipe!

3 cups all-purpose flour

6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used almond oil)

1/2 cup soft avocado, well mashed, about 1 medium avocado

2 cups water

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch rounds.  Set aside.

Sift together all of the dry ingredients except the sugar.  Set that aside too.

Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl, including the super mashed avocado.

Add sugar into the wet mix and stir.

Mix the wet with the dry all at once, and beat with a whisk (by hand) until smooth.

Pour batter into a greased cake tins. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cakes cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling racks to cool completely before frosting with avocado buttercream.

Avocado Buttercream Frosting

from Alton Brown

8 ounces of avocado meat, about 2 small to medium, very ripe avocados

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 pound powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel and pit the soft avocados.  It’s important to use the ripest avocados you can get your hands on.  If the avocados have brown spots in the meat, avoid those spots when you scoop the meat into the bowl.

Place the avocado meat into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment.  Add lemon juice and whisk the avocado on medium speed, until slightly lightened in color and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and beat.  Add vanilla extract until combined.  If not using right away, store in the refrigerator.  Don’t worry.  It won’t turn brown!

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Forgive me, belly.  I’ve done you wrong.  I mean… I’ve done you so so so right, but wrong wrong wrong.

I’ve done you with too much macaroni and cheese.  I’ve done you with ALL of the gumbo in New Orleans, the smothered greens, the doughnuts, the doughnuts again… I’m sorry.  It was delicious so you’re welcome… and I’m sorry.

You deserve a break.  Enjoy this salad.  It’s just about time to start making fudge.  Hold on tight.

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Let’s talk about these green things.

Kale is chopped nice and fine.  It’s raw and fibrous so smaller bites are better.

Romaine lettuce is light and crunchy… chop that business nice and fine, too!

Tangerines and sweet and perfect right now.  Grab those.

Avocados for always, and sesame seeds because we’re going to need something to get stuck in our teeth to embarrass us later.  If you want to leave out the sesame seeds, you might as well go ahead and walk around with your pants zipper accidentally unzipped to properly embarrass yourself.  It’s the way of a Monday.

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

To soften my kale, I rubbed it with a bit of olive oil and sea salt.  It’s a kale massage… a totally normal thing to do.

Once the kale is massaged, the dressing ingredients go into a small jar.

Rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, pepper.  Toss is a tiny bit of fresh, minced garlic if you’re feeling it.

In a jar.  Seal the lid  Shake like mad.

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Citrus segments and avocado are a dream combination.  Bright and juicy meets soft and creamy.  As the salad is tossed together, the orange segments may split and the avocado may mash a bit making these elements a lovely addition to the sesame dressing.

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

More with the sesame, salt, and pepper.

Now is a good time for you to grab a fork.  Your belly will thank you for this not-doughnut-salad.

Not that you’ve been eating doughnut salads… that’s me.  I’ve been all over that.

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Serving Size: 2 large or 4 small servings

Kale, Avocado, Tangerine, and Sesame Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 heaping cups clean and well-chopped kale
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 heaping cups clean and well-chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 tangerines, peeled and divided into segments
  • 1 large ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • coarse sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage the oil and salt into the kale.
  2. Add the romaine, tangerines, and avocado the the bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
  4. In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and pepper. Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until emulsified. If you don’t have a jar, whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined.
  5. Drizzle the dressing over the greens, oranges, and avocados. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!

http://joythebaker.com/2014/12/kale-avocado-tangerine-sesame-salad/

Avocado and Edamame Salad

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You know what’s not a good idea?  Shopping for jeans after an ‘eat weekend’.

Don’t act like you don’t know what an ‘eat weekend’ is.  Don’t act like you haven’t ever eaten nothing but spaghetti and meat balls, doughnuts, onion rings, and mango margaritas for an entire weekend.   Surely I’m not the only one.

Maybe I am the only dummy who would go shopping for jeans after such a gluttonous two days.

Can I tell you the worst part?  The sales dude.  Yea… DUDE.  He insisted on seeing every pair of jeans I tried on.  Um… no way, dude.  No way.

Can I tell you the second worst part?  I had to have the sales dude go back to the floor to get me a larger size in all the jeans I had selected.  Larger.  Yea…  that wasn’t embarrassing at all.

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So I made a salad.

Whatever.  This has nothing to do with the jeans incident or ‘eat weekend’… maybe I just like salad more than I like onion rings.

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I love to pair radishes with green onions.  Mostly I just love the way they look together.

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This edamame salad also has chopped parsley, ripe avocado, a garlic and ginger dressing, and sesame seeds.

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This salad is so fresh (as in cool, duh), and so simple.  I thawed and blanched a bag of shelled edamade beans.  Even cooked, soybeans have a bit of crunch.  Combine that crunch with spicy radishes and creamy avocado.  Come on… you know this is the business.

The dressing is a touch spicy.  Thank you garlic.  Thank you ginger.

Look how healthy and wholesome this is.

What ‘eat weekend’!?   That couldn’t have been me.

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Avocado and Edamame Salad

serves 4 large or 6 small servings

Print this Recipe!

1 16-ounce bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons honey

scant 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1 lime

pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper

1/2 cup sliced green onion

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

5 to 8 radishes, sliced

1 ripe avocado, sliced

sesame seeds

Bring about 4 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan.  Add edamame and boil for just a few minutes, until cooked through but still with a slight bite to them.  Drain and allow to cool.

In the meantime, make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger, lime, honey and salt and pepper.  Whisk together until completely incorporated.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine cooled edamame, green onion, parsley, radishes, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.  Toss together.  Add dressing to desired amount.  It’s that easy!

Salad lasts up to 4 days in the fridge, but be warned, the radishes will start the loose their red color… just so you know.  

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

I think we’re obligated to treat ourselves to some proper summer days this season.  Lazy days with sunshine, iced tea, and a cool breeze if we can get it.

I had a proper Summer Sunday this past weekend, and I have the pink toasted skin to prove it.  I tend to be really bad at sitting on the beach with loads of free time and not even one bar of cell service, but the shores of Mississippi are slowly teaching me a thing or two about slowing down and unwinding.  I’m also re-reading Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways which is very much like food for the soul.

Speaking of food… that’s why we’re here, right?

Hot summer days calls for light and fresh foods… and beignets, but that’s always.

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

I have been craving a shrimp cocktail dish that doesn’t involve cocktail glasses filled with sweet ketchup and dangling pink shrimp.  I found this recipe for something called Mexican Shrimp Cocktail that combines my love for avocado and salsa with my love for shrimp cocktail.  It’s fresh and spicy and I totally used store bought Pico de Gallo because all of that chopping would work up an unnecessary sweat.

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

Ketchup adds a sweet base to this shrimp-y cocktail.  Pico de Gallo is a mixture of tomato, onion, and jalapeño… which adds a nice spice to balance the sweet.  I added lime juice and hot sauce, too.  A generous amount.  Fresh cilantro.  Fresh avocado.  Salt and pepper to taste!

It’s too easy (in the best way ever).

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

I served this Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail chilled with freshly fried corn tortillas.  Extra lime wedges for a kick.  Extra salsa for jazz hands.  Serve with super cold beer if you know what’s what.

Happy Summer to us!

 

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

makes 4 large or six smaller servings

Print this Recipe!

1 pound chilled peeled, deveined and steamed shrimp and tails removed

2/3 cup ketchup

2/3 cup Pico de Gallo

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons hot sauce (like Tabasco or Crystal)

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1 ripe avocado, sliced into chunks

1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped

tortilla chips for serving

lime wedges for serving

In a medium bowl, stir together ketchup, Pico de Gallo, lime juice, olive oil and hot sauce.  Taste a bit of the mixture and add more hot sauce, salt and pepper to your taste.

Add the steamed and chilled shrimp, the avocado, and the cilantro.  Stir to combine.  Taste again and season accordingly.

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  Serve chilled with crisp tortilla chips.  

Recipe adapted slightly from The Hot Sauce Cookbook.  

Bonkers Awesome Avocado Grapefruit and Edamame Salad

edamame grapefruit avocado salad

Most of the country is in a mega deep freeze, and it feels like California just keeps churning out giant grapefruits and ripe avocados.  It’s obnoxious, really. I should keep the fact that I’m wearing a tank top to myself.  California is a spoiler state.

I’m actually toying with the idea of moving away from California.  For a native California girl… that’s a pretty big deal.  I’d need an air conditioner, some sort of frizz control system for my hair, and I’d sooo miss the Pacific Ocean.  Thinking about moving away has me appreciating these mild California days, appreciating the produce at the farmer’s markets, and taking in the laid back attitude.  I’ve always enjoyed it, but now I’m really appreciating it.

We’re all about salads and juice this month, right?  I feel like I’m trying to make up for all of the cinnamon rolls I devoured in December.  Seriously… I had so many cinnamon rolls!  I don’t want my salad to feel like a chore, ever.  That’s the absolute worst.  Every salad should have a few happy ingredients: fresh citrus and ripe avocado, crispy bacon and extra cheese.

In this, the latest Bonkers Awesome episode, my friend Alex and I go on a detox (and subsequent re-tox) kick.  There’s green juice, salad, and bacon involved… so… it’s not like we’re making any serious resolutions any time soon.

edamame grapefruit avocado salad

edamame grapefruit avocado salad

Salad time!  This one is fresh and exciting.  Yea… I’m still talking about salad.

This salad contains fresh avocado, segmented winter citrus (grapefruit and blood oranges, for me), shelled edamame, crunchy celery, leafy greens and a honey and mustard dressing.

Should we talk about how to segment citrus.  The Kitchn always has the best life-hacks:  How to Segment Citrus.

The combination of bright citrus with creamy avocado is just wonderful.  Perfect balance.  Edamame and celery add a bit of protein and crunch, respectively.  Leafy greens because they make us beautiful (so says my mama and she’s never wrong).

edamame grapefruit avocado salad

I’m terribly lazy about making my own salad dressing unless I get to make it in a jar and shake it myself.

This salad dressing is a shaken mixture of shallots, honey, mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.  It’s an easy balance of sweet and bright.

edamame grapefruit avocado salad

In this Bonkers Awesome episode, Alex and I made a green juice (and then spiked it with vodka because we felt like re-toxing our detox). Well, let’s talk about this green juice too!  It seems to be the thing to do this month.  Part nourishing.  Part feel-good punishment.  These glassfuls of green feature spinach, apple, celery, cucumber, and ginger.  Super healthful vegetables with a hint of sweet apple juice to make things more bearable.  I also love the spice of ginger in this juice.  A squeeze of lemon would also be great.

I wrote about juicing last year at this time!  On Juicing.  That’s where you’ll find lots of peppy juice combinations and my home juicer recommendations.

Bonkers Awesome Avocado Grapefruit Edamame Salad 

serves 2

Print this Recipe!

For the Salad:

about 2 cups leafy greens

1 grapefruit, segmented

1 blood orange, segmented

1 cup shelled edamame

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 small (or half of a large) ripe avocado, peeled and sliced

For the Dressing:

3 tablespoons finely diced shallots

1 tablespoon honey (for vegans substitute a bit of agave)

1 tablespoon dijon or whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients:  greens, citrus segments, edamame, celery, and avocado.

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid combine shallots, honey, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a few pinches of pepper.  Place the lid on the jar and shake it up until the mixture is emulsified. Taste the dressing and season to taste, adding more salt, pepper, or acid as necessary.  Pour the dressing (as much as you’d life) over the salad.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Enjoy immediately!

Avocado Pound Cake

tAvocado Pound Cake

I’d really like to conjure up some useful information for you.  That would be nice, right?  I could tell you all about avocados.  Where they came from.  What a lovely shade of green they are.  Why they’re so expensive at the grocery store… you know, things like that.

But you didn’t come here for boring old information… did you!?

I didn’t think so.

You came here  because you want me to admit to eating Pepperidge Farm Soft Bake Cookies…which is totally happening right now.  You came here because you want me to admit to rrreeeeaaaalllllyyyy wanting to watch the season finale of The Bachelor… it’s true… it’s a problem.  You came here because you want me to admit to wearing my big fluffy slipper socks.  The dreaded socks/shoes that will keep me single for eternity.  Well… I’m wearing them and I’m loving it.

So there, friends.  It’s all out on the table.  Now can we talk about cake?

Avocado Pound Cake

Avocado Pound Cake

I’ve baked with avocado before.  Remember the Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake with Avocado Buttercream? Yea… that was intense… and surprising… and bright green.  Amazing.

I got my hands on another round of avocados and made some magic happen.  This recipe makes two glorious loaves of cake.  I’ve cut back on the butter and thrown in some ripe mashed avocados.  The batter is moistened with buttermilk and bakes up with a lovely golden top and faintly green center.

Can you taste the avocado after the cake is baked?  Heck yes you can!  It’s subtle but distinct with a nice sweetness and a hint of crunch from cornmeal.  I love this pound cake.  It’s a home run.

We served this pound cake for The Violet Hour supper brunch with  blood orange, pink grapefruit and pomelo segments and a lightly sweetened rose whipped cream.  Whoa!  Whole lotta yum.

Avocado Pound Cake

Avocado Pound Cake

makes 2 9x4x3-inch loaves

Print this Recipe!

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk

flesh of 1 1/2 ripe avocados, just over a cup to a cup and a half of avocado, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two loaf pans and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.  Set the four eggs out on the counter to come to room temperature while you beat the butter and sugar.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until softened and pliable.  Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add the avocado and beat another minute to incorporate.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is thoroughly mixed.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after the addition of each egg.  Beat in vanilla extract.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour mixture.  Beat just until combined.

Divide the dough between the two loaf pans and place in the oven.  Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.   Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.  I checked my cakes every ten minutes or so after the 30 minute mark.   Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cold Avocado Soup with sweet corn and bacon

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I know what you’re craving.  I know what you’ve got on your mind.  I know juuuuust the thing you need.

Cold.  Green.  Soup.

Sexy right?  Just the thing you’ve been yearning for?  The answer to all of your burning questions?  The great treasure?

Wait…. no!?

Cold green soup isn’t your thing?  Come on…. let me at least try to change your mind.

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This soup starts with creamy, ripe, delicious avocados.  We’re off to a wonderful start!  It’s the start of amazing things like guacamole.  But wait… stop thinking about guacamole.  We’re not making that.

Psssst!  Sneak up top and check out the podcast page for the latest Joy the Baker Podcast!

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Look how pretty food is!

This is going into the creamy, cold, green goodness.

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Sweet corn is worth freaking out over.

Sweet corn with lime and cooked onions is worth triple freaking out over.

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We’re going to cook up all of these pretties and spoon a generous portion into the center of the creamy, cold, green goodness soup.

These corn, spice, and bacon mixture will add just the kick and crunch the soup needs.  Lime?  Zesty.  Parsley?  Bright.

ba love

The recipe is adapted from this month’s Bon Appetit magazine.

They also have a clever corn-cutting trick.  I didn’t use their clever corn-cutting trick.  I prefer to have my corn fly all over my counter and floor as I cut it.

Also… please look at the cover on Bon Appetit.  It’s pietown central in this month’s issue.

How is it that I decided to make cold, green soup?  I dunno.  I don’t.  I have issues.

avocado soup collage

The soup is as smooth as can be.  Avocado blends beautifully and creates a pure velvet soup.  It’s flavored delicately with only lime and salt, so the avocado flavor really shines through.  A generous amount of sweet corn and salty bacon  hash give each bite of this soup a kick of flavor and a touch of crunch.  The soup and hash are a match made in heaven.

Creamy, bright, salty, rich and delicious.  I wasn’t sure I would love this soup… I’ll be honest… then I finished two bowls.  It’s different, and sometimes different is delicious!

Cold Avocado Soup with sweet corn and bacon

makes about 4 cups

adapted from Bon Appetit August 2011

Print this Recipe!

For the Soup:

2 ripe Haas avocados

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons sour cream, creme fraiche, or milk (optional if you’re vegan)

3/4 teaspoon salt (plus a bit more if you’re a salt freak like me )

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water

For the Topping:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 ears fresh corn, sliced from the cob

1/2  jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and diced (I used a fresh cayenne pepper)

4 slices cooked bacon, chopped (optional if you’re vegan)

small handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

To make the soup, place avocado flesh in a blender along with vegetable broth, lime juice, sour cream (if using), and salt.  Blend until the avocados are creamy.  Remove the center from your blender lid, and while blending, slowly add the water.  Soup will be done when smooth, with your desired consistency.  Feel free to add a touch more water if you prefer a thinner soup.  Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.  Place in a container in the fridge while you make the topping.

To make the topping, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent and browned, about 5 minutes.  Add corn and jalapeno and cook for 3 minutes more.  Add sliced bacon and parsley.  Cook until everything is warmed and just browned.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pile about 1/2 cup of warm topping into a bowl.  Pour cold soup around the topping.  Serve and enjoy.  Soup lasts up to three days in and airtight container in the fridge.  

Avocado Orange Salad

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What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had for dinner?

Tonight I had:

Mung beans tossed in butter, salt, and pepper.  Mung beans.  Yea… not ideal.

Frozen corn, made unfrozen in boiling water… tossed with butter, salt, and pepper.

A flour tortilla… while standing over my desk, looking glossy-eyed at my massive to-do list.

A sprig of parsley.  I dunno.  Because it was green and there on the counter.

Water from my water bottle… followed by a hearty slug of bourbon, poured over tiny ice cubes.

… I’m also really bad at re-filling the ice tray.  Future husband, I’m sorry.  I love you.  I hope you hate ice.

And, for dessert, a frozen chocolate cupcake.  I’m about 7 seconds away from going to grab another cupcake from the freezer.  Believe that.

This is what I eat when left to my own devices.  Clearly, I should not be left alone.  I’m not sure how much longer I can survive like this… I’m a complete weirdo.  Someone hold my hand and make me cook you dinner… that’s the only way I eat like a regular person.

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These avocados?  See how nicely sliced they are?  This is the sign that I’m cooking for others, and not just standing in my kitchen eating tortillas.

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I like fruit in my salad.  I especially like citrus.  I super especially like citrus if it’s sliced all fancylike.

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Segmented.  Totally classy, right?

Oranges are easy to segment.  Once the peel is stripped, you just have to slice in between the natural orange segment markers/ skin bits/ pith marks… what the word I’m looking for?

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I made dressing too!

The dressing is inspired by my favorite mason jar/ good olive oil/ fresh cracked pepper/ and Tracy’s mom.

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Salad dressing.  Shaken.  It’s cathartic.   Cats pay no attention.

But wait!  Are my hands starting to look suspiciously 30 years old?  Don’t answer that.  (Yea… they kinda are) ((Don’t agree with that… thanks)).

This salad is simple, bright, and completely adaptable.  Try grapefruit instead of orange segments.  Peaches?  Yes.  Strawberries?  Ok!

Arugula instead of Romaine?  Do that?  Did you say spinach?  I like the way you think.

It’s salad.  No biggie.  Make it your own… then serve it to others.

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I’d also like to distract you with the crazy delicious bread I made to go along with this salad.  It has strawberries on it, and I can’t wait to tell you about it on Wednesday.

Look at this spread!  Wine and bourbon and bread and such.

Avocado Orange Salad

serves 4 to 6 people

inspired by Shutterbean and yummy salady things

Print this Recipe!

For the Salad:

1 large head of Romaine lettuce

1 Navel orange, segmented

2 ripe avocados, sliced

a handful of fresh, chopped flat leaf parsley is also nice

For the Dressing:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 small garlic clove, finely minced

2 teaspoons honey

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 egg yolk (if you don’t want to use a raw egg, 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt is great!)

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

To prepare the salad:

Coarsely dice and rinse the Romaine lettuce.  Place in a large platter.  Segment the orange by first slicing off about 1/2-inch of the bottom and top.  Slice down the sides of the orange, cutting through all of the pith to reveal the orange flesh.  At an angle, slice in between the natural orange segments.  A clean orange slice should pop out.  Easy!  Halve and slice or dice the avocado.  Sprinkle oranges segments and avocado slices over the lettuce.

To prepare the dressing:

Combine all ingredients except the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a jar with a sealing lid.  Tighten the lid and give the ingredients a good shake.  Remove the lid and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Replace the lid and shake until dressing is well blended and emulsified.  Drizzle over salad.  Dressing will last, sealed in the refrigerator, for 3 or 4 days.

Edamame and Toasted Coconut in Avocado

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It’s not that I forget that you darling people come here to read my blog and make cakes, and weird vegan soups.

I never forget it.  Ever.

… sometimes I clam up, and I’m not sure what I could possibly write that might seem of interest to you.

… other times, I just write to myself.  It’s like putting my head in a box, and pretending that I’m the only one in this little blog world of mine.  That usually works.  That’s when I start writing letters to my future husband, or start droning on and on about getting pulled over by the cops.

Can I tell you something real?  (We’re somewhere in between me clamming up, and me putting my head in a box right now…)  Real talk:  I feel the rumble inside.  The rumble usually means that it’s time for a new tattoo, a sky dive, a cliff dive, an international flight, or a shark tank.  Something is rumbling… and I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out.  I do know that my desk is not going to get any cleaner in the process.  That can wait.

Does this happen to you?

The solution usually requires more than salad… but salad will suffice for now.  It has to, until I get my hands on a shark tank (and a shark).

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Have you seen the trend of people baking eggs into avocados?

Yea… I’m not going to do that.  That feels like mush on mush in my mouth.  Perhaps the only two things that could make the baked avocado egg situation right is… tortilla chips and spicy salsa.  Otherwise… no go.

I do, however, have a desire to stuff my avocado with soooommmeething.

Edamame, fresh parsley, crisp red onion, black sesame seeds, and a bit of nori.  This will do.

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Every salad dressing I make starts with Dijon mustard.  This one is married with sesame oil, olive oil, lemon, and soy sauce.

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The simple edamame salad was missing something.

Whenever anything is missing, I generally add toasted coconut… just as a rule.  Success!

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Avocados are art from God.  Well… everything is art from God.

Avocados are just some of my favorite edible art.

cooking with tracy

I made these little salad bowls in the Shutterbean‘s kitchen.

She made bread.  Naturally.

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Tracy also made an awesome arugula salad with apples and arugula.

The lunch of sisters (from other misters (and mothers))… ok, so Tracy and I totally aren’t related at all, whatever.

Tracy!  Thanks for letting me cook in your kitchen!  You’re my Maj!

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Let’s call this lunch.

Let’s call this creamy, crunchy, healthful lunch.  Scoopable with a spoon.  Smearable with bread.  Tupperware friendly.  Don’t let someone swipe it from the office fridge.

Edamame and Toasted Coconut in Avocado

makes 4 stuffed avocado halves

Print this Recipe!

2 ripe avocados, sliced in half and pits removed

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups shelled edamame

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted

2 tablespoons diced red onion

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

2 tablespoons chopped nori (optional)

For the dressing:

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, toss together all of the ingredients for the filling.

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, sesame oil, soy sauce, and lemon juice.  Whisk in olive oil in a slow stream to emulsify.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the filling.  Toss to combine.  Spoon the filling into halved avocado.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.