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John Glenn, the 'last true national hero,' dead at 95

Avocados aren’t just for guacamole anymore

Book: “Absolutely Avocados: 80 Amazing Avocado Recipes for Every Meal of the Day”; 192 pages, $17.99, by Gaby Dalkin. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

What you get: Chapters are divided into Everything You Need to Know about Avocados, Breakfast, Guacamole, Dips & Sauces, Appetizers, Wraps & Sandwiches, Salads, Meats, Fish, Vegetarian and Dessert.

Lots of recipes look yummy. We want to try Avocado Quiche Lorraine (Page 41), the 5-minute Avocado Super Food Smoothie (P. 46), Parmesan-panko Avocado Fries (P. 90), Balsamic Portobello Topped with Herbed Avocado Salad (P. 164) and Avocado-coconut Ice Cream (P. 184).

In her own words: “I like my food to be simple yet flavorful and not fussy. My cooking style is an eclectic mix of California casual with a Southwest flair and a dash of sass,” Dalkin writes.

What we made:


1 Hass avocado (4½ ounces)

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1¼ cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 4-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin and place the avocado flesh in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl with the avocado and cream together for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the flour and baking soda and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and back for 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Assessment: We were so excited to try this cake that we didn’t wait for it to cool. It came out of the pan cleanly and sliced beautifully. The texture is smooth and springy, thanks to all those heart-healthy monosaturated fats in the avocado. It’s quite tasty, but a far cry from your grandmother’s pound cake — the avocado stands out in flavor as well as color. “Wow, this is so good! What is it?” one of our taste-testers asked. I explained it has avocado in it. “It’s so thick and delicious,” she said. Culinary adventurers will probably love this cake; traditionalists, maybe not so much.

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