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Suzi and I are on the road. We are in Bozeman, Montana for a couple of days, then driving down to be with our daughter and boyfriend in Yellowstone National Park. Kelly is already in Yellowstone and baiting Suzi by claiming she has seen a moose. Suzi and I have been in pursuit of moose for years. We have traveled all across Maine and never seen one. Suzi is hopeful that Kelly has not scared all the moose [meese?] away.

Since I’m about to traipse through marshland in search of large mammals, I’m going to offer you some cookbook reviews that offer the best in summer cooking. Take a look at these books and get your grill — and your salad bowl — ready.


The Goodness of Avocado is another in “The Goodness” series from Kyle Books. This series is devoted to exploring the diversity of a single ingredient. I’ve already reviewed The Goodness of Garlic. It’s now the turn of avocado in these 40 recipes composed by Lucy Jessop. And yes, some of these green recipes even use that garlic, like Lucy’s guacamole served with fennel and chile pita chips.

The twist to this book is that chapters are devoted to style for prepping the avocado. What technique do you use once the skin is off? There are chapters for:

  • Blended
  • Smashed
  • Chopped
  • Sweet [yes, avocado desserts!]

When I get a new cookbook, what’s the first thing I do? I go to the very first recipe in the book. It’s a like a first date. If that first recipe makes an impact, then my interest level soars and I keep turning the pages right then and there.

What’s first here? Green Gazpacho Shots! The picture is at the bottom of this post and I’m posting the actual recipe later today. These may be small shot in size, but the shots are bursting with flavors: garlic, cucumber, bell pepper, almonds, avocado, cilantro, basic, scallion, and lime juice. What an inspired start to your meal!

There are many old avocado friends in this book, like guacamole, avocado slices with shrimp and a “Russian” dressing, and Avocado Salsa Verde. These are lovely classic recipes.

But the benefits in this book come from the great new ideas, brilliant in flavor and bright in avocado green color. There are Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Avocado Mayo. Or the enticing Shrimp and Avocado Spring Rolls.

If you want dessert with avocado there is a Maple Pecan Chocolate Pudding made with banana and avocado. No, I’m not joking it’s here and you can expect it to be avocado smooth to your mouth. There is a rich Pistachio and Avocado Ice Cream and even Coconut Chocolate Truffles, again achieving polished, creamy flavor with a base of avocado.

There is nothing quite like an avocado: the color, flavor, smoothness, richness. It’s just an exceptional food. Fortunately for us, we now have this collection of easy recipes in The Goodness of Avocado. Try something old from this book and then something new. You’ll soon discover your avocado horizons are much broader than you might have expected.

Speaking of the unexpected, you can delight in the Boiled Eggs and Crispy Avocado Fries. Yes, avocado fries. Avocado slices are coated in flour and panko bread crumbs, then deep-fried until crisp and golden. Dip these fries into a soft-boiled egg and just marvel. An avocado does kinda look like a hand grenade and it certainly can explode with flavor when you follow The Goodness of Avocado.