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Celebrate 10 Years of California Avocado Month this June

(NewsUSA) - - Ten years ago, the California Avocado Commission first observed June officially as California Avocado Month and is excited to continue celebrating this long-standing tradition. As an ode to the past ten years, the Commission has enlisted the culinary talents of Southern California-native Chef Nyesha Arrington to create delicious and seasonal recipes that prominently feature California avocados, which are grown by about 3,000 California avocado growers with groves from San Diego to Monterey.

Arrington has been celebrated throughout her career for using farm fresh, locally and responsibly sourced ingredients, which made her the perfect partner to craft customized dishes for this celebratory anniversary.

"It's hard narrowing down the recipes when California avocados have countless possibilities! However, I love when they are paired with complementing flavors. These California avocados definitely hold their own by leveling up any dish and giving an extra wow factor, making it a California chef's key ingredient," Arrington says.

Meticulously cared for and picked at their peak, California avocados are a heart-healthy superfood that provide "good" fats to one's diet. Inspired by how the bountiful flavor and nutrition pair perfectly, Arrington's Grilled California Avocado & Peach Salad showcases fresh and light flavors perfect for those warm summer nights. The recipe features fresh California avocados and peaches, grilled to perfection, layered on a bed of arugula and crispy quinoa, then paired with a tangy and delicious pistachio-arugula vinaigrette.

To view other mouthwatering creations, including Arrington's California Avocado Crab & Tuna Stack, or to learn more about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.

For even more celebration, check out Shop.CaliforniaAvocado.com to grab this season's newest merch just in time for California Avocado Month.

Grilled California Avocado & Peach Salad

Recipe created by Nyesha Arrington for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 4

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 65 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black quinoa
  • 2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 2 medium firm peaches, seeded and halved
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, separated
  • 1 (5 oz.) package wild arugula, 1/2 cup reserved for vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup no-shell chopped pistachios (optional)

Pistachio-Arugula Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup wild arugula
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 5 no-shell pistachio nuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp. creamy Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (local if available)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (may substitute extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Drain well using a fine strainer and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand, tossing occasionally until dried, about 30 minutes.
  2. While quinoa dries, place all the Pistachio-Arugula Vinaigrette ingredients in a blender. Blend on medium speed until combined. Set aside.
  3. Once the quinoa is thoroughly dry, heat oil for frying in a large skillet on high until waves begin to form in oil. Carefully add the quinoa, reduce heat to medium and fry until puffed, approximately 30 seconds. Drain the quinoa in a fine strainer to remove excess oil and transfer to paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. On a tray or baking sheet, place avocados and peaches cut side up, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season the avocados with salt.
  5. Heat grill to medium high, add avocados and peaches cut side down, reduce heat to low and grill until tender and slightly charred (peaches 5 minutes; avocados 2 minutes).
  6. To assemble salad, toss arugula with a small amount of the vinaigrette and place on the platter. Next, sprinkle quinoa on the platter.
  7. Cut avocado and peaches into wedges and place onto the platter.
  8. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  9. Garnish with chopped pistachios if desired. 

California Avocado-Inspired Charcuterie Boards Brighten Up the Spring Season

(NewsUSA) - Whether you're creating a beautiful avocado rose or whipping up a creamy avocado dip, California avocados are the must-have ingredient for your springtime charcuterie boards, sure to impress any guest! Whether you fancy savory or sweet, adding California avocados to your charcuterie board can help take your hosting skills to the next level. Plus, your guests will love that you included the California avocado trifecta -- taste, texture, nutrition. With fresh and delicious fruit available now through summer, the California Avocado Commission encourages consumers to get creative in the kitchen and experience the great taste and creamy goodness that in-season California avocados have to offer.

Featured on the Food Network, Hallmark Channel, E! and more for her impressive charcuterie boards and entertaining skills, food stylist Meg Quinn joins CAC in celebrating the season by developing a drool-worthy charcuterie board inspired by California avocados, a heart-healthy superfood. One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense choice.

"Entertaining is my passion, and there's nothing better than incorporating fresh, locally sourced produce on board creations," said Quinn.

"I love to add vibrant colors and versatile ingredients, which is why in-season California avocados pair beautifully with other flavors, elevating any dish and recipe. As the girl that adds avocado to every order, it only makes sense that I add them to my boards as well."

You can channel Quinn's creativity when you prepare her savory California Avocado, Cheese & Charcuterie Board, featuring a mouth-watering California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto and served alongside a variety of meats, cheeses and fresh, colorful produce. To view Quinn's other board creations, such as her California Avocado and Fruit Board featuring Chocolate California Avocado Dip and Honey Citrus California Avocado Dip, or to learn about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com.

California Avocado, Cheese & Charcuterie Board featuring California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto

Recipe created by Meg Quinn for the California Avocado Commission. 

Serves: 4 

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto (see make-ahead recipe below)
  • 2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, halved, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 7.5 oz. Brie wedge
  • 11 slices Spanish Manchego
  • 8 oz. white cheddar cheese, crumbled
  • 2 oz. sliced dry salami
  • 1.5 oz. sliced soppressata pepper-garlic salami
  • 4 oz. salami secchi, sliced
  • 1 (5.3-oz.) package dried oranges
  • 2 bunches seedless red or purple grapes
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 cup olives
  • 1/2 cup whole peeled almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 15 crostini or pita crackers

Instructions: Make the dip following directions below. Place on serving board or tray, and artfully arrange the California avocado slices, cheeses, meats, fruits and remaining ingredients around the bowl, filling in any gaps.

California Avocado Goat Cheese Dip with Crispy Prosciutto

Ingredients

  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and cubed
  • 4 oz. plain goat cheese softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degreeF. On a parchment-lined baking tray, line up prosciutto without overlapping, and cover with another sheet of parchment paper and another baking tray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until crispy; do not overcook or burn the prosciutto. Remove and cool.

Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until combined and smooth, scraping down sides as needed; do not overmix. Alternatively, mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl, with a fork until smooth. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and crumble crispy prosciutto on top.

Take Care of Your Tools and Tackle Winter Weather

(NewsUSA) - Winter is coming. It may not seem that way on a nice autumn day, but some parts of the country are already starting to feel a chill in the air, and those who live in snowy areas are thinking ahead.

The increased opportunities for remote work prompted many people to relocate to other states, and some of them may be looking at their first experiences with snowy winters.

Whether you are new to northern climates or a seasoned veteran of many blizzards, having the right tools can be the difference between getting around and getting stuck.

To that end, a snow blower may become your new best friend.

To help keep your snow blower in top shape, Cub Cadet, an American manufacturer of outdoor equipment including lawn mowers, yard tractors, and snow blowers, recommends six simple strategies to keep your snow blower working at its best.

  • Safety first. Before you begin a routine maintenance check, place your snow blower on a flat surface, and allow it to cool with the engine off. Be sure to remove the safety ignition key to avoid turning on the engine.
  • Change is good. Change the engine oil in your snow blower at the end of every season and after the first five hours of use this winter.
  • Spark it up. Check your spark plug at the start of the winter season. If it just looks dirty, cleaning may be all it needs, but install a new spark plug if you see rust or corrosion.
  • Boost your belt. Inspect the belts on your snow blower at the start of the season and replace them if they look worn. A fresh belt will keep your thrower functioning at its best and reduce the risk of its breaking during use.
  • Fill the tank. Drain the gas tank at the end of the season, and fill it with fuel that includes stabilizer. This ensures that the fuel stays fresh if you have a mild period during the winter when your snow blower is used less frequently.
  • Keep it smooth. Be sure to check that all the parts of your snow blower are moving smoothly, and tighten any nuts and bolts that may have come loose.

For more advice on winter- weather preparation and snow blower options, visit cubcadet.com.

 

Help Make Christmas Merry for Native American Children

(NewsUSA) - Many Native American children living on Reservations in the United States are growing up in unimaginable poverty. High unemployment means limited job opportunities and no income source for their parents, so multigenerational families often live together in small, dilapidated houses. Many of these homes lack running water and telephones. Electricity is scarce, and utility bills often take priority over food and rent.

The generosity of the American public has allowed Toys for Tots to purchase and deliver gifts to Native American children on 60 Reservations. In 2020 alone, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation purchased $2.2 million in toys, books, and other gifts for children on remote Reservations in 13 states across the country.

"With your help we can help bring joy and hope to even more Native American children this holiday season," says Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

This season marks the 41st year of the Toys for Tots Native American Program. When the Program began in 1980, the local Reserve unit had only two pickup trucks full of toys. Last year, local campaign Coordinator, LtCol Pete Tagni, USMC (Retired) and his team distributed nearly half a million toys to Native American Children thanks to the generous donations from Toys for Tots supporters. The impact of these donations is far reaching and supports more than 180,000 Native American children annually.

Russ Miller, Marine Corps League National Vice Commandant, experienced the impact of the Toys for Tots Native American Program firsthand. Growing up in a missionary family on a Navajo Reservation, Russ still recalls the arrival of the Toys for Tots Christmas boxes, spilling over with toys, games, and books for the children living on the Reservation. Russ loved the opportunity to "play Santa," distributing gifts to the children whose families came to the mission for other essentials such as clean drinking water and donated clothing -- this experience became an inspiration for Russ. He and his brother went on to join the Marine Corps, and Russ is still making a difference today as a Toys for Tots Coordinator.

The Native American Program has provided new toys, books, and games to children living on Reservations for the last four decades. The support from the American public will help us meet the growing need again this year.

Please visit our donation page to support our Native American program at https://www.toysfortots.org/donate/native_american_program.aspx.

Be sure to follow "Gunny Bear" on the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation Facebook page, where the Toys for Tots spokesbear shares examples of how your support makes a difference.

 

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