Guacamole shares glory with apples


Nikodem Nijaki Wikimedia Commons

Fresh, ripe avocados can be mashed for a delicious guacamole.

September 16 happens to be National Guacamole Day. I know a lot of people do not care for avocados in any way, shape or form, so National Apple Dumpling Day (on September 17) will be included here, too. I think apples might be something everyone likes. Hot weather has been keeping me away from baking desserts, but I am still interested in recipes.


I hope you are all safe from the wildfires that are ravaging throughout the state, and the resulting smoke that is causing so many breathing problems for people of all ages. Take a few moments to enjoy some tortilla chips with guacamole, or a sweet apple dumpling or perhaps both.


Guacamole


3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted


1 jalapeno, cored and finely diced (add more or less to taste)


1/2 cup finely diced red onion


1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped


1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


1 Roma tomato, cored and chopped, optional


1. In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork or a potato masher to mash the avocados to your desired consistency.


2. Stir in the jalapeno, onion, lime juice, cilantro, salt and cumin until well-mixed. (If adding tomatoes, stir them in at the very end.)


3. Taste and season with extra salt, plus extra lime juice, jalapeno and/or cilantro) if desired.


Note: To store this guacamole, cover bowl with plastic wrap (so that the plastic is touching the entire top layer of the guacamole) and refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving.


More guacamole


6 large ripe avocados


1 small onion, finely minced


4 Roma tomatoes, diced


6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro


2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and finely diced


4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed


2 fresh limes, juiced


1 teaspoon sea salt


1. Slice the avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop into a mixing bowl.


2. Mash the avocado with a fork and make it as chunky or smooth as you like.


3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Give it a taste test and add a pinch more salt or lime juice if needed. Serve with tortilla chips or use as a topping for grilled hamburgers. Can also use as an accompaniment to fish or chicken or as a filling for burritos, sandwiches and tacos.


Apple dumplings


2 1/2 cups water


1 1/4 cups sugar


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1/4 cup plus 6 teaspoons butter, divided


2 cups flour


2 teaspoons baking powder


1 teaspoon salt


3/4 cup shortening


1/2 cup milk


6 small tart apples, peeled and cored


Cinnamon-sugar mixture


Additional milk


1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup butter; stir until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.


2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk.


3. Divide pastry into six portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 6-inch square. Place an apple on the center of each. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar; dot with remaining butter. Bring corners of pastry to center. Brush edges with milk; pinch edges to seal. Preheat oven to 375.


4. Place in a greased 13-by- 9-inch baking dish; drizzle with reserved syrup. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6 servings.


Caramel apple dumplings


For this recipe, you cook the dumpling dough in the sauce.


Sauce:


1 1/2 cups water


1 cup packed brown sugar


2 tablespoons butter


1 teaspoon vanilla


1/2 teaspoon salt


Dumplings: