John, the reader who introduced me to the silky magic of this avocado milkshake, lives in California, where avocados are often less than a dollar. If you can find a similar deal, whip up a batch of these! If your avocado isn’t quite ripe, a bit more lime juice will bring out the flavor.
These shakes are even better if you use “coconut milk beverage,” almond milk, or rice milk instead of regular milk. Each adds a little of its own flavor to the drink.
My friend Raffaella comes from a huge family and fondly recalls making dumplings with her sisters growing up. (Her brothers just ate them.) Dumplings are a great way to use up veggies that don’t look fresh anymore. Minced inside a dumpling, they come back to life! I’ve provided a couple of ideas here, but as with so many recipes, the filling is up to you. If you mess up and it comes out bland, just dip the dumpling in soy sauce or chile sauce and you’ll still be happy. Or if you’ve made peanut sauce or spice oil lately dip in those.
If budget allows and you want to save time, see whether your grocery store has pre-made dumpling wrappers, usually in the freezer section or Asian aisle. They come round or square and might be called gyoza or wonton wrappers, but any will work.
On a hot day, this is all I want to eat. Or a cold day honestly. When I use the spice oil or peanut sauce it really warms me up. This is my kind of lunchtime comfort food. Cold but spicy food is refreshing and delicious in the summer. If you have some spice oil on hand, be sure to add it. It’s like a simple and cheaty version of Dan Dan noodles that way.
This is the peanut sauce I make when I have decided to do it properly. I LOVE peanut sauce so I often make a cheaty version with just peanut butter, sriracha and a little brown sugar and soy sauce. It does the trick for my mid-afternoon or late-night hanger needs. But this is the proper version and the addition of the garlic, shallot and fresh chiles really does make it that much better and really only adds 10 minutes of cooking and clean up so not a bad trade. This is beautiful as a dip, but I love it on noodles, especially cold Asian Noodles with cucumber or as a glaze for chicken or beef and vegetables in a stir fry. Make it and you’ll use it, guaranteed.