A gussied-up BLT

Although I love guacamole, I think avocados are best eaten with minimal fuss. I pack them for lunch, sliced in half with a sprinkle of salt, and then eat them straight from the shell with a spoon — perfect.

I also use them to top off my salads, serve as side dishes with meals and dice for avocado vinaigrette and salsa.

Avocados pair beautifully with crab, cucumber, grapefruit, mangoes, red onions, oranges, pineapples, shrimp and bacon.

A personal favorite is adding avocado to the quintessential BLT. It's a gussied-up version of the American classic.

Crispy Peppered Bacon and Avocado Sandwiches with Herbed Mayo

6 slices peppered bacon
5 Tbsp. mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. fresh garlic chives, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1 firm ripe avocado
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 slices whole-grain bread, toasted
1/2 c. sprouts
Salt and pepper

Stir together mayonnaise, garlic chives and dill in a small bowl, then salt and pepper to taste. Cook peppered bacon in a skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crispy, and then transfer to paper towels. Halve, pit and peel the avocado, then slice lengthwise onto a plate. Squeeze lemon juice over the avocado slices to prevent discoloring. Assemble sandwiches with toast, herb mayonnaise mix, avocado, peppered bacon and sprouts.

Makes two sandwiches.


Bring your appetite!


Breakfast with a salsa beat

Little Habana opened a year ago next door to East Coast Pizza in Riverview. When Al and Tanya Estevez, the owners, chose the name Little Habana, they weren't kidding - barely 20 seats were squeezed into the bright little nook of a dining room.

This lively Cuban restaurant has since gotten bigger. An additional dining room has more than doubled the seating for those who gather for superb, modestly priced Cuban specialties. Lots of Cuban memorabilia line the walls, while festive music is heard throughout the eatery.

We had breakfast there this morning and loved it! A visit to Little Habana would not be complete without a frothy, steaming cup or two of cafe con leche!

Al and Tanya are perfectionists and have a passion for authenticity and freshness. My dining partner enjoyed the Spanish omelette.

I ordered an omelette sandwich with chorizo on Cuban bread. It was delightful.

Mouthwatering Cuban food AND potent Cuban coffee, a big plus for SouthShore!

13352 Lincoln Road
(813) 672-5111


Interested in learning how to can?

The Hillsborough County Cooperative Extension Service is offering home canning classes to anyone interested.

These classes will benefit all canners - from beginners to experts. Watch a canning demo, learn about safe canning practices and get answers to food preservation questions.

All classes are free and begin on Sept. 29.

Register online by clicking here.

Happy canning!