Get a fresh take on salsa, learn about the healthy benefits of avocados, and try these tips for storing fresh soups from our kitchen editors.

Orange-Avocado Salsa
Try using this sweeter salsa as a topping for tacos or seafood. It also makes a great party dip with corn tortilla chips. Recipe: Orange-
| Credit: Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Fresh Take on Salsa
Orange and avocado pair wonderfully together with their pleasing contrast of textures. Serve this marvelous relish with grilled, baked, or sautéed fish.

All About Avocados
Buttery avocados are available year-round, thanks to complementary growing seasons in California, Chile, and Mexico. Though you may have enjoyed them mainly in Southwestern cuisine, avocados work well in a variety of dishes. They're a staple in sushi, taste wonderful in salads, and tame fiery curries. Mash avocado slices on a piece of toast, and sprinkle with salt and pepper for a healthful snack or light breakfast.

Avocados do have a high fat content, but it's monounsaturated, which is excellent for heart health. And they're packed with fiber and vitamin C.

  1. To pick a ripe avocado, don't squeeze the sides. Instead, gently grasp the top and bottom; the stem end should yield to gentle pressure.
  2. Use the tip of a spoon to lift out the seed. Or gently squeeze the sides of the avocado, and lift the seed out with your fingers.
  3. Coax an avocado out of its shell by gently sliding a spatula or a large spoon between the flesh and the skin.

Storing Soup
Large batches of soup, such as those in Share the Warmth, can take quite a while to cool down, so don't put them in the fridge while still hot. Hot foods must be cooled to at least 45° within two hours to be safe. To speed things up, put the pot in a sink full of ice water for about 30 minutes, stirring often to help release some of the heat. Ladle the soup into small containers, and refrigerate, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes. Cover, label, and chill for up to three days or freeze up to one month.

What's Cooking?
We'd love for you to share your favorite fall recipes with us for possible publication. We want everything from weeknight suppers to entertaining. For each one we use, we'll send you $20 now, and a copy of the Southern Living Annual Recipes Cookbook in January. Please e-mail recipes to

"From our Kitchen" is from the October 2007 issue of Southern Living.