The Cheesecake Addiction

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Archive for the tag “mango”

Staycation Tacos

It is that time of year again; the time of the year where I (and many of you, I’m sure) slowly sink into the throws of seasonal affective disorder. It is that time of year where I spend an hour on Facebook, looking at those photos from my trip to Tahiti seven years ago, and long to wait out the winter in the tropics. To snorkel in the crystal clear 80 degree water, eat fish out of coconuts, and watch fire dancers…ah, the life.

Usually, it is around this time that I bounce over to Bath and Body Works and pick up my favorite tropical scented body lotions, candles, and bath salts and give myself a little Island staycation. Well, I haven’t had a chance to fully create the happy, island vibes, but I did manage to get in touch with those warm, Hispanic roots of mine.

Heading south of the border last night, we made veggie tacos for our dinner guest, Geoff.

I thought it would be nice to make a mango salsa-fresh and tropical with a little kick.

Chop up some mango–about 1 cup, diced, with half of a jalapeño, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1 diced roma tomato, a few tablespoons of cilantro, and the juice of 1/2 lime. Also, salt and pepper to taste.

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Mix and serve with chips OR as a taco topping! Mmmyum!

Mix and serve with chips OR as a taco topping! Mmmyum!

The rest of the meal was pretty simple. I sautéed three bell peppers and one red onion, thinly sliced. I made white rice and tossed that with cilantro and lime. I mixed up black beans with some black refried beans (and again, lime and cilantro), and sliced up some avocado. We built our plates…

A corn tortilla, topped with beans, peppers, onions, mango salsa, and avocado!

A corn tortilla, topped with beans, peppers, onions, mango salsa, and avocado!

…and had some delightful conversation and we shared many laughs.

Phew. That certainly helped pull me out of my funk. I’ve awakened refreshed, reenergized, and ready to begin again.

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It’s Been a While…

Wow! I’ve cooked a lot, but haven’t been blogging about it. School’s been kicking my ass a bit, but it’s spring break now, so we’ll get a few entries this week!

While this week I managed to use a new ingredient, I’ve decided that it’s getting to be a bit pricey–AND stressful to find a new ingredient every week. I’m going to broaden the purpose of this blog. Not just new ingredients, but new recipes, new techniques, or food musings in general. This week (well actually it was last Tuesday), I kicked culinary butt by making walnut crusted chicken with a mango salsa! Now, I’ve had mango salsa before–and there are a lot of things that can be done with it–but I’ve never made it before. Well, actually, I’ve only ever used mango as a fresh fruit with breakfast. The idea for dinner came from the fact that I had been remembering my trips to Hawaii (about five years ago!) and Tahiti (about three years ago). I never felt so wonderful and relaxed and in tune with myself than when I was on those islands. I wanted to recreate some of those island flavors.

Now, Hawaii is known for its Macadamia nuts, but I didn’t happen to have any, so I ran some walnuts through the food processor and then spread them on a baking sheet and toasted them at 350 for about ten minutes. I added salt, pepper, and flour to the ground walnuts and dipped boneless, skinless chicken breasts in some beaten eggs and then coated them with the walnut mixture. In they went on a baking sheet at 350 for about 35 min, turning them once midway through. While those cooked, I chopped up some fresh mango, red onion, half of a jalapeno pepper, and mint. I added a splash of red wine vinegar, the juice of a lime, and a dash of salt and pepper. When the chicken was done, I topped it with the salsa. The chicken was served with some jasmine rice. My secret to rice is to toast it first with melted butter before adding your liquid. When your liquid is added, add in two finely chopped cloves of garlic. It really makes it special.

Pictures to follow! I promise! Expect more tomorrow, because we’re having a Mexican fiesta tonight and I’ll have a few things to say!

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