I know what you all are thinking, really, already? Almost overnight we went from having snow on the ground to all the spring flowers in bloom. From brown lifeless trees to vibrant green leaves and grass. The bugs and critters awaking from their long winters nap. Oh wait; this is New England it did happen overnight! I look at the text messages buzzing on my phone as my sister asks what everyone is bringing to the Memorial Day cookout. What, Memorial Day already? I look at the date on my computer and realize that yes; Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer, is just a week away! The grill will be fired up with sizzling sounds of hot dogs, a rock keeps paper plates and napkins from flying away on outdoor tables. Coolers line the deck filled with water, soda and beer. Kids will grab handfuls of chips out of big colorful bowls and run off with cousins. Moms are trying to hold kids down while putting sunblock on their little bare arms.
Then, my day dreaming is suddenly interrupted by my phone still buzzing, I watch the responses everyone is sending back, how about some potato or macaroni salad my brother says, daughter says she will bring the watermelon, my son says they will make some sort of dip, mom will grab some soda and dad will pick up some hot dogs. I continue to stare at my phone and I think well sure it would be easy to just grab a couple bags of chips and a jar of salsa. It is cheap and quick, run in and run out of the store done. The most work involved would be to simply open the jar and dump it all in a bowl, tear open the chips and dump those in a bowl and viola in no more than 5 minutes time you have some quick munchies. Well, to anyone who knows me, that is just not going to happen. This is just unacceptable to me. There will be no jarred salsa.
I grab my phone and send back a text saying that I will make a mango salsa and I will pick up a few bags of chips. Is there more work involved than simply grabbing a boring jar of salsa off the shelf, well yes but, I can guarantee you that it is not only beautiful to look at with bright vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables, but is exploding with flavor that will make your palate dance. There are diced red peppers, chopped fresh herbs, smoothness of avocado, a variety of colorful cherry tomatoes, chunks of mango for sweetness, onions for a bite, Lime and lemon for a bit of acid to balance it all out. No $3.99 jar of red lifeless sloppy salsa can compare. If you decide to go the boring route, make sure you save the jar because you will be putting it all back to take home. There will be no leftovers to take home with the mango salsa.
Time: ½ hour of chopping and mixing
Yields: One giant bowl, you can add or decrease as much or as little as you want of each ingredient.
Throw all ingredients in a bowl mix and put in the frig for an hour or so to marinate. Then give it a good stir again right before serving.
P.S. Of course I can’t make just a salsa. I also had to add in my husband’s favorite treat – chocolate covered pretzel date bites. It just wouldn’t be right without some sort of chocolate something. Recipe posted soon
Does anyone else have a banana obsession? I have a habit of buying way too many of them all the time. As soon as I walk into a grocery store I can’t pass the produce section without adding a bunch of bananas to my basket whether I need them or not. Oh and I just don’t walk past and grab a bunch but, I have to examine them all, I have to look to see which ones are perfectly yellow with a few brown spots. I avoid the green ones they just take too long to ripen. Walk past the small tiny ones sense I would have to use twice as much in my smoothies or on my toast. Stroll around looking at them all again, pick up a bunch carefully hold them up looking for any bruises or mushy spots and put those down. Glare at the person who walks over to take a bunch for themselves seeing if they took the good ones. Then I spot a perfect bunch, not to big not to small, the right color of yellow with a hint of brown spots and no mushy bruises so they are coming home with me.
What is it about those little cheesy goldfish snack crackers that kids love so much? You know….. the crackers in the little white bag with the famous smiling gold fish wearing sunglasses on the front. The crackers that you find underneath car seats in the car or stuck between couch cushions, at the bottom of toy boxes or hidden in little pockets. The bag just big enough for a 2 year old to run around the house with as they spill out on the floor giving the dogs a treat while following behind. These crackers are one of my granddaughters favorite treats as most toddlers. She points to the bag that sits high up on the counter and clearly says “fishy mommy fishy”. She even try’s to offer me one when I visit as she holds up her little hand with one fishy and says, “fishy nana”? But, very sweetly I say, no thank you my little peanut nana doesn’t want any. That got me thinking, are these really good for kids? What’s in them that they love so much?
How do they get those giant muffin tops? Here are a few tricks. Along with a delicious banana, almond, currant muffin recipe.
Ever find yourself waiting in lines at stores and your mind begins to wonder at the most random things? On this particular day I was standing in line with 4 people in front of me and listening to what they were ordering - large ice coffee with milk and sugar, sesame bagel with cream cheese toasted says one customer and moves off to the side. I notice the clock that says 7:15 am and breathe in the aroma of coffee and warm baked goods. I hear the young girl behind the counter call out, “Mike” and a gentleman wearing a suit and tie steps up and grabs his hot coffee and a small bag with what I can only guess is some sort of breakfast sandwich and he darts out of the door as another person walks in. I have been to this coffee café every day for the last few years ordering my medium hot dark roast black coffee but, this morning was different. I looked over at the brightly lit display of biscotti’s, jelly pastries, fruit bars and muffins.
Did you know the rose was the favorite flower of Venus the Roman goddess of love? Or that February 14th was once a celebration of the feast of Lupercalia in honor of Juno in the ancient Roman times? In 1537 England’s King Henry VII officially declared this date St. Valentine’s Day. But, who is this St. Valentine? There are a few theories on how this holiday came about. According to History.com St. Valentine was a priest who served in the 3rd century in Rome. The Emperor Claudius II outlawed single men from getting married during the war deciding that single men made better solders. Valentine disagreed with the outrageous law and continued to marry single men in secrecy. Once Claudius found this out, he ordered Valentine put to death. Therefore, some believe that this day is a celebration of his death. Other stories include Christians making sacrifices on this day of animals for fertility and purification then run through the streets with the hides gently slapping women who believed this will make them fertile. I think this practice would not be so welcomed in 2017.