Life Tastes So Good

Exploring life one taste at a time.

Mango Habanero Salsa

yoga pants

So it’s almost game day y’all! Even if you don’t like football odds are you will end up at a super bowl party or hosting one and even if you don’t I’ll never tell that you made this amazing salsa just for yourself. Your secret is safe with this chick. I love this salsa due to the sweet and hot mixture going on plus it is completely vegan for any friends that are vegan. That’s all folks. American Horror Story’s season finally is on tonight and I have a date with popcorn, yoga pants, and a glass of wine.

salsa edit

Mango-Habanero Salsa

12 or so tomatoes of small-medium sized (I used roma tomatoes)

2 mangos, whole, peeled and sliced into slices.

2 cloves garlic, roasted

1 jalapeno pepper, fresh

1 habanero pepper, fresh

1 tsp sea salt

½ cup cilantro, chopped

2 green limes, juice only

What to do:

Clean tomatoes and remove stems. For the tomatoes grill under indirect heat, turning often until skin starts to split, remove from heat. Next, Grill mango slices for about 5-6 minutes about 2 1/2 minutes per side, or until grill likes are noticeably visible. Now grill all the peppers until skin blackens and blisters a bit also turning a few times, peppers will take a little longer to blacken and split than the tomatoes. Don’t worry it will happen. Meanwhile put on garlic on the grill with skin still on, leave on the grill garlic feels “soft”.

Now put tomatoes in processor or blender, half speed or on the lowest setting, and pulse until just chopped.

Peel peppers (if you would like), remove seeds and add to processor. Take caution when cleaning the habanero to use gloves or clean pepper under running water. Coarsely chop mango, along with roasted garlic, in processor and pulse again until it is at your desired texture. I liked mine more liquefied than most, this part is completely a matter of preference.  Squeeze fresh lime juice and add salt. Stir and pour into jar or bowl of choice.Mix all together to taste.

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Breaking Bad Cupcakes.

“I am the one who knocks.”

Breaking Bad, Walter White, Season 4, Episode 6

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BreakingBadCupcakes
It’s no secret, it really isn’t, I love TV shows. I am absolutely terribly immensely distraught that Breaking Bad is ending. In honor of the end of Breaking Bad I made mini cupcakes. The actual cake is just a normal white box cake but I made coconut frosting and a dyed flavored sugar. (Nut = Jesse, White cake = Walter, get it? GET IT? Ha.) To make the cupcakes make box cake as directed and cool. I also hollowed the center and added the colored sugar to the middle of each cupcake. The frosting was intentionally made messy, just like Jesse would have done it.

For the frosting you will need:

1½ cups granulated sugar
6 egg whites
1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup coconut milk

 For directions please visit the original post here.

coloed sugar

For the sugar:

1/2 Cup of Sparkling Sugar

 1/4 tsp. of Cornstarch

Food coloring or Food gel

Zip-lock bag – try to make sure it is thick, or double bag the sugar before mixing.

What To Do:

Pour sugar into zip-lock bag add a few drops of food coloring or gel color. Depending on the color you need add a little at a time. You can mix food coloring to make colors as well, and shake, shake, shake! Make sure you press out with your fingers any clumps that may happen. If you want to flavor the sugar you can add 1/2 tsp. of extract of vanilla, coconut, mint, etc. and continue to shake and press out clumps.  Add the 1/4 tsp. of cornstarch to keep sugar from feeling “sticky”, if you added extract you may need 1/4 tsp. more of cornstarch.

PS – Like my football nails? Super easy to do, just saying.
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Ratatouille.

You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work,

and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from.

Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true – anyone can cook…

but only the fearless can be great. – Ratatouille, Disney Movie

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rata

This week had been a gloomy rainy week here in Texas. We stayed inside all weekend and watched wonderful Disney movies including Ratatouille. If you have never seen the movie Ratatouille I seriously recommend it! It has a wonderful message for kiddos and grown ups alike. This film inspired my next recipe and I hope you get to watch the movie perhaps while making this meal.

Enjoy!

 

 

precooked

 

 

Ratatouille recipe

½ Of a medium sized yellow onion (diced)
1 eggplant
2 zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 Yellow squash (2 if they are on the smaller side)
4 tomatoes (If you can find large ones use 2)
1 can of tomato puree
2 garlic cloves (I put mine in a garlic press, but you can finely chop them as well)
Herbes de Provence
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

Pre-heat oven at 375°F

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, or round, whatever you have will work, you just might end up with extra. Also add 2 table spoons of olive oil to the tomato puree, add garlic stir until it is all incorporated together.

Carefully slice all the veggies into very thin slices, “rings” per say.
On top of the tomato sauce, at a slight angle start stacking veggies in dish. (as pictured above.)
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them. Lightly coat top of veggies with herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.
Cover dish with a piece of parchment, try to cut it as close as the shape of the dish.

Bake for approximately 45 to a hour, until veggies are tender. Take caution not to over cook or plating will be difficult.

(For vegan/vegetarian version just disregard the next recipe.)

Meat Sauce Topping

½ Tsp Sea Salt
½ Cup cubed Egg Plant
¼ Cup Diced yellow onion
3 Tbs. of Herbs De Providence
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Can (10.75 oz) Tomato Puree
1 Lb of Ground beef met

In a medium sized pot, cook meant on med-high until well done, Drain excess oil.
Return ground meat to pot and add onion and egg plant, garlic, herbs, and salt allow to cook for another 10 minutes or until onions are tender stirring occasionally.

Lower the heat to a simmer (you can typically use the lowest heat setting for this) and add in the tomato puree to meat. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes and a very low heat setting.

Remove from heat, and spoon desired portion on to Ratatouille (or pasta).

Top dish with shredded mozzerella and enjoy!

 

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S’mores Cake Bites

Ah,  summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
Russell  Baker

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smores with sig

It’s officially summer, at least my calendar says so, take a look on June 21st, it’s summer y’all and it’s hot. Now most haven’t had a warm Texas summer in their lifetime but you’re not missing much. You know the leather seats so hot you get third degree burns or the fact that you will only do yard work at 6:30 to 7:00 pm ’cause that’s when it finally starts to cool down. Cool down meaning 90s. Yea that kind of summer.

monsters_university_ver2

My kids are really at this point to little to enjoy to many summer things with the heat. If you let two toddlers run around and get hot outside all you’re left with is two hot cranky toddlers. Needless to say we stay inside for the most part. This weekend we took our little monsters to go see the new Monster’s University movie. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. This was our first movie with our kids. I was terrified my kid was going to be that one that screams and yelling and over all just won’t shut up. Much to my surprise both of my kids behaved fairly well. After the movies I wanted to continue our summer fun with S’mores. Although I trust my toddlers with a few things, eating, not killing each other, not blowing up the house, ect, I don’t trust them around fire. Not sure why it looks so fun to go play in but fire was out of the picture for my S’mores. These require no fire. Safety first kids.

I made the cake “part” when the kids were napping and the rest they helped me make.

These taste great but do not store well and they are messy so strip your kid grab a S’more Cake and make some summer memories.

For the cakes I used this recipe. I made no changes.

Print it Here

What you will need:

FOR THE FILLING:

Two large cans of Marshmallow Fluff

1 C Chocolate chunks or mini chocolate chips

1 1/2 Crushed Graham Crackers

Water

What To Do:

Basically, get all the fluff into a bowl, its a work out.

Add 3 Tbsp. of water, and mix.

Add in chocolate chunks.

Add in Graham Crackers.

DONE!

(PS- if you’re not into baking that’s cool, this makes a great dip as well, show up to the table with this plus additional crackers for dipping, its a winner.)

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Bad to the Bone.

I have another confession to make. I am an addict. The TV show Bones is my current TV must! Therefore my dinners and chores around the house have been lacking. See the new season of Bones, season 7, starts in a few weeks, two, if I’m not mistaken. I however, am on season 6, and I am rushing to finish the season before the new one begins. Thus leading my to my next topic. Easy Fast, Kid Friendly Dinners! Yay for all of the above!



First off my son is a, I will try everything kid, but I won’t eat everything kid; And I’m glad to say these were a hit! He even got to help me crush the pretzels which I loved; Any chance my two year old gets to help I’ll let him. Of course like always I didn’t make the recipe exactly as it calls for and I will tell you what I changed, don’t worry. I’m Southern. I mean deep Texas drawl, I talk slow and like my tea freezing cold with lots of sugar, Southern. Oh and add a side of biscuits please.


My son, Alex, avoiding taking a picture.


With all that being said. I know about frying food. I mean hello we fry just about everything. So when this recipe called for frying my chicken in Canola Oil I giggled and said to myself “Naw that just isn’t how I fry”. I used good ol’ Crisco. Now don’t get me wrong I’m more than positive that canola oil would work as well but in my experience frying several different foods Crisco seems to be the best for a crispy, yummy, fried chicken. I also cut my chicken down a lot. I made them more into strips for faster cooking and to make them more kid friendly. I had enough to coat about fourteen strips, it really went a long ways and I got my money’s worth. Between the coating and chicken this really was a great buy. Going easy on the wallet is always good! 


A few suggestions while making this….

First off try to make sure your chicken is all ready to go, coated in the pretzels and put to the side, I used a cookie sheet to line them up and have them ready. You need the oil/Crisco to be hot, very hot just to insure it cooks well, quickly and doesn’t stick. (I’ve done that before,….too eager and tried to jump the gun, my food got stuck to my pan and it was a disaster.) Also I let the chicken soak in the maple and egg for a sweeter taste. Lastly. Please, please, don’t diss your chicken and put them on paper towels after frying. Use a cooling rack or if you don’t have one use the bottom rack of your oven on your counter top. Flip it (so that it isn’t touching the counter top, you may not need to flip it), put a double layer of news paper underneath it to catch any oil that drips. Doing this keeps the chicken crunchy, crispy and amazing of course.



Maple Pretzel Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed pretzels (the more crushed the better coating it makes)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions


  • Flatten chicken breasts to 1/2-in. thickness. 
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and syrup.
  • Place pretzels in a separate shallow bowl.
  • Dip chicken in egg mixture and coat with pretzels.
  • In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil over medium heat for 5-6
  • minutes on each side or until juices run clear.
  • (If you are doing strips like I did, the cooking time needs to be reduced significantly, 3-5 minutes)
  •  Yield: 4 servings.


Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home

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