Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How To Cut A Mango In 90 Seconds Or Less

Do you love eating Mango's, but hate cutting them? If so, then I suspect you are still trying to peel them and then cut them. Aaarrrggghhh! That's enough to make you scream, or... just not eat mango's!

Mango's are super easy to cut and prepare once you know the trick. When they are on sale I love to buy bags of them and make an Incredible Mango Salsa. I'll share more delicious Mango recipes in coming weeks. But right now, let's look at how to cut a mango in 90 seconds or less. Seriously, that's all it takes! Here's how...

First, pick a perfectly shaped, ripe Mango. Okay, any Mango will do!
Next, stand it up on it's skinny side and point it away from you.
The pit of the Mango is long, but only about 1/2 inch thick. It runs right down the middle of the Mango.
Imagine a 1/2 inch strip down the middle. 
You are going to cut a slice off the Mango on both sides of that 1/2 inch strip.
(Wow, this seems way more complicated to  put into words than it actually is!)
Cut one side off and spin the Mango around and cut the other side off.
You are left with the thin center piece of the Mango, which we will come back to.
Hold one half of the Mango in the palm of your hand.
With your knife, make 3 lengthwise cuts, being careful not to cut through the skin.
Turn the Mango in your hand and make 4 cuts the opposite way, creating a grid of cuts. 
Do this with both halves.
Gently invert the Mango half. Now all of your pre-cut pieces of Mango are sticking straight up so you can easily cut them off the peel. Once they are on your cutting board, just cut the Mango into smaller chunks for Mango Salsa.
Or leave them big and eat them just like this.
Pick up the thin center piece of Mango. There is still a lot of good fruit around the pit. At the end opposite of the stem, cut through the peel. Holding it between the knife and your thumb, pull the peel back to the stem. Do the same to the other side, then just cut off the stem with the peel.
Use the knife to cut the remaining Mango off the pit.
Rotate the pit until you've cut all the way around and on both sides. 
You are left with a thin husk-like shell. Inside this is the Mango pit. If you set this on a plate and let it dry out for a few days, you can break open the husk and remove the Mango seed. The actual seed looks a lot like a bean (it is very small). Set it in a shallow dish of water and it will grow. It grows a cool little tree right out of the center of the seed.
Now you have a beautiful pile of ready to eat Mango!
This whole process really takes about 60-90 seconds once you have done it and know exactly how to do it.

Now, take that pile of Mango, chop it up a little smaller and try These Two Mango Salsa Recipes! They are amazing!

What is your favorite recipe for Mango? To leave a comment Click Here.

For more recipes Click Here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Motivations: Why Women Cry

I wish I knew who to credit for today's writing, but the author remains anonymous. In honor of Mothers Day...

Why Women Cry

"Why are you crying?", a young boy asked his Mom.
"Because I'm a woman", she told him.
"I don't understand", he said.
His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will, but that's okay".

Later the little boy asked his Father,
"Why does Mom seem to cry for no reason?"
"All women cry for no reason", was all his Dad could say.

The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.
Finally, he prayed to God, who would surely know the answer.

God answered and said,
"When I made woman, I decided she had to be special.
I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world,
her arms gently enough to give comfort.

I gave her the inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times will come even from her own children. I gave her the hardiness that allows her to keep going and take care of her family and friends, even when everyone else gives up, through sickness and fatigue, without complaining.

I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances.
Even when her child has hurt her badly.
She has the very special power to make a child's boo-boo feel better,
and to quell a teenager's anxieties and fears.

I gave her the strength to care for her husband, despite faults, and I fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.
I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

For all of this hard work, I also gave her a tear to shed.
It is hers to use whenever needed and it is her only weakness.
When you see her cry, tell her how much you love her, and all she does for everyone, and even though she may still cry, you will have made her heart feel good. She is special!"

Don't forget to give your mom a hug this Sunday. Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous Mother's!

What is your favorite memory of your Mom?

For more Monday Motivations Click Here.

Photo credits: Google Images

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry Angel Kabobs

Don’t you hate it when you're browsing through Pinterest and you come across something that someone else has pinned that is just like something that you have been making forever and have been saving to post?! That happened recently when I logged on and saw something similar to my Strawberry Angel Kabobs (which I had been saving to post this week.) These are a favorite for Mother's Day Brunch.

This is the perfect dessert for Mother's Day that is low-calorie, (what mom isn't always looking for low-cal?) and easy to assemble (see tips for chocolate striping below). It also has an elegant presentation and tastes delicious! What more can you ask for from a dessert? You could even serve Ice Cream in Chocolate Bowls alongside the skewers. 

If you like brunch that leans towards breakfast foods, try these Personal Frittatas, with  Perfectly Crisp Bacon and Roasted Asparagus on the side. They are always a hit and everyone loves bacon! If your brunch is more of lunch food, here's a new and fun way to serve Caprese Salad. And this Sweet Mango Salsa is delicious served as a salad on a bed of lettuce. And Mom will think you are a gourmet chef when you present her with Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup. 

So, on to the kabobs...

Angel Food Cake (check your grocery store bakery for rectangle or square cake-it's easier to cut in squares than round cake)
Fresh Strawberries
Wooden Skewers
Melting Candy - Chocolate & Vanilla

Cut angel food cake into squares
Cut tops off strawberries
Slide strawberry onto skewers, followed by cake.
Repeat until skewer is full.
Set skewers close together on a tray.
Squeeze melting candy over skewers, either in stripes back and forth or twisting and circling.

Preparing Melting Candy:
Here's a super easy way to squeeze chocolate or frosting for decorating.
Put chocolate in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Keep heating in 30 second increments, stirring in between each until melted.

Stand sandwich baggie inside of a small glass, spreading it open over the top of the glass.
Scoop up the melted chocolate and put in inside the baggie.
Pick the the baggie, using your hand to slide the chocolate down into the corner.

Cut a TINY bit off the corner of the baggie. I can't stress TINY enough, if you want to decorate in thin strips of chocolate.

Once you have finished decorating your skewers with chocolate melting candy, repeat the process with the vanilla melting candy.

Happy Mother's Day!

What is your favorite Mother's Day dessert? To leave a comment Click Here.