Orange Mango Iced Tea

IMG_1465Hello all–  Are you enjoying the last warm days of summer?  I’m hoping for a few more quiet hours before we’re back to school — sitting with a glass of tea and a stack of books.  That would be about perfect.  (in reality I think most my hours are committed to house cleaning and getting ready for school projects/meetings.  oh well…)

And here’s my favorite tea at the moment.  Not too sweet, nice and fruity.  I think you’d like it a lot…

ORANGE MANDO ICED TEA
4 cups cold water
4 regular tea bags
1/4 cup sugar*
11.5 ounce can mango nectar (I used Kern’s brand)
1 large orange – cut in half, sliced
mint sprigs for garnish

In a pot with a lid bring water to a boil over high heat. remove from heat and add the 4 tea bags & sugar and let it steep 3 minutes.  Squeeze and remove tea bags. Stir sugar until dissolved. Let it cool.

In a large pitcher, mix together the tea and mango nectar and add in the cut oranges.  Refrigerate the tea until it’s chilled and then pour it over glasses of ice.  Add a sprig of mint, if you like,  and take a sip (preferably under a tree with a book)!

*Skip the sugar if you like,  or the recipe I worked from called for 1/2 cup if you like sweet tea!

Kale Salad with Mango, Avocado &Red Pepper

IMG_0355Hello all– A couple weeks ago our Ani came down for the weekend to give a bridal shower for her college room mate, Heather.  So fun to see Heather again– and watch her open all those packages of shiny new things for her home –all wrapped up with good wishes.

But my favorite part of the weekend was cooking up a lunch in the kitchen with Ani before the shower.  There’s just something so companionable about being elbow to elbow in he kitchen as you chop and mix and talk…

This salad was part of the lunch– bright and crunch and mango sweet.

KALE SALAD WITH MANGO, AVOCADO & RED PEPPER
1 bunch of kale, chopped finely
2 mangos, peeled and cut into chunks
2 avocados, peel and cut into big bits
1 small red bell pepper, cut into small bits
1 cup whole roasted almonds, cut in half
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Layer all the ingredients in a pretty bowl.

DRESSING:
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tab. honey
1 inch  chunk of ginger, peeled and minced
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Put all the dressing ingredients into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake them together until they blend completely and pour them over the salad, just before you serve it up.

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

IMG_2355Hello there– If you’re the kind of person who loves fish tacos (and you can certainly put me in that group), then I think you’ll love this really easy shrimpy version with creamy, juicy mango salsa slathered on top.  These were seriously good!

SHRIMP TACOS

1 pound medium sized shrimp
2 tab. olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt & freshly group pepper
lettuce cut into shreds
lime wedges
small size corn tortillas*

IMG_2335Peel and devein the shrimp.  Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil and a liberal sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Then spread them separated on a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Slide them into a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.  They should come out salty, peppery crispy good.

Then  warm the tortillas just a minute in the toaster.  Fill them with lettuce, shrimp and a squeeze of lime juice.  Pile on the mango salsa and they are ready to eat.

IMG_2343MANGO SALSA
1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1 avocado, peeled and chunked as well
1/3 cup red onion, chopped to bits
1 chipotle, seeded and minced finely**
1 tab. lime juice
salt & pepper to taste

Carefully fold together the mango, avocado, onion, chipotle and lime juice.  Salt and pepper and taste to see if you need a bit more seasoning.  Delicious on tacos or just with a bowl full of chips!

* The year we lived in Costa Rica,  our little market sold small tender tortillas just wrapped in saran wrap and made by the ladies in the neighborhood–so fresh and tender.  So I’m excited that I found the mini taqueria size tortillas at Stater Brothers if you live in Socal.  Guerrero brand.
**If you don’t like too much spice, just use half a chipotle pepper and be sure to scrape out the seeds and membranes before you mince it up.

Mango Strawberry Avocado Salad

Flying to Texas to another fun-filled week with her 4 sisters (yes four!), my friend Norma flipped through a magazine to pass the time.  She came across a version of this Mango Strawberry Avocado Salad and ripped out the page.  When she met up with her sisters, she was ready with their plans for dinner!  Here it is:

MANGO STRAWBERRY AVOCADO SALAD
salad greens
1 small cucumber, peeled & diced
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 avocado, cut in chunks
1 mango, cut into bits
small box of strawberries, cut up
1 batch of sugared almonds/pecans/pumpkin seeds*
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
tab. sugar
a few shakes of salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

On a pretty platter, layer the lettuce, cucumber, cilantro, avocado, mango and strawberries.  In a sealed container, shake together the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until it’s all throughly blended.  Sprinkle on the sugared nuts and top with dressing just before you set it on the table.

Sometimes we like this with grilled chicken breast cup into bits to make it a little heartier for supper.

*SUGARED NUTS
1/2 cup almonds (or any other nuts you have on hand)
1/4 cup sugar

Drop nuts and sugar into a nonstick pan and stir on medium high heat until the sugar caramelizes and the nuts are toasty brown.  If it gets too hot, lift the pan off the fire and continue to stir.  When they are done– spread them on a piece of foil to cool.