The Perfect Rainy Day Baking Challenge
It’s been rainy here in the Bay Area the last few days, and I’ve been drinking a lot of tea to keep warm and cozy. It’s been the perfect time to perfect and TASTE test a recipe I have been working on in the Crespo Organic Kitchen this winter- Mango Madeleines.
Madeleine cookies are little French cakes made with a lot of butter and often served with afternoon tea. They are soft and spongy in the middle and little chewy on the outside, a lovely variation of textures. Most folks outside of France consider them more of a cookie than a cake. They are by all counts, pretty damn exquisite, in texture and flavor.
“It’s going to catch on like wildfire…”
Sometime in the 1940s the Moscow Mule was invented. The exact moment of conception depends on who you ask. I like to believe the story that involves John Gilbert Martin of the Heublein Group—of A1 Sauce and canned mixed cocktail fame, and who acquired the rights of Smirnoff Vodka (from the Smirnov family who fled Russia). The vodka was notoriously crappy, which translated into a great acquisition price. The part that followed, aka trying to get Americans to drink it, was no small task. Even though Smirnoff was created in Connecticut, Hollywood became the birthplace of the mule.
A vibrant and bold juicy proposition for using up your kent mangoes
It’s peak kent mango season in Mexico and kent mangoes are incredibly juicy and sweet with vibrant orange flesh. Personally, they are not my favorite eating mangoes, they are far too sweet. But I quite like them for juicier and sweeter endeavors, like popsicles and slushies!
Even though I would never recommend juicing mangoes; their flesh makes puree more than it makes juice, the kent varietal works incredible well in a juicer. Because it has so few fibers and is extremely juicy, the puree just glides right through the juicer instead of getting held up in the pulp section as it does with most other varietals. The final consistency ends up being more of a thick, silky nectar, which is perfect for this healthy and bold looking mango and turmeric slushy!
Creative Mango Popsicle Recipes: Taste tested by adults, kids and dogs!
Kids, adults, and even dogs, love the refreshing, ice-cold flavor of fresh fruit popsicles on a steamy summer day. A mango’s natural sweetness and tropical vibrancy is the perfect component for healthy, naturally sweet popsicles that you can eat day and night!
A sweet & tropical blaze for your Memorial Day Cookout
Every year in late spring, on the very last Monday in May, Americans celebrate Memorial Day. It’s a day where we honor serviceman who sacrificed their lives in American military operations. It’s a holiday that falls on the cusp of summer, and, for most, a BBQ weekend that signals that the long-awaited summer season has finally arrived.
The holiday has morphed over the years and turned into a long, three-day weekend, where, in addition to remembering our fallen soldiers, Americans celebrate, with fervent enthusiasm, the great American tradition of the BBQ or cookout.
This weekend, as you hang your flag at half-staff until noon, fire up the BBQ, grab your favorite people, and take advantage of the copious amounts of mangoes available at this time of year to add a tropical twist to your celebration.
Rhubarb meets mangoes in this perceivingly exotic and versatile compote!
In the old days, the processes of canning and jarring were essential to preserving the harvest well past winter. Today, as the world has access to most ingredients most of the time, preserving has become less essential and more of an exciting culinary trick. Making jams and compotes is one of the best ways to extend the life of your favorite seasonal fruit past the curfew nature has set for it. The creativity inspired by the blank canvas of making your own appeals to me most. I can add herbs, spices, booze… I can go sweet, tart, spicy, tropical… (See: Mango Jam).
The magic happens right when you think you went to far
I can be quite obsessive with my desire to turn everything into a mango recipe or more importantly and opportunity to teach people that mangoes work in just about any type of recipe or cuisine. I really do not exaggerate their versatility and am always trying to prove it, and proving it well definitely helps my quest. My latest venture took me really close to the edge of what I thought might be a stupid idea. But since I tend to be of the philosophy -that which makes you uncomfortable could possibly make you stronger- I pushed through the moment of discomfort and the idea of failure to impress. That’s when my Mango Mignonette recipe was born.
Warming up to and with mangoes; through booze
My love for mangoes started off rocky. As a young girl venturing into Central America with my family in the late 1980’s, down the Pan American highway through Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and into Nicaragua, I had some run ins with mangoes. Few of those entanglements left me with a hankering for more. The soapy, ultra-sweet flavor wasn’t my thing and I gave up on them easily, without looking back. Thirty years later, I found myself importing and marketing these sweet perfumed beauties for organic farmers throughout Latin American and I decided to take another look. I don’t think it’s uncommon with some foods (can you say brussel sprouts) that a second try as an adult changes everything, especially when you toss in the “tried and true” recipe for reshaping taste- nostalgia, timing, connection and engagement. My coming of age with mangoes was born from my connection to mango farmers and the the sustainable food scene in Brooklyn and it advanced by a warehouse full of fresh organic mangoes and a local artisanal, farm to glass booze craze. As a cooking instructor who focuses a great deal of time on kids, I am aware that the perfect storm of ingredients can create an openness of the palette that allows kids to try things they would normally never try not to mention actually like what they are tasting. This is the story (told through booze) of my perfect storm that brought me to where I am today, a devoted mango lover and self proclaimed – Queen of the King of Fruits
Holistic & Synergistic Bliss
What happens when we combine India’s ancient health drink with the King of Fruits?
Golden Milk (Haldi Ka Doodh) has moved boisterously through western society hailing itself as the new super drink, and it’s by far the biggest trend in western holistic nutrition since yoga. The recipe’s roots stretch back centuries, and its main ingredient, turmeric, is one of the most important roots in the world, dating back well over 4000 years. Prized for its tremendous healing capabilities, it’s one of the world’s most important spices. India is probably the place where this root is worshiped the most, and it is inside India’s ancient practice of Ayurveda where Golden Milk was born.
I by pass the sugar cube and modernize the classic old fashioned by incorporating mango essence into a simple syrup. The taste is just as exquisite as the classic version if not better.