Mango salsa.

Who here likes salsa? Who gets there salsa from the store because you’re to lazy to make it?  Me, I love salsa and sometimes yes I’m to lazy to make my own.  It normally happens when all I want are chips…and by chips I mean nachos and it’s also movie night.  However with that being said, sometimes I like making my own salsa and I’m not feeling lazy…it’s normally a pretty exotic salsa though, not like a normal tomato based one.  Which is where this post comes in, get ready mango salsa!  You can use this salsa for almost anything, such as: Tacos, chips, and on top of proteins like fish.  I personally used cod this time, which I baked with chili flakes.
This recipe is very easy, straight forward and doesn’t take very long to do.

Prep time: 10 minutes  Wait time: 30 minutes (depending)  Servings: 6

Equipment:
Small bowl.
Spoon.
measuring spoon/cup.
Knife.
Cutting board.

Ingredients:
1 mango
1/2 small red onion/or 1 shallot
1/4  red bell pepper
1/4 orange bell pepper (you could use any colour bell pepper you want)
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 lime-juiced
1tsp sugar/or honey (I used raw, and you could add more to suite your tastes)
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Dice the onion into small pieces.  Combine white wine vinegar, lime, and sugar together and place diced onion into liquid.  Set aside till the remaining ingredients are finished.  (This will make the onion have less of a sharp taste)
  2. Peel mango and cut into small pieces, cut the bell peppers into similar size pieces and put them aside.
  3. Peel garlic and finely mince.  There is the option to roast the garlic before mincing, this could give a sweeter taste.  To roast the garlic toss the peeled whole cloves in olive oil, wrap them in foil and place in oven at 250F.  This should take about 20 minutes or until they are golden (keep an eye on them, garlic burns quickly).  Let them cool before adding them to the salsa.
  4. Combine all the ingredients(including the onion liquid mixture) together and season will salt and pepper till it suites your taste.
  5. refrigerate till ready to use, and enjoy!10603636_10153361955348404_253565579615985268_n
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This is what happened…

Dear readers of all sorts.
I know it’s been an extremely long time since I’ve written a post…and even before that it was on and off for a while.  I know I stopped cooking professionally but that is no excuse to stop writing or creating delicious things in my spare time.  I still like cooking, I still like when people eat something delicious of mine; It’s just the professional kitchen part of it that has burned me into the ground.
I’ve come to realize that I haven’t been doing enough of the things I use to, I’ve mostly just been sitting around watching Once Upon A time and Super Natural with my boyfriend.  Both amazing shows but there is more to life than binge watching shows till my body aches.
I started to feel like I wasn’t important in my life, or like I wasn’t doing anything with it.  I started to get frustrated with myself that I had no idea what I was going to do with my life..I wanted to go to school but the thought up until now horrified me.
However don’t worry I wont be closing the blog down, I have plans…starting off small just to get back in touch with my inner cook, then finally leading up to bigger projects.  No I won’t go work in kitchens again but I will go back to school for something completely different.   For what you might ask? Well you’ll just have to wait till later, I have an idea but I want to make sure before announcing it to the world.  I’ll give you one hint, it might mean me in school for 6-7 years.  Yes you heard that correctly.
Also I might write more than just food posts.  Just to spice it up a little.  Hopefully it works.

Simple, white sandwich buns.

First I’d like to tell everyone that my brother and I have been watching, and talking about 90’s and early 2000’s cartoons lately…You know the ones people got up on Saturday mornings to watch.  They don’t compare to the really BAD ones you see on television these days.  Some of them include: Johnny Bravo, Teen Titans, T.M.N.T, and Ruby Gloom.  In fact, I just finished watching an episode of Ruby Gloom and I smiled through the whole thing.  It’s so dark, yet so happy!  I highly recommend taking a trip down memory lane via old cartoons, you wont regret it.
Alright so here we go!
Bread, something nobody bakes anymore.  It’s a lost art because of how easy to buy it at the grocery store.  I’ll be honest with you all, I even buy my bread at the store.  However every once in a while I’ll roll up my sleeves, cover myself head to toe in flour, and think to myself “how come I don’t do this more often”.  The smell is what gets me, there’s nothing better than baking your own bread and having that mouth-watering smell waft through your home.  Now add your Saturday morning cartoons and you’re having the best weekend of your life.

Yields: 6-8 buns.    Prep time: 3ish hours.    Baking time: 20 minutes (or until golden).

Equipment:
Stand mixer with hook attachment (Or knead by hand).
Measuring cups and spoons.
Medium/large bowl.
Baking pan.
Dish cloth or plastic wrap.
Pastry brush.
Small bowl.
…and of course an oven.

Ingredients:
3 3/4 cups bread flour (all-purpose can be used).
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast.
2 teaspoons fine salt (I used fine sea salt)
1 teaspoon white sugar.
13 fluid oz warm water. (You can find fluid ounces on a liquid measuring cup)
Butter or coating the pan.
1 egg for brushing buns before going into the oven.

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350/400 degrees.
2. Combine warm water, yeast and sugar together.  Let sit till yeast creates a foamy looking texture on top.
3. In stand mixer bowl combine flour and salt.  Add the water/yeast mixture to the flour on the lowest speed for about 2 minutes.
4. Continue to mix on the second lowest speed for about 5 minutes, or until the dough comes together and is smooth.
5. Knead on counter surface (no flour needed) to create a ball shape. Oil your medium-sized bowl and place dough ball inside.  Place on top of the oven(or in a warm area) to rise, placing a dish cloth on top or wrapping bowl with plastic wrap.
6. Once dough is double in size punch the dough down and knead for a minute or two.
7. Cut dough into even sections and tightly roll into smaller balls.
8. Place small dough balls in a buttered baking pan.  Slightly and gently press each one down (this creates that flatter appearance you need for a sandwich bun).  Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap again and let rise till double its size (about 20 minutes).  Brushing butter on top of each roll before you put it to rise a second time will help the dough stay moist.
9. Once double in size brush each roll with egg wash, this will help the rolls turn that nice golden colour.
10. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes OR until golden.  Let rest till cool enough to handle.
11. ENJOY!!

**Note, I did not brush mine with egg wash, that is why they look so pale.

Baked, sea salted beet chips.

Lately I’ve been trying my best to stay healthy but, sometimes I just really want something crunchy and salted.  This is where I tend to pick up a bag of chips.  However since I’ve decided to be healthy I found other ways to get my crunch on that wont affect my health in a negative way; Such as making beet chips.  Now you might be wondering “why beet chips?” well because beets are delicious! They are one of those vegetables that are often under estimated or avoided.  However, I love them and they are extremely good for you.

*Here are some health tips on this delicious root vegetable before we get started* Beets have many health benefits such as: lots iron, fibre, calcium, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A and C.  It helps prevent cancer and hearth disease, and it is also high in energy (it’s low in calories, so eat a lot for energy all day!)

Ingredients:
4-6 beets.
Olive oil.
Sea salt.

Equipment:
Knife.
Cutting board.
Pot.
Gloves. (for non stained hands)
Parchment paper.
Baking sheet.

Method:
1. Cook beats in boiling water till almost cooked through.  You should be able to stick a knife through but it should feel as if there is still a bite to them.
2. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
3. Once finished cool beets and peel.  The peeling should easily slide off, if not you can use a knife.
4. Slice the beets thinly, thin enough you could see through them if you tried.  Using a mandoline would make this job easier. (you can get one of these at a kitchen supply store)
5. Lightly coat beet slices in an oil of your choice.  Olive oil is a nice choice.
6. Place beet slices on sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle sea salt over them and bake in oven.
7. It should take just over an hour depending on your oven. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not burning, if it takes longer just leave them in.
8. Enjoy!

How to- Garlic cloves.

How many times have you gone to use fresh garlic only to get frustrated by the sticky, paper like peeling?  How many times have you thought “why is this so difficult! why can’t there be an easier way”. How many times have you changed your mind on the fresh garlic and quickly switched to powder?
If you thought you were alone with the frustration well let me tell you…you’re not!  I’ve had this same problem till I taught myself how. Now when I see those awful infomercials for tacky kitchen equipment I laugh because it’s just SO EASY do to it yourself.
Soon you’ll be throwing away your powdered garlic, and using this super easy trick to peel and chop garlic all of the time.  Which in the long run is the better choice anyways;  Powdered garlic has none of the health benefits of fresh garlic, costs more, and takes more to get that garlic taste you really want…Which never really happens, because nothing beats freshly chopped garlic.

Equipment:
Knife.
Cutting board.
Container/bowl.

Method:
1. Gather the equipment you will need, this will include a cutting board, a knife, a damp cloth to secure the cutting board, a bowl to put the garlic in, and of course your garlic.
2. Place the cutting board on top of the damp cloth.
3. Cut the root at the end of the garlic clove off and toss away.
4. Place your knife flat on top of the clove, press down as hard as you can till it crushes.  Or you can hit the knife with your palm to crush the garlic, however be careful not to cut yourself.
5. You will easily be able to slide the garlic peeling off now! Toss the peeling away.
6. Sometimes when your garlic is older a green bitter root forms in the middle of your clove.  You can easily remove this by cutting the clove in half and picking it out.
7. Now you continue to chop the garlic as finely as you want.
8. If you would like to “puree” it, just angle your knife to almost be flat against the cutting board and over top of the garlic at the same time. Use force to drag your knife towards you, keep doing till your desired consistency.

**I’d like to give credit to two awesome guys who helped me today.  I wouldn’t of been able to do this demonstration with out them.  To my younger brother Wyatt Albert who expertly chopped the garlic while I took the photos, and to his friend Michael Rains who helped with lighting, thanks for holding that lamp up!

Strawberry and thyme jam.

This year for Christmas I decided to make delicious gifts for people.  With all of the ideas I had, including pies wrapped up in dish towels 60’s style. I decided to go with jam, everyone loves jam…but I wanted to do something no one could really buy in the store.
I was thinking to myself and, I remembered a few years back I visited this herb garden that did a beautiful maze throughout the summer.  They would sell herbs by themselves but they would also make fruity jams, jellies and chutneys with the herbs as well.  One combination that they made was strawberry and thyme, I remember it smelling and tasting so delicious.
So that’s what I did, I made a sweet and savoury  jams.

Ingredients:
3 1/2 – 4 cups of strawberries (halved)
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp thyme (chopped)
1 tbsp lemon or orange juice
“Optional – 1 tsp vanilla, gelatine (for consistency)”

Equipment:
Cutting board.
knife.
Medium sized pot.
measuring spoons/cups.
rubber spatula.

Method:
1. Combine strawberries, sugar, thyme, citrus juice and vanilla if you wanted it in a pot and bring to a boil.
2. bring down to a medium-low heat and let simmer. Occasionally stirring.
3. Place a small plate in the freezer, this will be used to check the consistency.
4. After about 15 minutes stir and put a little on the cold plate, if the liquid is thick and not runny it’s done!!  Take off heat and let cool. Enjoy!
Note: If you are worried about it still being to runny you may add a little gelatine to it, just follow the instructions of the package.

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